Almost 18 months have passed since Bob McCown left his familiar chair in Sportsnet’s 590 The Fan studio, where he spent a generation cultivating an audience as the host of the afternoon show. . He is still recognized on the streets of Toronto, and sometimes only to his chagrin.
“I still can’t go anywhere,” he said. “Grocery store. Gas station. With the pandemic, I think I went to a restaurant – when it was open – three or four times. I was pulled over each time.
Most fans ask for a photo or autograph. Some people just say, “Hey Bob.
“There’s the intruder who stops me – or tries – to chat,” McCown said. “I know how to get around this. “
He waited a moment, then continued.
“I try not to be disrespectful,” he said. “There are certain tips. You always do something. You’re on your way somewhere and you really don’t have 15 minutes to get up and talk to someone.
His contractual obligations to talk about the Maple Leafs ended in June 2019, when he hosted his last show on a station he helped build. McCown didn’t know it at the time, but Sportsnet was launching a massive cost-cutting strategy that would ultimately drive several top names to the door.
In an interview with The Athletic, the 68-year-old made it clear that he has not resigned from his post and that he has not retired. He said he was bought out over the last 18 months of his contract – collecting the balance of what was owed to him while he sat at home, rather than behind the microphone.
“I didn’t understand why they were doing this,” he said. “And that still doesn’t make sense to me. But that said, I respect their right to make these decisions, no matter how stupid they are. “
Sportsnet declined to comment on Tuesday.
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