It’s All Fun and Games….

A Sunday evening after no weekly columns from Steve Simmons or Larry Brooks – not the best way to start a week.

Old TSM laced up the skates for the first team in nearly a year, the first time since having knee surgery. I will tell you it is so far, so good.

Little TSM has been skating like a mad man and was on the ice twice two times today. Its amazing to watch the change and progress in little kids development on ice; its crazier to watch the disevolution of some kids parents as their kids play “more serious” hockey- at 8 right….


So two events had me thinking of just how nutty we all get about the games and teams we follow.

The first, the obvious one in these parts, les affairs Pat Burns. I am not going to write a blogger vs. msm piece here, because to be honest the story had nothing to do with that. This isn’t a story about twitter either. Despite what people may say, it had nothing to do with that either.

Rather, this story had everything to do with the pressure or need to be first. It is all encompassing in reporting (no matter what the vertical or the medium).

U see, this isn’t about trusted sources, or any of that, in my opinion. Its more about the fact that those who feed todays consumers don’t think we can differentiate between a story and a scoop.

There are some stories that the who got it first just doesn’t really matter. Deaths seem to be an easy one that fit into that category. When someone dies, do you really care who got the story first(as a consumer)???

TMZ broke the Michael Jackson story, but many media outlets didn’t pronounce him “really” dead until there was at the very least a major news outlet or two reporting it.

In the Burns case, multiple outlets had it, the problem is they just had it wrong. There was a time that just wouldn’t have happened. Like there was a time when NBC wouldn’t call a presidential election before it was over.

So as not to suggest I am living in a glass house, I will admit that I heard the news, read it and saw it and wrote a condolence piece about the apparent passing of Pat Burns. When I heard the news wasn’t true, I pulled it immediately. I felt horribly, truly guilty. What an awful thing to have done.

There can be positives I guess as a result. 1st, perhaps Burns got a chance to see some of the incredible tributes that where out there to him. I don’t say this to be funny but, seriously how often does one get to hear or read what people had to say after they were gone?

Second, perhaps everyone will be a little more sensitive to these types of things in the future. Maybe on these types of stories the emphasis will be on accuracy and not speed.

Lastly, we all got to read one of the best written columns I think I’ve seen in a long time. If you haven’t read Bob Mckenzie’s tribute to Burns, do so now.

And really finally, maybe, just maybe the dolts from the hockey hall of fame will find a way to induct Burns into the hall while he is alive.

Now, the other story took place south of the border. Last night Michigan State University played Notre Dame in football. The game ended in a tie and Michigan State pulled off a stunning fake field goal attempt, winning the game instead by scoring a touchdown.

Awesome news to me as my 2 favourite college teams are the Miami Hurricanes and whomever is playing Notre Dame. However, shortly after the game the Michigan State coach, who is all of 54 years old checked himself into a hospital afetr he wasn’t feeling right. Turns out the coach had suffered a heart attack.

Now, some may say football didn’t cause the heart attack, and I am no doctor, I don’t even play one on tv. All ill say is this guy is lucky to be alive and it does remind me of just how meaningless the game are in the grand scheme of things.

Enough serious talk. So tomorrow at 3pm is ESPN’s The Decision part Two- this time taking place at The Fan 590 studios where Bob Mccown will unveil the new morning guy. Now unless everyone is wrong it will be Andrew Krystal. Ill offer more opinion after the big announcement. Let me just say this, as I have before. I drive my kids to school and am rarely listening before 830 and am in the car until at least 915-930. So I won’t hear much of the new guy as the morning show ends too early for me. I will say this, if the rumblings are true that Eric Smith is taking a chunk of the current Krystal slot over, at least for a while, then there’s a good chance I will be listening. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been listening to Mike and Mike until 9am and then Dan Patrick after 9.

So, we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Now ? For all you Toth’s out there. Its little TSM’s bday coming up. Hed like to go to a game with some buddy’s. It looks like the price to go to a game in Brampton for an OHL game is about the same as tickets to see a Marlies game. Keep in mind these are 8 year olds. (And no I am not taking 10 kids to a leaf game). So the question is, Brampton or Marlies- what should I do???



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Johannes Gutenberg
Johannes Gutenberg
September 20, 2010 6:09 am

re: PAT BURNS: With all respect, you are part of the problem. You published a tribute to Pat Burns without verification. You simply saw what everybody else was reporting and jumped in. Where was your journalist integrity?
You should do a piece on who DIDN’T go with the story: CP, Sportsnet, CBC, etc. Nice to see there are still some news directors and managing editors who know what they are doing.

September 20, 2010 8:29 am

Marlies….it’s closer and the team should be pretty good this year. And, if Little TSM is a Jeff Finger fan, he’ll get to watch him play….

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
September 20, 2010 9:12 am

We have already had an exchange of views on this topic on Twitter, and both see it differently. I am curious though to hear how others feel.

I read your post before you removed it, and your reaction as depicted above explains why you did it and how you felt once you got word that Pat Burns was still with us. I completely understand your reaction on it.

My reaction though, would have been different, and for the following reasons:

1. You wrote the tribute only after numerous MSM sources confirmed it, and I would have done the same in your position. This was a reality check for a lot of us, and if the same thing happened tomorrow, no doubt you will handle it differently.

2. What I am most impressed about is how you wrote the piece naturally and did not just bring it out from a prepared piece that is almost like a deathwatch in itself, and something that no doubt the MSM used, as it was impossible to have the detailed write-ups done in a few minutes. You operate to your own drummer, and do not get caught up in the rat race you depicted to be first. You make your own exclusives on your schedule.

There is no doubt though that the MSM has to prepare the obituary columns in advance due to the policies in house, and there is no choice as an employee to deviate from it, which is sad, but reality.

In summary, I suggested that you leave the body of your piece, and remove the headline and any conncetion to Pat’s health, but just put it out there for us readers to enjoy. You felt uncomfortable in doing so, but I look at it this way, and it falls in line with your initial point about Pat being able to see the marvellous tributes paid to him, and yes, the McKenzie piece was one of the best I have ever read period. It really moved me emotionally.

I think now once some time has passed to reflect on things, had we gone back in time, maybe, like McKenzie, you would have left it up making the obvious changes to it. Then again, maybe not. Either way, it is something that each of us has to do on their own comfort factor.

September 20, 2010 3:03 pm

Are you guys hearing this? McCown now doing mornings, Krystal doing Prime Time?


September 20, 2010 3:07 pm

Ha! It was a joke!

I have to admit, that was a good one. I was genuinely pissed!

September 20, 2010 9:41 pm

I was hoping we would get Hogie back in his old slot…But i guess Kollins is not ready to admit he made a mistake!!
I like Eric Smith so if it his show i just hope we do not have to listen to Doug “I digress”Farraway!!! when Eric is on the road with the Raps.
As for Krystal…I guess i will continue to listen to Mike and Mike in the morning on ESPN.Not sure where i will get my hockey fix in the morning but my NFL knowledge is growing more everyday!

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