Thursday, January 22, 2009

And he never gives an answer

Jeff Blair at the Globe has filed the annual "cities that suck at sports" story.

You'd think journalists might wait until that awkward time after the Super Bowl and prior to Spring Training to start dragging out these old (and largely useless) set pieces.

But looking at the story (I won't link to it, it doesn't deserve your eyes and the Globe doesn't deserve the click throughs) I think Blair has taken journalistic laziness to a whole other level.

Yeah, Blair's calculated the collective winning percentages of the Leafs, Raptors, Argos and Jays - but where are the winning percentages of the Calgary Vipers, Vancouver Canadians, and Edmonton Cracker-Cats?

Really, if you've got the gumption to tell me the Jays stink (breaking news since, what, 1995?) you need to tell me what those Cracker-Cats have been up to.

Canadians from Tofino to Trout River are dying to know if their local town (or heaven forbid a Canadian rival) has a shot at being the Black Boot Trophy Champs any time soon. Millions, if not hundreds, want to know if those no goodniks from Fargo-Moorhead might dash the Golden Eyes' hopes in 2009.

The Raptors won-loss record may bave been factored in, but where are the Edmonton Chill and Vancouver Volcanos? Seriously, does Blair not have an internet connection and calculator?

And I see another mathematical error: Toronto's professional sports teams may have a collective winning percentage of .457 to Ottawa's .443 but there's nary a mention of the nation's capitol.

Based on Ottawa's omission from the piece I can only conclude that either Blair is saying the Sens aren't a "professional team" or towns like Ottawa need to have a second sports team in a 100 mile radius to be part of this story. I'm not sure which one it is...

Anyways, my point remains: this must be an important story as the Globe set aside 1,200 words and who knows how many column inches for it. The least they could do is some basic math and a few google searches. After all, the municipal pride of millions is on the line here (isn't it?).

With investigative journalism like this, I look forward to Blair's next big expose: Is Edmonton really the City of Champions?

This piece was written with my tongue firmly in cheek. I think it would have been hilarious had Blair actually looked at minor league teams, but I guess it's just me...


  1. a whole lot of negative media lately. must be MSM's way of getting you to buy their product. Scary thought that FOX news style has filtered it's way into sports reporting...

  2. It's not one of Blair's best work at all. But I will say that Blair is generally one of the better sports reporters in Toronto. Does it excuse him from taking the familiar, overplayed, and purposeful omitting of information that so many anti-Toronto pieces that invariably come out every few months? Of course not, and I hope that he is taken to task for it. But I'm not going to do anything like boycott him for this piece. Since the Globe took him off the baseball beat (a real shame because he was one of the best, if not the best, Blue Jays and baseball journalist in Canada), Blair's been having to expand and remain relevant in the sports department at the Globe.

    I do hope you keep sending this post (and other related Blair complaints from you or from the interwebs) to Blair. After all, he encourages it since he fully endorsed and promoted Cox Bloc awhile back to keep reporters like him on their toes. Cheers.

  3. To be fair to Blair (and not just because he pimped us a while back, as bkblades pointed out) he was only comparing cities with four major pro sports teams, which none of our friends across the country can boast. Doesn't excuse the lazy column, but explains why Ottawa, Calgary, etc weren't included.

  4. um, obviously my sarcasm was missed. I've updated the post accordingly.

  5. You understand...hatchett jobs on Toronto are worth something. They amuse. They embolden. And really, no one gives a shit about those other places. Where were they again?