Tag Archives: William Houston

Kaberle, Modano, Hull, Avery, Rentals, Caps & Raps… Oh My

I love this quote from Bruce Arthur. Can’t you just picture the scene in the Leafs locker-room, all the regular’s are gathered around Kaberle’s locker, they ask him about his NTC:

“”We haven’t spoke about anything, and obviously my status stays the same,” Kaberle said with an air of finality. “We can talk about tonight’s game if you guys want to.”

After a pause, one sharp reporter said, “Not really.”

That is right out of a SNL skit… whom do you think the “sharp reporter” 10:1 Howie 5:1 Jonas

Oh to be on the Dallas Stars next flight with Modano and Brett Hull… Let’s see, sitting in 11 a is Mike Modano, here is your boarding pass and in 11 C is Brett Hull, here you go…

“”I think we would have analyzed (the signing) a little bit more over the summer before you go into the free-agent market. Do a little more homework and detailed analysis (and get the opinions) of players who have played with him, or how guys feel about it,” said Wednesday the 19-year veteran.
“It could have been avoided, I think, but I think (co-GM) Brett (Hull) felt having him as a teammate (while with the Detroit Red Wings), he saw something in him. “Talent-wise, he’s a very skilled kid. But I think character-wise and his personality didn’t blend with the criteria that we’ve always had as Dallas Stars. Since Bob Gainey was here, we implemented a kind of personality and character-figure in Tom Hicks. That’s kind of where it went off and tail-spinned, and got corrected.”

One word…. Ouch…Gotta love when a guy like Modano suggests that maybe, just maybe it would be a good idea to do some , ummmm, what’s the word for it, oh yeah HOMEWORK before signing a player…. The fact that he references Bob Gainey is even more classic.

Good job of accumulating a list of rental players from Kevin Allen in his USA Today hockey blog:
Jay Bouwmeester (Florida)
Keith Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues)
Mathieu Schneider (Atlanta)
Andy McDonald (St. Louis)
Nik Antropov (Toronto)
Doug Weight (New York Islanders)
Bill Guerin (New York Islanders)
Gaborik (Minnesota)
Maxim Afinogenov (Buffalo)
Sean O’Donnell (Los Angeles)

Another great quote: “Citing declining sales, the CBC has pulled out as a carrier of Toronto Blue Jays telecasts.” William Houston, Globe and Mail. There is no surprise that the CBC balked at a rate of $150k per game to broadcast the Jays games. “Beeston said 145 of the Jays’ 162 games will be televised, 125 on Sportsnet, which is owned by Jays proprietor Rogers Communications, and 20 on TSN.” By the way, did anyone else here this gem from Mr. Beeston while on with Pad Thai (Watters) and Brady ” I am almost finished writing up the job description for Blue Jays President.” Please, someone tell me just how long that should take and what Mr. Beeston (whom I am a huge fan of) has been doing since he took the job???? I guess with the rate of signings and trades he realizes there is no rush to do…..ummmmmm, anything

A subject that drives Howard Berger nuts seems to have been resolved in the media’s favor in Montreal:

“Growing weary of widespread rumours and gossip surrounding injured players, Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau on Wednesday said anyone sidelined indefinitely will now have the nature of their injuries released to the media. No longer will the team report such players have upper- or lower-body injuries.Carbonneau said the decision was reached following a meeting between himself, general manager Bob Gainey, vice-president (hockey operations) Julien BriseBois and the team’s communications department.”

I have heard the arguments from both sides. The anti-reveal argument is if you reveal a player’s injury the opposing teams will attack that injury every chance they can. The pro-reveal argument is simply, we have a job to do and you shouldn’t hide information from us. If the former is true then the injuries shouldn’t be revealed, the hell with the latter.

Tonight’s shows on both stations were the worst I have heard since I have been pre-viewing/reviewing the drive home radio shows on both the Fan and 640, The interview with Steve Nash was pretty dull and almost unlistenable seeing how Nash sounded like he was in an aquarium for it. Kudos to Mccown and Kelley for interviewing an athlete (they rarely do) and for admitting that they taped it earlier (not that it would have made a difference to any of us listening), which they also rarely do. Those who preceded Nash and followed were equally as uninteresting. Over on 640 the lineup with the exception of Dean Lombardi was really dull. Perhaps it was the cold weather, but it seemed to be a night when both stations should have punted. Here’s hoping tomorrow is better.

You know the old saying about a sucker being born every second…
“Sources say the team is expected to be sold within the next two months with current owner Jerry Moyes retaining as much as 20 percent.” That according to Darren Dreger, speaking on the issue of the Phoenix Coyotes. With all the issues facing this team, most importantly a 30 year lease with brutal terms (no parking revenue for the team AND a share of each ticket sold being shared with the city) it’s hard to phathom who would buy the team. That is not to suggest that the team isn’t valuable. Truth is many would leaf fans would gladly change rosters wth the Yotes in a heartbeat… Why someone would buy this team is beyond me…especially right now…

Hats off to Jay Triano for finding Andrea Bargnani’s game. Man, anyone else see him put up 31 tonight in another loosing effort?? Quite an impressive showing for the Big Euro.

If you are a hockey fan, you had to watch, with a smile on your face the play as the Caps defeated the Pens 6-3 tonight. Way to go AO and my adopted 2nd team the Washington Capitals!

Have a good night all


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….

A Tribute To Bobby Bittman

Growing up in this city, I remeber tuning into CityTv (everywhere!) and catching episodes of SCTV.  Everyone my age or a tad older remembers Bob and Doug, or Count Floyd, among my favoirtes were the Schmengie Brothers(cabbage rolls and coffee) and Bobby Bittman (howwwww are yaaaa).  Bittman, played by Eugene Levy was a comedian who often appeared on the Sammy Maudlin show( a take off on the tonight show).  Bittman would come on do a stand up bit and then when interviewed, he would inevitably get very serious.  In doing so, Bittman would say the same thing every time, “As a comedian in all seriousness” and then some nonesense would follow causing me and others to laugh hysterically.

Why the reference?  Well, it reminds me a little bit about Bob McCowan.  McCowan, for the most part owns the sports radio market in this city.  Chuck Swirsky when is had his own show on the Fan used to refer to McCowan as the franchise. McCowan, rumor has it, does very little in the way of show preparation and realizes the fact that part of his appeal is his controversial comments.  I am sure you have seen his ad on sportsnet promoting his show talking about what idiots his fans are.  There are those who firmily believe that McCowan doesn’t believe a lot of what escapes his lips, but rather he says them because he is supposed to, his audience expects him too.  In other words, the theory goes, he is no different then an actor.  He gets paid to almost follow a script.

There is nothing wrong with this.  It works.  To be hones I listen to his show because he gets great guests.  I know what he is going to say, and for the most part his co-hosts too.  Sometimes, however I kind of get the thought that he too needs to use Bittman’s preamble before speaking.  This past week, McCowan crossed the line.  One has to wonder if he did so purposefully or ignorantly (he didn’t realize what he said could be contsrued as offensive to the point of really crossing the line).  This past Wednesday, McCowan theorized that President Elect (and Senator) Obama won the election because he “was black”.  McCowan went evenfurther by using a report out of Harlem as an example of his theory.  Apparently a reporter in Harlem asked african american’s if they would support a specific political platform (mirroring that of John McCain’s) if it were Obama’s platform.  The respondant’s said that they would, ergo people were voting for Obama because of the color of his skin and not the substance behind it.

Just under 2 years ago, Don Imus got fired for referring to the Rutgers University woman’s basketball team as “nappy-headed hos”. Know, I am not going to compare what McCown said to Imus.  However, it is pretty telling the difference in the reaction on this side of the border then down south.  You can bet that if McCowan said what he did in some US markets, the topic would be a lot more then Bill Houson made of it in the bloge and mail here.  You can also rest assured that someone like a Jesse Jackson would come sniffing around too.  Let me make this clear, I am not suggesting McCowan is a racist (as someone else has before me).  Nor am I saying he should be fired for what he said (sorry Howie).  I do however wonder if he couldn’t have done a much better job of clarifying his point as to not make it as offensive as it sounded live.

For some great insight into this story, try and grab some clips of the Brady and Watters’ show from this past Friday.  The guys were really whooping it up, make all kinds of sports realted jokes about things happening only because the were black, like say a hockey puck.  Good entertainment for sure!

Meanwhile, Howie wants me to remind you to sign up:

sign the petition at <a href=”http://firehowardberger.com/”>http://www.firehowardberger.com</a&gt;
join the <a href=”http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38743531034″>facebook group</a>
follow on <a href=”https://twitter.com/FireHowardBerge”>twitter</a&gt;


What’s Wrong With Demanding The Best

Curious angle in the article this am from William Houston. Word is that the CRTC is about to deregulate what TV stations carry and when.

“The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission is expected to revise the rules pertaining to mandatory carriage, genre protection and restrictions on the entry of foreign channels.The CRTC could move to ease or eliminate rules that require specialty channels to keep programming within the bounds of their particular genre.For example, TSN, as a sports channel, is not allowed to air, on a slow night, a Hollywood movie or a music video.The Score Television Network could do away with its sportscasts and stop running its sports ticker at the bottom of the screen. It could go even further and switch to a programming model based on TBS in the United States, which combines sports programming with movies and old sitcoms. Another possible change is the CRTC eliminating the must-carry and must-offer rules imposed on cable and satellite companies for carriage of analogue cable channels and category one digitals.That could result in Rogers Cable or Shaw Cable deciding not to carry TSN. That wouldn’t happen, because TSN offers a strong programming schedule, and consumers would complain.”

Enough gobble gook for ya?

Here is what I don’t get. Why, can someone please tell me, is any of this a bad thing? As a consumer, I want the best. Why are we such protectionists in this country? When I listen to the radio, I don’t want to hear Canadian music vs. American Music or English Music, I want to hear the best. When I go to a resutaurant, I don’t say bring me a Canadian steak vs. an American Steak, I want the best steak. The truth of the matter is, we the public should want and demand the best, period. While living in the USA, I would watch TBS when it carried Gilligan’s Island, and turn it off when the Braves played the Astros. Wouldn’t that be a nice alternative to say that god awful talk show on the Score that is on now???? The reality is, the market will dictate what we see. Either people will watch, or they won’t.

“One TV executive described the potential impact as Darwinian, with weaker services falling by the wayside.”It would be survival of the fittest,” he said. Arguably, deregulation would reduce the quantity and range of sports programming that Canadians now receive. The present system, in which specialty channels are required to stay within their niche, has worked pretty well.”

Why is this a bad thing???? Why should the masses suffer for the very few. I have no interest in watching curling. Shoot me. I haven’t watched 30 seconds of bowling (save for Kingpin and the Big Labowksi). If Equestrian jumping is on, I turn the channel about as quick as I do the Kennel Club dog show. I am not sure which I like least, spelling bees, or the guy on TV who paints scenes by numbers. As a consumer, especially in the digital age I want the best offer available. Why did grey market satellite take off here???? DirecTV and Dishnetwork offer superior products to Bell and Rogers. Buying a foreign Satellite wasn’t a cheap investment. People still pay for both services using a legitimate US address in order to get superior programming availability. There is no better example of this then the Superbowl, where the commercials are as big as the game is. Except here in Canada. Where we are so worried about our products that we don’t carry them. Hey, why not ban the academy awards and the emmy’s too. Only show Canadian Award shows???? Better yet, why not have a market where you can only buy Canadian????? We as Canadian’s have an inferior complex like no other. The reality is, a great deal of what we produce is competitive if we allow it to be. Instead our government agencies enact legislation that tells the rest of the world we are second class and need protection from you the best.

I feel so much better now…

you can read Houston here….