Saturday Sports Musings

Saturday Sports Musings




Happy Saturday!

Mike is off planet visiting so you are stuck with me today.

Couple of thoughts then it’s over to you for random thoughts…


So, question for you….

One of the most interesting “engagements” I had since writing here took place a few years back. I was on the phone with this individual and they were none to happy with me for breaking a news story about changes at their outlet. “Why do you have to do what you do? Why do you write about these things? You know you are talking about people’s lives!”

I found the conversation pretty ironic to be honest with you.

It happened that this conversation took place right around the NHL Trade deadline where EVERY outlet does very little but talk about who is rumored to be traded where.

When I raised that point to this individual this person got silent and then hung up.

So, why I am raising this now?

Well, I am curious your thoughts on a related issue.

Rumors are abound that significant changes are coming at Rogers and their NHL “team”. I have written about this a few times and I’ve been very specific in NOT naming names.

Curious, sports media fans…

Forget the juicy love for gossip that some people have (or all people for that matter), do you think I should be writing the names of people I hear could be on the chopping block????? Forget the legality of it just for arguments sake and to keep it clean.

Do you think there’s ANY difference between reporting that someone may get traded, cut or signed then there is to someone being pushed off print, web, tv or radio?

Is there a difference between the media either calling for OR speculating that a coach, scout, gm or CEO be terminated and us (Mike and I) doing so here?

I’d love to know your thoughts.

On the topic of Rogers and NHL all I will say is that it seems to me that everyone there, on air and off, is walking on eggshells. Nothing has been said publicly or privately so people are left to wonder. That’s not a good thing. However, what exactly are the powers that be supposed to do? You don’t usually tell people that changes are coming until, well, it’s time to make them.

Several people told me this week that the news of Don Cherry’s re-signing for next year was not appreciated by many staffers. With so many worried about their future why announce that Grapes is returning and Grapes only.

What I have been told is that the cuts could very well be significant. I am told that those who have a long term deal are NO safer than those with expiring deals. I am told that those who have to travel specifically for work could be either endangered or told to remove the travel requirement in order to keep their jobs.

Timing? That’s the number one question I get. Well, it won’t be before the end of the playoffs. The question is before or after the draft. One insider insists it will be before. Another points out that many of those who could be effected are slated to be part of the NHL Draft show so it won’t be until after. For now? We wait.


Did you happen to catch Stephen Brunt last week on Ali? One word- AWESOME. This proves again that Brunt remains number one in the market and in my opinion is the most under-utilized person Rogers has at it’s disposal.

I spent the week in Seattle this past week. I was shocked that there was as much NHL coverage on local tv as there was. No, not arena talk, actual Stanley Cup game coverage. My bet for what it’s worth is that the NHL will move to Seattle, but not downtown as has been rumored; I think an ownership group emerges in nearby Bellevue. When the NBA was there, apparently that closer to where the fans lived.

First Ali and now Mr. Hockey. It’s been a brutal couple of weeks for the remaining greats of yesterday. What it has meant is that the sports coverage has improved dramatically as there has actually been interesting things to talk about. It’s been a great few weeks for those of us who love story telling.

I never met Ali but I suspect we will never see as dominant a personality as him for the rest of my life.

I was luck enough to meet Howe on several occasions. The first time he came to do drop a puck and sign autographs at The Palace of Auburn Hills for a Detroit Vipers game. It was a hugely political move at the time as the Vipers were owned by Illitch rival Bill Davidson. My thoughts on meeting Gordie? He was as advertised, a perfect gentleman. The real memory was of Mrs. Howe who too was exactly as advertised. She was defiantly the boss! The next time I saw him he actually suited up for the Vipers and the last time was at a Red Wings game (while little TSM was playing at the Joe as part of a tournament). Always the nicest guy you’d ever meet and LOVED talking to kids about hockey.

Radio ratings came out this week.

I’ve been told that TSN remained nonexistent on the scale and that the Blair show was up, again. Should I come across actual numbers I will comment then.

The lesson in the ratings game is simple. You need content to succeed. Content in this market is Maple Leafs then Blue Jays. I don’t know what it will take for the Raptors to get there on the radio. Sadly, maybe nothing ever will.

I picked up yesterday’s USA Today prior to getting on my flight. Not a word anywhere in print on the NHL or the Stanley Cup.

Speaking of flights… Am I the only person who wishes that the airlines BAN reclining seats. I mean it’s a domino effect. One person goes back because they are selfish and everyone behind them follows suit. I’m relatively tall (6’2) and yesterday on my 6am flight the guy in front of me pushed back (because the guy in front of him did) and he was so far back I couldn’t use my laptop. Kindly, after I asked he moved forward 6 inches. Either make the rows a little farther apart or take out the recline button. It’s stupid.

What do you do when the grey market takes over the sales of your tickets? Push up the price apparently! Hamilton the big play on Broadway was upset with the secondary market for the top ticket. What did they do to combat this? Raised the base price of course. Reportedly ears perked up at MLSE.

How do you know you are irrelevant?

I just Googled MLSE CEO:

Here is what I got:

Screen Shot 2016-06-11 at 11.27.03 AMThat’s even funnier as I was going to comment on this article from the Toronto Star. The image above speaks for itself I guess.

By the way… Nelson Millman called it a day yesterday. Nelson was the first PD to reach out to me on this blog. We didn’t always agree, or get along but I can’t tell you how much he helped me over the years with nothing else but two things: perspecive and professionalism. Nelson ALWAYS took a call; NEVER told me anything but ALWAYS treated me with respect. As someone who does this for fun it’s all I ever ask for. Good luck and thank Nelson. You are a legend. Keep your head down on the links and best of health to you and yours!

Lastly, I am curious to know how many of you actually pay for content behind paywalls?


Thanks as always for reading and reaching out.




  • comment-avatar

    Seeing how thin-skinned most sports-media members are on social media, I totally get why they’d repel against coverage on their futures despite the fact they earn a living belching whatever rumour enters their head, real or imagined, regarding players. Spoiler alert: most of those rumours never transpire into reality yet likely negatively affect the players in question, not to mention their families.

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    Giving readers names allows them to play fantasy Program Director.

    If you know that Strombo is gone, or Kypreos, then the fanbase that reads here will start their who will fill that seat chatter. Or start discussing the new direction.

    When you say there will be change it stifles the conversation in that no one knows, or is willing to make guesses on the direction.

    Now, does the PRO of added conversation outweigh the CON of putting something out that will dramatically effect someones life and family? I am not sure I am ready to comment on that.

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    Thanks for the great read…not sure what to think of the upcoming changes at Rogers, is it fair to speculate on other people’s lively hood? Not sure I would want my name out there true or not, but I guess that’s just the way it is in that particular line of work and you just have to accept it.
    Your bang on with Brunt excellent read and coverage on TV , he worth every cent , even if he has to bow down to Rogers every once in a while. Just goes with the job.

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    Tighthead5 years ago

    I guess being traded is different than being fired. You still get paid and still have a presence. A fired media person will get some severance but may be off air for a long time.

    The public reaction to the initial Rogers crew was largely negative. That should have been the first clue – and perhaps the second.

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    Steve Jones5 years ago

    I don’t think people care about what’s happening with behind the camera personnel but I do think they are with in air staff and I think it’s fair to discuss. They are public figures, they talk about player and management moves all the time. They go so far as to call for moves, which is also fair. So I think they need to accept it as part of the job.

    I’m sure there will be plenty of moves, a culling of the herd. They have too many people involved and it creates a disjointed feel to the broadcasts. I think as part of this they need to define radio vs TV. I know both sides use talent on bith sides but in that case it’s overkill. I would like to see defined crews on each. It doesn’t mean appearances can’t be made, just limit the exposure.

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    “Content in this market is Maple Leafs then Blue Jays. I don’t know what it will take for the Raptors to get there on the radio. Sadly, maybe nothing ever will.”

    Maybe that’s true traditionally, but I think that hasn’t really been the case the last year. The Jays really dominated the sports conversation last Summer and Fall, and the Raptors captured a lot of interest this Spring. The TV numbers certainly bear that out at least. Meanwhile, I have no doubt the Leafs will be huge once they aren’t terrible… but I feel like they’ve been a bit of an afterthought the past year or so.

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    WouldStaley935 years ago

    Good read Jonah

    I’m simply going to speculate as to who may be in danger of being terminated and or re assigned to a lesser role with Sportsnet and CBC NHL package.

    Darren Pang
    Daren Millard
    Doug MacLean
    Billy Jaffe
    John Shannon
    Damien Cox
    PJ Stock
    Scott Morrison

    I can’t see Nick Kypreos being dumped. But I don’t work for Rogers so what do I know.

    Will Bob Mackowycz ever return to TSN 1050 ? He’s visible on Twitter nowadays but never makes a clear indication when he is coming or if he truly is coming back.

    I thought Bob McCown being on with Dean Blundell & Co in the morning yesterday was awesome. Bob brought up Stephen Brunt by name during the Ali segment. Great radio segment Bob was really good giving listeners a background on Ali and just how impatient he was in the sporting world and real world not just the boxing world.

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    I don’t think it would be useful to publish names at this point. If you’re right, you’ve upset someone before they’ve officially heard it from their boss. If you’re wrong, you put someone through a stressful situation for nothing. I don’t think it will honestly generate a civil, reasonable discussion here – so I say don’t publish it.

    I can say this much, whoever decided it was a good idea to have guys in suits make fake plays on their fake indoor video rink should have been fired and blacklisted from TV the second after they put that on air the first time. It’s the most cringeworthy and embarrassing part of HNIC. Bob McKenzie doesn’t grab a stick and have Noodles jump in a fake net to make a point. That’s one example of TSN’s professionalism that HNIC doesn’t seem to have anymore.

    I think the biggest problem with HNIC is the opinions are getting stale. Yes Healey, the Leafs are bad and you played for them once. Do you have anything else to add?? They’ve got people who could be better utilized than what they’re doing now (Marek especially). Strombo isn’t a good host – but he’s still a great interviewer. He should be doing special interviews and features each week.

    I’ll tell you one change that they’ll never make in a million years but is badly needed – Jim Hughson. His disdain for everything except the Canucks and Crosby comes shining through in his boring delivery. Why Bob Cole isn’t calling every single Leafs/Habs Saturday night game is completely beyond comprehension. But they’d never give the fans what we actually want.

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    Rogers eliminated Cutler’s position ( senior VP of hockey production), moving Sportsnet’s live sports coverage and studio production “under the same umbrella” of Rob Corte, the vice president of Sportsnet and NHL production. To me this means they aren’t going to go outside to hire a new person to run the Rogers NHL ship – that’s a mistake. The rebuild has to start at the very top. The days of new camera crane swings every week floating around that overdone HNIC studio need to go, along with various and confusing seating arrangements, or Hrudey shooting pucks at Kypreos – there has been zero consistency. This last season especially was the equivalent of a ball player swinging too hard at the plate to break out of a slump: bigger swings, zero hits.

    A new top dog presumably would bring a new phalanx of on-air characters, but really, who the hell is there to draw from?? TSN locked up all their guys to long term deals and after you fire most of the current Rogers roster where do you go, completely new faces from Jr Hockey or other local faces from around the country we aren’t familiar with? That may work over the long term but in the short term I’m not sure how it doesn’t mean another year of double digit declines in ratings. Or do you dangle big bucks at a Jeremy Roenick to bring him north of the border? Likely we’ll see an ex-NHL player on the panel that has never broadcasted before. Maybe they can find a gem.

    All they can hope for at Rogers is that the ratings have bottomed out and will begin to climb as the Leafs and the rest of the Canadian teams begin their ascent out of the basement. To me the key is more consistency and less hockey, not more. And with Rogers having such a huge commitment to the NHL along with owning 37.5% of the most important team – you can bet there have been unofficial meetings between Rogers and NHL Execs about how to change the actual game itself to make it more exciting. Have the best crew you want on the air, the regular season is a snooze-fest – you can’t hit anyone anymore, no fights, less goals, too much dump and chase. Without changes to the game, ratings won’t go up a whit.

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    @shwaguy, think the issue with Cole is he is too old to carry a full load, and isn’t able/or doesn’t want to work more than he does. Love his delivery, but you have to admit, his skills are diminishing, and he misses a great deal of the play. He is a classic for sure, but not better than Hughson. Hughson is no more biased than anyone else on HNIC or Rogers IMHO. And even if he is, the rest of us get the Leafs based bias of the on air/production/reporting rammed down our throats nightly.

    As far as publishing names, absolutely within your right to do so if you are able to speculate based on information obtained. These guys are paid handsomely, and part of that is due to their public profile, and as such, they are fair game. Let’s face it their comp isn’t based on their value to society. We aren’t talking cops/paramedics/firefighters/doctors etc. It is an unfortunate aspect of the world they choose to be a part of. No different from them speculating on a player/coach/GM…

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    I’m glad to hear Blair is doing well, if only for the reason that I enjoy his baseball talk and would like it to stick around.

    When it’s him and Brunt together, it’s almost like the new Prime Time for me. Good, thoughtful, interesting info you don’t get elsewhere.

    These days I download Blair’s show if there’s good baseball chat or something interesting with Brunt, Baseball Central if I’m really in a Jays zone, Prime Time (which I am listening to less due to the poor cohosts), and the Dan Lebatard show from ESPN. That’s about it.

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    You’re definitely correct. I’m only talking about Leafs and Habs on Saturdays. Surely Rogers can give him those games to do. There’s something magic about him calling Leafs/Habs – even when he gets the calls wrong or forgets who is on the ice these days.

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    I don’t think there’s anything “magic” per se about Cole calling the game. It’s simply that he loves what he’s doing. He loves watching hockey and sharing his excitement for the game with other people. For a lot of other on-air talent these days it’s more like calling them game is a job. It’s a chore they do to get a pay cheque. What excites them is not the game, but getting people riled up at them on the internet, probably because their job requires them to do it.
    The really sad part is there are people working at Sportsnet who obviously love hockey and talking hockey but they are stuck on a seniority ladder behind the people who just want the pay cheque (probably because they blew their NHL cash prematurely).

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    Tighthead5 years ago

    I think Hughson is wildly overrated. Canucks fans think the three best hockey pbp in history are Jim Robson (great), Jim Hughson (meh) and John Shorthouse (blowhard homer).

    Miller and Cuthbert would each be a huge upgrade on Hughson.

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    Mattmark5 years ago

    Provided that the subject matter is something of legitimate public interest, surely it would be hypocritical for anyone in media to complain about being subjected to the same scrutiny the media routinely brings to bear on others.

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    Be careful when you criticize homerism on this board. The diehard fans attack. One guy even posted my personal information after I called out homerism in the Tor media.

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    The article on Rogers made a good point about the broadcasts not being any fun. Are there two people on tv more miserable than Kypreos and Healy?

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    Another Steve5 years ago

    Changes at Rogers….
    I don’t need a pre-game or post game show to enjoy a game.
    Same to be said for the play-by-play.
    Watching a game with the mute activated hasn’t been a hardship.

    Roger’s has made their production of HNIC unwatchable.

    Unless the “changes” start at the top of the executive chain, I’m not really expecting much from whatever “changes” that might in fact actually occur.

    A full house cleaning is what’s required, executive, production, and on-air.

    To expect the very same executives who created the mess that is HNIC to be the
    right people that make corrective moves that improve HNIC is not only foolish, but fantasy.

    I suspect that whatever “changes” that actually happen, they’re going to amount to nothing more than rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    This is Rogers.
    Putting the right people in the right positions for the right reasons at the right time has never been a strength of the decision makers at Rogers.

  • comment-avatar

    I think Jeff Blair has the best show on the Fan590. He knows his baseball and is pretty good at other sports. His show the discussing the legacy of Gordie Howe was great radio.
    I thought I heard Brunt say he was on with McCowan discussing Ali? Did I miss something? I couldn’t find it anywhere on the podcasts. Would be a great convo if true.

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    Original Mitch5 years ago

    I still don’t think we see any significant changes at HNHC or with anything Rogers NHL related. we’ll see digital departments get reduced, maybe cut backs on hotels and per diems, and minor minor things like that Sophia what’s on Twitter segment (they won’t fire her, they’ll just put her back on plays of type shows). But the big players aren’t going anywhere. Rogers is stubborn as a mule and admitting mistakes is not their strong suit. And I do think if the leafs were even half decent, ratings would be much much better for them.

  • comment-avatar

    I agree with your point on Brunt. The unfortunate deaths of Ali and Howe unleashed Brunt this week on TV, radio, and print, and he proved yet again why he is Canada’s premier sports journalist. The way he pieces his ideas together so thoughtfully into words is unparalleled. Sportsnet perfectly utilized him this past week and I hope to see more of that in the future.

    Also, kudos to sportsnet for getting Spider Jones and Pinball Clemons on a show Friday morning (joined by Bob Mccown) to cover Ali’s funeral. They were great!

  • comment-avatar

    Great question by Jonah about speculating on on-air terminations/restructuring. “DJ” brings up a good point from a content perspective about the idea of playing Fantasy PD and creating the ideal on-air line up if it is known that some are on the chopping block. I think sports broadcasters/talk show hosts are in the public eye and any speculation about the job should in theory “come with the territory”. At the same time, I am not sure you are helping yourself by speculating on names that may or may not be fired, or reassigned. There’s far more value in reflecting, opining on those after they are terminated/reassigned. I get that in the sports media business, The Hot Stove Lounge is a part of their content, but a lot of those guys, as someone said, are going to new destinations and will still have a job rather than a media guy who could be out of a job. That’s my take anyways

    As for the timing of potential restructuring? Not sure you want to do it before the draft, esecially as some of those people will be working at the draft. At the same time having the Sword of Damacles hanging over your head for too long can be problematic too. I’ll bail out and stay neutral on that one.

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    Some people are indifferent to homerism, some hate it. Others just want to be Marty York’s best friend.

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    The blind hatred for Rogers on here is nauseating. If you can’t separate their broadcast arm from you cable, that’s your issue. If you think somehow TSN cares more about you, the person, than Sportsnet does, so be it. But to think that an improvement on the ice for Canadian teams won’t equate into an improvement in ratings for any and all rights holders is sheer nonsense.

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    The blind hatred for Rogers on here is nauseating. If you can’t separate their broadcast arm from your cable bill, that’s your issue. If you think somehow TSN cares more about you, the person, than Sportsnet does, so be it. But to think that an improvement on the ice for Canadian teams won’t equate to an improvement in ratings for any and all rights holders, regardless of who is fronting the show, is sheer nonsense.

  • comment-avatar

    Not sure why the double-post but I apologize … especially to those who aren’t offended by it.

  • comment-avatar

    Kevin Barker continues to shine. The guy delivers more no nonsense info and analysis per minute than any local analyst of any sport. Baseball Central has bever been on my Pod list but is now. Had a good hit with Bobcat this week too. Like him better with Bob than Blair.

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    Rob in Aurora5 years ago

    I see a lot of commenters who have already posted my shared opinions on a lot of what TSM wrote about (for one thing, I can’t stand Hughson). Regsrding HNIC, I don’t think it’s fair to speculate on who is going and who’s staying in the articles. If you’re able to confirm that “majotlr cuts and changes are imminent”, it allows the posters (regular viewers) to speculate in the comments anyway. If the on air guys are “brave” enough to read the comments here and on Twitter, then they do so at their own peril. By the time anything is confirmed by TSM, the victims likely already know their fate…

    It’s a results oriented business, when the news was good and they beat TSN for the rights, there was a bit lot of abhorrent boasting and “rubbing it in”. I’d love to see those guys all get axed, but we’ll wait and see. Thee are a lot of terrible broadcasters at Sportsnet. Compared to TSN it’s laughable. If I am running the show, anyone who travels in order to work for Sportsnet needs to be worried. That’s just bad business. No one on the air at hnic is worth that expense.

    Finally: Rest in Peace Gordie Howe. A great life well lived. He was a great example of how you’re supposed to do it. Beliveau, Orr and Gretzky followed Gordie’s lead. For my money, they are hockey’s Mount Rushmore.

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    Benjamin5 years ago

    @Bobby G
    Move tried using that rational, it’s pointless. They are too far down the rabbit hole of hate to think objectively. Best to ignore

  • comment-avatar
    Rob in Aurora5 years ago

    I see a lot of commenters who have already posted my shared opinions on a lot of what TSM wrote about (for one thing, I can’t stand Hughson).

    Regarding HNIC, I don’t think it’s fair to speculate in the columns on who is going and who’s staying. If you’re able to confirm that “major cuts and changes are imminent”, it allows the posters (regular viewers) to speculate in the comments section anyway (fair game) If the on-air guys are “brave” enough to read the comments here and on Twitter, then they do so at their own peril. By the time anything is confirmed by TSM, i would assume that the victims likely already know their fate…

    It’s a results oriented business, when the news was good and they beat TSN for the NHL rights, there was a lot of abhorrent boasting and “rubbing it in”. By certain Sportsnet people..I’d love to see those guys all get axed, but we’ll wait and see. There sure are a lot of terrible broadcasters at Sportsnet. (Compared to TSN it’s laughable). If I am running the show, anyone who travels in order to work for HNIC needs to be worried. That’s just bad business. No one on the air at HNIC is worth that expense.

    Finally: Rest in Peace Gordie Howe. A great life well lived. He was a perfect example of how you’re “supposed to do it”. Beliveau, Orr and Gretzky followed Gordie’s lead. For my money, they are hockey’s Mount Rushmore.

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    I see. Don’t be critical of Rogers lest you be accused of “hate”. That’s a pretty distasteful reaction given today’s news.

  • comment-avatar

    @Bobby G

    In the grand scheme of things Rogers does not want you to separate their business and keep cable separate from broadcast quite the contrary, they want to be known as a communications conglomerate, the company with many facets and that’s exactly how they are being treated good or bad. It’s all about synergy, bundling and cross promoting. If they want people to treat each product like it’s independently controlled or separate, then quit indirectly reminding people that you own the broadcast as well as all the communications products your running ads for during the broadcast,and oh ya all over the dome, That said quite obviously everything today is about advertising and cross promoting the new era of marketing.

    In the end
    Rogers is o.k with those that associate all their assets, it’s serves as a reminder that love them or hate them they are not going anywhere anytime soon.

  • comment-avatar


    Certainly nothing wrong with honest critique, thats what makes everyone better. But when someone angry tweets rogers 10/15 times a day, posts on 2/3 message board daily, all hating rogers, thats not critique, thats obsession.

    We’re not even allowed to say anything that may be positive and be objective, we’re told were morons, so why bother to engage, its past objectivity

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    Rob in Aurora5 years ago

    Um….I for one am more than capable of separating my cable bill issues from the quality of Sportsnet’s offering and the Fact 590 content. If Sportsnet was superior to TSN, I would be more than happy to dump on TSN. (They have their weak links too)… But compared to Sportsnet, well there is no comparison. The Rogers cable and cell service has nothing to do with my ongoing distaste for Sportsnet’s offerings. That’s just me. I am not trying to speak for other posters. But I’m obviously not alone in my opinion either. There is no accounting for tastes and prereferences…. eg: I can’t stand most country music, but I don’t try to convince others to agree with me.

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    @ Benjamin
    You are absolutely correct. And the attempt to conflate your comment with what happened in Orlando today just proves the point.

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    It’s the attitude that you have to be all Sportsnet or all TSN that is so distasteful. This isn’t a football game. Why would anyone cheer for either network to conquer the other? I can pick and choose what I like about either one and work that to my advantage. Sportsnet has the national NHL rights for another decade. After that, they can re-up or someone else gets them, depending on the lay of the land in 10 years. Relax.

    And while I’m no fan of Jim Hughson, I don’t think Cuthbert or Miller are an improvement at all. One of Sportsnet’s problem is the dearth of quality play-by-play callers in hockey today. That is the real tragedy in all this.

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    Just be relieved Steven didn’t post your social media info here as a way to intimidate as he did mine last week. I’m sure his Rogers’ bosses approved.

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    You complain about anti Rogers comments about ten to fifteen times each blog post, you and the very same people each and every time. I don’t think I have every seen a post from you regarding the topics presented by Jonah or Mike. You seem to always want to comment based on a comment on the board. Seems like trolling to me.

  • comment-avatar

    @Big G

    If you could point me to the last article that I posted 15 times it, it would be appreciated, facts > hyperbole.


    Its a twitter feed, they are public, deal with it. Don’t like it, don’t post it. He’ll, ill post my email, I don’t hide myself, I own what I say. My point was, its unhealthy to have such an obsession over Rogers. 10/15 post a day (its higher then that), doing nothing but attacking a company. Doing the same here, the same on another blog. Breath, thats not healthy.

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    And sorry, I don’t work for Rogers (I know kind of wish I did), I just dislike that this is constantly an issue every, single, post.

    Heck, MIB even tweeted at you (I saw it on the twitter feed of this site) that he doesn’t even post all your comments because they are over the top. Guess hes a Rogers shill too 😉

    Good day, I shouldn’t have even engaged, but get a hobby, honestly.

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    Glad to see you’re putting your psychology degree to good use. Why not comment on one of the topics suggested by Jonah and Mike? Attacking me personally (or at least diagnosing me) doesn’t really move the discussion along, though I’m sure it gives you a nice rush. My comments are always on-topic. Yours are just anger directed at those who dare criticize your precious teams and their homer broadcasters. You would *willingly* post your info, yet you posted mine without consent simply to intimidate. This is my official and public warning not to do so again (though since you are a child, this will make you do it again I’m sure).

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    Countdown to the thread being moderated again … (And itsnot even monday yet)

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    Some dislike homerism in broadcasting, some don’t pay any attention to it, some just want Marty York to like them.

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    This is my last comment on a TSM board. Keep it real, boys.

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    I tuned into TSN 1050 this morning just to see if they would have Simmons on post Kessel triumph.

    Surprisingly he was in for Michael Landsberg. Now I didn’t get the satisfaction of them acknowledging that he was wrong or even mentioning the story from last year at all, I did get to hear the praise Phil.

    What was funny to me was how much better this show is with out Michael Landsberg. Don’t get me wrong it’s still not a very good show, but it is a big improvement when Naylor is driving the bus. Yes he is dull and God knows I hate Simmons, but the show was actually about sports, it actually had topics other than A host totally taking over and talking about him self, his old show, how long he has been doing his new show, his friendship with his cohost, the art of the interview yadda yadda yadda. Michael Landsberg has been a absolute train wreck and it was nice to hear an organized show again.

    Still a D+ of a show but a big improvement on F under Landsberg. I hope he is off again tomorrow maybe i’ll tune in again.

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    Can’t listen to 590 today. That tool Joey Vendetta is on. What kind of roach uses a nickname these days?? May as well call himself The Fonz or The Greaseman. And he’s unlistenable. Hello Blank And Cauz…

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    In terms of the potential Rogers cuts, I’ve tried thinking of the right answer, but I see the perspective from both sides. As an observer who is hopeful of big changes, yeah, it’d be interesting to read who is likely on the way out. On the other, I understand there should be a certain respect as to not drag members through the mud, and it’d certainly be worse if this forum would be the first of them hearing they’re on the chopping block. Akin to when players find out they’ve been traded by TSN calling them up before anyone else has.

    But you’re right, there really is not much a difference. These people make a living off of speculating who is moving where, getting fired, etc., and now they don’t like it with the shoe on the other foot? Tough.

    Why would people be upset that they announced Cherry’s re-signing? He was without a contract and had it renewed.

    Regarding the last question, I’ve never paid for a paywall. Don’t understand why people do. Unless it’s unique content (ie. baseball rankings on ESPN). If I can’t get content from one paper, I’ll just go to the next one. Why pay when a) the content is nothing great; and b) you can get around it by deleting cookies and/or using incognito mode. I think The Star had it right by getting rid of the paywall. Instead of driving people away after 10 free articles, keep them around to click on as many pages as possible. I’m sure those impressions look better for advertisers than those aligned with paid content.

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    @Rob J
    Promises, promises.

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    As it probably should be, its turned into a gong show.

    Ban those who can’t get along and stimulate fights (we know who that is) and let the rest of us enjoy.

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    Original Mitch5 years ago

    I can’t imagine the cuts at Rogers being any time before mid-July. Draft, June 22nd Vegas announcement, buy-out window and of course July 1st and the following days. With Stamkos watch in full-effect, there is NO way they don’t put on a giant show and I don’t blame them really. The season may be over, but the fun is just getting going.
    IF there are cuts, and I say if, it’ll be quietly done over the dog days of summer. We’ll be focused on the blue jays so much we’ll barely notice.

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    Remember, ratings were down even last season when 5 Canadian teams made the playoffs, so to pin the low ratings entirely on the performance of the Canadian teams would be incorrect. I think it’s entirely fair for the on-air hosts to be the subject of speculation as to their future. Like the players they cover at the trade deadline or “free-agent frenzy”, they are visible, highly paid personalities. I get there isn’t the same kind of movement possibilities in Canadian sports TV as their is in the US, but that’s the nature of the beast. I do feel sympathy for the off-camera producers and camera folks.

    I think in general, where HNIC (and hockey broadcasts in general) need to be better is that they need to be a little more fun. Inside The NBA is, to me, the best studio broadcast on all of television, because they mix the right amount of serious talk with stuff that genuinely makes me laugh out loud. Even if the basketball game is terrible, it’s fun to watch the studio crew do their work. The humour keeps the show moving and gives the serious stuff weight. I get that hockey’s tough and it’s a battle, but I don’t need to be told that over and over again over a six month season. I don’t need to hear the same notes all the time. A little levity goes a long, long way. Whether Rogers has the personalities to do that, we’ll see. For now, they’re thanking their lucky stars for the Blue Jays. Again.

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    Sam In Scarb5 years ago

    @ Original Mitch agreed Robbers will make their cuts on Fridays before long weekends quietly to generate very little feedback.

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    If there’s one thing that will help 1050’s lineup get traction with listeners, it’s airing soccer during the day.

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    Original Mitch5 years ago

    the HNIC broadcast actually needs to add talent. For two straight months, every night we’ve seen the same folks over and over again. They need to diversify, from having 1 or two more hosts to 3 or 4 different ‘experts’. Even if you LOVE Kypreos or Rhudey, after two straight months, its a little tiring.
    The TSN crew does a nice job with the occasional laugh. its not too forced. I like humor, but it needs to be fluid like the TNT guys. That’s hard to re-create. Look at the ESPN b-ball crew compared to TNT. Those guys are simply not entertaining. Its not an easy job.

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    The Blue Jays are playing a weekday afternoon home game today………but TSN’s Jays reporter (Scott MacArthur) is not there………instead he is on 1050 this afternoon filling in for Mike Richards………very strange

    I guess I understand why he doesn’t go on the road with the Jays very much anymore…………but I find it surprising that he would miss home games too

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    You rip a guy for using what is maybe a radio name and you call yourself “Yaz”. Hysterical.

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    I’m hearing rumblings that Tim & Sid will be part of the Rogers shakeup. Possibly going back to radio or cut to a one hour show.

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    @MjwW – if true – that was a quick stint for Walker with his own show. Brady tweeted he would have an announcement by end of summer. Maybe they’re back together taking over for Richards who is likely on the way out with his contract done early 2017.

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    I am huge fan and loyal listener to Overdrive and appreciate and respect PTS but stopped listening to Bob beyond a segment here and there for awhile. But what really bothers me about Toronto Radio is that the prime time 5-7 slot is still littered with anti-soccer rhetoric. With Euro cup at the forefront right now, I would love to hear a respected voice discuss some of the games that were played in the day but there is absolutely nothing, simply because all the personalities don’t feel comfortable discussing footy and just don’t care. I hope this changes one day because the whole “nobody cares about soccer” thing is so a thing of the past. Now, I’m not expecting the Euro Cup to be given more attention than the Jays or even the June championship series but I feel it should at least be discussed during prime time hours. It is the most important sporting event on the planet right now by a country mile and gets serious TV numbers in Canada so it deserves attention as the tournament goes on.

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    koko b.ware5 years ago


    Was with ya until you called a sport “footy”. That in itself should be reason enough not to discuss it. There is enough football talk and coverage online to last a lifetime. Sports radio in North America will give it its rightful coverage based on local demands.

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    Speaking of the Euros, it’s just the latest TV property to see significant audience declines compared to 4 years ago. Highest rated game was England-Russia and that was still 15% below the average opening games in 2012. It was also the only one to crack half a million.

    Not sure how to explain this one, the expanded (and most would say weaker) field shouldn’t have mattered this much and people sure aren’t watching hockey instead. Could it be that the Jays are having this big of an impact?

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    It will be very interesting to see Sportsnet’s reaction to this

    Cox has pretty much locked up his account since. Im sure he’ll claim he was ‘hacked’

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    Amazing video package by Stephen Brunt to set up the coverage of Mr Hockey’s funeral today. Likes other said about the Ali stuff, this is the Brunt he miss and want to see all time.

    then the silliness happens when they go to the live studio and it looks like Brunt raided Gregg Zaun’s closet with the suit he’s wearing. 😉

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    Unless the intended recipient of that DM (or previous ones) come forward and it becomes a Steve Lepore-type situation I don’t expect anything to happen. Right now it’s pure speculation no matter how obvious the situation might look to everyone.

    Plus, it’s Scott Moore who is making the decision for any discipline. He hired Dean Blundell and put him in a drive time slot replacing an already successful show despite it being clear Dean knows jack shit about sports. Don Cherry is the only NHL personality who gets a public vote of confidence for multiple years after two terrible seasons. Gregg Zaun has made questionable comments on Twitter without even a hint of a slap on the wrist for it. Finally, let’s not forget Scott’s Pan-Am strip club joke he put on his own professional Twitter and left up for THREE WEEKS, only taking it down after MIB highlighted it here. I’d say there’s a track record that indicates SM doesn’t really care about any of this “PC” stuff and he likes to run an old boys club type office. If Damien goes quiet and waits for this to blow over, Scott might even like him MORE because of this.

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    We tend to squabble more amongst ourselves on this board now than at any point in memory. I don’t think that does much good. Here is how I see the Rogers HNIC situation…

    As for anti-Rogers bias, I think there may be some but I think our collective disdain for the Rogers version of HNIC broadcasts is largely justified. I don’t hear folks railing against Jays broadcasts (also by Rogers). Sure Tabler and Martinez could be better but we watch and we let it be. With hockey, though, it’s different. We’ve seen TSN take hockey broadcasting to a level that surpassed the CBC’s version of HNIC — and it’s still there for regional Leafs games.

    The Rogers version of HNIC has failed. I think the ratings state that. It needs an overhaul and at $400M per year in rights fees, it better be effective.

    For Rogers, TSN has set the bar for hockey broadcasting in this country — and Rogers needs to copy TSN’s successful recipe as much as possible. It’s no accident that numerous personalities on Rogers HNIC have never been on TSN — even when they have been available for hire — that’s because they are not sufficiently engaging or likeable.

    How can Rogers make Kypreos its lead analyst? He can’t talk at length with much insight or clarity. When he’s finished speaking I’m often left thinking, “What does he mean?” He’s obviously on a long-term deal but they need to find a more a effective way to use him that minimizes his flaws.

    Hrudey is a nice man but he makes the Fire Log Channel look like must-see TV. His limited insight is not worth his overwhelming blandness. Gotta go.

    Friedman. I like him. He is actually connected. My only problem is that his far-right panel seat provides a side profile of his giant head that does no one any favours. McKenzie has a big melon, too, but TSN rarely shows Bob from the side. Please give us a head-on view of Friege.

    Pang. Giggles too much and is too predictable. Bye.

    Shannon. Anyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about @JSportsnet. This man should not be on TV or radio. Full stop.

    Millard. Has anyone’s star fallen more sharply at Sportsnet? He says some inane things on radio but is slightly better in small doses on TV. B crew.

    Strombo. He’s not what Rogers hoped he would be. He’s neither delivered a younger demo, nor an increase in ratings. I like him as a person but I don’t think he’s well-suited (literally and figuratively) to this role. He clearly doesn’t know the league and only really excels in interviews. Would not be sad to see him leave.

    Doug MacLean. I think a lot people don’t like him but I do. He’s one of the few personalities that gets riled up and passionate — and is willing tell others like Shannon that they’re full of shit. I’d give him a bigger role.

    Marek. Just as Millard’s star has fallen, Marek’s has risen. He’s incredibly knowledgeable about hockey and, especially in the Memorial Cup, has started to regularly deliver a sense of humour to broadcasts. He’s A Crew all the way…

    Cox. Painted-on eyebrows aside, Damien is good on TV. He offers strong, balanced opinions and he has a voice that’s easy to listen to. He should stay, likely on the A Crew.

    Mike Johnson. He’s better in studio than on broadcasts but still has a distance to go to reach Ferraro level — who may be a better analyst than anyone else in hockey.

    Where does Rogers go for talent? Maybe U.S. broadcasts could offer some talent. Rick Dipietro is certainly amusing and insightful.

    Hopefully, Rogers puts a greater emphasis on entertainment in any case.

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    Gibbons says that Sanchez will be moved to the pen at some point, according to Buster Olney. Not that it’s a shock to hear that, but once again, actual news on the Blue Jays is usually reported by outlets other than SN. Yet the myth that SN is the leading source for news on the Jays persists.

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    The manager repeating a plan that has been known to be in place since Spring Training isn’t really news at all.

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    Really? From what I’ve read/heard it was still an open question. Why would SN run Olney’s story if it wasn’t?

  • comment-avatar Bullpen plan is mentioned in the first paragraph and expanded on later down. When it happens is still up in the air but they’ve always said it will be done.

    People have started to wonder if it is becoming an open question based on how Sanchez has pitched so far but from what I’ve read/heard the team has never wavered on it. Your guess is as good as mine why Sportsnet would highlight this.

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    ‘As for anti-Rogers bias, I think there may be some but I think our collective disdain for the Rogers version of HNIC broadcasts is largely justified.’

    There’s one hundred percent just justified need to criticize rogers, but its when it gets personal and it devolves into a Marty York wannabe like personal attack is what gets everyone upset.

    Offer critique, not aggression

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    Well that’s from March… A lot happens after spring training including, as you say, Sanchez pitching as well as he has. Since the season began, I’ve heard he’d be on an innings limit with the POSSIBILITY of going to the pen. But Olney’s story is the first confirmation from the organization that Sanchez is indeed heading to the pen. That’s news in my books – for a lot of reasons.

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    Original Mitch5 years ago

    I don’t necessarily believe in Karma anymore, but i’m really starting to believe in twitter karma. What happened to Cox is more proof that there are twitter gods and that if you are a constant put-down, jerk to others, it may come back and bite you. I’m being facetious with the twitter-god thing, but at the same time it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving recipient.
    Is it enough for his wife to file for divorce and get everything? Probably not, as the wording of the DM would allow a lawyer to manipulate its meaning. But in a court of public opinion, its further proof that the man has (or doesn’t appear to have) integrity.
    I feel sorry for the young lady (or man) who he conned into asking for pics. I imagine he can be intimidating and bully and could goat them into doing things they aren’t comfortable with.
    Again, all speculation, but its fairly obvious what his intention was with the DM.

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    Curt & Mike,

    As recent as May 21, it was an open question whether or not Sanchez would be moved to the bullpen this season. Sanchez is discussed by Atkins at the 1:55 point of the interview, linked below.

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    I know I’m not reinventing the wheel with this comment, but Naylor and Landsberg is a much better show without Landsberg. I don’t mind the show being on the dull side as long as it’s informative, I’m still half asleep driving into work anyhow. I just want to be able to catch up on the previous night’s happenings without an overbearing prick treating everyone like a second class citizen presumably because he can on account of his “illness”.

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    I was wondering why Cox wasn’t on PTS today. I could have sworn McCown said see you tomorrow when he was on yesterday.

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    While I hate dull morning radio and have to agree with your first point. The show is much better without Landsberg. While still dull at least it has structure and moves forward on point. With Landsberg he derails the conversation with his long set ups and stupid quips about how good friends he and Naylor are, or how long the show has been on, or one time on OTR.

    The entire feel of the show is different without him. It is finally about sports, while when he is on the show is about him.

    people turn into TSN for sports talk not Landsberg talk.

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    Speaking of host’s absences, Rusic is FAR more likeable and enjoyable when Blundell is not around. He doesn’t have to put on some schtick to act cool, and just delivers the goods. I hope the Blundell experiment is nearing its conclusion.

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    ‘Naylor And Landsberg’ without Landsberg was called ‘TSN Drive With Dave Naylor’ and was so good it was cancelled.

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    Whether you think it or not, take the fact that some times are not just your day. I hope that my buddy brings them to the next game so I can perform with them some more.