And by very exciting, I mean sort of interesting. In addition to being the latest salvo in the escalating war between TSN and Rogers, the debut of TSN RADIO 1050 in April will also potentially piss off TSN talent who may now be called in during current off-hours to do guest-spot rotations, and only increase the amount of hockey talk on Toronto’s radio airwaves.
While their initial lineup includes a home for Argos football, their other early properties include Euro 2012 soccer and golf. I did not realize golf was still broadcast on the radio in 2011, but it sounds as intense as a coke-filled orgy in Ibiza after six days of no sleep.The former 1050 CHUM will also carry Dan Patrick’s and Jim Rome’s shows, programming that Toronto Sports Media astutely pointed out is nothing more than a niche market in the splintered, half-assed sports town that is the T-dot. However TSN appears to be in this radio thing for the long-haul, and apparently Leaf game rights — currently held by AM 640 — are up for grabs in April. TSN will likely bid a large sum for, and win those rights.
The ultimate result is more endless hockey banter. Does anyone recall the sports media in Toronto, or even Canada, before the birth of what was then called CTV Sports Net in 1998? It wasn’t as mind-numbingly hockey-heavy. That’s partially because our beloved Internet was still in its infancy, there was only one sports TV and one sports radio station, and the Blue Jays were still contending.
And aside from the Jays dissolving from mass-consciousness, something happened along the way. A stark realization among execs that only hockey (specifically Leafs) brought in really, really good broadcast ratings in this market. It’s why what’s now called Rogers Sportsnet has been trying to mirror TSN for 13 years — and in most sensible opinions, failing.
Any hopes of increased basketball or soccer talk on “Sportsnet Radio The FAN 590″ will soon evaporate. But as we know, it’s all a power game. The real interesting angle about this is former TSN president Keith Pelley essentially being at the helm of Sportsnet now.
But then again, what’s local terrestrial radio? Howard Stern gave up on that years ago. If you don’t like it, turn on SIRIUS — or the Internet.
A little background on Hosni Mubarak’s presidency of Egypt. He succeeded Anwar El-Sadat in 1981 after Sadat was murdered by the very military he built in order to fight Israeli troops who invaded the Sinai in the early 1970s. That military later took the Sinai back. Sadat was killed because he committed an apparently unforgivable crime later: Making peace with Israel.
Mubarak has since ran Egypt under something called Emergency Law for three decades (because angry citizens have wanted to kill him), essentially suppressing perhaps the best-educated populace in the Muslim world. And U.S. foreign policy has encouraged this, quite frankly because Uncle Sam needed friends in said Muslim world.
So for those of you who didn’t know, and always wondered where hostility towards the west came from, pay attention now. We’re living it. This isn’t an anti-American argument. It’s the latest history lesson from the Middle East.
Chris Bosh’s latest jab at the city of Toronto, or Canada in general, seems to indicate that the man who needs to be more famous than he really is has some lingering issues about what’s been said about him since he departed for Miami. Now cable TV has become newsworthy.
Seems his condo in Toronto was a BellExpressVu building, meaning he had no NBA League Pass. Given his income level, if it was such a problem, it begs the question of why he just didn’t move to a different condo. But this isn’t a real complaint, it’s just something else Bosh felt he needed to talk about. In this lightning-fast media era, famous people need a stream of talking points to help keep them relevant.
Now I certainly am not going to defend Bosh, but I’ve discussed this issue before. While he didn’t say it exactly, what I suspect he had an issue with was that there was no ESPN. One of the biggest complaints Americans of any profession have about living in Canada is not having ESPN. Does it make them babies if they whine about it and move back because of it? Yes, of course. Canadians give up all sorts of Canadiana when they move south by the thousands per year. Less hockey, no Tim Hortons in all but a few states, no health care unless your company pays for it.
However in this case we’re talking about professional athletes, men who have been coddled and treated like royalty since high school. No ESPN? That’s not good. I can even somewhat appreciate where they come from — a black guy from Dallas doesn’t necessarily want to sit through 15 minutes of NHL highlights on TSN or Sportsnet before he gets anything related to the NBA, NFL or whatever.
But given that this is an age where you can get highlights of anything on your iPhone in a matter of seconds, Bosh’s whining, and previous knock about a lack of U.S. TV coverage of the Raptors shows his media sensibility is shockingly dated for a man who desperately needs to be a media star. And his ego will never embrace the fact that his game and physical dimensions as a power forward isn’t always a marketable top-5 star commodity. But at the same time, that’s why you’re a third fiddle now Chris. The league, NBC and ESPN desperately tried to make Vince Carter that guy when he played in Toronto, but Vince just wasn’t interested in playing basketball.
Having said that, ESPN should be in Canada. It’s 2010. But it’s unlikely TSN, partially-owned by the Bristol mothership, will never let that happen because of CRTC rules and programming allotment. The Score still picks up content that some, but not many of us in this country like watching — such as NCAA basketball and football — but one wonders what the story will be as TSN2 continues to pick what’s becoming a sports TV carcass. If only TSN2 could run “Sportscenter” over “Sportscentre” once a day.
But make no mistake, the ESPN thing is a big issue with pro athletes in Toronto, and it’s always going to be there, however trivial Canadians find it.
If there was a moral victory for the Raps Saturday in Miami, it was Bosh racking up the five fouls and only playing 22 minutes. Friday’s stunning win in Orlando has to help build some confidence. Triano calling out some of his players earlier in the day may have helped. On a day when Triano alluded to Toronto players as selfish, the Raps spread the ball around and pulled out the win on a Sonny Weems three.
Nobody expected the Raptors to win at Staples Friday, although when you’re close — and even temporarily leading — most of the night, you might want to call it a moral victory. But that’s a crock. The Raps lost the game because they turned the ball over 21 times. You knew Pau Gasol would own Andrea Bargnani, but when you don’t play a great game overall and are still that close, it burns when you lose.
The Raptors’ deficiencies this season are many, but part two of the back-to-back in Portland Saturday displayed more than Friday’s game. While shooting 1-for-17 from three is indicative of nothing but a bad team shooting night (36.8%), the reality stands that there is no consistent go-to scorer on this team. You can pump up Bargnani in team marketing all you want, he can’t be relied upon.
The guy who is Mike James, 2010 edition — Leandro Barbosa — is banged up. DeMar DeRozan is going to have his share of non-factor games like Saturday’s — shooting 1 of 10 with foul problems. One bright spot is Reggie Evans, who is putting up numbers like a 2003 Ben Wallace — 13 rebounds a game on less than three points per. Great trade bait. And Jose Calderon deserves credit for playing well despite an atrocious pre-season.
I always liked the Nets’ Terrence Williams — could be because he went to Louisville or because he was a decent pickup on my fantasy team last season — but I like him even more after he bodychecked LeBron James into the stands in Miami Saturday night. Williams picked up a flagrant 1 while the Heat broadcasters overreacted. Miami did trounce New Jersey on 20-point efforts from each of the young guns, but I swear there’s still something not right about that team. On the topic, gotta love Cleveland’s response to LeBron’s Nike commercial:
Which I should preface isn’t bad, even though some moron on YouTube suggested moving to Cincinnati in the wake of Rob Ford’s election as the city’s 64th mayor. But it’s been clear to me for a good portion of my life — yet perhaps not to everybody — that this city isn’t quite the upper-crust megalopolis some think it is.
For a start, consider the candidates who ran for mayor in this unwatchable disaster that at best has been a mild annoyance for nine months. Some wanted a star. Was that supposed to be George Smitherman? If Joey Pants dropped out, could that have united the left and defeated Ford? Rocco Rossi was proposing tunnels to Jupiter. Sarah Thomson was as bland as a cheese sandwich. Adam Giambrone was banging a chick who wasn’t his girlfriend on the Ikea couch in his office. So we got Ford, a guy with an uncouth demeanor who rode a cost-cutting “populist” wave to office, bringing out a Megacity-record 52% voter turnout.
What the election demonstrated was the massive chasm between the downtowners and the inner suburbanites. The downtown crowd (of which I am one) need to understand that people in Six Points, Willowdale or Thistletown don’t give a rat’s ass about bicycle lanes on Jarvis or University.
David Miller never understood this, and he didn’t care. He was busy trying to secure as his legacy the cosmetic demolition of the eastern portion of the only expressway in the core of the city for his last two years in office. (He once sent a cellphone pic of himself next to a demolished elevated expressway in Seoul as a positive example. I encourage those of you who aren’t car haters who have never been to Seoul to Google Map the world’s second-largest metropolitan area and try and find anything remotely comparable to Toronto).
Adam Vaughan didn’t run for mayor because he “couldn’t get into the heads of the people in the suburbs.” That’s fine, but that borderline-elitist downtown mentality has driven city council for almost a decade. Trying to sell streetcars to somebody on Sheppard Avenue isn’t necessarily going to fly.
I’m not a Ford fan – but the fear-mongering regarding him is ridiculous. He may be ignorant, but he ain’t a racist if he’s been representing one of the most ethnically diverse wards (Etobicoke North) in the city for 10 years (while coaching high school football). And while we’re on the topic, let’s go a little deeper. Toronto is the most multicultural city in the world. It’s one of the reasons we love living here. Forty-seven per cent of this city’s population is classified as visible minority. Then how come we only have two visible minorities on city council? For that matter, why is the NHL 99% white? (We’re not supposed to talk about that one though).
Some have drawn comparisons to Calgary electing a Muslim mayor while Toronto elected a redneck. Is it possible Stephen Harper’s adopted hometown is more tolerant than the city the PM was born in? No. People don’t vote based on race and partisanship unless you live in the U.S. south. They vote on issues and the talent that they are presented with. And Toronto as usual came up typically mediocre once again.
So save your ledge speeches you drama queens, and chill the fuck out. Council is still left-leaning, and the media (with the exception of the Sun) and tweeps will continue to demonize Ford, so I don’t imagine much is going to get done for the next four years.
In other words, nothing much will change.
Thanks for the memories. You are a class act, perhaps the classiest ever to manage a World Champion. But why you didn’t fucking play Rob Ducey in that opener of that series against the Red Sox in late September of 1990 is beyond me. That bastard came into that game hitting .317 as a call-up, yet you went back to that season’s old standby, benching Ducey, starting George Bell in left and putting a 21-year-old Olerud back at DH. Is it any wonder we lost that game, and ultimately 2 out of 3 in that series? Then we watched the Sox win the division by two games. Never fucking mind we traded McGriff and Fernandez for Alomar and Carter in the offseason and won back-to-back titles in ’92 and ’93, this has been sticking in my balls since I was 14. See, here’s what that lineup would have looked like that night if you weren’t such a motherfucking stickler:
MOOKIE WILSON CF
JUNIOR FELIX RF
KELLY GRUBER 3B
GEORGE BELL DH
FRED MCGRIFF 1B
ROB DUCEY LF
TONY FERNANDEZ SS
PAT BORDERS C
MANNY “MANUEL” LEE 2B
In all seriousness though, thanks for the memories Clarence. I believe you are the all-time face of the Toronto Blue Jays, and they should rename Blue Jays Way to Cito Gaston Way.