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 Outsports.com

  • 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

Thoughts:

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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