All Maple Leafs All The Time

So this morning (and granted it’s just one morning, so not a scientific survey) I started my morning commute at 6:40am and it lasted up until 8:25am. So for just shy of 2 hours I flipped between The Fan 590’s Blundell and Company & TSN 1050’s Mike Richards show. I’ll admit, that given the distance of my commute I also thumbed over to 680 News ‘on the 1’s to catch a more in-depth traffic update.

Before I say anything lets review. The Maple Leafs played last night. The Raptors played last night. The Blue Jays had a rare off day in spring training(I am not going to turn this into a debate on why no one talks about the Raptors).
So here’s the conclusion and by the way you’ve heard it here before. Both morning shows are uninformative UNLESS they have guests on. The “filler” in-between guests on both shows is repetitive and in my opinion, pretty weak attempts at humor. The guests I heard this morning with Blundell were, Gord Stellick, Jon Paul Morosi and Larry Murphy(he was very good by the way). The guests I heard this morning with Richards were Pierre McGuire, Darren Dreger and Jack Armstrong.
When I got in to my car I heard George Russic on the Fan, talking about his hate for shootouts and the NHL’s obsession with 3-point games. That led to asking callers ‘if the Leafs have hit rock bottom’. The fan then played numerous clips of Joe Bowen’s calls on all 4 Edmonton Oiler goals and 2 clips of Phil Kessel from his post game interview. Honestly, that was the theme of the morning show save for the really good interview with Morosi. The segment with Stellick was ok, but to be honest given the amount of Leaf chatter I’d already heard by the time Stellick came on, I was bored. I will say this however. Blundell ( I think, it was Dean, it is really hard distinguishing Dean from George) asked Stellick if Stellick thought that firing Randy Carlyle was part of a ‘master plan’ by Shanahan to tank. Stellick answered that he didn’t think so and I think that’s a great topic for another post.

Coming out of the 8:00 news, Blundell had a great take on Ron Wilson. In essence what he said was that Ron Wilson came to Toronto a hockey coach with a long history including a Stanley Cup and left” insane!” Wilson, he said, has become a coach who comes on the show and says things a coach should never be saying. It was really good insight and worth a listen.
With the exception of the odd comment here or there, or the “sports” updates, there wasn’t a mention of the Raptors.
On TSN it was a lot of the same. There was lots of banter about St. Patrick’s Day, which was to be expected. The interview with McGuire was as it always is. Richards was drooling over McGuire’s concept that I believe McGuire learned from the Red Wings. I assume Scotty Bowman, once asked a player how the player thinks he was perceived both around the league as compared with how him teammates perceived him. That led to Richards asking himself that very same question out loud, which was was an ironic moment.:

“Mike, how do you think you are perceived in the industry?”
“I’ve heard the word LOVED mentioned before.”
How do you think your team (radio show) perceives you?”

It was quite funny to hear him play that game and not for the reasons I think he’d think it was funny.
A common theme with Richards seems to be Richards wanting to estimate when the majority of the Leafs changes will come. He asked all his hockey guests that this morning. As in, should we expect the trades to take place around the draft. When do you think it will get interesting with player movement etc.

Again, the non-guest related banter, in my opinion is unfunny humour. For example, Dave Bastl, kept playing a Wolf howl when talking about the Blue Jays latest minor league signing. He told a story about how he used the exact same wolf howl audio clip when he was a PA announcer with a minor league baseball team for the same player. It was just like the moment in Planes, Trains & Automobiles when Steve Martin says to John Candy, “the next time you tell a story, have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener!” I kept waiting for the point of the story and instead all I kept getting was the wolf howl clip.
It was pretty funny to see Steve Simmons ( a regular on TSN radio) and others tweeting about an upcoming CFL press conference to announce a new Commissioner(which I’ll admit is a pretty big deal). Yet neither show mentioned anything to do with the CFL all morning. Media members were tweeting about it and neither show raised it nor was it mentioned in any update. The only mention I heard of football was a really a lame bit on TSN where “Tim Tebow” called in.

With the exception of the Jack Armstrong interview there was barely any Raptors or NBA talk on either station. The Morosi interview and a comment here or there about tonight’s exhibition game was the extent of the baseball or Blue Jays talk either.
So there was nothing overly new to report on either station’s morning show. What I tend to hear on a daily basis over 30 minutes, is pretty much an abbreviated version of what goes on only longer during the whole show. Both shows pretty much do a repeat at 8:00 am from what they did/say/played from 7:00am. I get that. I don’t know how many people are listening at 7:00am and again at 8:00. Both shows do a great job when they have good guests on. Both are trying really hard to entertain when they don’t have guests on. Both are really focused on Maple Leafs content. If you aren’t a Leafs fan, I think you are going to want to listen elsewhere as the shows are really Maple Leafs focused (which, given the market I get).

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


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