The Sports Cave

TSC042: The Sports Cave Podcast – Episode #42

Episode 42 comin’ at ya with a two man front. With Gosse MIA, Terik and Lance hold down the fort with a plethora of NBA chit chat. Are the Washington Wizards for real? Can anyone stop Golden State? What’s Terik’s big announcement? Find out now!

TSC041: The Sports Cave Podcast – Episode #41

What’s up Sports Cave dwellers? We’re back (albeit a little late) with episode 41. This time around we’ll greasy your sticky sports wheels with a little draft lottery chat, Toronto basketball Raptors chit, and finish it off with some NHL playoff banter.

Enjoy y’all, and see you in two weeks!

The Heart of the West

Heart.

We’ve all got one, but how much of it are we really using?

There’s a Western Canadian hockey team that’s got 27 of them, all beating to the same rhythm. Lined up on that bench like soldiers going to war, ready to do whatever it takes for each other. Operating at max capacity, and it shows.

What’s not to like about the Calgary Flames?

They were written off before the season began. Referred to as bottom-feeders, eternal basement dwellers. Mike Cammaleri left for New Jersey. GM Brad Treliving dealt Curtis Glencross and Sven Beartschi in March. Hell, they lost their best player, Mark Giordano, to injury. Yet, they soldier on.

A kid with the nickname, “Johnny Hockey” is in a one-man race to win the Calder. No-name’s like Russell, Schlemko, Jooris and Bouma getting it done on a nightly basis. They’ve got a coach nobody wanted. Out of the NHL four years, now on the brink of Jack Adams status. Amidst all the criticism, they’re challenging. Not only for a playoff spot, but for home ice advantage.

It’s how they do it that’s impressive. No superstars, just blue-collar workers. Giving all they’ve got for the win, and for each other. They’re overachievers, but the best kind. The kind that’s easy to love. No luck here, just the intangibles. Grit, hard work, character. They arrive at the gunfight armed with knives, and still win. Their mascot Harvey, with his long red tongue hanging out, looks like he’s given 100% for god’s sake. Even if you aren’t a fan of the Flames, admit it. They’re fun to watch. Even Oilers fans can’t root against them. Yea, I know I’m supposed to be unbiased, but this is different.

The Flames are already winners. They’ve defied the analytical odds all season, force-feeding any stats guy his numbers and data. For Calgary and its fans there’s no collapse or result that ends in failure. If they make the playoffs, they’re winners. If they lose 4 straight in the first round, they’re winners. Narrowly miss the playoffs….yep, still winners. Even if the Calgary Flames lost every one of their last 8 games, the season is still a success.

So you can take your Corsi and possession rates and toss them right in the garbage, because there’s one thing you can’t measure.

It’s Heart. And this team’s got piles of it.

LP

TSC040: The Sports Cave Podcast – Episode #40

Wow, 40 episodes!

This week we’re all over the NCAA March Madness tournament, the Canadian NHL playoff situation and finish off the meal with a very involved discussion about sports media. Toronto sports media specifically.

It’s longer than normal, but we think you’ll like it.

Have fun, and remember to sauce us a rating on iTunes.

It’s a new CFL

For Jeffrey Orridge, his dream job was to be the commissioner of a major sports league.

Now, he can add that to his impressive resume.

The CFL named Orridge the league’s 13th commissioner on Tuesday, replacing Mark Cohon who held the title for 8 years. The CFL isn’t new to the Queens, New York Native. He fondly remembers watching the CFL at home with his father when Warren Moon quarterbacked the Edmonton Eskimos in the early 80’s. His father instilled in him that Canada was a land of fairness and opportunity, in a time when a black quarterback wasn’t wanted in American football. Orridge, who is currently the Executive Director, Sports and General Manager, Olympics for CBC, has lived in Canada with his family since 2007.

He was responsible for CBC acquiring Olympic media rights through to the 2020 games and the 2015 PanAm/Para PanAm games. Now he’s responsible for the continuing success of Canada’s professional football league and more importantly, North America’s oldest sports franchise. Solidifying the stability of the Toronto Argonauts has to be the top priority for Orridge. The loss of the Argonauts would be disastrous for the league and a black-eye on the new commissioner’s stint in the CFL.

The good news for Orridge is he’s stepping into a relatively good situation.

There aren’t any teams on the brink of bankruptcy and there aren’t any stadiums falling apart. The league is in a good place. However, the growing concern is the future. With a fan base that’s growing older the league and Orridge need to find a way to entice a new generation into loving a great Canadian pastime. Orridge also brings a different perspective to the CFL. He’s the first American commissioner in the league’s history. The hope is that he can put a different spin on the league, one that hasn’t existed because his Canadian counterparts were still living in what the league was. Living in the past.

Mainly, the CFL needs someone who can find them a future. Someone who understands apps, smartphones and their marketing strategy. Someone who understands that the demographic they’re searching for lives through the connectivity of their devices. With all his accomplishments, a question still remains.

Is Jeffrey Orridge the man to lead the Canadian Football League into a new frontier?

The CFL certainly hopes so.

LP

TSC039: The Sports Cave Podcast – Episode #39

Its a nasty time to be a Toronto sports fan.

The Leafs are awful, the Raptors aren’t much better, the Jays are injured and TFC is back to its ways of old. The lone bright spot, The Sports Cave Podcast of course. We’re back with a massive amount of sports talk. Beginning with a feel-good story from the Ottawa Senators, where Andrew “The Hamburgler” Hammond has single handedly driven the Sens up the Eastern Conference standings. We also talk about NFL free agency, and polish it off bantering about the Raptors woes.

We have a special guest on the show tonight. Andrew Selbie, a former Junior hockey goaltender, joins us from Sunrise, Florida to talk about a fantastic opportunity he had with the Florida Panthers.

Check it out, Sports Cave Dwellers.

Lance Phillips for 102.1 The Edge Sports Guy

Once again, our guy Lance has his hand in another project. This time, it’s a bid to become 102.1 The Edge‘s new Monday morning sports guy. This morning (Tuesday) he was on the station with a quick Leafs update. Listen to it here.

 

TSC038: The Sports Cave Podcast – Episode #38

What’s up Cave Dwellers? It’s TSC Podcast crew com in’ at ya with episode #38. This time around we’re discussing Alex Rodriguez back in pinstripes and we throw four new crew members into the Douche Canoe. The Blue Jays are getting ready for spring training, so of course that’s on our radar.

Enjoy everyone and look for us in two weeks!

The Toronto Raptors: Where Good can Become Great.

In recent weeks there’s been a lot of chatter about what the Toronto Raptors need to do in order to elevate from a good team to a great team. Who do they trade? Who can they get? The answer is very simple and doesn’t require any drastic decisions: Stay the course with the current crop of players. This team doesn’t need to trade any of its core pieces.

The Raptors have become exponentially better each of the last three seasons. The team finished the 2012-13 campaign at 34-48, 5th in the Atlantic division. In the 2013-14 season, the Raptors made a complete turnaround, finishing 1st in the division with a 48-34 record and securing a playoff berth for just the third time in the franchises history. This season the team’s off to its best start at 29-15.

The acquisition of Kyle Lowry in July 2012 meant the addition of what would eventually be the cornerstone of the Raptors franchise. Lowry’s impact wouldn’t be fully realized until after December 8, 2013.

The day General Manager Masai Ujiri altered the Raptors course, sending Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings. This bold move opened the door for Demar DeRozan to show the organization what he can do. In 2012-13, DeRozan finished with 1485 points, but in 2013-14 he finished over 300 points better than that. Terrence Ross continues to improve while clocking more minutes than he has in previous seasons.

In 2013-14 Jonas Valanciunas emerged as a more prominent player down the middle, helping to solidify the Raptors rebounding game. The big Lithuanian has improved his blocks and rebound numbers in each of the last three seasons. Keep in mind he’s only 22 years old. Perennial bench starter, Lou Williams has been nothing short of fantastic, adding minutes and points when called upon. Take Toronto’s core of Lowry, DeRozan, Ross, and Valanciunas and you have an average age of 24.5. One of the youngest core groups in the NBA.

While the team struggles defensively at times, they’re in the top 10 in nearly every offensive category and 5th in points per game at 106.

The idea that this team needs to trade one of its younger core players is foolish. Every young player goes through up’s and down’s, but with consistent coaching can only improve. With Dwane Casey, the young Raptors coaching is very consistent. Players like Ross, DeRozan and Valanciunas can only get better.

Masai Ujiri needs to stay in his current holding pattern, and let these young players blossom into the great players they will become. Like a fine wine, this team will only get better with age.

LP

TSC037: The Sports Cave Podcast – Episode #37

We’re back with episode #37! This time around we’re discussing one of the better Super Bowl’s of our generation. We also get into some Toronto Maple Leafs discussion and we polish it off talking about the University of Vagina Regina. Come on America…..

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