By Ami Angelwings
Prime Time Sports, August 8, 2012
4pm Hour – Listeners’ Phone Calls taken by Bob alone
- Calls are generally about the Blue Jays and complaining about Alex Anthopoulos
- Bob defends Rogers, saying that there’s no proof that they won’t spend if asked, it’s just that Alex has never asked
- Bob responds to one caller asking which Toronto sports team GM is the worst by saying they’re all buffoons
- Somebody calls in about the soccer refereeing and Bob says that its in the rules but says he has no idea how the rules should be called if it’s never called.
Lots of Jays calls, so Bob was probably happy. I know it seems like Bob’s opinion of Jays management fluctuates between, “They never spend” and “They will spend”, but actually I see where he’s drawing the distinction. He thinks that Jays management SHOULD be spending on free agents and is concerned that they aren’t going to, but about Rogers as owners, he defends them by saying that he’s seen no indication that they’ve been asked to spend. I do think that left to his own devices, Bob is likely to agree with a lot of these callers, but as radio host, he feels the need to explain to each caller why their views are not as nuanced as his.
I think Bob wasn’t paying attention when he said that all three GMs in Toronto are as bad as each other. I don’t know if he forgot that Alex Anthopoulos was in charge of the Jays (and not J.P. Ricciardi) or he’s just so used to saying, “Every GM in Toronto is a buffoon!” that it was just habit. I’m pretty sure his views on Alex Anthopoulos hasn’t changed though.
5pm Hour – Bob McCown (Host of Primetime Sports) hosting, John Shannon (Sportsnet Hockey Insider) co-hosting
First Segment: Talk segment about small towns in California, Bob & John having lunch with Rene Fasel, NHL player contracts
- Segment begins with Bob noting that Don Banks is going to be calling from Oxnard, CA, discussion of Oxnard and other small California towns ensues
- Bob puts down people who live in small towns, Shannon says he never gets to see Mount Rushmore on his car trips because he goes to the Olive Garden instead, Bob says he prefers Chili’s
- Shannon notes that René Fasel, the IIHF president, was in IOC president, Jacques Rogge’s private box during the Olympics opening ceremonies, suggests this means Facel is next in line for the presidency
- Bob reminisces about him and Shannon having lunch with René Fasel and Jacques Rogge during the Vancouver Olympics
- Shannon suggests that Jim Rutherford will tell them about the NHL CBA negotiations, Bob yells at him to not get listener hopes up, discussion about CBA ensues
- Bob dislikes the big contracts for non-superstar players like Jeff Skinner, thinks the NHL needs to make an ironclad CBA that prevents their owners from making such deals
I tend to enjoy any talk segments where both people involved seem interested and happy even if they’re talking about something irrelevant, so I didn’t mind Bob and John talking about Oxnard and the Olive Garden. However, it does seem like Bob wants to talk about anything other than the Olympics. That would be okay, except I remember them saying on PTS 2 weeks ago that they were bringing Bob out of vacation specifically for the Olympics, but that seems like the last thing he cares about. If Bob didn’t want to break vacation, and Sportsnet wanted a host to talk about the Olympics, maybe it’s a bad match to bring him in if he’s just going to never talk about it.
Also, we got another telling of the “Bob and John sneak into a birthday lunch for Jacques Rogue in Vancouver” story which has been told a dozen times in the last 2 years. I don’t personally mind the story re-tellings, but I know there have been a lot of complaints on this site about how often Bob repeats some of his personal stories.
Second Segment: Interview with Jim Rutherford, Carolina Hurricanes GM
- Rutherford has no comment on the CBA negotiations, offers up very little new information
- Rutherford says that the Skinner contract had nothing to do with the CBA negotiations and he didn’t put in any clauses related to that
- Shannon asks Rutherford if there was a conscious effort to spend more money on players this off-season to take advantage of the Hurricanes’ short window to succeed, Rutherford says no, but then says that they needed to spend the money to take advantage of their young players & aging players
- Bob asks Rutherford about the new TV deal the Hurricanes have and who it’s with, and Shannon and Rutherford answer him that it’s Fox Sports
- Bob asks about season ticket renewals and if there’s any change in renewals due to a potential of a lock out, Rutherford says that ticket renewals are at an all time high
- Shannon tells Rutherford that he hopes NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman, is going to be buying dinner for him in New York
- Post-Interview Shannon notes that you can get a lot of fans buying tickets on the weekends, but the problem is the weekdays and trying to sell those
This was a boring interview, in my opinion. Why are we talking about hockey in August when there’s so many other things going on in the sports world? This wasn’t even anything new about the CBA negotiations because Rutherford refused to answer all questions related. It was interesting, though, to see him answer “no” to Shannon’s question about spending money and then basically answer “yes” in his explanation.
The positives and negatives of having John Shannon in a hockey-related interview were on full display here. Shannon knows things that Bob doesn’t (about the TV deal, about when the fans buy tickets), but then at the end makes yet another one of his jokes where it’s pretty obvious that he’s friends with all of the NHL people, and I find those references a bit unprofessional because it makes people wonder about bias.
Third segment: Interview with Ian Leggett, former PGA tour pro
- Bob asks about the golf course being used for the PGA Championship, and Leggett says the course can cause a lot of drama
- Leggett says that we could get a low scoring tournament or a high scoring one, all dependant on the wind
- Leggett says if the wind doesn’t blow, it will become a putting competition, and if the wind blows, it will be a ball striking competition
- Leggett says that Jim Furyk is the player to watch out for
Not much to say here. There wasn’t very much time for the interview and Leggett provided decent analysis for what he was asked.
6pm Hour – Bob McCown (Host of Primetime Sports) hosting, John Shannon (Sportsnet Hockey Insider) co-hosting
First Segment: Interview with Damien Cox, co-host of Primetime Sports, Tennis and Hockey reporter for the Toronto Star
- Bob asks Damien about Milos Raonic vs. Andy Murray, Damien says that Murray looks okay and seems to be taking this tournament seriously
- Bob asks if there may be some players who take it easy in this tournament because they’re coming off the Olympics and the US Open is coming up, Damien says that it is an issue and he’s not sure how to fix it because the Rogers Cup is always at this time
- Bob suggests that Raonic may have a good chance to beat Murray given that Murray has played a lot in the Olympics and Damien says he agrees
- Shannon asks Damien if he can keep track of the women playing in Montreal while covering the men in Toronto, and he says it’s a little difficult
- Bob says he prefers having the men’s and women’s tournaments set next to each other rather than at the same time
- Damien discusses Montreal as a tennis town and mentions how Eugenie Bouchard is doing on the women’s side
- Bob asks Damien who is coming up for Raonic if he manages to get past Murray, and Damien says John Isner would be next
I enjoyed this interview. Cox was very knowledgeable about the Rogers Cup and provided good analysis. He stayed on topic and didn’t make any jokes to derail the interview, which he sometimes does. I especially liked him talking about how Eugenie Bouchard is dong because it’s nice to know how the Canadian players who aren’t stars are faring.
At the end of the segment, Bob referred to Milos Raonic as “Ranovic.”
Second Segment: Interview with Jeff Blair, host of the Jeff Blair Show (FAN590, 9am-12pm M-F), columnist for the Globe & Mail
- Discussion about the FIFA investigation of the Canadian women’s soccer team, Blair believes that FIFA will act, but not during the Olympics
- Blair thinks that the US did a good job working an overwhelmed official to get the calls they wanted
- Bob asks him what stands out at the Olympics and Blair complains about how early the bars close, also notes Jessica Ennis winning and the crowd reaction
- Blair compliments the security and says that he’s pleasantly surprised by the Canadian track team and seeing a changing of the guard there, he also wants Canada to win a gold medal in something other than trampoline
- Blair ends by saying he’s eating a kabab, and that he found a good curry place that serves until 4am, jokes that he may have accidentally joined Al Qaeda to get food that late
Jeff Blair made two really unfortunate jokes in this segment. When referring to how empty London is right now, he said, “You can shoot a gun down the middle of the street and not hit anybody.” This is made even more awkward by the fact that he just finished talking about the security situation. The other was at the end when he joked that going to a (presumably) East Indian or Middle Eastern restaurant meant he may have accidentally joined a terrorist group. That’s a terribly worded joke at best (if he meant that a restaurant being open at 4am must be doing something illegal), and a racist one at worst.
Other than that, I don’t think there was very much new information offered up in this interview. I would have liked to hear more about Blair believing FIFA will act, and Blair liking where the Canadian track team is headed. Also, can somebody please talk about the actual soccer match? I think it’s really unfortunate that the entire game has become all about the officiating. Unfortunately, with Bob as host, unless somebody specifically tries to force the issue in an interview, he’s not going to ask any questions about the actual soccer game. I think he’s only talking about the officiating because it’s in the news and Canada was facing suspensions.
After this interview, I suspect Jeff Blair may be getting a knock on his door from Olympic security, the CIA, and a group of angry trampolinists.
Third Segment: Interview with Don Banks, NFL reporter for Sports Illustrated
- Bob asks Banks if the referee lockout is a story and Banks says it’s not because it’s so early
- Banks believes the lockout is far from a resolution
- Shannon asks Banks who he thinks of Randy Moss, Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens will have the biggest impact on their new teams, Banks believes Randy Moss will, but is intrigued by Owens’ signing
- Bob asks Banks what he thinks it says that three aging players like Moss, Johnson and Owens can be signed, Banks says it just shows that coaches will always fall in love with what they see as proven talent
Given that this is NFL pre-season, there really isn’t that much to talk about, so this segment wasn’t all that interesting. I did like Shannon’s question at the end about Moss, Johnson and Owens, and I thought Banks answer was pretty astute.
I really wonder what the point is of bringing Bob out of vacation specifically for the Olympics if he doesn’t seem to want to talk about it. I’m not sure if he’s even watching any of the events since he hasn’t talked about anything specifically that would prove that. Out of six segments, only one was about the Olympics. I do understand other things are going on, and I thought the Cox interview about the Rogers Cup was by far the strongest part of the show, but there were 2 hockey CBA discussions and 1 NFL pre-season discussion. Both those discussions could be postponed until after this week.
That said, I actually did enjoy the opening talk segment which was lively, and Damien Cox’s segment on the Rogers Cup was extremely insightful and informative.
Photo available here