Prime Time Sports Review for Friday, April 5, 2013

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Listener Phone Calls with Bob McCown

  • Calls are about the Jays, John Farrell and media bias, Bob thinks the print media isn’t biased but that some of the people who work for the teams like broadcasters can be homers

5pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Bob McCown, Stephen Brunt, John Shannon and Michael Grange

First segment: The Toronto Blue Jays and expectations

  • Roundtable talks about the Jays’ slow start and the expectations around them, Brunt thinks the expectations are fair given their off-season movies
  • Grange talks about how Encarnacion and Bautista have had short track records of being stars and so when they don’t hit immediately, people are concerned

Second segment: John Farrell’s return to Toronto

  • Roundtable discusses Farrell’s return and if Farrell had one foot out the door while he was managing the team last year

Third segment: The Leafs trading for Ryan O’Byrne from the Colorado Avalanche

  • Shannon says O’Byrne is a defensive defenseman that Randy Carlyle likes
  • Grange says that Carlyle seems to hate defenseman that are like how he used to play in the NHL, Shannon says that when he won the Norris Trophy it was when all the other great defensemen were injured or having off-seasons and Carlyle was a physical defenseman

6pm hour – Roundtable continues

First segment: Are the Leafs hiding Joffrey Lupul’s concussion?

  • Brunt and Grange are critical of what the Leafs are saying about Lupul’s injury
  • Bob rants about how referees don’t know what’s a penalty and miss calls that the NHL later suspends people for or investigates for a possible suspension
  • Shannon says the lockout shortened season has tired out the referees and that’s why

Second segment: The NHL trade deadline shows

  • Bob rants about how stupid the over-coverage of the NHL trade deadline is and talks about how the CBC and The Score have both stopped covering it
  • Bob says that it’s just an immature fight between Sportsnet and TSN and who can top who and has nothing to do with ratings
  • Shannon defends the coverage
  • Grange says that the NHL should do something to make the deadline more interesting for television by forcing trades to be made in the last 3 days leading up to the deadline
  • Shannon says it will hurt the integrity of the team, Grange points out that the NHL has a history of changing their product with arbitrary rules to make it more entertaining to a TV audience

Third segment: Prime Time Bullets

  • First bullet is about the Hockey Hall of Fame chairman and CEO, Bill Hay, retiring
  • Bob hopes that this will mean the HHoF will become more open with its selection process and change the way players make it into the Hall, Shannon says that Pat Quinn will be the new chariman and thinks that he will be progressive
  • Second bullet is about Mark Cuban talking about drafting Brittney Griner, a female college basketball player
  • Grange thinks this is Cuban trying to get attention and he’s lying, everybody agrees that Griner couldn’t compete in the NBA


I didn’t really enjoy this roundtable because of the lack of diversity of topics.  It was two Jays segments, and 3 hockey segments, two of which have been beaten to death on PTS already (the trade deadline is boring, the NHL needs to handle concussions better.)  Also, Shannon was at his derailing worst today, and he would make really bad jokes, or scream out an exagerrated statement whenever Bob was on a topic he didn’t want him to be on.  Like, when Bob was complaining about trade deadline day, Shannon kept interrupting by claiming that Bob just wanted free stuff.   There wasn’t very much flow to the roundtable, and there was a lot of Bob vs. Shannon.

Bob’s new hobbyhorse seems to be that the NHL referees don’t know what’s a penalty anymore.  He’s brought this up a few times now, and usually he tries to make it about how this is the league’s fault because the referees no longer know what the league wants allowed, though today he didn’t get that far.

I thought Brunt and Grange hit on something really interesting during the first Jays segment that I wish they talked more about, which was Bautista’s sudden superstardom (and to a lesser extent, Encarnacion suddenly becoming a star.)  It’s something I’ve wondered about too, and I’d like to have heard more thoughts about how they think it’s affected him, and how he’s viewed.  I think Brunt had an interesting suggestion that Bautista might feel that he’s still being treated like a journeyman rather than a star.

Given how hot a topic media bias has suddenly become on PTS, I would have liked to have heard a segment about that, especially with both Grange and Brunt being former newspaper reporters now turned Sportsnet personalities.  And Shannon’s experience running television might have been interesting to hear from too, and about how he sees the role of personalities on TV as “journalists” versus print guys.  I’d have preferred that over two Jays segments that really didn’t have much meat on the bone, and hockey segments about the usual suspects.

It’s strange that the Mike Rice/Rutgers situation wasn’t mentioned at all.  NCAA problems, especially treatment of athletes, are usually something that gets Bob interested and passionate.

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