Prime Time Sports Review for Friday, September 14, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Bob McCown hosting

First segment: Interview with Darren Millard

  • Bob and Millard talk about a party Bob went to the night before and Millard’s summer vacation
  • Lots of casual talk, no substance

Second segment: Interview with Darren Heitner, Forbes Magazine

  • Bob and Heitner discuss the NCAA investigating possible violations of players or their families getting compensation
  • Heitner says that the NCAA is trying to keep the “amateur” status of their athletes because there are tax benefits associated with that
  • Bob wonders if the NCAA is corrupt, Heitner says that’s too strong a word but they are trying to hang onto a system that gives them a lot of money

5pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Bob McCown, Stephen Brunt, Dave Shoalts and Bill Watters

First segment: Blue Jays discussion

  • Watters thinks that Ricky Romero’s problem is lack of conditioning, claims that Jerry Howarth said that
  • Brunt says that he doesn’t think it’s a mechanical issue, Bob thinks it is and Ricky needs to be broken down like Halladay was
  • Bob thinks that Gose and Hechavarria have been failures, Brunt says they were called up before they were ready
  • Bob and Brunt argue about whether its fair to declare two young players busts like that, Bob says there were high expectations and Brunt says there were no expectations that they would even make the major leagues much less play well

Second segment: Discussion about Roger Goodell’s suspension of New Orleans Saints players being overturned on appeal

  • Watters thinks that Goodell has been overly harsh as a commissioner and acts as if he needs to send a message
  • Bob says that it’s because when Goodell became commissioner there were many players who got in trouble with the law, and he had to crack down and now it seems to have expanded into other things

Third segment: How will the NHL lockout affect AHL teams?

  • Watters thinks that sending the younger players for a year in the AHL could help them develop, but definitely won’t hurt
  • Bob asks Shoalts if this will affect coverage of the Marlies, Shoalts says that they’ll cover them more just for lack of anything to do, but they won’t get the same coverage as the Leafs
  • Brunt says its hard for people to embrace the Marlies because you don’t see every game and its hard to get to know the team and the players

6pm hour – Roundtable continues

First segment: Discussion of the NHL lockout

  • Watters thinks Don Fehr is egotistical and doesn’t understand that the players are cattle and they should give the owners what they want
  • Brunt, Shoalts and Bob proceed to argue with him, Shoalts points out that the players are who the fans come to watch and aren’t replaceable like other jobs
  • Watters says that player salaries have increased beyond revenues, Brunt says that that’s impossible because they’re tied to revenue as a percentage, Watters backtracks and claims that what he meant was that owners invest the money they make back into the game so they really make very little and the players need to give them more

Second segment: Discussion of USC Football team banning a reporter for reporting on their kicker having surgery

  • Brunt says that this is the way the industry is moving, and eventually teams will only release information through their own media
  • Everybody agrees this is stupid, and that the reporter did nothing wrong

Third segment: Prime Time Bullets

  • The only bullet is about the document that banned Pete Rose from baseball being on auction for possibly a record amount
  • Shoalts thinks this shows how much money some people have

Thoughts:

Sorry, this is so late, I’ve had a rough and very busy last few days.

This is my first experience with Watters, so I don’t know if he’s usually like this, but I’m not a fan right now.  He hid his opinion behind other people twice this roundtable.  The first time, he claimed he heard Jerry Howarth say that Ricky Romero was lazy in his conditioning, and then tried to push that point of view, and then hid behind Howarth saying it again.  First, nobody at the roundtable can confirm this, so how do they know you are remembering what Howarth said in the first place.  Secondly, when challenged, he hides behind Howarth again saying that Howarth knows his stuff and has never said anything bad about a Blue Jay before.

There are two fallacies there.  First, it’s an appeal to authority.  He’s claiming Howarth as an authority, therefore the point must be true because he (supposedly) said it.  Secondly, he’s saying that because Howarth never says bad things about the Jays (untrue, as Brunt pointed out), therefore this must be true.  Neither of those provide evidence that Romero’s problem is his conditioning.

He did a similar thing when he said that Bob Batterman said that the owners are ranchers and the players are cattle.  He then argues that the players need to understand that they’re cattle, and calls the players “cattle” 3 more times, before Shoalts called him on it, and he claimed he’s not saying that, Batterman is.  Except, he IS saying that, he’s arguing it.  Batterman might have originated the analogy, but Watters is the one using the term, and saying that this is what the players need to understand.

Also, I wonder if Watters considers himself “cattle” too?  If all the radio stations in Canada decided they didn’t like to compete agianst each other for radio hosts and capped salaries, would he be happy that he can’t play one station off another anymore?  If he doesn’t like it, he can go to a German radio station, after all.

The analogy is terrible in general.  Cattle aren’t sentient and they don’t have the right to be paid for work.  The analogy should be more that that the cows can decide which ranchers they want to go to depending on what kind of feed the ranchers have.  The ranchers that buy expensive feed get better cattle.  The ranchers hate constantly buying more expensive feed to compete with each other, so they decide to all agree that they will only buy feed up to a certain point.

I’m not saying the owners or players are right or wrong, but if you’re going to use an analogy, at least use an accurate one.

Shoalts was on his game today, and I think he contributed a lot.  I especially liked him debating with Watters.  I think he did a good job, and he understands the situation pretty well.  He had to yell at points because Watters was yelling to speak over him, which is another thing I didn’t like about Watters.

Brunt was seriously amused at how much Watters thought the players were just cows, and was also chipping in.  Bob too, when Watters attacked Fehr because Bob likes Fehr.  It was quite a segment.

I don’t understand the purpose of the Millard conversation.  They talked about Bob’s personal night out with friends and Millard’s summer vacation, and I felt like I had intruded on a coffee shop conversation and should leave.  I barely understood some of the context.

Bob completely giving up on two young rookies who weren’t even supposed to be in the major leagues amazes me.  That discussion was one where I wished Mike Wilner was there, so he could logically explain to Bob why this is an unrealistic expectation.  Bob was sounding like one of Wilner’s callers that segment and I kept thinking “boy we need Wilner here!”  It would have been great to hear how Bob would respond.

I also often wish Wilner would show up whenever people compare Romero to Halladay because they’re completely different situations.  Halladay had a mechanical issue that needed to be rebuilt.  Romero’s issues are in his head, he needs to stop over-thinking and worrying about pitching, and just pitch.

All in all, I thought this was an okay roundtable that could have been improved with somebody other than Watters filling that fourth seat.  I didn’t feel he added anything, and he doesn’t back up any of his assertions, he just yells a lot and makes people back off.  I enjoyed Shoalts and Brunt a lot on this roundtable, and thought they made a good tandem in the hockey CBA discussion.

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