Disclaimer - this is going to come off as sour grapes. I can assure you that’s not the case. I would be saying the exact same things if this was a Sask/Montreal GC.
Im a fan of sports and watch literally everything from curling to F1 racing. Having said that, some things need to be said about last night’s Grey Cup Presentation.
When games like this go on the air and attract a huge viewership from outside of the diehard fan, naturally the X’s and O’s goes away a bit. TSN knows that we have a large number who may be watching their first CFL game this year so expecting a full breakdown of traps and pulls is unrealistic, however…
Cuthbert and Suitor
Cuthbert and Suitor have an obligation to their profession to tell the entire story. On the Ticats’ first drive on D after the INT before you could even sip your drink Suitor goes into Simoni Lawrence and specifically says “was suspended 2 games for a headshot on Zach Collaros”. Well done Suitor, you got the casual viewer thinking “Wow maybe I should look that up”. Onto later in the quarter, Simoni makes a tackle and once again Suitor mentioned the hit earlier in the season.
In the second quarter its clear Andrew Harris is going to be a story, hes running right through our D with little resistance. Suitor “You know he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder” - Im thinking, that’s it? Fine. As the game goes on its all about Harris, how he felt disrespected. How he wants vindication, and at one point “He’s had a challenging year”. They’re literally turning this into a feel-good story?
At no point did I hear Suitor or Cuthbert use the words “Suspension, or PED’s” - now I understand it was said in the pregame and perhaps post game - but I didn’t watch. Not the point. Cuthbert and Suits have an obligation to bring that up, they didn’t. Nantz, Michaels, Buck, would have all brought that up. 100%. It came across cheap and like they were sweeping it under the rug.
I understand Duthie asked him about it in the post game - I didn’t hear it. But good for him. I saw people on Twitter asking why Duthie would do that - BECAUSE HE TOOK STEROIDS. Why are we making him out to be some hero of perseverance?
Which takes me back to Suitor. If you’re a football fan (an actual fan of football) he drives you nuts. He played safety in the CFL and still doesn’t know the rules. On the Addison TD he is all wound up about how Acklin is throwing a block before the ball is caught. First off - the ball is in the air and close to being caught so its not an egregious miss either way - but my dad looks at me and says “wasn’t he behind the line of scrimmage anyways?”. I’ll give him credit for coming back and setting it straight but he was clearly told the rule in his ear afterwards before given the replay - he has to know that rule and set it straight immediately. Its his job. Cuthbert doesn’t get off the hook either - he should know the rules too but we rely more on Suitor for this.
Earlier in the game “Hamilton is upset about a pick play” on a long gain that led to a TD. No replay, nothing. For the number of cameras on that field last night - where was it?
On the Strevler objectionable conduct penalty “he really didn’t like what Dylan Wynn had to say to him” - HUH? Strevs ran over Wynn, got up and was hovering over him, and fake punched him as if to say “I own you” - we had zero indication that Wynn said anything to him. Suits - you’re literally making stuff up at this point.
Where the hell was the update on Brandon Banks? From the second he went down it was obvious he was in pain. I don’t know the exact moment but it took them almost a full quarter (Early 4th) to tell us he was out. I literally went on twitter to see a Riders fan post a grainy pic of him walking to the locker room to get an update. That’s the MOP of the league. If that’s a QB they have an update in 8 seconds. If that’s Chad Owens in the 100th GC we have a camera walking with him to the locker room. Huge miss by TSN.
Well produced by the league and by TSN - had the look of a Super Bowl Half time and was pleasantly surprised by the production value of it. They hit a home run here.
Only to follow it up with a strike out - Nobody wants to hear Keith Urban in the booth for half a quarter while two teams with a 49 year Grey Cup drought are on the field. This isn’t Thursday Night Football in August. This is the GREY CUP. That was painful. Suitor was literally falling over himself while interviewing him. No co-incidence this was part of the time we got nothing on the Banks injury.
Looked incredible in 4k. However no line of scrimmage or 1st down line. I don’t know if this is a limitation to the 4K feed - maybe someone can tell me if they recall seeing that on the HD feed. We get some games in 4K and we need more. Its awesome. Skycam was not used enough. The NFL is using it even more, TSN seems to be getting away from it.
Im hard on TSN because I love the CFL. When I have casual fans over to watch the Grey Cup and I know they are NFL fans they literally laugh at some of the things above. They need to make subtle changes. I get that their TV contract is the life blood of the league, but they control 100% of the message and more importantly the perception of the CFL. Things like the above make it look cheap. I had a friend say to me “Isnt Harris the steroid guy?” - You cant hide from it. We have some great young broadcasters out there that need a shot in this country. Continuing to trot out Cuthbert and Suitor for every game is starting to get stale. I love Cuthbert - hes an institution but that doesn’t mean changes cant be made.
Imagine - I just said this much about TSN - and didn’t even write one word about Rod Black.