The deck chairs keep moving in the TSN 1050/Sportsnet FAN 590 radio competition in Toronto, due to start next week.
Gord Stellick is also leaving the FAN to head for Sirius satellite radio's hockey channel to do a hockey show from noon to 2 P.M. Stellick doing hockey - what will they think of next?
Stellick's departure opens the way for Primetime Sports to return as a 4-7 p.m. show once again, from 3-6 p.m., with Andrew Krystal filling in 1 - 4 p.m. Thus, virtually all of program director Don Kollins's initial moves as program director at the FAN have been reversed or abandoned. At TSN, Bryan Hayes makes the move from AM 640 as it prepares to jettison its experiment with the Maple Leafs rights. Hayes is getting 10-noon after Mike Richards. (So much for syndicated U.S. hosts Jim Rome and Dan Patrick, eh?)
Elsewhere, Stormin' Norman Rumack returns to Toronto airwaves starting Monday as he joins The Score Radio as a late-night host. Executive producer Mike Gentile says he wants the former FAN 590 character to shake things up as he once did. "We're not talking about him swearing and carrying on," Gentile said. "But we want the old fire he showed engaging guests back in his prime. We think he could make a great addition to Puck Daddy Radio in the morning and our other shows."
TSN Radio has lured writer Bruce Arthur, who'd been a regular guest on then FAN's Prime Time Sports, to be a co-host once a week with James Cybulski on its afternoon drive show Cybulski & Co. Arthur also joins The Reporters, the Sunday morning TV program which lost Damian Cox to Rogers and Michael Farber temporarily to illness.
A finger in the eye of golf's TV vigilantes: Just hours before the start of the Masters on Thursday, the governing bodies of the game (the USGA and the R &A in Great Britain) stuck a finger in the eye of golf's TV vigilantes. One of sport's enduring charms (?) is the eagle-eyed role of viewers in affecting the outcome of even major tournaments. In the past, TV detectives have noticed rules infractions missed by officials on course and phoned them in. Causing embarrassment to the golf establishment.
Earlier this year, Camilo Villegas was disqualified in Hawaii after a viewer spotted him tamping down a divot that was in the path of his ball - a two-stroke penalty Villegas failed to call on himself. Padraig Harrington likewise was disqualified in Abu Dhabi when HD video replays later showed his ball had moved microscopically as he addressed it.
No more. In cases such as Harrington's, where players can reasonably assert they did not see the infraction, the player will now be assessed the two-stroke penalty but not be disqualified. However, in cases such as that of Villegas or Dustin Johnston at last year's PGA (who grounded his club in a sand hazard), players are still expected to know the rules and will still be DQ'd.
So if you planned to spend the weekend breaking down the Masters telecast like the Zapruder film in an effort to achieve your 15 minutes of fame, you might want to take up a new hobby.
West Is Best: Anaheim Ducks Corey Perry forward became the next hot property recently as he pushed his team to an (almost certain) playoff spot with his 50-goal performance. In doing so he became the darling of NHL voters in the media, who'd previously given their hearts to Vancouver's Daniel Sedin. Prior to that the impressionable voters were swooning for Sidney Crosby.
The Hart will do what the heart will do. What's most interesting about the awards' voting by the Professional Hockey Writers Association this year is that three eastern teams are reportedly boycotting the vote (NYR, NYI, NJD) versus one western team (CBJ) over a turf war with the New York Islanders. Ergo, there will be a greater proportion of western voters now than at any time since the NHL went to 30 teams (O happy day).
How does that tip the scales? It's human nature to favour what you know. Typically, players from western teams whose games start when many eastern PHWA members are in their jammies have struggled to get recognition in the East. A classic example came in 2002 when Calgary's Jarome Iginla scored 50 goals but lost out in a tiebreaker to Montreal goalie Jose Theodore who... what did he do? No matter.
Does the eastern-heavy boycott help Perry and Western players this time? Does Bill Daly turn red when you mention the Goldwater Institute?
Ben There Done That: Guess one Canadian sprinter looks the same as another to USA Today. In a podcast interview with Usain Bolt posted on the paper's website, Bolt is asked about "Fans' suspicions of doping by elite athletes". As Bolt drones on, two photos are displayed: the first of 1996 Olympic gold medalist Donovan Bailey followed immediately by 2000 gold medalist Marion Jones. The first has never tested positive (and has steadfastly defended his running clean). The other... ended up in jail for lying about her rampant drug use in the BALCO scandal.
Bolt makes no allegations about Bailey, but Bailey's lawyer told USA Today on Wednesday that the inference from the proximity of the photos is defamatory, and the paper needs to take down the images of Bailey. As of press time, however, the podcast with the pictures of Bailey over Bolt's commentary was still available online. Perhaps USA Today simply doesn't know Bailey from Ben Johnson, who did test positive three times.
Don't Get Madden, Get Even: Finally, we mentioned EA Sports Madden NFL 12 on Wednesday. This week comes news that a California judge has certified a class action against EA, which alleges that the multi-million dollar cost of the exclusive NFL license EA negotiated was passed along to consumers, making the product more expensive. Under terms of the suit, any purchasers of the Madden game since 2005 are bound in the lawsuit. For more info check out easportslitigation.com. Who knows, if this goes well you might get a Pat Summerall rookie card out of the deal.