Monday, October 5, 2009
Many of you are probably aware of this development. I think we all saw this coming. In my household, today is National Turn off ESPN Day. What is the point of this idea? This feat does not deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence of Guiness Book of World Records. And yes, I plan on watching the actual football game, but on mute.
Over/under too many mentions of Brett Favre on ESPN today...
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
The Sports Business Daily has reported that ESPN has hired the Kraft Sports Group to sell local advertising for its new baby ESPNBoston.com. Now you may already have made the connection between the names Kraft and Boston: Bob Kraft is the owner of the New England Patriots. Now something seems odd here when a supposedly objective news site suddenly decides to hire as an ad agency people who own a team in the area. I wonder if Mr. Kraft has any incentive to paint his team in a good light, and to make sure ESPN does the same. Well, we don't have to wonder anymore because it seems apparent that the first of many shady deals may have already been struck.
As some may know, Tom Brady and Gisele are being sued by 2 photographers because security guards that Brady had hired for the wedding shot at the photographers taking pics from afar. Now I'm a Patriots fan and I'll defend Spygate till the end of time, but this seems like a pretty fucking serious offense. These guys could have been killed, when clearly they were just paparazzi trying to make a quick buck. Now I think invasion of privacy sucks and I can understand hiring security, but read this quote from the lawsuit:
The photographers, both residents of Costa Rica, tried to drive away when they spotted a drawn gun in the hands of one bodyguard, the lawsuit said.
At that moment, a bodyguard fired the gun, shattering the rear window of the sports utility vehicle with a bullet that then hit the front windshield and ricocheted off it into the driver's seat, the lawsuit said.
"The bullet narrowly missed striking the heads of Cortez and Aviles," the lawsuit said.
That seems pretty intense, and also seems like these guys have a valid case. However, this story was not covered on ESPN.com. Rather, it was relegated to ESPNBoston.com and thus saved Brady from more humiliating national exposure. Can ESPN seriously be doing this? This is the textbook definition of a conflict of interest. How can they get away with it? Reminds me of them trying to hide another big lawsuit this summer...
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
ESPN already devotes so much of their time to Boston sports, do they really need a separate website? Not like I ever have to worry about a Red Sawk highlight being on Sportcenter within the first ten minutes every morning.
Be prepared to hear the endless "log on to www.espnboston.com for the latest news." Was ESPN Chicago just a stepping stone for this nonsense?
- Long live NESN!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Now LC points out to us that this past Monday there was an article by Dugan Arnett on KUSports that breaks down how Kansas' running game has really turned it around from last year. Nothing wrong with that. However, the very next day Timmy Griffin posted his piece citing much of the same details as the KUSports one.
Now we're willing to cut Tim some slack. It's obviously going to be a story that Kansas' running game has drastically improved this year to the point where they actually have 3 of the top 10 rushers in the Big 12. The fact that Griffin's article comes a day after Arnett's could just have to do with deadlines and what not. However, it's worth noting that when things happen multiple times it becomes a trend.
Back in August Eric Sorrentino wrote an article about coach Mark Mangino's relationship with quarterback Todd Reesing. It includes a lovely anecdote about one time when Todd went over to the sideline expecting to go over something with Mangino when instead Mark asked him what he thought about how the market was doing. The article is a classic 'no one believed in me except coach' story. This, of course, also shows how close the two are because Todd manages to get Mangino to talk about something other than eating a bacon wrapped steak covered in mayo for dinner.
Now a couple weeks later Griffin writes his own article praising Todd Reesing and uses the exact same anecdote as Sorrentino used 2 weeks before. In addition, much of the article is about how Reesing is underrated and wasn't a sexy pick to play in college except that Mangino saw potential in him. He got that twinkle in his eye normally reserved for the buffet line.
Now we want to reiterate that we're not accusing Griffin of anything here. Copying someone's work is a horrible crime that should not be taken lightly. These are just some things to think about and hopefully our readers will diligently alert us if this trend continues. We will agree though, that as NY Post columnist Phil Mushnick says, "ESPN never hesitates to make its reporters look as if they've copied someone else's homework."
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
At least that's what Derrick Mason, top WR for the Ravens, thinks. This was in response to Keyshawn calling the Ravens receivers a bunch of bums themselves. Here's what was actually said:
"One thing I have to respect of [G.M.] Ozzie [Newsome] in Baltimore, they have a philosophy to their team. They have a philosophy . . . spend money on Ray Lewis and defense to keep people off of Ray. They've won that way and I'm not going to knock that. They only have a certain number of dollars out of that pie still available for the wide receivers. Wide receivers, you get what you pay for. You don't spend no money on them, that's what you going to get."
Keyshawn Johnson: "Hey it is true though. You want a bum, you pay a bum."
Now Derrick wasn't too happy about this, and didn't feel their 38-24 thumping of the Chiefs answered enough questions about their receivers. Derrick responded with this lovely quote:
"Keyshawn Johnson is the bum, that's why he's in the analyst seat," receiver Derrick Mason told Freeman. "He tried to come back to football but no one would sign him. He was never that good a player. He got lucky and signed on in Tampa Bay and won a Super Bowl because they had a great defense.
"Just look at the two people doing the criticizing, that's all I'm saying. Keyshawn was overrated and Carter is in the same boat I'm in. He doesn't have a Super Bowl ring either. He's in the analyst seat without a ring. At least I'm playing. He still wants to play but he can't anymore. We're the bums? That's why you're in the analyst seat. Just be quiet and keep dreaming you still could play."
Frankly we think Derrick Mason is totally fine to call out Keyshawn and Cris if those guys are gonna come at them like that. However, here's where ESPN's penchant for being ESPN comes in. ESPN reps actually emailed PFT to request they change their story because Keyshawn didn't call anyone in particular a bum. Maybe not, but he did make a blanket statement referring to THEIR ENTIRE RECEIVING CORP. Please ESPN, why can't you just admit when you are wrong. You are not god despite trying to be.
Here's Mike Freeman's own response. He's the guy who originally reported the story and was told by Derrick Mason what he reported.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Of course Brett Favre was going to be named captain. Because if he didn't get voted, then he would start crying. We all know how much of a flopping pussy he is, seeing as he announced his (fourth or fifth) retirement on the eve of training camp and then announced his comeback halfway through August. Ms. Favre thinks he's a) good enough to skip training camp or b) a douchebag who only cares about himself...or both.
What I found enjoying was this line:
He addressed the team on Monday, saying he felt the need to let them know personally that he ended his second retirement for the right reasons.
The right reasons?
1) Get revenge on Green Bay
2) Spite the Jets
3) Be able to skip training camp and do whatever he wants
Almost as pathetic as Favre is that stupid captain patch they wear in the NFL. Thank god my beloved Eagles don't wear that shit.
My ire for Favre might have blurred the point that this is not headline worthy. I fathom that there would be plenty of headlines between the MLB playoff race, NFL injury notes, and, oh yeah, college football.
In other news, I woke up to read John Clayton's late night story. Seriously, how is such a scrawny fuck a NFL expert? He doesn't look like he's played a down of football in his life. At best he was the high school waterboy who got taped to the goalpost.
Anyways, I digress. His first statement claims that Donovan McNabb should have been pulled before his injury. Honestly, was he watching the game, or at least check the drive log?
Sure, Philly was up 21. But McNabb threw an interception on their first drive, and after another Delhomme INT, there were more than eight minutes left in the quarter.
If Big Red pulled D-mac before that drive, Kevin Kolb would probably not have led a scoring drive. In fact, what I've seen in his regular season appearances suggests that Kolb would have fumbled the ball or thrown an interception. One score and the Panthers are within 14 in the third quarter.
Sorry, John, you don't take the quarterback out at that point in the game. That's why you're a failure. Just like Brett Favre.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Trent Dilfer, best known for being the ugly and shitty quarterback of the Super Bowl winning Ravens earlier this decade, proves that a team can win essentially on defense alone. Now he's just another former terrible football player (Hi Tim Hasselbeck!) doing analysis for ESPN. ProFootballTalk reported that he had a lovely throwing session with Michael Crabtree, during which he determined that Mr. Crabtree looked good and was ready for the season. Now the purpose of the article was to suggest that Crabtree is about to give in and sign with the 49ers. However, ESPNfail wants to highlight a different part of the article. Here's the depressing line:
"Dilfer said he did not discuss the lingering holdout with Crabtree."
Wait a minute, hasn't Crabtree's primadonna-ness this summer been a big story? He fucked up getting other draft picks immediately after him signed because he was a baby and felt he deserved more money. Keep in mind this is a guy coming off surgery and HASN'T PLAYED AN NFL DOWN YET. I wonder why Dilfer didn't ask him the tough question though. Maybe it's because ESPN sees potential in Crabtree, a 2 time Biletnikoff winner, as a future star of the league they surely would not want to alienate. That would reduce their access to him and you definitely don't wanna get on an athlete's bad side as an analyst! Fuck you Trent Dilfer. I hope you die choking on your undeserved Super Bowl ring.
ESPN has a lovely show called 'The Sports Reporters,' which gives a number of famous sportswriters a forum to talk about the issues of the day. On last Sunday's edition Mike Lupica made this comment about Pete Carroll's pathetic tenure at USC:
"Carroll is in his ninth year there, his record is 89-15, and I swear, they've underachieved," Lupica said. "I really believe SC should have won more national championships than it's won on Pete Carroll's watch."
Wait a minute, we're talking about the USC that has won 2 championships in the last 9 years right? Not the one that affectionately nicknames itself the Cocks? How have they possibly underachieved? Obviously only the midget Lupica knows so much about how to win national titles.
Now this is bad enough that ESPN lets this ugly troll of a man on national television. However, it gets both better and worse. First the better: ESPN the magazine senior writer Bruce Feldman disagreed with Lupica and took his opinion to Twitter:
Mike Lupica sez Pete Carroll's team is "underachieving" Right, cause Carroll's the one who's been livin off his rep & mailin it in 4 years.
OHOHO SHOWDOWN AT THE OK CORRAL! This looks like an ol' fashiond battle O' gunslingers! However, don't bust that nut just yet! The thought police at ESPN forced him to delete the post because it was "inappropriate." Mannnnnn ESPN doesn't let anyone have fun.
Thanks to Michael David Smith of Fanhouse for this report.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Here is the latest 'column' from Bill Simmons. This is part of why I can't stand him. He doesn't have an idea for a column, so he decides to feed his ego by reading and answering a ton of questions from his readers. Now I'm all for a popular columnist responding to readers' questions publicly, but why not answer a couple at the start and/or end of a column? I don't want to read an entire column of him responding to people trying to tickle his balls with funny ideas.
This is just scratching the surface of what is wrong with the self-proclaimed Sports Guy. Although it seems to me he has no expert qualifications: 1) He never played any sport professionally or in college 2) His extent in the comedy business is writing for Jimmy Kimmel. And yet, he considers himself an expert on both sports and pop culture. My problem with him is not that he has opinions. I love writers who actually write what they think and that is one reason why Simmons is entertaining; he really doesn't censor himself. However, he states his opinions like they are facts and should not be disputed. For instance, here's one response in his 'column.'
"Q: I was recently waiting on line in the grocery store looking at magazine covers when I discovered that apparently Kelly Ripa has A-cups. This brought to mind an intriguing question: Who are the five hottest female celebrities without much up top? I didn't even know where to begin, but I knew you would deliver the goods for me. Also, should we call them The A-Cup All-Stars, or perhaps just The A-Team?
-- Vroom, Waldwick, N.J.
SG: I love "The A-Team." Perfect. Our 2009 A-Team All-Stars: Kelly Ripa, Kate Moss, Keira Knightley and team captain Natalie Portman. This list should be released like the NFL All-Pro team every December. I'd also enjoy the B-Team, the C-Team, the D-Team and the DD-Team. These are the kind of ideas that give me hope for the next decade with the Internet: There are still a ton of great boob-related ideas out there. Wait, am I saying this out loud?"
See how BS just proclaims the A-Team exists. He doesn't offer his suggestions. He just states what the team is. It's not open for argument. Why does he do this? Because Simmons is an egotistical elitist douche bag. It would also be nice if the ratio of non-Boston related sports to all sports talked about was less than 90/10. Of course then it wouldn't be the Simmons we love though.
One other thought: how often does he come out with a new podcast instead of a new column and use that as excuse for why he hasn't written a new column (the hey I just uploaded a podcast defense). Bill Simmons has a voice for print; not a voice for radio. He sounds like he has a deviated septum wider than when Moses parted the seas. Please keep your nasally voice off the podcast airwaves and stick to actually WRITING. If you didn't bring so much traffic to ESPN.com I'm sure they would have dropped your pompous ass long ago.
Also, stop twittering. You are a 40 year old man for gods sake. Don't you have a family? Do they have to suffer while you twitter at the dinner table and laugh privately at whatever you're reading? Simmons is trying his very hardest to turn himself into a celebrity by constantly giving himself credit as being the most genius mind to have thought of ideas ever. Let's please not feed his Jupiter sized ego.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Rick Reilly's latest column is about the Williams sisters. I beg you to read the first couple paragraphs here:
"What if I told you about two white brothers from a trailer park on the tattooed side of the tracks? Their father decides -- against all logic -- to teach them a rich man's sport, golf, even though he's a complete chop himself. They become great on the weedy public courses, turn pro and dominate the sport. Just wipe the Tour up. Golf harrumphs in disbelief.
Then the two brothers grow disinterested with golf and get into motorcycle building. They nearly stop playing altogether.Then they grow disinterested with being disinterested and decide, What the hell, let's go thump again. So they crush all new saps, until it's obvious nearly every major is going to be won by one or the other.
Well, change their color to black, their sex to female and their sport to tennis, and you have the Williams sisters, who now have 18 majors between them -- 11 for Serena and seven for Venus. Eighteen! If this were golf, Serena would be tied with Walter Hagen for third, and Venus would be tied with Bobby Jones, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead and others for seventh. From one family, one coach, one house in Compton. It's the single most underplayed story in American sports in the past 25 years. Where's their postage stamp?"
What the fuck are you talking about? Did you just create a 2 paragraph analogy so retarded that it couldn't possibly refer to anything except to perfectly match up with the scenario the Williams sisters went through? Then of course he saves it by saying 'change the color to black and the sex to female and the sport to tennis' !!! Wow what a brilliant story you just weaved for us Poet Laureate Reilly!
He claims that this is the "most underplayed story in sports" How ridiculous is that statement? First of all, the Williams sisters are quite famous. ESPN covers them all the time. They covered Serena when she wore that t-shirt that said 'can you see my titles?' Please Rick, the most underplayed story in sports is something we probably haven't heard of. Why? BECAUSE IT'S UNDERPLAYED. You know what I think a great story is: Nick Swisher's emotional impact on the Yankees clubhouse. I think he (with a little help from AJ Burnett and his pies to the faces) has helped transform them into a happy team again. Why hasn't this been a story? That could be the most underplayed story in sports! The Yankees have the best record in baseball. I haven't seen any Yankees specials this year except when they play the Sawx. Yes I'm a Yankees fan and I'm biased, but to say this is the most underplayed story in sports is a bit of hyperbole isn't it Ol' Riles?
And quite frankly, how can you possibly like the Williams sisters? How about the fact that they play each other so much in the finals because they're both so good, but they never have good matches? They're always blowouts because the sisters confess it's hard for them to want to beat the other. Where is the competitive fire there? These should be epic sisterly clashes. I don't want to watch one roll over and give up after the first couple games.
Also, I think they are both underachievers. Everyone knows they are by far the most talented players in the game, and they have plenty of majors to show for it. However, they are nowhere near approaching the records of the great women players of the past. I would argue this is because they don't care enough about tennis. They're too busy modeling and starting other careers to care. Sweet lord you could put a cup of coffee on that ass, but while she's modeling for that picture I think Justine Henin just won 3 majors. Whoops look how the time flies!
Reilly points this out as their greatness. They can take time off and come back and still be great. I would contend that this makes them the opposite of admirable. They have no drive to make history. Yes, they have done a lot for African Americans playing tennis already, but I don't think they have the same kind of fire that drives say, Roger Federer. Rick, I hope you die choking on Serena's giant black cock.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Now remember, we play with at least two [wide recievers] , with the option of adding a third in an ESPN standard league.
- OK, you can't do the same in a non-ESPN league?
First, I highly recommend an auction. The argument against was always that to do it correctly everyone needed to be in the same room. Now, thanks to our auction draft software, that's no longer a concern.
Try it once and you'll be hooked. And if you've never tried, you can do it now in our free, mock auction lobby.
- Wow, ESPN saved my life now that they have auction-competent software
Second, where are you playing out the league? You know I am a company man, so I'll just merely mention that everything you want or need for your league is here and free on ESPN.com. And here's the thing. I've played on other sites. I'm not trashing other sites. But, and I am being honest here, the best experience is on ESPN.com. And if you don't believe me, it's because you haven't tried it recently.Look, it's 100 percent free to play. So if your long-term league has been playing elsewhere, set up a second "mirror league" here on ESPN. A taste test, if you will. And just see which one you like better. It costs you nothing except maybe an hour to set up the second league and, considering how much time you spend on your league every year, don't you want the best experience? The most fun, the most timely injury updates, the most tools in the game, the easiest interface, etc etc. Just try it. And if you hate it, I'll shut up. I promise.
- Really, you're a company man? Also, I'm actually going to set up the same exact league on two websites? I'm sorry I have a real life.
Obviously, you should be reading as much as possible. I would be checking ESPN.com at least once a day. Read the articles, listen to our daily podcasts, watch our daily videocast and stop by our twice-daily chats. I highly recommend our free mobile alerts, and for those who want even more of an edge you should sign up for ESPN Insider (or get yourself a Rotopass, which includes Insider as well as access to some other great fantasy sites).
- This is where the ESPN employee bonus comes in - I count half a dozen different features
Either way, knowledge is power. The more you know -- about players, lineups, injuries, sleepers, coaching changes, schedules, bye weeks, etc. -- the better shape you are in.
First, get yourself an up-to-the minute depth chart for every team in the NFL. We have a really good, easy-to-print version in our ESPN.com draft kit, and they will be updated throughout the preseason. But whomever's you like, print them out and bring them with you.
- A depth chart is a depth chart Berry...
By the way, if it's a salary cap/auction league -- did I mention you can now do auctions on ESPN.com for free? -- I also have a place to see how much money they have left. Those of you with laptops can have a spreadsheet do all this for you, obviously (or if you are using ESPN.com Auction Draft Lobby, we do it for you). If it's a keeper league with a salary cap, you start with how much money they have left for how many positions to fill.
- Did I mention you suck?
Don't be shy! We're here to listen, to advise, to commiserate and to help here at ESPN.com. Again, stop by our chats and our message boards, e-mail our columnists. Send in questions to our daily Fantasy Focus podcast, videocast or our twice-daily chats (and three-hour chats on Sunday morning). It's a long season and we're gonna be there every step of the way with you.
- One more plug! Keep Matthew Berry amused at work!
To spite ESPN, I am using Yahoo for all of my fantasy teams in the future.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
[UPDATE:] Since this article was posted they did report on this article. I personally saw them discuss it on both Around the Horn and PTI. I am happy they addressed the issue, but that still doesn't excuse the fact this was going around all major sports news websites without being on ESPN for hours. Get on top of your shit guys.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
He just wrote his first analysis for ESPN. After a lengthy introduction he specifically focuses on ESPN's handling of the Ben Roethlisberger rape incident and ESPN's decision to not report it (see older posts for more info). He quotes many followers who were upset by ESPN's decision. Then he proceeds to interrogate Senior Vice President and Director of News Vince Doria on the subject. Here's an excerpt:
Q: Do you feel you are consistent? One reader specifically asked about Marvin Harrison.
Doria: "With Marvin Harrison, we reported on a civil suit that related to a prior criminal investigation. It fit our criteria, so we went with it. In another instance, there were civil claims made against Mike Tyson for reportedly groping a woman in a bar -- because he had spent time in jail for rape, we felt there was a pattern, so ESPN reported it. In 2005, a woman filed a civil suit against Michael Vick, alleging that under the pseudonym 'Ron Mexico' he had unprotected sex with her, then revealed to her that he had herpes. We did not report the story, based on the same reasoning we used in the Roethlisberger situation -- no criminal component, no previous history on the part of Vick, it happened during the offseason. Vick never did respond publicly, the suit was settled, and we never reported on it. While many other media outlets reported the story, we faced no scrutiny, no criticism, virtually no attention to how we covered it. Times evidently have changed."
This is all fine and dandy but to me so far it just seems like a platform where it can seem like an ESPN rep can give reasons that sound legitimate, but really to me sounds like bullshit. Because of someone at ESPN who determined a pattern of actions they decide what to cover and what not to when it's a civil suit? What kind of standards are that? This Ron Mexico story sounds like news to me. Duh Vick didn't respond publicly, what is he gonna say? Of course the suit was settled so that Vick didn't have his name dragged through the mud for being a rapist. This most definitely is news that ESPN should have reported.
Ohlmeyer then goes on to some other complaints, namely ESPN protecting relationships it has with star players. Here's an excerpt:
Q: ESPN's motives have been questioned. One of the charges is being soft on the NFL and its players for business reasons. Your response?
Doria: "We've done a number of tough stories on the NFL over the years. We did a series questioning the league's handling of the concussion issue. More stories on the lack of funding on the retired players experiencing physical and emotional difficulties. The Pacman Jones situation, Michael Vick, Brandon Marshall, Spygate. None of these stories put the individuals or the NFL in a good light. Anyone who contends we shy away from stories that are critical of the NFL isn't paying attention."
This response does not answer the real question, and I think the problem is that the question is terrible because it is written by an ombudsman 'claiming' to be conveying the public sentiment. However, I don't think anyone is questioning ESPN's ability to objectively critique the NFL. The problem is the consistency. Pacman Jones is a complete scumbag who ESPN probably never wants to work with. They have no problem covering his off the field problems. However, Roethlisberger is a charismatic leader and 2 time Super Bowl winner. He's someone they'd love to have a good relationship with. THAT is why they didn't report on him, and THAT question was not asked. Why couldn't Ohlmeyer ask Doria: Were you afraid reporting on the Roethlisberger story would make him less accessable to your reporters? Doria's answer just says 'hey don't hate us we've covered the NFL in a negative light before!' But that's not a justification for not covering the Roethlisberger story.
Ohlmeyer then gives ESPN the defense it needs:
...the more I thought about it, the more that mantra rang in my ears: "Serve the audience." Even if ESPN judged that it should not report the Roethlisberger suit, not acknowledging a sports story that's blanketing the airways requires an explanation to your viewers, listeners and readers. And in today's world they are owed that explanation right away -- to do otherwise is just plain irresponsible. It forces your audience to ask why the story was omitted. It forces them to manufacture a motive. And it ultimately forces them to question your credibility.
I agree with Ohlmeyer here that they should have reported the story, but he has suggested that people have manufactured a motive for why ESPN omitted reporting on it. I don't think so. I think ESPN loves the access it has to Roethlisberger and showed what a friend does to help another out.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Vick: 'just happy to be here'
Vick (or McGwire): 'I'm not here to talk about the past'
(by week 4): Is it Still McNabb's Team?
(by week 8 after the obligatory McNabb oblique strain): 2nd Chance Well Worth the Wait
Bill Simmons piece on how he's happy Vick got a 2nd chance, but would refuse to support the Pats signing him
Rick Reilly piece complaining about something
and by season's end: Vick Travels to Mexico to [legally] bet on Cockfighting
The 2009-2010 season just got a whole lot more interesting...
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sorry for the long layoff again folks - Kyra is on a ballpark roadtrip in America's heartland while I am getting ready for trips to Vegas and the Jersey shore. But today we are proud to publish the first post by guest contributor Rob Warfield. Mr. Warfield is well known around the Central Jersey and Philadelphia region as a walking encyclopedia and his sports knowledge is second to none. We hope you enjoy his work on the blog as much as we do.
You may not have heard, but David Ortiz tested positive for steroids back in 2003. Since I arrived back from a London vacation last week, it’s been hard to watch ESPN for more than 30 minutes without some discussion of this fact. I have to admit, this revelation was not the least bit surprising to me: the obvious disparity in Ortiz’s physical figure from his Minnesota days to his large and in charge Red Sox glory years and subsequent jump in stats once arriving in Boston are cause for enough suspicion in the steroids era. That the positive test came the year he joined the Sox is surely not a coincidence. But regardless of these tell-tale side effects of cheating and doping, there is a greater point to be made here: I frankly wouldn’t be surprised if anybody was caught juicing.
It’s on this point where I think ESPN has dropped the ball. With the exception of Bill Simmons (I can’t believe I just wrote that) and Howard Bryant, ESPN has really misjudged the fans’ reactions here. I heard Mitch Albom open up the Sports Reporters on Sunday arguing that the fans “don’t care” anymore when players are caught. Steve Phillips, parlaying his miserable GM record into an equally miserable analyst’s job, happily relayed Jim Leyland’s assertion that fans “don’t care” during tonight’s Red Sox/Tigers broadcast. Shocking that he would use a game in which Papi’s team was playing to notify us. Can’t say I’ve heard Simmons’ or Bryant’s positions espoused on Baseball Tonight yet (Note: Simmons wrote in his July 17 mailbag that he would only be shocked to learn that Jeter and Griffey took PEDs. I agree, though I might add Greg Maddux to that list).
However, some people clearly do care. ESPN certainly cares, because they’re still discussing this in detail eleven full days after the original New York Times story went to print. It was also so important that Albom had to address it while opening the second episode of the Sports Reporters to air since the NYT piece. Fans care, because Ortiz was booed all weekend. Granted he was playing at Yankee Stadium, but I’m sure he’d receive the same treatment in Philadelphia, for instance.
If ESPN wants to cover a story like this for eleven days, they should actually get to the bottom of the story. Maybe I haven’t been watching enough, but I have yet to hear ESPN discuss Ortiz’ own hypocrisy on this issue; the NYT article quotes Ortiz as saying that he would “ban [those who test positive] for the whole year.” The assuredness of that statement wasn’t there this week, as Ortiz took nine full days to call a press conference to talk about how “careless” he was when buying vitamins back in the day. Regardless of these discrepancies and the obvious hypocrisy, ESPN is still more than happy to give Ortiz a platform after-the-fact (we also saw this in Gammons’ A-Rod interview). By now we’ve all been reassured by every episode of SportsCenter and every ESPN baseball telecast of the past couple days that it’s entirely plausible for some bad vitamins to result in a positive test. Last night’s ticker prominently displayed that a BALCO scientist confirmed this. Sweet irony. The hypocrisy is laughable.
It’s a shame that the network that currently holds a monopoly on sports coverage has no journalistic integrity whatsoever. There is no consistency to speak of here. Simply put, it’s disappointing, but this is what I’ve come to expect from ESPN. They’re more interested in making friends than exploring anything in detail.
I look forward to contributing to this blog in the weeks and months to come.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
He's in the Sportswriter HoF so he probably has something valuable to say. Here's an excerpt from his short article pointing out the biggest problem with ESPN:
"A couple of weeks ago, ESPN initially refused to report the news that was everywhere else headlined — that Pittsburgh's Super Bowl quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had been accused of sexual assault. The network's excuses were too noble by half, because there's a double standard, and ESPN is known to cozy up to the very superstars it purports to cover.
Just suppose that CNN regularly had cutesy commercials for CNN starring Nancy Pelosi, John McCain and Rahm Emanuel. Well, that's the equivalent of what ESPN regularly does with top sports personalities. The practice is, simply, a journalistic disgrace, and, because ESPN is so powerful, it diminishes the integrity of all sports journalism."
Now we here at ESPNfail did not cover the Roethlisberger issue because it was in the past when we started writing and we try to stay as current as possible. However, while we're on the subject, we might as well say something. It took about 48 hours for ESPN to report the story that Ben Roethlisberger was accused of raping someone. Why was that? They had issued a 'do not report' memo to all their employees. They claimed this was because the matter was a civil complaint, which they don't cover out of fairness to the athlete. however it was picked up by the Associated Press. It was clearly a story, and it was clearly a story ESPN had reasons for not covering.
Why was this? Speculation said from sites like Deadspin that it might have something to do with the fact that ABC is a sister network of ESPN. Big Ben is set to appear on ABC's upcoming reality show Shaq Vs. where he competes against other athletes in their sports. It would not surprise me at all that they did not want this story to come out because it might hurt ratings on this show.
Even more scary though, is when Deford says that "ESPN is known to cozy up to the very superstars it purports to cover." This is hitting the nail on the head. ESPN wants to have all the
access to these athletes so they ask puffball questions like when Jim Rome asks a typical guest "Peyton, you won the MVP last year and had your best statistical season yet, how awesome is it to be you?" (I paraphrase). Jim Rome can be saved for his own post though. ESPN is grooming plenty of these guys to be future talking heads on their shows. I definitely wouldn't bet against Brett Favre appearing on NFL Live in the next couple of years. How are we supposed to trust a network that clearly doesn't ask the tough question? It seems to me Deford is saying we can't, but that ESPN has such a stranglehold on the industry that we have no alternative but to obey their false idols. We are not worthy!
Please read this article on Deadspin that contains the memo that ESPN passed around to all its employees regarding their use of twitter amongst other social media. Here's an exerpt:
"If you are an ESPN talent, reporter, writer, producer, editor or other editorial decision maker or a public-facing ESPN employee, you are reminded that when you participate in public blogs or discussion activities, you are representing ESPN just as you would in any other public forum or medium, and you should exercise discretion, thoughtfulness and respect for your colleagues, business associates and our fans. All posted content is subject to review in accordance with, ESPN's employee policies and editorial guidelines."
So basically, you aren't allowed to live outside the ESPN all-controlling universe if you work for ESPN. I'm sure LeBron James is applauding this policy of thought control.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
"Asked whether Green Bay might be interested in the scandal-tainted quarterback, general manager Ted Thompson didn't rule it out Tuesday.
But that doesn't necessarily mean the Packers are in hot pursuit of Vick.
'What is the answer that we give to questions like this? We're always looking to improve our team,' [GM Ted] Thompson said. 'We look at all options at all times. I wouldn't care to speculate in terms of the odds or the percentages [of signing Vick] or anything like that.'
But they've at least discussed Vick internally?
'We look at everything,' Thompson said."
Like I said, GMs and coaches are always "looking to make the team better" or "working with the players they have on the roster." Thanks for the headline ESPN.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
The first two sentences truly sum up this fail:
"New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick won't rule out the chance the team will sign quarterback Michael Vick."
"He's not saying it's a possibility, either."
OK, so if Belichick didn't say yes or no, then this is not a news story. In other words, there is nothing to report. Most coaches use quotes such as, "We're coaching the players that we have on the field right now, so that's who is here. So, anybody who isn't here, is there potential that they could be here? Yeah, there probably is. But right now they're not" when asked about potential signings. I think we've been hit by ESPN's perfect storm of Patriots' love, Michael Vick supercoverage, and trying to make a headline out of nothing.
The incredible factcheckers in Bristol then reported that Michael Vick had a workout in Foxboro. Those rumors were quickly proved false. Now, according to this morning's news, it looks like Cleo Lemon was that shifty QB trying out Friday.
Any intelligent sports fan asks the question "why would arguably the best team in the NFL with the best quarterback in the league take a chance on the man recently voted the most hated in sports?" We see this crap on ESPN and sigh because some less-aware sports fans actually think Michael Vick may sign with the Pats.
Fail thee well ESPN.
Friday, July 31, 2009
This article is from 2 days ago, but we felt we had to comment on it:
In this article Rick blasts Phil Jackson, Roger Federer, and Serena Williams, all very successful at what they do, for what Reilly considers flaunting their victory. We'll address each person separately.
In the article Reilly calls the Zenmaster "un-zen," very creative, for donning a cap with an 'X' on it after the Lakers won to symbolize his 10th ring. Reilly writes
"That hat said, Aren't I amazing! Doesn't this hat prove it? Don't you wish you had one?I hated that hat for the same reason I hate those hideous championship T-shirts and caps that teams don the instant the final buzzer sounds. Why cover up the glory of the jerseys you bled in together all season -- the ones that have your city or team name emblazoned on the front -- with some ugly shirts nobody can read? And why top it off with an ugly hat that just dangles a tag in your face?"
Maybe Reilly's a Clippers fan and never got to experience a championship, but the fact of the matter is fans love to wear this gear. It gives them as much pride as wearing the jersey because you feel like your rooting for them made you a part of the championship. Also, if Reilly had done any actual reporting, he would have learned that the hat wasn't even his idea, but rather a gift from his long-time agents. Of course Jackson donned the hat as a token of appreciation for them
Frankly, there are symbols of achievement that people flaunt in areas other than sports. When someone earns their doctorate they are given a PhD and given the title doctors (but not medical doctors obviously). Why isn't Reilly up in arms about this as well? Maybe he somehow feels he's above Jackson because he managed to pay off enough people to win 11 Sportswriter of the Year awards.
Next Reilly goes on to blast Federer for wearing a sweater boasting the number 15 representing the new record for Grand Slam titles. Reilly writes that this was "a rare show of classlessness from a normally classy guy." We agree with Reilly that Federer is a very classy guy, but that's where the agreeing ends. As such, we are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt here. Think about this for a moment: Federer has a multi-million dollar contract with Nike. It's a pretty good bet that Nike gave him 2 sweaters that day and instructed him to wear one if he lost, and the other if he won. Is that too far out of the realm of possibility for Reilly to possibly comprehend? Also, if Rick had such a problem with this, why wasn't he criticizing Federer when he analyzed the tournament for ESPN? First of all, Bud Collins is about as sane as Gary Busey. Second of all, You sir Rick Reilly, are a two-faced bag of douche.
There's more to say, and we didn't even mention Serena Williams, but this post is getting long and we will let readers form their own opinions on the rest of the article (please comment!). We wanted to conclude by asking our readers a question:
The NBA Finals ended on June 14th. Wimbledon ended on July 5th. As it says in the article, this column appeared in the August 10th issue of ESPN the Magazine. Has Reilly been fingering his asshole for the past month or having sex with corpses as he is prone to do? Why has it taken him this long to comment on these events? We leave you with that as a vivid image of another ESPNfail.
KZ & DD
The headline about Halladay on the ESPN homepage reads:
"Jays want 'to be blown away' by Halladay offer"
No way, you mean Roy Halladay is one of the best pitchers in baseball and any offer has to impress J.P. Ricciardi and rest of the clowns that run the Jays? The headline should actually be "Ricciardi still hasn't been fired." The article even creates a false hope for Rangers fans that a deal may still be done. Compare this the SI headline this morning "Texas deal for Halladay dissolves." C'mon ESPN, this is not news - a fourth grader could tell you that it will take a lot to trade for a Cy Young winner. Another ESPN fail
And yet, ESPN continues to report that nothing is going on in the Halladay sweepstakes. Today's article:
Jays still open to offers for HalladayBoy that reporting by Buster Olney really blew me away there. Teams are still interested in acquiring arguably the best pitcher in baseball!? Shocker. Let's check out many times ESPN has had a report that there was nothing new to report on Doc being traded. A search of Halladay reveals the following going back:
July 30th: Olney writes the article above & Gammons has a video saying he doesn't think the ace will be traded
July 29th: Buster writes another article titled 'Jays not close to trading Halladay,' Rob Neyer writes a blog entry on how the Jays need to be 'wowed' to trade him,
July 28th: Rob Neyer writes a blog post entitled 'Our Kingdom for a Halladay,' I would appreciate the Shakespeare reference a lot more if he didn't follow it up by the next day copy/pasting his ideas.
July 27th: Jason Stark reports that 'trade talks are not going well' between the Jays and Phillies...seems to me like trade talks weren't going well between the Jays and anybody. If trade talks were going well I would think Halladay would have been traded or am I crazy?
July 26th: Jason Stark reports that the Jays rejected the latest Phillies offer.
Just to recap: We've gone back only 5 days and there seem to be no new developments in who is getting Roy Halladay. The Phillies obviously knew they weren't going to get Doc without giving up at least one of their 2 top pitching prospects (J.A. Happ and Kyle Drabek) and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. This takes one article to explain that. However, ESPN pinpoints on a few particular stories and then magnifies them to biblical proportions. This is how we end up seeing a new Halladay article everyday even though that article is as worthy of being read as the last 10 Eddie Murphy movies have been worthy of a view from anyone over 5 years old. Could Buster Olney not think of an interesting topic today so he dipped into one of the stories he knew he could bank on ESPN being satisfied with?
I think the coverage of Roy Halladay's trade talks is an ESPNfail, but boy he does seem like a swell guy.
Sports Illustrated (all sports): www.si.com
True Hoop (NBA): http://myespn.go.com/nba/truehoop
Pro Football Talk (NFL): http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/
AOL Fanhouse (all sports): http://www.fanhouse.com/
Yahoo Sports: http://sports.yahoo.com/
Deadspin (all sports): www.deadspin.com
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Greetings sports fans out there who have grown out of the diarrhea that ESPN spews each day. We promise to update frequently and keep our readers aware of every egregious offense that ESPN commits each day. Stay tuned for our official welcome message, but in the meantime, let us dive right into the shit.
My oh my this just writes itself. Please take a gander at this article about a story that ESPN covers religiously: the Greek tragedy that is the Michael Vick story.
First of all, why is it news that Michael Vick is "getting close"
to signing with a team? This is nothing more than ESPN glorifying a rumor. Yeah, I'm getting close to choosing what I want for dinner. What the fuck does that mean? If there is no decision, then ESPN has no business putting this on their pitiful excuse for a website as news. In addition, please look closely at the two headlines in this article. The article is titled
"Vick 'close' to finding new team"However, it seems John Clayton, the resident NFL
brainiac who looks like he has one foot in the grave
already, has a different take on the matter:
Clayton: Vick Not Close To Any DealPlease tell me these aren't on the same page...oh wait THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE. This was an article by the Associated Press. If ESPN were to consider it newsworthy, which they obviously do, then all they had to do was title it correctly. They even couldn't manage to do that.
And with that, we have our first ESPNfail
KZ & DD