Tim Thomas, Joe Paterno, Oh My


Yeah yeah yeah, I forgot to bring up the I’m no dead yet take 32 of celebs who were claimed dead on twitter only to be still alive.

Here’s the problem, it’s happened so often now, it’s almost become acceptable. I mean really. It’s not just little reporters tweeting prematurely the death of someone, it’s the big fellas too. Unless the media is prepared to wait until a death certificate is required prior to reporting or tweeting a death, there are going to be premature death notices. With the exception of Gordon Lightfoot, I can’t think of someone who has been wrongfully killed off on twitter who hasn’t passed away sooner rather than later. No, that doesn’t make it right. No, that doesn’t mean that one’s death is the type of news that every precaution should not be taken to ensure accuracy. It does mean that in this day of instant gratification, where our news is consumed in 140 characters, there are going to be screw-ups. It’s just a fact.

The debate on the legacy of Joe Paterno is far more interesting to me, by the way. For every writer who says that his reputation is entirely based upon his football coaching days there is at least one scribe who believes his reputation is forever tarnished by the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State. Personally, i don’t know how you separate the two. No, he didn’t do it. Yes he didn’t do enough, his record speaks for itself and his legacy will be both.

I loved the tweet today by Steve Simmons saying that he voices his opinion because that is what he does. I couldn’t agree more. Whether he is wrong or right, he’s paid to voice an opinion. What I can’t stand, and this isn’t a slam on Simmons at all, are those in the biz who get up an preach. There’s nothing worse to me than a scribe who tells people what to do. “Make sure you cheer tonight” or “don’t boo x when he returns” or “If you don’t go to Jr. hockey games you have no business watching the world juniors.”

So in that vein I found it very interesting to read and hear the various people take on Tim Thomas. All this crap from so many soap boxes. Please. The guy took a stand for what he believes in. He drew a ton of attention to himself and turned what should have been a team focused celebration to an event all about him. If I were a teammate I’d be pissed. That’s it. I don’t think it would have killed him to show up and smile. I think his opportunities to go to the white house are really limited and irrespective of the administration I’d show up. He chose not to and that’s that. Larry Brooks took the cake today “Please. Let’s not turn Tim Thomas’ act of political opportunism into some sort of noble exercise.” Ok, then let’s not comment about it. Enough said.

As promised, another the Leafs have to make a move article surfaced today, this time from Jeff Blair:

“There is a premium to be paid for being able to make a trade in advance of the league’s Feb. 27 deadline and now is not the time to be shy.

Only the true believers can look at January with satisfaction. Burke doesn’t have that luxury. He’s paid to be smarter than any of us.”

The problem is that making these types of deals isn’t easy as we all know. If it were it would have been done already. I love the Burke got lucky with Lupul. If he gets lucky with Lupul then it was just bad luck when he signed a dud right? Also, it’s easy from the armchair position isn’t it. He needs to make the deal, but if he does, you know the critics will be out in full force.

I am not disagreeing with Blair here. I just think it’s funny is all. I think Burke reads the situation as well as others. He’ll act accordingly.

Meanwhile, did you see the NFL ratings in Canada yesterday???

10.8 million Canadians watched part of the NFC championship game yesterday. Let’s put that number in perspective for a second shall we…

4.6 million Canadians tuned into this year’s grey cup and 6.04 last year. so basically take last 2 grey cup’s together and that is pretty close to this years NFC game. That’s a seriously big number for a semi-final game. Can’t wait to see what the Superbowl does.

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Rob C.
January 24, 2012 2:31 am

I’m a Bruins fan and I don’t care about Thomas not showing up. Going to the White House is like voting, you don’t have to do it. It’s just a photo opp.

And talking about Boston, Theo Epstein skipped George W Bush twice. Both Red Sox trips to Washington after World Series victories and the GM was absent each time. I don’t recall him putting out a statement but I’d say today he’d probably have to with the social media storm that would kick up.

January 24, 2012 3:31 am

Humble and Fred have an announcement on Breakfast Television and The Fan tomorrow:


Maybe they’ll be doing podcasts under the Rogers banner I guess? Maybe some Fan work? (Not sure where you could put them though)

Lee (Oakville)
January 24, 2012 6:40 am

TSM, I couldn’t agree more with your take on the media’s reaction to the Tim Thomas “story”. The homogeneous hysteria and pontification is indicative of the low-quality of analysis and thought we get as consumers. One MSMer on Twitter actually bemoaned that the White House was being politicized. Huh?

On a related issue, I note how Damien Cox called Tim Thomas a “crackpot” on Twitter. In my mind, this is the intellectual and moral equivalent of Jeffrey Dahmer criticizing Hannibal Lecter for being a cannibal.

January 24, 2012 6:56 am

It was childish and selfish move on Thomas’ part. Does he have to go: no. Does his absence move the focus from celebrating the Bruins and the NHL at a time when the league needs every bit of publicity it can get: Yes.

Thomas and his apologists can spin it any way they want. The President is merely the conduit through which the US shows its appreciation of their champions. Thousands of athletes have put their political bias aside in the past to help shine the spotlight on their teams and their sport. Apparently Thomas isn’t mature enough to do that.

Mike V
Mike V
January 24, 2012 7:10 am

2.4 million was the actual number who watched the NFC Championship. 10.8 million was just the “reach” of the AFC/NFC games, which is a bogus stat that Bell Media uses just because it looks good in a PR statement. For comparison, last year’s Grey Cup had a reach of over 11 million.

That said, the game was still well ahead of the 1.5 million average that the CFL East/West finals did in November. The Super Bowl should break 7 million again.

itchy butt
itchy butt
January 24, 2012 8:09 am

Thanks Mike V. Those numbers sounded a bit inflated.

Sam in Oshawa
January 24, 2012 9:12 am

Politics in the states is very nasty,when i was in the military we had a saying “you dont have to respect the man but you have to respect the rank”.It is a cop out by Thomas,the office of any countries leader should be respected,men have fought and died for the freedom to choose,grow up Tim the next day you can rant all you want and i will give you the courtesy to listen.

January 24, 2012 9:19 am

Re: the Grey Cup, I was talking about this with a couple of friends the other day. Neither of them subscribe to cable tv, so as a result they don’t get to see Grey Cup because CTV\TSN insists on keeping it on TSN.

I have always been puzzled as to why CTV doesn’t air the game, giving it a further reach (as Mike V referenced).

Is it really that important to keep it’s American programming on in November, but can bump it in January?

January 24, 2012 9:43 am

Thomas is a libertarian. He’s not the right wing, republican, racist that morons like Dummy Cox or Bee Arthur would have we believe.

I don’t agree with Thomas’ reasons as to why he didn’t go but it’s his choice, is it not? Of course if he was protesting Obama for not pushing hard enough for gay-make-believe marriage people like Arthur would be loving him (I’m paraphrasing Arthur from TSN radio last night with Cybulski).

Mike V
Mike V
January 24, 2012 9:52 am

It’s more valuable for the Grey Cup to be on TSN because TSN gets subscriber revenue each month and can use high profile events like it as leverage when they renegotiate their rate with carriers. If they gave the game away for free on CTV, they lose that bargining chip.
Same reason why the BCS is now on ESPN, March Maddness is moving to Turner and ESPN pays more for MNF than any of the broadcast networks do for the sunday package.

January 24, 2012 10:32 am

Great announcement now Humble & Fred’s PODCAST will be available through Rogers Media on the iPhone, Blackberry, and Android APPS. I am really hoping this means we can hear them on a semi regular basis together as new contributers to the Prime Time Sports Roundtable on Fridays… They would be a HUGE upgrade over guys like Dave Perkins, John Shannon, and Gord Kirke!

itchy butt
itchy butt
January 24, 2012 11:07 am

Roger said….”Thomas is a libertarian. He’s not the right wing, republican, racist that morons like Dummy Cox or Bee Arthur would have we believe”

No, that title is yours

January 24, 2012 11:34 am

Good one, itchy.

January 24, 2012 11:47 am

Who would have guessed that Dave Hodge would have probably the most outlandish comment on this by reminding everybody that Thomas offspring were named Kiley, Kelsey and Keegan.

I thought Grange in the morning (and SN article) had a great point. In hockey, especially the VanCity vs Bruins final it was a battle, it was a physical and emotional long series with probably a lot of bitter feelings. But when it ended, everybody stood in a line, looked their opponent in the eye and shaked their hand. Why not have the same standards in other parts of your life.

I think it stinks that his teammates were totally overshadowed by this, it should have been their moment but Thomas made it about him. He had any other day to take whatever stand he wants.

Lee (Oakville)
January 24, 2012 12:47 pm

I’m finding it harder and harder to take the media seriously. Sports media types that have a hard time articulating the overtime rules in NFL playoff games are now instant political experts, able to read Tim Thomas’ ,mind and the hurt feelings of his teammates. Seriously? I’d rather read Rosie DiManno’s take on the infield-fly rule than read more of Arthur’s and Cox’s undereducated and un-nuanced take on issues that are obviously above their intellectual capabilities.

Mike V
Mike V
January 24, 2012 12:53 pm

Read about Thomas’ 3 children in comments elsewhere. Had no idea it originated from Hodge.

What a completely unprofessional and classless remark. Tim clearly expressed his reasons for skipping the event. The media doesn’t have to like it (most of them have made that clear) but to insinuate that he lied and it’s really because Tim is racist is insulting. Not to mention that Hodge isn’t man enough to come out and say what he believes but rather have everyone read between the lines.

Hopefully TSN severely reprimands him for this stupidity.

January 24, 2012 1:26 pm

I’ve always been a fan of Hodge but his remarks are way over the top and libelous. It will be interesting to see what TSN will do to him – likely nothing.

Another Steve
Another Steve
January 24, 2012 1:56 pm

Another possible reading is that Hodge is just using code language in the same way that many people think Thomas is using code language.

Ami Angelwings
January 24, 2012 4:21 pm

If Thomas doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t have to go. If he said nothing on his facebook, people would start speculating why for him. He said something and said that was all. I think that’s very fair. He didn’t accuse Obama of being a Kenyan double agent, he didn’t even say it was about Obama’s political leanings, he spoke vaguely about government overreach. If this was Steve Nash, George W. Bush and the Iraq War was still going, and Nash said something similar, we’d (at least in Canada, and at least Cox, Arthur, etc) be applauding him and assuming the best into what he said (that he opposed bad things not good things). Thomas didn’t make it all about him. If he had a press conference where he told everybody his specific issues and told people who to vote for, that’d be making it about himself. He was invited, he declined. The comparison to athletes shaking hands is a bad one, because sports ultimately isn’t that important, but there’s a lot of real life issues that are and mean a lot to people.

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