Tag Archives: Steve Simmons

Time For A Change In The Morning

I am going to go out on a limb here folks. It is time Nelson Millman to make a change to his morning show over at the Fan 590. I don’t want to call for someone to lose (not loose) their job, but the morning show is just stale. Why do I bring this up today, well, Don Landry was out ill today and Damien filled in for Landry. It was the best morning show they have had in ages. Let me be clear, I don’t know Don Landry from Adam. To quote Pat Burns, “I wouldn’t know him if I hit him with my car.” I don’t dislike him personally, nor the work he does. However, if ever there was a guy suited for a mid day slot it would be him. He can be funny, he likes to do more shtick then substance and I am sure he has a ton of loyal followers. He just isn’t a sports guy. This is a time slot the Fan has all to their own and to be honest most mornings I punt to 550 or god forbid music. If I am not getting sports at 590, there is no reason to listen. Nelson needs to find a replacement for Landry during that show and move Landry to an hour where his talents will be more appreciated. I can’t see the ratings for this show getting any better then they are right now. The show has peaked and I predict will decline until a change is made.

Damien was fantastic this am with Gord. They have amazing chemistry and man, they spent time actually talking about what their sports guests earlier in the am had to say. Damien was saying how he thought wht Burke was doing with Pogge was the right move, that it was part of a plan. He said he disagreed with Scotty’s take from earlier in the am which was great in that I didn’t get to hear all of it. There was a lot less hijinx then there usually is and a bigger focus on sports. Again, for some reason I think Damien’s column has suffered greatly as a result of the other things he does. He is better in his blog and is better then that on the radio. Watching him faceoff against Simmons on Sunday’s is pretty interesting too. In his column he rarely says why leaf fans should be happy that Cliff is gone. It sounds like a personal vendetta, and more so every time he says it isn’t. This morning he actually put some meat on the bones saying that if Cliff were still in charge we would have seen more deals like the one Cliff made for Lee Stempniak, trading away 2 guys who at the very least should have been given a shot with the Marlies to work our their careers. Damien guaranteed that Cliff was going to do everything in his power to get the team to the playoffs this season and deals like that were evidence of such. Now, I have no clue whether that is true or not. Damien also wrote that Doug Gilmour was paying for his players to be at the ACC this Saturday and we have since learned otherwise. At least it makes for interesting radio. It is certainly better then another bit of Ken Dryden in the house of commons! Good on Damien for mixing it up a bit, making it interesting etc.

I would like to see the Fan 590 think outside the box a bit more. In many major cities I have lived in the morning show and the drive home show feature a radio guy and a print guy as permanent hosts. The radio guy is always there (except for vacations) and the print guy is sometimes a little late, sometimes on the road or sometimes absent. They have good chemistry and create a good product. Now Brunt is a part timer on the Fan, not full time with McCown. While I love Brunt’s work, I think he comes across as being to cerebral for radio in this town. He is certainly better then some of the other guys though. I would love for the Fan to find a way to get Damien or someone like him in there with Stellick. Maclean would be a better fit to be honest. One of the problems I think is that we don’t have a huge bullpen of talent (at least known) in this market. It’s not like there are 5-10 guys on other shows who you say, man they would be awesome on the Fan. With the exception of Brady on 640 (and I think he would be terrific with Stellick, but can’t see that happening anytime soon), I really can’t think of anyone. Now Brady came from Detroit and there are probably a lot of folks in the industry looking for work in other markets. I think Nelson really should make a change, move Landry to the mid-day and bring in someone else to work with Stellick. This morning was a tease.

Pogge Up- Down The Stretch They Come

So we are going to see the start of the professional evaluation of one Justin Pogge. It’s a good thing too. At least when he is in net the pundits are going to have lots to write about. One shot, he’s good the next- he’s a bum. Burke and Wilson need to know what they have sooner rather then later and well sooner starts now. If Pogge can’t play in the NHL we had better know now as the planning is well under way. As one scout told me after the last game, Burke isn’t done his evaluations yet, when he is the dominoes will start to fall. One evaluation that is obvious is that of Justin Pogge.

Sorry for the NFL thought, but I am curious, US newspapers are ceasing to cover the NHL in droves, yet our news outlets are all already down in Tampa for the superbowl. Seems odd to me, does it to anyone else?

Doug Gilmour is a favorite. Someone, anyone please explain to me why he told Damien he was paying for his current players to attend the event honoring the former captain this Saturday night while Steve Simmons’s story is that a penguins player is the one who actually paid for the tickets? No really, why would Gilmour lie about something so small, he looks like and would be a liar if this is true.

Suspended not suspended, injured, not injured WHO CARES…enough already. Why was this the only thing being talked about today? There has to be something better to talk about then this.

I will say it again, there is no better player in the game today then Alexander Ovechkin. He is the only player in the league I would pay to see, night in and night out. He is strong, he is tough, he is animated, he is talented, he is the guy the NHL needs to start selling as the face of the league.

Have all the good rumor sources dried up? Garrioch had the Leafs looking at Pronger, Hanky gave the Jay Bo to the buds his highest rating before a deal being done. Where are all the good scoops?

The Avs are coming up this week. Tucker and Red light Raycroft doing battle against their former teammates (or what is left of them). It will be very interesting to hear the interviews with Tucker this week and then to see his sideshow Bob antics take shape against his former club.

Ok sports fans, who pulls the trigger first, Burke or Colangelo? Which player gets dealt first, a Leaf or Jermaine O’Neal?

Sunday’s Funnies (quotes of the early day)

Here are a few of my favorite things this am:

“No kidding the Coyotes operate under an onerous lease. But that’s exactly what previous owner Steve Ellman signed on for in exchange for his land-grab in Glendale, which was exactly the wrong spot to build a new arena and everyone but everyone knew it. Ellman didn’t care. He got his land. But now the NHL is supposed to bail out the franchise? Now the NHL is supposed to pump money into an organization that, somehow, is paying head coach Wayne Gretzky more than $5.5M this year and will pay Gretzky between $7-and-8M next season?” Larry Brooks

With the players taking the hit that they are, the count should expect long and hard questions about the league finances and the propping up of teams who do just enough to qualify for large revenue sharing payments. The ethical appearances of the league this day are all wrong.

“When Garth Snow talks about expanding the Islanders’ fan base in explaining why the team is playing a preseason game in Kansas City and spending the opening week of training camp in Saskatoon, it sounds like nothing more than an insult to the suffering fan base on Long Island. What is it about going to work in a suit and tie rather than in illegal pads that has turned Snow from an insightful, candid fellow into a suspicious, uptight individual?” Larry Brooks

Nothing like good old fashioned blackmail. Anyone else remember the Kansas City Blades of the IHL? Quick, when you think of hot potential NHL markets how many list KC in your top 25? The folks in government should tell the isles to build their own damned arena…Look around people, this isn’t the time for governments to be handing out checks to the likes of Charles Wong…. Poney up Charles and build your own building your fans deserve it.

“This Ron Wilson “we won, they lost” attitude in public will last only as long as his dressing room doesn’t erupt against him. There is much to like about Wilson — and who wouldn’t want a boss that rewards hard work and accomplishment? — but lately, he’s tripping over himself in public.” Steve Simmons

I agree. This we suck thing is going to get very stale in the locker room sooner rather then later. Coaches want to be part of the us vs. them mentality along with their players. Kind of hard to establish that when you slaughter your guys in public all the time. Take shots at the media, bash your players in private, man stand up for your guys just a little bit.

“How tough is it to get a hockey scholarship at a top U.S. college? Well, consider this: The top 10 ranked teams in the NCAA have only 15 Ontario players of the 250 or so on their rosters.” Steve Simmons

It used to be parents dreamed about the NHL. Now it’s a us scholarship. Let your kids have fun and stop pressing them to be all that you weren’t!

“When Doug Gilmour’s jersey is honoured at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night, his Kingston Frontenacs players will be in attendance. But he had nothing to do with getting them tickets. Turns out, Mike Zigomanis of the Penguins, as a goodwill gesture to his former junior team and knowing nothing of the Gilmour ceremony, bought 34 tickets for the Fronts players to watch the Pens play. Now they get to see Zigomanis play and watch their coach honoured on the same night” Steve Simmons-

Why, would Gilmour lie about this? Seriously, I don’t get it.

“Donny (Doc) Lyons, the loudest, most opinionated, most inflexible and maybe most interesting sports fan in Toronto, has lost his fight with cancer. The owner of the popular House of Chan and longtime coach will be missed by all who have sparred with him and been charmed by him. He was a one-of-a-kind character in a city of too few” Steve Simmons

The house that Chan built won’t be the same…

“Boo hoo: Overpaid millionaire NHL players have to take a 13.5% paycut in the first half of the season and some have the nerve to squawk about it. Tell that to the autoworkers in Oshawa or the half-million Americans who lost their jobs in December” Steve Simmons

You knew it was coming and it is 100% accurate. This is why the players didn’t re-open the CBA.

Quotes Of The Day

“Therrien is on thin ice. While former Toronto coach Pat Quinn is considered the top candidate to replace Therrien, TSN analyst Pierre McGuire shouldn’t be ruled out as a possible replacement.” Bruce Garrioch

“Aside from moving the obvious candidates, general manager Brian Burke is going to have to decide which of his future second-line centres, Matt Stajan or Mikhail Grabovski, have to go. You can keep one, but it’s superfluous to hang on to both” Steve Simmons

“After all the damage, internally and externally, you have to feel good for Jason Blake, who finally is playing the kind of hockey that made him rich”Steve Simmons

First the Garrioch quote. I am confused. Is this a joke. When was the last time McGuire coached? Do people not remember what just happened with Melrose? I don’t see Mcguire giving up the tv gig anytime soon.

I totally agree with Simmon’s on the first quote. I will address this in a later post….

Lastly, I do feel good for Blake. It looks like someone has finally gotten inside his head and forced him to work. It is nice to see a guy coming close to his expected performance. Given that he is, the minute you can unload him for prospects or picks Burke should….

Welcome To Toronto…..

New Argos Coach

New Argos Coach

A hearty welcome to Toronto Bart (d’oh) Andrus!

We are very happy to have you here. We have heard good things about you. LT didn’t sleep last night he was so excited that you have taken over the double blue.

My favorite part of his press conference was when he thanked his kids, saying that “being the kids of a football coach isn’t easy, all the other kids talking about your dad, the team….” Ummmm, Bart (D’oh) your kids won’t have that problem here. Steve Simmon’s in his article today was on the right track, suggesting that the job ahead of Andrus is huge, but the risk if he is unsuccessful isn’t obscurity it’s total irrelevancy. Interest in the double blue is really low. If the teams keeps failing they will become totally irrelevant, the worst thing that can happen to a sports team.

For those of you non-Argos fans here is the new coaches coaching history:

Bart Andrus Coaching History:
2008: Offensive Assistant Coach, Tennessee Titans – NFL
2001-07: Head Coach, Amsterdam Admirals – NFL Europa
2000: Offensive Coordinator/ Quarterbacks, Rhein Fire – NFL Europa
1999: Quarterbacks, Tennessee Titans – NFL
1997-98: Offensive Assistant/Quarterbacks, Tennessee Titans – NFL
1996: Head Coach, Rocky Mountain College
1993-95: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, Southern Utah University
1990-91: Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks, Montana State University
1986-89: Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks, Humboldt State University
1984-85: Graduate Assistant, Brigham Young University

New TSM Feature & Worst Article of the new year!

I once ran a poll asking people to rate the best of the Toronto dailies. In my opinion there is no contest. The Globe is eon’s ahead of the others. Next comes the Star, followed by the Post and the Sun.

The Globe has Eric Duhatschek, Jeff Blair, Stephen Brunt, Tim Wharnsby, David Shoalts, David Naylor, Michael Grange and William Houston (others too)
The Star has Damien Cox, Richard Griffin, Dave Feschuk, Doug Smith, Mark Zwolinski, Chris Zelkovich and Dave Perkins(others too)
The National Post has Bruce Arthur, Michael Traikos,Jeremy Sandler, Sean Fitz-Gerald, Joe O’Connor, Allen Panzeri and a host of Can West and other Writers.
The Sun has Steve Simmons, Mike Zeisberger, Lance Horby, Ken Fidlin, Terry Koshan, Rob Longley, Alison Korn, Bob Elliott, Bill Lankhoff, Gary Lowen, Steve Buffery, Bruce Garrioch(kind of)

Apologies to anyone I forgot. On the basis of quality of reporting I stand by rankings.

Having said that, I can’t say enough times how far the sun has slipped. Growing up there was no post and the Globe sports section sucked. The Sun was numero uno followed by the Star. Today, I enjoy reading most of the guys at the Globe. I think Blair has become numero uno (as a general columnist). At the Star, love him or hate him Damien is the man there. Griffin’s blog is better then his work on the paper. Smith is better on the radio then in print. Zelkovich was better when he covered the media. At the post it isn’t necessarily the names but the steady content. Arthur is good, and they get so many other guest columns that there is always something to read. In the sun, they have 2 guys who are readable, Simmons and Elliott. Terry Koshan and Lance are ok, and Garrioch is more entertaining and isn’t a Toronto writer. Longley was a better media writer too. The others?????

Today, we honor the worst of them all. I have been scratching my head for a long time wondering how this guy gets to write for a real paper. Today’s article is just a perfect example of how bad he is. Drum roll please…. Gary Lowen. Did anyone read the piece he wrote today? It is total, 100% crap (in my opinion of course).

“A big fuss has been made over the Maple Leafs acquiring Brad May, a 37-year-old winger from the Anaheim Ducks, in exchange for a draft pick.

But, let’s be honest, at this stage in his career he’s strictly Brad December.

And either way, the Leafs won’t play in May.”

Are you kidding me???? This is in a REAL newspaper, not a high school one right?

“Indianapolis Colts star Marvin Harrison’s gun was smoking, but who pulled the trigger?

Investigators have conflicting witness accounts of a shooting in Philadelphia in April, which left one man wounded.

Let’s go to our Clue game to solve this one: It was Plaxico Burress, with Marvin Harrison’s revolver, at the car wash.”

Is that supposed to be funny?

“You know that Jamario has to be over the Moon.

Moon has left the Raptors to be with his wife, Tamara, who has given birth to their first child, a daughter.

Wonder if they’ll give the baby a cool name, like, oh, maybe, Jamaria?

Guess the name Warren is out”

I am not making this up- this is in today’s Toronto Sun!!!!!

“The Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to terms with two pitchers, left-hander Antonio Bastardo and right-hander Yorman Bazardo.

Doesn’t sound like the kind of guys you want to meet in a dark bullpen.”

How does this guy have a job as a writer?????

This is the start of a new feature here on TSM where we will have a weekly (right LT?) Media power ratings- who was hot, cold, up and down in the media.

Tomorrow we feature Radio personalities- feel free to submit any thoughts ahead of time….

If you really want to read more of Lowen’s trash you can read it here….

One For The Files From Simmons

I am in grumpy mood today for some reason…. First these two idiots who work in my building insisted on pushing the elevator up button after seeing it was full and then laughed there way on it. These two “lovely” (think Owen’s mama in Throw Momma From the Train) had 2 giant starbucks drinks in their paws. Know this, the Starbuck’s closest to my office is usually slower then Brad Marsh on a break out. So if these two had time to wait at starbucks they clearly could have waited for the next F@!#$!@ elevator! Then, to top it off, I am getting inundated with freind requests on facebook from people I have no clue who they are. This is on my personal account, and face it I am just not popular enough to garner any attention. If you want to be my friend for some reason…tell me why or at the very least who the F#@$#@ you are!

Ok…. So, little TSM get’s the Sun delivered every am to follow up on the Logos in the sports section. The sun does a great job at showing team logo’s for results and he likes that… So I get an early glimpse at that one daily before the others. Not sure if you caught this gem from Simmons on why he thinks Burke’s job is going to be especially challenging (I wonder if he will remember that when he carves him):

“Another truth: If you actually study how bad teams become good teams in the NHL, you quickly realize how few draft picks actually make a difference. The Flyers have only one player on their team from their past five drafts. The Capitals have four, but three are stars in Ovechkin, defenceman Mike Green and centre Nicklas Backstrom. The Bruins use only one first-round starter from the past six drafts.”

Fascinating. So the Leafs are screwed because they don’t have the picks, (which few stellar teams apparently use anyway) and because they don’t have the building blocks. The one team not mentioned in any of Simmons’s theories is of course Detroit. Why would he mention them anyway? What have they done?

Coming up later today, the worst article written in 2009….