Made official last few days that Derek (DT) Taylor has captured the coveted radio play-by-play job that Bob Irving of Regina held for nearly 50 years!
Taylor was coy with Saskatchewan media last few days after resigning his life-long dream job (his words) as Rider #1 play-by-play man.
Other than the necessary subterfuge, my thoughts on Irving, Taylor and CFL broadcasting.
Over time the CFL has been graced by a handful of broadcasting greats. TSN just came into the game in the 1980s so here's my list of CFL greats:
- Don Wittman, CBC - the gold standard of CFL broadcasters as his casts were replete with repressed excitement.
- Don Chevrier - CTV, one of the great voices in Sports TV even if he looked like Mitch McConnell.
- Johnny Esaw, CTV - really good CFL broadcaster even with his eastern bias.
The above are the Top 3, cream of the crop. Close but not quite -
- Chris Cuthbert - until a recent obvious decline, a great hockey & football voice even if he sounded like a graduate of the Vienna Boys Choir with his notable high-pitched voice.
- Bob Irving/Bob Picken - 2 Winnipeg guys. Most of you know Irving as the Voice of the Bombers for nearly 50 years but before Irving there was Picken. Hard to argue who had the best voice but I give a slight not to Picken as he gave me my first job in sports broadcasting over 50 years ago. Irving is a classic radio guy who depends more on his serious game preparation than his actual broadcasts. His broadcasts are fair & tempered - but lacking real emotion or key play overdosing.
There was a guy out of Vancouver, not Jim Robson who had a million dollar voice and a ten-cent mind. Just can't pull up his name right now.
Geoff Currier was good as a team broadcaster in Regina, Ottawa & Winnipeg.
Derek Taylor was known for his incredible detailed analysis of CFL statistics. From my memories his broadcasts of U of M Bison games was above average but nothing special. He's a work ethic guy who the Bombers & CJOB hope will give them many years of service as Taylor is not yet 48 yrs old. Irving started with CJOB in 1974, age 25.
Lots of folks in Winnipeg pissed off with CJOB going with the Rider's #1 broadcaster. Darin Bauming used to be with TSN Radio in Winnipeg before it closed a couple years back. He may have thought he had a direct path to the Bomber's plum job. As well, longtime sports joker Jim Toth, may have thought he was going to be the chosen one. Only one thing holds Toth back. He's incredibly lazy and does little in the way of show or game prep. It shows on his current open line show on CJOB.
Another guy at CJOB who would be mildly disappointed is a youngers (27/28) named Christian Aumell. Aumell does the evening sports show on CJOB and he's pretty good for his age. Kelly Moore, the veteran hockey voice who took over as CJOB's sports director when Irving retired was thought to be the favorite for the Winnipeg job - until Taylor pulled a big switcheroo last month and resigned his job with the Regina Radio station he did the games for. (CKCK?)
I had personally thought that Doug Brown, the former all-star DT for the Bombers and current bomber color man would be elevated to play by play. Certainly, in a perfect world Brown will caddy for Derek Taylor. The job is his. I think its a condition of Taylor's hiring.
Another reason Taylor jumped ship in Sask'n was his wife Fiona Odlum is a noted broadcasting personality on CBC & other outlets - and she's from Winnipeg. She should be able to carve out a spot at CBC Winnipeg. Odlum is noted for lots of personality packed with little to no content.
Good luck to Mr. Taylor on his new job. If he needs any help on the history & philosophy of radio play by play he's free to contact me thru CFL.ca. Lots of jerks & explosive firecrackers in the Bombers social media entourage to be warned of.