TSN had a rough night

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.

Sideline Reporting

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.

Game Production

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.

Good post Crash.

I may come across as sour grapes too but I also think I have a point.

It just seems like the media has a thing against the blue collar Ticats.

It seemed right from the get go of the game. They were hyping up the Blue Bombers.

Showing footage of Harris hyping up the Bombers in the dressing room.
I didn’t see any coverage of the Cats ??

Comments like, “Harris is on a mission?

It just seemed like Cuthbert and especially Suitor were hyping up Winnipeg and Hamilton gets treated like the red headed step child.

I guess I’m just tired of the seemingly bias towards other teams. Hamilton kicked butt this year but all you hear is Winnipeg this and Winnipeg that FFS!!

I love the angle of the Harris story. His was of redemption, lol but Simoni is the bad guy!!

Listening to Suitor fawn all over Urban in the 3rd quarter, like the game is over for the Ticats, what a joke!!

I do feel bad for the reception the Ticats get, it sucks.

I hope TSN can improve their broadcasting for next year.

Good recap Crash, that I fully agree with. What’s happened with the sideline reporters giving us injury updates? They use to do it all the time. Have they been told by the league or teams to not ask about in-game injuries? I was waiting for an injury update on Julian Howsare from the moment he was injured. Still don’t know what happened to him but I did see him in the bench area jumping around trying to warm up later in the game.

Im not a fan of “against Hamilton” I don’t think that’s the case.

The facts are:

  • Winnipeg was the underdog, so that story plays. No issue there.
  • Theres no fun to a 15-3 team dominating the game
  • Their drought was longer

And the Harris story

  • Its not redemption, he cheated.
  • he didn’t have doubters, he cheated.
  • They only played it this way because hes a good old Canadian kid. If it was an American from the south he would be treated like Simoni was.

I may be a bit dramatic in my prior post and I am still upset but I do believe that TSN broadcasting can be improved

All great points. We were left in the dark over Howsare too.

Cuthbert and Suitor fawning over the singer in the booth and letting him talk over the play reached a new high for exasperation for me…

Funny, Used to think nothing could get me more mad than when panel put watermelons on at 2013 GC.

Nailed it.

I’ve never heard anything about some named Crash who held the ball for a game-winning Grey Cup field goal! How dare you defame Gary Sutter!

Oooh … you almost went there.

The whole Urban segment has to go down as one of the more bizarre sports broadcasting decisions in recent history.

TSN has been doing interviews over the game for most of the third quarter all season. That isn’t why we watch the game!!
The Grey Cup game, the biggest game of the year, and description of the play is completely ignored to explain the Canadian game to a singer who has no understanding of it? Give him a rulebook to read on his way home for cripes sake!
Also, I’ve wondered from time to time if TSN has to pay for the blue and yellow lines. Or are they limited to how many they can show in a game?

I have no particular interest in Keith Urban, but I though he handled the situation amazingly well. Did a great job of playing off the dead air after they put him on the spot to do play-by-play. His charming and upbeat non-sequiturs to keep the conversation moving were a testament to what a pro he is, while I’m sure on the inside he was thinking “these guys are less professional than the morning radio shows I promo on.” I was imagining his manager standing off-camera holding up a card to Suitor reading “Dude!? What the fuck!?”

Have to agree. The broadcast team sounded little kids the way they were explaining the game to the big famous music star. Awkward and god-awful. And that was before they decided we needed a split screen with Keith’s face!

Here’s a hint for next time. Act like you’ve been there before, instead of making it seem like we’re too all-time to have a global star come to town.

Who is he anyhow … just Mr. Nicole Kidman.

I thought the request for Urban to do a “play-by-play? for a sport he stated he had never seen before, followed by the decision to go “split screen? showing Urban being interviewed during play had to be the stupidest, most inane, and backwater decisions ever made by a national broadcaster in the history of Canadian television.

If not the stupidest thing I have ever seen done during a sports broadcast, oh, wait, it was the stupidest thing. A new record for low bar has been set.

Very surprised that TSN opted for the “Canadian Hero” angle from Harris. Really thought they were better than that. Their own panel (Burris included) was very critical of him at the time, I believe Dunigan was too. Seemed last night everyone had orders for the better of the league to let it go.

If TSN actually cared what people think id write them. But when you have a monopoly with zero threat of competition you can do what you want and move on to more important things like hockey.

Couldn’t agree more. The Grey Cup turned into play time.

Agreed. Suitor fawning over some “celebrity” while the Grey Cup game was being played was just so juvenile. Really annoying.

Yep, Suitor almost fell to his knees it seems. However, I did like Urban’s commentary “it is fast isn’t it”. You bet, unlike the southern variety.

I would be for Sports Net taking over the CFL. TSN should have folded long ago.

As much as the Keith Urban thing bothers me, the Andrew Harris thing bothers me more. They essentially ignored the biggest story of the CFL season and turned it into a story of perseverance, proving people wrong and some sort of turnaround. If you really think about it they basically condoned cheating and using PEDs because as long as you end up here - none of that matters.

Cuthbert lost a ton of respect from me - Suitor didn’t have much left.

On the Addison TD, Suitor suddenly became an investigative journalist, chasing down that “story” for the next several minutes.

And despite all that scrutiny, I didn’t notice anyone mentioning that Addison tripped over the cable slung waist-high on the sidelines. Would have been one of the stories of the game if he had been injured on the play.