Mark Lee - ex CFL on CBC Broadcaster

After watching many track 'n field events from Rio I have to say CBC's MVP has been Mark Lee. Yes, the same Mark Lee who was basically homeless until a CBC production team decided they had virtually no qualified announcers for the Olympics. Steve Armitage was stricken with heart problems, George Strombo had just been released from HNIC and Mikey Beauregard was working at a local Winnipeg mission.

So they brought Old Mark back (guy must be 64 or 65) and put him in the top saddle = calling most of the track and field events. Remember this is what Don Wittman made into his own personal watermark.

Lee is prepared and involved. He knows how to use his two colormen and his demeanour is solid. Little to no fake enthusiasm, just solid information and facts. At times good observations which was never his forte.

So why do I say this.

We owe Mark Lee a second chance. He should be given the #2 PBP job on TSN-CFL. Let him work with his old buddy Walby or Matt Dunigan, or even Milt Stegall. I guarantee any of those combinations would be 5 to 10x superior to anything with Rod Black attached.

Rod Smith should also be given a team. Let him do approx. 10 games a season = you always need quality broadcasters. Smith is quality.

After seeing (and hearing) what Rod Black has soiled the broadcast booth with the last 10+ years ITS TIME. ITS TIME MICHAEL BUFFER. ITS TIME.

Black and his $129.99 Moore's suits could still be used as a utility man, hosting events like figure skating, curling and jays baseball. Just don't let his slow mind grace these broadcasts as lead play by play man.

I agree. Mark Lee's call of the races has been exciting and excellent! GREAT call of the mens' 100 metre final tonight.

And I still remember his exciting call of Paul Osbaldiston's 54 yard field goal on the last play of the game in the 1998 Eastern final to beat Montreal and Ivor Wynne went INSANE! Here is the last few minutes of that game with his call on CBC with Glen Suitor of that thrilling finish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLXRc94IEjU

Mark at 60 to 65 (there are conflicting facts on his age) has the solid demeanour and humility to handle CFL football. Black DOES NOT.

His calls during these Olympics were spot on and darn exciting. Memories of Wittman.

If TSN and the CFL can’t see that they’re truly being held hostage by a bizarre play by play man named Rod Black. Even Dunigan and Stegall admit off the air the guy is pure puke. But they don’t have any power with TSN’s tall foreheads.

Mark, Wittman, Walby, Lancaster, Little Flutie and CBC gave our league a big game feel. They had cameras installed at nearby buildings to give wide-spanning panoramas of our league stadiums. That’s called BIG GAME FEEL. TSN cheaps out on additional camera positions - more like Arena football feel.

Personally, I loved that big game feel. TSN is small game - they don’t even like showing empty stands (which is understandable)

Oh please!!!
Mark Lee was terrible at CFL football. He said as many jackassed things as Roders.
If I have to ever hear them refered to as "The TigerCats of Hamilton",ever again I will barf.
Mark Lee only had a job because he was married to Nancy Lee,who was CBC Sports head honcho before Orridge took over.
I get your point that there needs to be new blood at TSN. However, rehashing a hasbeen like Lee makes no sense.
Bring in new blood from the league if you have too. Give John Cornush a shot. Heck, get Cabby more involved.
Anyone other than hasbeens like Walby and Lee

Nancy Lee was also a disaster.

Sorry, I've been around. Nobody says as many inane things as Jackass Black - NOBODY!
Sure, Mark was not Don Wittman or Don Chevrier - few are - but there's no doubt he gave the broadcasts more of a big-game feel than Black. Part of it is direction and camera position but a lot of it is announcing.
I got hooked on football during the early great days of NFL announcing - guys like Ray Scott doing the Bears game from that immortal field in Chicago. Then Verne Lunquist, Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell, etc.
Announcing has tons to due with our enjoyment of televised sports event - else we'd need no sound, just pictures.
I like your suggestion of Cornish - he'd have to be modified up a bit. Don't want Cabby anywhere near my CFL - unless you want him getting in players, coaches and managers personal space - Cabby tends to thrive about 2 1/2 inches under his interviewee's armpits!!! lol
fwiw - I agree Nanny Lee was a disaster as head of CBC Sports.

Other names to consider for TSN broadcasts - Doug Brown, Henry Burris, Jess Lumsden, Milt Stegall, Dunigan.

Reduce Black to emergency role player status. Take that poor summbich Forde off the air completely and reduce Glen Suitor to very part-time status.

I used to like Tim Micallef's CIS work, if we're talking about new blood. Give him a game a week if for no other reason than to make a change.

Micallef and Derek Taylor should be given try-outs. At the very least!

This might be a good time to go after Elliotte Friedman, too. :wink:

It's great to see fellow Canadians getting excited about Canadian broadcasting. Something you don't see enough of IMO.

Friedman would add gobs of stuff to CFL broadcasts - but he's probably not play by play or color material. More like a professional panelist/insider - - - - roles he does extremely well on Sporstnet/HNIC
I think he's really happy at SN (other than his massive Olympic blip)

I thought Lee did a decent job, and maybe its just me, but his tone is alot like Wittmans.

I would enjoy listening to him do the CFL again.

First of all, Rod Smith is the host, he will not do any PBP.

Second, Mark Lee was one of my favourite PBP guys for the CFL. :thup:

He was doing it because he was good, not because who he was married to.
I like how Bungle reports items like he was in the meeting. :roll:

I am saying this because I remember him from his CFL days.
I have not heard him on Olympic coverage because I have not watched any. Just do not care.

Third, he is under contract to Rogers Sports Net. He does not work for CBC. RSN shares broadcasters.

Not sure what his contract is like, but it would be nice to see Mark back doing CFL.

In other words, I agree but it will not happen any time soon.
BTW, Black is not going anywhere until he decides.

Likewise, and I agree about the tone.

Again, even just for a change, it would be nice. I like Cuthbert as much as anyone, but...

Yeah, good point. He kind of falls between the two roles.

...After all is said and done there's no doubt in anyone's mind that we need some new blood in the tsn broadcasting stable...Something along the lines of Chris Cuthbert..BUT guys like him are few and far between....I have always thought Rod Black was the weakling of CFL telecasters...I hope tsn tries something new as the Rod Black droning is becoming somewhat tiresome... I hope TSN gets the interviews started...

In a time not so long ago - the weakest link in CFL broadcasters were John Wells and Leif Pettersen.

I knew John and his pop Cactus Jack. Jack Wells was a broadcast legend in radio, TV, even print.

His son John put in a few years on TSN, doing football amongst other things. The knock on John was that he was far too loosey goosey. Part of that may have been an addiction to the bottle and showing up soused or semi-soused on occasion.

Pettersen was even worse than G Suitor, if that's possible.

That said, I'd take John Wells over Rod Black 8 days a week and twice on Sunday. His tone was professional and his only errors were slurring words to avoid passing out in the booth. Not great, but it sounded like a football game, not some guy yapping his head off in a coffee shop.

To me, they might as well be the same guy.

.....Cactus Jack had to be my favourite guy back in the day.. He used to get a little tipsy sometimes and in some of the old broadcasts when the Bombers were at home ..say against the Esks., by the third quarter Jack had the Bombers playing Cal....What a great personality and your right his son John was a lot better than Black...Jack Wells ranked right up there with some great sports figures back in the day in river city...Jack Matheson, Don Wittman to name a couple.....

...Here's one for you Lyle...My dad worked for the fed. govt. after the war and used to tip a few with Wells at a pub downtown, around the corner from CJOB...Jack was affectionately known as...'honey bear' according to my father, at least at the pub...I remember him saying a few times, when he heard Jack doing a Bomber game' that bug$er stil owes me 10 bucks..I don't think he ever collected it.... :lol:

About 40+ years ago I was a puke kid covering Winnipeg area curling championships (worlds biggest bonspiel)...... Cactus Jack and Matheson were the veterans and we all shared a big media room (double sized room) at the Old International Inn.
Here I am reading my scores on a long piece of teletype and Matty & Cactus plot out a "welcome hazing" to the new puke kid. . . . . . as I'm live on-air Matty takes a match to my copy and its on fire - now I'm a new kid (ok, a puke) and I don't want to lose my job - so I keep reading the scores - a lot faster and frantic as the fire gets closer and closer to my hand . . . . eventually I realize I'm not gonna finish so I wrap it up with a "gonna have more scores on our next report" and toss the paper (which is still on fire) on the nearby sofa where Matty and Cactus are laughing their guts out. It catches fire, Matty actually had his pants catch fire and the entire room gets smoked up before they stomp things out.

I got chastised for tossing the fire onto the sofa but in the end that was my hazing into sportscasting. I got to know both Matheson and Wells very well down the years - but I'll never forget that particular sportscast.