Prime Time Sports Review for Tuesday, February 12, 2013

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Bob McCown hosting

First segment: Interview with Chris Tessaro, The Poker Show host, Sportsnet590 The FAN

  • Bob and Tessaro talk about the possibility of a casino in Toronto, Tessaro agrees with Bob this is a bad idea

Second segment: Interview with Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun baseball reporter

  • Bob talks about going to spring training, says that it’s fun but it’s also a big hassle for him
  • Bob and Elliott share stories from past spring trainings

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

First segment: Talk segment

  • Bob and Brunt talk about the IOC taking wrestling out of the 2020 Olympics, are very critical of the move
  • Bob and Brunt discuss the Toronto Maple Leafs good start to the season

Second segment: Interview with Nick Kypreos, Sportsnet hockey analyst

  • Kypreos talks about how well the Leafs have been playing
  • Bob asks Kypreos is Tyler Bozak has become a better player, Kypreos says he might not be better but he’s older and wiser

Third segment: Interview with Jonah Keri, baseball columnist

  • Keri talks about the worst contracts in baseball, names A-Rod’s current contract as the worst one
  • Keri has Vernon Wells in the top 10

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

First segment: Interview with Bob Ryan, The Boston Globe

  • Ryan talks about how ridiculous it is that the IOC are removing wrestling from the Olympics
  • Ryan thinks the Yankees are on the decline and the Jays will be a disappointment if they don’t make the playoffs
  • Ryan is sick of the steroid debate, is thinking of just giving in and not caring

Second segment: Interview with Leigh Steinberg, sports player agent

  • Steinberg talks about a piece he wrote about how athletes are being bad role models
  • Steinberg believes that athletes have a responsibility to be good role models while Brunt doesn’t think so

Third segment: Interview with Clive Llewellyn, former president of Wrestling Canada

  • Llewellyn thinks the IOC decision to remove wrestling from the Olympics is a bad decision
  • Llewellyn says that within the wrestling community, there was no knowledge that this was coming or even a possibility
  • Llewellyn doesn’t know where Canada stood in the IOC vote, but that he thinks Canada supports wrestling because Canada has done well in it


So is Bob going down to spring training to do Prime Time Sports?  A week ago, Scott Moore said that they weren’t sending them down and that Keith Pelley hadn’t thought through how much it would cost when he told Bob they were, but today Bob told Bob Elliott that they are sending him and Cox down to join Brunt.

If they are going, I wonder if they’re going to have Cox and Brunt alternate as co-hosts as usual, or if every day is going to be similar to what they’ve done in the last few years with the Jays opening day, where all three are together and interviewing players and coaches.  I hope it’s not that.  That could get old after a few days, much less a couple of weeks (or however long this is going to be).

Everybody on the show today seemed to think taking wrestling out of the Olympics is a bad idea.  It was one of those stories that every single guest wanted to comment on, even if that’s not what they were on for, and the opinion was unanimous.

It was interesting to hear Steinberg debate Brunt about athletes being role models, because Brunt’s made his opinion pretty clear in the past: he doesn’t think athletes have any responsibility to be role models.

As much as I tried, I just couldn’t get into Tessaro and Bob talk about gambling for 15 minutes, so that’s why that segment had only one bullet point.

What’s Bob Ryan’s role on the show now?  He’s a regular guest at this point and seems to show up every week.  Is he their new US national baseball reporter, or is he just there to talk about the view from Boston?  It just seems weird to me because generally their US guests all have a specific role (national baseball analyst, legal analyst, NFL analyst, etc, etc) but I’m not sure what Ryan’s specialty is.  He’s semi-retired and just seems to generally talk about sports and how things look in Boston.

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Ami Angelwings
February 13, 2013 1:52 am

Also, I’ve cleaned out the pending comment queue. Since he switched the blog back to the old commenting system, TSM hasn’t had time to approve the comments in the “pending” queue (he’s been really busy), and after checking with him, I’ve allowed them all through, and will continue to allow them in, so if your comments hadn’t shown up until now, that’s why. 🙂 There shouldn’t be any delay after this.

February 13, 2013 6:40 am

Thanks Ami.
I think Bob Ryan is just a general weekly guest. Since he’s retired from the Boston Globe he’s basically said now he gets to work when he wants to. He said at one point that other than Kornheiser, McCown is his favourite to deal with. So, I think he’s coming on to the show because he wants to (and he’s getting paid I’m assuming of course).
Did Bob tell any of his typical spring training stories? The tennis one where some reporter/coach basically punked he pretended he was just another sort of leisurely player and it turned out he was a nationally ranked player at one point? (the name escapes me). Talk about the Howard Johnsons? (or was it Ramada?)

February 13, 2013 6:42 am

PS I’m surprised that McCown and Brunt did come around to the idea that the IOC wrestling thing was pretty much just an eff you to everyone… hey maybe the IOC is creating this fire to take attention off something else.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
February 13, 2013 8:57 am

I’ve cleaned out the pending comment queue.

so that’s what happened …

i thought maybe this little site got linked by someone big and we got a raft of new posters all at once.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
February 13, 2013 9:02 am

p.s. Raju has some quotes from Naylor and his new show on TSN. Otherwise the piece is pretty fluffy and doesn’t give much analysis of what TSNR has done wrong and done right in its first 2 years of existence.

it’s just so sad that there is no serious media criticism in Canada anymore. As a kid, Houston and Zelvokich were must-reads every week. What a shame no one has picked up the slack.

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
February 13, 2013 9:26 am

I was fascinated by Bob’s recounting with Chris Tessaro about how in the early 90’s, prior to the two OLG casinos (Fallsview & Casino Rama) getting approval, Bob was an employee for a group led by MGM I believe and how they had the approvals of the Federal and Provincial governments to build a casino, an amphitheatre, as well as a theme park on the CNE grounds at ZERO cost to the taxpayers, but the local Toronto municipal government blocked it.

It is hard to fathom the amount of government tax revenue that has been lost in over 20 years from this, as not only would the governments get a healthy cut of the profits, but they would also stay away from the operations, so as a result, the games offered would be competitive with Vegas, and also be well run.

Additionally, unlike where casinos tend to draw predominantly the local population, from the sounds of things, this would have enough components built in to draw tourists as well.

The irony, as McCown aptly pointed out, is how only now, 20+ years later, is the government attempting to do exactly that when the barn door and the farm animals have been long gone. With the ease of internet gaming and offering extremely fair odds and games, Tessaro was saying that if the government decides to run it themselves, they will not do well, as they are incapable of offering games with the same levels of juice as Vegas/Offshore does.

Interesting times ahead, and I agree, there are social consequences to a Toronto casino, but the governments are so reliant on the revenues, that they basically are saying that gambling is O.K., as long as we are the ones running it, and we don’t care about the inefficiencies. This is why they made that joke of a raid last week, which was all for show. The website switched countries and opened up hours later, and all account holders didn’t skip a beat, as their account #’s remained the same.

I have more faith in the offshore books/casinos offering a fair game than the government, and if Godfrey is smart, he will stay the hell away from the running of any casino and have the professionals run it, while regulating it and taking their cut.

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
February 13, 2013 9:36 am

Mike (In Boston), real fluff piece by Raju, and yes, Houston with all his crazy mood swings, rants, and lashing out, was still a good read along with steady Zelvokich.

The part I find hilarious is how Raju writes how well Cybulski connected with the younger demographics. He did such a great job he got fired lol.

Naylor will be interesting to follow, and I will certainly check him out. One thing for sure going in, I had zero confidence that Cybulski would work for me, and I was right, while with Naylor, I am cautiously optimistic.

Mike S
Mike S
February 14, 2013 10:35 am

Hey Sam……….I think the name of the guy who used to beat McCown in tennis at spring training was Trent Frayne of the Globe & Mail

February 14, 2013 6:38 pm

Yes Mike S! Nice one.

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