Tag Archives: ottawa sun

The Sports Media Never Disappoints. Another Week of Stunning B.S.

I promised myself I would not criticize the mainstream media this week. Like far too many of THEM, I was becoming a one-trick pony.

Then the bull cupcakes hit the industrial-sized fan and we were blasted by a another week of utter insanity.

So with apologies to those who think I’m getting a little obsessed with this crap, here’s another look at another week of the mainstream media’s crazy talk.

1) The Winnipeg Football Club sent out a news release on Monday announcing that ticket renewals were running at a 97 per cent pace for 2010. And very few of those renewals had come in since the firing of Mike Kelly late last week.

Nice job. Good for the football club. Is it true? Who knows? But if it is, it means that almost every word written by our local papers during the last football season was a fabrication.

We all read this stuff every day. Both papers made it sound as if Kelly’s presence would mean that every single Bomber fan would cancel his season tickets. According to the papers, the fans all hated Mike Kelly so much, they were never going to go back to another game. They were never going to buy another ticket, period.

We were told that most of the Bomber board was so worried that if Kelly stuck around, the club might never sell another ticket again.

Well, apparently all the people screaming about never buying another ticket, never bought one in the first place. 97 per cent renewals?! That’s damn good.

If that’s true, only one thought comes to mind here: Liar liar pants on fire.

And we’re not referring to the Bombers. We’re referring to the newspapers. If the 97 per cent renewal thing is true, why would you believe a word written in a Winnipeg newspaper? The entire Kelly mess was the creation of a group of people so embarrassed by the fact the local football coach called “B.S.” on ‘em, that they waged war. The papers won, but apparanetly they did it with what we now see as outright lies.

2) There has not been a major trade in the NHL this year and there are fewer major trades every year, thanks in no small way to the NHL’s salary cap. However, if you read the Winnipeg Sun on Sunday, you’d think teams were making deals daily.

Sun Media’s Bruce Garrioch, who writes in Ottawa, now has every player in the NHL with the exception of Joe Thornton, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin on the trading block. This weekend, the Sun had Sheldon Souray, Vincent Lecavalier, Teemu Selanne and Eric Staal on the road to different teams, while almost every starting goalie in the NHL was apparently heading to the Philadelphia Flyers. Just for fun, the Ottawa Sun added Philly’s Jeff Carter and Edmonton’s Shawn Horcoff and Lubomir Visnovsky to the list of players about to be moved, “Any second. Maybe now. Tomorrow. Next week. We’re sure of it. Unnamed sources told us. Who nows?

Oh, poppycock.

Sun Media’s NHL trade rumours have gone way past just the rumour stage. It’s now reached the level of completely silly.

3) The Associated Press is convinced that Brett Favre and Brad Childress dislike each other and Favre is righteously angry at Childress because the coach even suggested that he might take Favre out of a game.

The game was Sunday night’s debacle against Carolina, a 26-7 loss  in which there wasn’t a member of the offensive line who could block the Panthers’ Julius Peppers — or anybody else for that matter. Favre was getting killed in there and Childress said on Monday that he suggested to his quarterback that it might be safer if he came out of the game.

Favre didn’t like the idea, the two talked about it and Favre stayed in. And then he nearly got his head ripped off by a Carolina defensive line that had a field day with a lethargic Vikings O-line.

Monday, I listened to the Childress news conference and the coach made an interesting point. He said: “We don’t do anything in a vacuum. On the sidelines we talk a bout a lot of things. In terms of my question to Bret, it was something that was talked through. I wish I could remember how it finished.”

It was no big deal, but the AP, along with a few other outlets, wanted to turn it into a big deal. Just like they turned “Unhappy Randy Moss hates Tom Brady,” into a story that wasn’t a story two weeks ago.

In guess you missed it, Moss was absolutely tremendous last week in a 17-10 Patriots win in Buffalo and the mainstream media was wrong. Again.

I guess when you’re not selling any papers and your business model has virtually collapsed, manufacturing stories works a lot better than the truth.

4) Because I’m always criticizing, I must admit that I go on daily searches looking for good stuff. Found a nice rant yesterday afternoon on ESPN radio, when host Kevin Cowherd went after a caller who suggested the National League was more exciting than the American League because the NL does not have the designated hitter.

Cowherd went nuts. And in a good way. He asked the caller why the NL is better without a DH and the guy responded, “the strategy,” and Cowherd echoed everything I’ve been thinking for years.

“When baseball was in trouble in the 1990s, what saved it?” Cowherd asked, “strategy or home runs? You don’t even have to answer that.

“Home runs saved baseball. McGwire and Sosa saved baseball. Strategy? Nobody goes to baseball games to watch strategy and don’t start handing me this ‘baseball traditionalists’ stuff either. Nobody cares about strategy. Strategy doesn’t make you hot. Home runs make you hot. The old double-switch. I love the old double-switch. Oh, that’s exciting. Your girlfriend gets so hot after the double-switch that she says, ‘Honey I’m so hot, I have to go back to the hotel right now.’ What a crock!

“Home runs saved baseball. Two-out bunts by pitchers didn’t save baseball.”

Then he got personal with the caller, who just happened to be from St. Louis.

“Even in St. Louis, the only person who cares about strategy is Tony LaRussa and yet his best friend is Mark McGwire. His best friend on the field right now is Albert Pujols, a guy who hits home runs.  David Eckstein is strategy. Yeah, everybody loves David Eckstein. The biggest heroes in St. Louis are Albert Pujols, Mark McGwire and Stan Musial — all power guys! Strategy nearly killed baseball. Home runs saved it. I’d rather watch a DH hit than a pitcher hit every single day. And there is nothing more boring than the old double-switch. Baseball is entertainment, not homework.”

Kevin Cowherd is a our media monster of the week.



The Mainstream Media Lunacy Just Gets Crazier. At this Rate, we’ll Never Run Out of Things to Write About.

MINNEAPOLIS — We have a crisis of intelligence in this world. It seems that the more you read a newspaper, the dumber you get.

It was Thomas Jefferson who said: “As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers,” and that has never been more evident than it has been this week.

And hey, it’s only Tuesday.

1) A headline in USA Today on Tuesday read: “NFL Replay: Fourth-Down call Stain on Belichick’s Record.”

Stain? What, are newspaper reporters doing now? Pouring tomato juice on people’s hoodies? A stain? It was a call late in a regular season game that ended up backfiring and costing the Patriots the game. A game. One game. Big effin’ deal. The Pats will still be no worse than 12-4 this season.

Stain? What kind of media-created bull-crap is that? A stain on Belichick’s record was the time he spent in Cleveland screwing up the Browns. Taking a chance on Tom Brady is not a stain. It’s not even a blip.

The Pats are 6-3 and still in first place. All that decision did was guarantee that when the two teams meet again in the AFC Championship game, the TV ratings will be right through the freakin’ roof.

2) The Ottawa Sun just cracks me up. This is the newspaper that either can’t get a trade rumour right or simply makes these rumours up.

I know that suggesting a newspaper makes things up is about the worst thing you can say, but goodness gracious, the trade rumours started in Ottawa would be comical if they weren’t so sad. These guys can’t even get a lie straight.

We’ve spent some time chronicling their errors, but let it go because it just got so silly. This week, however, we just couldn’t resist.

Now, for most of this season, the Ottawa Sun has been reporting – and I use the word reporting lightly – that the Chicago Blackhawks were on the verge of trading either Jonathan Toews or Patrick Kane or both. The Sun claimed the Hawks had a cap problem and needed  to move one of their stars. We’ve already called that rumour a crock.

Then, yesterday, word filtered out of Chicago that the Hawks were on the verge of signing both Toews and Kane  to new contracts. At least eight years each according to my source inside the Hawks.

Wow! How can one newspaper be so wrong so often and still sell copies of their newspaper? Are people that stupid? Or are they just looking for a good morning laugh?

3) Newspapers from coast-to-coast, desperate to write about some mundane NHL issue other than the copy to the headline: “The Leafs are Lousy Again,” have had a big month writing about head shots and all the horrible bodychecks being tossed out in the NHL.

NHL general managers are looking at the issue and might come down hard on the league’s headhunters. But there is one thing our newspaper-employed tall foreheads forgot. They forgot to ask an NHL GM who is an expert on the subject.

This week, before I did my radio hit with Eric Nelson on WCCO in Minneapolis, Eric’s guest was Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher. Fletcher said he didn’t much like checks to the head, but he also said the NHL will put the issue into perspective.

“During the course of the season there are about 46,000 bodychecks,” Fletcher pointed out. “In a bad year, 10 are head shots. We want them out of the game, but there isn’t a big panic over this. The numbers suggest there isn’t a problem at all.”

Of course, he’s right and the fearmongers with the truck loads of ink trying to make up stories where none exist are wrong. Again.

4) I just love Canada’s network TV weasels, don’t you?

According to Canadian Press:  “Canada’s largest private broadcaster laid out a scorched earth scenario Monday if it doesn’t get paid for its signals, suggesting more station closings and even yanking signals from cable.”

Wow! “Yanking signals from cable.” That means because nobody watches it now on cable, Canadians would be sure to watch it when the only way they can receive it is with rabbit ears.

“‘We are not going to be here operating conventional TV unless we can make a business of it,’ CTVglobemedia president Ivan Fecan told the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.”

That makes sense. But why can’t you make a business of it? Is it because so few people actually watch it that selling overpriced commercial time is now damn near impossible?

I love listening to people like Fecan tell us that he’ll have to dump local television if he doesn’t get money from the cable companies. If Fecan gets money from the cable companies, this is how it will go: First he’ll line his owners pockets, then his pockets and then the pockets of his executive buddies. At that point, he’ll used what’s left over to go out and buy more shows from the United States that we already watch on U.S. stations.

How’s this for a response to that malarkey? Take your stupid signal off cable and let’s replace it with ESPN. I’d love to see ESPN HD on Channel 210 on my Shaw HD service.

I don’t know about most of you, but if CTV pulled the plug tomorrow, I wouldn’t miss it. In fact, just like CBC and its $1 billion per year in taxpayer-funded welfare, can’t say as I watch it now.



Another Week of Craziness. The Business Just Gets Nuttier

It would be insane to suggest that anything at all is surprising anymore.

You have the owners of the Toronto Argonauts (a franchise that looked pretty good when they bought it) telling people they might be interested in acquiring the Phoenix Coyotes. Man, how many teams can you kill at once?

You have Kansas City Chiefs runningback Larry Johnson using “a gay slur” to describe newspaper reporters. No wonder gay people are upset.

And you have newspaper people wetting themselves over Mark McGwire’s return to baseball when every, single poll suggests that 65-80 per cent of baseball fans (depending on the poll) don’t care what he may or may not have done in 1997.

Of course, it doesn’t end there. This was another crazy week

1) The Ottawa Sun is at it again. The newspaper that creates more trade rumours than a handful of drunks at a sports bar now has the following on its plate: Brian Burke is actively pursuing a goaltender (who knew?), the Florida Panthers are trying to trade Nathan Horton (the GM has denied it), the Philadelphia Flyers are interested in signing Brendan Shanahan (should be easy, he’s an unemployed free agent) and the Carolina Hurricanes are ready to trade anyone and everyone (really?).

As I’ve always said, “If it’s in a newspaper, believe whatever it is you want to believe.”

2) The officiating in last Sunday’s Minnesota-Pittsburgh game was a complete embarrassment to the NFL. So embarrassing in fact, that it looked like a fix. I wonder which NFL officials had money on that game?

Sadly, all officiating everywhere at every level is awful. We’ve watched the horrible baseball umpiring this fall (how about that non-catch-turned-doubleplay by Ryan Howard on Thursday night?) and we’ve watched CFL, NFL, NBA and NHL officials look either lost or phony.

The biggest problem with sport these days isn’t steroids, it’s lousy officiating.

3) I love how even some Bomber players were sheepish about last Saturday afternoon’s 41-24 win over the Montreal Alouettes. Anthony Calvillo didn’t play and therefore, it wasn’t really a big win.

Baloney. If Calvillo had played last Saturday, the Bombers would have won by 30, not 17. Calvillo can’t run out of trouble like Adrian McPherson did.

Calvillo would have been killed last Saturday. Frankly, I think the Bombers are very, very pleased that Calvillo is playing this Sunday. I’m sure Phillip Hunt and Odell Willis are salivating at the thought of taking that rush to Montreal’s old man.

4) The publishing company that was going to back a book by former NBA referee Tim Donaghy has pulled the plug on the book, stating:  “After a close legal review of the final manuscript of ‘Blowing the Whistle’ by Tim Donaghy, and our independent evaluation of some of the author’s sources and statements, Triumph Books and Random House have decided not to go forward with the book’s publication. Our decision is wholly our own and was made without consultation with any outside parties or individuals.”

Yeah, right. That just smells like bullshit.

Donaghy was about to tell the truth and a lot of influential people in the United States want no part of the truth. Excerpts I’ve seen include a number of different accusations regarding wagering between officials that are actually handling the NBA games they’re gambling on (not in the least bit surprised), favoritism toward star players (that’s freakin’ obvious), and a desire on the league’s part to make sure playoff series went as long as possible (and that surprises people?).

Donaghy is painted as a rogue and a bad guy by the NBA. He is. But he’s also trying to get the truth off his back. And the truth is ugly. There is no game on the planet that looks as phony as the NBA. Like, whatever happened to travelling? Since when could stars take nine steps to the hoop? The NBA looks more like European team handball than basketball.



Some more things bouncing around inside my skull…

It was quite a week. We watched the Winnipeg Blue Bombers bring in a new quarterback, we headed off to Mankato, Minn., to watch opening day of Minnesota Vikings camp and then headed back to Minneapolis for the Twins-Angels series.

As a result, here are a few more things that went banging around in my brain this past week…

1) Last week, Blue Bombers head coach Mike Kelly was fined $1,000 for verbally abusing the officials in Week 4’s 19-5 loss to Toronto.

The Bombers were so dreadfully awful in that game that I didn’t really notice the officials much, but I will say this: CFL officials are so bad, so rotten, that somebody has to verbally abuse them. Just to keep them awake.

2) It sure didn’t take long for the Bombers to sour on defensive tackle Tyrone Williams and quarterback Richie Wlliams. Even before the team went to Toronto for this past Saturday’s game with the Argos, the two were gone. Released outright.

Wow! There was an awful lot of newspaper space wasted on those two four-week clunkers.

3) Here’s how you beat the Minnesota Twins: Walk Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau every time they come to the plate. Hell, I’ll take my chances with Michael Cuddyer or Jason Kubel.

If you let the “New M&M Boys” hit, they will. They’ll beat you. But if you never face them, they’ll score a couple of runs, but not enough to hurt you. After all, that Twins pitching staff is awful. It’s going to give up 8-12 a game (especially if you’re the Los Angeles Angels) and a couple of Twins runs won’t even dent that.

4) My old friend George Sherrill was traded from the Baltimore Orioles to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday. He didn’t want to go, but he’ll now have a legitimate shot at winning a World Series. Not bad for a guy who spent 2002 and 2003 with the independent Winnipeg Goldeyes.

Asked by the Los Angeles Times after Friday’s game (where he struck out three of the four batters he faced) if he ever saw himself “reaching this point while he was toiling in the independent leagues,” Sherrill said: “I didn’t know what this point was. I just wanted to keep playing. I guess that’s why some girlfriends took off.”

5) There is a great deal of gnashing of teeth these days over “The List.” That’s baseball’s notorious list of people who were voluntarily and anonymously drug tested in 2003. It’s a list with 104 names on it, but only seven names have been leaked.

It’s a list that allows the mob-like mainstream media to continue to attack the game even though the mob-like mainstream media was a big part of the cover-up of steroid us in baseball when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were saving the game in 1998.

Because most members of the mainstream media have no idea what steroids are or what they do, they use the leaks from the list to vilify athletes and attack baseball’s credibility.

It’s unfortunate that commissioner Bud Selig is just a liar. He, of course, claimed that the people who agreed to be tested in 2003 would never see the results of those tests and that tests would never be made public. Now, the results are being leaked out bit by bit, most often to the New York Times, by someone who obviously has an agenda.

For the mainstream media, steroid use by athletes is always big news. For baseball fans, however, it’s meaningless. They really don’t care.

In fact, if I’m paying $100 for a ticket (remember, the mainstream media doesn’t pay for tickets and therefore doesn’t know what we’re paying to watch baseball these days), I want my jocks to be 6-foot-8, 300-pounds and have the ability to hit a baseball to the moon. I don’t care if fat, old Babe Ruth, a man who never hit against an African-American pitcher, has all his records broken, I want to be entertained when I pay exorbitant prices to watch a stinkin’ ball game in August.

6) The Ottawa Sun, home of the hopeful and silly Bruce Garrioch, a really nice guy who seems to go out of his way to create trade rumours that don’t exist — and never have — came up with a doozy this weekend. Even TSN and Rogers Sportsnet picked up on the story without checking out anything.

The latest rumour goes like this (and remember, this is the same Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun who had Vincent Lecavalier going to the Edmonton Oilers, Chris Pronger off to St. Louis, then Chris Pronger off to New Jersey, then Chris Pronger off to Boston, then Chris Pronger off to Toronto, Jay Bouwmeester to Edmonton — sheesh, he loves Edmonton — Scott Niedermayer off to Boston, Evgeni Malkin to the L.A. Kings, Ilya Kovalchuk to Montreal and on and on and on): The San Jose Sharks have offered F Jonathan Cheechoo and D Christian Erhoff to Ottawa in exchange for F Dany Heatley, but the deal won’t take place unless Montreal steps in and sends Mike Cammalleri (the free agent that Bob Gainey just signed) to San Jose to get Patrick Marleau (where did he come from?) and his $6.3 million contract.

The San Jose Mercury News called Sharks GM Doug Wilson. He denied he was interested in making a deal with the Senators. Meanwhile, if Garrioch had checked out the Habs payroll situation, it would become evident to him that the Canadiens couldn’t handle the salary cap hit.

At some point does the mainstream media look at Garrioch and say, “The Sky is Not Falling Today?” Or not? Do they just keep eating this stuff up.

If he was right once…