Prime Time Sports Review for Friday, November 2, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Bob McCown hosting

First segment: Interview with Jack Armstrong, Toronto Raptors colour commentator and analyst

  • Armstrong talks with Bob about the decision to continue with the NYC marathon, thinks it’s a bad idea
  • Armstrong discusses the Raptors’ season opener with Bob, thinks there were good and bad things, thinks Bargnani did a good job getting David West into foul trouble at the beginning of the game, and that the Raptors should have switched to double coverage
  • Bob thinks that the game was a disaster and it was a horrible loss, thinks Bargnani played terribly and shouldn’t have been guarding West

Second segment: Interview with Glenn Healy, CBC hockey analyst

  • Healy talks about how resilient New Yorkers are
  • Healy talks about the lockout, thinks that Bob’s idea that the owners will throw open the doors and let any players who want to cross the line to come in would have a lot of legal issues to traverse
  • Healy thinks that both sides are close, Bob thinks that they aren’t, they might be close economically but are light years apart philosophically
  • Bob asks Healy about the CHLPA, Healy says that it’s too bad that they were run by sketchy people because it could have helped the kids
  • Healy doesn’t think that a union is necessary though, and says that it’s still a volunteer league and the players don’t have to play

5pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Bob McCown, John Shannon, Michael Grange and Elliotte Friedman

First segment: Discussion about various things

  • Segment starts with talking about Senators owner Eugene Melnyk possibly being disciplined for his comments about the NHL lockout on Prime Time Sports
  • Topic then turns to Toronto Raptors, Bob and Friedman jump on Bargnani, Grange explains that Bargnani’s a good offensive player and is an underpay at his current contract
  • Bob gets breaking news that the NYC marthon has been cancelled, the roundtable discuss that decision, agree it’s the right one

Second segment: Discussion about the NYC marathon cancellation and L.A. Lakers

  • The roundtable continues to discuss the NYC marathon being cancelled
  • Bob brings up the Lakers, Grange says the problem is that Mike Brown is trying to change the way Steve Nash plays and that’s stupid, Bob says that Brown has a point that Nash never won in Phoenix, Shannon disagrees with Grange as well

Third segment: Discussion about the NYC marathon cancellation

  • More discussion about the cancellation and about Bloomberg as a mayor

6pm hour – Roundtable continues

First segment: Discussion about the cancellation of Winter Classic

  • The roundtable discusses the impact of losing the Winter Classic
  • Friedman says that some players think that the Winter Classic could be reinstated if a deal is struck later, Shannon keeps interrupting him
  • Bob says that he’s heard the hawkish owners are starting to win support among the owners

Second segment: Discussion about the CHLPA leadership controversies

  • Friedman and Shannon think that the problems with the credibility of the CHLPA heads have set the movement back hundreds of years
  • Grange says that Laraque didn’t self appoint himself as Bob said, but was approached, Bob scoffs at this
  • Friedman compliments the CHL for addressing some of the issues that the CHLPA brought up, Bob says this wouldn’t have happened without the CHLPA

Third segment: What are the Blue Jays?  Will they spend?

  • Bob says he has no idea whether the Jays see themselves as a small market team or if they will spend
  • Pointless bickering ensues


That was probably the worst roundtable I’ve heard in a long time.  Everybody was interrupting each other, mocking each other, and dismissing each other’s arguments without addressing them.  It started at the beginning with a 3 on 1 with Grange trying to explain to the other three that one loss at the beginning of the season wasn’t the end of the world, and that Bargnani is not as terrible a player for his price as they think he is.  The problem with Grange is once he meets resistance, he starts pulling back his argument and making it vague and circuitous.  It’s not that I necessarily agree with him, but I would have liked to hear more of a debate about this.  Bob’s insistence that it’s all doom and gloom didn’t help anything either.

They all seemed on the same page for the NYC marathon segments, but during the LA Lakers discussion, Grange and Shannon got into it about how Steve Nash was being used.  Then it all exploded when they talked about the lockout and nobody would let anybody speak for more than a couple of sentences.  Friedman answered a question Bob wasn’t asking, and Bob got mad at him, and then Friedman made some sort of weird joke that I think was meant to be a sexual innuendo.  Shannon then interrupted Friedman several times when Elliotte was just trying to say that a couple players don’t think that the NHL is being honest about the Classic being cancelled.  And he didn’t just interrupt him, Shannon moved the goalposts too.  First he acted as if Elliotte was the one saying it, and asked how he knew this.  Of course, Friedman had no chance to finish speaking yet, and Shannon had already jumped to confusions.  Then Friedman explained it was what NHL players had said, and Shannon screamed about who reported them saying it, and acted as if Friedman didn’t really know.  Then Friedman said Toews said it, and Shannon then says “and what does Toews know about making an NHL schedule!?” or something like that.  Either way, it was ridiculously annoying, and Shannon just wouldn’t let Friedman finish talking before setting up his counter attack.

Given that I know what Grange thinks about the CHLPA situation from his Sportsnet article, I’m pretty sure he wanted to talk more about how he feels the CHLPA has some good points in their grievances, but shut up when Bob started to yell at him about Laraque.  All Grange was trying to say was that from the information we have, Laraque was approached by the CHLPA, and Bob wouldn’t even let him finish talking.

And then it all finished off quite nicely in the Jays segment where Friedman responds to Bob’s angry ranting by saying that the Jays should sign Dan Haren, which was a bit of a non sequitur since Bob was asking what the identity of the Jays is.  Grange mocked Friedman for his response, and then proceeded to start his own response to Bob and then Shannon interrupted and mocked Grange’s response.  And then my brain leaked out of my ears.

Dear Prime Time Sports: never have these four together on a show again.

(Oh and I’m glad that Jack Armstrong was there to provide a little balance to Bob’s anger about the Raptors losing one game.  This is going to be a long season if Bob is going to act like this after every loss.)

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mike in boston
mike in boston
November 5, 2012 12:11 pm

thanks Ami – to be honest, your reviews were the thing that enabled me to dump the roundtables from my iPod altogether, and i’m now down to listening to 25% of PTS segments also thanks to you. name your favourite charity, and i’ll make a donation this winter.

also, typo or not, i think i’ll try to mix in “jumped to confusions” this week.

i still can’t believe that TSN RADIO isn’t counter-programming the friday roundtables. Simmons and Arthur and Feschuck are all very well behaved on radio, and they can fill out the program with people like Naylor etc.

November 5, 2012 2:39 pm

I usually liked Grange, but he was really off the mark on the Haren thing.

Bob was saying he doesn’t know if the Jays will be spending or not, and Friedman suggested monitoring the Dan Haren situation. That actually made a hell of a lot of sense. The Angels were looking to deal Haren before the end of Friday night when they had to decide whether or not to pick up his option (at 15.5 million).

So it was a great opportunity for a team to take a one year flyer on a guy, at high salary, after a rough season. If the Jays had acquired him, you could rightly assume they were probably going to be opening their wallets this offseason (as it turned out, nobody acquired Haren after a trade with the Cubs fell through… Im guessing his physicals didn’t look so great).

Anyway, Grange interrupted Friedman halfway during his point saying “THAT’S your point? Ohh the Jays need a lefty reliever’ and ruined the point. First of all – Haren is a righty starter. He was a front of the rotation guy before 2012, making a lot of money. Not an insignificant acquisition at all.

Friedman’s point was by far the only thought out, knowledgeable one presented in the baseball discussion and Grange immediately derailed it, while clearly having no idea who Dan Haren was.

When it comes to baseball talk on PTS, the only ones who seem to have any knowledge at all, and don’t fall into reactionary ‘Joe on a carphone’ stuff, are Friedman and Brunt.

November 5, 2012 2:55 pm

They all did seem rather crusty toward one another, or just in general. Bob had kind of set that tone with the Raptors talk.

Unfortunately McCown is not the only downer on them. I heard some taking head (can’t remember which of SN or TSN it was) referred to the first two games as “such a disappointing start to the season”. Really?!? Lost by 2 pts to a decent Pacers team, lost by 7 in Brooklyn to another decent team in what had to be a pretty emotional game. Not the best of efforts, let some good leads slip away, but not all doom-and-gloom.

I’m not saying they’re going to be a playoff team, but I’m also not saying that they won’t. It’s only 2 games! Ugh.

Are we not allowed to try to be optimistic anymore?

November 5, 2012 4:18 pm

We are paying for thattime when we had three weeks of brunt.

November 5, 2012 5:09 pm
Reply to  mike in boston

“jumped to confusions” was on purpose… it’s a phrase I like to use sometimes when I feel it fits. 🙂

November 5, 2012 5:10 pm
Reply to  kyle

I think the Raptors are paying for the disappointment that followed the optimism for the Jays this year.

Brian Gerstein
November 5, 2012 5:19 pm

I had to turn off PTS now, Monday afternoon at 5:10 p.m., and am happily listening to TSN and Bruce Arthur now. Not quite sure how I forgot that Bruce was on Monday’s, but I did.

Bob and Mr. McGoo were talking about how until DeMar DeRozan signed, no big name and player has resigned with the Raptors since Vince Carter. It was Mr. McGoo who said that, and Bob did not correct him, but agreed wit him. It is shocking that both of them were completely oblivious that Chris Bosh did resign with us and spent 7 years here before bolting to Miami.

I am now making a pledge, I will only listen to them talking basketball if someone I respect on basketball is there with them, and even then, with their ridiculous opinions on the game, that are always corrected by real basketball people in the know, I don’t know if I even want to deal with that.

November 5, 2012 5:29 pm

My question is – did anyone besides Ami make it through this thing. I believe that if you remove Shannon you have a completely different result. The exchange with Friedman was ridiculous through the inquisitional nature of his constant interruptions. It is truly time to retire him from PTS yet he is on again today….

November 5, 2012 6:32 pm

I gave up on PTS a long time ago. Other than her love for Bob, I dont know why Ami spends several hours a day reviewing PTS.

November 5, 2012 7:02 pm
Reply to  Ryan

Because people wanted the reviews, and TSM asked if I would do them. If nobody wants the reviews, then I won’t do them. 🙂

November 5, 2012 7:20 pm
Reply to  Ami_Angelwings

Ami, how about a review of who you consider the best roundtable guests and a review of who you consider the worst roundtable guests, just to add some variety to your reviews.

Itchy Butt
Itchy Butt
November 5, 2012 8:30 pm
Reply to  Brian Gerstein

I can’t figure out how they, and some of the others on the Fan, can come to any conclusion after 3 frikkin games!!!!!

Mike S
Mike S
November 5, 2012 8:37 pm
Reply to  Brian Gerstein

I predict that this Raptors Devotee boycott of PTS basketball talk lasts about as long as all of his other PTS boycotts

Another Steve
Another Steve
November 5, 2012 11:13 pm
Reply to  Ami_Angelwings

I like the reviews. 🙂

November 6, 2012 1:55 pm

The common denominator is Shannon. He (and Cox) usually and single-handedly ruin roundtable discussions. He’s just f***ing rude, but probably thinks he’s providing “good radio”. How Sportsnet continues to allow this man near a microphone is truly mind-boggling.

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