Showing posts with label Sports Media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sports Media. Show all posts

Monday, August 1, 2016

Skip Bayless




Skip Bayless is proof that you can be awful on television and not know anything and make millions of dollars:

“Too many people in charge at ESPN, for my taste, were a little too fearful,” says the outspoken host, who leaves the Disney-owned network after 12 years for a new show that will launch Sept. 6.

Skip Bayless says his move to Fox Sports 1 – with a new daily program that is set to bow Sept. 6 – will allow him to remove the “handcuffs” he’s been compelled to wear at ESPN, where he hosted the popular ESPN2 program First Take with Stephen A. Smith.

“Too many people in charge at ESPN, for my taste, were a little too fearful,” Bayless tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview officially revealing his move. "It's a Disney network. There are just certain boundaries that you can’t even tiptoe along. Not that we won’t have boundaries at Fox, because we will. [But] they will trust me to go a little deeper. I can be completely honest on everything."

And people wonder why sports programming has taken such a hit in recent years. Thanks to the carte blanche option, people unplug themselves from sports as soon as they can. It's not entirely because of Skip Bayless, but it's damned close.

What's the over/under on Bayless running for President in 2020?

 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Norwood Teague, Chick Magnet




Amelia Rayno has a powerful piece in the StarTribune. What follows is an account of sexual harassment by University of Minnesota Athletic Director Norwood Teague:

So I agreed to have that drink. But this December night was different. Teague asked me about my longtime boyfriend, as he often did. My mistake was acknowledging that we had just broken up. The switch flipped. Suddenly, in a public and crowded bar, Teague tried to throw his arm around me. He poked my side. He pinched my hip. He grabbed at me. Stunned and mortified, I swatted his advances and firmly told him to stop. He didn’t.

“Don’t deny,” he said, “our chemistry.”

I told him that he was drastically off base, that my only intention in being there was as a reporter – to which he replied: “You’re all strictly business? Nothing else?”

I walked out. He followed me. I hailed a cab. He followed me in, grabbing at my arm and scooting closer and closer in the dark back cabin until I was pressed against the door. I told him to stop. I told him it was not OK. He laughed. When I reached my apartment, I vomited.

Later that night he texted: “Night strictly bitness.’’

The incident wasn’t the first with Teague.

When he first arrived at the university we would communicate via texts, mostly about athletics. But over time the tone of the messages slowly changed, particularly at night.  He would pepper work talk with comments that at first felt weird and eventually unacceptable. Once, he called me “cute.” Another night, after I declined meeting for a drink, he asked me if I was wearing pajamas.

I think it's safe to say that Norwood Teague has a bit of a charisma problem and a whole lot of personal issues that allow him to think himself as being above his accusers. Clearly, he believed himself capable of seducing the ladies and carrying on like a lothario. That crashed when the legal process finally kicked in. His sexual harassment of women has been going on long enough to make you wonder how this jackass got hired in the first place. He should have been fired a long time ago.

Go read the whole piece. And you can look for a photo of Miss Rayno on your own. I could post one here, and we could do a side by side comparison, and it still wouldn't add up to anything because blaming the victim is wrong and always will be wrong. Rayno is a drop-dead gorgeous young woman who, by virtue of her job as a journalist, had to put up with this sleazebag in order to maintain access and do her job. Her looks don't matter because taking one look at Teague should tell you all you need to know about his inability to treat people like a professional.

Powerful mean who look like Teague blame their victims for everything and get away with it far too often.

God, what a sickening story.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bitchy and Destructive


There isn't anything around Derek Jeter's waist that won't disappear after a couple of weeks of spring training. So, I don't understand why the New York Post has to go after him in this way; if Jeter can't perform, he'll retire or he'll get in shape so that he can play. He's been hobbled by a leg brace and he's in the offseason.

You can't tell me that the New York media isn't bitchy and destructive; you can't tell me that it hasn't ruined lives and careers. I just don't understand why they would trash Jeter like this.

Four championships wasn't enough? Jeebus.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sport by Victoria


Is she qualified? Who the hell cares? It's cold, and winter sports are king for me. As soon as I figure out what's going on, I'll try to figure out if she makes any sense or not.


Victoria Silvstedt

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Put Bert Blyleven in the Hall of Fame


I heartily agree with Mr. Bert Blyleven's own case as expressed here:
When talk of my Hall of Fame candidacy comes up, usually people like to point at my career win total of 287 as a reason I shouldn’t be elected to Cooperstown. The so-called magic number of wins for automatic induction is said to be 300, and obviously I come up short in that department.

But in my opinion, wins are one of the hardest things to come by, and a pitcher can only do so much to control whether he wins a game. You can control your walks, you can control your strikeouts and your innings pitched. You can control whether you go nine innings by the way you approach a game. But one thing you often can’t control is wins and losses. It’s very difficult.

When I first came up in 1970 at age 19, I won my first game 2-1. My second game I lost 2-1. So after two starts, I had allowed three runs in 14 innings (1.93 ERA), but was just 1-1. That just shows you how hard it is, and it made me work harder. Maybe that’s why I was able to pitch 22 seasons in the majors, because I was so stubborn.

If you allow one run, but your team doesn’t score any runs, then you can’t earn the win. If your bullpen gives up a lead after you leave the game, then you can’t earn a win. Wins are a product of your team as a whole, and while the starting pitcher plays a significant role in who wins the game, he is not the only factor. The starter can only control so much.

Case in point: I lost 99 quality starts (at least six innings pitched while allowing no more than three runs) in my career, more than all but four pitchers since 1954. And I had 79 other quality starts in which I had no-decisions. That’s 178 quality starts in which I did not earn a win, yet people knock me for coming up 13 wins shy of 300.

Clearly, wins is a flawed stat, and I think observers of baseball are beginning to realize that. After all, this year’s Cy Young winners were Zack Greinke (16 wins) and Tim Lincecum (15). Both are great pitchers and deserving of the award, but neither led their league in wins.

One thing a pitcher can control is how far he lasts in each start. The better you pitch, the longer you last. This saves wear and tear on your bullpen, which in turn helps the starters who follow you in the rotation. Every time you pitch a complete game, your team benefits. That’s why I think complete games and shutouts are better stats to look at than wins.

I made 685 starts in my 22 seasons, and threw 242 complete games, so I went the distance in 35.3 percent of my starts. Compare that to Hall of Fame pitchers from my era and I stack up well. Phil Niekro completed 34 percent of his starts, Nolan Ryan 29 percent, Tom Seaver 35.7 percent and Steve Carlton 35.8 percent. Ferguson Jenkins (45 percent) and Gaylord Perry (44 percent) were the most impressive from my era in that department.

Wins are a tough statistic to consider in baseball. But for a few timely runs, and a little bit better run support, Blyleven would easily have over 320 wins and would have been in the Hall of Fame years ago. This is not a case where he, as a pitcher, didn't start enough games. It's more a case of having to have played on some teams that had anemic hitting. Just the fact that he pitched 242 complete games is enough by me. That's an amazing feat, one that you won't see in the future. Mr. Blyleven deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Period. End of story.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

In Defense of the Swinging Gate That Wasn't



It's not the worst play call ever, but it should have been attempted with someone who could throw. You have to run this play with a quarterback who can scramble. If he can buy himself three seconds, and put the ball in the end zone, you have a chance at scoring a touchdown.

It's more of a variation on the hail mary pass with shorter yardage, and if it is run correctly, you can bulldoze your way through their secondary from the shifted line of scrimmage. Say you run this, and a receiver can slip through and get down field without being touched at the line of scrimmage, then angle to the right. By getting free from the pack, you have to have a guy with speed who get open, and get open in those three seconds that the quarterback has before they can run him down if he rolls right. By shifting everyone left, you open the field for the receiver to run a pattern to the right so that the quarterback can roll right with him. Instead, Washington went deep. I would have designed this so that the slant pattern sends the receiver to the right. Make them cover in the open field.

But, no, I wouldn't have run this. I would have taken three points. Never walk away from points on the board. And, no, Zorn doesn't call the plays anymore. Desperation leads to amateurism. But there is a valid football theory that can justify something like this. Let's not forget that Gruden is a failure as a coach (leaving Tampa Bay with about a .500 record) and Jaworski is a bit enamored of his own supposed glories.

Was I Really That Wrong About Brett Favre?


This is not an attempt to dishonestly "walk back" things that I have said about Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre. It does tell you why I said what I said:
As it turns out, Chilly isn't such a chump after all.

Sean Jensen of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that, both before and after the "heated discussion" that Vikings coach Brad Childress claims wasn't a "heated discussion," Childress targeted some heated words at members of his team.

Per Jensen, the offense got it at halftime, and Favre himself was the target after the game, presumably after Favre aired the dirty laundry to the media.

At the half, Childress reportedly cursed at the team and said it's "laughable" that the Vikings consider themselves a Super Bowl team.

Though a kinder, gentler Chilly emerged on Monday, Jensen writes that "all is not well between Brad and Brett, and the primary difference centers on the quarterback's penchant to check out of runs and into passes."

And so, as several of you have suggested in the comments, it sounds like there's finally a schism in Minnesota. Favre might not have known what the term meant in August, but we've got a feeling that he knows it now.

Originally, I took the line that Favre was finished. That turned out to be wrong--his season has been productive and fantastic. He is not finished. Therefore, my main point was proven absolutely wrong. Like the good blogger that I am, I did my penance.

I did say he was a cancer and a diva who could ruin a team, and that's born out by what you see above. I don't believe in team "chemistry," but I do think that if your star quarterback is an aging veteran who has had a lot of success coming back from injuries and has helped the team win games, fighting with the coach as the team begins to take a December swoon is a recipe for disaster.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Damn You, Kicking Game


Being an old defense player, I can say, without hesitation, no, the kicker should not be as important as he is in the NFL:
The Dallas Cowboys cut place-kicker Nick Folk on Monday and replaced him with Shaun Suisham, a former Cowboy.

Suisham previously kicked for Dallas in 2005 and 2006. He was released by Washington on Dec. 8 after missing a key kick -- the same problem that cost Folk his job Monday.

Folk clanged the right upright on an easy 24-yarder that would have put away Saturday night's 24-17 victory against the unbeaten Saints. Instead, the Dallas defense had to make one more stand against one of the league's best offenses.

Folk leads the NFL with 10 misses, going 18-of-28 and missing seven of his past 11.

Suisham was released by the Redskins in great part after he missed a short field goal against New Orleans, which rallied to win in overtime.

Suisham was one of five kickers the Cowboys brought to their facility for a workout Monday. The others were Shane Andrus, Parker Douglass, Steven Hauschka and Connor Hughes. Folk did not participate in the workout.

For his career, Suisham is 85-of-107 (79.4 percent). He originally signed with Pittsburgh out of Bowling Green in 2005, went to the Cowboys' practice squad and was signed to the active roster on Oct. 24. Suisham played in three games and was 3-of-4 on field goals before being released.

These teams are having a hellish season already, and now they have the kicking game to thank for it. I think this is classic scapegoat-ism. It's easy to blame the kicker, but if you refuse to put your football team in a position to lose thanks to something the kicker can or can't do, then you probably deserve to lose. Having a good kicking game is supposed to put easy points on the board for you, but if you can't score, you shouldn't expect a guy to kick nine or ten times in a game and save your team from itself.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Coach Knight Throws a Turd in the Punchbowl


It should come as no surprise that I am a Bobby Knight fan. He coached men's basketball in the NCAA the way that it is supposed to be coached. He graduated his players and he played by the rules. More important than the wins, he taught and instructed boys and helped make them into men.

Coach Knight repeated something yesterday that I've been saying for months about John Calipari:
Bob Knight said integrity is lacking in college basketball and cited Kentucky coach John Calipari as an example.

During a fundraiser for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Knight said he doesn't understand why Calipari is still coaching.

"We've gotten into this situation where integrity is really lacking and that's why I'm glad I'm not coaching," he said. "You see we've got a coach at Kentucky who put two schools on probation and he's still coaching. I really don't understand that."

Massachusetts and Memphis were both sanctioned by the NCAA for violations committed during Calipari's tenure.

Knight, who won a record 902 games as coach of Army, Indiana and Texas Tech, did not elaborate or take questions from reporters.

But for more than 90 minutes Thursday, Knight recounted tales from his coaching days, stories from the recruiting trail, lessons he passed along to players and, oh yes, even a new critique of the NCAA.

Yes, it is a disgrace, and as I have pointed out here, here, and here, it's entirely the fault of an NCAA that refuses to deal with problems and apply even standards to every program in the NCAA. It is true that Kentucky took a hit this season--not the death penalty, but, rather, a minor penalty that had no bearing on the start of their season. The answer to your next question is a question of my own: how many times are you going to see a PAC 10 men's basketball team on ESPN or CBS this season and how many times are you going to see Kentucky on television?

You're Just Now Figuring This Out?


When former NHL player Reg Fleming, passed away, doctors noticed something:
Former NHL player Reggie Fleming, who died in July, had brain damage due to repeated head trauma, linking hockey for the first time to a condition usually found in boxers, the New York Times reported Friday.

Fleming, who spent 12 seasons in the NHL, was found by Boston University researchers to have had Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, a disease that causes cognitive decline, behavioral abnormalities and ultimately dementia, the Times said. Fleming is the first hockey player known to have been tested for the disease, which was also found in several former NFL players recently.

"Boxing we've known for a long time, football we've recently become aware of - now hockey," Dr. Ann McKee, a neuropathologist at Boston University who also diagnosed CTE in the former football players, told the newspaper. "Repetitive head injuries can have very serious long-term consequences, regardless of how you get them."

Deputy NHL commissioner Bill Daly told the Times the league would have no comment until it had a chance to review the report.

Fleming, who died at age 73, had 108 goals, 132 assists and 1,468 penalty minutes in 749 career games with the Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres. He helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 1961 and also spent two seasons World Hockey Association's Chicago Cougars.

Fleming played his entire NHL career before the mandatory helmet rule was instituted in 1979. I don't know if Fleming ever wore a helmet, but he was an enforcer (I don't use the word goon, because that implies there is no skill behind being a team enforcer on an NHL team) who played an aggressive style of hockey that kept him in the league.

I would hope that this forces people to connect the dots and start looking at retired NHL players as potential sufferers of brain damage or brain injury. Perhaps this will compel the NHL to allot a little more money and a little more effort towards helping retired players with their health care needs. If you see the post below this one, I've got a handful of old time hockey fights from the 1970s and 1980s that ought wake people up. In many of these videos, all featuring Willi Plett, you see Plett playing part of his career without a helmet and you see multiple blows to the head with bare fists, you see head butts, and you see players being driven down into the ice.

By no means am I an anti-fighting nutball. Fighting is part of the culture and tradition of hockey. Taking care of retired players is an obligation of professional hockey, and not just in this country. I single out the NHL, but, really, anyone who played the game at any level needs to be screened or evaluated.

UPDATE: I wish I had seen this--it answers many of my concerns:

Some former N.H.L. players have expressed concern about the repeated blows to the head they took during their careers.

“My memory has gotten worse the last 10 years or so,” said Ron Duguay, who played helmetless for the Rangers and three other N.H.L. teams from 1977-78 through 1988-89 and who is taking a series of neurological tests as a result of his concerns. He agreed to share the results of his tests in an interview last month.

“I fail a lot of the memory tests,” said Duguay, 52. “I took a lot of hits to the head with no helmet, and if you’ve taken hits to the head you’ve suffered damage. Now I’m seeing what I can do to keep my health.

“I had fun as a New York Ranger,” said Duguay, who was known as a bon vivant during his playing days. “People say you should write a book, and I would, but I can’t remember.”

McKee said that because C.T.E. symptoms resembled those of Alzheimer’s disease — although they appear sooner, as early as the person’s 30s, and last longer — many athletes currently being treated for Alzheimer’s might have been misdiagnosed. She added that patients with C.T.E. appeared to show considerably more aggression and anger-management problems than patients with Alzheimer’s did, and could therefore be misunderstood as psychiatric.

“This is not a psychiatric disorder or a postcareer adjustment issue — the individual is struggling with a disease that is short-circuiting his nerve connections inside the brain,” McKee said. “That is compromising his ability to deal with the world as he used to. I can’t imagine the chaos that these individuals are suffering.”

The Boston University group is collaborating with the Sports Legacy Institute to collect brain tissue of athletes and nonathletes to explore and better understand the effects of sport-related concussion. A dozen hockey players are among 250 current and retired athletes who have pledged to donate their brains to the study.

Old Time Hockey with Willi Plett













While doing some research, I stumbled across these old videos of Willi Plett, one of the great enforcers in the history of the NHL. When was the last time you heard someone say "the young Brendan Shanahan?" When was the last time you thought about Marty McSorley?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

None of the Redskin's Problems Have Been Solved by Getting Rid of Vinnie Cerrato


I would be surprised if coach Jon Gruden went to the Redskins--it is a sick franchise in a tough division. Losing there for a few years could end a career, rather than enhance it:
Just hours after the Washington Redskins announced the resignation of Vinny Cerrato, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that the team had already hired Bruce Allen to be the Redskins' executive vice president and general manager.

And that means speculation about Jon Gruden to the Redskins is inevitable.

Yes, I know, Gruden and ESPN both insist that Gruden will be back in the Monday Night Football booth next year. But lots of coaches have said one thing and then done another when a new job opened up. And Gruden's history of working with Allen in Tampa Bay makes the two of them a natural fit.

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is widely believed to want a head coach who is a proven winner -- a coach who already has a Super Bowl ring. Gruden qualifies. And Gruden (unlike Bill Cowher and Mike Shanahan, a couple of other available coaches with Super Bowl rings) would likely be willing to work for a team that didn't give him final say over personnel.

It's more than this coveted "final say" that gets bantered around. It's more to do with "what do I have to work with and how long do I have to turn it around?"

In Daniel Snyder's world--you have until yesterday to turn things around.

This is an owner who gets rid of people so that they can go on and do better things elsewhere (Marty Schottenheimer, Norv Turner, Gregg Williams) and this is an owner who has absolutely no prestige in the league right now. In fact, you can't help but laugh hysterically at the fortunes of the Redskins, and their decision not to make Gregg Williams the head coach absolutely encapsulates what is so wrong with the Redskins. That's not to say that Williams, who has turned into a genius hiring move with the New Orleans Saints, could have done any better than Zorn, but I doubt if he could have done worse.

Naturally, the guy to go get is a man who gives crusty old Redskins fans a tenuous link to by-gone days and a man who last helped take two franchises, Oakland and Tampa Bay, to two different Super Bowls, with mixed results.

Raider Nation had held out hope that Gruden and Allen might have been brought back into the Al Davis fold. Alas, it was not to be.

The Tragedy of Chris Henry


This is just too sad for words:
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry has died, one day after suffering serious injuries upon falling out of the back of a pickup truck in what authorities describe as a domestic dispute with his fiancee.

Police say Henry died at 6:36 a.m. Thursday. Henry was 26.

Away from the team because of a broken forearm, Henry was rushed to the hospital Wednesday after being found on a residential road. Police say a dispute began at a home about a half-mile away, and Henry jumped into the bed of the truck as his fiancee was driving away from the residence.

Police said at some point when she was driving, Henry "came out of the back of the vehicle."

What do you do at this point? What do you do if you're the National Football League and you see, time and again, a serious problem with your players, with the lifestyle they find themselves in as rookies, and domestic violence?

Rookie orientation in the NFL is a series of classes or briefings where new players are shown some of the pitfalls that go with big money contracts, old friends from the neighborhood, new girlfriends and wives, and everything that goes with becoming a high profile member of a community.

I think the NFL deserves credit for rookie orientation, but perhaps what it needs is an ongoing briefing, held every year for every team, that helps show players how society is evolving. Call it the Insider Briefing. Make it about players talking to players, not some crusty old veteran giving a PowerPoint about what happened to him when he woke up drunk in his driveway in a stolen prom dress when he played for Denver in the 1980s. You haven't heard that one? I made it up. I made it up because a variation of that happened to me when I played for Princeton. Don't ask, because we don't talk about the prom dress in the Rogers household. Suffice it so say, Mr. Peej was able to prevent the Princeton cops from pressing charges against me because we were able to salvage the dress and the reputation of that high school girl. It cost us all of our mad money for the month, but it was worth it.

The Insider Briefing can be as simple as having a troubled player go around and talk about what he thinks is right or wrong about being an NFL player who runs afoul of the law. It should not be about shame. It should be someone at that very elite level being able to go into a room without being judged to talk with men at his elite level and it should be a conversation, not a lecture. I realize that these men play on teams. In point of fact, they play on teams that are a part of a League, and that league is an ever-changing and evolving thing. I would like to see something put in place that takes a player like Chris Henry, who has had trouble, and maybe a Peyton Manning and three guys who don't start who play on other teams and has them go around during training camp to spend some time with other players to talk about what they see, what they know about groupies and hangers-on, what they think can be done to deal with a girlfriend who is spending too much money, what can be done about family members who ask for money, and what guns, violence and fear of failure can do to someone who is exalted above all others.

I hate to tag you with this, Mr. Manning, but, so far, you haven't screwed up and driven your vehicle into a crowded Outback Steakhouse with a naked grandmother on the hood and an Uzi on your lap. Let's help other players avoid such a thing, and let's help you with their perspective on keeping the media, the whores, the drugs, the politicians, and the Disney Corporation at bay.

Don't think I'm not looking at you, Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson. I see you flirting with Disney. We're here to bring you back, brother. I know you didn't get to play in the NFL, but let's be honest--Miami is damned near the NFL, and is practically the development league. Mr. Johnson has a nephew drafted by the Browns and another nephew at UCLA--and we need to save him from the Disney Corporation. We need to reach out to a brother in need and see if someone can hook him up with some honest cheddar.

It's probably not realistic, but it can't be about blaming this young man just for doing something stupid and dying too young. There are so many people who live at the intersection of fame, fortune, and celebrity who can help. It doesn't matter if you're the late Steve McNair or someone who got cut and never made it. Everyone needs help understanding what can happen and what can go wrong with you mix money, family, and fame or near fame in a big ol' bowl and try to fight over who gets to take the first drink and how much and when they can drink it.

On the off chance that someone who plays on special teams for another team who had a thing with a fiancee three years ago can go into a room and talk to people like Chris Henry and say, "you know, sometimes, it's better to just let her drive away. Let her go have a moment. Let her think about things and come back when she's ready." That may or may not have been the thing that caused Henry to pause and walk back into the house. I don't know.

Realistic? I don't know. I don't want to write a condemnation when writing something a little more constructive might go down better than a poison pill or just some tut-tut joke at someone's expense. This is not a joke--there's no reason this young mad had to fall into the road and die in a hospital.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When The Money Stops, the Hookers Do Tend to Give Up Your Secrets

Nah, Keep Digging, Sir...


Am I reading this wrong?



Despite claims that Tiger Woods was cheap when it came to spending money on the women with whom he had relationships, some did benefit financially and continue to do so.


According to several women who were involved with the golfer, Woods wired money to them on a monthly basis. The dollar amounts they cite range from $5,000 to $10,000 per month, and there’s talk among those women that someone out there might be getting as much as $20,000 per month.


“The money comes via a wire transfer,” said one woman. “There’s no contract about it, there’s no discussion about what it’s for, but it’s implied that it’s in exchange for keeping quiet about his affair.”


According to that same woman, Woods continued to be in touch in the days following his Thanksgiving night car accident. “Elin took his cell phone away, so he had to call from his land line at home,” said one. “He hasn’t called in at least a week though.”



Of course, Tiger gets all of that money back from his whores, now that they've gone on talk shows and all that, correct?


Oh, wait. There was no contract. So, unlike the huge losses that Tiger now has to suffer because Accenture, Gillette, and a growing number of advertisers have cancelled his contractstheir with him, Tiger doesn't get his whoring around money back from the flopsy butter hogs and the anal porn stars and the hillbilly trailer trash he was banging. And I say that as a man who has nothing against whores. I love whores. I'm not a former billionaire who made bank presenting myself as an elite athlete and an establishment darling, however. Has Jim Brown reached out to Tiger yet? Can't wait for that debacle.


That's how that works, right? Sometimes, I'm so naive about these things. I really need to do more whoring around.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Way to go out on a limb there


Does anyone really care if the Saints and Colts go 16 and 0?
The New Orleans Saints and Colts are so close to 16-0 seasons, but there are sound reasons to believe neither team will attain regular season perfection.

Winning any game — let alone winning every game — is a difficult thing to do in the NFL.

“In order to win just one game in the National Football League, you have to play at an exceptionally high level,” Colts president Bill Polian said. “At some point in time during the course of a season, breaks are going to go against you. At some point in time you are going to have a game that is decided the wrong way by the officials. And there are always injuries. Brian Billick said it best. Take a look at teams now, and it’s not how they will look in January. From my perspective, going 16-0 is damn near impossible to do.”

In many ways, going 16-0 is a more impressive accomplishment than winning a Super Bowl, even though winning a Super Bowl is more significant.

Rodney Harrison understands the pressure the Saints and Colts will face in their final games. He played for the 2007 New England Patriots, who finished 16-0.

“Every time you play someone when you are undefeated, they want to be that team that knocks you off,” said Harrison, who now is an analyst on NBC’s Football Night in America. “You’re going to get their very best. That’s why it becomes so difficult. Then you have the national scrutiny, the attention you get, making a distraction.

You know, week in, week out, lazy sportswriters say that the Colts and the Saints are "going to lose this weekend" and "won't make it to 16 and 0." This is the best example I can think of to illustrate why sports writing has gone into the tank in this country.

Really? You think they won't make it? How safe is that for a prediction? Because, statistically speaking, that is the safe bet to make. It's a little like saying that one NFL team is going to score more than 35 points this weekend. Statistically, it's very likely that at least one team will score more than 35 points because, week in, week out, at least one if not three or four teams racks up some offense and scores that many points.

Hey, and I'll bet someone gets their uniform dirty, too.

The Saints and the Colts are having a great season. If they make it to 16 and 0, what a great story. But is it worth writing about? Instead of making the safe prediction, tell me who has the better chance of getting a perfect season into the record books. Tell me how Brees matches up against Manning, and tell me something I don't already know by doing some legwork. Tell me if the offensive line is better on this team or that team because of someone who is working harder than ever before. Tell me what coaching change or scheme or alignment of the football gods in the stars above is shining down some brilliance, and don't spare the details. Write, dammit. Write something readable and interesting. Don't sit there with your wang in one hand and a BlackBerry in the other and make the BOLD prediction of failure. Anyone can predict failure. Tell me why success is possible, what makes the failure a possibility, and who has what to thank for their performance this season.

MSNBC seems to hire these guys. Sports Illustrated and ESPN has them, too, and I don't even bother with Fox Sports, although, I probably should. The hacks end up at MSNBC for some reason. It's like they don't even have any standards.

Here's my bold prediction: half the teams are going to win this weekend, half are going to lose, and maybe, just maybe, someone will score a touchdown.

There, can I write about sports for MSNBC?

UPDATE: Hilariously, Both New Orleans and Indy won. So, did MSNBC fire their incompetent sports writers? Of course not.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

He said, She said


When this happens, all you can do is shake your head:
The woman who has obtained a temporary restraining order against Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs is now suing the football player seeking $70-million in damages, and custody of the couple's two infant children.

WBAL News has obtained documents showing Candace Williams filed two lawsuits earlier this week in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. One seeks custody and one seeks damages.

In court papers, Williams and Suggs share a home in Windsor Mill.

Last Friday, Williams obtained a temporary restraining order which ordered Suggs from the home and ordered the football player not to abuse, contact, or enter the home. A hearing on a final restraining order is set for Friday afternoon.

In the court papers Williams alleges that Suggs hit her in the chest knocking her to the ground. Suggs is then alleged to have sat on top of Williams with an open bottle of bleach and one hand around her neck saying "Bitch, I'ma drown you with this bleach." Williams' statement goes on to say that she tried to cover the bottle with her hands as bleach came through and onto her and her son. Some of Suggs friends were also in the room telling him to stop.

Williams claims that Suggs finally got off and said "Bitch it's over." and "You better be out my house by the time I get back."

Williams says there were two incidents of alleged abuse in the last month.

Keep in mind that the key word here is "alleged."

Did he do it? I don't know. But you don't sue someone for $70 million dollars unless you want to take all of their money away from them and keep it for yourself.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Has Barry Bonds Really Dropped Off the Face of the Earth?



Barry Bonds(notes), 45, has not filed retirement papers, despite not having played in two seasons. Why not? “Because he’s not retired,” said Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris. “He was run out of the game.”

I find it remarkable that Barry Bonds has simply vanished from baseball, vanished from the public consciousness, gone down the rabbit hole, in other words. In light of the scandal surrounding him, that's probably a relief for him as a person, not so much as a player.

In general, though, you would think that he would be omnipresent, and a part of the sports discussion and a part of what's going on in baseball. Instead, baseball acts like there was no Barry Bonds, like he didn't break the home run record, and that his absence from the discussion is a good thing.

In previous years, you couldn't go a single day without a mention of Barry Bonds. Now? Nothing.

Bad Sports Writing From Ken Davis


Who hired this hack to write about sports?
Before Kentucky and Connecticut come together Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, coaches John Calipari and Jim Calhoun face a big decision. Will they choose the path of truth? Or will they opt for that road called Political Correctness?

Two years ago, when Calipari was still at Memphis and the Tigers defeated UConn in the 2K Sports Classic, they went all PC on us. Wouldn’t it be more fun this time around if these two highly successful coaches decided to bare their souls and talk about how much they dislike each other?

Maybe it’s old news. After all, the ill will between these two is rooted in activity that took place 20 years ago, before either coach rose to national prominence, before the conference championships, and Final Four trips. Calhoun, who has won two national championships, was on the verge of greatness at UConn. Calipari, who has had two Final Four trips vacated by the NCAA, was just starting out at UMass. Calipari wasn’t a real threat yet, just more of an annoying gnat that Calhoun kept swatting away.

They didn't go "PC" on us, as in "politically correct." They acted like adults.

Some of the absolute worst sports writing in the world takes place on MSNBC. Ken Davis is trying to race to the bottom and lie down in the gutter with Mike Celizic. Really, this is just awful, awful sports writing. This is as bad as it gets--trying to use column inches to start a nothing rivalry between two coaches who know better.

Someone needs to keep Ken Davis away from college sports. He has no business writing about amateur athletics if that's how he views sportsmanship.

Has Lane Kiffin Already Blown it At Tennessee?


Lane Kiffin, you scamp!
The NCAA is investigating Tennessee's football recruiting practices, including the use of hostesses to attract top players, The New York Times reported on its Web site Wednesday.

The NCAA has met with four prospects and is expected to talk to two more this week, The Times reported.

Tennessee athletic director Mike Hamilton told the newspaper an investigation was ongoing, but did not provide any details.

Marcus Lattimore, a high school running back, told The Times several hostesses came to a game in South Carolina and brought signs including one that read, "Come to Tennessee."

Lattimore told the newspaper the hostesses influence carried weight: "You don't want to go to a college where they ain't pretty," he said.

The hostesses are considered representatives of the university and are not allowed to recruit players off campus. The visits could be considered violations of NCAA rules.

What year is this? Pretty hostesses make all the difference in the world?

How stupid do you have to be to choose the school you're going to go play football for based on how pretty the hostesses appear to be? Florida, Arizona, and USC must get the top recruits walking away, then. I feel bad for schools like Maryland, which can only offer up malnourished city girls. I feel bad for the University of Iowa, which can only offer up small town, corn fed heifers. I feel bad for the University of Nebraska, which can't even offer up girls.

Do you get the impression that college football is pretty screwed up? I do. And if the NCAA is going after Lane Kiffin's program like this, then he really shouldn't get comfortable in that job.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It Sure Looked Like a Scam to Me


Do you own a sports franchise? Are you the owner of a minor league baseball team, a minor league hockey team, or a D-League basketball team? If so, don't do this:
An NBA Development League team owner is apologizing for misleading fans who thought Michael Jordan would play in a charity game at the Utah Flash's home opener.

Flash owner Brandt Andersen acknowledged sending a Jordan lookalike around town Monday, when supposed "Jordan" sightings and an Internet video of the impostor eating at a local restaurant created buzz that Jordan really was in town. More than 7,500 fans showed up hoping to see Jordan play 1-on-1 against former Utah Jazz guard Bryon Russell at halftime.

The Flash had been pitching the Jordan-Russell rematch since September despite never hearing from Jordan after Andersen issued the first challenge.

Andersen maintained he held out hope that Jordan would agree to be part of Monday's promotion.

"This was done in fun," Andersen wrote on his blog after the game. "If you did not see it as fun or you feel we went over the top I am sorry."

Andersen said he had always planned to send out a lookalike, complete with bodyguards, into the community.

"We wanted to test the strength and effectiveness of viral media by putting him out in Provo with bodyguards, and some hype," he said. "I always assumed it would be uncovered very quickly that it was a hoax."

Fans caught on when the impostor trotted on to the court at halftime and started booing, then leaving.

The original blog post about this event said:
I wasn't at the Hall of Fame to see the acceptance speech by Michael Jordan but I was watching. I also wasn't at the 1998 finals when Jordan hit that shot over Bryon Russell with 5.2 seconds, but I have seen it about a hundred times on NBA promos.

One thing I can tell you is that I want to be front and center for whatever the outcome is when the two meet up next.

So here is my offer: Michael Jordan vs. Bryon Russell-1 on 1 challenge to 21. I will personally donate $100,000 to charity in the name of the winner. We can do it during the half time of the Utah Flash home opener on December 7th. $100,000 in cash for a 15 minute pickup game. MJ even you can’t say no to that.

Our venue is the perfect place for this challenge because it brings BRuss back to Utah and Michael Jordan has a home just outside of Park City (I have seen his Carolina Blue Jump Man plane on the runway at Million Air in SLC) so it is convenient for both guys. Not to mention that it would be sacrilegious to have this take place anywhere outside of Utah.

I have already called BRuss directly and spoken to him about the event. I have also sent a message through a mutual friend to MJ to invite him. He is going to be a little more difficult to convince but not impossible. This would be a good PR move for him following his speech. Back up those words that anytime you see BRuss with his shorts on you are “coming at him”.

Think about the benefits for the two of them. BRuss wants some vindication and MJ puts that fire we have always seen to the test by lacing them up one more time in a casual ‘all for charity’ event.

The match up between these guys created one of the greatest moments in basketball history and was memorialized at Michael's Hall of Fame Induction Speech. Let's lace them up just one more time.

Can you say "half-baked" and "ill-conceived?" What few fans the Utah Flash already had are probably going to stick with the team. Anyone else, who might have wanted to see some NBA developmental league action? Forget it.