Thursday, September 10, 2009

McCown and MacLean go toe to toe late in the show

"You’re a long way from the judge and jury"--Former GM and current radio host Doug MacLean giving as good as he gets from The Fan 590's Bob McCown, during a heated radio exchange on Thursday.

If it had been a hockey game one imagines it would be a lot like at the end of the game, when the messages are sent. Two of the heavyweights take to the ice and settle a few scores, though in this case the ice was the airwaves of The Fan590 and the television channels of Rogers Sportsnet.

Prime Time Sports Host Bob McCown, had spent a good portion of the show outlining his shock and very real confusion over the apparent change of philosophy of Doug MacLean, the former NHL GM and current radio host on The Fan 590, who had earlier in the day been outed as an advisor to the Jim Balsillie camp in Phoenix.

That's the same Balsillie as McCown spent a good portion of the day explaining, was the subject of much discussion byMacLean, who on previous editions of Prime Times Sports, suggested was on the wrong side of the Coyotes/NHL/ Hamilton debate.

It's an interesting and surprising development and considering the all consuming nature of the Balsillie/Bettman feud/debate of late on the program, one which clearly hit home for McCown, who has regularly featured interviews with a number of members of the Balsillie camp over the months leading up to Friday's bankruptcy court hearing. Most famously he has had a number of very loud arguments with MacLean regarding the Balisillie bid, most times finding himself (and co host Brunt) exasperated with the direction of the debate.

It was that apparent change of direction that raised the ire of McCown, who had MacLean on for the last half hour of the program on Thursday, an event that quickly deteriorated into a less than friendly exchange, with clear acerbic tones highlighting the course of discussion between the two men.

Co-Host Stephen Brunt waded into tentatively at times, attempting to add some calm to what was quickly turning into a very nasty spat between the two broadcasters, in the end, Brunt ceded the airwaves to the back and forth of McCown and MacLean, a discussion that was ended prematurely by McCown who surely must have left MacLean with the impression that there won't be any further invitations to appear on the show.

The lively, if vitriolic debate made for some interesting if uncomfortable radio and it makes one wonder how the two will interact once MacLean returns to the Fan Studios next week to resume his duties at the radio station.

Then again, if the Balsillie camp wins the day, he probably will have other things on his mind and may never cross paths with McCown again, something that probably will sit fine with the outspoken host of Prime Time Sports.

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe's Usual Suspects outlines the tale of the tape from Thursday's scrap.

While the National Post and Toronto Sports Media portals offer up their account of events.
You can take it all in yourself by giving a listen to the Fan's audio on demand of the show, click here.

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