Butch Carter Rips Rogers Radio Coverage of Toronto Raptors

Butch Carter Rips Rogers Radio Coverage of Toronto Raptors


Happy Thursday!

So, FOB (Friend of Bob for those of you new to things) du jour, Butch Carter took to twitter last night after the Toronto Raptors game. It seems Carter was listening to the game on the radio for the first time in a LONG time when he offered the following:

and then:

A fan jumped in, to Eric Smith’s “defence” and Carter went on:

This led to Smith jumping into the frey:

Then Carter went on to rip Rogers too:

It will be interesting to see what if any repercussions there are to the former Raptors coach. It will be fascinating to see what happens given that he is a frequent guest on McCown’s show.

I can’t imagine the powers that be at Rogers are too happy about this.

Personally, I think the radio duo are fine. To be honest, I don’t think they are any worse then what Toronto fans get for hockey on the radio ( a major bone of contention of mine for a long time).

I’ve reached out to a few suits at Rogers for comment. So far, no word. There are rumblings out there from a few folks that Carter won’t be on the Fan any time soon.

Details, should I get any to follow.



  • comment-avatar

    as media synergize, merge, and become business partners with the teams it’ll be impossible for anyone to criticize without stepping on toes

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    “I’m pretty good at marketing sports product”

    I laughed.

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    Can we get Ken Reid to rip someones broadcast?

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    Alex: I literally just laughed out loud. Best comment in a LONG time

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    Sam in Scarb 5 years ago

    @ alex “Can we get Ken Reid to rip someones broadcast?”

    We have a new leader in the clubhouse for 2015 comment of the year !!

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    […] Butch Carter Rips Rogers Radio Coverage of Toronto Raptors | Toronto Sports Media Blog […]

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    Jacob 5 years ago

    Marc Macdonald isn’t a fan. He is an associate producer at Sportsnet. Just saying…

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    Rob in Aurora 5 years ago

    I agree with Carter, the fan’s coverage is weak. Paul Jones at pxp is far better. Eric Smith is a force fit. And Joe Bowen is just fine on the radio with Jim Ralph. When Bowen did TV without Ralph he was awful. He needs ralph as the awkward and humourless Greg Miller really brought Bowen down.

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    Carter is entitled to his opinion and it’s WAY more informed than Macdonald’s who’s doing nothing more than trying to fight Eric’s battles for him.

    Some of the people making decisions Re Raptors broadcasts (TV & Radio) are showing they lack the proper qualifications.

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    Perhaps, we are making too much of this. The source is Butch Carter, after all, whose solution to every basketball question is that he should be coach. Interesting that nobody in all of North American basketball shares that opinion with him except Bob.

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    While I will not bash Eric for his PbP as I think he is doing the best he can, which is all anyone can ask. I will however call out Rogers/MLSE handling of the Raptors in general.

    I do not know how many ex-NHL players Rogers has on its payroll, but I am certain that there are absolutely ZERO ex-NBA players. This imbalance speaks volumes about where The Raptors are on the Rogers/MLSE pecking order of importance.

    There is a simple solution to this however, and it is the course I have taken. I simply do not listen to the Toronto radio/TV broadcasts any longer.

    Also, because I have no use for hockey, I have switched to CBS radio, where I in fact get more Raptor talk than I was getting on the station that owns that team. How crazy is that?

    So while I do not agree with Butch on Eric, his frustration with the Raptors radio situation in general is spot on.

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    “This imbalance speaks volumes about where The Raptors are on the Rogers/MLSE pecking order of importance.”

    This is spot-on. Things seemed so much more hopeful with Tim Leiweke on board. But now that the ship has righted itself – with Leiweke’s ouster – there’s no incentive for MLSE to actually try to grow the sport in terms of awareness. While that is sad for basketball fans, the hockey-focused status quo has been solidified.

    Structural dysfunction at MLSE

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    Charlie Brown 5 years ago

    When’s the last time Butch Carter was on Prime Time? Summer?

    More like FOT&S

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    Don River 5 years ago

    Eric Smith started off mediocre, and remains mediocre. There is no room to grow.

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    Wayne 5 years ago

    I’m not a basketball fan and never listen to sports P/P on the radio BUT Carter is entitled to his opinion and it’s nice to see someone be critical of a radio broadcast. Not only have we had FOB for awhile, rarely do we see anyone get critiqued unless it’s perhaps a rival station. This web site does a great job of sharing and offering objective opinions. Nice to see! Even the critisicm Festchuk received and support is nice to see but rarely on P/P. Critisicm can bring changes especially if ratings go down!

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    Charlie Brown 5 years ago

    And thank God McCown is back. Blair freezes in front of a camera. He did a whole hour on baseball on PTS on January 14th. The guy’s as sharp as a wet bag of hair when it comes to non-baseball stories.

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    Basketball has never been a radio sport for me to listen to. I only use it when I am driving, so I am not too concerned of how the coverage is there. Television, completely different story, and the real topic should be why Raptor fans have had to endure Leo Rautins since Day 1 of this franchise.

    Leiweke certainly while in control was able to elevate the Raptors within the MLSE sports portfolios, and I am grateful for that, and sad that he is leaving. His ability to acquire new basketball practice courts that will be built was very impressive, while navigating his way through the dysfunctional relationship between Rogers and Bell.

    Getting back to the topic, Butch Carter is entitled to his opinion, I just can’t get worked up over it. Given a choice, I do prefer Eric doing commentary and Jonesy doing play by play.

    It is interesting how MoPete beloved here, has signed on with TSN as a commentator, a welcome addition, and my first impressions were positive from the other night. He has a great personality, is very outgoing, and played through the most exciting times during Vincemania before he turned rogue on us.

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    I haven’t heard Butch on PTS for many weeks now (not that I am complaining) so if he’s not on PTS in the near future it might not be because of this incident

    Smith is not shy about retweeting compliments he gets on Twitter (does anyone else in Toronto do this?) but I’m guessing he didn’t retweet Butch’s attack on him

    Does anyone know why 590 moved Smith to play by play and Jones to analyst this season?…………when they did it I thought it was a strange decision………..is it maybe because they wanted a different sounding broadcast than the games that are on 1050 (where Jones does the play by play)?

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    The criticism is fair. Neither Jones nor Smith are particularly solid play-by-play men. As an analyst, I do prefer Smith, who at least seems open to ideas other than those scripted. Jones always seems to be on one campaign or another.

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    First of all I certainly agree with Butch, He offered some much needed objectivity towards Rogers media who really thinks they are a premium sports brand, yet far from it. Eric drives me nuts when he is being interviewed or interviewing, he rambles like crazy. His questions or answers are like run on sentences they go on and on with no pause in between. Often times listeners will hear him say “I know Im rambling here” That is not the sign of a confident media guy. That is the sign of a guy who lacks confidence and needs to Ramble on to make sure he gets his point across. Maybe that’s why they stuck him in Play by Play, because he talks so much. I personally thought Sherman Hamilton who played for the men national team and has great insight should have gotten a crack at the Analyst Role and Jones kept in play by play. Eric should be moved over to sideline reporting for Raptors on sportsnet. All that said I do also agree with Mike S about sportsnet likely wanting a different voice.

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    Neil, Sherm Hamilton is the most under-utilized resource out there, and has grown into my favourite Raptors broadcaster period, even ahead of Jack, who I love, but after so many years, I can almost predict what he says before he says it.

    Sherm should be elevated in some manner, he has earned it. He is hip, knows basketball inside out, and gets his points across succinctly, along with a really cool radio voice that would transfer well over to television.

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    Steve Jones 5 years ago

    Classless comment. Although it’s not wrong. But if you want to compare hockey and basketball then hoops wins big time. Nothing is worse than Bowen screaming homerisms into the mike. If I need to listen to radio I fire up the other teams broadcast via Tunein. It’s not always good, but my ears and stress level are way better.

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    Steve 5 years ago

    Raptors play-by-play on the radio is amateur hour. Paul Jones has a weak voice. What credibility does Eric Smith bring to colour? I know they flipped it around this year but it’s ridiculous that they ever thought it was credible.

    As for leafs play-by-play on the radio? Bowen is ok. Bombastic but that’s what’s expected from homer local radio pbp. Jim Ralph is terrible. We’re talking the Toronto-Fucking-Maple-Leafs! Is this the best we can do?

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    Frank 5 years ago

    Butch carter (even before his non-required critique of Eric smith) makes my ears bleed when he’s on. He’s adequate on basketball but an absolute dumpster fire on any other topic. Why McCown or the FAN in general keeps him as a semi regular Is astounding. What’s worse is his consistent cringe worthy refrain of ‘al’right’ after every sentence. Listen to any of his appearances on any FAN show and you hear the carnage. Hey fan590 you might want to screen out co hosts that have painfully bad grammar, let alone knowledge of one only sport. If butch’s latest bonehead assault of Eric smiths keeps him off PTS or any FAN show for good that would be wonderful.

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    Im not sure why the comment should be classified as bonehead. Butch is just being honest. Butch is a basketball guy and has enough knowledge of the game through his experience, good or bad to make comments as such. Butch being a people person may be questionable, however I trust his opinion regarding things in and around the game. Boneheaded is the fan promoting there personalities regardless of quality of work. To list a few Doug Mclean, Jeff Sammut, Nick Kypreos.

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    I’m probably bias here, but criticizing play by play commentary is low hanging fruit ( to steal an MiB (not really in Boston) quote. Everyone has a stylistic preference really. I’ve been called a homer, not knowledgable, unfunny and been told my voice made them sick to their stomach and I’m only at the AHL/OHL level.

    I will say this: to have your first major play by play gig at the elite level is really tough, and there is an adjustment period, no matter how poised and polished you sound. Play by play calling is a unique animal, and I can say I am mentally exhausted at the end of a broadcast, because no matter how fired up or excited you get, you lose some of that when it comes across to the radio/TV medium. Really, you have to be an extension of your personality and then crank up the volume/intensity to a manageable level. Again, I’m not a network announcer or NHL/NBA etc, but I’ve done it for OHL/AHL for about 10 years now on local TV.

    Why Butch Carter did what he did was beyond me. Maybe he has no affiliation with Rogers anymore so he felt free to criticize, who nows? Basic rules should state you do not criticize your bretheren, even if you don’t like their style. Heck, that pretty well works in most walks of life!

    The Raptors have quite a few knowledgable, invested broadcasting talents. Devlin, Leo, Jack Armstrong, Paul Jones, E Smith, Sherm Hamilton are very good at analyzing the game. Everyone is going to have a style that they enjoy/don’t enjoy.

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    Drumanchor 5 years ago

    Nice comment, Steve Clark. I would suspect that most people are unaware of how challenging calling a game can be. Best of luck with your career.

    As for Butch Carter, he has a well informed basketball mind, but as a broadcaster, his delivery leaves a lot to be desired. His biggest problem to me is that he seems to have no filter. His thoughts seem to be articulated before he gives them the proper time to realize the weight of his word. As history has shown, this practice continues to get him in trouble.

    I agree with Grey County Mike in that neither Smith nor Jones are particularly good broadcasters. In fact, I think Eric Smith’s play-by-play style is actually mimicking Jones’, which makes one wonder why the switch in the first place. Perhaps given time he will develop his own style.

    Joe Bowen, despite his numerous faults is still the best play-by-play man for the Leafs on radio. My only complaint is the back-and-forth schtick with Jim Ralph (I was/you were a terrible goalie) is getting tired and rarely funny.

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    Thanks drumanchor.
    In no way shape or form do I want to paint myself as elite, because I’m not at that point, but play by play is not as easy as people think. Being blessed with amazing pipes (I’m not blessed that way) like Joe Bowen helps, but its the personality that has to go with it.

    Butch Carter, from what one article stated, is interested in developing a Canadian only basketball league, with perhaps Leo Rautins involved. There was an article in the Ottawa Citizen a couple of months back that I have to find that talks about it. THere is a Canadian pro basketball league right now that is treading water and seems to gain and lose a couple of franchises every year. Whether or not Butch needs/wants the radio/promotional power of Rogers is unknown.

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