Monday, April 13, 2009

On Easter Sunday, CBC resurrects lame trivia show

Did anyone else have this experience on Sunday when you were looking for something, anything to make the hours go by quicker before hopping in the car or on a train after a visit home for Easter?

You start channel-flipping and across a special all-sports edition of the CBC quiz show Test The Nation thinking, "Hey, this was really fun when it aired May 25, 2008, and it will take my mind off all this crippling emotional baggage that resurfaces when I visit my family." Then you noticed the questions seemed awfully familiar. Suffice to say, the people's network, according to Amrit Ahluwalia over at There Is No Original Name For This Sports Blog, advertised for weeks that it would air April 12 at 7 p.m., without saying it was a rerun.

It took a few minutes for A-squared to clue in, "I remembered some of the jokes at the start, but decided that I'd watched enough Hockey Night in Canada that I've come to predict Ron MacLean's jokes."

Then, well, like many a Leafs fan on a Saturday night, he was ready to jump out of his seat and start yelling, "Jesus! Jesus!"
"The fact that the CBC couldn't even be bothered to come up with 50 more questions was pathetic, and really rubbed in the point that they couldn't care less about the sports-watching Canadian public.

"I've said it before and I'll say it again — the CBC isn't accountable for the programming decisions they make and, as such, can cut and pay for whatever they please. This while Canadians are forced to pay for it through their taxes. Make the CBC opt-outable, and I tell you what they'll figure it out really quickly."
Be that as it may, times are tough all over (except at Augusta National), so maybe the CBC couldn't afford to do another taping. It still seems like a bit of a rip, especially since it was advertised — it's mashed potatoes, with no gravy, in the parlance of our time.

The celebrity sightings were cool, since there is probably no other time in human history when former TV star Alan Thicke, Sean McCormick from Rogers Sportsnet and Jennifer Hedger from TSN got to be in the same room with Andy Grabia and Matt Fenwick of Battle of Alberta.

This is good a time as any to note a bona fide sports geek worth his bookmarks (little reason to type "her/his") would steer clear of such shenanigans.
  1. The sports questions on trivia shows such as Jeopardy! are usually pretty rudimentary, like a wordy version of, "What's the name of the football team in Chicago?"

    It's seared into memory that even Jeopardy! juggernaut Ken Jennings handled sports questions like a feisty porcupine. ("This team won four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to '83?" ... "Who is New York?" ... "Be more specific." ... "The Rangers?")

  2. The opposite is true for shows such as Stump the Schwab. The rule of thumb there is that you don't turn on the TV to be directly reminded how pitiful you are for knowing what round Thurman Thomas was taken in during the NFL draft — or to be reminded that if you have such a talent, that's the only thing people will associate with you for the rest of the days.

  3. It is beyond the pale to hire out such a small, unnecessary talent, when it can be better put to use winning small trinkets in bars.
Boo to the CBC for that. Some of Test The Nation's questions weren't even accurate. For instance, one question was, "On Sept. 20, 1998, Cal Ripken Jr. broke this man's record consecutive-game streak." Of course, on Sept. 20, 1998, Ripken and the Baltimore Orioles decided to call an end to his streak. He passed Lou Gehrig on Sept. 8, 1995, and of course, broke the record Sept. 19, 1998, since he was breaking his own mark. Of course, show someone who knows that and we'll know who the real winner ain't.

As for young Ahluwalia, it could always be worse. You could have spent Easter Sunday evening watching a Seth Rogen movie on DVD with your parents.

Why does the CBC insist on sucking? (There Is No Original Name For This Sports Blog)

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