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 CBCSports.ca 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.