Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

by mike in boston @mikeinboston

 

Week in Review

 

Since there has been so much content posted here this week, I’ll keep my column shorter than usual. It was really great to read people’s reactions to the posts by TSM and Robg. The discussion got me thinking about whether aging changes your tolerance for sports radio shenanigans, or whether said shenanigans have become worse in the last few years.

 

One interesting thing to think about is how the introduction of Twitter has changed sports radio. It used to be that hosts were wedded to phone calls to generate material to fill the air. But now they can selectively interact with what people are saying in real-time on Twitter. This has changed the nature of most shows, but especially the day time shows that rely on audience driven content rather than interviews or analysis.

 

I’ll save more discussion of this topic for another day, but for now I’ll just add that begging for Tweets has replaced begging for phone calls as the go-to play when needing to fill time on radio. You can listen to a whole segment that consists entirely of “here’s what people are saying on Twitter!!!” and “just got this Tweet from @LeafsRool69, do you agree? Send us your tweets!!!”

 

For me, this is not good radio.

 

Musical Chairs

 

Shortly after last week’s column on the moves in sports journalism, the news broke that Bruce Arthur was leaving the National Post for the Toronto Star. This is a gigantic loss for the National Post. My biggest question is this: why didn’t Arthur go to the Globe?

 

There are several possibilities. One is that they didn’t want him. This is possible. His style is not for everyone, and the Globe may have higher standards for how their employees use Twitter. Another is that he didn’t want them. This strikes me as unlikely. No paper has the journalistic weight of the Globe. Another yet is that the timing just didn’t work out, and that by the time he considered leaving, the Globe had already hired Kelly. Hopefully we get the truth eventually. No one in the current media scene could replace Brunt, but Arthur is a better columnist than Kelly, in my opinion.

 

With Brunt, Cox, and Blair now retired from journalism, it will be very interesting to see whether new people will appear on the scene at these papers. As mentioned last week, Feschuk seems like an adequate replacement for Cox, and Kelly is an improvement over Blair. This means that the Star has at least one vacancy (Feschuk’s old role). Perhaps Arthur was hired to replace both Kelly and Feschuk. The Globe has remained fairly stagnant since Brunt left, and perhaps Kelly is the only addition they plan on making. My hope is that both sports departments clear out some more overpaid legacy types (when was the last time anyone read something good by Roy MacGregor or David Shoalts?) and hire some good young people to carry them forward.

 

One really has to wonder what will happen to the sports department at the National Post in light of this loss and their recent financial woes. The very talented John Lott is a prime candidate to be snapped up next. The Sun may be in need of a baseball person soon, so that’s a logical fit. But I have no idea if Lott would consider moving to that sports department. It’s not really a credibility upgrade over where he currently works. The Globe could certainly use him, but they seem to be moving away from straight reporters. I wonder how Lott would do in a more opinion-based role. I would love to see it happen.

 

NFL Cheerleaders & Fair Wages

 

One big sports & social issues story that is brewing concerns the treatment of cheerleaders by NFL teams. If you have not been following this story, several teams are being sued by current or former women who claim that their working conditions violated U.S. labour laws. The main point of contention is the mandatory free appearances the cheerleaders were required to make as part of their contracts. When you factor these in, they end up making less than minimum wage, or so they claim.

 

This week’s story came courtesy of the Buffalo Jills, and the report that their contract includes rules for how to wash their “intimate areas.” This rivals the previous high mark set by the Ravenettes, where cheerleaders were measured against the “jiggle test” to see if they could continue their employment.

 

Most of the discussion centres on the question of whether such contracts are demeaning. This is hard to dispute but also hard to get all that worked up about. I’m sure that people employed by Disney on Ice or Cirque du Soleil are subject to exacting physical standards as well. If you go in to a profession that treats appearance as a BFOQ then you can’t complain when they enforce it.

 

The real issue for me is the unpaid labour. We have seen new regulations looming for how unpaid interns are treated in Canada, and this seems in the same vein. It’s wrong to exploit people’s willingness to work for free. No one wants to work for free, and they only do it because that’s the price they are forced to pay to work at all in their chosen industry. I hope the cheerleaders win these cases, and that their compensation arrangement is altered. With the amount of money NFL teams make, to be requiring free appearances from their cheerleaders is patently unfair.

 

Quick Hits

 

Gary’s NHL continued to live up to its own standards with respect to attempts to injure. Giving Cooke 7 games for his knee-on-knee hit would be outrageous were it not the case that we’ve seen it all  before. My hope is that the NHLPA’s membership eventually votes in tougher rules for parlous play. Presumably the number of players who hate guys like Cooke vastly outweighs the number of guys who don’t. Put it to an anonymous vote: do these idiots belong in the league? The owners and Gary will never get rid of them, so the change will have to come from the players themselves.

 

Ron Maclean’s wisdom seems to come mostly from sitting next to a guy who is as thick as they come. When left to speak in his own voice, things didn’t go very well recently. By suggesting that French refs shouldn’t have worked the Canadiens game he mostly embarrassed himself, but by extension he also tarnished the refs, the French, and the NHL. See the linked article for some of the Twitter response to Maclean’s comments. The good news for Ron, is that Cherry came to his defence. That will surely help restore his image.

 

The Raps are down 2-1 to Fuck Brooklyn. The level of buy-in from the fans has been outstanding. The series is far from over, but I wonder if the We (are) The North campaign will be considered a failure if the Raps lose in the 1st round. We’ve seen with the Jays that courting the casual fan works well when there is lots of excitement around the team (anyone remember Love This Team?). But when you lose in disappointing ways, the marketing looks really hollow. I worry that We The North will become a punch line if the Raps flame out. It might have been better to wait until next year to roll that out.

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • Dear Dave Naylor: I’m really happy with your show for the most part and I like your shtick-less professional approach. But for the love of God, stop giggling.

 

  • Dear Don Kollins: iTunes informs me that PTS featured Cox, Shannon, and Butch Carter on the roundtable. Serious question: who are you trying to entertain with this product?

 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time

mike (in boston)

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Alex
Alex
April 26, 2014 9:44 am

As i said to Ami yesterday, the only way to make that roundtable worse on paper would have been to chamge Bobcat for Sid.

I skipped almost all of PTS and most of Naylor this week due to all the basketball talk. Logical programming for the target audience, but not for me.

And for you gamers, Hayhurst just released a Bejeweled/Puzzle Quest game fir ios centered around baseball and the power ups are all PEDs

Raptors Devotee
April 26, 2014 10:04 am

I love how you inserted (are) into #WeTheNorth which I refuse to respond to the street campaign but only use #WeAreTheNorth on Twitter. Obviously I am not the demographic MLSE is targeting but I don’t care. WeTheNorth just sounds plain stupid to me, and by emphasizing the “Are” to make it grammatically correct it also sounds a hell of a lot better, at least to me.

MikeInBoston, you are missing the big picture though. The WeTheNorth campaign is not connected at all to the Raptors winning the 1st round against Brooklyn. Masai has made it clear that these playoffs are all about development looking ahead and seeing how well the roster responds, thus allowing him to make the right deals in the off-season. Having said that, Casey is of course coaching to win, and it would not surprise me if Ross is not starting Game #4, as he has had the deer in the headlights look to him all series, while JV has not been rattled, and actually embraced and performed under the big lights.

This campaign is intended to attract free agents, as we are trying to be the Oakland Raiders in their heyday here. Whether it works to appear anti-establishment, which is a bit of a joke, this is MLSE here fabricating the whole thing along with Drake, not exactly the right rapper for that role, time will tell, but so far the reaction overall has been positive by pretty much everybody.

As far as losing in disappointing ways, don’t blame the Raptors, who granted have not played a complete game yet, but the refs mandate is to call the series favouring Brooklyn, so they play the Heat in the next round. Brutal calls favouring the Nets have been a constant, and for the Raps to win, they have to win decisively, no easy task, so they circumvent the calls.

I heard Tim Donaghy on the Blair show after Game #1, and he made it quite clear how before the series, the refs are given a case study on the series and how to call it with relation to all the players. His point was that the refs are dictated to call it a certain way, and in this case favouring Brooklyn, and if they choose not to, they do not get to stay in the league long and get pay raises. While Donaghy is a scumbag himself, I have no doubt what he said happens, as he has no reason to lie in this case, and it would be disproven already if not true.

Btw, the WeTheNorth campaign was supposed to be introduced next year, but when Leiweke saw how it looked, he told them to implement it now, as there was no reason waiting. This shows me it is not a flash in the pan marketing slogan, but the direction that MLSE is going looking ahead.

Raptors Devotee
April 26, 2014 10:10 am

Btw, what happened to the dedicated Raptors coverage in this site? http://torontosportsmedia.com/raptors is very limited. Rob G wrote a blurb on Barkley on with Tim and Sid this week, but prior, there was nothing since February. With the Raptors being the biggest surprise, overachieving sports team story in Toronto, maybe ever, the astonishing lack of coverage is a bit embarrassing as far as I am concerned. I try to pitch in where I can, but there is not enough content to do so.

Sam
Sam
April 26, 2014 10:31 am

Slightly off-topic but would really like to see a dedicated thread where everyone can simply list their current listening habits… to get a flavour of what people are consuming all in one place. As people’s habits change, they can update the thread. The thread could be linked on the front page.

On Arthur – I had the same thought, why didn’t he go to the Globe.

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
April 26, 2014 12:56 pm

this is MLSE here fabricating the whole thing along with Drake, not exactly the right rapper for that role, time will tell,

You mean Drake the Fake from the mean streets of Forest Hill isn’t as hip as Brunt and company claimed he is? No way! I’d also be shocked if “Fuck Brooklyn” rather than being a caught up in the moment event was planned out in advance. Corporations like MLSE would never be that devious and cynical, right?

According to Zelkovich last Saturday night’s TFC match got a grand total of 35,000 viewers. No wonder talk radio ignores them.

Raptors Devotee
April 26, 2014 1:09 pm

(Another) Andrew, of course “Fuck Brooklyn” was planned out in advance, you can tell by watching Leiweke’s smiling reaction to it, as he knew it was coming, and did not flinch.

Curt
Curt
April 26, 2014 3:43 pm

If that was planned, then it was a very stupid thing to do. Bulletin board material.

sylvestb
sylvestb
April 27, 2014 9:46 am

The Globe wanted someone more dedicated to print than broadcast. Things went downhill with Blair after he got his radio gig and Kelly, although he does radio and TV infrequently, doesn’t have the sort of commitment Arthurs does. He’s on TSN Radio a lot and The Reporters, too. (BTW, Kelly’s new photo at the Globe already needs a do-over.)

We needed more about Butch Carter here… alright? He’s a disaster on radio when he’s not talking basketball (and even sometimes when he is). He’s a good man but he giggled all the way the through the Jesse Katz interview with about Yasiel Puig — not exactly giggle-worthy material. He’s the Dr. Julius Hibbert of sports radio, alright? And what’s with ending every sentence with “alright?” Bob, we know you like Butch more than Damien (who doesn’t??) but he’s not the answer.

Someone please get Bryan Hayes a co-host in the afternoon. I can’t listen when he’s alone. I like his voice and I like him but he needs someone to banter back and forth with. His lengthy soliloquies make me choose another preset.
He’s too young to draw on his life experience and his opinions often sound more like filler than legit opinion.

I find myself listening more and more to Naylor. Yes, the giggling can be distracting, but he does research and knows about important stories once he goes on air. And when he starts talking about NHL players he doesn’t immediately choose one from the pre-1970 era. Naylor asks intelligent questions that often get to the point. Bob’s interviewing skills can be exceptional but they can sometimes head down a completely irrelevant path in an attempt to find a different angle. The biggest issue with Naylor’s show is the CFL coverage — which really is a TSN issue. Dave, we don’t care. We will never care and I change the station EVERY TIME the CFL comes up.

And when did Damien become the PTS watchdog?? On Friday he called out Shannon for his “sweeping generalities” about Canadian families and took down Ken Reid a few weeks ago. He somehow sees his role as keeping everyone else in check. I want to hear Bob take down Damien for some of his ridiculous “contrarian” BS.

About a week ago I was watching Hockey Central at Noon from the Bell Centre and Kypreos pronounced leadership “loodership” and Vorachek “Vorchuck” and then the video went black and then returned. Then the sound faded. Then the video went out again and again. I stopped watching. When you add the beloved Damien Cox to the equation, hockey on Rogers could be a nightmare. Think Blue Jays circa 2013.

Sportsnet has too many unlikeable hockey people working with too many technical people who are largely unproven. In addition to the $5.3 billion spent on hockey, Rogers also spent another $4 billion on wireless spectrum in order to deliver more video to its wireless customers (read hockey coverage). There is a lot riding on this NHL deal and Scott Moore and Keith Pelley no longer have the sports-friendly Nadir at the helm. This could get ugly, fast.

Raptors Devotee
April 27, 2014 10:10 am

Regarding Butch Carter, who we can officially call a FOB now, he has also been a mainstay with Tim and Sid now as well. I do enjoy listening to his insights on the Raptors and the NBA, but outside that role is a bit of a stretch. He has improved in one area, his comfort factor on air, and he has lightened up, especially on Tim and Sid, where he pokes fun at himself in a self-deprecating way. Butch is an expert it seems at the psychology of sports and what it takes to motivate and get the most out of players, but in real life, his coaching experience was very limited and he has never been given the opportunity again to apply it himself.

Jamally
Jamally
April 27, 2014 11:30 am

That 35,000 for the TFC is awful. I think MLS will never get the coverage they want in Toronto. At the end of the day MLS is a tier 2/3 soccer league. Everyone knows it so unless MLS becomes a major player in pro sports somehow, this is the peak. TFC can sign the best players on the planet, but nobody gets pumped up to see Real Salt Lake or FC Dallas.

alex
alex
April 27, 2014 2:24 pm

I presume Canada (the GTA) has the same prob as US where people prefer Euro footy to MLS. Us/canada has best leagues in all sports except footy. MlS is generously the 15-20th best league in world.

Nan Young Lee
Nan Young Lee
April 27, 2014 10:08 pm

On 590 the Raptor’s post game show hosted by noted basketball expert Roger Lajoie.

1050 not even bothering with a post game show. Now airing a James Duthie and Roberto Luongo interview.

Would this happen in any other NBA market?

Nan Young Lee
Nan Young Lee
April 27, 2014 10:31 pm

Correction: When I switched over to 1050 after the Raptors game I didn’t know they were airing the Ducks-Stars game and were in the 2nd intermission.

Maybe next season we’ll get Raptor post-game shows with their own specialized hosts such as the Leaf/Jays post-game shows have. Or maybe the Raptor broadcasts don’t bring in enough money to justify this.

alex
alex
April 28, 2014 9:01 am

It would happen in markets where a station had conflicting programming.

Station X carries baseball and basketbsll.

They carry playoff gamr and as son as game is over, they switch to baseball.

Toronto is so odd with both stations carrying games of teams they bothh own.

You had to listen carefully during promos to figure iut which stations had a random leafs game.

Robert
Robert
April 28, 2014 10:34 am

NBA TV carries Raptors Post Up after games, similar to the Leaf post game show on Leafs TV.

HRM
HRM
April 28, 2014 6:20 pm

Its interesting that Mike asks if Arthur’s use of Twitter could have had anything to do with the fact he did not end up at the Globe. I wonder how much control the various media corporations have over the social media accounts of the journalists/broadcasters they employ. Some of the personalities’ Twitter accounts seem to be personal accounts while others have the Network’s or Paper’s name right in the account – is this corporate policy or the individual’s choice I wonder. That said, even if the account is a personal account it is still featured prominently on the corporate website. If this is the case does the network or paper not have some control/responsibility/liability for what is posted on that account?

Mike S
Mike S
April 28, 2014 6:27 pm

There were a ton of people on Twitter (some of which are supposed to be “objective”) saying that the refs are out to get the Raptors in this series with Brooklyn…………but when almost every call went the Raptors way in the last five minutes of game 4 those people were strangely silent………..I wonder why that is ???

Nan Young Lee
Nan Young Lee
April 28, 2014 7:16 pm

TSN PR ‏@TSN_PR 1h
Toronto Raptors’ Game 4 ranked as the most-watched sporting event this week in the GTA, ahead of all NHL playoff games.

No Canadian NHL teams on, but still an impressive rise from the Raptors’ MLS-like ratings last year.

Forget about walking on water, broadcasting Deity John Shannon can play basketball on the water:

https://twitter.com/JSportsnet/status/456093518151180288/photo/1

Mike S
Mike S
April 28, 2014 8:50 pm

About a week ago the guys on the HNIC panel were talking about bad officiating………….Friedman told a story about baseball umpire Don Denkinger………….he said that many people think one of the reasons why Denkinger died in his early 50’s was because he was still haunted by the bad call he made in the 1985 World Series

After they returned from a commercial break Ron MacLean sheepishly informed the viewers that Denkinger was indeed still alive and is now 77 years old

Friedman almost always gets his facts right so I was surprised he made this type of mistake………..he usually beats himself up pretty bad when he makes an error so I’m sure he felt pretty bad about this one

Raptors Devotee
April 29, 2014 1:07 am

Mike S, there were actually 5 calls made in the last five minutes of the game, and during crunch time all 5 of them went the Raptors way, so you are actually incorrect that “almost” every call went their way when they all did.

Having said that before the series started I was concerned about the refs, due to mostly the Nets veteran players having enough respect earned to get the benefit of calls, plus they are savvy enough to know how to work the system. On a second front, yeah, I do believe that the league wants Brooklyn to win the series, and as Donaghy said on Blair, the pre-series league mandated meeting to review how the series is to be called, from the pace to player-by-player, is done in a way where there is favouritism applied to a certain team if the league wants it.

A huge part of home court advantage is related to the fans getting on the refs to influence them to give your team more calls, as they are humans, and susceptible to a hostile fanbase. Certain refs more than others, but it is all the fans best interests to bitch like crazy on calls against the Raptors. When Sid today said he does not want to hear any fans complaining about the refereeing, alluding to the calls that went the Raptors way at the end of the game, is nuts, and he also said he would unfriend anybody on Twitter that bitches about any referee calls.

F.Y.I. the Raptors front office staff themselves were not pleased with the refereeing to date, and felt that there were way too many foul calls on the Raps versus the Nets. Part of that was setting up future calls in your favour, but I do believe they were genuine, as per Casey’s post game comments on it post-game.

The Raptors must focus on the games and not the refs, and have to play through it, and not get techs, but for the fans, it is all-out war to influence the refs and make life miserable for the Nets. Raps have a huge edge with a rabid fanbase while the Nets, well let’s just say that Brooklyn has not embraced the Nets quite yet. 400 Raptor fans at the game made more noise in the 4th quarter than the rest of the Nets fans, so what does that tell you.

Raptors Devotee
April 29, 2014 8:43 am

mike (in boston) I just realized it was actually unfollow, he was referring to Twitter, not Facebook, but the principal is the same. Yeah, he puts on his fake tough guy acts when he goes on and rants for 10 minutes, but this one especially was at a complete level of absurdity.

Raptors Devotee
April 29, 2014 9:08 am

Silly Sid rants aside, and annoying sound effects, which I wish would both go, the rest of the show is right up my alley. I am on social media all the time, and their show perfectly aligns with it. They cover the Raptors in depth, at least enough where I can tolerate it. They do their homework on the sports scene, and are on top of breaking news.

Basically, Sid is like McCown in a lot of ways, but not lazy, and actually watched as many games as he can and is tapped into the media. McCown is spoon fed by his producer likely and they just hope his entertainment value is sufficient to carry the show, as it is no longer based on his knowledge of what is going on in the sports world today, more like from 30 years ago.

Their guests are actually pretty good, and add to the show. I am not a hockey puck, morning radio on both sports stations are a pass for me. Tim and Sid right now is the only show I listen to regularly, and I am busy during the drive period, but go back and forth between Naylor and McCown, but it seems the FOB factor, and way too much Shannon, means far less of McCown these days.

GreyCountyMike
GreyCountyMike
April 29, 2014 8:33 pm

Re MIB’s comment about Roy MacGregor: Dead on! The guy hasn’t written an original or interesting column in probably five years. At most, he simply regurgitates what he wrote back when he was relevant or what he reads elsewhere now. Add in the constant snit … and the result is the Canada’s most overrated and grossly underwhelming sports opinionist.

Antonio
Antonio
April 30, 2014 12:48 pm

To change gears here I thought Brunt & McCown did an excellent job covering the Sterling nonsense. I’m referring to their 5-5:30 slot yesterday.

alex
alex
April 30, 2014 2:18 pm

1050 did a good job in 4:00 hour with naylor and hodge being joined by arthur. But then they had to get back to hockey.

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
May 1, 2014 1:08 am

Just listened to part of today’s show. Cox showed his great knowledge of current affairs by asking if Senator Harry Reid, a Democrat, was a Tea Party politician. No reason he should know who Reid is as he’s only the Senate Majority Leader!

Raptors Devotee
May 3, 2014 11:05 pm

I happened to catch the roundtable with Tim Micallef basically being ganged up on by Cox and Shannon and to a lesser extent McCown, and it was quite revolting. It was regarding the Raptors television ratings and whether it is a flash in the pan, or here to stay and continue on, but the real issue was the complete lack of respect shown Micallef and his point of view, which I happen to agree with, but that is almost besides the point.

It really was the FOB “Get off my lawn” analogy that is brought up, and I happened to listen to it in the car, otherwise there is no way I would listen to it normally, as I avoid Shannon like the plague, it just happened to be on 590 from earlier in the day.

Curt
Curt
May 4, 2014 12:31 am

It was a disgusting lack of respect from both Cox and Shannon, but particularly Cox. Tim was trying to make his point and was being continuously cut off and dismissed by both of them. Tim was starting to take it personally (how could you not?) and by then Cox decided to shut his trap and ignore Tim, pretending to look at his smart phone. Such an asshole.

Cox strikes me as the guy who, after that, would march into Scott Moore’s office and DEMAND that Tim never be on another roundtable. And for reasons inexplicable to me, Moore would probably go along – he seems to think Cox adds value to sportsnet.

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
May 4, 2014 6:23 am

@ Curt Did not listen as with FOB cox & shannon it is clearly NOT listenable.
Looking at the current talent? at fan590 and moving forward into the future cox and Magoo should be kissing Tim’s ass not showing a disgusting lack of respect!!

Raptors Devotee
May 4, 2014 8:17 am

The one thing that Cox said that was beyond moronic, and he is a moron, I avoid him like Shannon, was to Tim. “You can talk all you want about the demographics, but there is no proof in it.”

I don’t even know where to begin with this comment, but let’s say this, if demographics meant nothing, then governments and private companies would not be spending hundreds of millions of dollars analyzing demographic data in order to plan for the future and where we are going.

I have written off PTS and the FOB’s, usually listen to Naylor or pass, Only Brunt alone with McCown is acceptable to me.

How they get ratings is probably due to people listening to them because they like to get pissed off, but that is not why I listen to sports talk radio. If you listen to them to be enlightened, forget it, but if you want to be patronized, they are the guys, i,e, Cox/Shannon

Curt
Curt
May 4, 2014 12:15 pm

I broke my rule of not watching/listening to PTS when Cox/Shannon are on. But I broke it this time because there were some interesting stories this week that I hoped they would cover (they didn’t) and I actually like Tim (not so much Sid). I should have known better. Tim could have said the sky is blue and Cox would have fought with him. I don’t know why he is such a petty, dismissive, bitter, asshole, but he is. And I’d rather go to the dentist than to listen to him again. Must avoid radio when those goofs are on.

GreyCountyMike
GreyCountyMike
May 4, 2014 12:56 pm

Shannon is tolerable on one subject only – the business of TV, for which he does offer some intelligent insight. Other than that, he is dead weight. Worst of all, for someone who truly has little constructive to offer, he continually talks over others. Factor in the Michael Grange-like voice … and the result is the most irritating and least important FOB of them all.

Cox? A complete wannabe. Despite The Star’s hype machine, he never truly became the Toronto sports media king he clearly believed he was or is. To show he belongs, he has forever reverted to picking fights, trying to be a tough guy of sorts. This has happened in arenas, in newsrooms, in the public, in print and now on the air. Think we listeners don’t like him? Ask anyone who has ever had to work with or near him. He’s a two-bit bully, again a complete wannabe tough guy.

Matt
Matt
May 4, 2014 8:51 pm

The segment with Tim arguing with Shannon and Cox was the only part I caught, and the way Cox acted was embarrassing. The cutting Tim off without saying anything insightful and going to his phone like a spoiled little brat who is upset because everything isn’t going his way shows he really added nothing to that segment.

Mike S
Mike S
May 4, 2014 11:51 pm

Here is a sample of comments from various Toronto sports media members about the officiating in today’s Raptors game:

Jim Tatti (TSN 1050)………”Hey ref you’re missing a good game”

Jennifer Hedger (TSN)………..”Getting robbed”

Jack Armstrong (Raptors analyst)………..”Disgraceful officiating. There have been many borderline calls today and not one of them has gone the Raptors’ way”

Caroline Cameron (Sportsnet)………”Jack Armstrong just giving it to the refs. I like it”

Kevin McGran (Toronto Star)……….”NBA refs reminding me what I hate about NBA reffing”

Mike Hogan (TSN 1050)………..”The NBA should be ashamed of the inept officiating today. Hate calling out refs, but this is disgraceful”

Andy McNamara (TSN 1050)……….”Disgusting officiating, I really can’t stand the double standard calls in the NBA”

Daniel
Daniel
May 5, 2014 2:26 am

Just a thought – since the content of this site seems to come more from its readers now, maybe it should have a message board format or something rather than the blog format? Just throwing it out there!

Raptors Devotee
May 5, 2014 6:52 am

Interesting take from those able to watch Cox and Shannon versus when I listened to it, and I did not have my full attention on it. It actually is far worse than I initially thought. Cox’s behaviour was beyond rude, not that I am surprised. It would not surprise me if Tim takes a pass on the FOB roundtable, as really, what is the point? He has his own show to get his POV across, and he doesn’t need to be lambasted like that. It was completely disgusting behaviour especially by Cox, which I see now, and Cox should face some disciplinary actions for it and apologize to Sid, but of course he won’t, on both counts.

For the Raptors game, I watched the ABC feed, and was not disgusted by the calls. There seemed to be poor officiating on both sides and the number of actual fouls called was pretty even. I found out after the game that DeMar was fighting the flu, and that is why he rarely drove to the basket, which he normally does consistently to draw fouls. You take that away and the calls make sense. How Crawford called KG for the foul instead of Williams though, which should have been his 6th foul and he was out of the game is inexcusable, and that was blatantly in favour of the Nets.

Overall, I don’t see what the reason for celebration is this year in some ways. We made the playoffs, no big accomplishment in a conference where so many teams were tanking. We needed to win a round for me to call it a success from a winning perspective. We had no right even having a chance to win Game #7, as the Nets were by far the better team.

From an evaluation and development POV, it was a success, as we saw how Ross choked throughout, how JV was not ready for playoff basketball, although he showed flashes, and how we have to sign Lowry, who is a Top 8 point guard for sure and makes our team a lot better. He wants to resign here, so we should be all right there, although had Casey done his job his first year coaching and not won some meaningless games down the stretch, we would have had a chance at Anthony Davis or Damien Lillard for sure.

Casey himself is not a coach I have confidence who can lead us to a Championship.His rotations are suspect, his so called defensive genius tag he’s gotten is a joke, as they fell apart the last month of the season and into the playoffs. He did get his players to play hard, and never be counted out, and foster the great chemistry. Masai may have an out now by not signing him if he has a top coach in mind, but I expect him to be signed long term now.

Antonio
Antonio
May 5, 2014 10:13 am

I believe you have to view this year’s Raptors as a success. We want our sports teams to give us thrills and hope for the future – this year’s team did just that.

They had the unfortunate luck of playing the hottest team in the East (statistically in the 2nd half of the season). Yes, they should have advanced but had they met any of the other wild card teams in the conf they would have.

Nan Young Lee
Nan Young Lee
May 5, 2014 10:23 am

2 tweets from Cox:

Damien Cox @DamoSpin · 18h
Too bad have to block so many creeps today. But hey, that’s Toronto.

Damien Cox @DamoSpin · 18h
The fun part is always the emails coming in the next few days begging to be unblocked. Such brave folks.

I hope Matt Devlin is replaced next season. Can’t stand him. Paul Jones would be better even with his rough edges. At least you identify Jones with the Raptors, just as Bowen is with the Leafs.

Raptors Devotee
May 5, 2014 10:37 am

Nan Young Lee, regarding the Raptors broadcasters, our city is underserved on many levels with that regard. I am hopeful that Leiweke, with his L.A. experience, will be able to recognize who really deserved to stay on merit i.e. Jack Armstrong, Paul Jones, Sherman Hamilton and who needs to go i.e. Leo Rautins, Matt Devlin

I agree with you on Devlin, he does nothing for me, right from the beginning. I could not believe they even had him do Blue Jay games for a while as well.

Bob Canuck
Bob Canuck
May 5, 2014 11:41 am

Nan Young Lee,

Thanks for the two Damien Cox tweets.

With respect to Damien’s example of cowardice, I would add columnists who do not respond to any comments that are posted in response to that columnist’s online article.

alex
alex
May 5, 2014 3:57 pm

If someone REALLY wanted to read Cox’s tweets thst badly, they fould, even if their account is blocked.

Kamlesh
Kamlesh
May 5, 2014 5:26 pm

‘Interesting’ photo on V.Stiviano’s instagram page:

http://instagram.com/p/gbj6_EK-rN/#

Maybe someone can introduce her to Damien.

Raptors Devotee
May 6, 2014 7:05 am

Last new content post was April 26th. With so much going on now, I am really surprised. I agree with Daniel that a more user-friendly message board would work well, where the readers can post their own threads, something I would love to do, but don’t have the ability to.

Mike V
Mike V
May 6, 2014 9:42 am

For those interested, the CRTC released 2013 financial results for Canadian cable channels last week. http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/BrAnalysis/psp2013/individual/ipsp2013.pdf

Bottom line is that despite a drop in subscribers, sports channels are not hurting at all.

AND as I’m typing this, TSN is getting much, much bigger http://bellmediapr.ca/Network/TSN/Press/More-Sports-More-Choice. At this rate, Sportsnet or TSN will have the Ocho before ESPN does.

Raptors Devotee
May 6, 2014 10:05 am

Mike (in boston), if not for you, this site would be dead. You owe us no apologies. With the breaking news on TSN expanding their national channels in the Fall, I am curious to hear if this will mean there is a higher likelihood of baseball coming back to Montreal.

TSM should really add a forum to the site. How many times have us loyal readers needed to introduce new topics in the comments section on the latest posting, regardless of it content.

TSM, we need you to get involved. This site is not reaching its potential.

Mike V
Mike V
May 6, 2014 10:40 am

It’s a nice thought Raptors Devotee, but baseball in Montreal didn’t really hinge on a sports channel. As we’ve seen those can be created almost overnight if need be. It still depends on finding an owner willing to sell in a market that is ripe for relocation (or expansion to 32 teams but that’s unlikely IMO) and a new stadium being built in the city.

Raptors Devotee
May 6, 2014 10:43 am

Mike V, having just read Jonah Keri’s book on the Expos, and personally met him to discuss it at a panel discussion, I am fully aware of the issues you brought up, plus many more. It was merely wishful thinking on my part, and not to be taken seriously.

Mike V
Mike V
May 6, 2014 11:07 am

Understood. I feel most sports fans in Canada have that same wishful thinking (and the Grizzlies back in Vancouver for that matter).

And I do think today’s announcement shows Bell/TSN continues to take the fight to Rogers/Sportsnet after losing the NHL and makes it more likely they would be the owner should those right conditions arise at some point.

Curt
Curt
May 6, 2014 1:26 pm

With Rogers gobbling up as much content as possible, what is TSN hoping to show on these new channels?

Mike S
Mike S
May 6, 2014 1:32 pm

They just said on 1050 that Leafs Lunch will be shown on one of those new TSN channels………….that’s all we need, more radio shows on TV

Mike V
Mike V
May 6, 2014 2:12 pm

Aside from the handful of times where there is a legit time conflict between events and something like NASCAR gets left of TV now, it sounds like it’ll be mainly used for alternative feeds of events already shown. Multiple sheets of curling during the Scotties and Briar, multiple courts during Grand Slam Tennis events, all games of March Madness, etc.
Plus a whole lot more radio, Sportscentre and the usual time fillers.

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
May 6, 2014 3:24 pm

@ Raptors D agreed with the forum type.A site similar to this for example:

http://www.sowny.ca/

People have left this site,never to return.

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
May 6, 2014 4:04 pm

Multiple sheets of curling during the Scotties and Briar, multiple courts during Grand Slam Tennis events, all games of March Madness, etc.

I don’t know about curling but they only have 8 weeks of tennis with really only the first week plus maybe a day or two of the second week of each tennis slam having multiple court action (other than doubles). Presumably March Madness is just a couple of weeks at most. CFL games don’t conflict with each other. There’s not too much else out there that TSN can show. Maybe multiple regional NBA games each night or pick up extra European soccer properties?

alex
alex
May 6, 2014 4:16 pm

It was an interesting 6pm hour of PTS with discussion of racism in Boston sporta history w Bob Ryan and mascot names with Richard Lapchick.

Bob was more serious than usual. And thank goodneaa it was Brunt and not Cox or Shannon.

Maybe the most surprising thing was Brunt plugging Arthur’s big Raptors column in the Star. PTS doesnt seem to plug articles much anymore from people that work st tsn.

Doug
Doug
May 6, 2014 7:24 pm

I really like the comments we have going here, albeit it is under an article that is 2 weeks old now approximately. I have never really commented on here but have followed this site for years now, really just before the fan 590 let Landry and Stellick among others walk. I really enjoy the dialogue on here by the commenters. To say this site is dead and people will not return is nothing more but of cheap arrogance the same snark style that Damien Cox uses.

Dustin
Dustin
May 6, 2014 10:25 pm

I think you are going to see more basketball, more baseball, more ESPN programming (potentially even espn’s sportscentre) and most important for me, on Sundays… More NFL games. Maybe I won’t have to buy the Sunday ticket package now!

Andrew
Andrew
May 7, 2014 10:35 am

God willing much of the auto racing programming that disappeared when Speed died will find it’s way onto TSN.

alex
alex
May 8, 2014 12:28 pm

Rogers sent out a presser putting over Cox’s new role with the NHL package next year.

If this somehow leads to him leaving PTS, it will be worth it.

Raptors Devotee
May 8, 2014 12:35 pm

Alex, let’s hope so, but what about Shannon and the other past expired date FOB’s? At least we have an alternative to turn to. Being a huge follower of tennis, I likely still have to put up with Cox when he covers Davis Cup, since Cox goes out of his way to cover it, and would never give it up voluntarily.

Pudge72
Pudge72
May 8, 2014 4:42 pm

@Mike V…TSN 8 “le huit” where there’s enough dodgeball for everyone!

Mullah_Kintyre
Mullah_Kintyre
May 9, 2014 9:43 am

Re: “Toronto Raptors’ Game 4 ranked as the most-watched sporting event this week in the GTA”.

I wish we could see a weekly list of these TV ratings for the GTA. Obviously the information must be compiled and therefore available to someone if this piece of information was released. Why is this type of TV ratings information usually so carefully guarded and very selectively issued?

I don’t generally dislike Zelkovich, but he is such an obvious CFL shill that I can’t help but be suspicious of what he does and does not tell us in his weekly run down of these ratings. He won’t hesitate to point out embarrassingly low national ratings for TFC/MLS, and usually NBA/Raptors (the playoffs making this week a rare exception). Yet he almost always avoids any mention of regional breakdowns for these ratings.

I don’t dispute that the CFL or curling probably do get significant total national TV ratings, but living in the GTA I have trouble believing their audience is as proportionally large here as it is in western Canada. Toronto, with more major pro sports teams like the Raptors and Blue Jays, and I assume a larger recent immigrant population with more internationally oriented preferences, probably has a noticeably different list when it comes to the ranking of the TV ratings of sports events. It seems Zelkovich intentionally avoids giving us this information, perhaps to avoid embarrassing the CFL by confirming everyone’s suspicion about it being mostly ignored in Toronto.

BBM issues a weekly list of the Top 30 TV shows in Canada. A few years ago it was always accompanied by similar lists for individual markets — Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, etc.
After one of Zelkovich’s Star ratings blogs, a comment pointed out how CFL games would routinely make the lists for Calgary and Edmonton, often in the top 10, but almost never for Toronto or Quebec. BBM then mysteriously stopped issuing these lists for the individual cities — almost as if someone suddenly told them to stop because they didn’t like it.

One time since then Zelkovich wrote a blog saying that the national ratings for games involving the Argos had increased by 26% over the previous year, attempting to imply this must mean more viewers in the GTA, while claiming to be unable to provide the actual number of GTA viewers because “The league won’t supply actual audience numbers.”
Well, at least he admitted where he gets his ratings information and why it’s so selective.

Mike S
Mike S
May 9, 2014 11:37 am

Does anyone else get the impression that when it comes to evening programming the people at 1050 sometimes make it up as they go along?

On Monday night they aired game 3 of the Penguins-Rangers series………but on Wednesday night they opted for local programming (Hogan & Tatti) instead of airing game 4 of that series…………I don’t have a problem with either of those choices but the inconsistency is somewhat curious

Mike V
Mike V
May 9, 2014 11:56 am

The thing is I don’t think Chris has access to much local ratings data or is limited in how much detail he can publicly reveal, BBM seems to guard the access to it pretty closely. I find them much worse than Nielsen in the US in this respect.

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