Thursday, July 31, 2008

Chuck's last stand

"And finally I'm proud to say, 'I am Canadian.'"
--Chuck Swirsky's parting words on the Fan590

After Pinball Clemons opened up Swirsky's final show on the Fan590--yes, he made a salami and cheese reference--with the first of several thank you/good-byes the Swirsk went out and did a pretty normal show. Sundin, Kevin Low, Anthony Parker, whatever was topical today was covered.

Good for him.

Early on in the show it was announced that Jack Armstrong and Doug MacLean (!) will take over the 2-4 p.m. slot, with Doug Farraway doing a news focused sports program from 1-2 p.m. They will start Aug 18, with Eric Smith filling in until then.

The Farraway show sounds promising. It was described as as a news-magazine format with a greater focus on the issues of sports rather than scoreboard stories. As for the Armstrong/MacLean show...

Time will tell. On the surface it seems like more of the same. I'm sure Armstrong was brought in to keep the basketball knowledge high -- and that's a good thing -- but adding yet another hockey insider, especially one that has a limited journalism background (like, none), stinks of nepotism and group think. MacLean didn't exactly impress last week when he was a co-host on Prime Time Sports and he refused to speak ill of Gary Bettman (MacLean's exact words to Bob McCown: "Who's more important to my future job prospects? You or Bettman?"). As stated, time will tell.

As for Swirsky ... he was an acquired taste, but no one will ever doubt his enthusiasm. Speaking personally, I won't miss the salami and cheese, but I do acknowledge that Raptors basketball will not be the same without Swirsky.

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