LATEST NEWS

Good retort: Yes ESPN, there is a kid named Fox Sports 1

Fortunately, the trash talking between ESPN and Fox Sports 1 continues. Earlier this week during a Disney investors meeting, Artie Bulgrin, a Senior VP of Analytics for ESPN noted there have been parents who have named their kids ESPN. Beyond weird, but….

“Let’s face it, nobody’s naming their kid ‘Fox Sports One.’” Bulgrin said.

Give credit to Fox Sports 1 for a pretty good comeback. Jay Onrait does the honors.

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Neat discovery: Finding an eyewitness to Babe Ruth’s Called Shot in my neighborhood; John Kass column on my book

While doing research for my new book, Babe Ruth’s Called Shot: The Myth and Mystery of Baseball’s Greatest Home Run, I obviously wanted to talk to eyewitnesses who attended Game 3 of the 1932 World Series at Wrigley Field.

Unfortunately, the great moment occurred more than 80 years ago, limiting my ability to get first-hand testimony on whether the Babe really pointed. Fortunately, I did talk to two people who were at the game: Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens and Lincoln Landis, the nephew of baseball’s first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered there is a Called Shot eyewitness living only a few blocks from me.

Wednesday, Jamie Bradley of the Highland Park Landmark did a nice story about me and the book. That prompted a call from Marv Freeman.

“You don’t … Continue Reading

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Wrigley Field at 100: Documentary chronicles good times (OK, and some bad) at old ballpark

If you look at this preview for Wrigley 100: A Century Celebration, you might think the Cubs celebrated many World Series titles at the old ballpark.

OK, you’re not going to pump up a film about Wrigley by highlighting Willie Stargell’s homer off Phil Regan that broke the backs of the Cubs in ’69. Even though the Cubs never experienced a World Series victory in the old ballpark, there were plenty of memorable moments provided by Ernie, Ronnie, Billy, and Ryno and more. Sammy Sosa had a few too, but given what we now know, don’t expect an extensive review of his feats at Wrigley.

Actually, there were championships won at Wrigley–by the Bears. Their history in the park is featured in the film.

The two-hour documentary airs Sunday at 7 p.m. (Central) on WGN-Ch. 9 in Chicago and … Continue Reading

Jeff Van Gundy on Howard Stern slam: ‘I didn’t even know he was still on’

A few weeks ago, Jeff Van Gundy remarked during a telecast that Howard Stern was leaving early during a Knicks game. He jokingly said Stern shouldn’t be given tickets if he isn’t going to stay for the entire game.

Stern, who doesn’t like criticism, used the opportunity to go off on Van Gundy during his show. He went off on a 10-minute rant, calling him every name in the book from “douche bag” to “midget” and even “schlub.”

During a teleconference yesterday, Van Gundy had an amusing response when asked about Stern’s comment.

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Yeah, you know what’s funny is I was sitting in a movie theater watching this movie, it was an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, “Sabotage” or something like that. I don’t know.  It’s a new action film.  And a friend of mine texted me and said, can you … Continue Reading

Scary: Glazer had near-death experience during ‘routine’ procedure

Dan Patrick on why you haven’t heard much from Jay Glazer lately. He nearly died during a routine procedure.

Mike Florio also had a write-up on Pro Football Talk:

He appeared earlier today on The Dan Patrick Show to discuss the serious health scare that resulted from outpatient surgery.  Glazer separately explained the situation by phone to PFT.

“I went in for a routine back deal,” Glazer said.  “Nothing big.  Dissolving a piece of a disc that broke.  Something that was real easy took a turn.”

After being given anesthesia, Glazer vomited into the face cradle.  The stomach contents ended up in his lungs, and the acid burned the tissue.

Glazer started convulsing, and the doctors revived him.  He was rushed to a local hospital, where he spent four days recovering from aspiration double pneumonia.

He didn’t realize the gravity

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New ESPN 30 for 30: Cheering for ‘Bad Boys’ of Detroit

Living in Chicago, I don’t have many people who agree with my view on the Detroit Pistons “Bad Boys.” They were one of my favorite all-time teams in sports, even if they did mug Michael Jordan.

As much as you might have hated them, you had to admit some sense of admiration for this unique band of characters and how they played the game.

ESPN’s latest 30 for 30, Bad Boys (tonight at 8 p.m. ET), narrated by Kid Rock, gets to the core of the greatest “bad” team in NBA history.

While the players have gotten older, they haven’t mellowed. Said John Salley: “To the people that say we’re thugs and goons, I say kiss my entire ass.”

Now were they a bunch of idiots for walking off the floor and not shaking hands with the Bulls after they … Continue Reading

Best time of year: NBC platforms superserve NHL fans during first round of playoffs

Tonight begins what might be the best two weeks of the year for NHL fans. It is hard to beat the quantity and quality of NBC’s coverage of the first round of the playoffs.

All games will air on its various platforms again. Tonight features Montreal-Tampa Bay on CNBC at 7 p.m. ET; Columbus-Pittsburgh on NBCSN at 7:30 ET; and Dallas-Anaheim on NBCSN at 10 p.m. ET.

There will be four games Thursday, including Chicago-St. Louis on NBCSN at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The multi-platform presentation has been huge for the NHL. Play-by-play man extraordinaire Mike Emrick recalled the old days of limited coverage and the contrast to what fans get today.

“I remember there were times when I was with other networks and I’d go into a city and fans say, ‘why aren’t you guys covering more of our series, … Continue Reading

Joe Buck, Greg Norman reportedly to lead Fox Sports’ coverage of ’15 U.S. Open; Who will join them? Gus Johnson?

John Ourand has the exclusive on Fox’s new golf team:

Joe Buck and Greg Norman will be Fox Sports’ top on-air voices when the network debuts its golf coverage next year, according to several sources. The two will be set up in the 18th green tower at the ’15 U.S. Open, when the event will be held at Chambers Bay outside Seattle. The decision to tap Buck and Norman comes as somewhat of a surprise, as neither has announced golf on television before.

Actually, it really isn’t much of a surprise. Buck is Fox’s lead voice, and reportedly a good golfer. It was a natural that he would be tabbed for the high profile assignment.

While Norman hasn’t formally worked as an analyst, he has appeared in the booth of golf telecasts of many occasions. He hardly is shy about … Continue Reading

ESPN 30 for 30 Soccer Stories debuts: The tragedy at Hillsborough

ESPN 30 for 30 is doing a special soccer series leading up to the World Cup. The debut is tonight with Hillsborough (8 p.m. ET), the story of an unthinkable tragedy at a soccer game where 96 fans died in 1989.

This is an interview Keith Olbermann did with director Daniel Gordon last night.

Here is the summary on ESPN’s 30 for 30 site:

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“Hillsborough” is a comprehensive account of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster, a tragedy that occurred during an FA Cup semifinal soccer match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. The film focuses on the events that unfolded before, during and after the horrifying afternoon that led to the deaths of 96 people as well as the injuries to several hundred more and the traumatization of countless lives.

Beginning on the fateful … Continue Reading

Decline of golf coverage: Dallas Morning News wasn’t at Augusta to cover local boy Spieth

I couldn’t help but notice that the Dallas Morning News wasn’t at the Masters this year. That means they wouldn’t have had a staff byline piece from Augusta if Dallas’ very own Jordan Spieth had won the tournament.

As it is, his second-place finish at the age of 20 was a big story in its own right. Yet the Morning News ran a Spieth story from Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Augusta.

I am not trying to knock the Morning News. There are plenty of big-city papers that no longer staff the majors. Budgets are tight, and it is expensive to send writers on the road.

However, the Morning News situation is different.

The Morning News used to be big time into golf. They sent their golf writers (Jeff Rude, Phil Rogers, Brad Townsend, Bill Nichols) to 10-15 … Continue Reading

Kevin Costner’s ‘Draft Day’ gets off to tepid start at box office

It looks as if the power of the NFL might not extend to Hollywood.

From Joey Morona of Cleveland.com:

‘Draft Day’ pulled in $9.75 million at the box office in its first weekend of release, according to industry estimates.

The movie — starring Kevin Costner as the Cleveland Browns GM juggling his personal and professional life in the hours leading up to the NFL Draft — underperformed by many accounts.

Entertainment Weekly called the film’s weekend take a “fumble,” while Forbes described it as “relatively sad.”

Box Office Mojo said Lionsgate was expecting an opening in the “low teens,” while BoxOffice.com projected an opening weekend of $13.5 million.

 … Continue Reading