Whiskey and Cream: Episode VII

Whiskey & Cream for January 19th, 2021

Host: Ari Shapiro

0:36-13:20: “On the outside and feeling betrayed”

The inauguration is almost upon us and most Americans are waiting with bated breath to usher in what should be a new era in US politics. But as the steam goes out on the Donald Trump presidency and the reality of losing a fair and democratic election sinks in, it isn’t a coincidence that anti-state and anti-law enforcement ideas are flourishing across all states of the union. The movement has taken on a decidedly militant turn across the board specifically because the outgoing administration crafted a brutal and convenient revisionist narrative that Trump supporters are stuck on the outside looking in on an election that was stolen and requires them to defend themselves and their honour. As a result, multiple forms of virulent militant activity ranging from The Oathkeepers to The Proud Boys are finding themselves with the kind of raison d’être that could end up creating a measure of public unrest not seen since the civil rights movement.

Brendan O’Connor (@_grendan) is freelance journalist and the author of Blood Red Lines: How Nativism Fuels The Right. He’s covered right-wing extremism since the end of the Obama administration and believes that overstating the danger of what may come can lead to poor analysis and even worse conclusions. But what he does believe is that what happens next will be a period of turmoil, and that The Biden administration will likely not be defined by healing and reconciliation. In his eyes, there will be a greater and far more spectacular reckoning of political violence in the US for the foreseeable future.

13:21-19:31: “When lightning strikes twice”

Most Canadians don’t realize how special and unique the Tampa Bay Lightning are as a professional NHL franchise, and with the return of hockey for a second season in a pandemic reality, there’s a great deal to be said for an organization which values their fans as much as their profit levels and industry achievements. In a market devoid of hypercritical fans and a vicious media backbite, the Lightning aren’t just winners on the ice – they are bona fide winners off it as well.

Dave Randorf (@DaveRandorf) is the play-by-play commentator for the Tampa Bay Lightning and a celebrated Canadian sports broadcaster. He’s never taken his success for granted and believes that in aligning his future with the Florida-based Stanley Cup champions, he can help fans of hockey feel better about their own personal struggles by enjoying a first class organization which has succeeded in winning the championship twice since the turn of the century. Which, for the record, is twice more than the Toronto Maple Leafs have accomplished since 1967.

19:32-26:21: “Coming back to normal, a little dark and colder”

It’s hard to keep your mind fresh and spirits high when the numbing reality of covid statistics exist to remind you that all is not normal. It makes one really wonder: how much of this can we take without going back to the normal things – you know, the simple things. Like enjoying a breakaway in overtime, an extra innings nailbiter or the last few remaining seconds of an alley-oop, centre court play to win the game in regulation. Having sports back, even under such abnormal conditions, is essentially a return to normalcy that gives us the kind of distraction needed to help absorb the hypocrisy of our times – the fact that politicians and corporate profiteers are treating this time as business as usual.

Tony Ambrogio (@Tony_Ambrogio) is a freelancer with TSN and teaches at the College of Sports Media in Toronto. He’s a highly respected sports journalist who finds himself becoming a colder, darker person when confronted with an endless barrage of pandemic statistics and political hypocrisies which make him pine for the simplicity of hockey, basketball or baseball. Amidst all the vitriol and hate associated with masks and vaccinations, he remains grateful that society can still rely on professional sports to bring us back to a time when arguing at the dinner table and mulling over the latest feats of athleticism were once the norm.

26:23-34:01: “The psychology of pandemic sports betting”

We’ve come a long way from the days when sports betting was frowned upon as a reckless or taboo indulgence. With 19 American states now legalizing the activity, it’s clear the appetite for gambling has reached a whole new level with the pandemic raging throughout the winter. In the first couple of months alone, Table Tennis became the seventh most wagered on sport as people sought to find ways to wager money on competitive spectacles that reminded them of something other than negative media news and gradual societal decay.

Ben Fawkes (@BFawkes22) is the VP of Digital Content at VISN The Sports Betting Network and has done work with ESPN. For him, the concept of sports betting is all about psychology and economics and shouldn’t be for the faint of heart. In a changing world of easy to use technology and unlimited access, his mantra of making informed decisions and playing within your boundaries is an absolute prerequisite for anyone who is serious turning this pursuit into a money-maker, and that having consistent success relies more on studying and learning the craft well before embarking on it.

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

Whiskey and Cream Episode 001

Whiskey & Cream for November 26th, 2020.

Host: Ari Shapiro

0:28-5:31
Author and Montreal Expos historian Danny Gallagher (@dannogallagher7) talks about the resurgence of Montreal Expos memorabilia and what seems like a true renaissance of fan interest in the wake of his new book (Always Remember, New Revelations and Old Tales about the Montreal Expos).

6:50-8:01
Podcaster and AMI radio host Cam Jenkins (@NeutralZoneCamJ) offers his thoughts on the pandemic reality affecting disabled fans of spectator sports.

9:30-17:54
Writer and Pension Plan Puppets blogger Omar White (@TicTacTOmar) delivers an eloquent rant in his summation of the madness behind recent Toronto Maples Leafs free agent acquisitions and where this hockey team stands today.

18:42-20:23
Site expert of Editor-In-Leaf and writer James Tanner (@EditorinLeaf) chimes in with a brazen attempt to help digest the identity of this club after the surrealism of the Mike Babcock era and why he thinks fans need to have a more realistic perspective moving forward.

20:24-23:20
Texas Rangers assistant pitching analyst Richard Birfer (@richardbirfs) can’t quit baseball and believes that neither should you.

23:20-28:10
Excerpts from a recent Toronto Raptors round table with members of Shapiro’s League of Seven; lawyer and college basketball player Mick Sloniowksi (@MSloniowski), economist and writer Marshall Auerback (@mauerback) and producer and political consultant Jon Reid (@JReid416).

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

Shapiro’s League of Seven: The Day The Sports World Paused

Shapiro’s League of Seven: “The Day The Sports World Paused” (Episode 01)

League members: Marshall Auerback and Mick Sloniowski
Hosted by Ari Shapiro
Record: March 17th, 2020.

Subjects covered:

1. The day the sports world disappeared.
2. Flattening the curve; stay-at-home guidelines and cash reinforcements, debt write-offs – how should the world handle this development?
3. The threat of social media when it comes to the disappearance of toilet paper and key goods.
4. Italy and Iran’s total failure; why South Korea’s mandatory testing policy worked right off the bat.
5. Israel cyber-monitoring; deploying cell phone monitoring technology – is that an Orwellian gateway?

Theme: Coffee and Feels (Satin Jackets, Golden Feel, 2020)

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)

A conversation with Alex Seixeiro

My latest conversation with celebrated Sportsnet anchor and radio/television host Alex Seixeiro, whose industry success, commitment to his craft and informed opinions make him a powerful conversationalist and a worthwhile authority on the subject of Toronto sports.

We discussed his thoughts on the Blue Jays and their torrid off-season, the Raptors and their sublime excellence night in and night out, and the Maple Leafs and their quest to end over half a century of futility, along with his candid position on the changing of the guard (Don Cherry, Bob McCown) when it comes to broadcasting personalities and sports journalism in Canada.

Be sure to check out Alex and his fine work on social media (@alexfan590) and across all Sportsnet affiliates.

Subscribe to arishapiro.ca today to receive my latest audio, video and existential creative efforts that will either make your day or quite possibly bore you to tears. Either way, you won’t regret it.

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