photo by Darryl Dyck, Canadian Press, courtesy cbc.ca
by Rob Gregg
This past Friday on Sportsnet 590 The FAN was interesting listening for me, driven primarily by diverging opinion on the Roberto Luongo situation.
On the Jeff Blair Show, I tuned in when Jeff was on a call with a gentleman exchanging their respective opinions on what the Vancouver Canucks could fetch in a trade of Luongo. That exchange morphed into a debate on the relative merits of the Vancouver sports media versus the Toronto sports media, specifically who is tougher on their teams. I can’t speak to that particular issue – perhaps TSM and some of you out there can, and I’m interested in your opinion regarding that. The caller challenged Blair’s opinion that the Toronto media is just as tough, if not tougher than the Vancouver media. The caller further suggested that Blair isn’t exactly unbiased in his assessment, given he’s part of said Toronto media.
What I found particularly interesting was what Blair and this caller agreed on. Their belief was that to get Luongo, the Leafs would have to trade their 1st round draft pick this year, plus Jake Gardiner. In their opinion that was a starting point in this alleged trade. I couldn’t disagree more, and my opinion on this was backed up later in the day during the roundtable on Prime Time Sports, when both Damien Cox and Stephen Brunt agreed that Vancouver will be lucky to unload Luongo. His contract is an albatross for GM Mike Gillis, and Luongo further tightened the noose when he said he would waive his no-trade clause. Gillis will do well to trade him and that contract, let alone get something of use in return. He is not dealing from a position of strength.
A further thought crossed my mind from that exchange on the Blair show. I’m a Blair fan, when he talks baseball. When he steps out from his bailiwick, his shallow understanding of other sports comes to the fore. I don’t expect expert opinion on every sport from the radio host, but I would have thought Blair would have a better feel for this particular situation the Canucks are in.
It’s why I agree with Nick Kypreos and Doug McLean when they mockingly chastize Daren Millard to be a host, because he’s not an expert. Unless the host has a good base of knowledge of a particular sport, he/she should steer the show, setting the table for the insiders to chime in with their opinion. I concede that the Blair exchange was during a call-in segment, and that brings me to my final thought. I don’t know about you, but call-in segments usually means a move up the dial, or on to satellite radio for me. I think the only sports show (terrestial or satellite radio) that manages call in with any degree of competance is the Dan Patrick Show. They have a good feel for weaving the odd call into the show amongst the guests they have and/or the internal banter DP has with Dannettes.