The Sports Cave

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.

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…..

TSC036: The Sports Cave Podcast – Episode #36

Want more sports talk?

We’ve got it. It’s Episode #36 of TSC Podcast and this time we’re coming at ya with a plethora of NFL talk, NHL All-Star fodder and jersey retirements.

Get your fix, and remember: Give us a rating in iTunes! You’ll feel good that you did.

See you in two.

TSC035: The Sports Cave Podcast – Episode #35

TSC Podcast is back with another sledgehammer of sports talk punishing your grill. We talk a little NFL playoffs and try to squeeze in a game show. Of course, there was some crying and complaining, but we got through it.


Have a listen!

TSC034: The Sports Cave Podcast – Episode 34

How appropriate that we release our Christmas show (and final show of the year) on the 25th of December. Merry Christmas to all our Sports Cave Dwellers and Happy New Year!

This week Terik throws an entire franchise in the Douche Canoe, and Gary Thesoundguy tries to get into the wine. All the boys were together once again, so of course fun was had all around.

Well see you in 2015!

TSC033: The Sports Cave Podcast – Episode #33

The juggernaut that is The Sports Cave Podcast was in full swing dealing you a sledgehammer of sports to the face. We’re talking favourite Christmas sports traditions, and Toronto Blue Jays Baseball among other things.


Big News out of The Sports Cave as we introduced our newest member of the crew, Gary Thesoundguy! Gary brings a wealth of sound engineering knowledge to the team, along with a vast array of stories that we’ll be looking forward to hearing during “Storytime with Gary”.

Check it out!

Universities need to do more to develop parity in the CIS

In recent years, CIS football has been plagued with low scoring teams, lopsided victories and the same few teams dominating their respective leagues. By the end of the 2014 CIS football season, the league had three teams that had scored less than 100 points. One of those teams, the York Lions scored five touchdowns all season and their first didn’t come until game seven against Queen’s. Through their first five games, they were outscored 266-10. They finished the season 0-8.

And they’re not the only ones.

McGill Univeristy in Montreal, and surprisingly, St. Mary’s from Halifax also joined the Lions with 0-8 records. St. Mary’s scored a staggering 59 points on the season, a CIS low. If you add Bishop’s, Waterloo, University of Toronto, and UBC to the mix, you have seven teams that won a combined total of six games.

Now, for the first time in decades, Ontario University Athletics’ (OUA) regular season football games didn’t air on television. Sportsnet 360 cancelled the contract it held for OUA football after last season. OUA Executive Director, Bryan Crawford thinks Rogers new $5.2 billion dollar broadcast deal with the NHL is the cause. The truth of the matter is that OUA football isn’t attracting viewers. The average OUA football game attracts around 28,000 viewers. However, the blackout wasn’t just for regular season games. For the first time in more than 40 years, the Yates Cup wasn’t televised in 2014.

Can you really blame the viewers?

Not many people I know enjoy watching games that end 66-0 (McMaster @ Waterloo, September 6), and the viewership supports that. Even in the CIS playoffs fans were subjected to a 74-18 Laval thrashing of Concordia and a 56-0 Calgary win over Regina. Luckily for the CIS, the Vanier Cup game between Montreal and McMaster had some exciting moments, and came down to a blocked field goal.

The University of Western Ontario Mustangs have been a powerhouse of the OUA for decades. My father was a Western Mustang, and my sister was a Western Mustang. Football players are naturally drawn to the school because of its strong football program. They know that if they can take the field as a Mustang, they’ve got a good shot of winning, as they did in 2014 with a 6-2 record and playing in the OUA semifinal. If you had a choice to play with the University of Western Ontario Mustangs, or the York University Lions, I think the decision would be pretty easy.

This is not a Sportsnet problem, or any other media problem. This is a University specific problem. If a league wants to be upset at something because a TV deal’s been pulled, they need only look in a mirror.

I’m not about to tell the CIS or their Universities how to improve the parity of the league. That’s not my job. I’m just here to say it needs to be done and if the CIS isn’t willing to take a good, hard look at that issue, an OUA television deal may not be the only thing being pulled.


TSC032: The Sports Cave Podcast – Episode #32

Well, we had all the boys together for the first time ever and as expected, it was awesome. Drinking Granville Island products and eating Panago Pizza. We’re sorry for the chewing sounds, but we did talk about some seriously pressing issues.

We’ll be looking forward to doing it again, and don’t forget you can listen live!

See you next week!

The Instant Replay Effect

It’s incredible how the advancement of technology has required major sports leagues to improve their accuracy. Before instant replay, calls made by officials, umpires and referees weren’t challenged. There couldn’t be. There wasn’t any way to authenticate or discredit the call that was made.

Then came December 7, 1963, the day that changed sports forever.

CBS introduced instant replay during a broadcast between two college football foes, Army and Navy. Although instant replay wasn’t initially used to verify calls made during a game, it certainly paved the way for all the coach’s challenges we see in sports today.

The NFL was the first to introduce the coach’s challenge. Other leagues soon followed with a similar approach. The latest sport to enter the world of coach’s reviews is Major League Baseball. While it’s important that a sporting event be as accurate as possible (considering the idea is to have a winner and a loser), there are drawbacks that come with it. Arguably the most substantial issue facing instant replay today is the time required to perform a review of a challenged play. The process takes far too long to complete, and Major League Baseball is the greatest offender.

Managers in an MLB game are allowed one challenge. If the call is overturned, that manager is then given another challenge to use throughout the game. Each team is allowed a maximum of 2 challenges. However, that doesn’t mean that managers are forbidden from coming out of the dugout to argue with umpires. It’s a stall tactic MLB managers are using in order to give their bench coaches time to review the play to decide whether or not to challenge it. As long as the manager doesn’t say he wants to challenge a play, he’s not charged with using one of his challenges.

Over the course of the 2014 season and playoffs, managers challenged calls on the field a total of 1,276 times. Major League Baseball’s goal is 60-90 seconds per challenge, and I think we can agree that reality says it’s longer than that. Even at their ambitious goals, that equals anywhere between 21 and 32 hours of time lost to challenges over the course of the 2014 season. This time does not include time wasted when managers come out to argue the call, without launching a formal challenge. This process slows the pace of baseball to a lethargic state.

The worry moving forward is that other coaches and teams in other leagues will adopt a similar method of dealing with challenges. Leagues need to be more aggressive when it comes to instant replay in order to keep the games moving at a regular pace. One of the elements that make sports great is the fact that great plays and exciting moments can keep fans captivated. The current form of instant replay being used to correct erroneous calls on the field, especially in Major League Baseball, is eroding that element significantly.

A fan base that’s not captivated could potentially mean the scariest possibility for any league: No fans at all.

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