Prime Time Sports Review for August 10, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

Prime Time Sports – August 10, 2012

4pm hour – Listener Calls with Bob McCown

Calls are about Blue Jays, Olympics and the Dwight Howard trade

Bob believes the Blue Jays can’t be blamed for not spending this season and the the Dwight Howard trade is good for the NBA

5pm hour – Roundtable with Bob McCown (Host of Prime Time Sports), John Shannon (Sportsnet hockey insider), Michael Grange (Sportsnet columnist), Tim Micallef (co-host of Tim & Sid)

First Segment – Discussion of the Dwight Howard trade

  • Bob thinks the trade is good for the NBA because he likes a few superstar teams dueling every year, like Bird vs Magic
  • Grange argues for the small market teams, says that the salary cap doesn’t allow them to outbid other teams, so it allows big media market teams to lure players with the chance to make more money with endorsements
  • Tim thinks the NFL has proven that parity is a good thing because of its success
  • Shannon argues with Grange that the next NHL contract will allow the Oilers to keep their star players

Second Segment – Discussion of the OHL punishment of the Windsor Spitfires

  • Bob believes that the junior hockey system is using 16 year olds as slave labour, making millions of dollars off of workers they don’t pay
  • Shannon argues that the owners are just trying to make money and the parents are giving their consent, so it’s not the 16 year olds fault
  • Grange argues that there’s nothing wrong with parents trying to maximize the attention their kids will get from NHL scouts by trying to put their kids in major OHL markets
  • Tim says that one of the biggest problems is that the money is going to the import players and not Canadian players because Canadian kids will always be playing for the Junior teams

Third Segment – Discussion of the Rogers Cup

  • Bob is angry that the timing of the Rogers Cup means that no good tennis players want to attend
  • Grange says that some players have and that the Olympics will not always be this close to the Rogers Cup

6pm hour – Roundtable with Bob McCown (Host of Prime Time Sports), John Shannon (Sportsnet hockey insider), Michael Grange (Sportsnet columnist), Tim Micallef (co-host of Tim & Sid)

First Segment – Discussion of which is the greater Olympian, Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt

  • Bob and Grange believe it’s Phelps, Tim believes it’s Bolt
  • Shannon and Tim argue about the merits of Carl Lewis, Tim believes Lewis took steroids, and if you throw out Ben Johnson, you can’t count Lewis as having won that gold medal
  • Bob and Grange believe that Bolt has to other track and field events in order to compare to Phelps
  • Bob and Grange argue whether or not Bolt can win the decathalon, Grange believes he can

Second Segment – Discussion of Canada’s performance in the Olympics

  • Tim wants Canada to win more gold medals, and to win them in higher status sports
  • Shannon believes we should focus on spending on winter sports
  • Grange believes that spending on summer athletics will inspire more athletes in general, including in winter sports
  • Bob thinks that it’s folly to expect medals in 2016 just because we have young Olympians this year who finish in the top 10

Third Segment – Prime Time Bullets

  • Bob introduces Shannon’s news that the NHLPA is saying that they may have their own travelling shows if there is no new CBA at the start of the NHL season
  • Bob thinks that the NHLPA should be taking its time to respond to the NHL after their ridiculous opening offer, he doesn’t think the NHLPA shows will put any pressure on the owners, however
  • Grange believes that this may put encourage the NHL sponsors to put pressure on the owners, Shannon disagrees
  • Bob thinks that the players need to refuse to play in the Winter Classic to have any leverage in the CBA talks

Thoughts: This was a pretty entertaining roundtable with a lot of passion and a lot of interesting debates.  I especially liked hearing Bob argue passionately against the junior hockey system and the way it exploits youth labour.

My criticism of the show would be that too many people were using bad arguments.  Shannon used a strange strawman argument against Bob in the junior hockey discussion, where he categorized Bob as somehow blaming the 16 year olds for the system rather than the adults.  He also said that the owners were just trying to make money, which was irrelevant because Bob wasn’t arguing that the OHL owners wanted to exploit kids just for fun.  In the Phelps vs. Bolt segment, Grange argued that Bolt needs to do other track and field events, and Bob said he needed to do high jump to compare to Phelps.  Those aren’t accurate comparisons, because Phelps doesn’t do diving or synchronized swimming.  If Bolt is expected to do all track and field events, then Phelps should be expected to do all pool-related events.

Shannon and Tim had a very similar situation to Shannon and Sid on last Monday’s roundtable.  Again, the younger person at the table (Tim on this roundtable, Sid on Monday), started an interesting debate, and again, Shannon shut it down.  And just like Sid did, Tim backed off when the older people at the table (Bob and John) challenged him.  I’ve noticed this before with Bruce Arthur too, that he would go into joke mode when Bob challenges him.  Is this a thing with the younger media personalities?  Do they feel that they can’t stand on the same level as the older, more famous guys?  Are they nervous about standing their ground on a contentious issue?  Do they reflexively fall back into “goofy whacky young guy does jokes!” mode because it’s an acceptable social thing for them to do to avoid an argument?

I just find it kind of interesting, because I’ve observed it happening more than a few times, and each time I go “but you were doing so well!  Why are you backing off into a joke?”

Grange didn’t state his case well in the NBA debate, and it was weird for Bob to act like he didn’t understand Grange’s argument when, 2 Fridays ago, he agreed with the exact same argument when Tim made it.

I’ve noticed that when Shannon doesn’t have an opinion on a topic, he manages to avoid ever answering Bob’s questions, and jumps in and out of the conversation with random facts (not always correct.)  Not a criticism, I just noticed this is something he does in roundtables.  When he’s hosting, then he always focuses the conversation on something he has an opinion on.

Bob’s been defending the Blue Jays quite a bit on the phones lately.  I wonder how long until people call him a shill?  On a related note, I heard Roger Lajoie on the radio say that he’s alone among Sportsnet personalities who believe the Jays need to spend money now that fans are coming to the games.  I’m pretty sure Stephen Brunt, Michael Grange, Gregg Zaun and Jeff Blair would have something to say to that.  Time-shifted Bob from 2 weeks ago would too.

I’m actually impressed that a roundtable hosted by Bob actually did not have a segment about the Blue Jays.  Even he must be getting tired about talking about the same old stuff.

Photo available here

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Ami
August 14, 2012 4:15 am

I’m trying out a new review format, so that it’s easier for me to do them. Also some people have complained that my reviews are TOO detailed, so I’ll cut back on what happened in each segment. 🙂

I’m sorry for the delay, I had a very busy weekend.

Alex
Alex
August 14, 2012 6:23 am
Reply to  Ami

Like the new format. More focused is prob good for roundtable reviews.

Sam
Sam
August 14, 2012 10:10 am

Excellent analysis Ami. I like the commentary at the end better b/c it allows more easily for bigger picture analysis of the show. Shannon does not show well in your analysis (obv) with good reason. For some reason I found this line funny (in the bullets) – Bob and Grange argue whether or not Bolt can win the decathalon, Grange believes he can

Roger
Roger
August 14, 2012 10:42 am

I don’t mind Tim
except he doesn’t seem to be as comfortable around Bob (as you stated when
he’s
challenged). Whereas, Sid will keep at his point – perhaps its due to Sid’s
confidence in his sports knowledge (which I believe is a little stronger than
Tim). Tim brings more sizzle but for me I prefer a sports guy with substance
over the sizzle.

As for Grange, I
have no idea why anyone lets him near a mic. The guy has so much difficulty
making a basic point. Its not just his stuttering – it seems it takes him so
long to gather his thoughts (and he’s still fairly young). The Grange experiment
hasn’t worked but obviously Pelley and Moore disagree (I suppose Grange is
connected to them somehow, etc).

Dennes Pehadzic
August 14, 2012 11:59 am

Ami,

Reviews are great!
In the long run they will also be a great reference point to go back and see were some of these “sports personalities” change their opinion.

Very impressed with the way you are articulating the way they are debating topics and blowing away their arguments….can an appearance of Ami Angelwings on a round table be far off?

Daniel
Daniel
August 14, 2012 12:33 pm

Nice job, Ami!

Yeah – I think you articulated well why Shannon is a bad cohost. Constantly shuts down interesting arguments, when he clearly doesn’t know much about the topic.

Sam
Sam
August 14, 2012 2:21 pm
Reply to  Roger

I agree Roger that Grange’s delivery is awful, but he is one of the (very) few PTS regulars that bring anything to the table in terms of insight (eg. insight delivered as a % of time on the show).

Ami
August 14, 2012 4:11 pm
Reply to  Sam

Yeah. I think Grange is very intelligent and has a lot of insight (as can be shown in his columns) but on the radio he has trouble stating his point of view. He uses very confusing and circuitous routes to get to his point, and the more people argue with him, the more convoluted his logic becomes because he’s trying to phrase it in a way that won’t get attacked. : I almost always understand his point, but I wish he’d just state it more clearly.

I think Grange could still do well on radio, it could just be a confidence thing. Some people are more comfortable with writing, where they can craft out a solid argument, than speaking that argument out loud where people process it as you’re talking.

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