Prime Time Sports Review for Monday, September 10, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Bob McCown hosting

First segment: Discussion with Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro, hosts of Tim & Sid, FAN590

  • Bob wonders why so few people go to soccer games involving the Canadian National Men’s team, yet many Canadians go to games involving other countries and celebrate the countries of their heritage, an argument ensues with Sid strongly on the other side and Tim slightly less on that side
  • Bob says that if you’re Canadian, you should cheer for Canada, Sid says that people do cheer for Canada, but because Canada isn’t as good as other countries, they are choosing where to spend their money

Second segment: Interview with Michael Heistand, writer for USA Today

  • Bob asks if we’re done with the three man booth, Heistand says that they’ll do it when they see a need to do it
  • Bob doesn’t think the three man booth is a good idea, thinks that other networks just did it because the first Monday Night Football one was successful
  • Rest of segment is discussion of previous three man and two man booths and how good they were

5pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Stephen Brunt co-hosting

First segment: Talk segment

  • Bob and Brunt discuss Gary Bettman
  • Bob says that you have to credit Bettman for being in charge of the NHL during a period of prosperity but questions how much he’s responsible for it
  • Bob thinks that the Phoenix situation with Balsillie was Balsillie’s fault for mishandling it, Brunt says he doesn’t agree and Balsillie took the only route left to him to get what he wanted
  • Brunt thinks ultimately there will be a team back in Quebec City

Second segment: Interview with Scott Morrison, sports journalist for Sportsnet

  • Bob says he’s confused by what exactly will happen if there’s an injunction in Quebec against the lockout, Morrison says  what it means is that the players will have the right to go to work and therefore practice
  • Bob asks if that means players will be paid for practices, etc, Morrison says they would
  • Brunt says that there’s precedent for this, that when MLB was threatening to bring in replacement players during the baseball strike, the MLBPA got an injunction in Ontario under provincial anti-scab legislation
  • Bob asks if Sportsnet has to pay rights fees if no games are played, Morrison says he’s not 100% sure but he thinks that you have to pay the rights for what games are played
  • Morrison thinks that if they start the season late, they will jam in a full 82 game schedule and play until July
  • Bob asks at what point is the season lost, Morrison says February
  • Morrison thinks the players will be more united this time

Third segment: Atiba Hutchinson, Canadian National Men’s Soccer team midfielder

  • Bob asks about the Panama fans making noise outside the hotel to keep the Canadian players up, Atiba says it’s not that bad and that the fans left relatively early
  • Bob asks what Canada learned about the Panama team in the last game that they can take into this one, Hutchinson says it’s a good team and Canada has to work hard to beat them

6pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Stephen Brunt co-hosting

First segment: Interview with Don Banks, NFL reporter for Sports Illustrated

  • Bob asks how impactful starting the season 0-1 is, Banks says that for a lot of teams they can turn it around, but some teams it’s an indication that the team might not be as good as they hoped
  • Banks thinks the Bills were going to a better team than they showed in game 1, and that it’s already time to hit the panic button
  • Brunt talks about the Bills ignoring the NFL method to turn around a team by drafting a quarterback high, Banks agrees
  • Brunt asks when the trend in the NFL of starting QBs that had just been drafting started, Banks said with Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan and Ben Roethlisberger
  • Bob asks what Banks thinks of Robert Griffin, Banks says that he’s in a really good situation but also did amazing things in his first game
  • Banks is impressed by Peyton Manning’s first showing
  • Bob asks who was the best team on Sunday, Banks says that its San Francisco
  • Banks wonders if the off-season was a distraction for Drew Brees, or if the loss of Sean Payton affected the Saints more than people expected

Second segment: Interview with Dave Stubbs, reporter for Montreal Gazette

  • Stubbs says that the NHLPA trying to get an injunction against the lockout in Quebec is not about getting the Canadiens players paid but jump-starting the negotiations with the league
  • Stubbs says the the players are really behind Donald Fehr and praise how he handles the NHLPA
  • Bob asks what will happen if the NHLPA win and the Canadiens players are no longer locked out, Stubbs has no idea
  • Bob thinks that in Southern Ontario there is a lot of apathy about what happens next, asks how Montreal fans feel, Stubbs says there was optimism coming into this season and the lockout feels like a “punch in the gut”

Third segment: Interview with Tom Tebbutt, co-host of Aces, FAN590

  • Brunt asks if you add a US Open win with the Olympic gold medal, is there now a big four with Murray, Djokovic, Nadal and Federer, Tebbutt says yes
  • Tebbutt cautions that you can’t predict that this success will continue for Murray, notes that Djokovic looked unbeatable last year but not this year


I didn’t enjoy the 4pm hour particularly much.  Bob, Tim and Sid just yelling at each other about the soccer/Canada thing was annoying, and I didn’t think any of them made good arguments, and Sid did his usual jokey thing to dodge, like when he said that Bob is going to the next Canada game and started yelling off mic about it.  I think it’s a lot easier for somebody like Bob to “be Canadian” because America and Canada are both white majority English-speaking countries with similar culture.  I also think that simply because people celebrate another culture doesn’t mean they also don’t care about Canada, or like Canadian things.  There are also other countries which are seen as more “okay” to have affiliation with, such as Ireland.  It always amuses me that Don Cherry will do the “you’re not Chinese Canadian, you’re just Canadian!” thing, but then celebrate St. Patrick’s day, refer to Brian Burke has a “good Irish lad” and etc..

So yeah, I think there’s a much more complicated conversation to be had, but this was just 2 and a half people yelling at each other (Tim was half involved).

The Heistand interview was just two guys reminiscing about the past. It was sort of interesting in a nostalgic way, but it wasn’t all that entertaining in my opinion.

I’m guessing Bob’s exposure to John Shannon has changed his mind (and the narrative in his mind) about what happened between Bettman and Balsillie?  Because I remember that when it happened, he was firmly with Brunt, and agreed that Balsillie only took the bankruptcy route because there was no other way into the club and still get what he wanted.  Now, he seems to be with Shannon who believes that if Balsillie had just been nice and quiet and kept the team in Pittsburgh/Nashville/Phoenix for X number of years, Bettman would have let him put a team in Toronto or Hamilton, which I agree with Brunt, was NEVER going to happen.  I’m actually disappointed that Bob was so easily swayed, and I’ve noticed that his opinions on certain things do seem to change depending on which co-host he hangs around a lot.

The Morrison and Stubbs interviews were excellent and they shed a lot of light on the details of the lockout and what the Quebec injunction is about.  The Quebec labor certification issue has been confusing me from the start so it was really nice to hear somebody who knows what’s going on explain it.  I think Bob and Brunt did a great job asking questions that the listeners’ probably had in their heads, and I thought both interviews were enlightening.

Banks was good, as usual, for football analysis, and Bob seemed very engaged.  The Tebbutt interview was unrevealing as always, but it was also really short.

Nobody talked about John Farrell today!  Amazing.

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