Prime Time Sports Review for Wednesday, January 23, 2013

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Bob McCown hosting

First segment: Interview with Neil Smith, former New York Rangers General Manager

  • Bob talks about the Gretzky to Leafs “story”, says his inside sources tell him Gretzky isn’t interested and may try to join the L.A. Kings in some capacity
  • Bob says that Dave Shoalts is in the black book for crediting Bob Mackenzie as being the one who broke the “story”, not Bob, Kypreos and Cox
  • Bob says that Gretzky is only interested in being paid a lot to not actually do real work
  • Bob and Smith talk about how hot Michelle Pfeiffer was in the Fabulous Baker Boys

Second segment: Interview with Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated

  • Bob and Deitsch discuss Manti Te’o being on Katie Couric, Bob still believes Te’o was more involved than just being hoaxed
  • Bob brings up the point that he can’t believe anybody would hoax somebody for 4 years
  • Deitsch thinks it’s likely Te’o was hoaxed and then lied to cover up his embarassment, but agrees that he can’t imagine somebody would hoax somebody for 4 years

5pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Damien Cox co-hosting

First segment: Talk segment

  • Bob and Cox talk about the silliness of everybody making such a big deal out of their conversation on PTS about Gretzky

Second segment: Interview with Bruce McNall, former L.A. Kings owner, ex-con

  • McNall talks about the possibility of Gretzky being with the L.A. Kings, thinks he would make a good CEO
  • McNall talks about his own experiences as an NHL owner
  • Post-Interview, Bob and Cox talk about how much fun McNall was to be around and how likeable he is
  • Bob says McNall is great for hockey, and would be great for any sport he’s involved in

Third segment: Interview with Greg Rosen, owner of the new Central Hockey League Brampton team

  • Bob asks Rosen why he thinks Brampton will support a CHL team when they didn’t support a junior hockey team, Rosen says that he doesn’t believe they didn’t support the team, and that it’s an enthusiastic fanbase and his energy will make it work
  • Cox asks Rosen to point to a hockey franchise that’s been successful in Southern Ontario that they’re modeling themselves after, Rosen points to the success of the Hamilton Bulldogs
  • Rosen says that the CHL is a different kind of pro league, and it’s very exciting because the players are men and aren’t teenagers

6pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Damien Cox co-hosting

First segment: Interview with Lou Lamoriello, New Jersey Devils CEO, President and General Manager

  • Lamoriello talks about the good start the Devils have gotten to
  • Lamoriello talks about what qualities the Devils look for in players in their organization
  • Bob asks about the reports that Kovalchuk wanted to stay in Russia, Lamoriello says that he always knew Kovalchuk would return to the NHL and the reports weren’t true
  • Cox asks why Bryce Salvador was made captain of the Devils, Lamoriello says that he has had to overcome a lot to get where he is and has shown a lot of leadership
  • Bob asks how the Islanders moving to Brooklyn will impact the Devils, Lamoriello says that it won’t have any impact
  • Cox asks if the Devils are planning for life after Brodeur, Lamoriello says that they have a number of young goaltenders that they are developing in their system

Second segment: Interview with Dave Mahler, Sportsradio 950AM in Seattle

  • Mahler talks about the return of the NBA to Seattle, says people are excited but still waiting for it to be final
  • Mahler says that the Supersonics leaving had nothing to do with the fanbase or the support for the team, but the bad design of the arena
  • Mahler says the new arena will be built right and won’t become obsolete in 10 years
  • Mahler doesn’t think Seattle will get a hockey team any time soon, and that the focus in Seattle is on the NBA not NHL
  • Bob asks if NHL hockey will sell in Seattle, Mahler says it definitely will
  • Bob asks why Seattle has never had an NHL team, Mahler says because they’ve never had an arena designed for professional hockey

Third segment: Interview with Tom Tebbutt, Tennis Canada

  • Tebbutt talks about Federer’s performance at the Australian Open, and how he took advantage of a mental letdown by Tsonga in the 5th set
  • Cox asks Tebbutt if the issue about pay that the players had last year has been resolved, Tebbutt says that the Australian Open has improved its purse, but that the players are unhappy about the scheduling of the US Open
  • Tebbutt says tennis players are underpaid compared to other athletes and should be paid more, that NHL players get 50% of revenues and tennis players get about 15%
  • Bob and Cox think that Djokovic is likely going to win the Australian Open


I don’t think Shoalts is actually banned from the show.  Whenever Bob says that somebody’s in the black book in the joking way he said about Shoalts (and very casually too), then that person isn’t actually banned.  He did this with Wally Buono a couple of years ago too.  In general, I’ve noticed Bob saying “black book” means he’s joking that somebody is banned, but when he says “he’s never coming on this show again!” or something like that in a really angry voice, then he’s serious.  That’s the type of attitude he had with Gary Bettman and Doug MacLean.  When Bob really bans somebody from the show, he gets angry about it, and sounds personally offended.  He didn’t sound offended about Shoalts, just amused.

It’s interesting that Bob and Cox talked about how everything blew up without mentioning that one of the big reasons that Gretzky non-story blew up was because of the network they work for.  Sportsnet put a headline up on their website implying that Gretzky might be coming to Toronto, and then made a bigger deal out of the PTS segment than it actually was.  From there, it blew up.  Most of the stories I’ve read on the subject have linked to the Sportsnet “article” as their source.  If Sportsnet had just ignored their discussion, I doubt this would have happened.

Cox was in tip-top recess mode today, with his mockery of Neil Smith’s voice, and calling Bob a woman several times, and generally being insulting.  Though, he wasn’t to Bruce McNall, who he seems to adore.

I find the love-in for McNall from Bob and Cox a bit bizarre, especially from Bob, since he’s so big on not lying and not cheating, but apparently if you lie and cheat when it comes to stealing other people’s money that’s okay, just not about fake girlfriends and steroids.  Mind you, Bob could also make the argument that both McNall and Eagleson (another “financial cheat”) had served their time so therefore it’s okay.  I know Brunt would make that argument, but I haven’t heard Bob make it.

TSM commenter Alex pointed out that Richard Deitsch had made it clear that he doesn’t think people should be speculating that Te’o is gay, so maybe that’s why Bob didn’t bring up that theory today.  He’s brought it up every other time he’s talked about Te’o, so I was expecting him to bring it up today too.  Maybe he just didn’t get a chance to.

This Rosen guy certainly doesn’t lack for confidence.  He sounded really optimistic in his interview in the face of Bob and Cox’s skepticism.  Mind you, all owners sound like that, otherwise they wouldn’t have bought the team.  I guess he can’t really say “yeah I think it’ll be a struggle, and putting a team here is a bad idea”. xD

I wish Tebbutt had more time for his segment because it would have been interesting to hear more analysis about the Australian Open rather than a bunch of talk about Gretzky which even Bob says is a story with no meat on it.  I also wish Cox had asked Tebbutt about Sloane Stephens because it’d be nice to hear a bit about the rising US star.

I liked the interview with Mahler, and it was interesting to hear the view from Seattle about an NBA team returning and also about the possibility of having or not having NHL hockey.

Photo available here

About the Author