sowny.net | The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

January 16, 2023 8:23 pm  #1


Harold Ballard documentary

https://povmagazine.com/offside-tells-the-story-of-maple-leafs-mogul-harold-ballard/

    CBC and CBC Gem are airing this documentary on the one and only Harold Ballard this Sunday at 8.

 

January 16, 2023 8:39 pm  #2


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

Sad thing is the Leafs were not a bad team in the mid '70s if only the owner would have let his GM run the team and stayed out of it. 

 

January 16, 2023 8:49 pm  #3


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

Thanks for posting. Will definitely PVR it.

 

January 16, 2023 9:02 pm  #4


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

I can't remember. Wasn't he a pederast ringleading the other pederasts who worked at the Gardens?

 

January 17, 2023 3:27 am  #5


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

Chrisphen wrote:

I can't remember. Wasn't he a pederast ringleading the other pederasts who worked at the Gardens?

I don't recall anyone coming forward saying they were sexually abused by Ballard but there was an allegation he knew about the abuse  going on and even that he propositioned a boy. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/ballard-tied-to-gardens-abuse-suit-says/article757279/

Last edited by Hansa (January 17, 2023 3:27 am)

 

January 17, 2023 11:45 am  #6


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

Then there is The Ballard Curse that continues to this day. The Leafs cannot get past the first round of the NHL playoffs. 

 

January 17, 2023 12:14 pm  #7


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

He really was a terrible human being. I've been told the story about what he did to one of Canada's most respected sportswriters. Back in the mid-80s, when CJCL was still in its talk show phase at 1430, scribe Earl McRae was hosting a nightly show called "Open Line Sports Tonight." One evening, he had on Leaf G.M. Gerry McNamara as a guest

After asking him about the team and its chances for the playoffs - you know, the usual de rigueur interview questions, McRae went after him about something he'd said that was completely contradictory and made no sense. If you knew McRae, you'd know that the moment McNamara got tongue tied trying to explain, he was like a dog with a bone and wouldn't let it go. He went after him repeatedly asking him to explain his statements, making the Leaf G.M. look very bad. 

As I heard the story, the very next day, Harold Ballard himself called the station. CJCL had the rights to the Leafs at the time and it was their only real major money maker. He was so angry about how McRae had eviscerated his G.M. that he threated to pull the rights on the spot and give them to another station in town, taking most of the revenue with it. 

I'm not even sure that would be legal, given that they had a signed deal, but Ballard was insistent - if McRae wasn't punished, the Leafs would be gone for good. And so management did what they so often do - they caved completely, suspending McRae without pay for at least two weeks for "embarrassing the station." It was completely bogus and unfair and I'm frankly surprised the host didn't quit on the spot. 

But perhaps the money was too good or he didn't want to fight it, so he accepted the punishment and was off the air for a while. But he never forgot it and when he came back, he started doing vicious imitations of Ballard on his show, which may have seemed a bit dangerous given what happened. But it was his way of letting the Leaf owner know he wasn't going to get away with it. 

That's the kind of person McRae was. And sadly, that's the kind of man Harold was. Of the two, Earl was the pearl. 

 

January 17, 2023 2:08 pm  #8


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

I hope it's okay to chime in here with a Mikeumentary I put together about Harold Ballard. I chatted with Jeff Marek, Dave Hodge, Ken Daniels, Gord Stellick, Suneel Joshi, Mary Ormsby, Paul Hunter and Rick Vaive.

https://www.torontomike.com/2021/03/toronto-miked-podcast-episode-817-harold-ballard/

 

January 20, 2023 5:18 pm  #9


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

https://twitter.com/hockeynight/status/1616527907727310854?t=4ZWEeO1BfQa_XVkmbVDMiw&s=19

here's an interview with the director and producer about the documentary, who they spoke to, why they wanted to make it and if they believe in the curse

by the way, Jason Priestley is the director

looking forward to seeing this

 

January 21, 2023 12:54 pm  #10


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

I always found Mr. Ballard to be entertaining.

I interacted with him only once and he was great to deal with - generous with his time.

My favourite story about Mr. Ballard centers around him dressing up as Santa Claus for a segment aired live between periods on a Leaf tv broadcast. Probably about Christmas of '76 or maybe '77. Dave Hodge was the host and I think Dick Beddoes may have also been present. 

Anyway as you might expect there was lots of laughter as the three - but especially with Mr. Ballard in his Santa suit and Beddoes cutting up - talking about various people including the late sportscaster & writer Jim Hunt. When Hunt's name came up (and remember this is LIVE) Santa Ballard suggested the following -- "you should change the first letter of his last name from an H to a C".

And more laughter ensued.


  
 

January 21, 2023 10:41 pm  #11


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

unclefester wrote:

As you might expect there was lots of laughter as the three - but especially with Mr. Ballard in his Santa suit and Beddoes cutting up - talking about various people including the late sportscaster & writer Jim Hunt. When Hunt's name came up (and remember this is LIVE) Santa Ballard suggested the following -- "you should change the first letter of his last name from an H to a C".

And more laughter ensued.

Turns out Ballard didn't need to say that - Jim Hunt said it for himself.

You can hear this infamous on-air blooper from the mid-70s over CKEY here. 
 

 

January 23, 2023 12:48 am  #12


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

The most interesting part of the documentary to me was to see how different former broadcasters like Suneel Joshi and others look now than they did back then. It's to be expected with the passing of the years, but it's still fascinating to see how they appear today.

Jim McKenny still looks relatively the same as his City TV days, which is also incredible. And some of the mic flashes in the historical footage shows logos from stations I haven't seen in a very long time.   

Nothing about the show, however, does anything to change my mind about what an idiot and a crass a-hole Ballard was. The sad thing is, he probably would have loved the show.

If you missed it, you can watch it online for free here.

 

January 23, 2023 11:42 am  #13


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

I found the end of the show the most intriguing. The last sentence " Will this be the year the Toronto Maple Leafs break the Ballard Curse " I ,and a few other people , were standing by the Hot Stove door when Harold came out swinging his cane at us telling to us to get the F out of his way. One of the guys near me asked if the Leafs would win the  cup this year, and he bellowed " these assholes will never win . I curse these losers " Not a exact quote but the best to my recollection. I have never heard anything in the media related to this, I'm sure he said it more than once , until last night . I feel vindicated this morning. https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons3/angel.png

 

January 23, 2023 2:51 pm  #14


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

I really enjoyed this documentary.  Doesn't matter if you are a hockey or Leaf fan, a lot of people would find Harold Ballard an interesting but unrefined character.  All of his faults and quirks came through in spades.  He was a jerk and didn't care what people thought of him.  He said what he felt and if you don't like it, that's your problem.  I forgot how rude he was to Barbara Frum.

Jason Priestly did a good job producing and narrating the doc, and it was interesting that Don Cherry was part of the many personalities commenting on Pal Hal.  

I agree, it brought back memories of the various radio/tv stations of the day and seeing all of the mic flags during the press conference/scrums after the game. Back then everyone covered the Leafs and sports. 

 

January 23, 2023 4:54 pm  #15


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

paterson1 wrote:

I really enjoyed this documentary.  Doesn't matter if you are a hockey or Leaf fan, a lot of people would find Harold Ballard an interesting but unrefined character.  All of his faults and quirks came through in spades.  He was a jerk and didn't care what people thought of him.  He said what he felt and if you don't like it, that's your problem.  I forgot how rude he was to Barbara Frum.

Jason Priestly did a good job producing and narrating the doc, and it was interesting that Don Cherry was part of the many personalities commenting on Pal Hal.  

I agree, it brought back memories of the various radio/tv stations of the day and seeing all of the mic flags during the press conference/scrums after the game. Back then everyone covered the Leafs and sports. 

If you need a hockey double feature, the 72 Summit Series and this beauty of a doc about a pretty ugly man would do it, add "Slapshot" and you've got a hat trick.

A Harold Ballard movie of some of the points in the documentary would be interesting, the white collar crime, his jail time, the relationship with his son and the women in his life and the way he screwed the Leafs and the Leafs fans. Wouldn't be surprised if a couple of writers aren't whipping up a pitch for a screenplay after seeing Sunday's show.

Last edited by betaylored (January 23, 2023 4:58 pm)

 

January 23, 2023 5:44 pm  #16


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

I interviewed Ballard in the early '80s when the Leafs moved their farm team to St. Catharines. He and King Clancy did a stand up routine at the news conference/announcement.  I can see why Ballard changed and not in a good way, after King died.  A good read on all this is Pal Hal, an uninhibited, no holds barred account of the life and times of Harold Ballard, by Dick Beddoes.

Last edited by Broodcaster (January 23, 2023 6:23 pm)

 

January 23, 2023 6:36 pm  #17


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

I met Dick Beddoes a few times, when he subbed on a sports radio talk show I produced while the main host was away. Despite his reputation, he seemed like a very nice man.

Whenever I think of Beddoes, the one thing that stands out was the famous fedoras he always wore. But my favourite memory of him doesn't involve him at all. There was an episode of SCTV in which Floyd Robertson was doing the news and introduced a Dick Beddoes-like character with a sports report. (Inspired no doubt by his frequent appearances on Hamilton's Channel 11.) 

He was shown wearing his hat and every time the camera cut away to Robertson, they'd go back to the pseudo-Beddoes and his hat would be bigger. That would spark a reaction shot from Robertson (Joe Flaherty) and then they'd cut back to the sportscaster. By the time this short sketch was done, the chapeau was so large, it filled the entire screen. The double take reaction shots from Flaherty were so funny, I remember them all these years later. 

I've looked for this clip on YouTube, but have never been able to find it. It's a shame. The bit was completely lost on anyone who didn't live in the GTA, but for those of us who did, God, it was funny.  

 

January 23, 2023 7:18 pm  #18


Re: Harold Ballard documentary

Happy birthday to Brendan Shanahan, born this day in 1969.

And the Ballard Curse? Better to call it the Ballard Cop Out.