Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The Queen's Golden Gaels have a lot of work to do before this comes into play. Nevertheless, it's not too early to find out if Chuck Swirsky is up for a little challenge.

The Swirsk (pictured), the voice of your Toronto Raptors and the 1-4 p.m. host on The FAN 590 based out of T-Dot, always seems like a bastion of the late, great CKWS sportscaster Max Jackson's saying, "If you can't play a sport, be one." Swirsky gives each league and each type of fan due consideration* and going by his frequent praise for Don Cherry, he has a soft spot for Kingston.

So it was distressing to hear Swirsky finish an interview with Toronto Varsity Blues football coach Steve Howlett on Tuesday by saying, "Should you beat Queen's, you have an invitation to bring the whole team down to the FAN 590."

It was a nice humanitarian, we're-all-pullin'-for-ya statement, but it also unintentionally slighted the Gaels. The Big Yellow Guys' current 5-2 record, third-best in the OUA, isn't setting the world ablaze, but the Gaels pretty much always whup U of T but good. They have won the past seven games by a cumulative tally of 383-33, which works out to an average margin of exactly 50 points. A win on Saturday would complete a Tricolour trifecta -- beating Western, McGill and Toronto in the same season -- for the first time since 1970.

So in the interest of equal time and due consideration, what is Chuck Swirsky willing to do for the Gaels if they deliver on the field over the next couple of weeks?

There is a chance to have some fun with this. Swirsky's fellow FAN 590 host Mike Hogan, of The Bullpen mid-morning show, is a big backer of the Laurier Golden Hawks, whom Queen's is in line to face in the OUA semi-final on Nov. 3 -- if they can get past the first round of the playoffs, which will be no easy task. It would also likely be the University Rush game on The Score, so there would be wider interest, especially among the GTA-based Queen's alumni, some of whom probably tune into hear Swirsky on a regular basis.

Hogan, a Kingston native, already had ex-Gael and current Toronto Argos special teamer Bryan Crawford on his show singing a Laurier fight song to pay off a bet earlier this season, so it practically behooves Chuck to take up the cause. A humble suggestion: He could play Queen's College Colours (AKA the Oil Thigh song), the school fight song, on The Swirsky Show that week. A lot of Queen's alumni live in Toronto and a few probably listen to show, so they'd appreciate it.

The ball is Chuck's court. Meantime, it's up to the Gaels to make this happen.

* (Swirsky's format is a welcome relief from the hockey-hockey-hockey banter on seemingly every other sports show. Don't people in Toronto want to get away from hockey? It's come to the point where the Leafs paying a guy $7 million a year doesn't even guarantee he'll know which net he's supposed to shoot at.)

That's all for now. Send your thoughts to neatesager@yahoo.ca.

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