Rumblings Of A Sports Fan- Thank You Bernie!


Earlier this week we typed about Jay and Dan’s deals not getting renewed out west.   Jay is heading back to TSN we’re told.

But the pair, assuming they come back as a package, may not be an easy fit at either TSN or Sportsnet. On the television side, the young viewers who made Onrait and O’Toole so popular no longer consume their highlights solely from television. They get them on their phones from YouTube and other providers. That is why Fox moved away from highlights on the Onrait and O’Toole show and then cancelled it.

Interesting tidbit from David Shoalts at the Globe and Mail who, seeing the death spiral at his media outlet is moonlighting as a comedian!

The NBA trade deadline came and went this week.  Honestly, is there a better media outlet than Yahoo! and The Vertical when it comes to double dribbling?  I watched the ESPN pre-game show for the Raptors Celtics game last night; yawn.. Almost as boring as the entire production that was the NBA All-Star weekend.  Back to Yahoo! What a novel idea, the online media outlet held a short (two hours) Facebook Live show leading up to the trade deadline.  What a great idea.  Not 16 hours of zzzzzzzzzz.  A much more consumable 2 hours.  No, there still wasn’t a ton to talk about and yes we saw a lot of peeps on their iphones typing but it was at least entertaining.

Here’s hoping Puckdaddy or the Athletic fellas can do the same thing.  With respect to Kypreos and McKenzie, the deadline drama is old and tired.  I’d much rather see a more condensed  show where things can be analyzed.

I’m taking the family to the Ducks Leafs game next Friday night. Any of my readers going to be there?

The Fan morning show hits the reset this Monday morning.  Looking forward to taking a taste.  Elliott Price was on the PTS roundtable yesterday along with Dave The Blanket Perkins and Shi Davidi.  I heard the first hour and like what I heard.  Price will fit in perfectly with the generally older listener at the Fan these days.

Brad Fey sat in with McCown this week.  He was a pleasant break from usual steady rotation of co-hosts that fill in when Damien is off planet visiting.  McCown moaning about how much time Cox gets in vacation is quite hilarious, even if just in jest- you know a little bit of truth in sarcasm.

For those of you who like to play PTS BINGO with the lifers here at TSM, I have a new “Bobism” for our cards.. “I used to go to the entire spring training”, as usual a mantra that we’re giving you an extra “free space” on your cards.

I took in the play Rent last night here in Seattle.  I’ll admit it.  I knew nothing going in.  At the break, I still knew nothing.  I was fortunate enough to have dessert with a cast member after the show and learned a ton.  If you too were growing up in the 80’s or 90’s it’s worth seeing if you have not already.  I’ll admit though, the opportunity to throw no fewer than 100 questions at the 20 year old something star of the show was as fascinating an hour as I’ve had in, well a LONG time. Life behind the scenes of a traveling musical is pretty damn cool.  I’ll say this.  It was refreshing to see such passion for the work this guy had.  It was also refreshing to see the number of people lined up at the stage door after the show looking for an autograph or photo. Two best parts of that?  First, the look on the talent’s face at the photo request was as stellar as smile on the star struck fan.  Equally as great, the accessibility to the talent after the show.

If you read only one other thing today make it this.  We’ve all been handed the much needed reminder we need the next time we think life’s handed us a bag of coal. In this world filled with hate it’s incredible to see such love and compassion from time to time.

A few months back I ran this post, asking for questions for Bob Elliott.  I have yet to run the interview in that Bob had just done a few other bits and we were months away from baseball season.  With the Jays in spring mode as we get closer to opening day we will run that story.  So if you still have questions for Bob post away.

I don’t do this all this often but let me delve for a moment into my professional life.  I’ll admit that I spend quite a bit of time on Linkedin.  I use it a lot for work and have found it to be a huge help to my career.  For those who don’t know Linkedin is a social media network for business networking; a Facebook for work if you will.  As other social media networks do, each time you login you receive a list of other members whom you may want to connect with.  I’ve seen some funny ones over the years and I’ve met some amazing people through Linkedin.

In any event, this week the name Bernie Nichols appeared on my suggested list.  Despite not actually knowing Nichols (a golden rule for Linkedin, at least for me) I clicked on the name and low and behold two days later I received a notice that my request to connect had been connected.

I’ll leave you with the email I sent Bernie, which I just received a very gracious response; have a happy weekend!

“Thank you for accepting my Linkedin request.

I was surprised to see your name pop up on my suggested contact list so I decided to give it a shot.
I have to tell you a story, I hope you find it as funny as I do:
I’ll admit, I grew up pretty damn fortunate.  My family had life long seats at Maple Leaf gardens and I literally was at the arena every Saturday night the leafs were in town.  Like most Toronto kids I was a hockey nut. My mom used to get me dressed up in my Sunday best every Saturday night to go the game to watch the leafs.
I grew up in Toronto and when I was 12 (I think) my uncle gave me the greatest present I ever received.  It was an autographed 1984 ( I think) NHL All-star jersey (orange and black) jersey with your name and number complete with a wooden plaque commemorating the authenticity of the jersey.
Despite the fact that you didn’t play for the blue and white, I am pretty sure I wore that jersey all the time, and even probably slept in it too!
That jersey and the impact it had on me stayed with me through law school in the late 1990’s as I decided in my late(r) 20’s that one day I too would have kids and would want them to have the same love for sports memorabilia that I got from that one jersey.
So, I started collecting jerseys (and a few other items) and getting them signed as time went on.  I got a Gretzky, Lemieux, Howe, Messier, Yzerman, Pronger, Kariya, and many more in addition to Joe Montana footballs, Dan Marino jerseys etc.
Fast forward to today, my son is 14 and my daughter is 12 and when we travel we always try to attend a sporting event in whatever city we are visiting.  We are Torontonians who live in Seattle so we’ve been fortunate enough to hit cities when our Toronto teams are there.  My kids, like I did before them, wear their jerseys with the same Sharpie pen in hand waiting for the “guys” to sign for them.
As intended, my collection is now my kids.  The jersey’s are theirs. They sit in their rooms and they are free to do with them as they wish.  I take great pride in sometimes hearing them go through them with their Seattle friends telling them who each one is, how incredible a player that athlete was and the impact the signing had on their dad’s life.
In any event, each time I hear them telling the stories, I think back to that first jersey.  No, not my first leaf jersey but my first signed jersey. Your jersey.  Maybe it matters, maybe it doesn’t but 30 years ago you signed a jersey unknowingly that had an impact at least 2 generations down and I suspect more than that will follow.
You might be curious if I have that original jersey.  Unfortunately when I was in college I packed my car the night before going back from break and in the car was my duffle bags with, the jersey. I was awoken at 4am by my dad that the police were at our front door.  Thieves had broken the window of my car and stolen everything that was in the car, the jersey too.
While I don’t still have the physical jersey, it lives on in my mind often.
It did once again when I saw your name pop up on my Linkedin screen.
All the best,



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