Weekend Open Thread

Weekend Open Thread

photo courtesy of the superlative Photoshop skills of mike in boston

 

Last week Cathal Kelly and Steve Simmons tried to lay claim to the title of worst sports journalist in Toronto. Their efforts were strong and compelling. This apparently angered the reigning champion. He went to Twitter to assert his rightful place on the throne.

 

https://twitter.com/DamoSpin/status/485275602945982464

 

https://twitter.com/DamoSpin/status/485276843377848320

 

I don’t know Damian Cox and I’ve been told it is not nice to speculate about a person’s mental states, general happiness, quality as a human being, decency as a colleague, etc,. so I won’t. I’ll restrict myself to the Cox that engages with the public. Let’s list his accomplishments:

 

  • Co-ruiner of PTS
  • Hypocrite about the need to declare bias
  • Grim Reaper (he knows about your death before you do)
  • Corporate puppet
  • Lazy and outdated hockey writer
  • Colossal asshole on Twitter

 

Mirtle called out TSN colleague Simmons for unprofessional behaviour last week. Let’s see if any Sportsnet people speak up about how Cox makes them all look bad.

 

Honestly, people who talk about the Jays at SN already have a difficult time convincing the audience of their objectivity. Homers like Wilner and Buck make that even harder. With Rogers controlling national NHL rights, all hockey people at SN are going to be under even greater scrutiny for bias. Cox has just made everyone’s life more difficult.

 

This tweet more or less sums up the value that Cox is bringing to the table these days.

 

https://twitter.com/stevelepore/status/485280175371083776

 

Congratulations Sportsnet. You really locked up an asset there.

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 46
  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 6 years ago

    D. Cox is an ignorant asshole.Now that he has cut ties with The Star and walked away from TSN a couple of years back he is solely dependent on Robbers.He WILL one day be given the gas pipe by Robbers and will not work in print or media again cause he burnt too many bridges. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

    More important what is worse:
    Play-by-Play of golf on radio OR
    Play-by Play of tennis on radio?

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    I think sports media blogger Steve Lepore summed it up nicely on Twitter last night:

    “I’m sure Damien Cox loves his family and gives to charity, but he is a Skip Bayless in a country who’s media landscape has no need for one.”

    For something completely off-topic, looks like TSN is finally deciding to update it’s website from the 90’s to something more modern: http://preview.tsn.ca/mlb

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    (Another) Andrew 6 years ago

    ” why did I know the judge of all Canadian media would weigh in?”

    I’m not a Cox fan but I laughed at that response to Arthur.

    I’ve put PTS on twice in the past couple of weeks and both times it seemed kind of irrelevant (NBA/NHL talk) at a time when the biggest sporting event, in terms of viewership in Canada, is the World Cup. All these guys are dinosaurs.

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    Generally speaking I do not have a problem with Damien Cox on any medium (ducks to avoid projectiles and rotten fruit). While 35K is a very, very solid crowd in Edmonton, the optics do not look as good in a 60K seat cavernous stadium and when you have just got a fairly significant TV deal in the US, seeing empty seats will resonate with the average joe tuning in south of the border.

    He can be antagonistic and that was proven when he irked one of the true nice guys (from what I’ve heard and witnessed) in Chris Cuthbert. His approach via Twitter was a tad too direct and lacked context, and lets be honest, all of these guys are shilling for their networks. Thats the nature of doing business. I too chuckled at the jab on Bruce Arthur who is a lot more unlikeable and pompous on social media than he is through his writing. From what Mike in Boston posted it looked like he inserted himself in an argument that he did not need to.

    Just my.02

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    Mike, you forgot to mention that he insinuates steroid use if you are having a good season (outside of tennis and hockey, of course). “Just gotta ask…”

    He’s a joke.

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    At least when Blair was co-host, there seemed to be a decent amount of World Cup talk on PTS. I dont think in 9 segments per day, you need more than two (one hostful segment and one guest segment). And it does seem like a cluttered time for Canadian sports menu:

    World Cup, jays, nba free agency, nhl free agency, CFL, Wimbeldon.

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    Not a big Cox fan, but LOVE his comeback at the holier-than-thou Arthur.

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    @ MIB

    You go after Cox hard in this entry. Fair enough.

    But what about Arthur chiming in? This wannabe just can’t help himself, can he?

    Cox may not be correct on much most days, but he is dead-on in his description of the sanctimonious Arthur.

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    GreyCountyMike – I agree that Arthur’s primary motivation is likely defending his team. But, I will take his sanctimony if it means the media holding each other accountable for troglodytic behaviour. As I said, Cox makes them all look bad.

    Seriously, even 5 years ago columnists didn’t act like such dicks. I can’t help but feel that this is related to the end of Houston and Zelkovich’s columns.

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    Five years ago zero of these columnists were on Twitter, so we never got to see/hear how terrible they are as people.

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    @ MIB

    Great point about the absence of Houston’s and Zelkovich’s columns most likely playing a role in this. Both columns – and even Dowbiggin’s to a certain extent – were well read. In some cases, they were even well respected. I, like many of us here, miss those columns immensely.

    I understand from what others have written that Arthur is much more professional in his regular column writing than he is on Twitter. Fair enough. But last night’s little dust-up made Cox, Cuthbert and, yes, Arthur, come across like 12-year-olds.

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    @MIB

    Sorry, forgot to add: I love the “reigning champion” reference you made above. Nice!

    I guess we’ll see what ridiculousness Kelly and Simmons come back with this week.

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    I don’t dislike Damien as much as some (most?) do…………but I can definitely see why someone would dislike him, especially his comments on Twitter……….his whining about the criticism that the McEnroe brothers were heaping on poor Milos Raonic yesterday was pathetic

    Having said that, I agree with the people who said they liked that Damien called out Bruce Arthur to some extent……….it’s about time someone did that………….I enjoy his writing and his TV/radio work but sometimes his “I know more about everything than you” comments are hard to take

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    Even though Brunt is now owned and operated by Rogers Communications, at least he has the good sense to stay off Twatter. As Dan said, that platform has exposed the kind of jerks these “writers” are, with Cox simply being the top cock.

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    Jonathan Giggs 6 years ago

    If the above is an example of the insight that I am missing by not being on Twitter, I have no regrets!

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    Lee (Oakville) 6 years ago

    Damien Cox’s career has always been a puzzle to me. He seems to have only four voices: angry, sarcastic, condescending and dismissive. I find it hard to believe that this comes from a happy place in his life. As well, I find his expertise (?) to be severely lacking when compared to the true experts in their fields (McKenzie in hockey, McEnroes, Cahill, Carillo, etc., etc. in tennis) and his knowledge in baseball, football, golf, soccer, etc. is non-existent.

    At a certain point his employers must realize they are facing reputational and credibility Issues having him employed. Given they have not, I find myself automatically turning the channel whenever his face or voice becomes evident.

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    Sam in Scarb 6 years ago

    @ Lee (Oakville) Very well said I am sure many,many people agree with your point just do not say it publicly.

    Cox will be the perfect fit for sportsnet’s late Tuesday night game bettween Arizona & Nashville in mid January to provide his captivating insight.

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    Raptors Devotee 6 years ago

    Lee (Oakville), you nailed it on Cox. Keep in mind that his goal is to piss off listeners/viewers, as by doing so he stays topical, not in a way that I would ever want, but it does seem to work for him and his employer. I just wish he was not there at all, but that is wishful thinking, and even if he wasn’t, whose to say another FOB would come in and we would be no better off.

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    (Another) Andrew 6 years ago

    TSN Radio’s signal strength might have been improved as I’ve been getting a mostly clear signal since the World Cup started even when I’m 40 or 50 miles north of the city. That was not the case a couple of months when I last tried it.

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    John in Bolton 6 years ago

    Briefly met Cox a few times during my career. Actually, can’t say I met him because he’s so arrogant, he wouldn’t even respond to a “Hello Damien.” He just ignored it. It was like when I sat beside asshole Frank Orr in the Leafs’ press box for an entire game and never heard more than a grunt. He also didn’t feel it necessary to respond to innocent hellos.Must be a Torstar thing.

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    Don Mandrie 6 years ago

    Damien Cox? It doesn’t reflect well on Toronto that a guy who brings so little to the electronic media can apparently be so big. And his employers so blind and deaf. At some point during the new Rogers-NHL deal Cox will melt down. A strait jacket awaits.

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    @ Andrew

    It’s not that the signal strength has improved, because it hasn’t. For whatever reason, in the summer months when it’s daylight longer, the signal travels well in it. Come fall/winter, the signal will fade as the sun does.

    Cox-Arthur. Both are douches.

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    Anyone catch Walker with Wilner this morning? Wow!

    I didn’t realize the Rogers Campus hosts Cheerleading Camps in the summer.

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    I do not follow any of these hacks and sometimes wonder why so many people do. So long as they have followers and are talked about, they are assets to their employers (through their eyes).

    Do these rants garner them more followers? Do columns like this cause people to follow them to watch the train wrecks?

    In this day and age, if you are being talked about, then you have value, even if the talk is bad.

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    Naylor just had Howard Bryant on his 1050 show talking about Djokovic, Federer, and Genie………….it was enjoyable……………if you are a tennis fan I suggest you give it a listen

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    @ Ken

    Admittedly guilty as charged. As soon as I read this column Saturday morning, I went looking to find the Cox-Cuthbert-Arthur “train wreck” as you dubbed it.

    Why? Well, I don’t have much of a life apparently … and watching experienced professionals stomp their feet like 12-year-old girls is kinda amusing.

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    Cox is the great contrarian…he likes to stand in opposition to whatever everyone else is saying, just to be different and outspoken, even when he winds up being proven wrong. His thoughts on hockey are often out of whack these days. He’s wrong more often than he’s right. I remember him championing the idea of the Leafs signing Ilya Bryzgalov, just before he signed with Philly, and was bought out two years later. More recently he championed Mike Richards for the 2014 Canadian Olympic Team, a pick that now looks ridiculous.
    It’s kinda sad to see him sparring over Twitter with a guy who’s almost a living legend in Chris Cuthbert. What’s even more pathetic is seeing Cox accusing Cuthbert of being a shill. Has anyone been a bigger shill for Rogers over the past few months than Cox?

    On another note….does anyone else find it amazing that this past Friday, during their roundtable, the most popular program (PTS) on the city’s biggest sports radio station spent 15 minutes talking about the Jays, spent 20 minutes (!) talking about the Argos, but didn’t spend one second talking about the biggest sporting event on the planet??? I know Bob hates soccer, but seriously…that’s just outright arrogant disregard for your audience.

  • comment-avatar
    (Another) Andrew 6 years ago

    @ Chris. Thanks.

    Cox was sent to Wimbledon the last couple of years but evidently not this year. Yet from a Canadian perspective there was a lot more to report on this year. I think I heard Sid saying on Thursday that Arash Madani was flying to England that night. With Raonic’s match being on Friday afternoon and Bouchard making the final on Thursday it must have been a last minute decision to send anyone from Rogers at all.

  • comment-avatar
    Nan Young Lee 6 years ago

    Both PTS and Naylor had good first hours, which is all I’ve listened to. Usually I don’t listen to the call in segments of PTS but today Bob seemed more patient with callers than he was a few years ago. He had a surprising take on baseball replay saying that system hasn’t got one call wrong so far. He also had some specific numbers relating to the losses of the Alouettes even when they were selling out their stadium (pre expansion), and logically wondered why a new stadium would change the fortunes of the Argos. It was a more analytical Bob today, even though he couldn’t resist taking a shot at soccer fans at one point. Bob is a lonely voice on this subject. I’ve heard Saul Korman and even Rogers’ commercials on Wheeler and KJ’s World Cup wrap-up shows on 1050. Maybe they think the games are doing well on radio.

    Naylor’s first hour was just as good. He was surprising harsh in his judgment on what Raonic and Bouchard accomplished last week. You could tell he did a bit of research for his opening monologue about who the 2 Canadians have actually beaten in their young tennis lives. Naylor and Arthur were also critical of the CFL’s missed stadium deadlines in Hamilton and Winnipeg.

    This was Arthur’s first show with Naylor in two months or so, and he was typically fluent, funny and thougtful. He has good chemistry with Naylor, I wonder why he’s only on the show on Mondays. The 2 co-hosts who work best with Naylor are Arthur and Simmons.

  • comment-avatar

    I’m curious about what the regulars here think of the Toronto sports media’s regular use of first names or, worse, nicknames for some of their more beloved subjects, ie. Murph, Burkie, Gibby?

    For those who travel around, or listen online to what happens in other towns, is it the same elsewhere?

  • comment-avatar

    per iTunes, the national hour of PTS featured Bob Ryan and the head coach of the St. Louis Blues. I’m sure that was ratings gold with people who love things that are either boring or irrelevant in the middle of the summer.

    I’ve enjoyed the more mellow tone of the morning show with Walker & Ennis. Nothing against Brady … it’s just a personal preference.

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    Well, Ryan is a paid weekly spot, so that one is a given.

    At least pts got scott mitchell on quickly, an hour or so before 1050 did.

  • comment-avatar
    Don River 6 years ago

    Damien Cox is about the last sports media personality who should be questioning the integrity of a colleague. In the old days, Damien generally contributed little to baseball discussions on PTS, and repeatedly called baseball boring. Then he chooses Rogers over TSN, and the next thing you know Damien is in Florida covering spring training!

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    Apparently, come September, Damian is going to be an NHL ‘insider’ a la Dreger, Kypreos and Bobby Mac. Complete joke, but not as bad as having a fired television producer being called an insider. Sorry, but Shannon and Cox need to be shown the door..

  • comment-avatar

    Since he ran HNIC and worked in the league office and worked for at least 4 teams, i dont have an issue with Shannon being labeled as an insider.

    Now, his quality in the role is a diffrrent matter to discuss.

  • comment-avatar
    Bobby G 6 years ago

    This kind of post is exactly why I check out TSM less and less all the time.
    It’s everything you accuse Cox of being absent any of the “love-to-hate” emotion the Cox engenders – hypocritical without the charm.
    And ask yourself how charming Cox is…

  • comment-avatar

    Adam Lind goes on the disabled list…………..that sound you hear is Brunt warming up his “Jays season was sabotaged by injuries” theory

  • comment-avatar
    Nan Young Lee 6 years ago
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    Sperk 6 years ago

    Alas, now will be the time where all the Rogers paid “analysts” will point to how the injuries are why the Jays are plummeting the bottom of the standings and ignore the fact that the roster was flawed from the outset….no 2nd baseman, no quality starting pitching, poor bullpen. That is until AA gets canned and then the blame will be all on him to support that decision by Rogers

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    Sperk..you are right. To paraphrase Denny Green, ‘The Jays are..what we thought they were.’

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    I’m not a Cox hater, more of a loather. Like Wilner, does he have to raise a sarcastic eyebrow at EVERY comment about EVERYTHING? Cox was a staff reporter at the Star 30 years ago and the editor said ‘hey, you wanna move to Sports?’. And he did; he’s still playing catch up on things he knows little about. Travelling the world for 30 years covering every sport and most major events does give him enough general knowledge to blandly drone through a segment on any topic.

    Putting Cox alone with Bobcat turns the 5-6 PM PTS into a funeral dirge. After the 10 minutes about Bob yakking about the ribs he cooked on his nuclear powered fifty thousand dollar bbq and how Cox got fitted for a new suit at Korry’s on the Danforth that looks exactly like the last twenty suits he’s worn, you’ve fallen asleep at the wheel and rolled your car off the Gardiner onto Lakeshore Blvd. (That’s if you survived the 50th commercial in a row listening to that tool asking Kiki to take a selfie or letting her know he’s wearing Meggings; please Kiki, strangle him with the Meggings then kill yourself) I still haven’t been able to figure out which guy is Brunt and which is Shannon; when I do, I’ll be able to comment on them.

    My only guess is that given that the Tweets were just a bit after midnight that Cox was alone in a bland hotel room somewhere rattling the ice cubes in his plastic cup of stale hotel Scotch when he tapped out a Tweet he probably now regrets. While Cuthbert’s comment was a bit of a shill, it barely qualifies as such. Cox should save his triple-shills for true shilling. I bet he apologized in a private message. On a broader note, employers of all reporters/broadcasters/’insiders’ should remind them how unprofessional these petty exchanges look; they degrade and sully the individual reporters’ brand as well as that of their employer.

    Bruce Arthur: face for radio, voice for newspaper, words for the bottom of a birdcage.

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    Nan Young Lee 6 years ago

    If Bob won’t interview athletes, Naylor will. He had Tyler Seguin and Cory Schneider on his show today. Both interviews were solid and players seemed forthcoming with their answers. The Seguin interview was particularly good with Naylor and Seguin dealing with the ‘partying’ criticism of Seguin head on. He also said he wouldn’t want to start his career under the microscope in Toronto the way Kadri has had to. Seguin lives in TO in the off season and mentioned he trains with other NHLers living here, so maybe they will be other Naylor-athlete interviews. I can’t see these interviews being any worse than ones with Wilner or Matt Devlin. Maybe some players will be on Brady/Walker although Seguin mentioned they’re into heavy training right now and usually finish at 9AM.

    When I saw that James Sharman was going to be on PTS, I was wondering how Bob would treat the World Cup talk. I was expecting the worst but Bob was professional and asked good questions.

    Arash Madani might make a good replacement for Cox. He has an edge about him which at first I didn’t like but now appreciate. Usually you don’t hear someone who claims he doesn’t like hockey on Canadian media let alone on the network with the national rights, but Arash is his own man.

    Sportsnet should hire BC native Nathan Fielder to do some bits for their hockey coverage. An acquired taste but I find him funny.

    Another great Canadian comic on the World Cup:

    “Norm Macdonald @normmacdonald · Jul 9
    And so it is official: Argentina faces Germany for the World Cup and Nazi War Criminals on the run don’t know who to root for.”

    He’s also a Redblacks fan:

    “Norm Macdonald @normmacdonald · Jul 3
    The first ever Ottawa Redblacks game is under way.”

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    only in Toronto would they discuss Maple Leaf assistant coaches today on radio.

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    Another Steve 6 years ago

    It would really benefit the roundtable tonight to have someone like Tim or Sid on, since they’re plugged into social media and have acknowledged Adrian Wojnarowski’s column today explaining how Dan Gilbert met with LeBron James on Sunday and apologized. It sounds to me like the guys on the roundtable don’t know about this story yet.

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    Nan Young Lee 6 years ago

    More low creativity from Norm MacDonald:

    “Norm Macdonald @normmacdonald 957d
    The more I read about this Hitler character the more I don’t care for him.”

    “Norm Macdonald @normmacdonald 1083d
    RIP Amy Winehouse. We lost a true heroin addict today.”