Prime Time Sports Review for Friday, September 21, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Bob McCown hosting

First segment: Interview with Mark Spector, reporter for Sportsnet

  • Bob and Spector argue about Daryl Katz trying to get more money out of the city of Edmonton to build an arena for the Oilers to play in, Bob thinks Edmonton taxpayers shouldn’t pay for the arena, Spector thinks it’s a good idea
  • Bob thinks Spector has consumed the Kool-Aid

Second segment: Interview with Jim Duquette, former GM of the NY Mets

  • Bob and Jim talk about Derek Jeter’s contract status, and if he’d walk away from the Yankees
  • Bob suggests that the Dodgers might go after Jeter, Duquette says any team interested in him as to be sure that Jeter isn’t using them just as a bargaining chip to get more money from the Yankees
  • Bob and Jim discuss Ozzie Guillen and if the Marlins want to get rid of him
  • Jim said if he was GM of the Jays he would have given Escobar more games suspension

5pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Bob McCown, Stephen Brunt, Doug Smith and Damien Cox

First segment: Should Edmonton pay even more to build an arena for the Edmonton Oilers?

  • Bob thinks they shouldn’t, and should stand up to Katz, daring him to move the team because there is nowhere for him to go
  • Smith and Cox argue that stadia revitalize cities
  • Brunt says that stadia redirect economic activity, but doesn’t create it.  Says that Edmonton has too much invested in the Oilers to stand up to Katz

Second segment: Is having a goalie coach a good idea?

  • Bob thinks that there isn’t a use for goalie coaches and they turn goalies into robots

Third segment: Discussion of hazing scandals at universities

  • Cox wonders if you need to punish the school by ruining their sports team if there’s a hazing scandal, Brunt, Smith and Bob think you do because it’s the only way to send a message

6pm hour – Roundtable discussion continues

First segment: Discussion about Yunel Escobar

  • Brunt doesn’t think the team is rallying around Escobar, and some people are speaking out
  • Bob thinks it’s disturbing that Farrell is making excuses for Escobar by saying he is too shaken to play, Cox believes he could be shaken because people have ripped him
  • Smith thinks he should be suspended for the rest of the season, Cox asks if he would for Jose Bautista, Smith says he still would
  • Damien thinks all of the people who “let” Escobar get on the field are getting away with any blame, Bob agrees
  • Brunt wonders if people let Escobar onto the field to let him hang himself, Smith agrees, Cox thinks that’s too harsh
  • Everybody is still shocked about why Escobar did it, and how the Jays could have let it happen, and how little the Jays suspended him

Second segment: Discussion of NHL lockout

  • Smith and Cox think that it’s wrong for NHL players to go to Europe and take jobs during the lockout, Brunt thinks that’s just sports
  • Bob wonders why the players don’t have a plan on what to do, where to play, etc when there’s a lockout so they can defy the owners
  • Cox says that this is because they aren’t a functioning union, Bob argues that they have never even talked about it

Third segment: Discussion of the UFC

  • Bob turns the segment over to Brunt to talk about the UFC, Brunt talks about how effective the UFC had been in the past in controlling the whole product and the talent and being successful, but that they seem to be struggling now
  • Smith points out that while boxing has had crossover stars that are known by more than boxing fans, UFC doesn’t have any, Brunt says it’s because they don’t want anybody to get bigger than the brand


I actually expected this roundtable to be a trainwreck because of Cox, and after the first segment, it seemed like it would be.  Cox kept nitpicking on Bob saying that Spector was an Oilers fan, when Cox thinks he’s just an Edmonton fan.  And Cox was dominating the conversation for the whole segment.  The Allaire segment was just Bob ranting about goalie coaches, and the final segment was just everybody agreeing hazing is bad.

But I liked the second hour because I think there was actually discussion, even if there wasn’t outright disagreement.  There were a lot of angles about the Escobar situation that they covered, including how the other players felt about him.  The NHL discussion was interesting too, because Bob had a good question about why the NHLPA didn’t have a plan for how the players could make money during the lockout.

Damien, amazingly, didn’t do the “devil’s advocate” thing he usually does, and I was pleasently surprised.  When he’s actually honestly participating in a discussion and not trying to take opinions he might not even believe in just to be controversial, he’s actually quite decent to listen to.  He still tries to dominate the roundtable though, and I think he spoke the most of anybody with Smith in second.

Brunt talked very little this roundtable, I noticed.  Cox and Smith seemed to be the majority of the talkers, with Bob having strong opinions too.  Brunt popped in here and there to try to moderate/clarify things, but didn’t talk much until the UFC segment.

Spector’s debate/argument with Bob was interesting to listen to because both were politely trying to debate something both seemed pretty passionate about.  The ending was amazing, because Spector brought up “well do you think we shouldn’t have art galleries?” thing to Bob and said Bob’s response was “simplistic” and then a minute later dismissed it as being “complicated”. He also dismissed his own analogy when Bob turned it around on him.

Jim Duquette kind of reminds me of Neil Smith: a former GM who is asked to comment on the actions of other GMs and says “well I would never do that!  I would have done the right thing!”  I mean that’s easy to say, especially in hindsight, and when you’re not a GM anymore.

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