Monday, March 24, 2008


The latest joke going around: "When was the last time you listened to The Team 1200 other than for a hockey game?

"I don't know. What year is this?"

The question for the readers in Ottawa, who is counting on The Team for their daily fix of sports chat? The experience on this end across the past two years has gone from listening regularly, to occasionally, to only during hockey games, to not being able to remember the last time I tuned in. Colleagues and friends report a similar experience.

No offence; the station will be essentially listening once the Sens start to unravel during the Stanley Cup playoffs, but other than that, it's not relevant. The FAN 590 on digital cable or the simulcasts The Score and Sportsnet air of sports talk radio shows for a couple hours a day seem like a pretty good poor man's alternative to The Team's offerings.

Carl Kiiffner gets credit for picking up on this at the UORB; judging by the makeover the station gave its website, only two teams exist — the Senators and 67's. It could be that the all-Sens, all-the-time approach has put off some people, who believe the best sports talk radio is where everyone gets a say about all things sporting. Listen to The FAN 590; Chuck Swirsky has the 1-4 p.m. slot and oftentimes they won't talk about the NHL.

In the late-morning slot, you can hear Mike Hogan and Mike Toth on The Bullpen talk knowledgeably about second-tier stuff such as CIS football or Provincial Junior A Hockey because they're into it. Perhaps that vibe exists at The Team, but judging by the presence it didn't have at the Ottawa Rapids' first press conference on Feb. 14 and at the CIS Final 8 men's basketball championship the weekend before last, they're hiding it under a bushel. Of course, with respect to the hoops, maybe they just couldn't find the building where it was being held.


Carl said...

Since getting a satellite radio, I rarely listen to the Team anymore when I'm on the road. Last summer was the breaking point for me - their efforts to keep "hockey talk" going and extend the Senators-centric conversation through the entire off-season was sickeningly transparent.

Von Allan said...

I gave up on the Team 1200 about 3 years ago. I just got tired off the snark and the lack of insightful discourse. That said, I don't listen to any sports radio broadcast - I much (much!) prefer reading essays and the like online (typically through RSS feeds).

I think the only exception would be the Sports Reporters on ESPN and TSN on Sunday mornings. However, my caveat with these guys is that it depends very much on the subject matter (not a hockey fan, not a basketball fan, not a golf fan).

I much prefer reading the likes of Allen Barra or some such then listen to irritating "discussion" on the radio. Your mileage, of course, may vary.

Geoff said...

The morning show guys are generally pretty funny. Better than most anything else in this town during that time. Kevin Haime's golf show on Saturdays is also very good.

But the main reason I would have a meltdown if the TEAM ceased broadcasting...where would we go to listen to Romey?

sager said...

No one's talking about them ceasing broadcasting ... just wondering how relevant the station is here in the city.

Slapnuts said...

I too am like most of your readers Neate - but mostly for the Stanely Cup series post-game shows Vs the Ducks last season

if anything it's an additional package advertisers could buy into

CTV Globemedia in Toronto (yes Sens Army fans, right in the heart of Leafs Nation) owns the - perhaps site administrator Linda Vanderkolk has insight on this burning issue

Tao of Stieb said...

About four years ago, we purchased our first iPod and discovered podcasting. Team 1200 has pretty much been a distant memory since then.

There's just way too much interesting content out there on a broad array of sports to bore yourself with the incessant poopee and peepee jokes.

Our psyche is still scarred by the memories of Jungle Jim Jerome and the Duke and the Dandyman afternoon drive. Yeesh.

Von Allan said...

The Tao of Steib nailed it for me. "Jungle Jim Jerome" and the "Duke and the Dandyman" were basically what killed the station for me. Truly terrible radio and I haven't been impressed with anything they've done since, either. 'Course, I'm cranky that way.

I'd also agree that there is far more interesting content online than what my local radio station covers.

Anonymous said...

I listen to it pretty regularly.

The most decent stuff is between 3 and 5 p.m. eastern with "More on Sports".

Dean Brown and Gord Wilson are horrid. So are Ian Mendes and Scott McCarthur...the morning guys are brutal as well. Glenn Kulka is half-okay...he's a smartened up version of the Dandyman. Lee Versage isn't half-bad.

J.R. and Galley are the only saving graces of the show, they're the only ones outside Garrioch and Stevenson that even try to be objective.

The "Wake" show after each Senators elimination is also worth listening to.

sager said...

Man, I just realized... going to Toronto for the Jays home opener on Friday means I'll miss the wake.

Unless they make it buy themselves an extra four or five games.

Anonymous said...

I love the station and disagree with most of what is said here.

The comment about the website showing only two teams....they aren't going to put the Carleton and Ottawa University logos on there....and the rapids haven't even started playing yet!

I am a hockey fan, so I don't mind the talk about the Senators. The Fan talks about the same things everyday because they can't see outside of the Toronto bubble.

sager said...

Point being, you might not mind, but you're not everyone.

It's a stretch to say The FAN talks about the same things every day ...

For instance, a couple days ago during the Swirsky Show, Chuck had Kelly Hrudey from Hockey Night in Canada on talk about the playoffs, mostly the Western Conference series between Calgary and San Jose; they didn't waste one word on the Leafs' situation.

The next guest was Adrian Wojnarowkski, the national NBA writer for Yahoo! Sports! That's a source The Team 1200 has probably never heard of, never mind trying to get.