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
Michelle Beadle blasted the big news last night via here Twitter feed.
Judging by the number of retweets and favorites, many of Beadle’s fans are looking forward to her return.
ESPN made it official this morning. Here’s the release:
Michelle Beadle will return to SportsNation on ESPN2 today, hosting the show alongside commentators Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley. Kellerman and Wiley will continue to offer their opinions and different viewpoints on the weekday afternoon show based in Los Angeles. The trio will together continue the clever and off-beat SportsNation tradition of discussing the day’s hottest sports topics weekdays at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
“Michelle’s style of delivery has a way of bringing a fun edge to whatever she works on and her range of experience in both sports and entertainment makes her a truly unique talent,” said … Continue Reading
Keith Olbermann has been tweeting about why he is on the sidelines. Sounds as if he wouldn’t wish shingles on his worst enemy, even Bill O’Reilly.
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My Chicago Tribune column on Jay Bilas and his stance on the pay-for-play issue in college sports generated quite a reaction yesterday. Many sides to the debate. Bilas himself even engaged with a few of my followers on Twitter.
Since the ESPN college basketball analyst had much more to say on the subject, it seems appropriate to share the entire interview. Definitely worth the read.
I can’t say I agree with all of Bilas’ points. However, being married to one, I know there was smarter things to do than get in argument with a lawyer. Yes, Bilas also practices law.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, Bilas makes some compelling arguments. It is interesting to note that he doesn’t advocate paying all student-athletes. Rather, he wants a free market system to let the schools decide for themselves what … Continue Reading
Curt Schilling statement:
“I’ve always believed life is about embracing the gifts and rising up to meet the challenges. We’ve been presented with another challenge, as I’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer. Shonda and I want to send a sincere thank you and our appreciation to those who have called and sent prayers, and we ask that if you are so inclined, to keep the Schilling family in your prayers.
“My father left me with a saying that I’ve carried my entire life and tried to pass on to our kids: ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do.’ Over the years in Boston, the kids at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown us what that means. With my incredibly talented medical team I’m ready to try and win another big game. I’ve been so very blessed and … Continue Reading
Bill Hofheimer at ESPN’s Front Row did a Q/A with Frank Caliendo on his now classic Super Bowl video Sunday. The best part: It gives me a reason to post the video again.
From the Q/A:
How long did it take you to write and shoot the piece?
I had some ideas lingering for a while. I knew I wanted to do a Chris Berman, Bill Belichick, and Ron Jaworski (I had been saving these characters). The main writing took 2-3 days, then lots of tinkering for a week or so. That’s usually the process. I also get help on punching things up from a group of a few people after I get the main beats of the sketch down. Shoot time only took two days, but with lots of crazy fast makeup changes. I had Berman down pretty well, … Continue Reading
Forget about the ads and everything else.
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The latest 30 for 30 short series documentary on Grantland is on Richard Jewell. Tremendous.
It documents how in the frenzy to find the Atlanta Olympic bomber in 1996, Jewell went from hero to the nightmare of being wrongfully accused. His life never was the same.
The film is a sobering journalism lesson on the rush to judgment. Well worth your time.
The write-up from Grantland.
On Saturday, July 27, 1996, a terrorist’s bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park at the Atlanta Summer Games, killing two and injuring 111. The toll would have been far higher if not for security guard Richard Jewell, who discovered the bag holding the bomb and helped clear the area. Yet within hours, praise of his heroism turned to vicious accusations. Jewell would be hounded for months by investigations and the media. Eventually, the … Continue Reading
As expected, Robert Lipsyte weighed in quickly on the controversial Dr. V story in Grantland. Also as expected, he wasn’t a fan of the piece. And that was before the firestorm hit.
A young golfer’s obsession with an oddly shaped putter invented by a mysterious scientist and endorsed on YouTube? I will give that kind of story no more than a few paragraphs to grab my interest before I bail out, even if it is featured on a site known for compelling storytelling.
Just a few moments into reading that very story recently on Grantland, it was shaping up as another one of those bloated selfies that clog the arteries of sports-lit these days.
Four graphs and I was gone.
As for the flaws in the story:
Much of the criticism was generically true, although I don’t think this
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Back in 2012, ESPN had several prominent free agents: Jim Rome, Michelle Beadle, Erin Andrews, and Scott Van Pelt.
Only Van Pelt stayed. As for the rest…
Rome does have a program on Showtime and has made appearances on CBS’ big national telecasts. However, truth be told, Rome’s daily TV show still barely registers on CBS Sports Network.
Andrews went to Fox. While she still gets the high-profile sideline assignments, including the Super Bowl, her duties as host on Fox’s college football pregame shows are a work in progress at best.
Then there’s Beadle. Well, let’s just say things didn’t quite work out as planned with NBC.
With SI’s Richard Deitsch reporting that Beadle is set to return to ESPN, it seemed to be a good time to break out the Q/A I did with Van Pelt during a … Continue Reading