Pleased to announced that I am joining the crew at Awful Announcing as a contributing writer. If you follow sports media, you already know about the interesting and entertaining content produced by Matt Yoder and his crew. Many thanks to Bloguin CEO Ben Koo for making this happen. I am looking forward to drafting behind them, so to speak.
From time to time, I will be doing original content for Awful Announcing. My first piece is a a behind-the-scenes look at ABC’s production of the Chicago-Miami game Sunday.
I enjoyed spending time with Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters, producer Tim Corrigan, director Jimmy Moore and the rest of the crew. A highlight was watching how Salters’ memorable interview with Joakim Noah’s father, Yannick, unfolded in the truck.
From the story:
Word, though, filters in to the … Continue Reading
Earlier this week, I did a USA Today story on 70-plus announcers/analysts who still are thriving in the business. Naturally a main focus was on Dick Vitale, 74 going on 17.
While talking to Vitale, he told a great tale on how he reluctantly got into broadcasting after being fired from the Detroit Pistons. It turns out a couple legends helped plant the seeds.
Here is video of that first ESPN game, DePaul-Wisconsin in 1979.
Here’s Dickie V on how he wound up behind the microphone.
The last game I coached (for Detroit) was in Lexington. We were playing Michigan (in the NCAA Sweet 16). We had a good team.
We’re at practice and there are three guys in the stands. Two of them are Curt Gowdy and John Wooden. I’m saying, “What is this?”
The third guy comes … Continue Reading
Powerful story by Richard Sandomir of the New York Times on Stuart Scott’s battle with cancer.
Also, be sure to click on the link to see the pictures of him working out. Really inspiring.
Inside the mixed martial arts studio, Stuart Scott lifted the black T-shirt that read, “Everyday I Fight.” Beneath was a footlong scar that bisected the ESPN anchor’s washboard abs.
“It’s a sign of life,” he said, though it is the spot where cancer surgeons have opened his abdomen three times to remove parts of him.
Scott’s fight continues. He has had 58 infusions of chemotherapy. He recently switched to a pill. But the drugs have not fully arrested the cancer that struck first in 2007, when his appendix was removed. It returned four years later. And it came back again last year. Each recurrence
… Continue Reading
It appears as if Brandon Phillips is in a bit of a snit over the way he has been treated by the media in Cincinnati.
It seems as if the reporters had the audacity to report that Phillips had a poor second half for the Reds last year, and that his stats have been declining.
John Fay at Cincinnati.com contends Phillips has engaged in some “revisionist history.” He writes:
“I don’t have nothing to say to those cats,” Phillips said to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com about the Cincinnati media. “They know what the deal is. They just talk about how I was falling off and declining. How the (expletive) am I declining? I had 100 … ribbies (RBI) last year. And I did that with one … hand. And I won a Gold Glove? So how the (expletive) am I declining?
… Continue Reading
The release doesn’t say John Smoltz and Matt Vasgersian will be the new No. 2 team for Fox on baseball, but Smoltz’s presence would suggest that’s the case.
Many people felt Fox should have gone with the former Braves pitcher for the No. 1 team with Joe Buck. Instead, the network tabbed Harold Reynolds and Tom Verducci.
Smoltz has shined as an analyst for MLB Network and TBS. He and Vasgersian will make a good team.
The official rundown from Fox Sports:
FOX Sports added to its already deep MLB lineup, today announcing that former Cy Young Award winner John Smoltz and nationally renowned broadcaster Matt Vasgersian team up to call MLB games on the FOX Broadcast Network and FOX Sports 1. The announcement was made by John Entz, Executive Vice President, Production & Executive Producer, FOX Sports. Smoltz … Continue Reading
Question: Name the only NBA team with a 21-42 record that still would be featured in national Sunday afternoon game?
Answer: The Lakers. Of course.
Yep, Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown were on hand yesterday for the Oklahoma City-Lakers game Sunday on ABC. Now Kevin Durant always is a good TV draw, and there’s still something special about being in LA. Memories of Magic, West, Kobe, etc…
However, while the Lakers put on a good show in pulling off an unlikely victory Sunday, their 48-point loss to the Clippers last week said more about the state of the league’s long-time marquee franchise. The Lakers surely are fading from view, and could be irrelevant for an extended stretch if Kobe Bryant can’t mount a comeback.
That’s not a good thing for the networks. The Lakers have been ratings gold for a … Continue Reading
This seems like a good way to cap off your Masters this year.
Here is the official rundown from the Golf Channel.
Golf Channel’s primetime television event, Arnie, begins with the questions: “How do you tell a story of a life that’s larger than life? How do you find a way to put together all the memories, all the accomplishments, all the impact? And do what a story is supposed to do? And ensure it lasts forever? Someday – even decades – maybe centuries from now, they’ll hear the name Arnold Palmer and they’ll want to know everything.”
Arnie showcases how the golfing legend revolutionized and transcended the game to become one of the most beloved figures in sports history. Arnie, a three-night television event, will air on consecutive nights at 10 p.m. ET from Sunday, April 13, following … Continue Reading
Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports media…
Charles Barkley: Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing writes that Barkley says he never will work at ESPN. Until, of course, he does. From an interview with Dan Patrick.
On whether ESPN has ever offered him a job…
“They call me every year, but I would never go there. Number one they work their guys too hard, but also I think they manufacture stories. They manufacture controversies.”
On Dan Patrick joking that he could channel Skip Bayless…
“The next sound you’ll hear is me killing myself.”
Fox Sport 1: John Ourand of Sports Business Daily reports Fox Sports execs like the trends for the new network, although there’s still a long, long way to go.
Six months later, though, it’s clear that Fox Sports 1 isn’t ESPN — not
… Continue Reading
Chuck Garfien had a surprise for me during Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s Sports Talk Live Thursday. While discussing my new book, Babe Ruth’s Called: The Myth and Mystery Behind Baseball’s Greatest Home Run, he showed a clip of Frank Thomas’ recent visit to Coopertown.
Lo and behold, there was the new Hall of Famer looking at Ruth’s actual bat from the Called Shot. Then donning white gloves, he swung another one of Ruth’s bats. It had notches in it from Ruth recording his homers. Very cool.
Here is the link to the video.
Also, while on the publicity front, here is a link to my interview with Corey McPherrin at Fox 32 this week.
And many thanks to Ron Kaplan of the Baseball Bookshelf for doing a podcast on my book.
In the intro, Kaplan writes:
Forgive me if I
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During my many years covering golf, it always was a thrill to know I was sharing the press room with Dan Jenkins. I know many of my colleagues felt the same way.
Looking forward to reading the great one’s new book, His Ownself. In a review, Dwight Garner of the New York Times writes that Jenkins was entertaining as always.
I woke up with a smile on my face every morning during the two or three days I spent reading “His Ownself.” It’s a casual and sly sportswriter’s memoir, albeit with a few egregious missteps that I’ll get to, one of those books that reminds you that good stories happen only to people who can tell them.
Mr. Jenkins has had, in his recounting, a busy, lucky and friend-filled life. If he tends to boil everything and everyone down
… Continue Reading
Chris Russo will be coming to your television five days a week courtesy of MLB Network.
Here is the official rundown:
This spring MLB Network will launch a brand new weekday studio program as Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, one of the most accomplished sports radio voices in the country, hosts his first TV-based baseball talk show, High Heat with Christopher Russo. Starting on Opening Day, March 31 at 12:00 p.m. ET, Russo will bring his passionate opinions and energetic delivery to MLB Network for a one-hour live program every weekday with discussion on all 30 MLB clubs and interviews with players and club personnel.
Each show will begin with “The Brushback,” Russo’s opening monologue on the day’s biggest headlines, followed by “Coast to Coast,” a fast-paced look at the top news around the league with a roster … Continue Reading
According to Variety, Susan Fornoff’s book, Lady in the Locker Room, is going to be made into a movie.
I knew Fornoff way back when she was covering the Oakland A’s for the Sacramento Bee. Unfortunately, she found herself in the news when Dave Kingman, one of the all-time idiots, sent her a rat for reasons only he can explain.
I’m sure that episode will find the way into the film. Hopefully, the filmmakers will find a good actor who knows how to play a boorish oaf.
Also, they will make a good movie in keeping with last year’s Let Them Wear Towels documentary about women sportswriters on ESPN.
Tatiana Siegel reports in Variety:
CBS Films and Last Vegas helmer Jon Turteltaub are reteaming for a period film about one of the first female sports reporters to break the
… Continue Reading