Terrible trend: Racist label gets thrown around way too much in today’s media world

It really bothers me when somebody in the media is accused of being “a racist.” It’s a horrible label to hang on a person, and it happens too frequently in today’s blog, Twitter-mad world.

To wit, this headline in Deadspin about David Whitley: “Who is this hack who wrote about Colin Kaepernick’s tattoos. And why is he such a racist dicktroll?”

You could say many things about Whitley, but the AOL FanHouse columnist at SportingsNews.com is not a racist.

In an earlier post today, Whitley defended himself in the wake of a column he wrote about Colin Kaepernick’s tattoos. He said: “If they were old enough to read, my two adopted African-American daughters would certainly be disappointed to find out I’m a racist.”

Indeed, they would.

People who know him know better about Whitley. ESPN’s Jemele Hill said in a … Continue Reading

Sporting News columnist responds; two adopted African-American daughters would be disappointed to learn I’m a racist

David Whitley was out most of yesterday. So he didn’t find out this morning that he is being labeled “a racist” and worse throughout the blog and Twitter world.

This is the first line of a post by Jason McIntyre of Big Lead: “David Whitley, a columnist at AOL Fanhouse – which, I guess, is still a website – is a racist.”

Whitley, a columnist for SportingNews.com, responded in an email this morning:

“If they were old enough to read, my two adopted African-American daughters would certainly be disappointed to find out I’m a racist.”

To catch everyone up, Whitley is under fire for a column he wrote Wednesday on Colin Kaepernick. He noted that the San Francisco 49ers quarterback has many tatoos, a rarity for players at that position.

Whitley wrote:

San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick is going to be

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What NFL teams have highest, lowest TV share in their markets? Hint all are recent Super Bowl winners

NFL TV ratings are huge. Period, end of sentence.

However, in some markets, they are bigger than others. The ratings, specifically “share,” provide a good barometer to gauge the fan intensity for the home team.

And the verdict from last week’s games?

No. 1: Saints and Steelers tied.

Bottom of the list: Giants in New York.

Below is a chart sent out by Dan Masonson of the NFL for week 12; it doesn’t include the Philadelphia-Carolina game on Monday. Also, there were blackouts in San Diego and Tampa Bay.

First some Ratings 101 on the terminology from Masonson:

Rating is % of TV homes in that market tuned into the game.

Share is % of TV homes in that market with TV “physically tuned” into the game.


Market size comes into play when determining total viewers for the home … Continue Reading

No for Sosa: Chicago Tribune Hall of Fame voters firmly against former Cubs slugger

The 2013 Hall of Fame ballot came out Wednesday. It will put the focus on the electors, the baseball writers, more than ever before.

For the first time, the eligible class includes juicers Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa.

Sosa got an indication today that he shouldn’t make any summer plans to be in Cooperstown. The former Cub will get as many votes from the seven voters at the hometown Chicago Tribune as Royce Clayton, who incredibly is on the ballot.

In a story by Paul Sullivan, the Tribune voters weigh in with their opinions.

Phil Hersh (in a Tweet): “Oh, the joy I will have snubbing Sosa, Bonds and Clemens (plus McGwire and Palmeiro, natch) on my HoF ballot.”

Phil Rogers:  “I covered Sammy Sosa’s first big-league game, when the skinny, athletic kid played center field and batted … Continue Reading

Danielson on Heisman: Up on Johnny Football, down on Manti Te’o; interesting take on SEC coach openings

CBS’ Gary Danielson was in Manti Te’o’s camp for the Heisman Trophy. He thought the Notre Dame linebacker was worthy of the award.

Then he watched Saturday’s Irish-USC game.

“I was all prepared to say Manti Te’o until I watched Saturday’s game,” said the CBS analyst on teleconference earlier this week. “Notre Dame wouldn’t be undefeated without him. But I watched the game, and he went 10-15 minutes without his name being mentioned on TV. That doesn’t happen when you’re a star running back or quarterback. That’s why it is so difficult for a defensive player to win because you don’t get mentioned.”

As for Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Danielson doesn’t think the freshman thing should be counted against him.

“In modern sports, we’ve been able to toss out age as the biggest qualifier,” Danielson said. “Even though, he is … Continue Reading

Lundquist: Yes, there is a SEC fatigue

Give credit to Verne Lundquist. Nobody ever will accuse him of spouting the company line.

“Yes, absolutely there’s a SEC fatigue,” Lundquist said.

Now keep in mind Lundquist makes a living calling SEC games for CBS. Outside of the SEC region, most of the rest of the country is tired of seeing Alabama, LSU, Florida, Auburn, and more Alabama dominate college football. As an Illinois alum, whose school just went 0-8 in the Big Ten, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Illini dominate anyone, even at the Division III level.

After Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M, it looked for a minute that we might be saved from seeing a SEC team go for a seventh straight national title in the BCS title game. But then Kansas State and Oregon lost within a few minutes of each other.

Voila, the winner of … Continue Reading

Tell me your story: What is it like on the job market for sports journalists?

Last week, Malcolm Moran made a provocative statement in an interview with me.

“For the first time in the history of the industry, a 20-something journalist could have an advantage over a 40-something candidate,” said Moran, who will take over as the new head of the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana in January.

Moran’s comment struck a chord. Several journalists weighed in with their views.

I thought it would be interesting to accumulate some stories and post them on this site. What are your experiences in the job market as a sports journalist? What is it like for recent graduates? Do 40-somethings really find themselves at a disadvantage?

I would like to use this site as a forum to share experiences in the industry. I think it would be valuable to one and all.

If you have a story … Continue Reading

New Grantland video short: Entertaining look at the Arnold Palmer drink

A fun, entertaining, and dare we say, refreshing look at the drink inspired by Arnold Palmer.

Props to ESPN and director Bryan Gordon for this short video. It is well worth your time. Here is the link.

From ESPN:

The next installment in ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts series premieres today on Grantland.com. The Arnold Palmer is an exploration into the history, mystery and industry surrounding The Arnold Palmer, the lemonade-and-iced tea beverage that has become a piece of Americana.

Golf legend Arnold Palmer, in his own words, tells of how the drink mixture came to be and quickly gained popularity. The short is directed by TV and film producer, writer and director Bryan Gordon (Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office) and features comedian and actor Will Arnett as well as golf pros Peter Jacobsen, Fuzzy Zoeller, Jim

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Are Vitale, Berman, Reilly Hall of Famers? Nominees for NSSA’s top honors

Some interesting names on the upcoming ballot for the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Beginning Dec. 1, members will vote on Hall of Fame honors for sportscaster and sportswriter and national sportscaster and sportswriter of the year. Also, voting will take place for top sportscaster and sportswriter in individual states.

Last year, Bob Costas and John Feinstein were named to the Hall in their respective categories. Below are this year’s nominees.

In the sportscaster category, Dick Vitale and Chris Berman’s names stand out. Vitale is getting to the point in his career where he is accumulating Hall of Fame plaques. Considering how polarizing Berman has become, it probably will be a while before he gets into the Hall.

Even though he has no chance, it still is great to see Dan Kelly’s name on the list. What a great hockey … Continue Reading

Dodgers new mega TV deal: No salary cap means gap widens even more

The eulogies flowed for Marvin Miller Tuesday, and rightfully so. Nobody impacted baseball more than he did during the last 50 years.

Miller clobbered the owners back then, and his successors have done a pretty good job ever since. They have been able to avoid the one thing that the unions in the other sports couldn’t: Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap.

The impact now becomes more acute in the wake of the recent local TV rights deals being signed by teams. The Dodgers are set to cash in on a ridiculous $280 million per year deal from Fox in Los Angeles. That’s $1.73 million per game, or almost as much as the Miami Marlins’ current payroll for 2013.

The Dodgers’ haul makes recent TV deals by the Angels and Texas Rangers (both in the $3 billion range) seem like … Continue Reading