Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Creating News When Convenient

It is no secret that ESPN loves the big mouths and big attitudes in sports. If an ESPN personality is every pressed for content, stick a mike in TO's face and ask him about Jeff Garcia/ex-publicists/Donovan McNabb/Romo and Witten's man-crush and you have an immediate story no questions asked. TO is ESPN's cash cow.

The same is obviously not true for Cris Carter. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Cris "The Assassin" Carter is the anti-TO in more ways then one when he eloquently stated "I take one bullet and put it right in him. Bam!" Carter has since sheepishly addressed that statement claiming that somehow he didn't want to kill TO but was rather 'recommending a personnel decision' ( As if personnel decisions involved gunpowder.

That is fine that Carter said he used the wrong words, I expect that. Unless, of course, he and Rae Carruth are working on something we don't know about. But that comment was just as loaded as Tim Hardaway's anti-gay comments. ESPN jumped all over that story and others like the snitch in the Cowboys lockerroom or every time Ozzie Guillen opens his mouth, to name a few.

Yet there is nothing on ESPN's website anywhere related to the comment. Type in "Cris Carter" and "bullet" into google and get 100,000+ hits yet search for it on ESPN and get no hits other than some Dolphins receiver who is apparently named Cris Carter. Had this been a 'normal' non-ESPN affiliated comment, you can be sure we would now have TO's feedback, Carter's written apology, what gun Carter would have used and how Antonio Pierce would have hid the gun.

This story could be monumental as it relates to violence in sports. Have we forgotten about Plaxico "Safety Trigger" Burress and the over-dose of information ESPN bestowed upon us less than one month ago? Wouldn't a follow-up story on guns and violence seem logical here? Carter and Burress might only be the tip of the iceberg but we will never know because ESPN won't touch the issue as it pertains to one of their own employees.

Why does ESPN get immunity in these situations? If only to show that ESPN doesn't have an agenda with every single story, I want to know. Apparently all ESPN wants right now is for this Cris Carter issue to go away. How convenient. "Bang!"

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wanted: Detroit Lions Head Coach

Job Requirements:
Must exhibit a genuine ability to defy the laws of common sense. Must be a coach whose name would in no way generate excitement for fans of Detroit, and must have ability to assist in filling roster with averageness and mediocrity at best. Previous head coaching experience is discouraged and not necessary. A fondness for the drafting of wide receivers is also required, along with the mentality that the foundation of a team is built around the receiving corp. Upon hiring, a series of tests will be done to ensure that the mental capacity of said coach is not above that of a chimpanzee. These tests will include multiplication tables, Berenstain Bears speed-reading challenges, and ultimately a full body physical to examine if said coach is in fact breathing and has the ability to communicate nonsensical thoughts to others. One last requirement is the ability to bend over for any opposing coach in the National Football League. Please contact William Clay Ford, Sr. at 1-800-BAILOUT or

Monday, December 8, 2008

Appearance Counts For Something, Right?

Those of you that tuned into the Army/Navy game on Saturday saw the unveiling of the new 'Enforcer' uniforms for both Army and Navy. Both uniforms depicted the normal dress of their respected teams, with Army's uniforms being camouflage and Navy's including both the shoulder boards and the wings of the Blue Angel plane.

My favorite part of the Army uniform was that on the back,where traditionally most teams have the last name of a player, were the words 'Duty. Honor. Country'. They may have lost 34-0, but they definitely looked good in the process. Put that uniform on Ray Lewis and I guarantee opposing quarterbacks would soil themselves at the sight of it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Plaxico Burress Entertainment Network

Hey did you guys know that Plaxico shot himself in the leg? BREAKING NEWS: PLAXICO BURRESS SHOOTS HIMSELF IN LEG.... Every time I turn on ESPN, the updates and coverage of this issue are beyond absurd. You can't get away from it. I feel like I'm 4 again and my mother is force feeding me chewable grape tylenol that tastes like chalk. Make. It. Stop. Please.

I saw a recent letter to that said something about how it seems like more and more athletes are getting into trouble nowadays when compared to athletes in the 1980s and before. On the surface that is a valid observation but if you think about it there are many other reasons for this perception. ESPN is so quick to report on Pacman, Plaxico, Tank Johnson, Michael Vick, and others who have been involved in off-the-field incidents. Do they really have to mention more than once that Charles Barkley owes a casino money? That half of Tour De France is on performance enhancing drugs?

ESPN certainly does a fantastic job covering all of the depressing and negative issues surrounding athletes but the reality is that there is far more good being done by other athletes than the 1-2% that get all the news coverage for their criminal blunders. Did you know that Warrick Dunn established the Warrick Dunn Foundation and helped over 74 single parents buy homes for their families by paying the entire down payment? Or that Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood puts on a bowling tournament every year to raise funds for Children's Memorial Hospital? How about Derek Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation that helps teenagers avoid drug and alcohol abuse? I could go on but you get the point. Don't let ESPN's coverage of a miniscule amount of players allow you to forget that their are a significant number of honorable people in professional sports. I, for one, would like to hear more about that.


...You like produce? How 'bout them apples?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bottom's Up?

More times than not, I am drawn away from ESPN's talking faces that are eerily infomercial-esque and drawn to the 'bottom line'. Side note: Who would win a Billy Mays - Steven A shoutout?

The bottom line is easily one of ESPN's greatest assets for a variety of reasons mainly because after viewing it for 30 seconds, you don't want to pound your face with a hammer or vomit into a paper bag. The reason it has become my go-to obsession is because of its brevity. I find myself watching the World Series Classic Championship of Poker Part 4 Round 50 on The Deuce just to see the stat lines of the night's games. It's quick, easy and I can get back to watching Survivor Man before the commercial break ends.

I would go so far as to say that ESPNews is now part of my channel flipping artillery based solely on the amount of no-nonsense stats it can spew from its bottom line. For those fortunate enough to have HD, ESPNews HD has a three-sided 'bottom-line' which causes salivation to Schwab-like stat-hungry fans.

One would be naive to think that something as simple as the bottom line could go awry under ESPN's guidance but signs are pointing to eminent disaster. Case in point, score alerts. Alerts are only useful if you really care about what is being alerted. And if I really cared about score alerts, I would probably be watching the actual game and not the bottom line to give me the latest news. Aside from a national tragedy or impending attack on my house, alert me never. And then there is the shameless cross-promotion, i.e. Catch Desperate Housewives tomorrow at 9 on ABC. Really? If devoting a full bottom line section to upcoming ESPN/ABC games is toe-ing the line, then this is surely jumping over the line and cannonballing into the pool off a high-dive.

Don't pollute the bottom line. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.