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McGill Mascot, Scotiabank Hockey College, Sportswriter Couple
This is only a game. I'm Jay Don day. We're going to start this week show with a commercial for a Bank in Canada. Balmy shoots. Now, the Dane. Street hockey in a driveway on a tree line called us AC a girl watches calling the game. But as a player advances toward the goal her voices replaced by that of Toronto Maple Leafs announcer. Joe bowen. The ad ends with the line of text proud supporter of one million kids and counting Scotiabank is the third largest Bank in Canada, and it's strongly associated with hockey. Is Coca Cola is what the Olympics. But it wasn't always that way. Only a games. Karen, given has the story. Ryan McFarland is eighty seven years old. And let's just say we could do a whole show on all the things he's done in his life. Introduce yourself. Tell us who you are. And what you do. It may sound a little egotistical. If I started on that. But I served as a host and commentator on hockey night in Canada. Canada's number one rated TV show. I've been a player in the game. And all American I had the great honor of playing twenty years with the NHL old-timers Aloi inducted into the Hockey Hall of fame and the media category. And let's see written about one hundred books now. But you'd be more interested in my father, the original author of the hardy, boys books. That last thing is true, by the way, but I called Brian McFarlane to talk about one of his many accomplishments in nineteen seventy one he founded something called the Scotiabank hockey college, the Scotiabank hockey college wasn't a bona fide college. It was just a promotion. Really? Here's how it came to be. I was working as a broadcaster in Toronto. And I was approached by a major advertising agency the agency was looking for a new campaign to pitch to hockey night in Canada's main sponsor imperial oil MacFarlane came up with the idea of a promotional giveaway. That would also teach kids about the game of hockey. Not just the rules and strategies but fair play and good sportsmanship, and they like the idea. So they offered me quite a of money to come and work for them. But there was a problem imperial oil already had a very successful ad campaign. Our new power formula. Incorrect beget lean but the tiger in your tank. Then put a tiger in my certainly there. So they kind of cooled on the idea. And that's when I walked about three blocks down the street to the Bank of Nova Scotia. People are told me Scotiabank wouldn't've had any interest in hockey. And I was wasting my time, but Brian McFarlane is not easily discouraged. I walked into their marketing department one day, and I ran into a man named Neil speaker, Mr Speaker, and I got along and he liked my idea of -tracting young depositors to the Bank of Nova Scotia McFarland realized that with a Bank is the sponsor. He had the opportunity to teach kids about more than just hockey when I was a kid, and I went to the bag for the first time and realized I could put my money in and it would earn interest for me. I was thrilled. I was I thought that's a great idea. Scotiabank agreed to invest one hundred thousand dollars in the hockey college promotion. Any kid who opened a Scotiabank savings account would be eligible to pick up a special hockey magazine at the branch office every month. I had a centerfold in the magazine of major NHL hockey star like gala, Fleur or Darrell settlers sit. The magazine would get the kids in the door. And if they made a small deposit they'd be entered into a lottery to win special prizes when Johnny juke found out about this. He opened a Bank account. Just like that. Just like that went down with my mom signed up and do you? Remember how much money you put in it? God it it was probably about ten bucks or something like that along with his hockey college newsmagazine, Johnny Joop took home a little blue book. He used it to keep track of the money in his account. You would physically right in there with a pen. What do you count was how much you put in how much you took out? All that. Good stuff at Brian McFarland suggestion Scotiabank hired NHL greats Gordie Howe and John Belvaux to host the TV commercials. Another personal service from Scotiabank, Mr. Belleville. That's right. They weren't professional announcers, of course. But just the fact they were they're talking about the hockey college shamed. A register before long Scotiabank asked McFarland to include money saving tips in his hockey magazine. Any did he met with Bank executives every so often to let them in on his plans one day? He told the bankers about a young player who scored his one thousand goal at the age of thirteen. I said to the group we're going to feature next month in our bulletin, Wayne. Gretzky a young finorm from Brentford on -tario one man held up his hand. He so Brian Wego into Quebec province. How do you spell Gretzky? French. We'll let kind of stumped me. I said gentlemen, it's the same spelling French rainless. Brian's idea was a hit with the bankers and with the kids the bag branches were quite busy as kids came in to sign up for the hockey college. Some of them want some dandy trips to Stanley Cup games. We had bicycles and skates and other prizes. Johnny juke was one of those kids. He got a letter in the mail telling him he'd won a watch come to the Bank and pick it up. I was pretty excited because I never won anything. Of course, you know. So we went down. It was a big presentation Duke guts, meet Maple Leafs players. He doesn't remember who. Exactly. But he does remember how good it felt to actually get time to talk with them. And the next day juke wore his new watch to school. Of course, an how did how did wearing that watch? Make you feel. Connected. It made me feel connected to a sport that I really loved connected to being Canadian. I grew up talian Italian Canadian. So it was my connection Duke says he doesn't follow hockey much anymore. But he still has that watch for the longest time for many years. I couldn't find it. And then it turned up one day. And I thought I'd bring it back to life. And I did the original strap is long gone. So I made myself nice leather strap for it that watch is actually how we found Johnny juke on watch collectors website because of winning the watch I had a fascination with watches all my life. Was that your first watch? Yes, it was and I wear that watch. I'm wearing today. But the biggest Mark left by the hockey college might not have been on any hockey fan or player. The biggest Mark might have been on the Bank itself. In addition to sponsoring one million kids and counting in two thousand seventeen Scotiabank bought the naming rights for the Toronto Maple Leafs arena. In a deal reportedly worth eight hundred million dollars from that modest beginning of a hundred thousand dollar budget to start they've gone gangbusters over the game. Now O N in case, you're wondering the hockey college still exists sort of it's now a hockey club. There's no magazine just a members only website and kids no longer need to open a Bank account to get access. That's only a games. Karen given this weekend Canada's celebrating hockey sponsored by well. Do I really need to tell you who it sponsored by. It's time for three stories, you should know China play basketball coming in every day actually about free agency ice. My teammates. My coaches round up the fans about it. Let us play basketball that's all along San. And now when I wanna talk the the problem with me that was Golden State Warriors superstar. Kevin durant? Speaking Wednesday night Durant wasn't the only NBA star who expressed frustration ahead of Thursday's trade deadline. And that's where we're going to start this week. I'm joined by Julia Caro's, sports writer and hosted Chicago six seventy the score via Skype and by sports writer and editor Patrick ruby. Welcome to both of you. Hey, thanks for having me. It's always fun to be here. Trade week in the NBA has turned into Drake week. A lot of players are in their feelings. You heard Kevin Durant? Express his frustration. After ending a nine day media boycott. He's a little upset that there's been increased speculation about his future. After the New York. Knicks traded Christoph present. And opened up a ton of salary cap room that could be used to sign Kevin Durant as a free agent this summer. Meanwhile, the Brian James after the Dallas Mavericks traded Harrison Barnes in the middle of a game sounded off an Instagram posts. And basically wonder why it's cool for franchises to do. What's best for them? But then he said, but it's not okay. When a player wants to be traded or leave a franchise that he's selfish ungrateful. What I think has happened. Here is players are feeling a little bit squeezed in the you could call it fantasy sports is Asian you know, that they're only seeing as assets now, and they're not thought of as real people with feelings and with emotions and with real world needs. I think you're right about that. I mean, I went one step beyond say, it's not a way sort of the fantasy sports is Asian of everything. Which by the way, I completely agree with it teaches you to view players as production, which essentially, but also across sports now, we've got so many owner impose costs. Trolls from salary caps, rookie scale contracts to all of these things that have centrally teach you as a fan to learn and correctly that your team is only successful. If it successively manages these assets. And honestly I had to say as a fan. I get it as a Washington Wizards fan I suffer it. But it also kind of stinks because I do like watching basketball, I do like carrying about these athletes as human beings. So in some ways, I'm pretty sympathetic to what? Kevin Durant had to say. You know, one of the things that makes the MBA so much fun is the drama, right? I mean, you know, which players are beefing. Everybody's on Instagram. Everybody snap chatting, but you can see how when it comes to this kind of thing. It really is very emotionally draining for the players. Right. That aside one of the things that I am constantly arguing with my callers about on my show is the fact that they will look at a basketball player or baseball player and say nobody's worth eighteen million dollars. And I will never understand why people side with. Billionaires over millionaires. I mean, honestly, given what's been happening in this country. Not just in sports, but the depression of wages across the board. Honestly, people should be citing with labor when it comes to these issues. I wanna go back to what you said about the fascination with drama. I think all of us in the media are very cognizant of the fact that it drives ratings that I had a conversation with Kevin Durant about this a couple years ago when everyone was asking about his relationship with Russell Westbrook after he left Westbrook, and the Oklahoma City thunder and people want to know where they're going to talk to each other. They still be friends. He thought it was very juvenile. But I- splaine them type of thing that makes the NBA go that's part of why the business is so big I think that's right to some extent. But at the same time, you know, I mean, we wouldn't talk to a regular person and say, hey, I heard you might be losing your job. What you wanna talk about that? So I don't really know why we treat NBA players that way other than there's this idea that if I were in your position, I would never complain about anything Julie. What are your thoughts about? About a team near and dear to you the cubs which has been in the news this week for some unpleasant reasons. Yeah. Well, you're never having a good offseason. When news of your owners, anti-islamic, racism and xenophobia knocks the accused wife-batterer off the front ages. But that's what happened with the cubs Addison. Russell had sort of dominating a lot of the headlines this off season. The cubs gave him a contract on a lot of fans wanted to see him gone. But nobody's talking about that now because of the second round of splinter emails the first round sort of showed the Ricketts family, maybe not being portrayed necessarily, the greatest light. But they were certainly nothing like this round of emails which show Joe Ricketts who was the patriarch of the family talking about a future in which there are no Islam people and saying things like it's practically illegal in this country to be a white person. Ridiculous emails they were difficult to get through. And this time for sure we saw more and more people say that they're canceling their season tickets that they need more from the Ricketts than just to come out and say. Dad's not really part of the team is not part of the day to day operations that cubs fans really feel like they want more and that they deserve more. I think than be I think about to Donald sterling what happened at the clippers. And I wonder in this case is it really on the fans from the bottom up is it the responsibility of the league from the top down to do something about this. What can they exactly do? I have a feeling because I'm cynical that this is the kind of thing that would just blow over people still love the cubs still baseball. They'll just move on. And be like, well, this is just one crazy old guy. What are you going to do? But again thinking about to sterling it's not it's not a perfect analogy at all. And Jay I'd love to hear what you think about that. I do think it's possible. You could see MLB do something about this. I think the primary difference in this case is that Tom Ricketts is not the main owner of the cubs certainly he bought the team. But then he gave it to his children. But it does bring up the impossibility distance the franchise from the actions. Of the ownership. Go in Ricketts family has been very involved. Let's say with with the current administration an administration that instituted a ban on Muslims from certain countries real. Yeah. I think that largely built major league baseball, and the cubs fandom have bought kind of fiction that Joe Ricketts has nothing to do with the team that he doesn't own the team, which is incorrect. He's not on the board of directors with four children are, but you know, the first round of emails at splinter put out made it, really obvious. The Joe has his hands in everything one positive thing. I think that's come out of that is that we've heard from so many Muslim cubs fans through social media through an op-ed piece in Chicago sun times, and I think it was really important to hear their voices to get a sense for the pain that they felt in seeing people connected with this franchise that they love that. They are season ticket holders of that. They go through all the ups and downs of season year in and year out for that sense of rejection that they felt they've already alienated women with the domestic violence incidents. They've. Alienated the Q community with Daniel Murphy and now the Muslim community. So it'll be interesting to see how much more this fan base has left in. It is no old yearbook photos. The reserve. Patrick, what do you have for us as we? So I wanna talk about the NFL. So this week the kids city star God's hand on the chiefs tax returns from two thousand to two thousand ten there really wasn't much connection between how the team doesn't the field. How much money it makes a nice because about two-thirds revenue comes from a league wide TV contract and other deals that all the teams split equally suck and the truth is the NFL's really great business. How so won't twenty ten the grown children of team found or Lamar hunt? Split nearly forty million dollars in profits. Third thing they found out charging fans and arm and a leg for parking only accounted for one point five percent of teen revenues. So when your favorite team is soaking you for a parking spot rest assured, they're not doing it to balance the books just because they can now to me the biggest takeaway here is what a wonderful little monopolistic socialist paradise NFL owners have built for themselves. The chiefs president. Agai made. Mark Donovan told the paper that the NFL is a tough business. Well, thanks, these tax returns, we know much better than we've been talking about this with regards to major league baseball that you don't have to go out and spend all the money on Bryce Harper and have your team win. There's a marginal return on team that wins the World Series versus just a regular run of the mill team. It's going to be real interesting to see how fans respond to that. Because it feels like it's a bubble. That's not sustainable at some point p left to be watching your product on their forget, I guess it was nine years ago now in the twenty ten NBA finals the Lakers and Celtics went to a game seven and right before the game started somebody with the Lakers told me that actually financially they would be better off losing that game. Now, he didn't wanna see them lose. But they were gonna have to pay bonuses to the coach Phil Jackson headed championship bonus. I think some other bonuses for the players might kicked in they wound up picking up the tab for the championship parade, which was like a million dollars. So it was actually very costly for. Them to win. Find it kind of ironic laughable, these rugged bootstrapping billionaire guys also are busy creating their own though, socialist paradise. Our guest for this week's edition of three stories. You should know they've been Julia Carl sports writer and hosted Chicago six seventy the score and sports writer and editor Patrick ruby. Thanks to both of you. Thanks. Thanks. Jay. You're listening to only game from NPR. This podcast is made possible by Samuel items for thirty four years Samuel Adams says made their Boston lager inefficiently Sam Adams Bruce with one hundred percent heirloom middle. Fru hops logging their beer for over a month. The Boston beer company Boston mass. Savor of the flavor. Responsibly the world is complicated. And for many of us history class was a long time ago. That's where we I'm running on rom teenager Bluey, and we're the host of through live NPR's, I history podcast, sinus, wherever you like to listen. I'm Jay Dante Suzanne Morton is a professor of modern Canadian history at McGill University. Montreal she says that when McGill started fielding varsity athletic teams in the late eighteen hundreds they had a lot of different nicknames. They all pay tribute to James McGill, Scott his heritage and his hair the red team the red and white team. Sometimes red pucks, tres sport specific names. Right K Gers in nineteen twenty seven new nickname entered the mix the McGill Redmen it stuck in over the following decades. Stereotypical native American imagery started to accompany the name on campus. Only a games. Matthew stock has the story. Tomasz Jerusalem is a member of the blackfoot confederacy a group of indigenous tribes in western Canada about twenty five percent of his hometown of white horse Yukon is indigenous. But when Tomasz I arrived at McGill University in the fall of two thousand sixteen he was one of only about one hundred fifty indigenous students out of nearly twenty eight thousand undergr-. Ads there were these pockets where I saw myself reflected, but it almost felt more easily. Now that I think about it to know that the only spaces where you are really reflected are the first people's house indigenous studies program within the the few indigenous student groups that we have and it never really felt as other as I did hear at McGill, but before long Tomasz found another place he fit in the varsity crew team. It was amazing like an instant family almost I was just so lucky to get to travel around eastern Canada with some of your best friends versity sports at McGill and other Canadian universities aren't as high profile as they are in the US, mascots and team names aren't emblazoned on every piece of gear. So it wasn't until later that fall that Tomas. I came in contact with MacGill's nickname the Redman I went to a football game. That's what I heard at chanted Tomasz says he'd heard Redman used as a slur going up. He was shocked to hear it on his college campus at this this reaction this visceral reaction, and it just struck me as so archaic outside of the image. That McGill was trying to project or the institution. Mcgill was trying to be Tomasz began learning more about the history of the Redmond name and its place in campus culture, seeing old pictures of jerseys and helmets, and and just listening to the stories of some of the older indigenous students alumni, and professors, it was just heart wrenching, the lot of indigenous students just didn't feel comfortable in McGill athletics. Because of the Redmond name McGill history. Professor Suzanne Morton says that the name was I accompanied by native imagery in the nineteen forties. There's a new football coach hired from the United States, and he wants to make football more spectacle. He wants crowds. And so we have the the input really. Explicit indigenous images onto particularly the football team. You have images of fierceness bravery savagery the marching band. All of a sudden has a cartoon of an indigenous man in a Gill uniform with braids flying carrying a football. You get a new songs which talk horribly about things like scalping and warpath new nicknames entered the mix as well for a while men's teams recalled the Indians from nineteen sixty one until nineteen Seventy-six women's teams were called the super squaws. And while all of this was happening. There were hardly any indigenous students on campus to speak up against racism. And here's where some background in Canadian history becomes really important in eighteen seventy six the Canadian government passed a statute called the Indian act one of the many things the indianap- did was defined status who was Indian and who wasn't and only people with status were allowed to enter Indian reserves. The Indian act also said that any indigenous person who enrolled in a Canadian university would automatically lose their Indian status and without status. These students would never be allowed to return home. Suzanne Morton says that through her research, she's identified just to indigenous students who graduated from McGill between nineteen hundred and nineteen eighteen and in the forty years after that she hasn't found a single one pop culture stereotypes where the only exposure most McGill students had to indigene they see indigenous people in the movies. They may see them on TV with Daniel boom in the nineteen fifties. But there's no contact with actual people. Morton says more indigenous people started attending McGill when the Indian act was amended in the early sixties, but even into the late eighties. Native students made up a tiny tiny part of McGill student body. I'm not sure the university even Casta reliable statistics in that regard less than one percent of one percent is probably the closest numbers. Ned? Blackhawk is a professor of American Indian history at Yale University and a member of the two mock tribe of western shoshoni Indians of Nevada in the late eighties. He was an undergrad at McGill and in his second year. He walked onto the varsity track and field team it meant that. I was in the gym law. And there was a giant Redmond logo above the scoreboard or right alongside at that was probably the size of a fairly large urban billboard. They said they had kind of the side portrait visas of an angry Indian man with the kind of procuring knows and headdress under which it just said Redman. So something I really couldn't avoid and I didn't really at the time have the vocabulary or set of intellectual commitments to really call into question that image. But it was something that bothered me and something I had to kind of confront in nineteen Ninety-one Blackhawk and a fellow undergrad led a campaign to change the Redmond name and remove the native imagery that came with it. Wrote opinion Dettori for the Miguel daily newspaper. We were interviewed on the McGill University radio station, we held teach ins we. We were just basically involved in sets of kind of consciousness raising efforts and in March of nineteen Ninety-two MacGill's athletics board decided to get rid of the Redmond logo the billboard sized Indian head in the gym went away, the football and hockey helmets were changed despite the McGill crest, but the Redmond named state. In a press. Release the chair of the board expressed his belief that getting rid of offensive imagery was enough to dissociate the name permits. Derogatory connotation Ned Blackhawk and other indigenous students felt differently seeing that image taken down or removes over time seeing these things dropped from the hockey team or football helmets. Did bring me a sense of satisfaction though. I wish they had come up with a different name in recent decades Canadians have faced their country's history of native oppression, and it's lasting consequences and in two thousand fifteen the Canadian government's truth and reconciliation commission underscored the importance of education in creating a more Justice -iety for indigenous peoples in culture, the McGill provost office formed a task force on indigenous studies in education shortly after when it published its fifty two calls to action in two thousand seventeen replacing the Redmond name made the list, but a year went by Tomasz Jerusalem was finishing up his. More season on the crew team. And he says it didn't seem like McGill was taking any real steps towards change. So he and some other students decided to take action out of indigenous activists here at McGill. I was the only athlete at the time. With me being varsity athlete, I felt that it was something that could really push Tomasz spoke to news outlets and moderated panel discussions with indigenous experts. He started speaking to fellow athletes, the students most closely tied to the school nickname and explained that the name has the same impact on native students that other racial slurs have on other groups a surprising number of athletes have never really thought about the history of the name. How it I would impacts us as indigenous people, but once I think a lot of athletes face to kind of the damage that the Redmond has done it makes it click quite a bit easier in October Tomasz did something that Ned Blackhawk says he never did in the early nineties. He organized a public demonstration to rally support for the name change a few days before too. Moss and the McGill student union held a poster making event at the first people's house Aaron viles in the back of my added worried that no one would really show up. No one cared enough make poster but slowly people did show up at first it was just the first years on the women's crew team, more and more people came in. It wasn't just indigenous people, but it was great to see, you know, athletes. My teammates keen with some of my indigenous friends and see this community really building making connections making indigenous students really feel more comfortable. I think. That was something that took away quite powerful. One student sign read intent doesn't erase impact. Others just read changed the name the common poster that we had was this thread backdrop with words, Indians squaws Redman on the poster and the resigns on through the Indian and squat. Not through the Redmond then on the morning of October thirty first two thousand eighteen demonstrators gathered at one of the main gates on McGill campus. I remember it being absolutely frigid remember panicking because it was cold. And since it was running I needed to secure tents his traditional drummers coming. Then once the demonstration took off after had kind of got an overall small cups kind of just flew by. It was exhilarating really to see in the cold hundreds and hundreds of students at somewhere between seventy people at come. See that was just so powerful. It was nice looking up into the crowd and seen so many of my teammates. They're doing everything they really could twice a year McGill holds a referendum period where the student body gets to vote on various issues Tomasz and some fellow student. Legislators entered the Redmen name change for consideration this past fall. The results were announced on November thirteenth eighty percent of the student body at voted yes. To change the name. What was your reaction when you saw that result relieved just relieved to know that suits? We're gonna feel ok this made McGill better. It really did. Mcgill student referenda aren't binding after the vote McGill formed a renaming council that would decide how to move forward. It's report released in December included quotes from Tomasz and other advocates for change. And it also quoted alumni who opposed the movement. They felt the name was really important to their time at school non indigenous students today are much more educated about what the impact of colonialism has been on indigenous peoples in Canada. I don't think students twenty five years ago. Really understood. The report describes a town hall meeting in which a former varsity athletes said of himself. I've got red in my veins another form of our city athlete compared the team named a family name highlighting its role in emotional attachment, social identity and self esteem a jointly signed submission. Expressed attachment to the Redmond named so strong that the writers vowed that if the name were changed they would never again, donate to McGill. They would discourage their children from applying the McGill they would consider McGill dead to them and might actively work against its success. I was the first people's house, and there was some I or suit been reading the report, I just remember seeing them cry because here these people who are trying to support the socket institution. And they stand in opposition to reconciliation to such a degree that they would actively undermined the institution if chose to take the necessary steps in creating healthy and welcoming environment for indigenous students McGill was expected to announce a final decision on the Redmond name by the end of January, but on January thirtieth the university unexpectedly postponed the decision to the end of the spring term Suzanne Morton says that with such resounding support from students and faculty on campus. She still thinks a name change. Is likely to happen? If not now, eventually, I think it means that the university understands where we are right now who is us an includes students, and means that there's a future where hopefully more indigenous students will feel very welcome here. That story came from only games. Matthew stock? Valentine's Day is coming up. So we've got a very sweet love story to help. You celebrate Chee turned around and like literally walked away without saying a word, I'm guessing maybe either focused on the game or just kinda couldn't be bothered. That's just ahead on only a game. And you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter at only a game NPR. Planet money tip number seventeen. Sometimes life is exactly like the movies, thirty seconds. They said D minus. Planet money a podcast about the economy and sometimes about rocket ships. I'm Jay Don day next week on only a game. We meet the Detroit Lions reporter who wanted to learn more about football. So she joined the semi pro team. But now Charlie Pierce is here with the week's news, Charlie. Hey, Jay, what's the buzzer? Sounded on the NBA trade deadline Thursday, Milwaukee Toronto the top teams in Eastern Conference. Both made moves a show of their teams. So to the Philadelphia seventy Sixers, but the biggest story might be the player, that's not changing jerseys. Anthony Davis Charlie would you take away from the wheeling and sometimes non dealing? Well. It's interesting. The Celtics seem perfectly comfortable with what they have for the rest of the season to popular wisdom is that they're stone up money to make a bid for Anthony Davis. There's some interesting people, Michael Beasley, got traded for what I believe is the ninety third time in his career and Markelle faults. Former number one pick lift Philadelphian gone to Orlando where he may. In fact, find a jump shot who knows? With this to me is that I don't think we've seen this many teams go all in on a championship right now. Right in in the way, that Toronto is all in in the way that that Philadelphia. I think is is going in because they're acquiring players that aren't guaranteed to be there much longer and some of the core pieces of gone. But if you look around the league, Golden State could have significant change of Kevin Durant leaves the summer. Boston could see Kyrie Irving this summer. Toronto could see Coa Leonard Jimmy Butler could leave Philadelphia. I think the team that we're not talking about as much as Milwaukee which has its core intact a little bit longer. So they might not be the team to watch this year. But I think keep an eye on them going forward their best position to maintain their core. I agree. And I think that the fact that Milwaukee's a little bit probably a head of the program in terms of how good they are is part of the reason why seen scrambling from other teams in the east Toronto got a window. So Delfi got a window. Boston's got a window Milwaukee. All of a sudden in the way and got one of the most carries. Players in the league. And as you said, they've got their people signed up, you know, so they don't have to scramble very much. Well, you talked about the charismatic players, and that would be United States Cuco. I got you say his name slick move on your part last year. The NBA changed the all star game format by having the top two vote getters draft the rest of their teams this year. They took it a step further, and they televise the draft. It was good TV LeBron James and Janas onto the Kupa were very into it, very playful. It had intrigue in comedy, even what did you think of it? I thought it was terrific sometimes the NBA's entertainment division goes overboard a little bit. But I thought this was fun. The only thing that would have been better is if Johnson LeBron like matched fingers, LeBron he picked pick Anthony Davis foods. Well, no one wants to be traded to the Lakers. He picked Coa Leonard who will be a free agent this summer. Kevin Durant who can opt out of his contract and be a free agent the summer. Kyrie Irving who can be rated this summer. Did you notice a trend there on team? Lebron? Yeah. I think LeBron is a couple of steps ahead of everybody in a lot of ways. He also picked Wayne Wade, which was inevitable. Baseball lost an all time. Great this week when Frank Robinson passed away at age eighty three Robinson was among the top ten homerun hitters in the history of the sport, the only man to win most valuable player award and the American and national leagues and the first African American manager, Charlie what are your memories of Frank Robinson? He was to me always the Bob Gibson hitters. Absolutely. Fearless incredibly tough tremendously talented. I did not know until his bitchy airy that he and Bill Russell played on the same high school basketball team. I learned that too. I can't believe I'd never heard that said, I don't think anybody picked a fight with that basketball. No. I I would imagine they get every referee's call to could you imagine the combined force Bill Russell and Frank Robinson glaring at you absolutely refers to melt Frank Robson was very intimidating yet. Very kind the same time. My my favorite story with them out. See him all the time. Laker games. In Los Angeles live there in the off season baseball and he had season tickets. And you'd always see them in the front row behind the walkway behind the baseline, and I got a little bit and one time he was going to be appearing in a Jackie Robinson commemorative event. So I said Mr. Evanston, you're doing that panel next week. Right. And he said, yeah, I'm going to be. I said, okay. I'm going to try to make what he try. A saw his wife later. And she said, you know, this means you have to go now. Right. Yeah. Got that message. So needless to say, I went to the Jackie Robinson event, featuring Frank Robinson Yankee pitcher Zach Britton. He's changing his name to to what exactly Charlie. He's changing his name Z A C H Britain to Z A C K Britain. And we'll be called Zack apparently a couple of people actually used to call him Zach because of the and now he's going to be back with the K, you know, in my journalism classes, if you misspell somebody's name, that's automated f for the assignment. So anyone that wants to write or talk about him? It's going to be Z A C K. Professor Dante right up there with professor king field from the paper. Chase. Finally, Charlie Super Bowl. Fifty three was not what you'd call. The most exciting Super Bowl of all time. But it was exciting for one anonymous gambler. So what was the wager a guy bet two hundred and fifty dollars at full hundred to one that the Rams would score exactly three points in the Super Bowl. And of course, he's hanging on by his fingernails at the end because the Rams try to feel goal and missed last seconds. You can find the sports writing Charlie Pierce force illustrated from time to time and he joins us each week here on only game. Thanks, charlie. Thanks, jay. Valentine's Day is coming up on Thursday. So we're closing out this week show with one of our all time favorite love stories from the OH archives. Here's only games Martin Kessler on January eighth two thousand one news broke that the Oakland A's were trading for outfielder Johnny Damon, which obviously is a big news. I'm they're bringing a big name guy. It was a high profile trade. This is longtime bay area sportswriter Dan Brown who was working for the San Jose Mercury. News back in a one. So had the dive in kinda give it. My best shot. Dance goal was to get a quote from Damon. But Dan knew that other reporters would be on the story, especially Susan slicer the as beat writer from the rival San Francisco Chronicle, Dan went into his study and started making phone calls. It did not go. Well, I couldn't get anybody. So my story very high up said Damon, comma who could not be reached for comment, comma, the next morning Dan picked up. The San Francisco Chronicle and read Susan slicer story had these flowing quotes from Johnny Damon that she'd somehow reach while he was on. I think he's on vacation in Hawaii talking about how excited he was. You do your best and sometimes it happens. But because other writers, especially no, we're married people. Spend a lot of time pointing out for the next week or so like, oh couldn't be reached for comment. Ha ha. Yes, Dan, and Susan are married while Dan was in the study getting nowhere. Susan was in the dining room talking with their sources about the breaking trade. I actually heard about it quite some time before it was ever announced. So I was already working on it. So what was it like at breakfast the next morning when you guys, you know, could see these stories side by side. Breakfast with salty years later. Dan, would get his payback. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The story of the marriage between two of the bay area's top sports writers and the various challenges that come with the union begins in nineteen ninety. Back then Dan was an undergrad at UC Davis covering the football team for the student newspaper toward the end of the season opener as Dan was waiting beside the field for post game interviews. He noticed the Sacramento B's new beat writer, so admit some kind of lame comment about the game expecting to get a lame comment back because that's how chitchat goes. And I guess mine was so on interesting that she turned around and like literally walked away without saying word. I'm guessing I was maybe either focused on the game or just kind of couldn't be bothered with. That was our first meeting such as it was in the next few games. Things didn't go much better for Dan Susan spent most of her time chatting with another young reporter named Howard back. He's sort of a nonstop talker. So I didn't talk to Dan for the next several games or practices or wherever we were. But how he finally had to miss some game. And I had no no option except for to talk to at that time and. Oh, okay. He's I guess he's not that bad. It's a kid from the student paper soon damage. Susan started dating in a few years later, Dan concocted, in elaborate plan to get Susan to return with him to that spot by the edge of the field where they'd almost had their first conversation and I got down to one knee. And it said you will you marry me and she didn't walk away. Although that crossed my mind this time, Susan responded. She said yes at first the newlyweds didn't think they'd have to go head to head for stories. Susan was covering the as for the San Francisco Chronicle and dancing started covering the giants for the Mercury News. Nevertheless, the setup presented problems because the team's ultimate which came home which team is on the road. So Susan was home. I was on the road and vice versa. One year. We counted. During a baseball season that between April October we were in the same place. Maybe twenty three days out of that entire span. So been rough there were times where I would drop off the car in short term parking, and he would fly in an hour later and pick up the car and short term parking. I mean, we really were like ships crossing. We did have a very romantic lunch in Columbus, Ohio one day. When the as we're in Cleveland and the giants were in Cincinnati. We both drove several hours and met in the middle. But as the years went on and as newspaper staff started to shrink Dan got assigned more as stories in that met encroaching on Susan's turf in the Oakland press box. It's not really necessarily a comfortable situation. But luckily, Susan specialized in different skills. Susan is an ace reporter dense has that sometimes as players call her to learn whether or not they're really on the trading block as for Dan, Dan's actually, a much better writer than I am. It actually makes me angry. Sometimes he knows he knows he's written a really good story when I've read his story. And then I sorta start glaring at them the stories sometimes that I've taught on she'll say like, I hate you. That means so much to me because that let me know that I do. Okay. But when Dan has had to go head to head with Susan on breaking as story, like the Johnny Damon trade it's usually ended badly for him now for the record. Susan this quick and kind to point out that while it is her full time job to cover the as that is not her husband's focus, nevertheless, she doesn't cut Dan any breaks take. For instance, the time Dan was trying to reach out to one of her regular sources as general manager Billy being I think Dan had left a couple messages at his office with a secretary or something. And Billy said, why don't you just give Dan my new cell phone number? And I said, no, I mean, he's my competition. So it's not gonna happen. I don't know. How Dan eventually got it. I think he did. But I'm not that's like asking me to to go. Tell the competing beat writer inside information. Dan, are you ever tempted in the middle of the night to you know, like pull out Susan's phone and just jot down some new sources for yourself. No. That's a good idea problems. We have to use my thumbprint. So don't try it. You're right there. I can use your actual fumble. You're sleeping such sleuthing would have been especially handy for Dan ahead of the baseball winter meetings in two thousand seventeen the winter meetings are in annual gathering of baseball executives and agents. It's a time when lots of news breaks in two thousand seventeen Dan's editors at the Mercury News asked him to go totally lost. And Susan is totally like royalty there. He really hates it. I love it. It's like a big cocktail party for me. It was the first year that damage Susan were covering the winter meetings at the same time, they set up workstations right next to each other and started trying to out scoop each other. I would hear her on the cellphone or watcher disappear into hallway to talk onto her cell phone and start sweating sweaty over. What was about to come next while I'm like, googling to find out what rumors should might be onto Susan wouldn't let Dan fall too far behind should tabby on the shoulder and say, I just posted a story about Scotties trade, you might. Check it out. It was polite way of saying I've just beaten you have the story. So I would have to I Google the spelling of Scotty, the as we're targeting a young outfielder named Stephen Scotty who was from the bay area. So it was a good story that I read about in the San Francisco Chronicle website, but that wasn't the only breaking news at the winter meetings. Former Oakland Jose Conceico went on a troubling Twitter rant about sexual molestation. And I was just trying to figure out what the heck was happening. And as I was doing that it hurt Susan on the phone next to meet talking the Jose getting clarification on his comment. So that was another real rewarding journalism moment for me. Dan kept getting beat. So he did the sensible thing he decided to get out of town early season stayed behind to cover one last event. Dan, took the six AM home and using my way through the first class cabin the good back to Rhode Twenty-three C, or whatever it was. And there's Billy being right there in flight, the as general manager was also heading home. Early. It hit, Dan if any news broke while they were in the air he'd have first access to being when the plane landed in sure enough it was during the flight that the as finalized that trade for Stephen Scotty. So when they landed at SFO, Dan approached being to get his first comments on the trade of first thing, you said it was like Susan's gonna kill me. You and me both towel. But. For once. I didn't care. Dan was so worried that Susan would still somehow find a way to get a hold of being in post a story before he did that he wrote his story from baggage claim, and when Dan posted a story with the bean comments. I think I responded on Twitter something like the divorce proceedings are are imminent. I never actually did get Billy that day. I think he decided to just let Dan have his his one scoop. So Dan, finally got his scoop a little balance in a relationship is probably healthy. Right. Still giving all the problems that seem to crop up when husband and wife work for rival sports publications. I was left wondering whether they wished they could work in different fields where they'd never have to compete against each other. No, I can't even imagine such a scenario. No. Because I get to see traits of her that are kind of like the best in her intelligence and her work ethic and all those kind of things really elevate heard by is so no I like being able to appreciate it on a day-to-day basis. That story came from only a games Martin Kessler since we first aired, Dan and Susan story last June. Dan, it's become a senior editor and writer for the bay area. We recommend checking out his twenty eighteen work renews column help I'm married. My dreaded baseball rival a love story. We'll have a link it only game dot org. Only a game is produced by Martin Kessler Gary wallet with help from Nico Emek in Matthew stock. Our technical director is marquees Neil. Our senior producer is Karen given. I'm Jay, Don. Only a game returns next week. Thanks listening.
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