Team 1260: a good one gone

Robin Brownlee
July 27 2009 08:31PM

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Guys who've been around the media game as long as Bryn Griffiths see moves like what transpired today coming -- Griffiths was fired by Astral Media -- but that doesn't make it easy to swallow.

Griffiths, sports director at TEAM 1260 since the first minute the station hit the airwaves back in June of 2002, is taking his walking papers in stride, but I'd expect nothing less. That doesn't mean I like it.

I can't help but feel that Griffiths, who helped grow TEAM 1260 under boss Marty Forbes and served as co-host of More On Sports with Jake Daniels until Daniels was let go this spring, deserved better.

Whether you laughed at his morning shtick with Daniels or thought it was remarkably lame -- hardcore sports types voted for the latter -- it's never a good day when another veteran sports guy loses his job. Been there. Done that. It's no fun.

SAW IT COMING

"This is probably the most prepared I've ever been for a dismissal," Griffiths said. "There were little things that started to happen over the last year or so... Jake's dismissal, I didn't want to be a part of.

"When you work with somebody closely, that has to be done by higher-ups, not by you or else you've got blood on your hands."

With long-time co-host Daniels gassed by Astral Media in the wake of disappointing numbers in recent ratings periods, what unfolded today at a west end restaurant was of no great shock to Griffiths. Radio, like the newspaper biz, is a numbers game. If they don't add up...

"I was never involved in the process of finding a guy to replace Jake," Griffiths said. "I wasn't consulted, which is a good indicator of the fact you're out of the loop. I'd pretty much figured it out for the most part."

Word is, TEAM 1260 has hired a young broadcaster out of Fort McMurray and will add another voice out to take over the morning slot to complement the rest of its programming.

While some people will say "good riddance" over Griffiths' firing, just as they did with Daniels, he deserves better than that.

THE FIRST FLOOR

As a guy with input as sports director but never the final word or control of the budget, Griffiths deserves credit for trying to make TEAM 1260 a viable alternative to 630 CHED, which is never easy to do when taking on a rights holder with the keys to the big games in town, the Oilers and the Eskimos.

It was Griffiths who pushed to bring in Bob Stauffer in the days when nobody outside of family and friends knew who he was. Griffiths and Stauffer hatched Total Hockey in 2002, which morphed into Total sports and produced the best numbers TEAM 1260 has ever had. Stauffer got his shot because Griffiths was willing to roll the dice on him.

"Anytime somebody in the business gets let go you feel for them," Stauffer said. "I don't think the average sports fan realizes all the challenges Bryn was facing in his role.

"On a personal level, Bryn certainly was a major supporter of mine and I'm indebted to him for providing me with the opportunity he did."

Stauffer, of course, made Griffiths look pretty smart before he left to join 630 CHED as analyst to play-by-play man Rod Phillips.

"Bryn and Marty Forbes were my biggest boosters," Stauffer said. "Bryn helped get my career to the next level. For that, I'll be forever grateful."

-- Listen to Robin Brownlee every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. on Just A Game with Jason Gregor on Team 1260.

Aceb4a1816f5fa09879a023b07d1a9b4
A sports writer since 1983, including stints at The Edmonton Journal and The Sun 1989-2007, I happily co-host the Jason Gregor Show on TSN 1260 twice a week and write when so inclined. Have the best damn lawn on the internet. Most important, I am Sam's dad. Follow me on Twitter at Robin_Brownlee. Or don't.
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#101 Deans
July 28 2009, 03:48PM
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@ Librarian Mike:

Thats what happens when you attend sh*tholes like Oil City. Have you ever seen that place when the lights come on? It's a sobering experience, in more ways than one.

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#102 Jodes
July 28 2009, 03:49PM
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Wow.. I agree with the boosting of their signal.. out here in the Lakeland (St. Paul) all you get is static when you try and turn on 1260, I'm hardly ever in the city anymore, so I would never listen to it. Why listen noise?

As for Jake.. that guy is always a riot. From his Bear days to now. Especially at Mauler's going away party.. Anyone know where he's moved on to? Is he still in the area? Or did he bugger off to Winnipeg like many other former Edmonton DJ's (Phil Aubrey, Matt Mauler).

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#103 Librarian Mike
July 28 2009, 03:51PM
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ronaldo wrote:

Now lumberjack competitions on the other hand- that is where the real men are.

Totally! There's nothing more manly than a good pole toss to celebrate each others' strength.

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#104 Deans
July 28 2009, 03:53PM
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@ ronaldo: Yah some of the meathead, homophobic fans are annoying but there is a beauty to the sport that is often overshadowed by the blood. Oh and by the way there is homoerotic elements in every sport. Anyone who has played rep hockey can attest to how homoerotic the whole shower/hazing scene can be. There is nothing wrong with being gay but I think it is unfair to paint MMA as overtly homoerotic when EVERY other sport has these elements as well.

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#105 Deans
July 28 2009, 03:54PM
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Lumberjack competitions are also very homoerotic.

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#106 Librarian Mike
July 28 2009, 03:54PM
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@ Deans:

I've never been inside and I never will. My experience is based on going past and surveying the damage every weekend. I can just imagine the horror show the inside of that monstrosity is however.

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#107 ronaldo
July 28 2009, 03:57PM
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@ Deans: Showering with five other guys while whipping each other with towels contains homoerotic elements? What's next, are you going to tell me there is something to the beach volleyball scene in Top Gun?

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#108 Deans
July 28 2009, 03:58PM
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@ Librarian Mike: Good choice. Its actually not as bad as the whole outside scene but Oil City is still a souless vapid hellhole. I will say this though, there are many, many young and friendly women who frequent that 'establishment' on a regular basis.

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#109 Deans
July 28 2009, 03:59PM
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@ ronaldo: LOL I really want to know if that scene was supposed to be intentionally funny or if the director thought that would be a good idea.

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#110 roadrunner
July 28 2009, 04:00PM
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Librarian Mike wrote:

ronaldo wrote: Now lumberjack competitions on the other hand- that is where the real men are. Totally! There’s nothing more manly than a good pole toss to celebrate each others’ strength.

I think the real men are of Scottish or Celtic origin. The Highland games is where it's at! There's nothing better than the demonstartion of raw strength by a kilt wearing man hurling an 18 pound rock through the air as if it were a balloon!

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#111 danjo1
July 28 2009, 04:04PM
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roadrunner wrote:

I think the real men are of Scottish or Celtic origin. The Highland games is where it’s at! There’s nothing better than the demonstartion of raw strength by a kilt wearing man hurling an 18 pound rock through the air as if it were a balloon!

Don't forget the Caber tossing!!

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#112 ronaldo
July 28 2009, 04:05PM
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@ Deans: Ya, what's funny is that watching it as a kid it all seems so innocent, like a perfectly normal scene in the movie. Then, as you get older, you think to yourself, really?!?! what the hell is the point of that?

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#113 Shutout
July 28 2009, 04:06PM
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It's a "catch 22". Have no rights to broadcast Oilers or Eskimos games and be an honest broker of opinion (ie low ratings). Or get the rights and become the 630 Ched ass kissers society (ie become a conformist).

There is no way in hell the Oilers or Eskimos would turn there broadcasts over to honest objective broadcasts. It's a total in house production, very similar in the way politicians spin there message.

Also, I agree with the MMA haters. BORING BORING BORING. All they need is the Village People outfits while there grappling and giving each other purple nurples.

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#114 ronaldo
July 28 2009, 04:12PM
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danjo1 wrote:

Don’t forget the Caber tossing!!

Pretty good sport. Add Caber catching and they have something.

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#115 OvenChicken8
July 28 2009, 04:15PM
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Shutout wrote:

Also, I agree with the MMA haters. BORING BORING BORING. All they need is the Village People outfits while there grappling and giving each other purple nurples.

I may not like the sport but I do respect it. Saying something like that just shows your ignorance.

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#116 Ender
July 28 2009, 04:15PM
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I'm fairly sure the new guy is Dustin Neilson. I went to high school with him. Give him a chance - he knows his hockey. I haven't heard him broadcasting, but I've had him talk my ear off a whole lot of times before now.

Hopefully he can keep his habs-fandom in reign on the air though, or he'll have problems ;)

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#117 Shutout
July 28 2009, 04:24PM
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OvenChicken8 wrote:

Shutout wrote: Also, I agree with the MMA haters. BORING BORING BORING. All they need is the Village People outfits while there grappling and giving each other purple nurples. I may not like the sport but I do respect it. Saying something like that just shows your ignorance.

Sorry for your sensitivity. I was going to make fun of a hockey player's name for an ID instead, but I thought that was ignorant.

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#118 Kung Pow
July 28 2009, 04:24PM
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Ender wrote:

I’m fairly sure the new guy is Dustin Neilson. I went to high school with him. Give him a chance - he knows his hockey. I haven’t heard him broadcasting, but I’ve had him talk my ear off a whole lot of times before now. Hopefully he can keep his habs-fandom in reign on the air though, or he’ll have problems

This Dustin Neilson?

http://prospecthockey.wordpress.com/the-host/

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#119 ronaldo
July 28 2009, 04:25PM
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@ OvenChicken8: As much as I do not like watching the sport, and even less listening to people talk about it, I once watched a show on Sportsnet showing one of the MMA guys training. Silva or something-he was from Brazil. It was nuts. He was doing circuit training with his nose taped shut and breathing through a snorkel. Then to cool down, he'd jump in a rain barrel full of ice water for a couple minutes and start working out again.

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#120 Spot The Loon
July 28 2009, 04:48PM
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@ Colin:

The only difference between this and Brian Hall on CHED would be that instead of telling people to shut the F up, Hall talks about Tony Roma's. His show is a commercial with occasional bits of sports thrown in that he essentially reads out of the paper.

But Wanye and Robin would certainly be much more entertaining. :-)

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#121 Robin Brownlee
July 28 2009, 05:09PM
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ronaldo wrote:

@ Tull: While maybe he doesn’t have the on-air presence to carry a show, he would probably agree, he’s great as a correspondent and I look forward to his segment each week. I would also be careful with those comments of yours, if you haven’t heard he’s running for mayor.

I will try to be better for Tull so that he likes me more. That might be difficult, however, as my mayoralty plans could cut into potential increased air-time.

And a "heinous" host? No. Heinous is Tull busting me for "ums and ahs" on the air while thinking there is such a word as "irregardless."

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#122 Doug
July 28 2009, 05:12PM
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@ Deans

I just wanted to echo your thoughts on MMA, i had a similar post typed out by didn't send it until I saw yours.

We have world class fighters training in our city, we have one of the top 5 MMA promotions maybe even in the world but DEFINITELY in North America operating out of the River Cree and there are minor league shows like TFC which draw well.

There's a HUGE MMA market in this town that is in my opinion underserved by the media as they have been slow to come around in accepting this as a real sport and not a fad.

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#123 Ender
July 28 2009, 05:16PM
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This Dustin Neilson?

That Dustin Neilson. I don't know about this show specifically, but I know he just got hired by Team 1260 for a morning show. He has been between Fort Mac and Lethbridge over the last few years, so I'm assuming that's who Brownlee's talking about.

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#124 Doug
July 28 2009, 05:16PM
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except for Gregor of course who represents for E Town on HDNET

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#125 Ender
July 28 2009, 05:17PM
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Ender wrote:

This Dustin Neilson? That Dustin Neilson. I don’t know about this show specifically, but I know he just got hired by Team 1260 for a morning show. He has been between Fort Mac and Lethbridge over the last few years, so I’m assuming that’s who Brownlee’s talking about.

At least I *thought* he was in Lethbridge for a bit, though I can't find anything to reinforce that.

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#126 Spot The Loon
July 28 2009, 05:35PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

ronaldo wrote: @ Tull: Heinous is Tull busting me for “ums and ahs” on the air while thinking there is such a word as “irregardless.”

Thanks for the "irregardless" remark, Robin. That is one of my biggest pet peeves, when someone says that. :-)

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#127 Robin Brownlee
July 28 2009, 05:46PM
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Spot The Loon wrote:

Robin Brownlee wrote: ronaldo wrote: @ Tull: Heinous is Tull busting me for “ums and ahs” on the air while thinking there is such a word as “irregardless.” Thanks for the “irregardless” remark, Robin. That is one of my biggest pet peeves, when someone says that.

Likewise. While Tull/JJ/Future Chump will piss and snivel -- "Oh, look at that has-been Brownlee picking on grammar because the rest of my post is so solid" -- it's funny when somebody comes on here talking sh*t and can't even get it right. That's asking for a kick in the nuts.

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#128 The Sod Menace
July 28 2009, 05:52PM
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Any word on the fate of the Saturday morning Landscape show?

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#129 David S
July 28 2009, 07:01PM
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I have to say that the Gregor/Brownlee show on Thursday is some pretty entertaining radio. If anything, I wouldn't mind hearing this duo a few more times a week. It works for me BECAUSE Brownlee isn't a radio jock, and the interactions between the two are downright hilarious sometimes. Not to mention that Brownlee actually knows what he's talking about, which is rare these days. Good stuff all around.

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#130 Buckwheat
July 28 2009, 07:03PM
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The Sod Menace wrote:

Any word on the fate of the Saturday morning Landscape show?

The way things are going it'll be replaced with the Scrapbooking Hour or the Wonderful World of Stamp Collecting.

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#131 Sandra
July 28 2009, 07:14PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

Would you do a radio show? I said it before and I will say it again, your as good if not better than Stauffer!!!! You demand listners

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#132 Jason
July 28 2009, 07:16PM
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I didn't mind Bryn he was ok. I thought the morning show today was the best in a long time. They actually talked about sports and not nonsense. I for one like change and I like AJ.

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#133 Robin Brownlee
July 28 2009, 07:22PM
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David S wrote:

I have to say that the Gregor/Brownlee show on Thursday is some pretty entertaining radio. If anything, I wouldn’t mind hearing this duo a few more times a week. It works for me BECAUSE Brownlee isn’t a radio jock, and the interactions between the two are downright hilarious sometimes. Not to mention that Brownlee actually knows what he’s talking about, which is rare these days. Good stuff all around.

Sandra wrote:

@ Robin Brownlee: Would you do a radio show? I said it before and I will say it again, your as good if not better than Stauffer!!!! You demand listners

Once elected mayor, I will personally see to it that no Great Dane ever defecates on your lawns. Seriously, though, thanks. I'm not as good or better than Stauffer, but I'd love to do more radio. I've been practising my RADIO GUY voice in the basement. The best RADIO GUY voice is that bald guy doing The Brick TV commericals right now.

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#134 Jason
July 28 2009, 07:37PM
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I agree the best sports show is with you Robin and Gregor.

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#135 Chaz
July 28 2009, 07:52PM
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@ Robin Brownlee: Robin Brownlee wrote:

The best RADIO GUY voice is that bald guy doing The Brick TV commericals right now.

You mean Michael Bell? He's back Baby! Same guy who pitched for them 30 years ago. He annoys you into buying furniture.

Also, is it just me, or did I hear the theme music of the Blue Oyster as I read through those "MMA / Homoerotic" messages above?

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#136 Joey Moss
July 28 2009, 08:14PM
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The morning show was always kind of lame and I'm not surprised its been blown up. As I've said before (and emailed Bryn about when it happened) that the station was going to take a big hit without Bob Stauffer. Sure enough that became true when Gregor failed to provide the same blend of rhetorical grace and rage that the fans could empathize with and demanded of the media. Things only got worse when the dollars and sense choice to go with Fox instead of ESPN was made.

It seems to me that to be a good sports radio station in the city you either need to be a rights holder so people are forced to listen or be a better option than whats down the dial. As much as the crew at CHED comes off as brown-nosers their product is exceptionally well made and professional. 1260 has failed to be a better option than CHED because their parent company is cheap.

The folks that own 1260 have been cheap and they are paying for it now. This frugality has lead to several failures which have conspired to ruin the Team 1260:

- failure to maintain marquee talent - failure to produce sufficient local programming at key time slots - failure to produce professional sounding ads - failure to hire quality behind production staff (Will is great though) - failure to maintain rights to ESPN (the continental standard) - failure to acquire rights to either the Oilers or the Esks - failure to upgrade signal which is remarkably weak for AM

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#137 Spot The Loon
July 28 2009, 08:18PM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

Spot The Loon wrote: Robin Brownlee wrote: ronaldo wrote: @ Tull: Heinous is Tull busting me for “ums and ahs” on the air while thinking there is such a word as “irregardless.” Thanks for the “irregardless” remark, Robin. That is one of my biggest pet peeves, when someone says that. Likewise. While Tull/JJ/Future Chump will piss and snivel — “Oh, look at that has-been Brownlee picking on grammar because the rest of my post is so solid” — it’s funny when somebody comes on here talking sh*t and can’t even get it right. That’s asking for a kick in the nuts.

Maybe we should just disregard them, "irregardless" of what they say. lol Or, if you would prefer, a kick in the nuts is always good as well. Kick away, your Worship. I believe that is the appropriate title for the Mayor of anti defecating dog town. Our Mayor doesn't take any sh*t. lol

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#138 Librarian Mike
July 28 2009, 08:19PM
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Chaz wrote:

Also, is it just me, or did I hear the theme music of the Blue Oyster as I read through those “MMA / Homoerotic” messages above?

Nice one, Chaz, with the Police Academy reference. I can't wait for the attack ad commercials (Dan Tencer says "Dany Heatley will play for the Oilers E4. E4? LIES. What else isn't he telling us?)

I'll tell you what Robin; if you can make Robert Noce cry on live TV, not only will I vote for you but I'll make sure everyone in my family does as well.

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#139 ronaldo
July 28 2009, 08:38PM
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@ Robin Irregardless of the weigh Tull's bad grammar effects this thread; me think he our do to come up with an more better post next time. (Channel the rage drawn from the grammar in that sentence and use it for good, not evil.)

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#140 DanMan
July 28 2009, 09:09PM
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Joey Moss wrote:

The folks that own 1260 have been cheap and they are paying for it now. This frugality has lead to several failures which have conspired to ruin the Team 1260: - failure to maintain marquee talent - failure to produce sufficient local programming at key time slots - failure to produce professional sounding ads - failure to hire quality behind production staff (Will is great though) - failure to maintain rights to ESPN (the continental standard) - failure to acquire rights to either the Oilers or the Esks - failure to upgrade signal which is remarkably weak for AM

You are bang on, Joey.

Still love the idea of an all-sports station. There HAS to be one. Unfortunately the powers that be just can't seem to get much right these days.

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#141 DanMan
July 28 2009, 09:12PM
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MMA is great.

The idiot, meathead fans that come with it is about 15% more than unfortunate

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#142 White Ninja
July 28 2009, 09:16PM
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The signal quality always bugged me. I hate when I drive under the trolly lines or any high voltage power lines that the static is out o control. Sucks. It usually happens when Gregor has a guest on that I really want to hear.

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#143 White Ninja
July 28 2009, 09:21PM
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DanMan wrote:

MMA is great. The idiot, meathead fans that come with it is about 15% more than unfortunate

That is true. I can think of no other sport that people seem to think they are experts at without ever really having a clue about it. Everybody seems to have an opinion, informed or not. Kind of like me and hockey, except I like to think of myself as an idiot savant of hockey. Maybe just an idiot...

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#144 Ross
July 28 2009, 09:58PM
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@ Robin Brownlee:

What are the changes Team1260 gets the Oilers and or Esks rights within the next 3-4 yrs? I think thats what they need at this point to increase ratings/revenue

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#145 thashiznit
July 28 2009, 10:03PM
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not sure if someone talked about this yet, but some have said the downfall of Bryn and Jake were the fact that (in more Jakes case) they were too much fans of sports and not guys who spent much time analyzing it. Another thing was the hatred for all things Calgary. I thought they had a unique approach and that it worked well in a morning show, and Gregors show for the drive home was more appropriate for the time of day. Waking up and listening to Bryn and Jake was refreshing. No matter who ends up hosting the show, I hope guys like FFFFFFRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEDDDDDDD keep calling in nd I hope he keeps ending his call with CCCCCAAAAALLLLLLLLGGGGGGAAAAAAARRRRRRRYYYY SSSSSSSUUUUCCCKKKKKKSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Good luck to both of those guys in the future.

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#146 Robin Brownlee
July 28 2009, 10:09PM
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Ross wrote:

@ Robin Brownlee: What are the changes Team1260 gets the Oilers and or Esks rights within the next 3-4 yrs? I think thats what they need at this point to increase ratings/revenue

Good question, but I don't have an answer. If Daryl Katz, for whatever reason, decides he wants the Oilers on TEAM 1260, that's where they'll be. As unlikely as it seems, these things do happen -- Vancouver changed from CKNW after 36 or 37 years there.

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#147 Robin Brownlee
July 28 2009, 10:11PM
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thashiznit wrote:

I hope guys like FFFFFFRRRRRRRREEEEEEEEDDDDDDD keep calling in nd I hope he keeps ending his call with CCCCCAAAAALLLLLLLLGGGGGGAAAAAAARRRRRRRYYYY SSSSSSSUUUUCCCKKKKKKSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'd get that gone in a hurry. Isn't there a more clever way to poke fun at The City of Cows?

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#148 OilersSuck
July 28 2009, 10:39PM
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The reason I found 1260 was that my work truck had no cd player and I was so sick of hearing Theory of a Dead Nicklecrap Defaulted on the Bear, that I resorted to AM, that was back in 2003 I believe. I really really miss the Dan Patrick Show with Rob Dibble, and don't understand how people love 3 hours of Rome, I'm ok at 2 hours. Bryn came off as the voice of reason to Jake in the mornings, and to me Jake, while not too knowledgeable, brought a lot a variety. Be it MMA, which judging by pay per view numbers is very popular, or general sports events, Jake was seemingly able to bring up lots of different topics. With Jake gone it seemed to me Bryn tried to goat the miserable AJJ into stuff, but AJ never bit. The last 2 months have been soooo bad to me I've gone back to my skipping cd's. Bryn never came off as a very knowledgeable sports fan, only as a Jets/Oilers guy. If he was a sports fan, the "dregs" of summer wouldn't have been the "dregs", as there is still plenty going on in SPORTS, beyond HEATLEY. While I appreciate what Bryn did for the TEAM his time on air had come about the day after Jake was let go. For me it went way downhill when Jake said "Scotty Bowman" for the 300th time.

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#149 OilersSuck
July 28 2009, 10:42PM
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And Brownlee, you have a voice for Journalism. hahahah

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#150 Doug
July 28 2009, 10:53PM
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@ OilersSuck:

No, [Your Favorite Teams] Sucks!

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