Prime Time Sports Review for Wednesday, August 29, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Prime Time Sports is preempted on the radio by Blue Jays baseball, so Elliotte Friedman hosts a web only show

  • First segment is replay of yesterday’s interview with Stan Kasten, Third segment is replay of the Glenn Healy interview

Second segment: Interview with Matt Marchese, a producer of Prime Time Sports

  • Marchese recounts how he started working for the FAN590 as an intern after communicating with Ryan Walsh for a college assignment
  • Friedman asks about a bad moment trying to get a guest, Marchese says that the reason former MLB commissioner, Faye Vincent, is banned from the show is because he refused to come on as scheduled because PTS called him a few minutes later than scheduled

5pm hour – Elliotte Friedman hosting, Arash Madani co-hosting

First segment: Talk segment

  • Arash talks about how impressed he was by Canadian wrestler, Tonya Verbeek, at the Olympics because she said that she wouldn’t wish to have had her career without the Japanese wrestler who keeps defeating her because there would be no challenge, compares her words to LeBron leaving Cleveland to make a super team
  • Friedman accuses Arash of saying that professional athletes don’t care about being the best, an argument ensues

Second segment: Interview with Richard Deitsch, writer and editor for Sports Illustrated

  • Deitsch thinks the new deal between MLB and ESPN is really beneficial for both sides, there doesn’t seem to be a ceiling for the worth of rights to broadcast sports
  • Friedman says that tomorrow he will ask callers whether they prefer to watch games on TV at home, or in the stadium, Deitsch thinks it will be 75/25 in favour of people preferring to watch it at home
  • Madani points out that college games are different because of the experience, and Deitsch agrees

Third segment: Interview with Adam Van Koeverden

  • Friedman asks Van Koeverden when he will update his blog, he says that he hasn’t updated in a while because he’s been interviewed about his thoughts so often during the Olympics that he hasn’t felt the need to express himself through his blog
  • Van Koeverden says he’ll take the next 6 months to himself, and the next 6 after that will be when he decides about his future and if he will continue to compete
  • Madani asks if it will be weird for him to no longer have kayaking be his life, Van Koeverden disagrees that it’s been his life and that he’s done other things besides training, laments that he hasn’t had a chance to start a family
  • Friedman says that Van Koeverden has earned the right to decide his own life

6pm hour – Elliotte Friedman hosting, Arash Madani co-hosting

First segment: Interview with Bob Ryan, writer for The Boston Globe

  • Friedman asks about John Farrell going to the Red Sox, Ryan says that the Red Sox really love him
  • Ryan says the complicating factor is whether the GM or the President of the Red Sox is the one that is calling the shots in Boston
  • Madani asks whether Farrell would want to go to such a volatile situation, Ryan agrees that the Jays have a brighter immediate future, but that the Boston Red Sox have a lot of prestige attached to it
  • Ryan’s phone connection is bad so they have to let him go, Friedman and Madani discuss Farrell
  • Friedman points out that Madani’s question was whether Farrell would prefer to coach the team the Jays have more than the Sox team, but that Ryan took his question to ask which market he would rather be in
  • Madani believes that Farrell would prefer to stay in Toronto, Friedman thinks Farrell may be lured by the prestige of coaching the Red Sox
  • Madani thinks that the Red Sox won’t be a rival of the Jays next year, Friedman disagrees
  • Madani believes that Farrell will be managing the Jays next year with a new contract

Second segment: Interview with Anton Thun, hockey player agent

  • Thun believes that the owners are slowly moving towards the players position, thinks it’s a positive step
  • Friedman asks if Thun knows if other issues like free agency age, etc were addressed in the proposal, Thun says he doesn’t know
  • Thun says his advice to his clients is to be prepared for a lockout and put money aside
  • Madani asks if there’s an issue getting “out clauses” from European clubs for players that may want to play in Europe, Thun says there are and that Swedish Elite League clubs don’t want players who will leave the mid-season if the lockout ends
  • Thun says he’s an optimist and believes that there’s a lot of motivation for smaller market teams that have upgraded themselves in the off-season to want to play, and that the larger markets will not want to lose money by having a lockout

Third segment: Interview with Michael Grange, Sportsnet columnist

  • Grange says that Bettman is annoyed that the players believe he should be working by any rules or tradition when negotiating
  • Grange says the question is what counts as Hockey Related Revenue
  • Madani asked Grange where they go from here, Grange thinks hockey will be played this year and it will be sooner than February, and he wouldn’t be shocked if they started the season on time


Friedman is starting to bother me a bit, especially the way he argued with Madani in the first segment.  I’ve realized he has a thing he does as a debating tactic to try to make his point stronger.  When he’s being disagreed with, he’ll say “and I really believe this” and it’s pretty annoying because it doesn’t actually strengthen his point but he keeps saying it.  Also, the whole point Madani was trying to make got completely lost because Friedman didn’t respond to it (and Madani never recovered it) and they ended up arguing over Friedman’s strawman that Madani was claiming pro athletes don’t care about winning.  Madani’s point was that pro athletes care more about winning than the challenge.  He was comparing Verbeek saying that she would never wish to have an easy road to first place, with LeBron James leaving Cleveland to form a super team in Miami so it would be easier for him to win championships.  Friedman didn’t respond to that point, he accused Madani of saying James didn’t care about winning.

I liked the interview with Matt Marchese in the first segment, and I would like to hear more occasional interviews with producers and finding more about the behind the scenes stuff.  I also liked that he explained what happened with Faye Vincent and that he’s apparently banned (or soft banned) from the show.  Given that he’s a friend of Bob’s, I find it interesting if he really is banned for cancelling like that.  I think that while Bob takes it easier on his friends in interviews, he also takes it more personally if they do something he sees as disrespectful to him.  That’s why Doug Maclean got banned, because Bob considered them friends and was upset by the way Maclean treated him during the interview about Maclean joining Balsillie.  And I can see how Bob would be annoyed that Vincent cancelled like that and left him hanging.

I also notice that Friedman doesn’t let people finish talking.  Whether he’s interrupting Madani because he disagrees with him, or he’s interrupting Marchese because Marchese reminded him of a funny story he just has to tell us, whenever a thought pops into Friedman’s head while somebody’s talking, he has to let us know.  It seems a little rude.  Eventually, he’ll say that he’ll let them finish first before responding, but it still interrupts the flow of the person talking.  This sort of behaviour makes sense if it’s a group discussion (so he won’t lose his turn to speak) but in a 1 on 1 interview or discussion, it seems odd why he doesn’t just let them finish talking and then say his point or story.

I actually really like Arash Madani as a co-host.  I don’t like him with Friedman because they fight all the time and Friedman treats all their disagreements like Arash is being stupid, but I do like him as a co-host and the questions he asks.  I think Madani asked a really good question during the Thun interview about the “out clauses” and European teams.

I wish the Deitsch interview stayed a little more on topic.  It wandered into talking about whether people would rather watch games on TV or in the stadium.  However, I still enjoyed it for the most part.

I had a hard time following what Grange was trying to say because he did his usual thing of taking a circuitous route to explain what’s on his mind.

Given that these kinds of “lifestyle” interviews with athletes usually bore me, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed listening to Adam van Koeverden’s interview.  I think it’s because he sounds like an interesting guy and had a lot to say about his future.  Friedman’s statement at the end that Van Koeverden’s “earned” the right to decide what to do with his life is weird.  Don’t we all have that right?  Do we need to win Olympic medals to be able to decide the course of our lives?

I really wish the Bob Ryan interview didn’t crash out because of his phone.  I like Bob Ryan and would have enjoyed hearing his thoughts about the Red Sox and how the trade is playing out in Boston.  I’m honestly getting tired of the John Farrell talk though.  It’s been addressed so many times in the past week and a half, and really, he’s either going to leave, or he won’t, and nobody has any more information than that.

In general, I enjoyed the interviews, but Friedman is starting to grate on me a little.  Maybe I’m just in a bad mood lately.  I thought Madani was a lot stronger this show than the last one he co-hosted.  I’d love to see him as a co-host with another host and see how he fares.

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