Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

photo credit: AP/Nathan Denette


by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail


Good morning sports media watchers. With the end of the Jays season lots more time is available for Leafs and Raptors and Argos and TFC talk. Best wishes to everyone on those beats as the spotlight turns to you. Note of warning: the first two sections involve a lot of talk about issues related to justice and equality. If that sort of thing bothers you, skip on down to the third section where you will find things more to your liking.


Suggested Soundtrack: Tribe Called Red – Burn Your Village to the Ground


Programming note: I'm working on another media roundtable on the topic of ethics in journalism. In case you missed the last one check it out here. We had the pleasure of hosting some of the biggest names in sports media and I'm working on another great line-up. If you're in the media, check your junk mail folder for messages from me. Or, follow me on Twitter so I can DM you. Hi Jeff! Miss you buddy.


Ed note: WordPress is having an issue that Gmail is marking its messages as spam. If you subscribe to comments via email then these may end up in your junk mail folder. We are working on it.


Chief Wahoo goes to the World Series


With Cleveland going to the World Series a lot of non-baseball fans will be getting their first look at the Indians' logo. And with lots of off-days and pages of copy to produce, you can bet we will be reading a lot of stories asking the basic question: how in 2016 can a professional sports league with major sponsors justify affiliating its brand with overt racism. 


Let's get one thing out of the way: the logo is racist. If you don't think so then the burden of proof is on you to explain what the difference is between Chief Wahoo's exaggerated features, skin colour, and feather and a logo featuring someone with black skin, big teeth and lips, and a spear. Call that team the Cleveland Coloreds and ask yourself if you would find it racist. 


But, you might reply, they are Indians! No. The term Indian has never been an accurate word for the Indigenous Peoples of North America. So insisting on using it just underlines that you're not interested in recognizing certain groups as social equals. If you want to hold on to the name Indians, scrap the racist logo and work with your local First Nations population and come up with one they can sign off on.


The term Indian when combined with the caricature of Chief Wahoo celebrates a deeply unjust period in North America. If you can get over all of that by appealing to tradition and "it's just baseball" then you are on the wrong side of history.  




Here are some good reads if you want to educate yourself about the history and meaning of the logo, and the debunked Washington Post survey:


  • Cleveland Scene – Loooooong-read but very much worth it. 
  • Canadian PressMark Shapiro was bothered by the logo and sought to relegate it to secondary status (featuring a lovely video of Steve Simmons. Thanks Ottawa Citizen for the value-added!). Also mentions Jerry Howarth's boycott. If you want, you can read the Sportsnet reprint of the CP story, where you'll be treated to top comments like this one:




  • Globe & Mail – Article talks about Jamie Campbell joining Jerry's boycott. Includes the following from Scott Moore: "This has been a big discussion point for many years, and we’ve discussed it with the commentators in the past and have left it to their discretion and their personal decision.” It's a little disappointing that Rogers didn't take the stronger stance of banning both the logo and the nickname from its airwaves and issuing a press release letting everyone know their reasoning and motivation. Here's what the top comment on G&M looks like




  • National Post – the author explores the bevy of social and political rebukes of the name and logo, adding "media organizations can send a signal by opting not to repeat the words." Or as an alternative "if news outlets do use the full team name, […] consider a disclaimer or explaining that it’s offensive to many people." Again, Rogers went for a half measure when a full measure was available. Here's how NP readers reacted:




Further Thoughts: Can one differentiate between the Braves and the Indians? If you hate Chief Wahoo can you be OK with the Blackhawks logo? Is there really something worse about Redskins than Eskimos?


Some of these are hard questions and some are easy. Let's start with the easy ones: the term "redskin" is a slur. The conjunction of the word Indian with a logo featuring a racial caricature is also a slur. So a simple "no slurs" policy deals with both Redskins and Chief Wahoo in one fell swoop.


Next: Eskimo was a term used to refer to a group of people who are ethnically and culturally distinct. The reason for using the blanket term was that the majority of people could not be bothered to learn the differences between northern Indigenous Peoples. Imagine using Zulu to refer to all Africans. It's a way of erasing the significance of another culture by sweeping it under a generic term. So a simple policy saying "no ethnically generalized names" would deal with Eskimos.


The cases of the BlackHawks, Chiefs, and Braves might be more subtle, or they might be covered by policies 1 and 2. Everybody needs to draw their own line and explain why drawing it there avoids the charge of racism. I am interested in your opinion on whether policies 1 and 2 are adequate or too restrictive. 


But what about the Fighting Irish? Answer 1: sure, ban that too if Irish people complain. Answer 2: it is possible to have one set of rules for Indigenous Peoples/First Nations and a different rule for groups who were not subjected to the Indian Act.


Final thought: no one is accusing Cleveland Indians fans of being racists. Like all baseball fans, they just love their team and have fond associations with the name and logo. You can own all your memories without insisting that this continue: 




It's racist. Stop it. Develop a tradition that you can be proud of without reservation.


Over to you: 1) Do we need to ban all if we want to ban one? 2) Make the case that Wahoo is different from a golliwog doll. I'm open to being convinced.


Free Speech For Me But Not For Thee


The Colin Kaepernick traveling Mirror to Society show made a stop in Buffalo last week. According to this story from Dave Zirin, the locals were selling shirts with a scope trained on Kaep, implying that his political protest should be met with a 2nd Amendment solution.




The tailgate also featured a tackling dummy dressed up as Kaepernick: 


"Fans were caught on camera “spearing” effigies of Kaepernick, complete with giant fake Afros. On social media there was tape of one fan yelling, before one spear, “Tackle the Muslim!”


So while Kaepernick expressed a political opinion about the state of the American criminal justice system, others responded to his speech with intimidation, insults, and threats. In other words, they chose counter speech designed to silence his opinion rather than engage with it.


Not everyone is sympathetic to Kaep's exercise of what many Americans claim to believe to be their most fundamental right. Eric Macramalla of TSN, whose bio is "TSN Legal Analyst. Offside TSN radio show in Ottawa/Montreal/Vancouver/ Edmonton" wrote:


"What has Kaepernick sacrificed? His protest certainly attracted of a lot of negative attention from fans, NFL players and his own teammates. Financially, however, the quarterback is set."


This is irrelevant. As a highly paid athlete he has a platform. This is how he is using his platform, namely to draw attention to an issue of national importance. Also, to say he hasn't sacrificed anything is insulting and contrary to fact. He has not sacrificed as much as some, but no one (other than Eric) declared that sacrifice is a measuring contest.


He adds further:


"Kaepernick is of course free to protest. His chosen symbolic gesture, however, is at best vague and ineffective as it has deflected attention away from the substance of the issue for which he was trying to raise awareness. The discussion has become about the appropriateness of his protest rather than the issues it was awkwardly designed to highlight."



This is a matter of interpretation of course. But Eric's article cites no evidence that the protest has been either effective or ineffective. Given that we are 6 weeks into the regular season and this is still a story I would say it has been very effective despite efforts by people like Eric to tear Kaepernick down by saying he is no Ali. If anything "deflects attention away from the substance of the issue" then it is the angle Eric chose to pursue in his story.


Finally, Eric says this of the decision to kneel:


"It represents a modest form of social protest which comes across as self-indulgent and largely unsophisticated, while failing to grasp the enormity of the issues at hand."


Again here, Eric is telling us how he feels about the act but framing it as a universal perception. I don't see it as self-indulgent. I'm also not sure why sophistication is a relevant metric here. 


Since he accuses Kaepernick of "failing to grasp" the issues at hand I asked him on Twitter if he had spoken to the QB to test out this theory about the Kaepernick's mental states:



No reply. Smart: sometimes it is wiser to say less rather than keep digging.That said, we embrace discussion here so if Eric or any of his fans want to defend the piece, have a go in the comments section or by email.


Further Thoughts: there is something very curious about the American mindset when it comes to “offensive” speech. One the one hand, hate-speech is protected speech and you can say and publish racist garbage without fear of legal consequence. Most Americans say this is the cost of true freedom. On the other, people also believe that political protest needs to be done according to certain standards of decorum and only in designated spaces. I don’t see how these two views are compatible. If your principle is that all offensive speech deserves strong protection then at least be consistent about it.


Lastly, I wrote about how "stick to sports" is often used to silence athletes who are using their social prominence to speak about issues that touch them personally. The point seems appropriate here. Look who is telling Kaepernick to stop talking:




Over to you: 1) How would you feel about Demar taking a knee during the American national anthem? 2) How would you feel about PK Subban doing the same? 3) Should more athletes be finding ways to show solidarity with Kaepernick's message, even if it doesn't mean kneeling?


The Gang Lands on their Feet


A news subscription based sports website launched in the last week. It's The Athletic. The site features familiar names David Alter, Eric Koreen, and John Lott all of whom were let go from the National Post during one of its rounds of layoffs (p.s. even more layoffs at Postmedia). Notably absent is Kaitlyn McGrath who is currently the Assistant editor at YahooCASports. 


If you liked reading these gents in the past then you'll like the work they are doing for their new boss. Here's a great piece by John Lott on the end of the Jays season. As I have said many times about Lott's work at the Post, I wish he were given a bit more room to editorialize rather than just report. Looking forward to him working in a more unconstrained writing environment. Judging by his Twitter feed, he sometimes has some strong takes:



In case you are wondering what the business model is, it's 100% subscription-based:




For me, under $5 a month sounds about right for 100% original content. If it is not ad-based then they should be able to make good on their promise not to post click-bait. 


Some potential red flags. 1) They don't have may writers right now. That's a problem. I would recommend they adopt Vice's model and allow a lot of freelancers to build up content. Then, do what Vice doesn't do much of, convert the best writers into full-timers. 2) Also, not clear if they are allowing commenting on stories. I would think a subscription based service would want to build up its sense of community. 3) Lastly, there is no editorial staff listing that I can find so it is unclear who will be guiding the ship. If it's going to be local then they will need someone who understands the local market to drive the direction of the content. 


I'll be checking the site out in detail this week. This is an exciting development for an industry whose currency has been bad news for a while. If this model holds then good people can take their buyouts from the papers and have a soft place to land where they can hit the ground running. 


The other major subscription based model in the market is the Globe. They lock up certain content for their members. The best sports content they have is all business related, so subscribing as a general sports fan would be a waste of money. All of Cathal Kelly's columns can be read for free.


The Globe however, is trying to suck and blow at the same time. If you're going to have premium content then the rest needs to be ad-supported and free. Instead, the Globe has a 10 article limit before you get this message:




The article that was the cause of this message for me was a Canadian Press story about the Argos Grey Cup ticket pricing. That is an article I can read anywhere (see below) yet under the Globe's model this counts as one the 10 I can read before the curtains slam shut. This is incoherent. Lock up the premium content, sure, but don't train me to go elsewhere for my sports reading. I won't come back and you are losing both the chance to sell me a subscription and to get me to click on your ads. Who makes these business decisions and how much do they get paid? All this does is annoy people who visit you regularly. 


Quick Hits


Speaking of the Grey Cup, news broke that mid-tier ticket price are being slashed due to poor sales. This is a major local story given the state of the team and the new stadium. Despite the plethora of local angles, The Star, TSN, Sportsnet, and the Globe all decided to run CP copy instead of writing their own. The National Post which doesn't have even have a sports department managed to produce their own story the day the news broke, and Cam Cole followed up two days later


Back to the Globe's excellent business reporting, they have published several pieces this week on the departure of CEO Guy (Not Your Buddy) Laurence. This one includes the following details: Nadir Mohamed was paid $27 million dollars in salary and compensation when he left. Guy was paid a $10 million dollar signing bonus when he arrived to replace Nadir. And now, three years later, after earning $33 million dollars in salary he will be paid a termination bonus of $16 million. For a publicly traded company, that is a lot of money spent on corporate churn. That said, Guy will probably have to pay a hefty early termination penalty on his cell phone.


Congratulations internet detectives and media sleuths. The suspect in the beer-tossing incident is no longer employed by Postmedia. Lots to discuss about this case. More on that in another column.


Low Hanging Fruit


  • This column by Gary Lawless (TSN) caused quite a stir for its neutral tone towards domestic violence. I'm not a journalist so I have no idea how they are trained to write about charges that were never proven in court. However, given the other details that have been proven (see here) Lawless' cagey language is questionable. The most damning sentence for Lawless is this one: "Is he a flawed man? Certainly. Show us one that isn’t." The "no one is perfect!" line of argument is horribly disingenuous and a favourite of people who do truly awful things. There's a distinction between being a flawed man and being a domestic abuser. I can show you plenty of the former who are not the latter. Winnipeg readers: what's the history between Lawless and Hull?


  • Jeff Blair & Stephen Brunt had a great hour with Jerry Howarth on their radio show. The three discussed, among other things, the Indians name and logo. I have disagreed with some of Jerry’s criticisms of players (Reyes, Bautista) as based on very thin reasoning, but in this case Jerry offered a very compelling and clear rationale.


  • I have been putting in the hours with Overdrive since hockey started. It is night and day in terms of their comfort level. When they actually know what they are talking about the goofy jock talk works, most of the time.


  • The O Dog really likes strip clubs.


  • Still with OD, I encourage execs at TSN to really think about whether this needs to be a 3 hour radio show 52 weeks a year. They have already admitted otherwise by giving all three bros tons of vacation time in the summer. Why not give them 5-7 during the hockey season and televise it to compete with Tim&Sid? Make Leafs lunch 2 hours from 12-2. This would solidify yourself as a hockey voice during the season. This would also leave the 2-5 window for a new non-hockey show that would eat in to PTS’ timeslot — e.g. Musical Chairs with your host Greg Brady


  • Scariest interview of the week: ex-MLB ump & supervisor Jim McKean telling Brunt&Blair that before PitchFx umps could "teach guys a lesson." Remember, these are the types of people who hold senior authority positions within baseball. 


  • Michael Landsberg nicely voiced how silly the conspiracy theories around umpiring and the Jays sound. Paraphrasing: why would an ump intentionally make bad calls in the hope that MLB rewards him for getting Cleveland to the WS? How would that even work?


  • Steve Phillips has quietly turned into a real  asset for TSN and TSN1050. Very little self-aggrandizement and bluster. Very solid and well-informed baseball opinions.


  • Andi Petrillo gets a new co-host. I have no idea what Patrick O'Sullivan's media background is other than his Players Tribune piece and book. If this means less Craig Button, I'm all for it. It's worth noting that this is another ex-player with no professional connection to the market and little broadcast experience joining TSN. Curious strategy.


  • Damien Cox asked a great question during the Deitsch segment last week. Paraphrasing: "why should anyone care if networks get their dream matchup?" He's right. It’s not as if they are going to send their SD cameras instead if a low value market is playing. We should all stop taking the bait on this talking point. This is like when UFC fans get excited about how many PPV buys an event gets. It doesn’t benefit you in any way and only makes rich people richer. Why do you care?


  • Some neutral observers really don’t like the Brian Burke HNIC ad. It is pretty over the top, as is the Ron MacLean one. Overcompensation was to be expected though.



  • Want to be the next highlights guy/gal at Sportsnet? Rogers is hiring someone to work in the Highlight Zone. Perhaps when they are done with this search they can begin to look for someone in HR who can proofread.




  • When you're among the highest paid columnists in the country but only have 2900 followers and no verification on your account then something is not quite right. You tell me: fake account or someone who is burning bridges on her way out of the industry?





thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)



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    Re: Lawless and Hull

    When the Jets unveiled their new Hall of Fame and announced Hull as an inaugural member, Lawless used his platform to strongly criticize the choice and said the he couldn't separate the on ice accomplishments from Hull's off ice blemishes. Since Lawless and his platform (he works a 3-6pm shift on Jets rights holder TSN 1290) brought the allegations to the fore front, the anti-Hull sentiments gained steam and Hull announced he wouldn't attend the ceremony. Lawless has always been closely tied to Jets owners True North so it was a bit puzzling as why he went hard at Hull and stayed on it. Fast forward to this week and the article you mentioned above. This is a hard 180 for Lawless. I was very surprised, even shocked, to read about his change of heart. Makes me wonder if his position of True North mouthpiece might have been in jeopardy. 

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    mike (in boston): Great column, as always!

    When it comes to the Cleveland Indians logo and nickname, I totally agree that it is time to change them both and move on. (Disclosure: My late grandfather was a member of our First Nations.)

    My problem with the recent Toronto protest of the logo and name was that it seem very contrived. The Cleveland ball club has been coming to this country multiple times per year for, what, 40 years now … and, all of a sudden, this is made into an opportunity for Canada to get on its high horse and scold another country. When it comes to First Nations issues, Canada is the last country that should be slapping anyone's wrist.

    This week alone, I heard an Ontario radio station's news report condemn the Indians from Cleveland, then turn around two stories later and report an unrelated story on Canada's Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Huh? So, the word is racist when it comes to Cleveland and yet not in Canada? WTH? And why isn't Jamie Campbell protesting in Ottawa?

    And how about those Eskimos? Again, the point is that Canada needs to get its own house in order on this issue before it starts telling others what to do and how to think. For a number of years now, Six Nations lacrosse teams from Southern Ontario have intermittently protested the Canadian government by not honouring the national anthem before games … but yet this issue has gone unnoticed in most if not all national media who, on the other hand, go off the deep end on a story about Colin Kaepernick. I'm not suggesting the Kaepernick story be ignored, but far too many Canadian media outlets use it as another opportunity to scold another nation while, conveniently, looking away from its own house.

    I suggest the Coulten Boushie/Gerald Stanley story from Saskatchewan is the Canadian equivalent to the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman story from Florida. Yet, while leading Canadian and other international media outlets (rightly so) jumped all over the latter, the Saskatchewan case is barely reported and, when it is, is often framed as a "one-off" and not a symptom of a larger issue.

    Again, we are left still waiting on Jamie Campbell to fly off to Battleford to take his stand. Yeah, as if.

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    loyal reader4 years ago

    There's a spelling mistake in your paragraph after your Rogers proof-reading jab 🙂

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    "Canada's Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Huh? So, the word is racist when it comes to Cleveland and yet not in Canada? WTH?"

    It's called Indigenous and Northern Affairs. I suspect you didn't hear it correctly, or the station read it out wrong.

    With regards to these team names, the best option is for the North American leagues to get together and agree to dump all of these names at the same time. They can issue a joint statement, and do it in a decisive manner as a unified group. While they're at it they can invite Frolunda of the SHL to participate.

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    damnit. thanks for catching that. In my defense, the WordPress spellchecker is awful and we don't pay the editors here very well.



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    The Cleveland Indians name and logo has been around for a loooooong time. Why all the issues with it now? Oh yeah, that's right, it's 2016 where everyone is offended by everything.  While I don't agree with everything Bob McCown says, he was bang on when it comes to this issue. WHen discussing this issue on his show the other day, after Blair let his white guilt out, Bob replied with, "it's not my place to decide if this is racist or not, it's not my place to decide what a group thinks is racist". IMO this whole racist Indians thing is being brought up by a bunch of self loathing, white guilt, social justice warriors. 


    Let the hate begin.

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    so …. if the right group of people said it was racist, would you think the name/logo ought to be removed?

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    Species 1967: Thank you for pointing that out.

    It appears that throughout our nation there are either inconsistencies or outdated references. Check out this Ontario government web page, referencing "First Nations" at the top, but then "Indian" is used often throughout (scroll down to HST Point-of-Sale Exemption):

    As for the radio report earlier this week, I know what I heard. I do make an effort to try to pay attention, again having a First Nations grandfather who died young after considerable physical and emotional suffering, due in part of our federal government's policies.

    Bottom line: All offensive nicknames need to go, period. Let's not cherrypick the organizations that just happen to be playing against a beloved Toronto team at a high-profile moment. The biggest hypocrite this week was Toronto Mayor John Tory, who condemned Cleveland's use of "Indians" yet tried to act dumb when it was pointed out that, as CFL commissioner, he did absolutely nothing to change Edmonton's team nickname.

    Also, the final word has to come down to anyone who is legitimately offended, not to any wannabe trying to get his or her 15 minutes of fame on somebody else's misery. Case in point: I have heard calls by do-gooders for the "Chiefs" nickname to be dropped in various leagues, from the NFL on down. Yet, the premier Six Nations lacrosse team, comprised of First Nations members, is in fact the Chiefs. So, is it a good nickname or not? Obviously to the victims here in Ontario, it is a perfectly fine nickname.

    A question to consider: Should we condemn the nickname and logo of this team in the Northern Ontario Junior A Hockey League? Again, it's easy to rip on teams in other nations. Let's at least likewise call out our own:


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    With regards to the Micheal Landsberg attempt to debunk conspiracies regarding officiating, How many times does it have to be proven in the history of sports that officials, players, teams etc have agenda's, it may not be the case in the Jays situation but it certainly exsits. Sports and the people in it  is not always your kingdom of honesty and most of all sports is entertainment, point in case, all that patriotic stuff that goes on pregame is paid for by the team according to multiple reports. It's all about capturing eyeballs.

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    Thought the Blue Jays round table yesterday on The Fan (Oct 21, 10am-11) with Blair, Brunt, Davidi, Zwelling was a terrific wrap up of the Blue Jays season and a great look forward to the off season. The Blair show, and Baseball Central, have been must listens all season long as it's clear Jeff's first passion is for baseball and it has really shown over the last six months. Barker has also come a long way in my opinion from where he was even last season. 

    In general, the entire Sportsnet team again did an outstanding and exhaustive job covering the Blue Jays this season – to be expected, as Rogers owns both the team and Sportsnet, but nonetheless the quality of writing and reporting by all of these guys on the radio, television, website and magazine side was great. 

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    TSN Radio has improved in a lot of ways, but it does seem like they're kind of punting 9am to 4pm at the moment, AND punting their drive home show when it's not hockey season.

    Surely they'll bring Brady on board, no?  And how about they try to find some voices that are different and interesting like Tim and Sid were when they first joined The Fan?  Someone young, maybe from a different background offering a different perspective?

    I personally would like it if at least ONE of the two stations didn't have a noon hockey show.  If you're not a big hockey fan, it just becomes a dead zone if you're in the car at that time.  Why not put a hockey hour at 6 or something so hardcore hockey folks have an alternative to McCown, and have on a general sports show at noon so people are aren't big hockey heads have an alternative to The Fan.

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    MontfromLondonOnt4 years ago

    Who decides who is the RIGHT group?

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    New User4 years ago

    Wow … Rosie! That's got to be a fake account.

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    host gator4 years ago

    Test message

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    Great post as usual. But I have to point out that this site mentioned not long ago that it’s cheap when writers take a random, extreme tweet and base an opposing opinion off it, like the one extreme tweet is actually a popular opinion. The tweets mentioned here follow the same lines.

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    The Washington Post (a liberal-leaning paper) conducted an extensive survey last spring where they asked Native Americans whether or not they were offended by the nickname "Redskins" (the most offensive of all the team names). Surprisingly, 9 out of 10 said they were not offended by it. Personally, I'm not comfortable with these names and logos, but if the people who are supposed to be offended by them aren't, then it really doesn't matter what Whitey McWhiterson thinks does it?

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    Read the Celeveland Scene post re: that survey. It has been widely discussed elsewhere as well.

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    Meaning what? Has it been debunked or something?

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    Sure sounds like Lawless was spoken to. I, for one, am glad that Bobby Hull wasn't celebrated. He has been a scumbag for the longest time. If you dig around and read what  happened to Joanne while they were married, you would wonder why Chicago still has him on their payroll, and how in the hell is that someone you want as an 'ambassador'. Fuck him.

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    It was a tale of two roundtables on 590 on Friday

    In the morning at 10:00 there was a one hour roundtable about the Jays featuring Blair, Brunt, Davidi, and Zwelling…………….lots of good discussion from four guys who know baseball and the team pretty well

    Meanwhile on PTS they spent most of the Friday roundtable talking baseball but they did it with a soccer guy (Sharman) and two hockey guys (Shannon and Cox)……………..the choice of PTS roundtable participants continues to baffle me

    Wouldn't this have been a good time to have someone like Bob Elliott on the roundtable?…………when McCown interviewed Elliott after his retirement from The Sun in June he said that he wanted to have Elliott on PTS on a regular basis in the future even though he had been told by an executive at Rogers to not have him on………………as far as I know Elliott hasn't been on PTS since that interview…………..maybe Elliott hasn't been interested or available to appear on PTS……………..or maybe the executive at Rogers flexed his muscles and overruled McCown

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    Sam In Scarb4 years ago


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    It's as you said MikeS: Bob Elliott is currently in the Rogers Blackbook because he said something that wasn't praise about the company so he's not welcomed on any Rogers owned programs these days. Maybe a new CEO will change the culture there and get Rogers out of the echo chamber they've built for themselves and allow people who don't agree with their company on more.

    I didn't mind Sharman being there because at least it's a different voice, and one that can talk multiple sports,  as opposed to the usual group of "Bob's Pals" that parade through and only focus on one single thing. Cox is the actual Co-host so there's no getting by him but as for Shannon – I have no clue. I get the feeling he's the eager beaver, kiss ass sort that volunteers anytime he's asked to go on any of the non-hockey shows.

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    Maybe a new CEO will change the culture there and get Rogers out of the echo chamber they've built for themselves and allow people who don't agree with their company on more.


    dont hold your breath. Laurence is gone (with millions in parting gifts) precisely because he couldn't change the culture at Rogers. The new CEO will need to be more friendly to Ted's kids ….. or else.

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    Those aren’t tweets. They are the top comments as judged by readers of those news sites.

    (Full disclosure: I am planning a post on the future of online discussion.)

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    The roundtable at 5 pm on 590, something I once looked forward to, has become predictable, staid and not worth my time. "NHL spokesperson" John Shannon repeats himself far too much and has little to offer; Cox's inevitable contrarian schtick is sometimes palatable but too often isn't; and Sharman, although a fresh voice, just gets caught here in a no-win position given the topics discussed. More Friedman. More Perkins. More Blair. Marek? Lott? Fitz-Gerald? MacLean?

    The one positive as I tuned in and out of Friday's roundtable is that Cox suggested the new Rogers CEO could bring about some changes to the Rogers sports department. Let's hope that means the end of Scott Moore. It is baffling that Shannon was not part of the spring/summer purge that saw better hockey analysts like Glenn Healy and Mike Johnson exit while grating personalities like Shannon and Kypreos remained. The Fan isn't much better. Personalities such as Blundell, Hlushko, Shannon do nothing to attract listeners. I have pretty much abandoned sports radio here because of the lack of compelling choices. I very much recommend downloading an Internet radio app and going out of market.

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    Stu in Waterloo4 years ago

    The Braves and Chiefs are fine. The tomahawk chop is not. White people wearing native headdress is also a pretty good way to let everyone know you're not the most enlightened individual. 

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    The Kaepernick issue isn’t unique and isn’t limited to sports. There’s a long history of Americans not supporting those who include their politics in mass entertainment. Muhammad Ali was once in this position, though Kaepernick is no Ali. With time, people’s opinion of Ali changed. Kaepernick and others are trying to draw attention to the fact that the lives of black Americans are under threat by police officers. Unless you’re black and living in America, I’m not sure you can really understand the issue. Having a negative opinion about the protests by Kaepernick and others also isn’t helpful. The point they’re trying to make is the issue needs attention and telling them to shut up and play suggests the people saying ‘shut up and play’ are motivated by racism. Although when it was the Dixie Chicks protesting the Iraq war, it wasn’t racism or misogyny – it was just pro vs anti-war sentiment 2 years after 9/11. But the language seems the same (then and now). Regardless of whether you believe the criticism of Kaepernick is motivated by racism or just people who don’t want their Sundays interrupted by having to think about heavy social issues, Kaepernick is right to bring attention to an issue he feels strongly about and doesn’t deserve to be intimidated or silenced because he has something he wants to say. We might look at him and others differently 10-15 years from now and wonder why there was ever an issue with what they were doing.

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    Sam In Scarb4 years ago

    @Greaser   " The new CEO will need to be more friendly to Ted's kids ….. or else. "

    For sure the new CEO won't do or say shit for a couple of years.His only short term goal is to play nice in the sandbox with Dead Ted's kids for a couple of years then when he boils over he will stop bringing pails to the sandbox.

    The kiddies will get crankie send him on his way with a HUGE severance and he will be set for life.Nice gig he has fallen into.

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    4 words: Notre Dame FIGHTING IRISH

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    WestDale Rocks4 years ago

    In the 1860s, slavery had been around for centuries before the Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.  Just because something has been around for a "looooooooong time" (your words), doesn't mean it's right.    

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    WestDale Rocks4 years ago

    Believe it or not, I believe that actually is Rosie DiManno's account for this very plausible reason.  Rosie blocked me for suggesting a particular F-Bomb filled Twitter tirade was offside.  The person running that account is pretty thin skinned and has likely worked the "Block" button to exhaustion.  The 2900 followers are likely only those who haven't been blocked yet!  

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    As a follow up, Deadpsin tweeted out a link to their story on the racist Chief Wahoo logo, calling out Cleveland's previous assertion they would be using it less frequently. Click the link and read their take, but don't miss the replies to the tweet. Jeepers! 


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    You're comparing slavery with a logo… That's not really an apples to apples comparison. 

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    Absolutely it should. That's basically the whole point of my post. If native people/groups are protesting the logo, and making a case for it to be removed/changed, then I feel it should be done. But again, from my observations, it seems an awful lot of this outrage is being spewed by progressive types, who suffer from a severe case of white guilt.

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    To be fair, the term “Indian” is not itself pejorative. I grew up in Northwestern Ontario and the indigenous/native/aboriginal/First Nations people referred to themselves as Indians back then AND still do today. Citiots who are offended on behalf of others often get it wrong. This is just another example of that. Yes the Cleveland logo is obviously racist, anachronistic, and extremely offensive to natives, and as soon as there is a court action by ANY native group (not individual), the logo should be mothballed. As for Eskimos being an offensive blanket term, what’s “white man” or even “African American” if not a blanket term? Both cover cast ranges of ethnic, religious, and racial specifics with generalization. Would you be able to differentiate a man from Ireland from a man from Scotland, even if both stood side-by-side?

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    100% correct. Well stated.

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    To bleeding heart MikeinBoston, grow a pair — you and others whining about Chief Wahoo logo, are off the mark. I never found it offensive and like Chicago Black Hawks and Braves, the logos honor Indian natives on both sides of 49th paralell.

    The fact you and others waste time and space on the supposed 'offensive' Indian sports team logos, instead of discussing spors media topics as the blog site is suppose to do, is your own doing. I am Jewish so if a Brooklyn based sports team wante to call themselves the 'Lubavitchers' and pose wit a person wearing long sidebuns, beard and a Lubavitch hat or kippah,


    I wold not be offended.and would bet you uniform sales of siad logo ould seell lke hotcakes among Jewish sports fansacross North America, and I would cbe one of the first peopel to buy siad uni.

    Yhe fact some local activist wanted to stop TBS from mentioning the workd Indians on air and had TWENTY-SEVEN lawyers ear free monies and wasting a judge's tiime in a Toronto court listening to the ban proposal, is straight out of a famous P.T. Barnum quote. If the Indians were out of the playoffs, would this issue ever be discussed on line or in courtrooms, I think not. Thos of you wanting your 15 minutes of fame, go search elsewhere.

    As for John Tory — not helping make Toronto a better city and putting on his two 'Kent Brockman' cents abut the Indians issue, when he did nothing about banning CFL Eskimos logo when he was CFL Commissioner, shows he's just another typical politician wanting to be noticed by new media.

    For those of you comnending Rogers coverage of Blue Jays baseball – the rah, rah overt cheering and pouty sad voices of tv and radio Sportsnet announcers (except for the brilliant and always even keeled Gregg Zahn).annoys the heck out of me. Cover the Jays games as journalists, that mean YOU Jamie Campbell, and not as puppets of the Rogers conglomerate corporation.

    Thank goodness it's Cubs (let's hear from you bear protection activists, sic) vs. Indians in World Series and Jays Sportsnet broadcasters and announcers having to bite their lips in their shows over next two weeks. Even saw Brad Fay yesterday saying in a report to paraphrase that if Jays had a few more tiney hits, they would be be hosting Game 1 of World Series in T.O. tonite. It is all to guffaw at (:



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    Any clue whether the new CEO will take Scott Moore to task for the huge blunders on the HNIC deal? That guy has more lives than a cat.

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    Kenny kennedy4 years ago


    Just to clarify, if the said logo you proposed had an individual with a long nose and was holding wads of cash in addition to the attributes you mentioned, would you be OK with it? Furthermore, if the eyes and mouth were caricatures to denote dishonesty and/or a sly look? Your thoughts, jackbee?

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    Mullah Kintyre4 years ago

    Bob McCown just won't give up his attempts to revise history (and that is a nicer way of saying lying) in attempting to defend his friends Cynamon and Sokolowski regarding the time when they owned the Argos. When talking to Brian Cooper about price and lack of demand for Grey Cup tickets, McCown again (and I've lost count of the number times he's done this) said they were somehow pushed out of the stadium project that eventually became BMO Field, and I think also this time at least implied that it was C&S who initiated the project. The stadium project had been initiated by the Canadian Soccer Association by July of 2003, as part of their successful bid to host the 2007 FIFA U20 World Cup, well before C&S became owners of the Argos in November of that year.

    It was later on, in April/May 2005, that C&S, very much voluntarily and much to the annoyance of the others involved in the stadium project, backed out after having agreed to be part of it during the previous year. C&S were not "pushed out", or whatever dishonest phrase it is McCown keeps using to dishonestly distort the indisputable facts.

    In what might have been a new one for McCown, I think he also inexplicably implied the CFL somehow took the Argos away from C&S or somehow pushed them out of owning the team so it could be given to David Braley. The team was sold voluntarily by C&S.

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    Yes, a Jewish person isn't offended over Chief Wahoo so the dozens of native groups and tribes who have said that it is an (obviously) offensive and racist caricature should shut up. Sheesh.

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    Guys I think it is unfair to say that something or someone is racists without understanding intent, What is the intent behind some of these logo's and names? the easiest thing say in 2016 is that it's racist. No one can judge what was in the mind of the person who designed the logo and nicknamed the team.I doubt the architect said I hate this race of people  so I'm going to name the team Indians. If these logo's and names were racially charged for hate reasons or to make fun, I think there would be a lot more names of teams that would have a racial undertone referencing different groups.

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    mike in boston4 years ago

    Thanks to all who contributed to a productive discussion this week. I have no issue with people thinking this is bleeding heart liberalism or white guilt. I don't agree, but I also don't get to decide for others what they think. The best I can do is state the reasons that led me to my conclusions.   


    One more thought on Chief Wahoo/Indians: I am not claiming this is a bigger issue than Muskrat Falls or the fact that the government put a cap on how much churches would have to pay to victims of residential schools and then quietly released them from the obligation to raise those funds. What I am claiming is that this one is easy to solve and requires very little legislation or civil action. You just need the people in power (team owners, corporate sponsors, league execs) to give a shit about the issue. Once Wahoo is gone no one will stop buying tickets or watching the games on TV. Life will go on as before, just with a little less overt racism. I don't see a downside there.  


    I applaud those at Rogers who did a small thing to indicate this is an issue worth putting in the past. I wish Rogers had done more to make this a national issue for Canadians. I wish MLB would take this issue on directly.

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    Jeff Blair calling Joe Warmington an asshole on-air this morning, over the column he wrote in today's Sun was fantastic! 

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    There goes Blair being all politically correct again. I cant stand him. The Fan should suspend him – but of course they wont.

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    Mullah Kintyre4 years ago

    After listening to the podcast of the Wednesday PTS segment with Brian Cooper, it was actually Cox who was strangely the one implying that it was somehow the CFL pushing Cynamon and Sokolowski out as Argo owners in 2010 when it was C&S themselves who had been trying to sell for months before finally doing so. And "shuffled out" was the phrase Bob McCown used when he was very inaccurately describing (as though they were somehow involuntarily pushed out by the others) what was C&S in May 2005 backing out of the deal they had signed in 2004 to be part of the Canadian Soccer Association's stadium project that would become BMO Field.

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    The issue with the Indians name is debatable and I see both sides of the argument have merit. The logo on the other hand is an abomination.

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    Criticismsms of Warmington, however much it is deserved, would carry more weight if it wasn’t being delivered by an embarrassment to broadcasting and anyone who ever strove to deliver a quality radio show.
    Mr. Dead Air Grunt ‘n’ Groan has no business criticizing anybody. He should just stick to baseball and thank his lucky stars that broadcast standards have fallen so low.

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    The use of profanity is unacceptable in any discussion of another journalist/commentator's work.  For a broadcaster to do it on the air,  speaks far more to his shortcomings;  as opposed to the individual whose work he was referencing.




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    General patton4 years ago

    I suggest all sports teams be named after birds or animals or fish , this will avoid any chance of insensitivity or political incorrectness

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    Sam In Scarb4 years ago

    @ Bobby G  You omitted coughing and clearing his throat directly into the microphone.

    He should be bringing in gift baskets everyday to his boss as a thank you for his employment.

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    Darcy"If native people/groups are protesting the logo, and making a case for it to be removed/changed, then I feel it should be done."  


    This group has been protesting the logo every opening day for the last 20 years. And they are quoted in the CleveScene article linked above. Here are the relevant quotes:


     "I'm here for my grandchildren — for their self-esteem," says Marjorie Villafane, a Sioux from North Dakota who has lived in Cleveland for more than 40 years and has participated in the annual Opening Day protest of Chief Wahoo for the last 20. "I'm here so my grandchildren can be proud of their heritage. People act like we're trying to take their baseball away from them, but we're not. It's just, why do they have to turn us into Chief Wahoo?"


    Jim Farrar, a member of the Cherokee Nation who drove from Michigan to join this year's demonstration, speaks of re-education camps and smallpox-infested blankets — painful memories associated with the displacement of indigenous North Americans by European colonists. To Farrar and many protesters, Wahoo's exaggerated features and toothsome grin trivialize and mock their history. "It isn't guilt that we want you to feel," he says. "Just understand what our opposition comes from."

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    Some Asshole4 years ago

    Classic Blair …. inarticulate, rambling, a couple of moments of clarity and some profanity thrown in for good measure. Get this guy off radio and on to Sun TV.

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    MontfromLondonOnt4 years ago


    I agree with you – Maybe Blair is still around for the same reasons Wilner is – What the reasons might be I have no idea but it certainly isn't because they have class –



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    He has their best ratings outside of McCown? That rational would lead to you being the worst PD in radio history 🙂 

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    original Mitch4 years ago

    I tried listening but after three minutes and not even close to making his point I had to stop. He really is hard to listen too. 

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    Guy Laurence's 16 million dollar termination bonus was an olive branch to cover the data overage charges on his September Rogers cell phone bill. Am I on crack or is "termination bonus" an oxymoron? Bob opining today that Joe Natale will understand the value of a high payroll Jays team better than Laurence. ( 6:45 ish)

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    The strategy that 1050 used during the recent weekday afternoon Jays playoff games was interesting……………OverDrive made almost no reference to the games as they were going on, other than giving the score during the sports updates…………..the only reference I remember was at the end of a Ray Ferraro segment when Ferraro said "I'm not near a TV, what's the score in the baseball game?" and Hayes said "uh, yeah, the Jays are losing and their bats are cold again"

    I realize there probably weren't a lot of people listening and they didn't want to help promote something that was happening on the TV and radio stations of their competitors……… just seemed strange that the season of one of the most popular teams in the city was on the brink of elimination and they basically ignored it on 1050 while it was in progress

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    hey folks – I'm on assignment this weekend. Happy Saturday.


    Based on the chatter over the last few days here's a question: is there a bigger lone wolf in Toronto sports media than Jeff Blair? Dude marches to the beat of his own drum 100% of the time. I can't think of anyone else who would say "asshole" and "pussy" on the radio and not care who he pisses off as a result. Got to respect the guy's self-confidence.


    Technical Note: We updated to a better host so the issue with notifications being filtered to junk mail by gmail is resolved. However, some ISPs are still pointing to the old location so you may find some devices/browsers take you to an outdated version of the site. The clue will be that comments are disabled there. It's a DNS issue that should fade away shortly. If you commented over there recently your comment should be copied over here, but you will need to comment again here to activate your email subscription.

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    MontfromLondonOnt4 years ago


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    @Original Mitch

    Doesn't matter what you or I think, what matters is ratings, and he's one of the best. Its the only true measure of success.