This week marks the return of former Edge morning man Dean Blundell to Toronto radio after a 14-month hiatus. This time he will be quarterbacking the morning show on the Fan 590.
Blundell is radio’s version of Darcy Tucker, a guy who can get in your face and be a key offensive piece. He may be the guy who can liven up what is traditionally a dull media market. There will be those who will say: Dean is not a sports guy, why is he on the Fan? My response is: neither is the rest of the sports media in Toronto, so in that sense he should fit right in.
I don’t think it will be a difficult transition for Blundell from the Edge to the Fan. The two stations are geared towards a male audience and Blundell often talked about Toronto sports teams, especially the Leafs, when he was at the Edge. He often had Leafs players on his show especially the late Wade Belak. The banter between the players and Blundell made for great radio. Blundell also seems to be the only media personality, other than Don Cherry, who is willing to defend Toronto’s turf. Remember when he sent Todd Shapiro to agitate the Philadelphia Flyers when they were in Toronto during the playoffs? Can you name any current media type who had the balls to do that?
But with that being said, Blundell is on a leash. Perhaps not short but long enough for management to handle. I will guess that people will listen and watch him closely to see if he trips up again. The scrutiny Blundell will be under will be no different if he was playing for the Leafs.
Judging by the reaction to the news, it is no surprise that those who are in shock that Blundell is back on Toronto radio are the same ones who also want to sanitize hockey. I saw one article that suggests sports radio should have more women. I’ve got four words: The Fabulous Sports Babe. She was the best when she had her show in early 2000s yet these same people could not stand her. They feel sports talk should be more like “The View”? Isn’t there already one like that on TSN called “The Reporters”?
Like I’ve said before, the sports media in Toronto is boring. Someone needs to drop some ice into people’s pants. Blundell is capable of doing it. The question is, will he?