Why does Washington nickname debate have to be framed as liberals vs. conservatives?

In his poorly-worded diatribe about the Washington nickname, Mike Ditka threw out this statement: “We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world?”

Indeed, whenever I write about the debate over whether to keep the name, I often get tweets or comments saying all the fuss is due to a bunch of liberals.

In responding to a post this week about Phil Simms’ stand on the issue, a reader wrote: “Give me a break. Tempest in a Liberal Teapot.”

Really, this about liberals and conservatives?

Does that mean conservative have a lack of sensitivity to a group of Americans, Native Americans in this case, who say the Washington nickname is extremely offensive?

What’s so hard to understand? The team’s nickname is based on the color of someone’s skin. Nowhere in society would you be allowed to use … Continue Reading

Q/A with Paul Finebaum: New book and unexpected national role at ESPN

My latest entry for Awful Announcing is my Q/A with Paul Finebaum.

Here is an excerpt.

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It’s good to be Paul Finebaum these days.

He has a daily ESPN radio show that is simulcast on the new SEC Network. He will be featured prominently on the SEC Network’s pregame coverage on Saturdays and on ESPN’s College GameDay.

And Finebaum has a new best-selling book, “My Conference Can Beat Your Conference: Why The SEC Still Rules College Football.” It is co-written by his old University of Tennessee classmate and current ESPNer, Gene Wojciechowski.

It all comes as a surprise to Finebaum, who reveals in a Q/A that as late as two years ago he was told to forget about working for ESPN. He thought he was just going to be regional personality in Birmingham.

He also discusses his … Continue Reading

Ditka on Washington nickname debate: ‘What are you going to call them, a Brownskin?’

Guess we know where ‘Da Coach’ stands on the issue. And it isn’t pretty.

He likely went a bit too far an interview with Mike Richman at Redskinhistorian.com.

“What’s all the stink over the Redskin name?” Ditka said. “It’s so much [expletive] it’s incredible. We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian. Even though it was called a Redskin, what are you going to call them, a Brownskin? This is so stupid it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That’s the way it is.

“Its been the name of the team since the beginning of

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Mushnick labels Marshall ‘a miscreant’; Says Showtime wrong for using him on Inside the NFL

New York Post columnist Phil Mushnick isn’t a big fan of Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” using Brandon Marshall as a regular analyst this year.

His Sunday column included an item that labeled the Bears receiver a “miscreant”:

“Rinse, lather, repeat: Since his rookie year with the Broncos in 2006, talented WR Brandon Marshall, now with the Bears, has relentlessly coveted and won extra on-field TV attention through unsportsmanlike, me-first, excessive demonstrations, not to mention extra off-field attention. Frequently arrested, he eventually earned a suspension for violating the NFL’s personal code of conduct.

“And that must explain why of all the active NFL players that Showtime/CBS’ “Inside the NFL” could this year choose as a regular player/panelist/analyst, the shot-callers chose Brandon Marshall.”

The assessment seems a bit harsh. While Marshall did have problems earlier in his career with Denver and Miami, … Continue Reading

Whitlock reflects on his career: Amid bluster and bravado, some valuable journalism advice

As readers of this blog know, Jason Whitlock and I haven’t been the best of friends.

So I wasn’t expecting much when I saw the latest entry in Still No Cheering in the Press Box, the sportswriter interview project by the Povich Center for Sports Journalism at Maryland. The subject was none other than my old pal Jason.

You could be sure there was plenty of Whitlock’s bravado in there. Such as:

I’m sure I’ve said many things I regret, but what you need to keep in mind about me that’s different than most is that I’m 47, I’m not married and I don’t have kids.

I can be more provocative and fearless than many of my peers, who are married with kids. The repercussions that they suffer affect other people. Here, it’s just me.

That’s a somewhat ridiculous … Continue Reading

Sports Illustrated puts girl Little League pitcher on cover

Hey, it’s August. College football doesn’t start until next week, and there’s still three weeks until the NFL plays for real.

So why not?

At SI.com, managing editor Chris Stone explains the decision.

Thirteen-year-old sensation Mo’ne Davis, who plays for Philadelphia’s Taney Dragons, has become the first Little Leaguer to grace the national cover of Sports Illustrated. The 5-foot-4 inch, 111-pound eighth grader is not only taking the Little League World Series by storm, but also she has captured the nation’s attention.

“Last week, this week, maybe next week, she’s owned the sports conversation,” Sports Illustrated manager editor Chris Stone said. “How often do you get to say this about a 13-year-old girl? It’s the easiest type of story to identify as a cover story.”

“The writer, Albert Chen, said it perfectly in the story, ‘She’s a lot of things to

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Little Leaguers rule again in Chicago TV ratings: Beat Johnny Manziel and Chris Sale

Score another victory for Chicago’s Little Leaguers. They topped a couple of big stars, Johnny Manziel and Chris Sale, in the local TV ratings Monday night.

Jackie Robinson West’s 8-7 victory over Rhode Island pulled a 3.5 rating on ESPN2 in Chicago. That means the game was seen in an estimated 125,000 homes in the area; 1 local ratings point is worth nearly 36,000 homes.

Jackie Robinson topped the 3.0 local rating for the Manziel show during ESPN’s coverage of the Washington-Cleveland game. Meanwhile, despite Cy Young candidate Sale on the mound, the White Sox-Orioles game only did a 1.0 rating on Comcast SportsNet.

The kids figure to rule again tonight when Jackie Robinson West takes on Texas at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Meanwhile, on the national level, Manziel continued to deliver ratings. The game did a 4.8 overnight … Continue Reading

Is Phil Simms’ stance on not using Washington nickname a game-changer?

Phil Simms made the most headlines yesterday since his days as the Giants quarterback.

The CBS analyst said he decided he probably won’t use the derogatory nickname for the Washington team when he calls one of their games.

From Barry Wilner’s story in the Associated Press.

“My very first thought is it will be Washington the whole game,” Simms told The Associated Press on Monday.

Simms will work the Thursday night package the network acquired this season and will have Giants-Redskins on Sept. 25. He isn’t taking sides in the debate over whether Washington’s nickname is offensive or racist. But he says he is sensitive to the complaints about the name, and his instincts now are to not use Redskins in his announcing.

“I never really thought about it, and then it came up and it made me think about

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Sunday’s games show why NY Times says first task for new commissioner is quicken the pace

There are many challenges facing new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. One, though, stands out above the others.

Tyler Kepner in the New York Times zeroes in on the main issue plaguing baseball in his lede:

The fundamental problem facing Major League Baseball and its next commissioner, Rob Manfred, is that attention spans are getting shorter while games are getting longer. Confronting these clashing realities may be Manfred’s top priority when he takes office in January. It will be the first transition at the top of baseball’s hierarchy since Bud Selig replaced Fay Vincent in 1992.

“The job is much more complicated,” said Larry Baer, the chief executive of the San Francisco Giants. “You’re dealing with a 20- or 25-channel world, maybe, in 1992. Now you’re in a 500-channel universe and the Internet. You’re communicating with people that are walking down

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ESPN 30 for 30 beats Jerry Seinfeld in winning Emmy

Jerry Seinfeld probably went, “Newman,” after his Comedians in Cars lost out to ESPN’s 30 for 30.

Congratulations to all the folks at ESPN 30 for 30. Their work is superb and the recognition is deserved.

The official release:

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ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 Shorts series took home an Emmy for Outstanding Short-Format Nonfiction Program Saturday night at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys. This was the first nomination and first win for the documentary series, which is from the creators and producers of ESPN’s critically-acclaimed 30 for 30.

30 for 30 Shorts was nominated alongside other popular programs “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee,” “COSMOS: A National Geographic Deeper Dive,” “I Was There: Boston Marathon Bombings,”  “Jay Leno’s Garage” and “Park Bench With Steve Buscemi.”

“ESPN Films originally began with the idea of presenting great storytelling as documentary films, but … Continue Reading