Seen & Heard – Monday, February 25, 2013

by Rob G

Today was a run of the mill day from my chair. Much chat regarding the Leafs, Daytona, and the Oscars. The upcoming Raptor’s and Leaf’s games received the usual treatment.

What was clear this morning was FAN 590 mid morning host Jeff Blair developing what I’ll term a mild “hate on” for former Blue Jays manager, now Red Sox skipper John Farrell. After the opening series, the Red Sox are in town starting April 5th, and that first game will be very interesting in terms of seeing the vitriol he will experience from the Blue Jays fans. Frankly, that kind of behavior is not my cup of tea – no different than the insipid behavior that the Raptor’s Andrea Bargnani is being subjected to. It is further proof that some of those inhabiting Toronto stadia are not the sharpest knives in the drawer. That being said, they’re fans, they pay for a ticket, so they have the right to do as they will. It doesn’t make it right, but it is what it is.

Following up on the story last week regarding her admission on a battle with depression, former tennis pro Rebecca Marino was interviewed today on TSN’s Off The Record. Host Michael Landsberg also suffers with the same struggle and they both gave a window into the anti-social behavior that is part of their depression. Landsberg aptly pointed out the irony of that behavior, given his profession. I appreciated Marino’s admission that she didn’t really think she had depression at first, chalking it up to shyness. It made me think that it must be difficult to come to the conclusion that there is a problem. As usual, when this story first came out, some media made the simple conclusion that the cyber-bullying she spoke of was the bigger issue, and questioned whether she should grow a thicker skin. Marino mentioned at the end of the interview that she wants to get a job and wants to go to school. Ironic isn’t it, given so many of us want to be skilled in sport, and be on TV.

I know golf is not a sport that enjoys widespread discussion in this forum, but given the slow day (from my perspective), I thought I’d share with you an interview tonight from one of my favourite shows, Feherty, on the Golf Channel. His show has had some wonderful interviews since its inception 2 years ago, and tonight he interviewed one of the game’s greats, Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus demonstrated exactly the man he is – one of the giants in the game, but a humble, family man first. Feherty’s connection to Canada is an interesting one. The Irishman is an alcoholic and has also struggled with depression. His battle with the bottle came to a head at a Skin’s game in PEI many years ago. He shared that story in one of his earlier shows during an interview with Tom Watson. Watson and Nicklaus were players in that Skin’s game, and both men recognized the demons Feherty was dealing with. They arranged to fly Feherty to Watson’s ranch in Kansas to begin the road to recovery. I highly recommend that interview, let alone all the other episodes if you’re a fan of the game, Feherty, or both. Feherty brings a wonderful wit to the interviews, and there’s as much about the human side of a golfer’s life as there is about being a pro on the tour.

With converter in hand, I witnessed some vintage Leaf action on Leafs TV this evening. I know I was one of about 37 people watching. What I re-discovered was a time when a goal scored by the home team wasn’t met with a fog horn blowing. I heard an organic, sincere, sustained cheer for a goal scored by the Leafs. I know there’s zero chance of it happening, but if we’re really a hockey town, why do we need contrived noise after a goal is scored to drive more crowd noise? And exactly what is the connection between Toronto and a fog-horn?

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