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.

Photo available here

About the Author
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
April 7, 2013 12:35 pm

No to pick on Brunt, but I did chuckle watching the Jays game Friday night. Just hours before, he was going on about Emilio Bonifacio, and how he looks like the answer at second base, even comparing him to somebody named Alomar – then he goes and commits three errors and strikes out four times. One game, I know, but funny nonetheless.

Btw, there has to be a drinking game attached to Buck pronouncing Boney-facio…

April 7, 2013 1:53 pm

I liked how Bob pointed out the long stretches when Brunt didn’t say anything.

He must have been checking his blackberry.

Nan Young Lee
Nan Young Lee
April 7, 2013 2:30 pm

How is the trade deadline coverage not about ratings? It was created by TSN and became a huge ratings winner which is why the other networks got in. Apparently this year the ratings were down and the day was not as exciting as other years, but how is TSN et al supposed to know that going in. There are boring games in all sports too, unfortunately you don’t know before you show or watch them.

Even though the ratings are down for both TSN/Sportsnet, probably TSN won the ratings war (again) which is really why Bob is upset. Apparently his 4 segments, sponsored by Jurassic Park, didn’t pull the audience like he thought it would. When the networks show the Superbowl or the Jays games the ratings have nothing to do with TSN or Sportsnet, they would get the same numbers on the other station. Now, the World Juniors would be a hit on either station, but it was created by TSN. The trade deadline show and Sportscentre is based on the stations’ personalities and presentation.

Why should TSN change its trade deadline coverage because Sportsnet can’t get the ratings to make putting up the reporters at hotel rooms, etc economically viable? If one station wants to start later why can’t they do it on their own?

Everything was fine when TSN invented the trade deadline show. Then the incompetent Sportsnet came in with their “great” ideas (a table like a hockey rink!), the charisma challenged 101 ex-GMs, etc., and laid a colossal egg.

Where did the bozos of Sportsnet learn their trade?
Who told them they could work with men?
Bob tweeted before the trade deadline show, “Anyone still watching TSN…?” Apparently thinking his segments would create big numbers for Sportsnet.

Sportsnet, you want to know the first rule, you’d know if you ever spent a day in your life not shilling… never open your mouth till you know what the shot is.

Here Al Pacino represents TSN, while Kevin Spacey is the embodiment of Sportsnet (warning: don’t watch this in public)

Mike V
Mike V
April 7, 2013 2:34 pm

Nan, how much do you make from Bell Media doing this?
I could always use some extra money on the side.

Mike V
Mike V
April 7, 2013 3:14 pm

Way off topic but did anyone else catch this response by the President of Bell Media on sports broadcast costs? Never heard of the website before (maybe its a big deal among industry types?) and the article itself wasn’t that newsworthy but not only did it apparently warrant the letter, the PR team at TSN sent out a tweet alerting everyone of it.

I don’t know about anyone else but I found his “facts” dubious and his argument unconvincing. However, the Globe has also been doing a full-court press this week about cord-cutting and how even though it’s slowly increasing, its a terrible idea in their mind. I’m wondering if TSN is feeling a little heat or seeing the landscape change and that more than anything motivated the letter. It’s no secret that the Achilles heel of TSN (and all sports channels for that matter) is a significant decline in their subscriber base.

April 8, 2013 8:44 am

I heard the fans booed Dickey off the field.

I realize Dickey guy won the Cy Young last year but he’s a career .500 pitcher. I expect a 12-11 record from him this year – not much else.

Don Mandrie
Don Mandrie
April 8, 2013 10:00 am

Is it just me or is PTS more enjoyable when Damien Cox isn’t around?

Mike V
Mike V
April 8, 2013 11:34 am

“I heard the drunken, bandwagonning morons booed Dickey off the field. ”

Fixed that for you Roger.

“but he’s a career .500 pitcher”

This is about as relevent as saying he wears yellow shoelaces.

April 8, 2013 1:05 pm

@Mike V
A pitcher’s record is not relevant?

Mike V
Mike V
April 8, 2013 2:30 pm

About as relevant as his shoelaces.

Darren Johnston (@AFRAUDHATER)
Darren Johnston (@AFRAUDHATER)
April 8, 2013 6:36 pm

Pitching “Wins” might be the most irrelevant stat in all of Sports, case closed, anybody who follows the game knows that.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x