Prime Time Sports Review for Friday, August 17, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Listener calls with Bob McCown

  • Calls are mostly about baseball and the Blue Jays, concerns about the injuries, about spending, and about Farrell leaving the Jays
  • Bob again defends Rogers and believes they will spend when Alex Anthopolous asks for the money


5pm hour – Roundtable Discussion with Bob McCown (host of Prime Time Sports), John Shannon (Sportsnet hockey insider), Sid Seixeiro (co-host of Tim & Sid, FAN590), Neil Smith (former General Manager of the New York Rangers, occasional Sportsnet hockey analyst)

First Segment: Are the Jays treated better by the Toronto media than the Maple Leafs?

  • Bob and John think that the Leafs are treated no harsher than the Jays, Sid believes the Leafs get it worse because the Jays have had more recent success
  • Sid and Neil argue about whether Burke was treated too lightly last season, Sid says he felt bad for how bad Burke was treated, Neil thinks that Burke gets off a lot easier than if he was in Montreal or New York
  • John points out that the difference between the way the teams are treated is that the Jays are seen as having hope, while the Leafs are seen as having traded away a bright future for Phil Kessel

Second Segment: Is John Farrell in danger of leaving the Blue Jays for the Red Sox?

  • Sid thinks that Farrell hasn’t done anything special with the Jays that would warrant any team to want to poach him from the Jays
  • John thinks that the Red Sox may want him back because the players look back fondly on when he was pitching coach
  • Bob and Sid agree that it’s impossible to know right now whether or not Farrell is a good manager because he’s only been on the job for 2 years and this year is being marred by injury
  • Neil doesn’t think there’s precedent for the Red Sox to fire Bobby Valentine and hire a temporary manager until Farrell’s contract is done, John points out that this happened in hockey with Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Sid believes Toronto is a better team than Boston and Farrell would want to stay, John believes Farrell would be tempted by the lure of turning a historic franchise around

Third Segment: Who will replace Richard Peddie as CEO of Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment?

  • Bob believes you can’t hire from within, and that no candidates within MLSE can be the new face because they are all tainted by failure
  • John believes that MLSE will be re-structured so that Bryan Colangelo and Brian Burke would have the same power as the new CEO, Bob thinks this is a terrible idea
  • John agrees with Bob that ultimately, they may have to hire externally


6pm hour – Roundtable Discussion continues

First Segment: Discussion of the NHL CBA negotiations and a possible lockout

  • Neil Smith recalls his memories of the 1994 NHL lockout
  • Bob thinks the biggest problem is that there’s no fear by owners of locking out the players, fans have proven they will come back in the same or greater numbers
  • John and Sid believes that a deal will be done by January, with enough time to play the outdoor game in Michigan
  • Neil thinks the small market teams do fear losing a season, but Bob and John point out that the opposite is true: the small markets don’t lose money if they don’t play games
  • Bob believes the players are being short changed by the owners
  • Sid launches into a rant about how much he hates grandstanding and he’s sick of reporting on two sides that aren’t accomplishing anything

Second Segment: Should the NHLPA threaten to not play the outdoor game?

  • Bob believes that the NHLPA should have some way in how the NHL runs their business because they are partners and the player salaries are affected by revenues being dragged down by money-losing teams
  • John suggests the owners may be hiding revenue and that Donald Fehr has the experience to find out
  • Sid thinks Bob’s idea that the NHLPA should threaten not playing the outdoor game ever again is a great idea for the NHLPA to get leverage
  • Neil wonders if the players can refuse to play it, Bob and John say that all things are up for negotiation in a new CBA

Third Segment: Should a 6’1″ 300lb 12 year old be banned from playing Peewee football because of his weight?

  • Neil, John and Sid think he shouldn’t for the safety of other players, Bob isn’t so sure
  • Bob points out that the mother says that her son is self-conscious about his weight and that football made him feel better
  • Bob doesn’t think that he would be much of a danger because he’d be playing a fairly stationary position



Personally, I enjoyed this roundtable quite a bit.  All of the topics were topics Bob was interested in, and I think he had a lot of good thoughts.  However, as a roundtable, which should be a group discussion, I’m not sure it was a success.  I noticed that Sid didn’t talk a lot in a few segments, and it was Bob and John talking.  When Sid would talk, he would make exagerrated pronouncements, such as his rant about grandstanding.  Neil talked even less, and when he did, he sounded like he didn’t know anything about the topics.  John and Bob corrected him a lot, and I was surprised at how often he didn’t seem to know that things were possible.  He seemed utterly lost about current hockey events.

John Shannon trying to be hip and “with it” by doing the “BAM HASHTAG BAM” stuff with Sid is hard to listen to.  I think Bob realizes he’s stumbled into a pretty good idea for the NHLPA (refusing to play the Winter Classic ever again) and I suspect he’s going to bring it up more and more often in the future.

I thought Bob had a great point about Alex Anthopolous being young and new at being a GM and that might be a reason he’s being more cautious than Brian Burke.

At the beginning of the second segment, Bob seems concerned that him not supporting the owners is against his free enterprise beliefs.  He shouldn’t be concerned because part of free enterprise is that workers should be paid what they’re able to get on the free market.  The owners are against having a free market and want to cap player salaries and restrict when players can shop their services.  As has been pointed out a lot in the media (including, by Bob), the owners don’t want to compete against each other because it drives up salaries.   In a free market, a player is worth whatever a team is willing to sign him to, and the player would be able to shop his services and not be restricted to the team that signs him.  The owners want a player to be tied to a team for 10 years and for contract length and worth to be capped.  Bob seems to assume that supporting free enterprise means he should be on the owners side, but the owners are against having a free market.   So, in fact, Bob not supporting them is completely in line with his stated beliefs.

I enjoyed the discussion in the final segment and I wish that they had more time for it.  I was impressed that Bob took the unpopular side, and was arguing that the kid should be allowed to play.  When Bob paraphrased the mother, I knew why he took that position.  Bob believes children’s sports should be for fun, not competitive, or treated as professional sports.  He’s stated that over and over again when it comes to hockey, and I think here, he’s thinking about the self-esteem of the kid.  The contrast was especially stark when John Shannon said that the only reason the coach wanted the kid to play was so he could win, and I don’t think that’s the reason that was on Bob’s mind.  I also like that, barring a last second joke by Sid, they managed to avoid any fat jokes in the entire segment, when it could have been RIFE with them.  I’m glad Damien Cox wasn’t on this roundtable because I suspect he would have led the charge on the fat jokes.

All in all, I liked the topics, and I found the discussion really interesting, but I found Neil Smith’s contributions sadly lacking, and I wish Sid would talk more and joke less.

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Mike S
Mike S
August 20, 2012 1:50 am

Am I the only one getting a bit tired of hearing Sam and/or Ted on the PTS rountable almost every week?…………..I don’t dislike them but they already get plenty of air time on 590 (including a semi-regular appearance in the PTS 4 PM hour) so it would be nice to hear some non-Rogers people (Doug Smith, Shoalts, Perkins, Friedman, Ormsby, Zeisberger, etc) more often…………………if you look closely you will see that I did not include Neil Smith on that list, for obvious reasons

August 20, 2012 2:20 am
Reply to  Mike S

I’ve never noticed Neil Smith being so lacking in knowledge of things until today, but I think that’s because I never listened that carefully when he’s on. I have noticed that he barely talks whenever they have him on the roundtable unless they specifically ask him questions.

I also wish we’d hear from more non-Sportsnet people.too. I loved the occasional Ormsby appearance. What happened to her? :

August 20, 2012 7:36 am

It’s too bad smith can’t get back into the NHL but it doesn’t mean he should be on pts more than once a year. He just doesn’t add anything.

Ken U Barrett
Ken U Barrett
August 20, 2012 8:22 am

@sam It’s too bad smith can’t get back into the NHL but it doesn’t mean he
should be on pts more than once a year. He just doesn’t add anything. If Robbers cared at all about the listening public then shannon would never be on pts again. He is the champion of adding NOTHING, with kirke a close second.

August 20, 2012 8:22 am

Smith is a FOB i personally could do without, along w ian leggett. Not they are horrible, just dont do anything for me.

August 20, 2012 9:03 am

I have no idea why
Smith is not a current GM. The guy won a cup in NY as a young GM but now almost
20 later, no one will hire him.

Anyway, I agree he
wasn’t very good on Friday but I thought he and Sid were blocked out of the
conversation by Shannon who thought he had to respond to each and every comment
made. For chissakes, Shannon, speak when spoken to and keep it at

August 20, 2012 9:12 am
Reply to  Ken U Barrett

Thankfully Kirke is rarely on anymore… only once in recent memory and that was a holiday roundtable some months ago.

August 20, 2012 9:13 am
Reply to  Ken U Barrett

As long as Bob is getting the ratings… if its not broken don’t fix it.

Brian Gerstein
August 20, 2012 9:33 am
Reply to  Roger

Until Brunt gets back from his annual Newfoundland time off, I have no need or want to tune into PTS. So pathetic to see the talking heads and blowhards that are there now. The FOB’s, well documented over the years, will be there as long as Bob pulls in the ratings, which he continues to do year after year after year, so why would he be motivated to raise his game? He personally enjoys the camaraderies and sucking up he gets with his FOB’s, and the PD has no say on the matter, as Bob rules.

I harken back to the glory days, when we had alternate weeks of Arthur and Brunt. I can’t emphasize what a pleasure it was knowing that I could tune in daily and get intelligent sports talk radio and interviewing. Now, I am still happy to settle for my Brunt fix, and tune in accordingly.

The gap that now exists between when Brunt is on and all the other options, obviously with Cox being the main alternate and Shannon seemingly always there, has never been wider, and I have adjusted my listening habits accordingly.

I would love to know the ratings during Brunt on and off weeks, and wish there was a way to measure it, as I am sure I am not alone.

For now, happy holidays to Steven, who deserves it after his Olympic stint, although from what I can see, he has reached the point of icon status on The Consortium, and had an incredible time dictating his schedule for the video montages and recapping the days events. If there was one person I would love to swap places with right now, it could very well be Brunt, who has earned and is living an incredible sports life cycle.

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
August 20, 2012 11:00 am

[email protected],,Very well said,you are 100% right on.

Chef Mike in Burlington
August 20, 2012 3:05 pm

The boys at work had PTS on, listened to the first 2 hours, first time in a month, Bob’s neverending “homerism” is clearly worse. Twice he said “…I was told there will be payroll money there, because they sat in this studio and said there would be….”…yeah Bob, sure Bob, they would never use PTS to say something publicly and then do something else privately…
I loved Sid’s comment that “the Jays get all the vistories they pay for” and both BOB and Magoo never touched it…

August 20, 2012 5:38 pm
Reply to  Brian Gerstein

I miss Brunt and Kelley : That was when I first started to listen. For a while I actually liked Kelley more than Brunt (at the beginning) but then Brunt became by far my favourite, but I still loved Kelley as co-host. Back then there wasn’t a show I wouldn’t listen to.

sam in oshawa
sam in oshawa
August 20, 2012 7:59 pm

Brunt iconic status, a drunken sports writer at best, FOB and schill for all things rogers. PTS IS VERY BAD RADIO ON A GOOD DAY. A review the same day might be interesting but 2 or 3 days later, NO. BOB has laughed all the way to the bank for years with only diehards like the reviewer above to thank. He sucks, you all suck and this site has sucked for a while, good nite and God bless.

Itchy Butt
Itchy Butt
August 20, 2012 8:18 pm
Reply to  sam in oshawa

Thank you and fuck you!

Warren Z.
Warren Z.
August 20, 2012 10:49 pm
Reply to  sam in oshawa

Feel better now?

August 21, 2012 12:12 am
Reply to  sam in oshawa

I was sick, as I explained. If you hate PTS so much, why is it so important for you to get reviews of the show ASAP?

Another Steve
Another Steve
August 21, 2012 12:22 am
Reply to  sam in oshawa

Give us hell, Quimby! 🙂

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