R.C.M.P.: The Return of Canadian Mounted Podcasts


I am not a television critic, and I haven’t had anything to say about podcasts not our own in a long time, but ostensibly uncoordinated events this week compel me to again address the field.

As I described at length a few years ago, I was never much for podcasts until I found The Jalen Rose Show. Although I still check in periodically, changes in my daily schedule caused me to fall off the regular listening (and now viewing) train. I did not think I would find another non-ALDLAND Podcast podcast that would entertain me and hold my interest.

Last year, however, I found two. The first was Norm Macdonald Live, a live video podcast with weekly episodes that started in March 2013. My insatiable appetite for Norm‘s material notwithstanding, I do believe the show worked on two levels: i) it had the basic element of funny guests being casually, unscripted-ly funny, and, ii) by its structure, it operated as a deconstruction of the talk-show format. (If I try to write any more than that, they’ll revoke my liberal arts degree and make me turn in my semicolon license.) After about a dozen episodes, the seemingly successful program inexplicably went off the air in the summer of 2013 with no indication that it might ever return.

The summer of 2013 offered new video podcast life, however, in the form of the (re)birth of the Jay and Dan Podcast. Jay and Dan are Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole, the lead anchors of Fox Sports 1’s Sportscenter-ish program Fox Sports Live. Before joining FS1, Onrait and O’Toole held the same job at TSN on Canadian Sportscenter. Their podcast existed in some form in Canada, but they reinvented it as a weekly video podcast through Fox, targeted at a more heavily American audience. Like Norm’s, Jay and Dan’s podcast regularly makes me smile and laugh. Also like Norm Macdonald Live, the Jay and Dan Podcast inexplicably disappeared with no indication that it might ever return.

In perhaps the first Canadian comedy and entertainment conspiracy of the internet age, both podcasts made surprise returns to apparently regularly scheduled programming this week. While both were a little rough on reentry, it’s nice to have them back on a weekly basis. Watch for Norm Macdonald Live on Monday nights and the Jay and Dan Podcast on Wednesdays.


Smackland podcast: The Jalen Rose Show

Kershaw in Context

ESPN Los Angeles:

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw have agreed on a seven-year, $215 million deal, sources with knowledge of the situation said.

Kershaw has an out clause after five years.

It is the richest deal for a pitcher in Major League Baseball history, eclipsing the seven-year, $180 million contract Detroit gave Justin Verlander last winter, and his average annual salary of $30.7 million is the highest ever for any baseball player.

The 25-year-old Kershaw has won two of the last three National League Cy Young Awards, as well as a Roberto Clemente award for his charitable work.

One of the things I’ve noticed is most eye-opening to casual sports fans is the size of athletes’ contracts, especially when presented in a more understandable context than “$D over Y years.” In continuing service to this site’s prime audience, the casual sports fan, here are two graphics that place Kershaw’s record-setting contract in context:

Now imagine being the person writing the checks for Kershaw and his teammates.