You know how I feel about that moronic article by Joe Cowley from Chicago. I think I made it pretty clear. When I saw on twitter that Cowley was going to be on the Fan590, I thought good- first- good on Cowley for being man enough for coming on and good on whoever was going to tell the guy off for making ignorant comments.
Now, I’m still impressed Cowley showed up and well, totally embarassed for the folks on the morning show at the fan.
Cowley comes on and says that Toronto is a great hockey town. He says this whole thing started during SARS when he was stuck in a hotel room and he said he felt that he was in a third world country becuase he couldn’t leave his hotel room. He said this while on the air with a Chicago radio station. After the fact he was approached by Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun who asked him if he really had said that he felt like he was in a third world country. According to Cowley, he said to Elliott that he did say it, but that he tried to provide context. Cowley told the guys that Elliott had no interest in listening to the story and that was because Elliott is part of the old boys network who doesn’t respect younger guys (again, according to Cowley). Clearly Cowley isn’t an Elliott fan. He then talked about Richard Griffin also having it in for him as Cowley has been coming to Toronto since the late 90’s.
When he was asked about the comments about Toronto as a baseball market, Cowley said that he feels that baseball isn’t working here. He pointed to the lack of coverage baseball gets, referring specifically to the poor placement in the newspapers; he mentioned that he was listening to a station after the Jays game (590) and that a caller suggested that the Jays need a new ballpark and the host said that a new stadium would only draw people for a year.
Stellick brought up other markets where baseball numbers are low, asking why Cowley was in essence singling out Toronto. Cowley said that its about more than attendance. He explained that In Toronto hockey is the most popular then soccer. Where does baseball fit in, he asked. Cowley then said that in the American markets where baseball is struggling there are huge economic problems. Here is where Cowley looses me, he claims that in the USA football is king (kind of like hockey here no?). He says that in Cleveland, where the economy has been especially hit hard, people are spending their sports money on Lebron and then on the Browns. Ok, I can buy that argument. BUT HOW IS THAT ANY DIFFERENT THAN HERE??????? I don’t want to debate where baseball is in the sports hierarchy. For arguments sake let’s say he’s right and it’s hockey, soccer than baseball. How is that different than Cleveland, where it’s basketball (only since Lebron arrived) then Browns and Indians? It doesn’t!
Stellick then brought up the same issue I did- the Chicago Blackhawks who were in the absolute basement of the NHL in attendance. Cowley said that Stellick was right that hockey was ignored for a while. Stellick pressed him on the issue, prompting Cowley’s weakest argument that it’s different with the Blackhawks because their an original six franchise – there’s a history there. Now that’s just crap. While Wirtz owned the Blackhawks the joke was that the only hockey fans in Chicago were season ticket holders. Despite the team being last or near it in attendance no one ever suggested the team be moved. Stellick rightly suggested that the Jays should be allowed to get back on track before concluding that the team be moved. To me Cowley’s arguments were baseless. I think he was easily challengable based on how he presented his case. The call then took a turn for the worse.
Let me preface it by saying that I know time is tight on radio. I know the hosts have commercials, traffic news etc to get to. However, this was a big topic and a coup for them to get Cowley on. Clearly they were up against a break, but man did Landry handle the rest of the call poorly. In my opinion he should have asked Cowley if he could stick around. He could have said, thanks for coming on, we disagree with you etc…. Instead he said, well, were out of time, maybe your a nice guy who’s trying to be funny and if so let me just say kiss my back bacon behind! Cowley was clearly surprised by Landry’s comment said something along the lines of whatever…
Now, I don’t know what Landry was trying to do or say. It appears that he, like many of us had our minds made up about the story and Cowley after the stories appeared about Cowley in the National Post and the Toronto Star. So I get Landry’s obvious attitude starting the interview. However, and I am not going to take sides on the Bob Elliott part, but let’s just say that the part about SARS does make sense. I know people who were stuck in Europe this week who said they felt like they were stuck in a third world country.
As I said above, Cowley was easily attack able on the merits of his arguments. Landry’s comment at the end wasn’t mean spirited as some have suggested, it was, unfunny and plain embarrassing. I really feel badly for Stellick. Apparently an apology was issued by Landry this am as people were emailing in about his comment. To be honest the apology should be made to Stellick. The proof, from my perspective came from the comment a long time sports personality left on this site: “Joe Cowley roasted your radio boobs the other day on this subject when they tried to ambush him about this. They had absolutely no retort and looked like dopey hosers.”
It’s hard to argue with that. The “retorts” available were many. Why Landry chose the one he did is quite surprising. Why not ask him to stick around? Up until then it was good radio. Given the subject matter lots of people would have written about it. I don’t get why Landry ended the segment the way he did. Oh well. Maybe we will hear more.
You can hear the interview here