by Rob G
Yesterday was a run of the mill day sports wise. There was lots of chatter lamenting the Leafs loss in Tampa, and trade speculation with the NBA trade deadline coming today at 3pm. But then mid afternoon struck, and the big story of the day hit with Lindy Ruff being relieved of his coaching duties after 16 years on the job with the Buffalo Sabres.
Before diving into that, the other story gaining traction is Canadian tennis player Rebecca Marino’s battle with depression, as well as her struggle with taunting via social media. The story was brought to light in the New York Times on the weekend by writer Ben Rothenberg. He was on Prime Time Sports on Tuesday in the 4:20 – 4:40 block, and there has been much discussion since her situation surfaced.
The best interview yesterday was in the 5 – 5:20 pm slot on Prime Time Sports with guest host Gord Stellick and co-host Damien Cox. They had Leafs coach Randy Carlyle on, and he gave us not only a window to what it is like the day you lose a coaching gig, but shared what he learned from his prior role(s) coming to the Leafs. Carlyle was clear that you do reflect, learn, and change, which was in contrast to a 6 pm Prime Time Sports interview with the affable Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, who suggested he has taken his coaching philosophies from job to job over the years.
The differences lie between the two characters and their respective situations. The biggest change in Carlyle is that the gruff character we heard about coming into his role in Toronto has not been seen. He has been, for the most part, an open book, ably handling the media, and last night’s interview demonstrated that. As for Boudreau, he has the nickname “Gabby” for a reason, so change in how he carries himself wasn’t required. He barely had time to breath between his firing in Washington and taking the head coaching reigns in Anaheim two days later. Reflection was not an option. Both interviews are worth the listen.
As for TSN Drive with Dave Naylor, he has delivered what I expected, bringing instant credibility to the main chair. If you’re looking for shtick, move along. It’s early, so we haven’t got a glimpse into the personal side of Naylor the way listeners have with Bob McCown and the various beliefs that he shares. But with McCown off this week dealing with illness, I’ve found myself flipping to TSN 1050 more frequently, as I know Naylor will ask the pertinent questions. Perhaps that will be TSN Drive’s calling card in its battle with Prime Time Sports for listeners/viewers.