Okay, if there is one thing that Toronto as a city can claim, it’s that there is a ton of media. In print, you’re looking at the National Post, The Globe and Mail (yeah, they’re national papers, but let’s be honest, they’re centred on Toronto), The Sun, The Star, the free dailies. On the air, there’s the FAN590, on TV, Sportsnet, TSN, The Score, RaptorsTV. Needless to say, there is lots of coverage (there should be more focused on the Raptors, but that’s a whole other issue).
Seeing that I immerse myself in so much Raptors coverage, there are some people who I dig reading/listening to/watching and others who leave me looking for a bottle of grandpa’s homemade cough medicine if you know what I’m sayin’. So let’s break down some likes and dislikes.
Eric Smith. There probably isn’t a guy who understands the game and all of its inner workings more than Eric Smith. From being realistic about trades and transactions to understanding what it will take for teams or individuals to succeed, Smith is usually dead on. Listen to him on the call in, he’ll listen to whatever you have to say and will give you a well thought out answer (try getting that from Bob McCown…yikes) instead of just trying to drive his opinion down your throat. Smith gets the inside scoop from around the league and is NEVER one to get caught up in the hype associated with a new player, coach, GM, theory, etc. Seriously Raps fans, we are truly lucky to have this guy around. There’s a reason this guy is working so many basketball media outlets.
Dave Feschuk. Here is a guy who will make you think about different Raps issues that you probably haven’t thought of before. Whether it’s talking about the Raps needing an assistant to work with the young guys like Bargnani, questioning Rasho’s speed on the Raps or being frank about losing and winning streaks, Feschuk is legit. You also have to appreciate that he seems to have a good relationship with Sam, even though he doesn’t candy coat anything.
Coach and Swirsk. Okay, they both have tendencies that can get terribly annoying (Salami and Cheese?), but they both have a passion for the game that this country needs. These guys also have a lot of good technical knowledge, which provides tons of insight for the everday viewer (or listener). If you want to see how a game should be broken down, watch Coach during the Final Four.
Steve Buffery – The Sun is strong on sports, Steve usually backs it up. Good statistical analysis and understanding of the game, but I honestly don’t read enough of his stuff to really give the credit he probably deserves.
Doug Smith. If there was ever a reporter who is ready to predict doom for the Raps one minute and glory the next, here you go. There should be a drinking game for each time Doug talks about the Raps slipping into a “familiar abyss” or something like that. There also seems to be a tendency to jump on a guy when he goes through a bit of a rough spell (um..MoPete anyone?).
Chris Young. Okay, Chris is borderline. He should probably be on the neutral list and he doesn’t seem to cover as much basketball as before, now he seems to be all focused on JABS (just another blog on sports), which isn’t a bad blog at all. Sometimes one gets the feeling that instead of just analyzing the game and providing insight, he’s trying to be too cool. Trust me.
Paul Jones. Sorry Paul, you’re SO wrong on so many occasions, it almost hurts. Listening to Eric Smith and Paul Jones is almost painful the two are so opposite. Even when Eric brings a solid argument, Paul just will not back down from a viewpoint that is clearly wrong. Good on Eric not to just put down the headphones and walk out on some nights. And on a personal note, there’s something about his voice on radio that just doesn’t work for me.
Leo Rautins. Good lord. What more can I say. Read my last entry and you’ll see where I’m coming from.
Finish up the road trip tonight…anybody on the Sam over/under?