Prime Time Sports Review for Friday, May 3, 2013

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Bob McCown hosting

First segment: Interview with Neil Smith, Sportsnet hockey analyst

  • Bob thinks the Gryba hit did not warrant a suspension, Smith says that the hit should be made illegal because the rules need to be changed to prevent big guys from hitting small guys at high speeds that didn’t happen in the past
  • Bob says the problem isn’t that players are bigger now but that there’s been a philosophical change in how the game is played, that in the past checks were to get pucks away from players, and now checking is to punish and take out other players
  • Bob does his usual rant about how the NHL doesn’t want to change things, and the NFL changes rules all the time and nobody angsts about how you can’t change the game
  • Neil Smith talks about how boarding is no longer called the way it should, and agrees with Bob that the culture needs to change and the rules need to change to change the culture

Second segment: Interview with Glenn Crouter, Woodbine Racetrack senior Vice President of media relations

  • Crouter talks about the new season of horse racing at Woodbine and what to look forward to

5pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Bob McCown, Stephen Brunt, John Shannon and Tim Micallef

First segment: NHL playoffs

  • Bob thinks that the Leafs have no shot against the Bruins, Brunt says he wants to wait until game 2 to make a decision
  • The roundtable don’t like Vancouver’s chances against San Jose

Second segment: The Toronto Blue Jays’ poor play

  • Brunt says there isn’t anything you can really do to fix the Jays right now outside of bring up Jim Negrych from AAA and seeing how he does in the Majors, but it would mean giving up on Izturis
  • Bob wonders about firing the hitting coach, Brunt says the hitting coach can’t make the players hit

Third segment: Was Clay Buchholz cheating?

  • Bob thinks Buchholz was doing something illegal and wonders why the umpires don’t do anything, Shannon says that the umpires won’t do anything without a protest from the opposing team

6pm hour – Roundtable continues

First segment: Should the NHL have suspended Eric Gryba for his hit on Lars Eller?

  • Bob and Shannon think that it didn’t warrant a suspension and the NHL suspended Gryba because of how bad it looked
  • Bob yells about referees being blind and missing the Grabovski hit

Second segment: Jason Collins coming out

  • Shannon hopes for a future where being gay is no longer an issue
  • Bob wonders if we still are waiting for a star athlete to come out for stuff to change
  • Brunt talks about how he was going to do a biography on a gay athlete but the project fell through because there still isn’t a comfort level of talking about gay athletes, he refuses to give more details as Bob presses, but will only say that the athlete was fine with the biography and it was cancelled elsewhere in the chain

Third segment: Prime Time Bullets

  • First bullet is about Kobe Bryant’s mom selling his memoribilia that he didn’t want, and Bryant trying to buy it from her, some jokes are made
  • Second bullet is about Mickey Mantle’s bat going up for auction and being x-rayed and cork being discovered, some jokes are made
  • Third bullet is about the Cubs wanting to put a video screen in Wrigley Field that would block rooftop viewers from watching the game, Bob thinks there is a compromise to be had

Thoughts:

Bob got to talk about his favourite topic again today: violence in the NHL, and he hit all his usual notes about the culture of the game, about how the game was played back in the day, and about how the NFL got rid of hitting the quarterback late by punishing it.  And he also added in his new favourite hobbyhorse: that the NHL referees have no clue what to call a penalty, and got into it with Shannon about it, as they always do whenever Bob brings it up.

I found Tim oddly quiet today, probably because a lot of topics were dominated by Bob, Shannon and Brunt.  Bob seemed extremely animated on a lot of topics and was pretty loud.  He seemed particularly combatative about his certainty that the Leafs would lose to the Bruins.  Brunt wasn’t even disagreeing with him, just saying that he needed to see a second game before deciding that the Leafs are outclassed, and Bob seemed to argue that.

Brunt’s reveal that he wasn’t allowed to do a standard biographical piece about a gay athlete where it would just casually come up that they had a same-gender partner (not overtly, just mentioning their partner, as you’d mention the wife or girlfriend of a straight male player or husband or boyfriend of a straight female one), was interesting, possibly even more so because he was so circumspect about it, which implies he’s afraid of getting in trouble about telling more.  Bob tried really hard to get more out of him but Brunt wouldn’t say more, except that it wasn’t from the athlete’s side that the resistance came from, which appears to imply that it was production/management side.  It is disappointing that he wasn’t allowed to profile a gay athlete the same way he’d profile a straight one though. :\

I think we may be reaching that time of year when it starts to get hot and Bob is clearly just itching to go on summer vacation.  Usually he gets grumpier and grumpier as we get closer to June and July.

Photo available here

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