Posted on December 11, 2013
I consider myself to be a very lucky guy. I’ve had the opportunity to do what I love for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I wanted to be a disc-jockey. Get paid for playing music. What better job can there be? Then I wanted to be in television. I made the change at 28, and had a great run. I’m still involved in the industry, in various ways. I’m working for Sportsnet this winter, covering World Cup Alpine Skiing. I get to work with Brian Stemmle, a real pro. I’m also teaching sports broadcasting at the College of Sports Media. Been doing it for over five years. And I love it. I can actually say I prefer teaching to broadcasting.
There have been hiccups along the way. Failed marriages (2), a bout with cancer thats ongoing, but overall, I am one happy camper. I have great kids and grandkids. They’re all healthy, happy and successful. I wake up each morning excited about the day ahead, and all its challenges.
It all boils down to following your heart, no matter what. “Love like you’ve never loved, and dance like there’s no one in the room.” If it ended tomorrow, I’d go with a smile on my face.
Posted on December 5, 2013
My wife is from South Africa. She and her family left Capetown nearly 40 years ago, because of apartheid. It didn’t appear the regime would ever loosen its grip. But Nelson Mandela changed all that. After 27 yers in prison, “Madiba” changed not only South Africa but the world as well.
I had the privilege of going to South Africa last Christmas. It was my wife’s first time back in 35 years. It was a remarkable trip to a remarkable country. The scope, The beauty, the people. The home of Nelson Mandela. While South Africa has a lot of problems to solve, it is one of the most spectacular counties in the world. Nelson Mandela is responsible for its advancement. Let’s hope it can continue now that he’s gone.
Posted on December 1, 2013
I actually forgot about this posting site for a while. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll try to be more active here going forward. Call it a new years resolution, for lack of a better term. It’s been an interesting few years. Six years ago this January I was diagnosed with bladder cancer. At the time I had no idea what to expect. Will I live, die, lose everything inside of me? Needless to say, it was a tough time. Today, it’s still in me. I call it the gift that keeps on giving. But with the help of Dr. A Zlotta and the team at Mt. Sinai, Princess Margaret and TGH, they have managed to keep it in check. So far so good, everything is functioning and we keep close tabs on it. We’ll do that for as long as it takes.
I’ve learned a lot about myself and people during that time. Family is everything and the only thing. Not everyone can handle being around a person who is “sick”, so they disappear. I get that. It can be a lonely fight, but with the help of family, friends and a great medical team, I’m still standing.
This cancer has helped me to be a better person, better teacher. While I’m still a hard ass and always will be, I am more compassionate to the needs of others, I think. I want what’s best for my students at the College of Sports Media. I push them, I’m hard on them, but the goal is singular. To be the best they can be.
Cancer got me on my bicycle. I am an avid rider now. Just did 45kms in -2 temps on Saturday, and loved it. As long as there isn’t snow I’ll be out there.
I ride in the “Tour for Kids” every summer now. We cover about 450 kilometres over four days, raising funds for kids cancer camps. It’s hard, tough, emotional at times, but the feeling when we finish is like nothing you can experience. It has changed my life.
So that’s the latest. I’ll try to be more regular.
Posted on June 24, 2009
When you get right down to it, blogging is really kinda silly. I mean who gives a tinkers damn about what I think about, well, just about anything? I will sit here, or elsewhere, trying to come up with an idea to blog about. And as you can tell, I don’t get many ideas, by the number of blogs I’ve written. Maybe that’s why I think blogging is so dumb. I can’t think of anything to blog about. I must admit some of the blogs I have come up with in recent times have been rather, brilliant in blogging terms. But in the realm of the entire universe, where does blogging stack up. Probably somewhere between , oh I don’t know maybe, shopping and car washing. In the grand scheme of things, blogging is a waste of time. Serious journalists look at bloggers as nothing but a bunch of blow hards, for lack of a blogging term. Uneducated, ill informed creatins. But then again, print “journalists” are jealous because they’re to ugly to get on television. And the ones that do make it, well, their mothers are proud anyway. It’s a serious problem. To blog or not to blog, that is the question. Maybe I’ll find an answer in my next blog.
Posted on June 17, 2009
Jim Balsillie strikes out again, no team in southern Ontario, and the NHL vows to maintain a dead franchise in a dead hockey city. No winners here.
It should be obvious to the RIM billionaire that Bettman and company don’t want him and his money around. Maybe he doesn’t have enough criminal convictions on his file. I have never met Mr. Balsillie, but from all accounts he’s a decent chap, approachable, and highly competitive. You have to question the way he does business though with the NHL. Why try the backdoor route to get a team, when the front door is the only way in. Then again, why would he want to deal with a league that keeps shooting itself in the foot, or at least a commissioner? Will Balsillie ever get an NHL franchise to move to Hamilton? Not in Bettmans lifetime. And how long will Bettman be around. Just look at the TV ratings for the NHL on NBC and it says he’ll be around for a while.
Do the people in Hamilton deserve an NHL Franchise? Does southern Ontario deserve another? Of course they do. But first let’s expand the NHL to Toronto before anywhere else. There hasn’t been an NHL team in Toronto since 1967.
Gretzky will continue to receive his multi million dollar salary for losing.
The Coyotes will continue to suck, and Bettman will continue to be, well, Gary.
All the while, Balsillie will take his billions, develop and new phone, and make more.
Maybe David Braley can bankroll Cynamon and Sokolowski so they can buy the Coyotes and move them to Winnipeg?
Posted on June 14, 2009
First of all let me say, I thought Bob Cole was fantastic as the voice of Hockey Night in Canada. His baritone, could take the most mundane game and lift it to legendary heights. And he had to after calling the Leafs for so many years. But Mr. Cole’s time has passed. Jim Hughson called his first Stanley Cup final this spring, and was superb. Simply put he did a great job, didn’t miss a beat, and was as good as any play by play announcer calling the big ones today. I for one do not like to compare announcers. They all bring something unique to the table. I have known Hughson for many years, we worked together at TSN, and he has always been a first class guy. What you hear and see on television is what you get from Hughie. He’s down to earth, humble and terrific to work with.
The torch has ben past, long may he reign! Jim Hughson deserves all the accolades and credit in an industry that loves to eat its own. He’s a survivor, a pro, and a good man.
Posted on June 10, 2009
Spam, what would we do without it. From what I’ve been told, it was a staple in the fifties for families that couldn’t afford real meat!!! It still available on the store shelves, but I’m talking about the ‘09 version of spam. We see it, read it, get sucked in and generally aggravated by it on a daily basis. And it’s driving me nuts!!!! I don’t need a bigger penis!!! And i sure as hell don’t want to meet some hoo-haa on line who thinks I’m cute!!! I don’t want to cash a check from some beleauguered Nigerian who’s fortune is stuck in some gawd forsaken bank, and wants to give me his/her fortune, but first I have to cash a big check. I don’t want to know about sure fire emerging market stocks that are gonna blow the roof off the stock market. By the way what happened to all of them during our latest market crash, and where are they now? I’d like to invent a spam program that de-spams spam. If you send spam, my little spam worm will infest your computer and litterally melt your main frame. All the while screaming like the wicked witch of the west as she melted away. With due respect to Dorothy and the wizard…
Monty Python’s “spam spam spam” song keeps going thru my mind….
Spam is the scourge of the world today. Spam is responsible for war, famine, pestilence and everyone’s generally lousy mood these days. It’s not that we are broke and the world is in a mess that we are miserbale. It’s because of spam!!!!!
Spamalot has got to STOP!!!!!
Posted on May 21, 2009
I’ve been a Leonard Cohen fan ever since hearing his first album in the late sixties. Yes, Virginia, I am that old!!! Get over it!!! I also had the chance to meet him in Niagara on the Lake of all places. A play called the “sisters of mercy” was being performed there and I was lucky enough to be invited. He’s as cool today as he was back then. Earlier this week I drove to Hamilton to see this Canadian Icon perform, for what could very well be the last time. If you think I’m old, then Cohen is downright Ancient. But his performance was nothing short of inspirational. He sang for three hours, with a fifteen minute break, and was full of energy. Or as much energy one can muster while singing his songs. They aren’t what you would call heavy metal by any stretch of the imagination. His voice sounds like he just crawled out of a dirty whisky glass. But the clarity, and sincerity are unbelievable. He sang his standards from Suzanne, to Bird on a Wire, and his most current songs as well. His music and his poetry are legendary. I was privileged to see a man I consider to be an icon for what could very well be the last time.
Posted on April 20, 2009
I have been pounding into my students at the College of Sports Media, that you never use foul language in the studio or around a live mike. One day you’ll get burned. Sportsnets Roger Millions provided an excellent example last week. And my heart goes out to him. In what the electronic media calls a “look live” Roger fed an on camera standup from Chicago to Toronto about two hours before the show it was intended for. During one of his standups, he uttered an obscenity, dealing with male oral sex. Use your imagination. It obviously wasn’t supposed to be used. But once the tape was taken in back at the studios in Toronto, communication broke down. The offending standup made it to air. Who is responsible? Well there’s plenty of blame to go around. First of all Roger should have known better, but he didn’t do what countless others have done in the past. Of course I have. Secondly, the broadcast associate, who took in the feed should have “red flagged” the offending take. Thirdly, the editor should never have cut it in the first place and last but not least, there’s the producer. The producer of the show is responsible for everything that goes to air. In my humble opining, Roger should be suspended. The B.A., editor, and producer should all be fired. Simple as that.
What happened last week is simply inexcusable, and indefensible.
Posted on April 13, 2009
I’ve had the privilege of teaching for the past 15 months at the College of Sports Media. It’s a school that is training young men and women for a life in the world of television and radio sports. I teach on the T.V. side everything from writing to presentation, hosting and anchoring. Stuff that I continue to do for various companies.
I have to admit I was very nervous when I started this job. I didn’t know wether or not I would like it, or if I’d have the patience to do it. But it has turned into one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. To work with dedicated people who want to be in the sports media, and to see them improve on a regular basis, is a payoff like no other. I am currently working with about 60 students ranging in age from 18 to 45. Yes I did say 45. The most common reason for wanting to be a sportscaster? “It’s always been a dream” is a common refrain.
Ninety five percent of the students are dedicated, and hard working. The other five, well lets just say they have a sense of entitlement. They feel that they can show up periodically, and because they pay the money to be here, they’ll graduate, get a job, and make millions. Are they in for a surprise! But I think that is the nature of many of todays young people. Thankfully they are in the minority, and hopefully will have no effect on the industry going forward.
These are difficult times to be in the media, with consolidation and downsizing, but the industry will always have room for talented people. Let’s hope some of them graduate from the College of Sports Media.