Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Canadian Sports Broadcasting Power Rankings

#221 Rance Mulliniks
If I turn on the Jays game and Rance is the analyst you better believe my TV is on mute while my iTunes takes over, at least for the first six innings. Because nine innings listening to Mulliniks attempt to predict the next pitch, or gush about the last pitch is too much for me to handle. He just talks and talks and talks, continuing stories from previous innings, through pitching changes, and probably through a blackout if Toronto ever got hit with another one.

#146 Michael Landsberg
Even with the improvements made to Off The Record (Up Front and Next Question), I'm not likely to tune in unless the guest is someone big. Really big, like Kanye big. I have to give Landsberg credit for being unafraid to ask the tough questions though. He'll challenge his guests and pushes the envelope considerably further than almost everyone else in the business, but it doesn't make up for how obnoxious he is. When Tony Kornheiser interrupts someone I enjoy it, Landsberg...not so much.

#53 Leo Rautins
Leo has a great voice, he sounds like a broadcaster, he's got that smooth flowing tone and he almost never trips over his own words. With the departure of Chuck Swirsky, his partner for Raptor broadcasts, it'll be interesting to see how Rautins reacts. Part of my problem with him has been his lack of intensity, I thought he and Chuck were too quick to ham it up during broadcasts but that may have been more Chuck's schtick with Leo just following suit. His analysis isn't always that strong either, there's a lot of: "Raptors need to come out and hit their shots", or "No defence Chuck, Sam's gonna have to call timeout. Good timeout by Sam".

#24 Jay Onrait
My choice as the funniest person on the list. I wouldn't say he knows the NHL inside out or even has a clue which cities have teams in the NBA, but the man can joke. He'll take chances when going for a laugh and realize right away when it it didn't work, and he'll clean it up with a quick facial segue or self-deprecating comment. Sportscenter should give him a nightly gig modeled after Saturday Night Live's 'Weekend Update' segment, Onrait could show whatever highlights he wanted from the day and just pour one-liners on top. If Gerry Dee can get his own spot, surely Onrait deserves a chance.

#9 Jennifer Hedger
Always seems like she's having a good time, like she actually cares about the results she's reading. I think Hedger understands how many of us out there care way too much about the scores and stories she reports and works hard to not let us down. Do you think Hedger plays fantasy sports? Would she play in a men's league? Maybe she's started her own leagues for women and is the commissioner for all of them? Someone should look into this.

#6 Cabral "Cabbie" Richards
I've been a fan of Cabbie's for years now. He lights up the screen and has an unbelievable ability to put athletes at ease while he interviews them. His antics are always entertaining, but now I'm at the point where I'd like to see something fresh from him and his man D. No more laying your chin on a guy's shoulder or flicking all your fingers in someone's face while questioning them. C'mon Cabbie, we know you can do so much more.

#4 Bob McKenzie
When Bobby Mac talks hockey, I listen. His word is the gospel.

#3 Don Cherry
At the ripe old age of 74 Cherry comes across a lot more ignorantly than he used to, but 'Coach's Corner' is still must-see TV. The Don is hard to understand at times because he rambles and is somewhat incoherent, but he still has his finger on the pulse of hockey. He can spot the talented player or the talented team from a mile away and is often the first to do so.

#2 Sid Seixero & Tim Micallef
The boys from the 'Score Tonight' have taken a huge step forward the last few years and now rank as my favorite tandem when it comes to delivering the evenings highlights. They laugh at and with each other and usually offer the most in-depth game highlights of any of the Canadian broadcasters.

#1 Darren Dutchyshen
The industry standard in Canada, Dutchy has been a staple for more than a decade on Sportscenter and combines humour with straightforward highlight delivery like no one else in the business. Classic Dutchyshen: A couple of years ago when Keith Tkachuck showed up to training camp with 20+ extra pounds and then took a shot off his mitt during an exhibition game, Dutchy remarks "Oh oh, I hope that wasn't his eatin' hand".


  1. Dutchy #1??? Really??? I agree he is good but his pasty goatee-less "Paul Bearer"esque face makes him tough to watch for me.......made for Radio in my opinion unless TSN springs for a better make-up professional. Agree about the rest of the list though (The hedgehedge wouldn't be in my top 15 however).

  2. That said, you did manage to post a pic of him that makes him look okay.....not how he looks usually though....

  3. Can't remeber this guys name but he does in the highlights for sportsnet west. Watched him for years in Vancouver. funny shit,

    Don something. Top ten for sure in my opinon.