Another Lazy Column by Bruce Dowbiggin

Usually I wouldn’t even consider coming down on another sports writer, especially someone in the mainstream media who writes about sports media. That is a job that I can only dream of. But, The Globe’s Bruce Dowbiggin has written completely inept columns, even by his standards, for the last month or so. In his latest column he talks about how the NHL is considering staggering NHL playoff start times for Versus next year. He doesn’t even mention any of the questions that I had while reading the column. The first that came to mind was, “doesn’t the NHL already stagger start times?”. Just go take a look at the first round schedule. Most nights with four games had games starting at 7pm ET, 7:30pm ET, 10pm ET and 10:30pm ET. As a result intermissions are airing at a different time and games are always on. There have only been three instances in the entire first round where two games started at the exact same time. This won’t happen once after the first round. So what exactly does Dowbiggin mean by start times? Some more information would be appreciated.

Secondly he says that this will be an issue for CBC, because they want to keep the Coach’s Corner on the air. Unless Dowbiggin is somehow suggesting that the NHL will have less off days, which would mean more regional coverage on CBC, then CBC would still air the Coach’s Corner regardless of what other games are going on at the time because if there are two games on, one is usually on TSN and the other is on CBC. If CBC has both games, then they already show bonus coverage during the intermission if the intermissions aren’t at the same time. I also wonder how arena availabilities would factor into whether a game starts at 7:10 or 7:55? Again, unless Dowbiggin thinks the NHL will have less off days, which he doesn’t mention as a possibility anywhere in the article.

It is worth noting that in the same column Dowbiggin attacks SportsCentre host Jay Onrait as being “thoroughly annoying” and mentions that putting Onrait on radio would “spare everyone in the Pacific and Mountain time zone Onrait’s tortured audition for Last Comic Standing on TSN’s SportsCentre”. This seems to be a completely unnecessary attack on Onrait for no apparent reason. Personally I’ve never had a problem with him. Most of his jokes are witty and apparently people agree with me because SportsCentre gets better ratings than Connected. Would Onrait be a great radio host, probably. Was it necessary for Dowbiggin to attack him as TV personality to prove his point, no.

This kind of low-level reporting is something you should expect from me, a guy who writes for enjoyment in his spare and doesn’t get paid. A writer for a national newspaper should put a bit more work into his writing. Maybe more people would take him seriously. It seems that the way Dowbiggin makes himself feel better is by attacking guys like Jay Onrait and Jamie Campbell for no reason. He also makes complete factual errors, such as calling the Fan radio station in Toronto “The Fan 960”. 960 is actually where the Fan station in Calgary is located on the dial. You’d think a sports media columnist would know this. The Star’s Raju Mudhar only writes half as much as Dowbiggin does on sports media, yet he is writing twice as much important information.

NHL Playoff Note

It looks like CBC could have two game 7s on Wednesday night if the Canadiens win tomorrow night. CBC will then have two options. They can air the Canadiens game in its entirety, with puckdrop at 7:10pm ET, and then join the Lightning-Penguins game in progress (puck drop will probably be 8:10pm ET if Montreal wins tonight). In this scenario the Lightning-Penguins game would air in its entirety on and CHEX-TV in Peterborough. The other option would be to make a trade with TSN where CBC gets an additional second round game. I think this is the more likely option because TSN gets a game 7, while CBC gets another broadcast window. Having a production crew in Pittsburgh on less than 24 hours notice probably won’t be a major issue for TSN since Chris Cuthbert, Pierre McGuire and their production crew are in Philadelphia tomorrow night.


13 thoughts on “Another Lazy Column by Bruce Dowbiggin

  1. To be fair, the way I read it when he says arena availabilities and team preferences will come into play, I don’t think he means it as anything new. I’ve mentioned it a few times on a certain forum, I’m pretty sure the CBC once said that teams have final say on all start times.

    But other than that, you’re right. It’s a shame that there are so many journalist who find the low hanging fruit of “let’s rile up Canadian patriotism by showing how the big U.S. giant is scrweing Canada” too good to pass up.

  2. Pingback: Doling Out Tuesday Linkage

  3. Spot on. There has been a trade if MON-BOS goes to game 7

  4. I had always found your hatred of Dowbiggin a little curious, Josh, but you’re right – this one sold me on it. I miss Zelkovich.

    • My hatred (I wouldn’t call it hatred by the way, I just find he doesn’t meet expectations of a reporter for a national newspaper) is mostly caused by his apparent lack of research. You would expect a sports media reporter to know the things that he gets wrong.

      I miss Zelkovich and Houston. Mudhar is good, but The Star doesn’t give him anywhere near enough opportunity. I’d love to see Zelkovich start his own site, like Houston did, at some point.

      • I’m glad Houston is gone. I liked him in the Globe (found him pompous at times, but his information was good), but when he started melting down on the Web… blech. Good riddance.

  5. I would assume in round 2 that the CBC will ask to not have any of their series playing on election night.

    • Probably. The Habs or Canucks certainly won’t play on election night if they advance (at least I don’t think they would). If CBC gets an all-American series, then it could be scheduled for election night and there could be a trade between CBC and TSN. We will probably find out more tomorrow night.

  6. Agree with comments on Dowbiggin 100%. I was going to email him the same thing about start times this year. It is scary how little research he put into that column.

  7. Here in B.C. they are saying that the Van-Nash series starts on Thursday night.

    • Thanks for that. I thought I heard Ron MacLean mention it at the end of CBC’s broadcast too. I guess the idea is you have game 1 Thursday 6 PT, game 2 Saturday 5 PT, then have two off days (Monday for the election) before switching to Nashville for game 3 next Tuesday.

      It is a short turnaround for the Canucks, and forces the Predators to make a quick trip to Vancouver, but it makes the schedule work more smoothly than a Friday or Saturday start.

      • I am hearing on the Vancouver radio stations that they are emphasizing Friday as the start of the Predators-Canucks series. That avoids a two day gap and the election on Monday. The Friday start makes more sense as it makes way for a doubleheader with an eastern game.

  8. How dare you! I put lots of time and effort into this column!

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