Leafs are hanging in there aren’t they?
The Raptors appear to be a disaster.
The Blue Jays are if not done in 2017, are in a big hole.
What a change. Seriously, 12 months ago we were in the exact opposite place. The Leafs finished dead last. While there was hope for their future there was nothing to suggest they were a mere 12 months away from the playoffs, let alone 4/5 games going to OT vs. the President’s Trophy winner.
The Raptors were in a run in the playoffs last year at this time and things were looking good. They ended taking Cleveland to the limit and after a few trades this season it was supposed to be another match up with Cleveland. Not so much so far. The team has been unwatchable thus far in the playoffs, having more talk about blowing it up then likelihood of advancing to the next round.
The Blue Jays? Where do we begin.? Total disaster just about sums it up.
Two teams in the playoffs after the Jays have been there in consecutive years. Toronto is no longer loserville some scribes wrote. Here’s the kicker. If you were going to put a dime on which Toronto team could make it to a championship series next (let’s not go to winning yet) who are you betting on?? How stunned are you if you said the Maple Leafs??
No one likes the kid who is a jerk. There is a fine line between being right and being good. No one likes listening to the personality who thinks it’s about being right. Most importantly, having played the game only answers the question, what have you done; it does not necessarily make you a good broadcaster or member of the media.
Patrick O”Sullivan stormed onto the media scene, virtually coming out of nowhere. To his credit he landed a spot with TSN and became a regular player in a major media market. His one nugget of experience? He played the game. Which is totally fine and acceptable. What he has lacked in his on air performance is polish, humility and most importantly respect for the fan, the listener.
Many players in their game can exceed in performance and be jerks at the same time. Many are too smart, too swarmy or just can’t be bothered to play the game off the playing surface. For some that doesn’t matter. They play their game and ride off into the sunset and do their own thing in their life after sports. Where they don’t get to do that is when they expect the pay day to continue and expect to be accepted in to our homes, our office or our cars. That, is something that needs to be earned. You earn that trust over time. You earn that trust by first off being good at what you do, either being right or being entertaining but equally importantly by being humble and remembering that it is the audience that you serve.
Take a listen to the last performance of Patrick O’Sullivan on Leafs Lunch and you will hear none of that. You will hear the voice of someone who can check one box. He played the game. He shows no respect for the fans and almost even worse none for his co-host. Rumblings that his exit (jumped or pushed) ran rampant this week. Suddenly gone from the airwaves, Mr. O’Sullivan has removed all mentions of TSN from his Twitter profile. That fueled the fire that he was done.
Is he done?
I am not sure.
I’ve reached out for response from TSN, and those attempts were futile.
No news, is good news right?
Here is what I do know. TSN is concerned about brand. It’s brand is paramount as it is too most successful companies. Having someone go on air telling people “if they don’t like it don’t listen” as Patrick did this week is NOT good for the brand. TSN radio is behind the leader in Toronto. Telling people not to listen… not smart even for a smart guy.
I’ve learned a lot about the business of sports media since starting this “blog”. One thing that I’ve learned is the one big difference (not bad or good) is the culture at TSN vs that at Rogers. I’m not going to say that one is right or wrong, one is better or one worse. I can tell you that the culture at the two places is very different. By all accounts telling your co-host “if you are going to be a fan boy for the Leafs we can’t do this show” is not acceptable to the culture that the powers that be built, and those who have helped maintain that culture at TSN.
There are a lot of former athletes out there. Some get it. Others not so much.
Mistakes in judgement like this don’t have to be lethal.
What happens next will be fascinating to watch.
If I am running TSN, I move along. Personally I’d go back to Aaron Ward. He was way better on air this week, has served his time and appears to be a better fit in any event. If not, I am sure there are plenty of ex-athletes out there to pick from. My two cents? Take a big run at Darcy Tucker!
I’d bet on O’Sullivan walking away from TSN, who needs them right????
Clap, Clap, Clap to Eric Francis. Well done….
As you’ve read in this space before Bob McCown is the #1 Blue Jays fan in Toronto. The team spiraling out of control has made his show most interesting this week. Two interviews caught my attention specifically. The first was with Shi Davidi and the second Jonah Keri. In both Fan Bob replaced MSM Bob, which was very refreshing. Davidi suggested that a rebuild could be pulled of in such a nature that the team returns to compete in a few short years in the same way the Yankees did. This notion was not accepted by Damien Cox. Cox said any rebuild would take years to pull off. With Keri the topic was more about Donaldson with all three doubting Donaldson will be in Toronto after his current deal expires.
The topic that garners the most attention in my small brain is the notion that one, the Jays will not make the appropriate moves to alienate the fan base and more importantly that the fan base will not accept a rebuild.
McCown with Keri hit the nail on the head on topic #1. Ownership should take note of the last time it didn’t do the right thing for fear of losing the fan. As Cox pointed out, being stuck in the middle is the worst place to be and the Jays were right there from champion up until two seasons ago. As McCown said, make the moves and give the fans the one thing we want, HOPE.
While not totally different from that issue the rumbling of the fans won’t accept a rebuild is total crap and an easy way out for some scribes.
That nonsense was tossed around for FAR too long about the Maple Leafs (not I am not suggesting bottoming out is that simple or easy in Baseball or you can compare the draft etc). Maple Leaf fans have no appetite for what it will take to fix this the idiots wrote and said publicly. The reality is Toronto sports fans are a lot smarter than some give us credit for. Finishing dead f’n last and getting a first round pick and setting the proper foundation is what the fan base wanted for literally decades. No one thought it would be as golden as getting Matthews so don’t think for one second that this has anything to do with that.
Blue Jays fans would be as inclined if not more to watch their team live at the Skydome or on Sportsnet if they were a team of young stud prospects learning their way that the fans could grow with. It’s the stuck in the middle that we have little appetite for. I believe there are 7 guys on the current roster that were drafted by the Jays. Seems pretty low no?
I’d love to see the Jays take a leadership position and do the right thing and make the appropriate steps to restoring the franchise. Mr. Atkins and Shapiro you are officially on the clock.
While on the topic of the Blue Jays, this has to be written; Mike Wilner has to be stopped. I respect the hell out of the work he does on Jays talk. I respect the hell out of the fact that he appears to answer every ? sent his way on Twitter. Someone please tell Mike that he needs to put the pom poms down just a little bit. No shit, things won’t continue to be this bad over the course of 567 games that a team plays in a season. The tone in which he says it’s early over and over again is reprehensible. It’s okay to say this really sucks. Fans (and based on direct correspondence) media members would have a lot more respect if he dialed back the entirely, 100 % pure Blue Jays love back by say .1%.
I am not sure who picks up the network IFC, but you need to be watching Brockmire and I mean like now. It’s the best sports based TV show presented in years. It’s hilarious.
Give Dean Blundel credit, he has stayed on sports and clearly his love and admiration for Dave Cadeau will go on and on and on:
Finally, have to love this tweet:
Happy reading.. Go all Toronto TEAMS playing games of relevance!