Tiger Woods succeeds in alienating media again

Yell fore, Tiger Woods, because you just hit–to quote the title of a certain book–a Big Miss.

This time, it comes in the form of the former No. 1 doing a Q/A with fans on his website Monday rather than meeting with the media in advance of this week’s Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte.

Here is a link to the so-called press conference.

Basically, it is Woods first reading the question and then supplying the answer. The difficult (not!) queries include:

How many practice rounds do you play before a tournament?

What do you think is the coolest trophy among the four majors? (A: Claret Jug)

Do you have a good chance of winning?

The video session lasted 14 minutes, and surprise, surprise, it included two sponsor-related questions that produced nice plugs. His public just has to know about Fuze.… Continue Reading

Sports Emmys: And the winner is…Skip Bayless?

This is going to be a big day for me. I’m traveling to New York to cover the 33rd Annual Sports Emmy Awards.

I can’t wait to see the Red Carpet with thousands of fans cheering wildly for their sports media favorites. And then there’s the fashion component. Wonder what Joan Rivers will say about Jim Nantz’s tie?

Oh, the glitz and glamor of it all.

OK, so maybe not so much glitz and glamor. I’m going because it is the one night that brings together virtually everyone in sports TV. It’ll be a one-stop shop for me to make the rounds.

I can’t say that I am a big awards guy. They are way too subjective, although I am looking forward to seeing who wins for best supporting analyst in soccer.

However, awards shows thrive because society demands we … Continue Reading

Twitter troubles for Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley

Not a good day for Joe Cowley, a columnist for the Sun-Times.

Apparently, his plane was delayed this morning, and instead of reading a good book, he did some tweets that weren’t nice to women. His tweets questioning the capabilities of a “Chick pilot” started an exchange with sport reporter Sloane Martin that I’m guessing he now regrets.

As a result, Cowley’s tweets have become a Sunday afternoon topic for Deadspin. And that’s not a good thing. The site did an original post and two follow-ups, including a report that Cowley de-activated his Twitter account.

As folks in Chicago know, Cowley is very active on Twitter. He enjoys being edgy, and ticking off people.

However, there’s always that line in everything, and it looks as if Cowley might have crossed it.

Here are some of his tweets:

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Joe Posnanski on Project X and Paterno book

It is hard to imagine anyone having a better gig in sportswriting than Joe Posnanski. He had emerged as one of the big guns at Sports Illustrated; was featured prominently with a popular blog on SI.com, and had his own podcast.

Yet Posnanski decided to leave SI to go to a new unnamed endeavor he calls “Project X.” It sounds like something run by Maxwell Smart with Chief as the publisher.

Actually, it is affiliated with USA Today Sports Group and MLB Advanced Media. More details will be revealed soon. He explains in an interview with Dave Kindred at sportsjournalism.org.

“The best way to define Project X,” Posnanski says, “is that it will be a multi-platform project with, we hope, great sports writing on all fronts. . . . the idea is to marry great technology and great writing.”

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Rose injury: What they’re saying in Chicago; differing views

The sun finally is out this morning, but it is a dark, dark day in Chicago.

Sports talk radio almost sounds as if it is in mourning. Perhaps, the hosts are mourning the likely end to an NBA title run.

Interesting to note the views from the various columnists on the Derrick Rose injury, especially on if he should have been in the game with the Bulls up by 12.

David Haugh in the Chicago Tribune:

There’s also little doubt in my mind that Rose’s season-ending injury occurred due to bad luck, not bad judgment by Tom Thibodeau.

Later, Haugh writes:

Rose needs to work on closing sounds as silly as Thibodeau needing to practice on his intensity. But Thibodeau had nothing to apologize for regarding Rose playing. You didn’t have to be the best coach in the NBA

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Lifetime Achievement Award overdue for Jack Whitaker

Jack Whitaker finally will get his due Monday night. The legendary sports broadcaster will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 33rd Annual Sports Emmy Awards in New York.

You have to wonder why it took the Academy so long to get to Whitaker. Surely, they heard his wonderful lyrical essays on CBS and then ABC. He was a pioneer, showing sports on television could be about words as well as pictures. Perhaps even more so.

When Frank Gifford was given his lifetime award in 1997, he said:

To have a Sports Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award without Jack Whitaker on the list is hard to believe. He was the best of the best, a great friend and a terrific colleague.

For some mysterious reason, it took the Academy another 15 years to heed Gifford’s suggestion. Thankfully, Whitaker, 87, … Continue Reading

An exclusive interview with me

I never expected an interview with me ever to be labeled “an exclusive.” I’ll pretty much talk to anyone. Just call.

However, thanks to Paul M. Banks, who did an “exclusive” Q/A with me on his new site, Chicago Sports Media Watch.

And this is a first. I’m selecting an excerpt from myself:

Tell us about your experiences writing “Inside Media” for the Chicago Tribune, what was your favorite part of doing that column? What do you miss and not miss about it writing it?

ES: I really enjoyed doing the column for the Tribune. It was a position I wanted for a long time. There’s so many different facets of the industry. You could be writing on one thing and then suddenly have to transition to something completely different. It’s too bad many papers, including the three big ones

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Debuts: Scully spans from Mantle to Harper

Just saw an amazing tweet from Keith Olbermann. He writes:

Mickey Mantle debuted in NY in an exhibition vs #Dodgers, 1951. Bryce Harper debuts vs Dodgers tonight. Announcer then and now? Vin Scully

Think about it this way: Scully called games involving the most celebrated rookie of my father’s generation. And now he is calling games involving the most celebrated rookie of my sons’ generation.

Scully once said:

All my career, all I have ever really done, all I ever have accomplished, is to talk about the accomplishments of others. We can’t all be heroes. Somebody has to stand on the curb and applaud as the parade goes by.

Of course, Scully has it wrong. Sixty-one years since Mantle’s debut, Scully is a certified hero. We’re so fortunate to still hear him “applaud as the parade goes … Continue Reading

Shaq not universally loved on TNT

I had hoped to ask some questions of Shaquille O’Neal this week, but the big man was a no-show for a TNT-NBA Network conference call. I wanted his evaluation of his first year as a studio analyst. Maybe another day.

Brian Lowry of Foxsports.com provided his answer: An emphatic thumbs down for O’Neal. He writes.

The former All-Star center might be a jolly giant to have around, but in terms of basketball analysis, all he proves is that the bigger they are, the harder they can be to listen to — and that star players, for whatever reason, generally have a hard time graduating from playing the game to talking about it.

Later, Lowry says.

TNT certainly didn’t need to shake things up, but the powers that be couldn’t resist enlisting O’Neal, an attention-getting hire who won championships with the

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Weekend flashback: Howard Cosell on David Letterman

I’m going to offer a blast from the past on the weekends. It could be an old video, a print interview or profile of a famous newsmaker in sportswriter, or a classic story.

Since we’re in the beginning stages of this site, I felt it was appropriate to dig up something on Howard Cosell, the one and only.

In this clip, Cosell pays a visit to David Letterman in 1985. He’s promoting his new book, “I Never Played the Game.”

Cosell is engaging, but also he’s also pretty bitter about most things. Take a look.

 … Continue Reading