June 2019 Archives

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 479: Lowest of the Low Return

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 479In this 479th episode, Mike chats with Ron and Lawrence from Lowest of the Low about Agitpop, their new album, TMLX3 and controversial comments made about them by a member of The Watchmen. This episode is exactly 2:01:25.

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Raptors Championship Parade and Rally #RealTalk

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 478"There are no words. Today was one of the worst days of my life when it should have been one of the best, not just for the shootings, so many other fails by the City of Toronto and MLSE." That Tweet was sent by Brian this evening so I phoned him up to talk about it. This episode is exactly 40:51.

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Raptors Championship Parade and Rally #RealTalk

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Scenes From the Raptors Championship Parade

Once we wrapped up today's Hebsy on Sports, I put the episode online and jumped on my bike to head east along the waterfront trail. I didn't really have a plan, I just knew I wanted to be a part of today's Raptors Championship parade.

It became apparent at Lake Shore and Strachan that I wasn't going to be able to bike much further. The crowds lining Lake Shore by the Prince's Gates were already pretty deep. At this point, I found the aforementioned Hebsy and we made our way to a great spot and took in the action.

Hebsy

The weather was perfect, the fans joyous and plentiful, and our Raptors did not disappoint. I took in the parade and biked home to catch the rally on TV. As I type, the parade still hasn't reached Nathan Phillips Square. I'm pretty pleased with my decision to lock up at Strachan.

Here's a dump of pictures and video I took from my spot just east of Strachan. What a day!

Raptors Championship Parade

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Raptors Championship Parade

Raptors Championship Parade

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The Best of Toronto Mike'd, Vol. 1

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 477In this 477th episode, Mike chats with The Royal Pains' Al Grego about The Best of Toronto Mike'd: Vol. 1. This episode is exactly 2:00:33.

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Our Raptors are the 2019 NBA Champions! #WeTheNorth

raps

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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

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 476: Ben Rayner

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 476In this 476th episode, Mike chats with Toronto Star music critic Ben Rayner about his career in music journalism and so much more. This episode is exactly 1:58:33.

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Rough 24 Hours for Hot Takes

It's been a rough 24 hours for social media hot takes from members of the MSM who oughta know better. Two incidents sparked this barrage of tweets:

  1. Cheers in Scotiabank Arena when Kevin Durant went down with his injury during Monday night's Raptors game
  2. The USA women's soccer team celebrating with much flair en route to a 13-0 drubbing of Thailand

The most common take on the KD injury was that Toronto is classless. What a bunch of idiots Raptors fans are that they would openly cheer a player going down with an injury! Often tinged with a "holier than thou" tone, we've been told we should feel shame and karma (something I don't believe in) is coming for us.

I don't have all the answers, but I know in my living room I experienced a moment of joy when the camera showed Durant on the court. I certainly wasn't happy the man was injured, but I was glad one of the best players was coming out of the game, increasing the chances of my Raptors winning the NBA championship. In a moment of heated competition, it was very instinctual. Here's my thoughts as tweeted yesterday.

Again, I'm not condoning the boorish behaviour from some ignorant fans, but don't pretend this is a uniquely Toronto thing (those people exist within all fanbases) and don't paint an entire city with such broad strokes. Within seconds the cheers stopped and there was audible support for Durant.

As for the US women's soccer team, I watched every one of the celebrations, and it was the ninth goal celly that really bothered me. My first thoughts were of our Canadian junior men and the very public criticism levied against them when they beat Denmark 14-0 in December 2018. I went to bat for our juniors for two very good reasons:

  1. The celebration Don Cherry kept showing was Morgan Frost celebrating the third goal of the game. At 3-0 in best-on-best competition, I'm A-OK with over-the-top celebrations. Had that been the 9-0 goal, I'd have agreed with Cherry. By 9-0, Canada had toned it all the way down to a subtle glove tap sans smile.
  2. Goals scored was a tie-breaker, so Canada couldn't / shouldn't let up. You have to keep scoring.

With the US Women, I feel the same way about running up the score. It's a tie-breaker, so they should keep scoring. What irked me was the celebrations when they were annihilating Thailand. It was pretty gross, and I'd feel the exact same way if that were our Canadian men. This isn't about gender or nationality. This is about good sportsmanship.

The bizarre thing I witnessed on social media was the number of MSM members who defended the US Women by defending their right to run up the score. Again, that wasn't the main criticism. Anyone who understands the rules is okay with the Americans continuing to score. It's almost as if members of the media moved the goalposts because the celebrations were far more difficult to defend. Check out these tweets.

Those analogies simply don't work. Here's the celebration after the USA made it 9-0.

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Win It For (Part II)

This is part two.

Part one is here.

Win it for me. I was so excited to witness the birth of a franchise, I recorded that first game against the Nets to VHS. I have Alvin Robertson’s name tattooed on my cranium. I’ve wanted this moment for 24 long years.

Win it for every one of us who watched a Raps game at the cavernous dome. It was an awful team, and a terrible basketball venue, but basketball had arrived in Toronto and we were going to be there through thick and thin.

Win it for Leo, who always wanted to play for the home team that was born too late. He’s been a key part of broadcasts since day one and was at my door bright and early on a holiday Monday after a double overtime win.

Win it for Mike Kic. He was the biggest Raps fan I knew, and he left the party far too soon. He’d be going bananas right now.

Win it for Canada. We The North is more than a clever marketing slogan, it’s a statement of unity. Millions across this nation are tuning in to watch Toronto vs. everybody. O Canada!

Win it for Toronto. I love this city, so diverse and full of love. We long suffering sports fans deserve to party like it’s 1993.

Win it for James. I rarely see him without his Kawhi jersey these days and every time I tell a new Raps fan I was watching in the preseason, he reminds me he watched summer league. James only passionately loves two teams and this means the world to my boy. Most of all, win it for him.

Kic would be going bananas right now

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 475: Mark Hebscher Returns

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 475In this 475th episode, Mike chats with Mark Hebscher about Hebsy on Sports, cheering from the pressbox, the Toronto Raptors and George Washington Orton. This episode is exactly 2:11:58.

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Win It For

Win it for Damon. We wanted Ed O'Bannon, but Isiah knew better.

Win it for Doug. In those early days, he didn't get nearly enough credit. He was the glue when a terrible team was playing in the dome.

Win it for T-Mac. Like a comet, he shone brightly for a very short time, before heading for home.

Win it for Vince. He was half man, half amazing, and put us on the NBA map.

Win it for Oak. He cost us Camby, but provided a veteran presence to a young team on the rise.

Win it for Mo Pete. Only one man played more games for the Raps, and in an era where the most exciting moment was a slam dunk competition, he gave us the miracle.

Win it for JYD. He drove through a snowstorm from Detroit to join us and I'll always love that guy.

Win it for Chris. In the post-Vince era, he was the star. Nobody pulled down more rebounds or blocked more shots, and only one man scored more points.

Win it for José. Only one man played more seasons for the Raps, and nobody gave more.

Win it for Jonas, T Ross, Delon, C.J., Jakob, Greivis, and all who had to go in order to build our 2018-19 Toronto Raptors.

Win it for DeMar. No Raptor has played more games for the franchise, played more minutes, scored more points or played more seasons. He improved every season, leading us to within two wins of the finals and, when all hope was lost, he got us. Most of all, win it for him.

But most of all, win it for James

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 474: David Shoalts Says Goodbye

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 474In this 474th episode, Mike chats with David Shoalts about his departure from the Globe and Mail. On his way out, David shares his ten best stories from four decades in sports media. This episode is exactly 1:59:39.

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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

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TMLX3 is 3 Weeks Away!

We're only three weeks away from TMLX3. The full spiel about this event is here, but here's the gist.... if you've ever been a guest on Toronto Mike'd, or if you're a listener of Toronto Mike'd, you're invited to Great Lakes Brewery on June 27th for the 3rd Toronto Mike'd Listener Experience (TMLX3). I really hope to see you all there!

The poster says it all, but here are the highlights:

  • No cover - just come ready to enjoy yourself
  • If you're a listener or guest, your first beer is on the house
  • I will attempt to deliver a charming speech
  • Toronto Mike'd stickers from StickerYou.com for all
  • The Royal Pains are back to rock the house
  • Lowest of the Low will perform
  • It's my birthday!

So make sure you've got this in your calendar... can't wait to see you all there.

June 27, 2019
6pm-9pm
30 Queen Elizabeth Blvd

TMLX3

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 473: Danny Greaves from The Watchmen

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 473In this 473rd episode, Mike chats with Danny Greaves, lead singer and co-founder of The Watchmen, about his career in music. This episode is exactly 2:01:25.

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Deer Toronto

About seven years ago, I started cycling again after a fifteen year pause. I was in my mid-to-late 30s and had never seen a wild deer in the city.

Once I started spending a lot of time on the Humber Trail, it wasn't long until I started seeing deer on a regular basis. I'd see them near the Old Mill, by the Oculus just north of the Humber Bay Bridge and just hanging around King's Mill Park.

Deer

I'd see one by its lonesome, a pair, even three at a time. Then, on May 5th, I found myself in Parklawn Cemetery at Bloor and Prince Edward Drive on a quiet afternoon where I saw four deer lazily grazing. I got pretty close and just watched them hanging out. It was pretty awesome.

20190505_111235

Toronto's full of deer, but until I started biking the trails on a daily basis, I never had the pleasure of seeing them outside a zoo.

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