Prime Time Sports Review for Friday, February 15, 2013

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Listener Phone Calls with Elliotte Friedman

  • Most of the calls are about Matt Cooke stepping on Erik Karlsson’s leg, Friedman doesn’t think it was on purpose, some of the callers do, exasperated Friedman

5pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Elliotte Friedman, Damien Cox, Dave Perkins and Sean Fitz-Gerald

First segment: Was it a good idea for the Blue Jays to sign Melky Cabrera?

  • Perkins suspects that Cabrera’s stupid enough to still take PEDs and may get caught again this season
  • Perkins doesn’t think signing him was a bad move and that even if he doesn’t produce as much as he did, he can still be a useful player
  • Cox thinks the signing might not be a good idea because it could make the Jays look bad
  • Fitz-Gerald wonders if Cabrera struggles early, people will start pointing to him not being on PEDs anymore
  • General discussion about PEDs in sports and how baseball gets singled out for attention

Second segment: Discussion about the Toronto Raptors

  • Perkins thinks Bargnani isn’t a bad player, and will do well in the right situation
  • Cox admits Bargnani has weaknesses but says that the Raptors never surrounded him with the right players
  • Friedman is frustrated by what he sees as a ton of talent that’s wasted, Cox disputes that Bargnani has as much talent as Friedman thinks

Third segment: Discussion about the Maple Leafs

  • Cox says that a lot of the hockey this season has been bad
  • Cox says that Burke did a pretty good job of building the team if you put the Kessel trade aside

6pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Elliotte Friedman, Dave Perkins, Sean Fitz-Gerald and Steve Maich

First segment: Should reporters cover athletes differently after what’s happened with Lance Armstrong, Manti Te’o and Oscar Pistorius?

  • Friedman says that he does look at them differently now and is careful how he covers them
  • Maich said that there’s no way anybody could have known that Pistorious was capable of murder, Fitz-Gerald points out that there was a hint at the London Olympics with a former girlfriend saying “You don’t know the real Oscar Pistorius”
  • Friedman and Perkins talks about incidents in their past where they wrote about how good a person an athlete was, and was told later that they had been fooled badly
  • Maich says that people are really complicated, and even people who tell you that you were fooled are only speaking from their point of view, Friedman and Perkins disagree, says that players can know their teammates’ ugly sides pretty well
  • Friedman asks Maich how editors can avoid having their publications gloss over the ugly side of people, Maich says you can only trust your reporters, have them talk to as many people as possible, and try to get the biggest picture you can
  • Perkins says he’s refused to do books with players who had ugly sides but didn’t want him to write about it
  • Fitz-Gerald says that he’s a lot more skeptical and careful now when he’s writing, and quotes the old reporter saying “If you mom says she loves you, believe her.  But check it out.”


Second segment: Discussion about Michael Jordan and the piece ESPN recently did about him where he says he fears that people will forget his legacy as time passes

  • Friedman admires Jordan as an athlete and bases his work ethic on Jordan’s competitiveness
  • Perkins says that LeBron is now at the age that he can be as good as he wants to be, and that when he wants to LeBron can dominate everybody
  • Fitz-Gerald points out that Jordan had fierce competitiveness but LeBron quit on the Cavaliers and so LeBron can never compare with Jordan in his mind
  • Maich says that LeBron has more versatility than Jordan and isn’t the narcissist that Jordan is, Perkins and Friedman point out “The Decision”
  • Maich points out how egotistical Jordan is to think he could take LeBron now
  • Perkins talks about playing golf with Jordan and how he was a 12 handicap but claimed he was a 6 because he can’t allow himself to accept his weaknesses
  • Friedman asks everybody who they think are some of the greatest athletes of all time that might get forgotten, Maich says Walter Peyton and Marcel Dionne, Perkins says Jim Brown, Friedman wonders about Bobby Orr, Fitz-Gerald says George Reed

Third segment: Prime Time Bullets

  • First bullet is about if the NHL should go to Sochi, Fitz-Gerald thinks they should, Perkins says there’s nothing to gain for the NHL, Fitz-Gerald says the NHL can get exposure, Perkins says NBC won’t show the games in prime time anyway
  • Friedman thinks there’s value for the NHL in being associated with the Olympics, Perkins says that there isn’t because they don’t own any of the merchandising or other rights
  • Second bullet is Perkins talking about 109 people at Woodbine being fired and the downsizing of the horse racing industry


The 4pm hour was actually kind of entertaining to me just to listen to Friedman get frustrated at all the people calling in telling him Matt Cooke stepped on Karlsson’s leg on purpose.  He sounded like he couldn’t roll his eyes any harder towards the end.

Surprisingly, as odd as this roundtable was, it was pretty entertaining.  Even when Cox was around, it was a pretty good roundtable, probably because Bob wasn’t around to rant about how terrible Bargnani is during the Raptors segment.  We actually had people discussing the Raptors without talking about how Bargnani is ruining everything. xD

When Maich showed up though, I thought the roundtable got really good.  It might also be the topics, as well.  The discussion about how reporters should cover athletes as people was really interesting, and everybody there really knew the business and I thought they provided a lot of insight.  I especially was interested in Perkins’ take since he was sports editor of the Toronto Star for a while, and I thought his story about how he was told after a story that he had been fooled by the player, was really interesting.

I also thought their discussion about Michael Jordan was really interesting too, and how it spun into them talking about players who they felt were undervalued as time clouds memories.  Usually, these discussions are the opposite (players that aren’t as good as people remember them), so I thought this was interesting.

I apologize if I confused Maich and Fitz-Gerald’s opinions at any point, by the way.  I’ve never heard Fitz-Gerald’s voice before, and I’ve only heard Maich a couple of times with Bob and Brunt, so I can’t identify them as well as I can the others.  I think about 30% of the way through, I figured out who was who though. 🙂  But if there are any mistakes, that’s why.

(Sorry about there being no Thursday review, I didn’t have the time or energy to do it yesterday.)

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February 16, 2013 12:01 pm

Interesting how Bob loves to rag on the “bloated” CBC and all those “lazy union workers”, then consistently calls in sick before long weekends. Do as I say – not as I do…eh, Bob? Spockian eyebrow is raised.

February 16, 2013 7:54 pm

Friedman is starting to get really good at hosting PTS. Bodes well for when he takes over for Bob in a few years. They just need to develop a machine that drops a cookie into his lap when he gets the station/network IDs right.

February 16, 2013 7:56 pm

Liked the 6 pm hour with none of the weekly roundtable regualrs. (I would count perkins as occasional member)

I shudder to think about Shannon and Cox discussing the Pistorius story.

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
February 16, 2013 9:53 pm

I missed the Raptors segment, and to be honest, see no point in catching it on the podcast, given how little the MSM’ers really know about the state of the Raptors. Friedman is the exception though, as he cut his teeth on the Raptors at the Score, where he was fortunate enough to cover them during the Vince years.

I will comment strictly on what Amy wrote.

Firstly, Perkins. Bargnani is not a bad player and can do well in the right situation. Seriously Dave? You sure you don’t want to retract that statement. The #1 reason why you are out of touch on this one is due to what the market is prepared to pay for Bargnani. Colangelo has yet to take the bait i.e. Boozer, Gordon, Hawes, and a host of other offers we don’t know about. Keep in mind only the Boozer one is on the table officially, and Marc Stein reported on Gordon and Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio reported on Hawes so that is up in the air. Bargnani’s real trade value is such that we may keep him in the end to come off the bench, but I don’t see that happening as it will only be disruptive to the team, and we do need to cut the ties to the past and his failures here.

Cox said that the Raptors never surrounded Bargnani with the right players. Well, first of all, if Bosh, who is not a #1 option, but a supporting player, was attempted to build around and failed by Colangelo, how in the world can we even look at building around Bargnani. Bosh at least was a 20/10 performer who played an all-around game. Oh, by the way, he also went to multiple All-Star games and won a ring since he left. What a bunch of crap, we did not surround Bargnani with the right players. Bargnani was a cancer on the team. It didn’t matter who we surrounded him with, he would ruin it by not rebounding or playing help defence properly.

Friedman said a ton of talent was wasted. I do agree with Elliott here only in the sense that Smitch was able to bring out his talent, by tough love. When he was not allowed to stick Bargnani’s behind on the bench and Colangelo dictated not to be tough on him, as poor Andrea is too sensitive to criticism, we were done. The coddling of Andrea was the biggest issue, and did him a huge disservice, by allowing him to play basketball like it was a pick-up game and not the NBA.

The biggest issue on this team RE: Bargnani is how his teammates do not have his back, resent him for his lack of effort, and want him gone. Andrea himself and his agent also have asked to be moved. With Colangelo oepnly shopping him that is the only conclusion I can draw. One way or another, he will be gone by February 21st.

Raptors Devotee
Raptors Devotee
February 16, 2013 10:04 pm

I did hear the Jordan/LeBron comparison, and like Elliott, there is nothing that LeBron could do that would change my mind that MJ was and always be the best basketball player I have ever seen.

As athletic as LeBron is, MJ in the pre-HD era, was able to bring me out of my seat far more than LeBron. MJ’s competitiveness from the time he was born to now has always been evident, and LeBron who, as Fitz-Gerald aptly pointed out, quit on the Cavs, excludes him from the conversation.

February 17, 2013 4:46 pm

Dirk Hayhurst tweeted that he’s back and Rogers doing TV, web and radio. Baseball Central will start in April this year at 11. Nice move I’d say.

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