Stop Effing With My Saturday Nights!

NHLI'm sure I've bitched about this before, but I'm going to do it again. It's my blog, you'll just have to deal with it.

It's Saturday. On Saturday nights during hockey season, I go on autopilot and naturally tune in CBC at 7pm for a Leafs game. The Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada was always a slam dunk. There was a solid stretch of 15 years there where the Leafs were featured every Saturday night on HNIC, so you can see how this muscle memory evolved.

So it's Saturday, and I'm already planning my day around the Leafs game tonight, except there's one tiny problem with that... The Leafs don't play today. That's right, it's Hockey Night in Canada without the blue and white.

I don't get it... sure, there are more competitive teams this year, but there are no teams with as big a fan base. Without a doubt the CBC takes a ratings hit every Saturday night they don't feature the Leafs. Why screw with my sacred Saturday night ritual?

I'm not exactly sure where the blame lies. The NHL makes the schedule, but I'm fairly certain the CBC has been able to demand Saturday night Leafs games. I'd love to know if this is the CBC saying they don't need the Leafs every Saturday night or if this is the NHL schedule makers dealing shitty cards.

A Saturday night in January without a Leafs game is like certs without the retsyn. What the hell am I supposed to do tonight?

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NBC's Disappointing Winter Classic Coverage

puckI just watched the first period of the Penguins and Capitals from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. I realize there's a Leafs game on, but it's the Winter Classic and I'm a sucker for events, even silly made-for-TV sporting events, and the HBO 24/7 series actually had me psyched for this one. Besides, the Leafs are handling the Sens with ease.

Because the Leafs game was on CBC here in Toronto, I watched most of the first period on NBC. It was horrible. Not just the commentary, which was clearly aimed at the non-fan or casual fan, but the camera angles. NBC keeps going to this aerial shot that is so distant it's impossible to follow the action. They keep going to this shot because they can, and normal games are indoors, making such stunts impossible, but they're going to it far too often and for far too long.

Even when we're not getting the aerial shot, it feels like the camera is simple too far away. I've been watching hockey on television for thirty years and I'm having trouble following the play. How is a non-fan or casual fan supposed to enjoy the game?

It's also dingy. I didn't notice how dingy it was until I switched to the CBC feed. The CBC feed was bright, close to the action and far superior.

I get it... sorta.... For NBC, the star of this show is that it's outdoors and played in a football stadium. Hence the long distance shots. For CBC, it's the Pens vs. Caps and we're getting standard angles and proven shots. It makes for better hockey.

It's just a shame we showcase our game on NBC and don't look our best. No wonder Americans are so indifferent to the greatest sport in the world.


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A Muppet Family Christmas Special

christmasGather around, kids. Daddy has another very special treat for you this Christmas.

Enjoy A Muppet Family Christmas Special from 1987.

A Muppet Family Christmas Special Part 1

A Muppet Family Christmas Special Part 2

A Muppet Family Christmas Special Part 3

A Muppet Family Christmas Special Part 4

A Muppet Family Christmas Special Part 5

Merry Christmas!

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Breaking Bad: The Latest Best Show

tvI remember watching Six Feet Under and thinking it was the best series I'd ever followed. I loved The Sopranos, but Six Feet Under was better. It was my favourite show of all time until I discovered The Wire.

I haven't found a show I've liked as much since, but I have enjoyed a couple of series that are ridiculously good. First, I fell in love with Mad Men.

I'm caught up with Mad Men, and now I'm immersed in Breaking Bad. Breaking Bad is the best show I've seen since The Wire. It's unpredictable, well written, well acted and raw. It's also pretty addictive, so consider yourself warned.

What other series would you recommend for a guy who loves Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men and Breaking Bad?


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Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special

christmasGather around, kids. Daddy has a very special treat for you this Christmas.

Enjoy Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special.

Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special Part 1

Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special Part 2

Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special Part 3

Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special Part 4

Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special Part 5

Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special Part 6

Merry Christmas!

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Mark Dailey: Remembering The Voice

mark daileyMark Dailey left us far too soon. I've been featuring retro nuggets of gold from Retrontario's collection for years, and yesterday he came through in grand fashion.

His playlist is simply titled "Mark Dailey - The Voice". Here it is, a tribute to the voice of Toronto, Mark Dailey.

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Mark Dailey, Dead at 57

In MemoriumMark Dailey was 57. He was a crime reporter for stations in Ohio and at CKLW a.k.a. The Big 8 in Windsor before moving to Toronto in 1974 where he worked at Citytv for the past 30 years.

A couple of days ago, as news of his poor health spread, I wrote about Mark and what he meant to the cultural fabric of this city. He truly was the voice of Toronto and he will be missed.

from BBS upload

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Mark Dailey Health Update

mark daileyI get many emails asking how Mark Dailey is doing. Mark Dailey has been the voice of Citytv forever, so when people hear a different voice doing the bumpers over there, they ask me for the inside scoop.

I don't know Mark, but I feel like I do. As I once wrote about his role on The Ripping Friends, when I watched Porky's on Citytv in the late 80s, it was Mark Dailey who narrated the bumpers and reminded me I was watching late great movies on Citytv. His awesome voice has always been there, and he's as big a part of this city's cultural fabric as anyone. Last I heard, he had taken time off work to fight cancer, but I didn't know how he was doing. Until now.

The SOWNY board has a sad update from Gene Valaitis, who many of you will remember from the old Jesse and Gene show. Gene had this to say about Mark Dailey's health.

I was reluctant to post this out of respect for his privacy, but I was advised that it would be OK by my friend and mentor, Brian Thomas who we all know from CHUM-FM. Brian and Warren Cosford are sad to tell us that our very good friend and colleague Mark Daily is fighting against double lung cancer and is now in a coma. Mark is a great guy. I worked with him at CHUM-AM as a cub reporter in 1974. Mark is and I say” IS” one of the great voices of CKLW, The Big “8”, CHUM-AM, the first News Director of Q-107 and CITY-TV and so much more. We walked our dogs together every morning in The Beach in Toronto and spent our mornings for years talking about everything from radio to the colour of dog poo. It’s what you do on dog walks. Mark is “The Voice”. During our walks I can tell you he never had a bad word about any of us. In fact, he followed each of our gigs and was excited whenever any of us landed something new. Like you, I am very sad to hear about one of our great friends and a true giant in our business. This is not the end. Please join me in saying a prayer for my friend, his family and your friend and to everyone he touched….. "Everywhere".

Mark worked as a police officer, and became a crime reporter for stations in Ohio and at CKLW a.k.a. The Big 8 in Windsor before moving to Toronto in 1974. Dailey has worked at Citytv for 30 years.

Here's hoping The Voice pulls through.

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You're Doing It Wrong: Infomercial Folks Are Dumb

tVIf you've ever watched an infomercial, you've seen several people simply do it wrong. As seen on TV, here's a tribute to doing it wrong.

Has anyone out there ever bought something after watching an infomercial?

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Kevin Weekes Almost Demolished by Zamboni on HNIC

PuckI caught this live last night after the Leafs game. On Hockey Night in Canada, Kevin Weekes almost got run over by a Zamboni.

He was pretty cool under pressure, though...

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