Prime Time Sports Review for Thursday, September 20, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Bob McCown hosting

First segment: Interview with Michael Heistand, USA Today

  • Bob and Heistand talk about NFL Films and how it started
  • Heistand talks about how creative NFL Films was
  • Bob laments that NFL Films doesn’t have the impact it used to, but notes that all games now have multiple cameras covering it, so NFL Films isn’t as special
  • Bob disagrees with Heistand’s column that says people will watch less NFL with replacement refs, Heistand said that the product does lose something, and we’ll see
  • Bob says the replacement officials haven’t bothered him, and might not notice it if the announcers didn’t keep reminding him
  • Heistand talks about how the NHL lockout comes at a bad time for NBC Sports as its just starting off and its main programming is now gone

Second segment: Interview with Mike Zeisberger, Toronto Sun

  • Zeisberger talks about how Martin Brodeur left an Allaire goalie camp saying that he can’t play like that, says that every goalie should be treated independently
  • Bob asks what Rick St. Croix will do if he gets the job as the Leafs goalie coach, Zeisberger says that hopefully he talks to the goalies rather than just tells them what to do
  • Zeisberger and Bob are critical of the new style of goaltender where all the goalies are robots and the same

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

First segment: Talk segment

  • Bob and Brunt talk about the World Baseball Classic and how it won’t be something until the US takes it seriously
  • Bob breaks news that the NFL has fined San Francisco 49ers QB Alex Smith for wearing a San Fransciso Giants baseball cap
  • Bob then breaks news that Bruce Bochi, managers of the Giants is wearing a 49ers cap to support Smith

Second segment: Interview with Mike Colbert, Cantor Gaming

  • Bob asks Colbert how replacement officials affect gambling lines, Cantor said they didn’t think the officials would make much of a difference, but after 2 weeks, they’ve noticed a bias towards home teams
  • Colbert says more pass interference calls and less holding calls has meant that there is more scoring
  • Colbert says that the amount of penalties called on home teams vs away teams is pretty drastic
  • Bob asks why in week 1 things weren’t so bad, but in week 2 the officiating was terrible, Colbert says he thinks its because the players have figured out the weaknesses of the officiating
  • Post-interview, Bob thinks that the NFL hopes that as the replacement officials get more experience, they’ll get better and better and it will weakent he bargaining situation of the union, Brunt isn’t sure, thinks they could make more mistakes

Third segment: Interview with Elliott Kerr, new owner of the Mississauga Majors, now renamed the Steelheads

  • Brunt asks how Kerr will make this team work, he says that there are certain points that must be touched on to make things work and he has a plan to do that
  • Kerr thinks that having a team that represents the community will help
  • Bob asks what other names besides “Steelheads” were suggested, Kerr said “Scooners”, “Lakers” and “Hurricanes” (after the Mississauga mayor, who is nicknamed “Hurricane Hazel”)
  • Kerr says they were successful in getting approval from both the NHL and MLSE to have the Steelheads able to wear the Maple Leafs jersey

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

First segment: Interview with Peter King, Sports Illustrated

  • Peter King talks about how NFL Films helped the NFL grow their game by telling stories and helping create narratives about their players, coaches and games
  • Bob and King share their favourite NFL Films moments
  • Brunt asks where NFL Films will go without Steve Sabol, King fears that it will be more bottom-line focused

Second segment: Interview with Cyd Zeigler, President of

  • Bob says he doesn’t want to hammer on the Escobar/Jays issue but people keep emailing him, stopping him on the street, and etc and thanking him for his stance
  • Brunt points out that Farrell said at the press conference that Escobar writes inspirational messages on his face, but so far the pictures people have found have not been inspirational messages but childish
  • Zeigler says the press conference was ridiculous, and he’s amazed that Escobar claims that the word doesn’t mean anything
  • Zeigler also says that Farrell “outright lied” (his words, not mine) that Escobar always wears eyeblack with words on it, Zeigler says he’s searched through hundreds of photos and only found one other where he has words on his face
  • Bob asks Zeigler about the defense that the word has many meanings, Zeigler says that no matter how it’s used it still is a slur, and said if Zeigler means to call Bob “lazy” but calls him the n-word (he actually says the whole world aloud on the air, even in the podcast it’s not bleeped), would that be racist, even though he means “lazy”?
  • Zeigler says that the suspension is a joke, and he doesn’t know if it should be 2 weeks or what, but it needs to be more
  • Zeigler says education is important, but it’s also important to send a message by taking away playing time because it’s the only thing that players care about
  • Brunt asks if the Jays donating money to GLAAD and Right To Play and talking about education is good, Zeigler says on the face of it it’s good, but that Kobe Bryant said he would devote his life to fight for gay rights and 18 months after he was fined for a gay slur, he hasn’t done anything
  • Zeigler says he’s sick of kids killing themselves, and athletes contemplating suicide because of a homophobic society and environments, and slurs contribute to that
  • Brunt says the word “queer” has been reclaimed and so has the n-word (and like Cyd, he says it)

Third segment: Interview with Nigel Reed, host of the Soccer Show, FAN590

  • Reed explains what happened at the Hillsborough disaster, where a human crush at a soccer game led to 96 people killed and 766 others
  • Reed talks about the Hillsborough independent panel, and that the panel has discovered that there is evidence of a massive police cover up
  • Bob asks what should the police have done that they did not do, Reed says they should have marshalled them into the stadium in a safe manner


Um, is it okay to say the n-word on the air?  The black people I know don’t think it should be acceptable for it to be said on air (it should be bleeped like the f- word), but I don’t know what Sportsnet policy about it is.  I understand obviously the context Brunt and Zeigler used it in, but, I visibly shuddered when I heard it.  I don’t know how acceptable this word is for the black community in Toronto though (if it should never be said, or just never be said as an insult, regardless of how casual the intent behind the insult is), and if they will complain to Rogers.  The black activists I know believe it should never be said by white people (and that whether black people should say it or not is a debate for the black community to have, but not for others to decide), even if it’s meant as a comparative.

I wonder if there’s a way to find out if there are any complaints following a show.  I really was like “wtf, you said the whole word?” when it happened, but I’m also not a member of that community.  And it’d be interesting to know if Sportsnet’s policy is the word never be said on air, or it’s okay as long as the context is clear.  Like if Brunt arrived at the set and when the cameras rolled just blurted out “You are a n-word” and that was it, that would be more akin to what Escobar wore on his face.  Mind you, then Brunt would just miss 3 shows, and he’d probably go fishing.

To me, it kinda broke up a great segment by Zeigler where he was very passionate, and put gay slurs into context at the end, noting that they create a hostile and homophobic environment that can lead to depression and suicide.  And despite using the word, Zeigler did make a great point that even if you mean a slur as a “lesser” insult, it’s still a weapon aimed at a group, and the insulting nature of it is derived from the group.  (Such as using the n-word as a synonym for lazy, because it’s derived from stereotypes of black people being lazy.)

I didn’t watch the show on TV by the way.  Did anybody catch what Bob and Brunt’s reaction was to Zeigler using that word?  I felt like there was a weird silence listening on the radio, but I’m not sure.

The Heistand interview kept making me drift.  Mostly, it was just Bob and Heistand sharing their favourite memories of NFL Films.  I don’t have anything to put those memories in context (having never watched NFL Films) so I didn’t really understand the meaning that those moments have to them.  The Peter King interview was similar, but I found it more interesting probably because of the differences in how King and Heistand talk.

I loved the first segment of the 5pm hour.  I think it was Bob and Brunt at their bantering best.

I liked the Colbert interview too.  Even though I don’t gamble, I WAS interested to know how the replacement refs affected the lines, and why the lines were affected.  I like that Colbert knows all the little differences between the replacement refs and the regular refs, and that he has explanations as to why he thinks certain things are happening.

The Elliott Kerr interview was Kerr trying to do PR, and he certainly painted a very rosy picture for the Mississauga franchise.  I guess only time will tell, but owners are never going to say “oh my god, what have I done?  I could have used that money to buy an Iron-Man suit!”

I liked that Nigel Reed explained the Hillsborough disaster at the beginning, because some people probably needed to be filled in, especially with how little soccer is mentioned on PTS.  Bob seemed very ignorant of the whole situation and kept asking why the cops were being blamed.  I suppose that could be good for listeners who are unfamiliar with the report, but it didn’t look very good on him.

I know at least one TSM reader wanted Bob to discuss the Hillsborough disaster.  I wonder what he thought of it? 😮

Also, listening to a show that’s a little over 2 hours long (without commercials) attentively and making notes (i.e. I can’t be exercising, walking around, doing errands, or at work) is taking up a lot of my free time and I’m starting to get stressed since I don’t have much time to do things I like.  So I think future reviews will just have very brief summaries about each interview (and yes I may use the word “discussion” a half dozen times) and my thoughts will go into detail of anything I can remember.  I hope that’s okay with everybody.  I’m just getting unhappier every day because I feel low-level stress knowing that even with work and everything else done (like running my site), I still have 2 hours of writing to do.

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September 21, 2012 8:00 am

Amy, whatever works for you. What you are doing is amazing, and I knew there was no way you could maintain it at this level.

Brian Gerstein
September 21, 2012 8:01 am

Ami, whatever works for you. I knew there was no way you could maintain your summaries and commentary in the detail you were covering it at, so even a phased back version is appreciated.

mike in boston
mike in boston
September 21, 2012 8:02 am

more excellent analysis Ami.

Since you’re basically responsible for all the media commentary here now, and given how few commenters there are, it’s totally reasonable to adjust your workload.

If i were in your shoes i would do a Wednesday and Saturday edition of “PTS Week in Review” with the interview highlights and lowlights, and interesting talking points. There’s just not a lot of reasons (that i can see) to review pointless FOB interviews (like Hiestand), the roundtables, or several hours a week of Bob taking calls.

Also, I’ve always thought this site should have a weekly top 5 interviews (or top 5 articles) poll. If you really want to cut back then just do a post reviewing your top 5 segments of the week.

September 21, 2012 8:23 am

The Hillsborough discussion would have been better served by a longer segment, since it would take a sufficient time to explain what happened and then get to the report coming out next week. In addition to the actual events, you need to put in the context of 1980s Thatcher England and how that relates to the police/government cover-up. I hope the rabid and often militant branch of that fanbase doesn’t take it out on Bob for asking the questions of someone not familiar with the story.

September 21, 2012 11:53 am

I just listened to the podcast. Wow, interesting interview
with that queen Ziegler. It just illustrates the aggressive nature of the gay
mafia/lobby in its pursuit of not just equality but special rights. He seemed so
angry and sad.

September 21, 2012 12:14 pm

As a long-time Liverpool supporter, I’m reluctant to listen to Bob’s segment on Hillsborough – which is such an important topic for a lot of people. I don’t want to get angry. I know Bob hates soccer and I’ve accepted that, and I know Bob does not generally prepare for interviews, but I think in this case, he ought to have done some research. I don’t know how Brunt (who is more of a soccer fan – and I suspect a closet Red) handled the interview, but honestly, I would have prefered nothing from Bob on this topic if all he does is show his ignorance of it. It’s not a topic to be flippant about.

For those that are interested at all, this is a very good doc on Hillsborough (something I wish that Bob had seen…)

Another Steve
Another Steve
September 21, 2012 12:16 pm

Just to add to how the words can be used: the word “queer” has been reclaimed in a positive way, since it is used in discussions of academic themes (I saw two seminars this past week at McMaster starting with “Queering the….”) People talk about queer culture, etc. and it’s not pejorative. (Of course, some people can still use it pejoratively.) On the other hand, the word “nigger” has not been reclaimed in the same way at all. It still has a lot of power and puts people on edge – I don’t think I will ever see a sociology seminar with the title “nigger” in it.

Good grief, wasn’t there a TV show called “Queer eye for the straight guy” or something like that? When you can put it in the title of a TV show and there’s no problem, then it’s acceptable.

September 21, 2012 12:18 pm
Reply to  Curt

Oh and Ami, great job. Your work is appreciated and has saved me a lot of time.

September 21, 2012 12:46 pm
Reply to  Roger

Just go back to your bunker, troll, and prepare for the apocalypse.

September 21, 2012 12:55 pm

Its OK Curt, “it does get better”. LOL

September 21, 2012 1:23 pm
Reply to  Curt

When i was emailing w brunt about it last week, i figured a story about tragedy and police/political corruption would engage bob strongly. Like i said earlier, it warrarnted a longer segment to exmine all the nuances of the story.

September 21, 2012 1:24 pm
Reply to  Roger

Oh, I see. You’re inferring that I’m gay. That must be it. It’s not that I have a low tolerance for intolerance and ignorance.

September 21, 2012 1:48 pm

My intolerance is
for the bullying tactics used by powerful lobby/special interest groups and the
useful idiots who fall for their crap.

Go ahead and keep up
the name calling – it looks good on you.

September 21, 2012 1:53 pm
Reply to  Alex

Agreed. Understandably, it is a vague story at best in North America, so I doubt the average sports fan here would be that interested – dismissing it as just “soccer hooliganism” (which of course it had nothing to do with). But, thanks for bringing it to their attention!

September 21, 2012 3:18 pm
Reply to  Roger

Yeah, we straight Whitey McWhitersons have had it up to here with these gay bullies and their bullying ways. When are we gonna have some rights of our own!

Anyway, I’m done with this. Moving on…

September 21, 2012 5:55 pm


Warren Z.
Warren Z.
September 21, 2012 7:55 pm
Reply to  Roger

“He seemed so angry and sad.”

Ziegler seemed perfectly fine to me. On the other hand…

September 22, 2012 7:24 am

I’m glad everyone’s so supportive of you scaling back your writing to something more manageable, Ami.

September 22, 2012 11:55 am
Reply to  Another Steve

Nope. You’ve just become more comfortable with saying shitty words.

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