Cheer up, Brandon: Marshall will like NFL Network’s film on him

My latest Chicago Tribune column is on all-Brandon Marshall, all-the-time. After his long, bizarre rant Thursday, which included railing on an ESPN E:60 profile, Marshall will should feel better after watching tonight’s A Football Life on NFL Network.

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

Here is a video preview of the film.

From the column:

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Brandon Marshall will like the NFL Network’s treatment of his life story better than ESPN’s.

The latest entry in the Marshall media blitz features him in “A Football Life” at 8 p.m. Friday. The one-hour documentary, produced by NFL Films, examines Marshall’s turbulent career and his battle to overcome borderline personality disorder.

“A Football Life” doesn’t use the term “domestic violence.” The film does acknowledge Marshall’s troubled past, which led to him receiving a personal-conduct suspension from … Continue Reading

Brutal week shows exposes how NFL could lose its hold with public

My latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana is on the impact of the week that was for the NFL.

From the column:

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The day after the opening Sunday of the new season, I was in the process of writing a column for this space about the massive popularity of the NFL. I asked the question of whether there was such a thing as too much.

Not to quote myself, but here were my opening paragraphs:

You probably would get sick if you had access to an endless supply of the world’s best chocolate. You might even get bored if you got to play Augusta National every day, although I would like to try.

Insert your favorite activity, food, whatever and chances are you will hit a tipping point where too much of a good thing Continue Reading

Brennan on interview with Goodell: ‘Homed in on things that troubled me and asked about it’

In 1983, Christine Brennan covered Miami-New York Jets in the AFC Championship game for the Miami Herald. She received her credential from a young man who was working for the Jets: Roger Goodell.

Years later, Goodell told Brennan, “I think I handed you your credential.”

Fast forward to Tuesday evening, and Brennan, the national sports columnist for USA Today, is on the phone with the NFL commissioner. How did she get the interview everyone wanted? She thinks it had something to do with a relationship with not only Goodell, but also NFL PR chief Greg Aiello that dates back more than 30 years.

“I think the fact that we’ve known each other for such a long time was a huge factor in this,” Brennan said. “There’s an advantage to being around a long time and having some trust built up.”… Continue Reading

TMZ Sports’ display for Ray Rice story is disgusting; Also, it isn’t ‘Rodger’ Goodell

I just clicked on TMZ Sports’ post that claims the NFL never asked for the Ray Rice elevator video.

The display for the post is disgusting. At the top is a photo illustration of Roger Goodell in a blindfold. By the way, the text of the story spells the commissioner’s first name as “Rodger.”

You might want to clean that up, TMZ.

Actually, that is the least of TMZ’s problems here. In the background of Goodell is the video on autoplay repeatedly showing the blow Rice delivered to his now wife.

The same image also runs on autoplay at the bottom of the post.

I did a bit more checking and saw this is the display TMZ is using in its previous posts of the Rice story.

What is the point of showing repeated images of Janay Rice getting brutally … Continue Reading

Can we be done with Cowboys on national TV for 2014?

Only one game in, and I have had my fill of Dallas.

The Cowboys should be re-dubbed “America’s Most Over-hyped Team.” Never has so much prime exposure been focused on such a mediocre team.

There they were again Sunday, playing in the late afternoon Sunday doubleheader window on week 1. It was over by halftime, as San Francisco humiliated Jerry Jones’ motley crew.

After waiting since the Super Bowl for some real football, it was really disappointing to be served this Dallas clunker.

What did the Cowboys do to merit such a prime slot? They are coming off three straight 8-8 seasons. And they have won all of one playoff game since 1996.

Yet the networks love the Cowboys. NBC will air them on Sunday Night Football twice; Sept. 28 against New Orleans and Nov. 23 against the Giants. ESPN … Continue Reading

Nickname controversy: Washington in Super Bowl would be NFL’s worst nightmare

In my latest column for the National Sports Journalism Center at Indiana, I try to envision the scene in Arizona if Washington makes the Super Bowl. If there’s such a thing as bad karma, it’ll happen for the NFL.

From the column:

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I really hope Washington reaches the Super Bowl this year. I am going to be pulling for Robert Griffin III to be the real deal and for new coach Jay Gruden to engineer a turnaround in the nation’s capital.

Big time.

I mean, can you imagine the media feeding frenzy that would occur over Washington’s nickname if they made it to Phoenix for the big game? It would be of epic proportions.

Two weeks of relenting pounding from press all over the world on the issue. Endless debate on every platform imaginable, from ESPN to NPR and … Continue Reading

Quite a debut: Brandon Marshall talks about personal problems with domestic violence on Inside The NFL

Showtime’s Inside The NFL thought Brandon Marshall might make headlines while working as a player-analyst this year. It turns out they came on the first show when he discussed his personal issues with domestic violence.

I wrote about Marshall’s debut and spending his off-day in New York for the Chicago Tribune. You also can access the story from my Twitter feed at @Sherman_Report.

From the story:

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Brandon Marshall kept his word that nothing was off-limits during his first appearance on “Inside The NFL” on Showtime Tuesday. That included talking about the league’s new policy on domestic violence.

The Bears receiver candidly weighed in on the issue from a personal perspective in his new role as a regular analyst on the show. Marshall was twice arrested for domestic violence allegations, but was acquitted in one case and the charges … Continue Reading

Showtime exec expects Brandon Marshall will be outspoken on Inside The NFL; logistics won’t be issue

My latest Chicago Tribune column is on the logistics and expectations for Brandon Marshall being a regular member of Showtime’s Inside The NFL this year.

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

From the column:

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Showtime always wanted to have a current player on its panel for “Inside The NFL,” but the logistics never could be worked out. Even with the show moving this season to Tuesdays, the day off for NFL players on most weeks, Stephen Espinoza, the general manager for Showtime Sports, still thought the prospect of landing an active player was “a longshot.”

With the cast of “Inside The NFL” being revamped this year, Espinoza was thinking former players when he asked Josh Pyatt, an agent, if he knew of any potential candidates.

“Josh asked if I would be interested … Continue Reading

ESPN apologizes for report that discussed Michael Sam’s shower habits

Yes, they better apologize.

Yesterday, ESPN reporter Josina Anderson talked about Michael Sam’s shower habits in the St. Louis Rams’ locker room.

Obviously, way off base.

This morning, the network issued an apology:

“ESPN regrets the manner in which we presented our report. Clearly yesterday we collectively failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports.”

Right. Time for more training on LGBT-related topics in sports.

Cyd Zeigler of Outsports was among those who blasted Anderson for the report. In the youtube video, he mocks Anderson by doing his commentary alone from the shower. “God forbid I might shower with straight guys,” he said.

Zeigler brought up a good point. He compared the situation to the women reporters in the locker room issue. Why didn’t Anderson ask the Rams players how they felt about … Continue Reading

ESPN has biggest bargain in sports TV with Little League World Series

My latest column for the Chicago Tribune is on how ESPN hit the jackpot with the Little League World Series.

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

From the column:

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The big winner besides Jackie Robinson West and Mo’Ne Davis at this year’s Little League World Series is ESPN.

The kids provided the network with the best bargain in TV sports this year.

ESPN hit the jackpot with incredible storylines that captivated the country. The combination of a star girl pitcher and an intercity team from Chicago not only generated record ratings for the Little Leaguers, but viewer levels well beyond what their idols in Major League Baseball are delivering this year.

An estimated 5.5 million viewers tuned in Wednesday to see Las Vegas beat Davis’ Philadelphia team on ESPN, shattering an all-time record for … Continue Reading