June 2016 Archives

« May 2016 July 2016 »

45 RPM Adapter

Former CFNY deejay Pete Fowler has a radio show entitled The Lost Indie City and he sells tee shirts with a big yellow 45 rpm adapter on it to promote the program. I've got one, and wear it often.

Jeff Woods and Me

It's a fantastic conversation piece. It never fails that when I go for a walk wearing this shirt some guy, usually in his 50s or 60s, will light up and tell me he remembers those. I myself used to buy 45 singles at my local Sam the Record Man so I always had such an adapter on hand.

The other day I was wearing this shirt and walking with my wife, who was born in the 1980s and had no idea what it was, and we wondered aloud if my 14 year old would know what it was. I was pretty sure he would and my wife was pretty sure he wouldn't. My wife was right.

The 45 rpm adapter is a dog whistle that can only be heard by those of a certain vintage. By the late 80s, it was all about the CD. Even in the mid-80s, cassette tapes were taking over among my peers. I'll bet few under the age of 40 have ever touched one of these.

If you smile when you see me wearing this shirt, you're 40+. I guarantee it.

Discuss "45 RPM Adapter" (30 comments so far)


We All Fit in a Buick Enclave

I'm in the market for a car that seats at least six. For the past couple of weeks, I've been test driving a new Buick Enclave which seats seven comfortably. It's been absolutely ideal.

Buick Enclave

My youngest is now three months old, so at some point I'm going to have to make an actual decision and buy something. In the meantime, we make do by picking destinations some of us can bike to. My oldest two have been racking up the cycling KMs lately.

The Buick Enclave is a large automobile that doesn't drive like a large automobile. I like that. It's also nice that, once the two car seats are installed, my other two kids can easily access the back row of seats without having to climb over anything. There's a convenient path for them to follow.

Buick Enclave

I'll admit, by the time the two weeks was up, I had forgotten I didn't actually own this car and had to return it. One reason I've delayed making a final decision is that there are several excellent options for one looking for a car with three rows of seats.

20160621_145203

I'm planning a road trip for the whole family in August. We're finally going to head east and experience the Maritimes. For that trip, I'm driving a GMC Acadia.

Discuss "We All Fit in a Buick Enclave" (10 comments so far)


Corus Makes Cuts at Global TV

Corus recently bought Global TV owner Shaw Media for $2.65 billion in cash and shares. Yesterday, they made a few significant cuts.

Let's start with the cancellation of 16X9. 16X9 was an award-winning Canadian newsmagazine program. We're talking investigative news at a time when fewer and fewer news outlets are employing such people. Troy Reeb, Corus Entertainment’s SVP news, radio and station operations, issued a memo lauding 16X9.

Over its eight seasons, it broke ground editorially and visually – winning countless awards and international recognition. The program, and its team, has made lasting contributions to the field of investigative journalism, and we are committed to continuing to invest in this area.

Nothing demonstrates a commitment to investigative journalism like the cancellation of 16X9. I've never been an SVP of anything, but this seems like a rather large step in the exact opposite direction.

16X9_logo_pos_colour-1024x392

Meanwhile, on Global TV's The Morning Show, host Liza Fromer has been let go. Technically, her contract isn't being renewed, but the result is the same. You won't see Liza Fromer on Global TV any longer.

This move has upset my mother who still misses Dave Gerry on that show. She's been a fan of Fromer's since her Breakfast Television days.

Kris Reyes, it seems, has quit her job on Global TV.

Like so many people, we want to be more creative, we want to test out new methods and we want a chance to work on something that we can grow. Personally, I just want to tell more stories. All the while, finding new adventures and sticking together.

Kris and I want the exact same thing.

Discuss "Corus Makes Cuts at Global TV" (62 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 181: John "Spike" Gallagher

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 181In this 181st episode, Mike chats with John Gallagher about his years at Q107, CityTV and TSN, how he saved Mark Wahlberg's life, his time on Zoomer Radio and so much more. This episode is exactly 1:18:04.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

20160628_194728

Become a Patron

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 181: John "Spike" Gallagher" (18 comments so far)


Buddy Ryan, Dead at 82

Buddy RyanBuddy Ryan was 82. During his 35-season NFL coaching career, he served as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals, and the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears and Houston Oilers.

buddyryan

Discuss "Buddy Ryan, Dead at 82" (0 comments so far)


Pat Summitt, Dead at 64

Pat SummittPat Summitt was 64. She was the winningest coach, male or female, in NCAA basketball history winning 1,098 games and eight NCAA championships with the University of Tennessee Lady Vols.

pat-summit

Discuss "Pat Summitt, Dead at 64" (0 comments so far)


Daily Photo: A River Runs Through It

20160627_122637

Discuss "Daily Photo: A River Runs Through It" (4 comments so far)


Rogers Hockey Changes Official

Rogers has made it official. George Stroumboulopoulos is no longer part of the Rogers Hockey broadcast team. According to the press release, he will "depart the company to explore new creative opportunities."

That same release tells us Ron MacLean "is returning to host hockey’s biggest night alongside David Amber". MacLean will keep his Coach's Corner co-hosting and Rogers Hometown Hockey duties.

According to David Shoalts, additional on-air changes include the departure of Glenn Healy, Leah Hextall, Corey Hirsch, Chantal Desjardins, Billy Jaffe and P.J. Stock. I know people loved to hate Healy, but I never minded his contribution from between the bench. And when he guested on the Fan 590 radio shows, I found his opinions insightful and interesting.

Andy Frost has also tweeted that his contract was not renewed and after 17 years there will be a new public address announcer at the ACC.

Damien Cox, it was previously announced, has left to become Bob McCown's permanent co-host on the Fan 590's Prime Time Sports. Panelists Elliotte Friedman, Kelly Hrudey, and Nick Kypreos join MacLean and Amber in-studio Saturday nights, to round out the A team.

According to Chris Zelkovich, fourteen staff in total were fired today, many of them working behind the scenes.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, the only thing that will improve ratings on Hockey Night in Canada will be competitive Canadian teams. In particularly, a rising Maple Leaf star will do wonders for Numeris PPM numbers.

There was nothing Strombo could do to compensate for zero Canadian teams in the 2015-16 NHL playoffs.

Related:

Discuss "Rogers Hockey Changes Official" (23 comments so far)


The Problem with HBO's Vinyl

"A New York music executive in the 1970s hustles to make a career out of the city's diverse music scene."

That's the description of Vinyl. With Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger on board as co-creators, they had my curiosity, but with the HBO seal of approval, they had my attention. I had to see this.

vinyl

I watched all 10 episodes, quickly deeming it a low-rent Madmen wannabe, but the music and artist "cameos" kept me interested. After all, it's all about the music, and it's pretty cool seeing Alice Cooper, Joey Ramone, the New York Dolls, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, the Velvet Underground, Buddy Holly, DJ Kool Herc and others.

My biggest issue with Vinyl was the acting of Bobby Cannavale. His over-the-top performance of Richie Finestra was just too much, and often cringe-worthy. If he was supposed to be the Don Draper of Vinyl, Vinyl didn't stand much of a chance.

Rumour has it Cannavale has been good in other projects, such as Boardwalk Empire, but since I've not yet seen Boardwalk Empire, I just know him as the guy in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. As I recall, I didn't like him in that, either.

Vinyl has been cancelled, and it deserved to be cancelled. It's a shame, though. With better writing and acting, this could have been a great deal of fun.

Discuss "The Problem with HBO's Vinyl" (9 comments so far)


Auston Matthews Drafted 1st Overall by Maple Leafs

Auston

Discuss "Auston Matthews Drafted 1st Overall by Maple Leafs" (9 comments so far)


Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

Discuss "Open Mike" (75 comments so far)


Patty Sullivan Released of Kids' CBC Duties

If you include her hosting duties at TVOKids, Patty Sullivan has been a television friend to our kids since 1994. My three oldest kids have all enjoyed her work as host of Kids' CBC where she's been since 2003. Sadly, my youngest won't have that pleasure.

Kids' CBC is rebranding this coming winter, and that means no more Patty Sullivan, Sid Bobb or Mamma Yamma.

patty

For the short in-house segments — which Markle likens to short stories — the goal of the "total rebranding" is to create videos that work on television as well as on digital and mobile platforms.

"We're going to have a new studio and set that will allow us to create content that is platform agnostic and go anywhere," he said.

"Kids watch television, use iPads, YouTube, mobile devices. We will be creating excellent, worthwhile, funny, entertaining content that will be at home broadcast first or shared and highly interactive."

It's a shame. I spent many a morning with Patty and will miss her.

Update: Patty is on the air until September, so she'll visit me for an episode of Toronto Mike'd then. I'm looking forward to it.

Discuss "Patty Sullivan Released of Kids' CBC Duties" (11 comments so far)


Strombo Talks About Hockey Night in Canada

The big news in this country is that George Stroumboulopoulos is being replaced as host of Hockey Night in Canada by Ron MacLean. Ron MacLean had the gig before Strombo, and Strombo visited my basement a few months into his first season as host to talk about the big change.

We actually had to discuss his start on The Fan 590, his role on 102.1 the Edge, MuchMusic and his CBC shows first, so I've done you a favour and edited the 1:50:46 of audio (the longest episode of Toronto Mike'd at the time) down to the twenty minutes of Hockey Night in Canada chatter.

Here's George Stroumboulopoulos talking to me about criticism of his new role at Rogers Hockey. Considering this week's news, it's a rather interesting listen.

If you like what you hear, consider subscribing to Toronto Mike'd and becoming a Patron.

Discuss "Strombo Talks About Hockey Night in Canada" (26 comments so far)


Frederik Andersen a Maple Leaf

Frederik Andersen has been traded to the Maple Leafs in exchange for the 30th pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and the Leafs 2nd round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The Maple Leafs promptly signed him to a 5-year extension.

From TSN:

Andersen posted a 22-9-7 record with a 2.30 goals-against-average and .919 save percentage in 43 games last season with the Ducks. The 26-year-old also went 3-2 with a 1.41 goals-against average and .947 save percentage in five playoff starts in the 2016 post-season.

He has a 77-26-12 record with a 2.33 GAA and .918 save percentage over 125 career regular season games with Anaheim. Andersen also holds a 17-9-2 career post-season record with a 2.34 GAA and .916 save percentage.

I haven't been this excited since we traded for Vesa Toskala!

Discuss "Frederik Andersen a Maple Leaf" (6 comments so far)


6 Cities with Longer Championship Droughts than Toronto

Since I wrote last year about the cities with a longer championship drought than Toronto, the Warriors, Royals and Cavs won it all. With championships arriving in Oakland, Kansas City and Cleveland, that brings the list down to six.

Now before we proceed, this entry is about NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB championships. I realize Toronto has had great success in lacrosse and has won Grey Cups recently, but with all due respect, I'm not counting them as major championships. For Toronto, I'm only counting the Maple Leafs, Blue Jays and Raptors.

That means Toronto hasn't won a major championship since 1993. That's a 23 year drought. As bad as that sounds, six cities have it worse.

San Diego

Let's start with San Diego. The Chargers haven't won since 1963, the Padres have never won a World Series, and even their former NBA teams (Rockets and Clippers) didn't win a thing.
53 year drought


Buffalo

Buffalo only has the two teams, but that's enough to count. The Sabres have never won a Stanley Cup and the Bills haven't won since 1965.
51 year drought


Milwaukee

The Bucks last won the NBA Championship in 1971 with Lew Alcindor and Oscar Robertson and the Brewers have never won a World Series. I considered disqualifying Milwaukee because the Packers used to play home games there, but that hasn't happened since 1994.
45 year drought


Cincinnati

The Bengals have been consistently brutal throughout the years, never winning a title. Meanwhile, the Reds haven't won a World Series since 1990.
26 year drought


Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Vikings have never won a Super Bowl, the North Stars and Wild have never won a Stanley Cup, the Timberwolves have never won and the Twins haven't won a World Series since 1991.
25 year drought


Washington

The Bullets / Wizards haven't won since 1978, the Capitals have never won, the Nationals have never won and their NFL franchise hasn't won a Super Bowl since 1992.
24 year drought

Discuss "6 Cities with Longer Championship Droughts than Toronto" (17 comments so far)


Ron MacLean to Replace George Stroumboulopoulos as Host of Hockey Night in Canada

According to The Toronto Star's Dave Feschuk, George Stroumboulopoulos won’t return as host of Hockey Night in Canada next season. His replacement will be the man he replaced, Ron MacLean.

Strombo is a tremendous broadcaster, and I was lucky enough to converse with him for almost two hours during episode 103 of my podcast. He's a natural interviewer, with several passions that make him one of this country's finest. Subjective, I know, but I thought he was just fine as host of Hockey Night in Canada. I just believe the position should never have been open in the first place.

As Ron MacLean told me during his recent visit to my home podcast studio for episode 165, he lost his Hockey Night in Canada hosting duties because he refused to give Gary Bettman a free pass. MacLean strikes me as someone who struggles with the ethics of journalism, and simply won't toe the line for any job, ever. During the last two seasons, he was grossly underutilized by Rogers Hockey, and I told him that.

Ron MacLean and Me strombo and me

I'm happy to see a wrong righted with MacLean, but sorry to see it come at the expense of Strombo. You won't find two nicer, more accommodating broadcasters in this country.

Discuss "Ron MacLean to Replace George Stroumboulopoulos as Host of Hockey Night in Canada" (42 comments so far)


Daily Photo: Father's Day Walk

Father's Day 2016

Discuss "Daily Photo: Father's Day Walk" (1 comment so far)


Anton Yelchin, Dead at 27

Anton YelchinAnton Yelchin was 27. He was the actor best known for playing Pavel Chekhov in the Star Trek reboots.

Discuss "Anton Yelchin, Dead at 27" (2 comments so far)


Prince Be, Dead at 46

Prince BeAttrel "Prince Be" Cordes was 46. He was the first black rapper to top the Billboard Hot 100 with P.M. Dawn's single "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss."

Discuss "Prince Be, Dead at 46" (4 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 180: Jim Van Horne

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 180In this 180th episode, Mike chats with Jim Van Horne about his years as a jock on 1050 CHUM, being the first on-air hire at TSN, leaving TSN for The Team 1050, his years on Sportsnet, his reinvention as a teacher and his recent battle with bladder cancer. This episode is exactly 1:16:44.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Become a Patron

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 180: Jim Van Horne" (11 comments so far)


Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

Discuss "Open Mike" (55 comments so far)


The Kennedys After Camelot Set in Marie Curtis Park

Entertainment Tonight Canada is all atwitter about Katie Holmes and Matthew Perry filming The Kennedys After Camelot here in the GTA. They're reporting the mini-series is filming in Toronto, but as someone who watched the set being built from his bike seat, a great deal is actually being filmed on the Mississauga side of Marie Curtis Park.

On May 24, I took this pic of a wooden floor being built on the grass.

2016-05-24_09-40-09

By May 31, the structure was taking shape. What was it going to be? A store? Washrooms?

20160531_130556

Soon enough, they were using the set to film After Camelot. Pretty cool.

20160613_123351

20160613_150711

Discuss "The Kennedys After Camelot Set in Marie Curtis Park" (8 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 179: The CHUM Requiem

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 179In this 179th episode, Mike chats with Marc Weisblott of 12:36 and Ed Conroy of Retrontario about the fall of 1050 CHUM as a Top 40 radio station and the coinciding rise of MuchMusic. This episode is exactly 1:49:31.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Chum_1050_building

Become a Patron

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 179: The CHUM Requiem" (24 comments so far)


Phil Kessel: Stanley Cup Champion

Phil Kessel: Champion

Discuss "Phil Kessel: Stanley Cup Champion" (11 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 178: Jay Maddog Michaels

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 178In this 178th episode, Mike chats with radio broadcaster Jay Maddog Michaels about why he was fired from Virgin 999, what he thinks of radio today and his recent spot duty at Newstalk 1010. This episode is exactly 1:42:53.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

20160612_162224

Become a Patron

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 178: Jay Maddog Michaels" (5 comments so far)


The Untold True Story of Ann Rohmer's Two Retirements from CP24

Ann Rohmer has been a fixture on Toronto television for decades. Before joining Citytv in 1986, she was a features reporter for Canada AM. At Citytv, she was the CityPulse Weekend sports anchor before joining David Onley as the first hosts of Breakfast Television on September 6, 1989.

Ann hosted BT for 12 years until she took an anchor position at CP24. CP24 and Citytv, you will recall, were both owned by CHUM Limited at the time. Ann would become an institution on CP24, hosting a wide variety of shows in addition to her anchor duties. Here's a sample of Ann Rohmer-hosted programs on CP24, either as primary host or fill-in host.

  • Hot Property
  • Animal House Calls
  • HomePage
  • Perfect Fit
  • More On CP24
  • Live at Noon
  • CP24 Breakfast

Needless to say, Ann became the most recognizable face on CP24, which is why I found it so puzzling when she announced her retirement in June 2010.

As you'll recall, there was a massive sendoff on CP24 as Ann was leaving the industry for a job in aviation. No specifics were given, but this Toronto Star article at the time quoted Ann.

And then, literally, the sky’s the limit. Though she can’t yet be specific, Rohmer will follow family tradition for a new career in the aviation industry. “Air travel, airlines, flight, it’s in our blood,” says Rohmer, whose father, General Richard Rohmer, is a former fighter pilot and chief of the air reserve. She herself was a Nordair flight attendant in the ’70s.

I assumed Ann was going to become head of communications at Porter Airlines or something like that, but by that fall, she was back on CP24 as if she had never left in the first place. CP24 did not address the reason for her return, or even the fact that she had returned to the anchor desk. This is when I began my quest to learn what really happened.

The closest I came to learning what really happened was when Steve Anthony visited my home for episode 123 of my podcast, Toronto Mike'd. I grilled Steve on the subject, and he did his best to answer. But, in retrospect, he was careful. Too careful.

Our story resumes in November 2015. That's when Ann once again announced she was retiring from broadcasting and CP24. Here's video footage of her big announcement.

Once again, gifts were purchased for Ann, a party was thrown and cake was sliced and devoured by many. Once again, Ann was cryptic about why she was retiring from broadcasting, only to say she was moving to Collingwood for the next chapter of her life. There was no mention of Ann's first retirement during celebrations for her second retirement. I even closed my entry about this second retirement with a snarky "Happy retirement, Ann! See you back on CP24 in a few months..."

ann

And here we are, about eight months later, and Ann is back on CP24. Once again, it's as if the retirement and public farewell never happened. But this time, I know the untold true story of why Ann has retired twice and returned to CP24 twice. My sources are impeccable, and I share this information with nothing but admiration for Ann. The following paragraphs took me six years to write.

In 2010, Ann complained to management about having to host CP24 breakfast and anchor the 5pm newscast. It was a gruelling schedule, and she was a veteran broadcaster. She told management she'd do one or the other, but not both.

Management called her bluff, and when the smoke cleared, Ann decided to retire in an attempt to recreate the happiest moments of her professional life. Those were her years as a flight attendant in the 1970s. She was a flight attendant for Air Canada when she was in university, and was an award-winning flight attandant at Nordair. Her first retirement in 2010 was not to head communications at Porter Airlines but to recapture the joys of her youth as a flight attendant.

It was only after her retirement party and departure from CP24 that Ann received her new compensation plan. It was far less than anticipated, and Ann negotiated a return to CP24, at a much reduced rate. And her return to the aviation industry was never spoken of again.

In the fall of 2015, Ann had her sights set on another role. She wanted to become Attorney General of Ontario. Ann is not a lawyer, but neither was Marion Boyd, so there is precedent. Of course, every other Attorney General of Ontario was a lawyer, but Ann was confident being the daughter of General Richard Rohmer would carry a great deal of weight in this regard, and she was no doubt inspired by former colleague David Onley who spent seven years as the 28th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.

It's become apparent her campaign to be Attorney General of Ontario will bear no fruit, and Ann has negotiated another return to the airwaves. The question remains, is she merely back for the summer or longer term?

And when she retires a third time, will there be gifts and cake? And will it finally stick?

I'll stay on this story, as long as it takes.

Discuss "The Untold True Story of Ann Rohmer's Two Retirements from CP24" (32 comments so far)


The Sad, Senseless Death of Christina Grimmie

In August of 2013, I took my oldest daughter to her first concert. She wanted to see Selena Gomez at the ACC and I bought a couple of tickets. It was the first pop concert I ever attended.

The opening act was an artist named Christina Grimmie. I didn't know a thing about her, but as I wrote at the time, she was great and one of her songs really got to me. That song was With Love, and my daughter and I shared an admiration for that song that survives to this very day.

It just so happens that today was one of those jam-packed father-daughter days. My alarm went off early so I could bike to High Park with my daughter for the High Park Derby, a soccer tournament her house league team was participating in. Then, on our ride home along the Waterfront Trail, we spotted Toronto Raptor James Johnson, who was kind enough to pose for a pic with my Raptors-loving little girl. Then, it was off to her second of four dance recitals this weekend.

While at this 1pm dance recital, I decided to check in on Twitter. That's when I read the news. 22-year old Christina Grimmie was dead.

Christina was shot while signing autographs after a performance. It was a targeted killing by someone who had taken his own life after shooting her three times. It was so senseless and sad. After my daughter's performance, I sat her down and told her the news.

Our father-daughter day continued, with a visit to the Grilled Cheese Challenge and SanRemo Bakery, and soon, yet another dance recital. And we still have With Love, only now, it's a bittersweet memory. So very sad... so very senseless...

Discuss "The Sad, Senseless Death of Christina Grimmie" (8 comments so far)


Ann Rohmer Returns to CP24 (Again!)

Over six years ago, Ann Rohmer left her job at CP24 for a position in the aviation industry. (Note: It took me 6 years, but I finally have the untold true story about this retirement and will share it here another day.) Then, mere months later, Ann returned as if she had never left in the first place.

I spoke to Steve Anthony about this in episode 123 of my podcast as he tried to make sense of it all. Give it a spin if you have an hour to spare.

Then, with a farewell cake and everything, Ann Rohmer retired once more from CP24. Speculation at the time was that she was stepping down in order to save another's job during the Bell Media cuts of November 2015.

A few days ago, there were several Ann Rohmer sightings on CP24. Comments like this one started arriving in my inbox. Is Ann Rohmer back for a third tour of duty at CP24?

According to the CP24 website right now, she's not only back, she's lead anchor.

ann

rohmer

My question is, when she announces her retirement for the third time, will anybody bother to show up for cake?

Discuss "Ann Rohmer Returns to CP24 (Again!)" (51 comments so far)


Gordie Howe, Dead at 88

Gordie HoweGordie Howe was 88. Mr. Hockey's career record of 1,850 points over his 26 year NHL stood until it was broken by Wayne Gretzky in 1989.

howesimpsons

Here's a wonderful story about the Great Gordie Howe.

Discuss "Gordie Howe, Dead at 88" (3 comments so far)


Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

Discuss "Open Mike" (65 comments so far)


In Defense of Homerism in Pro Sports

On May 16, I sat down with Marty York for a lengthy conversation. You can hear our entire chat in episode 174. He had some rather strong opinions about homerism in sports.

When it comes to our local sports media, I believe he has a valid concern. Just look at the current ownership landscape:

  • Blue Jays - owned by Rogers, which owns Sportsnet
  • Argonauts - owned by Bell which owns TSN
  • Maple Leafs - owned by Rogers and Bell
  • Raptors - owned by Rogers and Bell
  • TFC - owned by Rogers and Bell
  • Marlies - owned by Rogers and Bell

It would be prudent to be aware of these inherent biases when absorbing content from these sources. That's just sensible behaviour. We've been on high alert since Mike Wilner's suspension, and you can kick that up a notch following Bob McCown's admission Bob Elliott was banned from Prime Time Sports for something he wrote about the Blue Jays.

Where Marty York lost me was when he attacked the fans for homerism. He pities the suckers who collect at Jurassic Park to take in a Raptors playoff game, or the thousands sporting Jays caps and believing they can repeat as AL East champions.

Sports has one purpose, and that's to entertain. Although it sometimes doesn't feel like it, it's supposed to be fun. Rooting with your city for the home team is a huge part of the experience. I've always been a homer, passionately rooting for Toronto's teams and passing on that same love to my children. I'm a homer, but I'm a realist.

That means I'll tune out when the Leafs are just awful with no redeeming qualities, and tune back in at the beginning of the next season. If prices are too high, I stop buying tickets, and watch on television instead. My collection of paraphernalia is minimal. But make no mistake about it, I want the Jays, Leafs, Raptors, TFC, Argos and Marlies to win.

I think it's fantastic when fans collect to watch playoff games. I love the fact the Jays and Raptors were both two wins away from the finals. I can't wait to see Auston Matthews in a Maple Leafs uniform next year. I'm even excited to see the Argos play their opener at BMO Field later this month.

Call me a homer. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Discuss "In Defense of Homerism in Pro Sports" (18 comments so far)


Raveena Aulakh

I've never met Raveena Aulakh, environment reporter at the Toronto Star since 2008, but I recently learned she took her own life the weekend of May 28. She was only 42 years old.

I've read a great deal about the sordid circumstances surrounding her suicide, first in Frank Magazine, and most recently in the National Post.

If you're curious about what may have contributed to Raveena's most final decision, you'll have to click those links. I'm not interested in repeating the salacious details here. I've spent the past few days curious as to why the Toronto Star did not publish a word about Raveena's death.

Today's article in the National Post sheds some light on why no obituary was published in the Star.

Sources confirmed to the Post that Aulakh took her own life. She left a note in the newsroom, which was discovered by colleagues.

Aulakh requested that no obituary be published in the paper, and sources confirmed that the Star and its staff are honouring her request.

That's fine, but as of last night, Reveena Aulakh's biography on the Toronto Star website was written as if she was alive and actively working. Every time I read this bio, it upset me.

raveena

Then, moments ago, I paid another visit to Raveena's bio. It had finally been updated.

raveena

Updated, but for some reason, it doesn't mention that she's passed away. It even has her email listed, as if one could still write her.

According to a memo obtained by the National Post, Unifor Local 87-M has made a request to the newspaper’s management to organize an independent, third-party investigation into the Raveena's death. Something smells here, and we owe it to Raveena to get answers.

Discuss "Raveena Aulakh" (57 comments so far)


Kimbo Slice, Dead at 42

Kimbo SliceKimbo Slice was 42. He was a mixed martial arts fighter who became an internet sensation by starring in bare-knuckle fights, often conducted in backyards, posted online.

Discuss "Kimbo Slice, Dead at 42" (4 comments so far)


Bobby Curtola, Dead at 73

Bobby CurtolaBobby Curtola was 73. He was a teen idol in Canada during the early 1960s, best known for the singles Fortune Teller and Aladdin.

Discuss "Bobby Curtola, Dead at 73" (7 comments so far)


Muhammad Ali, Dead at 74

Muhammad AliMuhammad Ali was 74. Nicknamed "The Greatest," he held the heavyweight title a record three times, and Sports Illustrated named him the top sportsman of the 20th century.

He became a symbol for black liberation during the 1960s as he stood up to the U.S. government by refusing to go into the Army for religious reasons.

As I wrote on his 70th birthday, there are only a handful of athletes who manage to transcend their respective sports to become true global icons. Muhammad Ali tops that list.

ali

ali2

Discuss "Muhammad Ali, Dead at 74" (23 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 177: Jeff Woods

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 177In this 177th episode, Mike chats with former Q107 broadcaster Jeff Woods about his life in radio, The Legends of Classic Rock, why Q107 fired him and his new book Radio, Records & Rockstars. This episode is exactly 1:40:04.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Jeff Woods and Me

Become a Patron

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 177: Jeff Woods" (17 comments so far)


Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

Discuss "Open Mike" (73 comments so far)


Sharks Vs Penguins: Who will triumph in the Stanley Cup Final!

Big news in Hockey this week: We finally know who will be battling it out for the prestigious Stanley Cup in a couple of days, on Tuesday May 31st. Whether you are a Sharks or Penguins fan, or whether your team got knocked off during Playoffs; Hockey lovers all over the world are buzzing with excitement for the most anticipated final of the season!

If you are in Canada, you should have a look at Canadian sportsbooks. Everyone has a strong opinion as to whether the Sharks or the Penguins will be this season’s victors; so why not place some bets on your favorite for the winning title. These Canadian sportsbooks over at Freebets are also offering some great free bets when you sign up; all you have to do it enter their promo-code. Easy as pie!  And if you really have a good feeling about the Sharks or the Penguins, then this is the perfect time to claim those free bets, as they really could help you optimize your earnings this week.

It has been seven long years since the Penguins have made it to a Stanley Cup final. Before this long, dry seven year stretch, the Penguins had had relative successes in the Stanley Cup, having been to the finals a couple of times before. And now, after almost a decade, here they are again. You could really see the pure emotion, happiness, joy, and relief that the team felt on Thursday evening at the Consol Energy Center.

Sidney Crosby who has been with the Penguins for a long time, has been through that seven year drought. He was 20 and 21 years old when he got to play in two finals –and will now get to do so again after seven years of hard practice, determination, and waiting. The Penguins have a true underdog story this season - that is for sure! When their current coach, Mike Sullivan was brought on to help the team last year towards the end of December, the Penguins were not even in a position to be in the Playoffs! It turns out the Sullivan is indeed a “Magic Mike” of sorts. He has managed to turn the Penguins back in to the winning machine that they used to be. But the big question now is, will they have what it takes to beat the San Jose Sharks in the finals next week?

The Sharks, on the other hand, are going to be playing their very first final next week. So the question is, will the sharks who are beyond excited to be in this position have an edge over the Penguins who used to be considered legends, but have not been thought of as such since their decline after their last Stanley Cup win in 2009. It is an interesting situation for this final because we have two teams who could be considered underdogs in their own way. The Sharks have never made it this far, and have not really been considered great threats, and the Penguins are fallen heroes who have the chance to redeem themselves. We will have to wait until next week to see who prevails.

Discuss "Sharks Vs Penguins: Who will triumph in the Stanley Cup Final!" (0 comments so far)


Canada AM Cancelled

CTV has announced that Canada AM will broadcast its final episode tomorrow.

Canada AM first hit the airwaves on Sept. 11, 1972 as Canada’s first morning television news program and ran for 43 seasons.

Your final Canada AM hosts are Beverly Thomson, Marci Ien and Jeff Hutcheson.

Bell Media has yet to announce what program or programs will be assuming Canada AM's 6-9am weekday timeslot.

Discuss "Canada AM Cancelled" (28 comments so far)


Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 176: Ingrid Schumacher

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 176In this 176th episode, Mike chats with CHUM-FM's Ingrid Schumacher about her 39 years at the station, what's changed in the industry, her broadcast the night John Lennon was shot, Ticketmaster and why she loves radio. This episode is exactly 1:16:30.

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Become a Patron

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

Discuss "Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 176: Ingrid Schumacher" (10 comments so far)


« May 2016 July 2016 »

Want more Toronto Mike blog entries? Visit the archives.