I’m Back, Baby. I’m Back!
Updated: Jun 27, 2020
By Mike Toth There are pros and cons to being COVID quarantined.
Some are blatantly obvious. It’s awful to hear about people dying while we all live in fear.
There are worse ways to spend a day than sprawling in your bed pounding macaroni and cheese while listening to old Elvis cassettes.
I do miss watching my two lads play sports. But I definitely don’t miss driving them through rush hour Toronto traffic desperately trying to arrive in time for the first pitch. One of my biggest of a long list of faults is being directionally challenged. I can still recall my two little guys wailing away in the back seat when I somehow ended up in Pickering for a hockey game that was scheduled for Burlington. For the uninitiated, I wasn’t even close. In fact, if you check out a map showing the massive difference between those two destinations, you would likely refuse to ever accept a ride from me for fear that you may well end up in a Mongolian desert.
Speaking of getting lost, it‘s been a long time since I have blogged or broadcast. After a 30-year career that took me to places such as “Sports at 11” in Calgary, TSN, Sportsnet, The Fan 590 and Newstalk 1010 in Toronto, I pretty much fell off the media radar. However, to be honest, I didn’t really miss the media game all that much. I had grown tired of glorifying big money athletes and owners who seemed more concerned about profits than pucks, bottom lines than balls. (Can someone please wake me up when MLB owners and players ever decide if they’re actually going to play baseball during the pandemic?)
At the same time, I absolutely love watching my kids compete. Coaching them from the bench or cheering for them from the bleachers, as any parent will attest, is a thousand times better than paying for a $200 ticket to watch an overpriced multi-millionaire go through the motions.
But a funny thing has happened during the COVID quarantine. Hunkered down in my basement, my two boys and I have had a ton of fun watching vintage games on YouTube.
Carlton Fisk slugging his dramatic “Body English” home run in the ‘75 World Series.
Bobby Orr, playing on one healthy knee, and still dominating the ‘76 Canada Cup.
A fresh-faced Michael Jordan, pre-Bulls and pre-cigar, nailing the big shot to win the ‘82 NCAA title for North Carolina.
These were all huge moments for me before I ever became a broadcaster and viewing them again has been a great reminder of how important sports has been in my life. I am now witnessing that same sports love in my two lads, one who believes LeBron is even better than Air Jordan and the other who thinks Carey Price is God’s gift to goalies. (Sorry kid, but Price is no Bernie Parent!)
The point is, we need sports now more than ever. Watching it, even if it’s just the old classics, is a great way to escape the pressures of the pandemic, and writing and talking about sports is a super stress reliever.
It’s also a fantastic way to connect with my kids, old friends and whoever else might get a kick out of sharing a sports tale or two - some old, some new.
That’s the whole point of our website and, if I’m being perfectly frank, after a long lay-off from sharing my thoughts and opinions I also have a hankering again to flex what’s left of my creative muscles and have a few laughs along the way.
Sometimes you might hear from me. Sometimes my guy Max will share a thought or two. Sometimes we might write a blog, produce a podcast, or post something we think is absolutely hilarious - which means there’s a good chance it‘s not even mildly funny.
But, oh well.
If the website is a total failure, I can always grab another bowl of mac and cheese or go for a drive. After all, I‘ve always wanted to see Mongolia.
At any rate, if you peruse our site we hope you enjoy it. Also, old friends and new, please drop us a line to let us know how you’re holding up out there in COVID country.
Take care, and we’ll talk again soon.