No discussion? First Take wimps out by not talking more about Stephen A controversy

From a show that prides itself on being raw and edgy, First Take went surprisingly silent when the controversy involved one of their own.

Monday, Stephen A. Smith offered his apology for his incredibly stupid views on domestic violence during Friday’s show.

Then after Cari Champion weighed in, the show kicked off as if it was a normal Monday in Bristol: Talk about LeBron choosing No. 23 for his new jersey in Cleveland.

Really? Shouldn’t there have been a further examination of what Stephen A. experienced on Friday? Perhaps more talk on why this is such a hot button issue. I have a feeling Skip Bayless was aching to weigh in. I imagine that pre-show meeting was fairly intense.

Nope. ESPN just wants this all to go away. The network issued a statement shortly after Smith’s apology.

“We will continue … Continue Reading

Not far enough: ‘Le Batard Rule’ goes into effect for Hall voters; Still need public disclosure of all votes

Well, Dan Le Batard accomplished one thing: He got the Hall of Fame and Baseball Writers Association of America to enact a new rule because of the stunt he pulled last year after handing over his ballot to Deadspin.

From Barry Bloom at MLB.com:

The Hall will now require an Internet registration of the approximately 625 eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and those voters will be notified about a specific code of conduct regarding the handling of that ballot. Voters will be asked to formally agree to a stipulation that their ballot is non-transferable with a penalty of permanently losing that vote.

Not sure that rule would have stopped Le Batard last year. He knew he was going to lose his vote by breaking the unwritten code. But at least now it is in writing.… Continue Reading

Will James Brown decline to use Washington nickname this year on NFL Today?

The Washington Post’s DC Sports Blog has a post on how D.C.-area native James Brown thinks it is time to get rid of Washington’s nickname.

It is interesting to note that CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus is giving his NFL announcers the choice of whether they want to refer to the nickname this year. Sounds like JB will be talking about the team from Washington.

From the post:

I firmly believe that this is a people issue. If, in fact — to me, this is my opinion only, not representing CBS Sports, or News — if the name is offensive to a group of people, then do the right thing and change the name. It’s as simple as that.

“I know people will engage in an argument and say, well it hasn’t been an issue all this time. Yeah,

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After last year’s dud, Peter Gammons, MLB Network looking forward to big Hall of Fame weekend

My latest Chicago Tribune column is on Peter Gammons anticipating a much different Hall of Fame weekend than what he encountered last year.

You also can access the column via my Twitter feed at @ShermanReport.

From the column:

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Peter Gammons was on the road Thursday, making one of his favorite drives: His annual trek from his home in New England to Cooperstown, N.Y., for the Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend.

His anticipation level is considerably different than last year when the steroids-backlash produced an empty ceremony that featured no living player, manager or executive. It gave the long-time baseball writer and TV analyst new appreciation for what he was missing.

“It was so unusual,” Gammons said. “For all the years I’ve gone there, it’s the only time it seemed strange. There’s usually such a buzz with all … Continue Reading

No handicaps for these players: Steve Elkington show finds true winners in golf

Wanted to pass along information about a unique golf show.

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For a very good reason, Edward “EQ” Sylvester may be the most passionate golfer who has ever taken a golf lesson. And as RFD-TV viewers will discover on the fourth episode of the hit show “The Rural Golfer”, Steve Elkington learned a lot more from Sylvester than the 1995 PGA Championship winner bestowed to his golf pupil.

The Rural Golfer airs on RFD-TV at 9:30 p.m. (ET) Friday, with encore shows airing at 12:30 p.m. Sunday (ET) and the following Friday at 6 a.m. (ET).

This week’s episode is one that will stay with all but the most hard-hearted person. It takes Elkington on the road to one of the most renowned public courses in the country – Cog Hill Golf & Country Club outside of Chicago. Known as … Continue Reading

Hey Sports Illustrated, what about the PGA Championship? It’s a major too

Rory McIlroy earned a Sports Illustrated cover for his victory in the British Open.

I imagine this headline on the cover caught the attention of the PGA of America: “Masters Preview 2015: Why wait?”

Michael Bamberger’s story already is pumping up the anticipation of McIlroy trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National next April. Still, I’m sure next month’s PGA Championship in Louisville will feel a bit overlooked. At last check, it still is considered a major.

 

 … Continue Reading

Honors for Roger Angell: Cooperstown ceremony and masterpiece profile by Tom Verducci

Roger Angell gets his big day Saturday in Cooperstown when he receives the J.G. Taylor Spink Award. The honor is long overdue for the Hemingway of baseball writers.

Tom Verducci wrote about Angell in this week’s Sports Illustrated. Stop what you’re doing and read it now.

It is a beautiful piece. If you didn’t know it, you’d think Angell was the author of the story. When Verducci receives his Spink Award one day, I’m sure they will point to this profile as an example of his work.

It gets to the essence of what makes Angell a true treasure.

Verducci writes:

Writing well is hard. It requires constant thinking. The gears, flywheels and levers of the mind click and clatter nonstop. Writing is flying an airplane without instruments, almost always through the dark storms of doubt. It is new every

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Golf World closes print publication after 67 years; will come out in digital format

The future is now for Golf World.

Golf Digest.com broke the news on its site:

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As part of the new strategic vision for Golf Digest and Golf World that began this spring with the introduction of the Golf Digest video channel, the relaunch of GolfDigest.com and the redesign of Golf Digest magazine, Golf Digest Editor-in-Chief Jerry Tarde and President Peter Hunsinger announce today a news division that combines the best of both Golf Digest and Golf World to expand our collective digital presence. With the sports news cycle demanding immediate access to quality content, we now will offer more of what our audience wants, when they want it and where they want to get it. To that end, beginning July 28, we’ll be making the following enhancements to both our golf brands.

Golf World will now be … Continue Reading