Volume 93, Issue 19

Thursday, September 30, 1999



Landsberg lands on the Beach

There's a new captain in town

Stadium without a roar

Landsberg lands on the Beach

©Neil Malhotra/Gazette
DO YOU WANT TO COME ON STAGE? TSN personality Michael Landsberg visited the Concrete Beach Tuesday putting Western students on the record.

By Sean Maraj
Gazette Staff

Twenty questions this week is directed at none other than TSN personality Michael Landsberg and this time he wasn't Off The Record.

Landsberg is one of the lasting veterans on TSN, where he gained recognition behind the sports desk, rhyming off highlights and quoting scoreboards. He can now be seen weeknights on his own show, OTR.

Landsberg was on campus Tuesday giving away T-shirts and TSN lip balm, while signing autographs for a very enthusiastic crowd. He ran a mock OTR show, pulling members of the audience into the fray to argue sports and even jumping into the argument himself to help spice things up.

After the speakers blew out, ending the show a little early, Landsberg sat down on the stage and talked to the remainder of the crowd, snapping jokes and sarcastic remarks while he talked about sports, broadcast journalism and even wrestling - the fake kind.

As the crowd gathered around Landsberg, one of the first questions he answered dealt with how to go about getting a job in broadcasting. Landsberg, who has been quite successful with his own hit show, was quick to offer advice.

"If you want to be a broadcaster you have to practice and develop skill. You have to develop a sense of style. You should be getting on the air as much as possible – local cable and as much public speaking as possible," he said.

A major point of interest was boxing, prompting questions by many people in the crowd. Several questions specifically asked Landsberg's opinion of recent key matches. The first of these concerned the Oscar De la Hoya and Felix Trinidad bout.

"I loved that fight, I would have given it to De la Hoya, I thought it was a bad call," he said, referring to Trinidad's victory.

As for the potential outcomes of future matches, especially a heavyweight rematch between champion Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, the answer came quick and was straight to the point, "Lewis is going to kill him."

After signing a few more autographs and exchanging some more jokes with the crowd, the subject changed to one of OTR's more popular topics – professional wrestling. Vince McMahon and Bret "the Hitman" Hart both told their sides of the story on OTR after their now famous break up two years ago.

"Bret Hart forgot it was entertainment. When Vince told him to do something, Bret refused because he thought he was the champion," Landsberg said on why he preferred McMahon over Hart.

Landsberg was later asked which wrestler he thought was a better guest between World Wrestling Federation favourites the Rock and Mankind. "Mankind is better because the Rock never goes out of character," he said. "Mankind is one of the nicest guys."

Another topic he discussed was the recent closing of older sports facilities, such as Tiger Stadium and Maple Leaf Gardens. "It's sad in the sense that I grew up watching games at CNE Stadium. The worst thing was moving to the Skydome. I loved the CNE. It doesn't have to be perfect," he said.

As for the closing of Maple Leafs Gardens, he seemed a little more optimistic. "I like the Air Canada Centre for basketball. But I went to a Leafs game and it was just so quiet."

Landsberg said he could see many reasons which accounted for the success of his show, but he stressed one of the biggest. "We always say it's about the passion the guests bring. When you get guests who don't know each other and you don't know what they know, the show is unique in that way."

Landsberg said he thought his best guests were Gene Mack and Tiger Williams. As for his dream guest – this would be eccentric boxing promotor Don King, he said.

As OTR continues its successful run, Landsberg kept his future career plans open, not willing to confine them simply to the show.

How long will he be sticking around on OTR? "Another year for sure," he said. "It's important to leave not on the way down."

To Contact The Sports Department:

Copyright © The Gazette 1999