Whom Are The Toronto Sports Media Dirtbags?


“My relationship with certain dirtbags in the media is terrible, because they’re dirtbags & I don’t respect them”

Brian Burke on TSN Radio with James Cybulski

Great, really good listening on TSN radio today as Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke appeared with Cybulski and company.

Two things occurred to me as I listened to the interview, 1, I am not sure that there is a better interview subject in the Toronto sports scene when he wants to be then Burke. Love him or hate him, he is fun to listen to. 2, Cybulski and Co. just keeps on getting better. It remains to me a good alternative to McCown. I know, I am in the minority who feel that way, but it is what it is.

Burke had some great lines in the interview, most you’ve heard before, but to me the highlights were when he talked about the media and his relationship with the press.

Burke answered the same way he answered me when I interviewed on the pressbox that he thinks in general or as a group the Toronto press corp are really good, professional and responsible. He then added the line above about a few select reporters who believes are disingenuous and are out to either get him, his coach or his players.

Burke was at his best when asked about incidents with the CBC and the Toronto Star. He said that he doesn’t wake up every morning thinking of which media member he can pick a fight with. Rather things happen that he can’t let go. He felt that the CBC has been unfair to his coach and he wasn’t going to let that go. On the subject of the Toronto Star calling a players mom for an injury report, Burke said “it’s not like I woke up and said, I hope some imbecile called a player’s mom to ask about an injury!; how unprofessional can you get?” Burke did explain that he had no issue if a reporter wanted to talk to a parent about a pee-wee coach or something but an injury he deems offside.

The other stuff from the interview:

– “It’s very hard to watch what happened last night and not wonder if we have enough goaltending. But before you shovel dirt on Jonas Gustavsson, in my opinion he has saved our season. The only reason we’re in the hunt is because of him; the reason we are even talking about a playoff spot is because of Jonas Gustavsson.”

– “I don’t like the deadline, we make the most mistakes at the deadline. I try to make all my moves well in advance of the deadline. I think the deadline gets confusing. There’s 20 shopping carts at two registers; it’s nuts and people make big mistakes. I told Dave Nonis two weeks ago: I said ‘I don’t like the way this is shaping up. I don’t think we’re going to do anything until closer to the deadline and we may have to be one of those people that figure it all out at the check-out register on the 27th.”

– “The reason the fans don’t like our coach is because the media doesn’t like our coach”

– “We do not have a firm offer on the table for Rick Nash,”

– ” I usually give up alcohol for Lent for the month of February because it has the shortest number of days, but this year I did it for the month of January because February has 29″

So, Dave Feschuk wrote the Reimer piece. We know he’s considered a dirtbag.
Ron Maclean/Don Cherry go after Wilson. They’re “dirtbags”
Steve Simmons called Burke out for going to visit the troops on FA day; that earns him the Dirtbag label
I feel that Damien has a love hate relationship with Burke, so not sure if he is a Burke Dirtbag same with McCown.

Who else are Burke’s dirtbags????

You can hear the Burke interview here

By the way, you may recall I wrote an article for that now bankrupt sports magazine over the summer in which I interviewed Burke (no the [email protected]#@!#[email protected] never paid us for writing for them too 🙂 ) Anyways, here is what Burke told me about James Reimer and the keys to the Leafs success this coming season:

“There is not doubt that as the calendar turns October, nobody will bear more of the pressure of a seemingly playoff-or-bust campaign than James Reimer. The goalie of the future has quickly become the goalie of the present.

“The biggest key to our success and I hate putting pressure on a young man, but the biggest key to our success is James Reimer.”

The Leafs aren’t expecting horseshoes from the young goalie, but there is no doubting the 23-year-old is of vital importance to team success this season. “We don’t need him to stand on his head every night. We need him to play at the consistent level that he demonstrated for 30 games last year, we need him to be for real and that gives the chance to win. He’s the lynch pin.”

Comparing the need of goaltending to pitching in baseball, Burke explains the corrosive effect of poor goaltending on all positions of a hockey team. “If a teams players don’t have confidence in a goalie it corrodes everything. It corrodes your offensive attack, it corrodes your defensive zone coverage, it corrodes your gamblers instinct, it corrodes your quickness, your transition game.”

Critics, of course wonder how the Leafs could put all of their hopes in one, still-unproven goalie. Burke is matter of fact when it comes to Reimer. “If he’s not ready to go and we have to go get a goalie then that’s what we will do.”

Perhaps now that the magazine has gone bust I will re-print that article here.

By the way, have you ever used the word “acolytes” either in a sentence or a scrabble game? Does it mean bathrobe?

And yes, to those emailing me, i see all the comments about duck duck bruce you guys are posting, keep up the good work!


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