Have the people who report sports become more then the sport?
I dont know about anybody else but whenever I watch The Score, TSN, or Sportsnet or for the Americans im sure its the same with ESPN and FoxSportsnet do you not find that the “personalities” who cover not only hockey but every sport in general are trying to become bigger then the game itself.Sports broadcasting has exploded over the last 5 to 10 years and it’s becoming more and more dominant with each passing year. Look at Canada alone where a country of only 30 million has 3 national sports networks with RDS acting as a French affiliate to TSN. With this explosion of coverage has come the explosion of analysts, broadcasters, etc. A new trend as of late has been bringing in these “expert” newspaper and radio reporters such as Damian Cox, Howard Berger, Eric Francis, Terry Frei, etc. into the television sports broadcasting world. Some good and bad has come out of this in my opinion. First the good. My favourite example of a entertaining sports columnists turned TV stars are Pardon the Interruption stars Tony (I wont bother spelling his last name) and Micheal Wilbon. These two are guys are funny, smart, and just easy to listen and watch, although neither know much about hockey they still are entertaining enough to mention in this piece. Another good example is that watching these columnists on TV does gives you a interesting perspective on the sports world that you may not have had before if you don’t read the sports section. In my opinion though some of this has gotten too far to the point where the majority of hockey and sports broadcasting has become solely based on opinion and none of the cold hard information and reporting isn’t there anymore. Eric Francis and Dave Strachan (both from SUN media by the way) are two examples of how being too loud and opiniated can become annoying and act as a deterrent when it comes to reporting sports or hockey in general.
Now being a guy from Oakville just outside Toronto I’m probably going to end up leaving out some of the interesting sports columnists and figures due to that fact that the Toronto media scene pretty much blankets everything I read so sadly I don’t get to read much of the interesting material from the U.S or the rest of Canada. I’m going to list my favourite and not so favourite opinion based personalities in the hockey world, please feel free to name your own so well.
SPORTS TV PERSONALITIES THE GOOD…
Chris Cuthbert- This guy is vintage and I really miss him doing the double header west coast game on the CBC this year. He is a easy listen and just tells you the facts and gets excited at the most perfect times of a game.
Dave Hodge- Again yet another vintage guy who calls everything as is and when he does give his opinion its funny and interesting.
Jay Onrait- TSN’s best anchor is funny in a way that he doesn’t go overboard like James Duthie and doesn’t always try to make those stupid jokes all the time and he does know his stuff.
Bob McKenzie- Now, he seemingly knows everything that’s going on behind the scenes in the hockey world and is highly respected amongst most GMs.
Stephen Brunt- Just about the only thing Globe and Mail has going for them sports wise. He is smart and knows his stuff. Whenever I see him or hear him on TV I always stop by to see what his opinion is on something.
HOCKEY PERSONALITIES THE BAD….( I could say Don Cherry for either good or bad but ill leave him as is because im sure everybody will talk about him anyways)
Larry Brooks- I never actually read his stuff but when I see what’s being “reported” from him all I can do it roll my eyes.
Damian Cox- Ohh how I despise him. He’s *****y and arrogant. He seemingly jumps on and off the leafs bandwagon as he pleases. To him, one week Sundin is the best and the next Sundin is a bum. I know he is just trying to give leaf fans another look at the franchise but please start reporting some original material.
Bruce Garrioach(or however you spell it)- This is another guy from the SUN media and he does his bidding for the Ottawa Sun. He plain sucks and his “trade rumours” are just about always wrong..
Pierre McGuire- He really needs to take some drugs and calm down. He jumps on far too many guys during a game and is ridiculous. He plays favourites far too often during the broadcasts and usually just harps on one player throughout without giving much thought to the rest of the game (I could say Glenn Healy as well but just put all about what I said for McGuire with Healy as well)
Eric Francis- Calgary’s main media sports figure to me comes off as *****y and a know it all. He may know some of his stuff but can look foolish at times with his crazy predictions and opinions. I liken him to Canada’s sports version of Bill O’Reilly.
I have more but that im not a fan of but I wanted to keep this article short. Tell me what you think.