Whiskey and Cream: Episode 004

Whiskey & Cream for December 18th, 2020.

Host: Ari Shapiro

0:35-6:51: “A Hill To Die On: The Future of the NHL”

It’s not hard to admire the way Gary Bettman and the NHL handled their season in the face of a global pandemic. Although they lost millions of dollars in playoff revenue, they ultimately succeeded in bringing their sport back to the masses in a way that made the Stanley Cup seem like a holy grail during dark times – and all you had to do was take one look at Victor Hedman’s face after the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars to win their second Stanley Cup to really understand what it meant to the players and their fans.

But now there’s trouble in paradise, as is the case with any league that has a profit-oriented group of owners who love real estate development taking on a powerful union of players who won’t back down after the lockout fiasco in 2004. With a healthy league growing in non-traditional markets and hockey related revenues firmly and fairly where they should be, it’s hard to fathom that the NHL could easily shoot themselves in the foot if they aren’t careful.

Luke Armstrong (@armstrongthings) is a Canadian sports blogger and writer whose work has been featured on Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News. His recent article entitled “COVID-19’s Impacts on the Future of the NHL” looks deeper at what sort of options exist for the NHL as they enter the daunting reality not trying to ruin a good thing.

7:03-11:55: “The Pandemic Never Ended In July”

It took Senator Republican leader Mitch McConnell six weeks to recognize the new President of the United States, and so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, finally, after nearly 10 months, their Congress is on the verge of putting together bona fide economic stimulus legislation that’s presumably designed to take care of their weakest and most downtrodden citizens.

But considering that 40 million Americans are at risk of losing their homes due to an inability to pay their rent or mortgage, and that millions more are flocking to unemployment insurance and food banks, it’s hard to imagine that the world’s richest country has failed so miserably to help their own taxpayers – especially considering the way Canadians have witnessed their own federal government from the start of the year.

Emily Stewart (@EmilyStewartM) is a business and politics reporter for Vox News, and has been seen on MSN, CNBC, Yahoo Finance, to name but a few. Her recent articles on how the United States government is tackling COVID-19 from an economic perspective reveals a colder and harder reality where the concepts of empathy and fairness of leadership seems harder and harder to find as time goes by.

12:02-16:35: “The Tampa Raptors in the Land of COVID-19”

The Toronto Raptors basketball club will be spending their 2021 season in Tampa, and that means learning about COVID cases from afar and having to endure the physical loss of the only Canadian team playing in one of the worst pandemic outbreak states in the union. But that being said, it’s also a chance for the NBA to prove that their league is a cut above the rest – and that a harmonious relationship between players and ownership has commissioner Adam Silver and company to dream bigger and bolder than ever before.

Josh Weinstein (@joshhweinstein) is the NBA editor for The Score and has written for the Raptors Republic. For him, the team is embarking into uncharted waters with their new digs down south, but he’s optimistic that the league will continue to lead by example and show their fans that the future is bright and worth believing in.

16:48-21:35: “Profit over Practicality”

It’s not a stretch to think that Major League Baseball and the National Football League really blew it when it came to monetizing their seasons. Sure, they wanted to bring back their respective forms of entertainment and escapism, but in the end of just seemed like a stumbling, bumbling mess of execution. The end results were appalling; endless cases of infection, oddly disjointed travel schedules, and a sense of general calamity.

Sam Mendelsohn (@Mendy_Island) is an NFL writer and sports betting analyst for Odds Shark, and he understood early on why baseball and football were choosing profit over practicality when it came to ushering back their limited seasons.

“Whiskey & Cream Theme” written and performed by Chris Henderson.

Shapiro’s League of Seven: Bring In The Cavalry

Shapiro’s League of Seven: “Bring In The Cavalry” (Episode #04)

League members: Jon Reid and Luke Armstrong
Hosted by Ari Shapiro
Recorded: April 1st, 2020 (29:51)

The League takes a closer look into how we as humans are battling cabin fever as it slowly metastasizes into a grim reality of utter boredom and lingering anxiety. We discussed the psychological toll this pandemic has taken on society as a whole and what to do with the prospect of martial law looming on the horizon in countries which consider themselves democratic. Meanwhile, countless authoritarian populist nations are busy making themselves sick with hubris and misanthropic myopia. Need more? Listen in.

Theme: death bed (Powfu, death bed – coffee for your head, 2019)

Shapiro’s Daily Show: Saturday Edition

Shapiro’s Daily Show: Saturday Edition

[00:38-12:35] A conversation with Chandler Worthy of the Toronto Argonauts
[12:40-31:31] Blue Jays and Maple Leafs round table with Luke Armstrong and Sam Mendelsohn

On this episode: a compelling discussion about football and philanthropy with Chandler Worthy who happens to be a wide receiver with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. You can find him on Instagram (@cworthy16) and be sure to check out his fine work with Kalari.ca where he’s developing a mental health company aimed at working with students to improve their self-esteem and confidence in leading by example.

Also, writer and blogger Luke Armstrong (@armstrongthings) and sports broadcaster Sam Mendelsohn (@Mendy_Island) drop by to discuss the current scandal-plagued nature of a fresh new MLB season and why the Maple Leafs might be lacking the defensive pixie dust to help them deal with quality eastern conference foes.

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Music: “Little Guitars” by Van Halen (Diver Down, 1982)

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