Coaches Corner Presents: Last Take #1 – The Leafs, Journalistic Integrity, and Coaches’ Origin Story

Wow. It’s sure been awhile, hasn’t it? Since May? 4 Months? If I owed any of you anything, I’d give you an explanation. Well, frankly, it’s just been a very busy summer for me. I moonlighted as an NBA journalist, wrote most of a novel, and had a whirlwind vacation to my favourite city in the world, Toronto. You can learn all about the wild adventures of Coach by donating directly to my Patreon. Anyway.

Welcome to Last Take (#LastTake when you want to talk about it on twitter/facebook/google+/myspace), my new twice-weekly column covering damn near everything you can imagine. As the name might suggest, I’m taking my queue from the single greatest sports journalism talk show on basic cable – Pardon the Interruption.

Jokes aside, Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman get a lot of flack for their opinions-over-facts style, but let’s be real – factual journalism isn’t in vogue right now, and I can’t afford to feed myself unless I get those sweet, sweet clicks. Look at the whole Tom Petty situation. Is he dead? Is he not? Depends on what “reputable” publication you read. We journalists have to do more and more to keep you on board, and it’s near-impossible to pivot to video when you’re as ugly as I am.

Allow me to move away from my ESPN centric diatribe for just a moment. For some reason, the largest portion of my readerbase are Leafs fans, so let’s talk some Leafs. It’s been a long off-season, and the biggest talking point was Patrick Marleau, and how he would integrate. I knew an awful lot of people who thought this was a bad acquisition, whether it be because of his age or injury history or a possible separation anxiety from linemate/best friend Joe Thornton. Well, we see how that worked out, didn’t we? A 7 – 2 Victory on the road for the Leafs, with the youth movement in full swing. A 3 point night for Auston Matthews, A great game from William Nyelander, a goal for Marleau, and a lot of trash talk by me to the people in my fantasy league who laughed at me for drafting all three of these guys so high. (Speaking of, should I trade Roman Josi for Mitch Marner/Torey Krug?)

The Leafs Nation pessimism is still out in full swing, despite the scoreline, but what you need to consider is that the Jets aren’t actually a bad team. They have issues in net, sure, but Mason is a solid goalie when he’s got time to settle in. Add Laine and Schiefle to that mix and you’ve got a solid foundation. a 7 – 2 win over any team is something you should get excited about. Elsewhere, the Oilers put down a dominant performance which included a Cam Talbot blanking and a McDavid hat trick. Calling it right now – Oilers and Leafs in the cup.

Here’s a few more bold predictions that will make me look really smart in retrospect if they come true. The Bruins will make the Eastern Conf. Finals, The Ducks will miss the playoffs, and the Blackhawks will still suck.

Shots in the dark like that tie right back into the so-called “facts based” journalism this country has learned to hate in the last 3 years. For some godforsaken reason, GamerGate spurred whatever the opposite of a revolution is on the internet-based journalism front, one where “ethics in video game journalism” (which is the single least important issue in the world) became code for “harassing women online”. (This issue is covered in more depth in a wonderful article in The Fader about Youtube “star” Anthony Fantano).

I’m reminded of how I got my own start in journalism. It was 2013, and the NHL lockout was in full swing. I was a young, bored woman with too much free time, so I made a fake NHL insider twitter account. I garnered a bit of a following by reporting rumours as facts, and then I got very lucky. 10 minutes before the news broke officially, I just decided to guess the end of the lockout and the start date of the season. I was syndicated in many smaller publications, and I’ve never looked back.

I’m sure perhaps Cam Newton might have something sexist to say about my introduction into what would become my career, but I’d like to point out that if Cam Newton knew a bit more about routes he might have won that Super Bowl.

Anyway, that was the First #LastTake. See you again on Monday, and remember to give me your money.

Addendum – Hiveswap came out by the way, and it’s actually good. Go play it, it’s only 8 dollars.


      1. It was more or less a shitpost, but then the new jersey game happened
        And the Montreal game was pretty shakey too
        whatever just outliers

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