Prime Time Sports Review for Wednesday, January 16, 2013

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Bob McCown hosting

First segment: Interview with Damien Cox

  • Cox is in Halifax to cover the CHL/NHL top prospects game, Cox and Bob briefly discuss that
  • Bob and Cox discuss the possibility of a Luongo to the Leafs trade, Bob thinks they will do it but that they shouldn’t because he’s overpaid and old
  • Bob and Cox discuss the owner interference of the Leafs, Bob doesn’t think Bell and Rogers will be able to decide on a CEO to run MLSE because each will veto the other’s choice

Second segment: Interview with Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated

  • Bob and Deitsch talk about how much they dislike Lance Armstrong and what a bully he has been and that he’s destroyed lives to protect his own legacy and myth
  • Deitsch says that Armstrong is coming clean now that he realizes he’s caught and needs an escape hatch
  • Deitsch believes if Armstrong does a poor apology like Pete Rose, it could make everything worse and turn his supporters against him

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

First segment: Talk segment

  • Brunt asks Bob about his bowling “career”, Bob says he was just in one tournament as a promotion and he was never a professional
  • Bob regales us with stories about his one tournament
  • Bob asks Brunt who he would choose to interview Lance Armstrong, Brunt and Bob have trouble thinking of people outside of dead ones
  • Brunt suggests Howard Stern, Bob says that too much of Stern is tongue-in-cheek to amuse the audience
  • Bob and Brunt talk about the Manti Te’o fake girlfriend story on Deadspin

Second segment: Interview with Neil Smith, former NHL GM

  • Discussion about Morgan Reilly and whether they should put him on the Leafs roster
  • Smith says that very few young defenseman succeed, and they need seasoning, Bob doesn’t buy it and thinks either you can play in the NHL or you can’t
  • Bob, Brunt and Smith discuss the Roberto Luongo situation and if the Leafs should get him

Third segment: Interview with Randy Robles, Elias Sports Bureau

  • Bob asks Robles who the best quarterback, Robles says that he can’t remember a year like this year where there are two camps divided between traditional pocket passing quarterbacks and quarterbacks who run and do other things
  • Bob asks if you can compare quarterbacks across eras, Robles says you can and the NFL isn’t the same as the NHL which had different kinds of eras of offensive production
  • Brunt asks who the best quarterback of all time is, Robles said he would have said Peyton Manning but now he thinks Tom Brady is

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

First segment: Interview with Jack Dickey, reporter

  • Dickey talks about the process in which he and his co-author found out that Manti Te’o’s girlfriend isn’t real
  • Dickey says Deadspin got an email tip which led them to investigate and discover there isn’t a record of her anywhere and then to track down the woman whose pictures were used
  • Dickey says it’s possible that Te’o was hoaxed, but it’s unlikely given him and his family’s involvement
  • Bob and Brunt both think it’s not likely that he was hoaxed and he must have been in on it
  • Bob says that it makes no sense somebody would pretend to be somebody else online and keep it up for so long

Second segment: Interview with Ian Pulver, hockey agent

  • Pulver talks about the future of his client, Scott Gomez
  • Pulver says Gomez wants to play hockey and not just sit on a couch collecting money

Third segment: Interview with Darren Oliver, Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher

  • Oliver says that it’s always about winning and he’s glad to be back with the Jays
  • Oliver claims that he did not ask the Jays for more money & wasn’t interested in going back to Texas, and that it was all his agent’s fault
  • Bob asks if Oliver’s fired his agent, Oliver says he hasn’t and he forgives him for making a mistake


Like many, I’m intrigued by the Te’o situation and I was interested to hear the interview about how the Deadspin reporters came to investigate it.  However, I think I come at it from a different point of view than Bob, Brunt and many other adults who didn’t grow up with the internet.  I do think it’s probably likely that something untoward was happening with Te’o and his family, that possibly they knew after a while and felt it was better to keep up the pretense than admit that the national coverage over a Te’o’s girlfriend passing away was because of a hoax.  They may have felt people wouldn’t believe it and blame them for making it up.

I just found Bob and Brunt’s disbelief that this could happen, that people would do this, or keep it up so long, a bit naive, or at least ignorant about youth internet culture, because it does happen more often than people think.  There are whole sites and communities devoted to investigating fake online identities, fake online “deaths”, and fake online suicides.  And a lot of people do fall in love online, especially teenagers, and when you’re in love and young, you’re willing to overlook many things, such as never actually meeting a person.  Also, these hoaxes can get out of hand (having known people who’ve done them and been victims) and it starts as a joke, and then you realize you don’t know how to end it and you don’t want to end up destroying a person by revealing they were in love with a joke, and it drags on and on.  Especially if this was Te’o’s friend, he probably knew exactly what type of interests and personality would hook him, and grabbed a pretty face to put it all behind (which was an unknowing acquaintance of his), and it’s not unlikely Te’o could consider such a person the love of his life because she would appear perfect.  (Also, being fake, this person has no desires or wants of their own, and would never get into a fight, have other needs, have conflicting interests, etc)

Anyway, none of that is saying that he necessarily WAS conned, but that it’s not impossible he was, and just that Bob and Brunt’s idea that nobody could a) fall in love online without meeting somebody b) keep up a prank that long and c) not have an endgame where you go “aha I fooled you” is not true, since people have done it online before and sadly, will keep doing it.  The “no endgame” happens a lot too, because this isn’t about “I fooled everybody, aren’t I clever?”, it’s a personal thing where you joke with people you know, or maybe just with yourself, and then to avoid the consequences of pissing people off, you kill off the character and disappear into the internet ether.  Brunt pointing out that somebody would have had to make up a lot of fake internet characters to support this (brothers, sisters) is also not unusual for these types of things.  It’s really easy to make multiple accounts on all sorts of platforms online.

Again, I don’t know (as of this moment) whether it’s a hoax or a deliberate attempt to get public attention, or a combination of the two, but I just wanted to point out that it’s not as unlikely as Bob, Brunt and some others are making it out to be.  Growing up with the internet, you learn pretty quick there’s a lot of fake accounts out there, and a lot of people who just like to pretend to be fake people for fun.

As usual, I enjoyed Bob and Brunt’s banter at the beginning of the 5pm hour, and I liked hearing Bob elaborate on his bowling story, which I’ve heard only in general terms about before.  They have such good chemistry together, and I love hearing them casually talk about things in Bob’s life. 🙂

I wonder how true Oliver’s statement that it was all his agent’s fault is.  If true, it meant he’s let his agent say falsehoods in the media and possibly to the Jays without ever correcting them or even noticing.  Is this just damage control, or did he really not know that his agent was saying he wanted more money and wanted to go to the Rangers?

Bob saying that Robles isn’t allowed to have an opinion because statistics dictate what he can or cannoy say, made me laugh. xD

Deitsch is pretty angry about Armstrong.  I’m guessing that we’ll get more and more anger from Bob’s guests about this as the story unfolds.  It’s weird that people didn’t talk that much (at least on PTS) about him “destroying” lives in the past, but now it’s all coming out.

I’m surprised Cox is in Halifax covering the top prospects game and not covering the Australian Open.  Is he normally sent to cover the prospects game, or is this because Sportsnet is putting a lot of focus on this game due to their involvement in it?

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