Seen & Heard – Wednesday, February 27, 2013

by Rob G

I was on the curling ice last night until late, so apologies regarding a post, though frankly it might have been a bit thin on content anyway.

I read with interest TSM’s post today regarding “where’s the beef”. I’ll share my opinion on that a little later, but please allow a preamble regarding an interview today on Off the Record (OTR) on TSN that will lead to my thoughts surrounding TSM’s post.

Cabral Richards was sitting in for Michael Landsberg today on OTR. The first interview was with the gracious golf legend Jack Nicklaus, conducted by the highly energetic Richards. Nicklaus was in town to help raise funds for the Toronto East General Hospital.

The frenetic Richards asked the Golden Bear how he would have fared today in the golf world of cell phone cameras on every hole, let alone the intense, multi-platform media coverage compared to during Nicklaus’s era.

As an aside, Jack Nicklaus would put many 73-year-old people to shame with the very active life he leads from a work, leisure, and philanthropic perspective. He still leads his golf design business, plays more tennis than golf these days, and plays a large role in charity, be it such as the event in Toronto, let alone the Memorial Tournament he hosts, held at Muirfield Village in Ohio in July, or this weekend’s Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Both events benefit the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, amongst other charities.

Back to the question Richards asked Nicklaus on the media focus today compared to his era. Nicklaus said it would have been much more difficult for him today than during his era. Nicklaus said athletes today are in a fish bowl – the coverage is constant. His answer almost had a tone of relief in it.

Which brings me to TSM’s article earlier today regarding this market and his posit regarding the lack of coverage of print media on this website. My thought on that relates to what Nicklaus said. Athletes are in a fish bowl – traditional vehicles such as the newspaper don’t deliver the news as swiftly as the crazy “Al Gore” driven new age media such as the interweb or the twitter verse (hope you got that joke) we enjoy today.

As I see it, it’s difficult today in traditional media forms to bring much to the party when so much news is instantaneous. We saw that this morning when in one segment, Sportsnet The FAN 590’s Jeff Blair was sharing how Mark Buehrle was working with Ricky Romero on his cutter, and in the next segment (thanks to Blair being in Dunedin, FL at spring training), he had Romero up to the booth to discuss what exactly he was working on. An example to the extreme perhaps, but it is the world we live in.

With news being so time sensitive, is it any wonder that sites such as Grantland.com are becoming popular. Grantland has brought long form, or essay journalism back into focus. People are still interested in stories that do the deep dive. It looks like something old is new again.

A few other short notes – I discovered with interest that TSN is posting via Twitter a recap of Mike Richards in the Morning show. It appears they’ve been doing this for the past week and a half, which lines up with when they launched the TV broadcast of the 7-8am hour. To be clear, the entire show lineup is being posted.

It was fun to hear McCown poke the bear today when he got on air at 4pm. As is often the case, at least according to McCown, something else was on Sportsnet besides him (usually it is his favorite sport soccer or tennis). It always brings out the grump in him. Today, he was suggesting that Sportsnet is cheap because they were simulcasting an Oriole/Yankee spring training game, intimating that they should be showing a Jays spring training game. He brought up a great point that the Jays spring training games on the weekend showed strong numbers. Problem is he left one key point out of the discussion, as the Jays had already played at 1pm today.

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