Wednesday, July 13, 2011
SUMMER BLOGGING (HAPPENED SO FAST!)
Ok, so a bad pun from Grease, a very overrated movie, may not be the best way to title a blog. Outside of Pulp Fiction I rue the day that John Travolta became famous. Having the summer off is great, particularly if you are raising a now 7 week old who gets more adorable by the day thank you very much! Yesterday I went for a 3.5 mile run, which, in yesterday's heat, is either dedicated or foolish, depending on how you looked at it. Full disclosure: I was wearing a Shawn Michaels retro WWF wrestling ball cap as my head gear of choice, and I thought it would be pretty cool to take a picture of said head wear and tweetto Shawn Michaels, in hopes of getting a retweet. He retweeted me, I gained two new wrestling followers and got one message from a guy that cannot be repeated due to its coarse language. Ok, maybe cool was not the right word as its not like Fonzie ever sported a "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers hat in hopes of getting noticed! On to sports!
BLUE JAYS AND THE ALL STAR GAME
While all the New York Yankees decided to call in sick for the all-star game, it was refreshing to see Jose Bautista and Ricky Romero embrace their all star status. Romero, in particular seemed over the moon happy with his selection. Bautista did not fare too well in the home run derby, getting eliminated in the 1st round but made a beautiful sliding catch during the game itself. A couple of media notes: Firstly, Chris Berman is the wrong guy to call the Home Run Derby. His monster truck like booming baritone fits perfectly for NFL football and he could certainly pull offhockey, but for baseball it was out of place. For the broadcast itself, it really sounded as if Joe Buck wanted to be anywhere but the game. I know that his style is somewhat deadpan, but his lack of enthusiasm made me yearn for Tim McCarver's commentary, and that never happens! How about bringing back some legends and all-stars of broadcasting for the game? An all-star game with the rich, authoritative voice of Vin Scully for a few innings would be wonderful, would it not?
These are truly the dog days of hockey as most of the radio and TV hockey related shows, save for That's Hockey on TSN have taken the summer off. However, with rookie camps going on, many prospects are strutting their stuff in the hopes of getting invites to main camps in September. The one thing that I have found refreshing is that despite the fact that these are elite athletes and potential stars in the making, there is no disguising the boyish enthusiasm that these young men had as they headed to camp. It really comes shining through on Twitter. Even a guy like 1st round pick Ryan Strome seemed a little wide-eyed at his first taste of NHL experience. Strome by the way has seen his Twitter followers soar to well over the 9000 mark. Guess that being a first round pick will do that for you!
WOMEN'S WORLD CUP SOCCER
What a finish between the United States and Brazil in their epic quarter final match up. 1-1 at the end of regulation, an early goal by the iconic Marta of Brazil seemed to seal the deal until Abby Wambach's last minute thriller sent the match to the dreaded penalty shoot out before the US prevailed. The game was not without its controversy as US 'keeper and the soon to be very marketable Hope Solo had her penalty kick save wiped out by the most trivial of encroachment calls. The referee had botched the aftermath of the penalty by handing out an ill-advised red card to US Defender Melanie Bueller (anyone? anyone?) and then handed Solo a yellow card for rightly protesting. The ref rightly redeemed herself in the extra frame by handing Brazilian Erica a yellow card for gamesmanship to the extreme! The Brazilian went down as if felled by a sniper, only to miraculously recover as soon as the stretcher got off the field. This sort of thing really hinders the credibility of soccer and is the reason that casual followers scoff at it. Fortunately the women have been much more sportier than their male counterparts, save for the aforementioned incident.
SPORTS MEDIA NEWS
For those followers of the Bufalo Sabres, the Rick Jeanneret/Harry Neale and Kevin Sylvester/Danny Gare split schedule has been publicized. RJ and Neale will do 57 games with the newly anointed duo of Sylvester and Gare will get 23, including a monster 7 game road swing and 5 game West Coast Swing.
Jeff Marek's CBC position has been publicized and will close on July 22nd. The opportunity to work for anything connected to the iconic Hockey Night in Canada brand will be an enticing one for any broadcaster. Marek has settled into his new role at Rogers Sportsnet, doing hits on Connected and also Prime Time Sports.
Dan Dunleavy's Fan 590 Morning Show Anchor position has also been posted, leading many to speculate that Dunleavy will handle Howard Berger's old job as the daily Leaf beat reporter. Dunelavy has an impressive resume of play by play credits as he is the radio broadcaster for TFC, the World Juniors and the TV broadcaster for the Mississauga St Michaels Majors. It will be interesting to see if he retains his play by play portfolio should he gain the Leaf reporter position.
According to the excellent and always reliable blog at www.torontosportsmedia.com , The Bill Watters Show on AM640 could be kaput as of this Friday! As 640 has the rights to Leafs radio broadcasts for one more year, do they hang onto them, or parcel them off to the highest bidding competitor? Also, should the Leafs move up or down the dial to TSN Radio or Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590, is there a chance that Joe Bowen gets squeezed out? I would doubt it as Bowen has been synonymous with the Leafs for a quarter century plus and has many on-air credits with Sportsnet and TSN through their regional coverage. Still, you never know!
Finally, Fan 590/Rogers TV broadcaster Roger Lajoie has added the title of Executive Vice President of the Mississauga St. Michaels Majors. The affable and personable Lajoie is the hardest working man in sports media and a jack of all trades. I'd say his first order of business will be to create a 28 hour day, so he can handle his expanding duties.
Till next time
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