Monday Morning Toronto Sports Media Musings

Spent the weekend at multiple rinks around the GTA, little TSM is making his way through NT select tryouts and yours truly took to the ice for the 2nd time in a year as well (more on that disaster later- thanks to Reg Dunlop!).

So, here’s a couple of random thoughts for your Monday morning:

1. Friday was the worst PTS roundtable I have ever heard. No joke, I’ve heard better shows hosted by guys not named Mccown. It was truly awful. The 5-6 hour may have been the worst hour of sports radio ever in Toronto history.

2. Did anyone else read Larry Brooks yesterday? Can someone tell me why he is such an angry man? Is it me or does he come across as a whiny old man who complains about everything. Talk about a guy with an obvious agenda. Wow. I love reading his stuff when he is on, but wow has he been off lately.

3. Steve Simmons had his best column in a long time yesterday. For me personally, I know it’s good when I am either doing a ton of nodding or a lot or the exact opposite. Yesterday’s article was bang on. I wondered why Gillick wasn’t seen or heard at the Cito farewell (which the Jays handled superbly by the way) too. I smell a rat.

4. I heard Krystal’s interview with Jeremy Roenick this morning (sorry no link as of yet). I stopped counting the number of times Krystal interrupted JR at 15. JR is normally a great interview, especially when he is allowed to talk. I loved when the caller told JR how much he appreciated the fact that JR signed autographs for all those who wanted (the caller made it sound like over 300) and Krystal kept mumbling about nothing, interrupting JR who was trying to say why he was always good to the fans. Is Krystal going to tell all his guests that “he loves them”?? Lastly, get a listen to the end of the interview where Krystal says, “here’s the ONE thing you need to know about JR” and starts with something along the lines of, he loves his wife or he is in a great relationship, and then rattles off at least 5 or 6 other things you need to know about JR. Getting Roenick was a great for the morning show, just wish the results were a little better. Great news though, apparently Dowbiggin is going to be on tomorrow!

5. Jeff Blair took to the airwaves this morning, the Jeff Blair Show. First, let me say I am a big Blair fan. I think he has done a good fill in job at the fan and I think he has the potential to be a good radio host. Personally, I think he needs a co-host but that’s me. Now, I am a little confused. When Kollins made his changes he dumped Smith and Armstrong. One of the reasons given was that they wanted consistency at the station. With Smith on the road so much for the Raptors (and I am a Smith fan too by the way), and the same with Armstrong, it made it hard for the time slot to gain any momentum. I happened to agree with that train of thought.

Now it seems that they’ve taken care of that time slot by inserting Greg Brady there. Yet they’ve created the same issue in the Mike Hogan slot. Some days, it appears it will be the Eric Smith show. Others the Jeff Blair show. Soooooooo, you’ve fixed the problem at one slot by creating the same issue at another slot. Kollins said he was looking for a more permanent solution but wow, this seems like addition by subtraction (again I don’t mean in personalities, rather in dealing with the consistency problem).

By the way, Blair had a great topic this am, what will it take you to go out to Jays games. I’ve said this too many times, and Simmons touched on it in his column too, the Jays have to improve the ingame service at the dome. The play on the field will take care of itself. The quiality and availability of food and merchandise, the low quality in game entertainment (non-field) the poor use of the jumbotron – the long lines everywhere etc. are all a start. The reality is, they have to find a way to at least compare with that which I get on my couch. Right now the Jays are eons behind. It’s like watching a game on regular TV when you’ve seen one in HD.

6. Am I the only one who’s had it with the Ron Wilson act? I cringe every time I hear him interviewed. I have nothing against him personally, and I think he’s a good coach. The calling of players only by nicknames, the I’m smarter then the rest of the world vibe he gives off is just tired. Personally, I’d be much happier if he answered the questions as asked and stuck to coaching. I’m not lobbying for his head, or anything like that. I just wish perhaps he took some media training is all.

That’s all for now, happy Monday….



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October 4, 2010 11:02 am

For the Friday PTS roundtable, if its McCown and Shannon (or one of the other FOB), I don’t listen UNLESS the other two participants are established good contributors (eg. Brunt, Arthur… Blair is acceptable).

October 4, 2010 11:29 am

Just had Blair on. Even though I’m in general agreement with his point I had to turn him off. He’s too obnoxious in the way he expresses his opinion in a snotty schooboyish way and shouting over the caller, etc. (Maybe that’s what the masses want from a radio presenter?)

For the FAN I’m now down to just McCown late afternoon, and have gone to FM music radio for the rest of the day.

October 4, 2010 11:55 am

Bang on analysis for the 9 – 12 slot. I liked the GamePlan, but it was frustrating how the guys would miss weeks at a time. It was an understandable move to put in something more consistent.

So, now with 9 – 12 i’The Eric Smith Show’ will be on sometimes and other times it will be ‘The Jeff Blair Show’? I am also a big Blair fan (though I agree he could use a cohost) and Smith solo is growing on me, but what radio station does that? Kind of confusing.

I mean, why not have them cohost the show together? Then if one misses the show, the other can do solo. Or, I dunno… Put Blair and a cohost from 9 -12, and let Smith do the empty 6 o’clock slot?

I dunno. I’m looking forward to listening to Blair, but have two different rotating shows is pretty weird.

October 4, 2010 12:22 pm

So who is the regulat host and who is the fill in? Thats my question. I turned it on and see that Smith is gone and now Blair is in.

I know Smith isnt fired, but if I was just a basic listener, I could have thought that he was.

I want to give Kollins some rope, but come on man, your really killing us here.

October 4, 2010 1:15 pm

IMO PTS has fallen off a cliff in the past couple of months; but, you’re right, that round table of those guests was a new low. John Shannon is bad enough during the week but he uses the round table as an excuse to regurgitate the salient points someone else made earlier in the week. Perk and Cooper are okay as one part of a stronger RT, but they can’t be paired up.

I listen to the PTS podcast and I find myself increasingly listening to only one or two segments a night and then deleting them, sometimes without even listening to them. Without better contributors and guests, PTS suddenly feels old, unfunny, and stodgy. Maybe it is as simple as “Hurry back, Brunt.”

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
October 4, 2010 1:35 pm

i’ve found Blair to be very mediocre as a PTS host, especially during the call-in segments but also during roundtables. The pregnant pauses and the old man bitching shtick grates on me. That said, with some practice during a more “call-centric” show i think he could improve his delivery and grow beyond the contrarian mode in which he’s most comfortable.

i still don’t buy him as a generalist, but it’s only been a couple of years since he moved up from being a Jays beat guy, so perhaps it’s too early to write him off in that regard.

lastly, on roundtables, they have become near unlistenable since they added the monday one. 4 hours per week of the “friends of Bob” show is just too much. they should go back to fridays only, and keep Kirk/Shannon/Cooper and the rest of the hangers-on off the air.

October 4, 2010 2:53 pm

See here’s the essence of the problem: I like Blair, but I turned the station off this morning when Krystal brought an obviously confused and embarrassed Wilner on with a hockey player (?), told them to say hello (?), and asked Mike one scintillating question- who the next manager of the team will be (WTF?).
And in case you’re reading TSM: any idea what has happened to Brunt on PTS?

October 4, 2010 3:18 pm

Mike, do you even listen to the FAN? There hasn’t been a Monday roundtable in ages.

October 4, 2010 3:58 pm

Ok Brunt’s there… wow did you do that?

October 4, 2010 4:12 pm

What I did not like about the Roenick piece this morning was having fans call in to talk to JR, rather than just talking to him.

Also, I love watching the Reporters with Dave Hodge, but yesterday was an off day for some great analysis and no chemistry between them…just weird, but I guess they’re entitled to an off day

Mike S
Mike S
October 4, 2010 9:01 pm

The post by 2001010 is correct………..there has not been a Monday roundtable on PTS (other than on holiday Mondays) in a long time, maybe as much as a year ago.

Normally I enjoy the comments by Mike (in Boston) but he loses a bit of credibility when he criticizes something that doesn’t exist

Did anyone ever actually hear Kollins say that a big reason why the Game Plan was dumped was because the hosts were often missing?………..I remember hearing Smith & Armstrong say that but that might have been to save some face…………..I think the real reason why Kollins did it is because he wanted an upgrade on that show and he got it by hiring Brady, which was the only one of his moves that has worked in my opinion

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
October 4, 2010 9:20 pm

i stand corrected. i listen on podcast and rarely note which day i am listening to.

also, in my defense, Shannon is sort of a roundtable on to himself.

October 4, 2010 10:18 pm

I don’t get to listen to the FAN all day as often as others may, but this new formula of talk to guest first first 20, take call next 40 EVERY HOUR is tiresome. if you want a variety of callers, move the call-ins around. i tune in to listen to people who are a little closer to the action than some guy in his car who refers to the leafs as I and we

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