Stopwatch patrol: MLB takes first swing at speeding up games; more to come

My latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana is on MLB’s initial efforts to deal with the pace of play issue. It’s a start.

From the column:

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Of all the suggestions being made to speed up baseball, this one might be the best.

Inspired by watching the Oscars, Eric Edholm of Yahoo Sports fired off this tweet last night:

“Instead of a pitch clock for baseball they should just bring an orchestra that plays with more fortissimo when the pitcher is lagging.”

Now that would be awesome. When the pitcher circles the mound for the fourth time because he’s deathly afraid of throwing that next pitch, fire up the orchestra to let him know he’s about to be pulled. Neil Patrick Harris, or specifically his writers, could have used a relief pitcher at the Oscars.

The … Continue Reading

Pam Oliver: Sideline reporters should be journalists, not celebrities

My latest column for Poynter.org focuses on some important comments from Pam Oliver to aspiring young women journalists.

From the column:

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Pam Oliver knew she had a captive audience to deliver her message.

“The journalism has to matter,” Oliver said repeatedly at Northwestern Tuesday as part of the Medill School of Journalism’s “Beyond The Box Score” series.

She joined USA Today columnist Christine Brennan, Rachel Nichols of CNN and Turner Sports, and ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth on a panel titled, “The Female Voice in Sports Media.”

Oliver, who was Fox Sports’ top sideline reporter for the NFL for years, made headlines last year for her honest reaction to Fox moving her off that assignment and replacing her with the younger Erin Andrews.

When Brennan, who moderated the session, asked the panelists to open by giving their assessments of the media … Continue Reading

How is Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue still a thing?

My latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana has me revisiting an old rant.

The video mocking the swimsuit edition on “Last Week with John Oliver” and excerpts of my column:

I had thought about taking a pass on dumping on Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition this year. Let someone else do it. There are plenty of people out there who object to the magazine’s annual lowering of its standards.

Then I saw a video from “Last Week with John Oliver.” The HBO show does a regular feature titled, “How is this still a thing?”

Last night, the target was SI’s swimsuit edition. As you would expect, the three-minute critique was funny and mocking of SI.

At one point, the narrator notes in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the prospect of seeing scantily-clad women in a sports magazine … Continue Reading

Dave Kindred: Storied sports columnist finds joy in covering girls high school basketball team

My latest column for Poynter.org is one of my favorite stories in a long time.

From the column:

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In another life, Dave Kindred would have been winding down after covering the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl. February for Mr. Big-Time sports columnist usually meant getting prepped for the NCAA tournament with a column on the Duke-North Carolina game. Or perhaps depending on the year, he would be off to a far-away frozen location to report on the Winter Olympics.

However, in his current life, Kindred spent last Friday sitting on wooden bleachers at a girls high school basketball game in Central Illinois. With notebook in hand, he closely monitored and dutifully filed his report on the Morton Potters taking a 47-40 victory over Limestone.

“Canton and Washington are coming up,” said Kindred, full of anticipation on Morton’s next opponents.… Continue Reading

Karl Ravech: Jackie Robinson West news felt like ‘slap in the face’

My latest Chicago Tribune column is on Karl Ravech’s view of the Little League World Series in the wake of Jackie Robinson West being stripped of the U.S. title.

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

From the column:

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Karl Ravech covers the Major League Baseball and College World Series for ESPN. His favorite, though, is the Little League version in Williamsport, Pa.

“We all played Little League and we can relate to these kids,” Ravech said. “There’s such a purity to it and everyone hops on.”

So that’s why Ravech felt like he had been “slapped in the face” after learning that Jackie Robinson West was stripped of its U.S. Little League World Series title. He did play-by-play of their games last August, and like everyone else, he got caught up in their compelling … Continue Reading

Sports commissioners need to be dialed in on changing media landscape

My latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana is on sports commissioners and new media.

From the column:

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There is much more to being a commissioner these days than just handing out the champion’s trophy. Just ask Roger Goodell.

The leader of a sports league has to be proactive on sensitive and highly volatile social issues. Again, just ask Roger Goodell.

The person has to know how to deal with players who earn in the significant millions and owners with team assets in the billions. The commissioner also has to be able to navigate through Capitol Hill and Wall Street.

Just ask any of the commissioners.

However, perhaps more important than anything else these days, the modern commissioner needs to be conversant about Slingbox. He must be up to speed about Snapchat. A commissioner can’t think … Continue Reading

Deadspin 2, Sports Illustrated 0: New Best American Sports Writing shows shift in media landscape

Pleased to share my first sports journalism column for Poynter.org. I look at how the 2014 edition of “Best American Sports Writing” says much about the media landscape these days.

From the column:

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Look no further than the table of contents in the annual “The Best American Sports Writing” books to see the dramatic shift in the sports media landscape.

In 1991, there were 24 stories selected in the first book of the series; David Halberstam served as the guest editor. The lineup included 11 from newspapers, including four from the late, great The National. As you would expect, Sports Illustrated had a presence with three entries.

Now fast forward to the 2014 edition of “Best Sports Writing,” which was released in the fall with “Born to Run” author Christopher McDougall as the guest editor. Of the 25 stories … Continue Reading

NFL is too big to fail: Ratings soar despite off-the-field nightmares

My latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana is on how the NFL is made of Teflon.

From the column:

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Back in September, I did a column in this space wondering about the fallout for the NFL in the wake of the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson cases. I thought it could cause the NFL to lose its grip on the public.

I wrote:

“The events of last week revealed the NFL isn’t Teflon. The league needs to get its ship in order quickly. It definitely can’t afford any more bad news.”

Since then, what’s happened? More bad news. “Deflatgate” had the NFL leading the network news telecasts again. It’s not a good thing when one of the league’s iconic players and a future Hall of Fame coach are having their integrity questioned.

The other big … Continue Reading

Career highlight: Mention by Whoopi on ‘The View’: Rosie asks, ‘Who’ Ed Sherman?’

OK, now my career is complete.

During a discussion of Marshawn Lynch on ‘The View,’ Whoopi Goldberg mentioned my name in regards to my column on Skittles. It occurs around the four-minute mark just after Lynch’s video for Skittles.

Apparently, Rosie O’Donnell isn’t familiar with my work on Sherman Report.

Anyway, appreciate the mention, Whoopi, even if you didn’t agree with my take.

Here is the link.Continue Reading