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Twitter fallout: Apparently, not everyone agreed with my Marshawn Lynch column

When I got home last night, I had 2,067 notifications on my Twitter feed. And it’s still counting with more reaction coming in this morning.

Guess not everyone agreed with my column about Marshawn Lynch and Skittles that first posted yesterday on the National Sports Journalism Center site at Indiana.

I’ve had fallout before, but not like this. Naturally, some of it was vulgar, which always makes worry about we are going as a society.

I also got the feeling that 98 percent of the people who tweeted never read the column. They were just responding to a 140-character tweet from me or someone else. Try reading the column, people.

However, there were several reasonable, well-considered tweets, and even a couple of creative ones. Appreciate the effort, Jerry Jawns. Thanks

 … Continue Reading

Memories of Ernie: The day I showed Mr. Cub his picture file at Tribune

Our town lost one of the faces on its sports Mt. Rushmore yesterday with the passing of Ernie Banks.

In listening to the tributes last night, what struck me was how everyone had a personal memory of being with Ernie. I can’t imagine a more accessible superstar ever. The platitudes were more about the person than the player, and man, he could play.

Luckily, I was fortunate to have a few encounters with Ernie. I’m going to share a few of them here.

My first meeting occurred during the 1994 baseball strike at a golf outing. To fill the massive space void in the Chicago Tribune with both the White Sox and Cubs not playing, we decided to run a classic games series, complete with box scores and old photos.

One of those games happened to be from a Mr. … Continue Reading

MORE LATEST NEWS

Twitter fallout: Apparently, not everyone agreed with my Marshawn Lynch column

When I got home last night, I had 2,067 notifications on my Twitter feed. And it’s still counting with more reaction coming in this morning.

Guess not everyone agreed with my column about Marshawn Lynch and Skittles that first posted yesterday on the National Sports Journalism Center site at Indiana.

I’ve had fallout before, but not like this. Naturally, some of it was vulgar, which always makes worry about we are going as a society.

I also got the feeling that 98 percent of the people who tweeted never read the column. They were just responding to a 140-character tweet from me or someone else. Try reading the column, people.

However, there were several reasonable, well-considered tweets, and even a couple of creative ones. Appreciate the effort, Jerry Jawns. Thanks

 … Continue Reading

Is feeling mutual? Showtime exec wants encore for Brandon Marshall on ‘Inside the NFL’

The door is open if Brandon Marshall wants to return to Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” next year.

However, Stephen Espinoza, the general manager of Showtime Sports, knows Bears new coach John Fox, and perhaps even Marshall himself, might shut that door in 2015.

Marshall took part in a taping Monday in Phoenix for the show’s Super Bowl preview, which airs this week on Showtime. Espinoza raved about the Bears’ receiver work on “Inside the NFL” this year, but can’t be sure there will be an encore.

“We haven’t discussed it yet,” Espinoza told me in an interview. “I know he enjoyed it and learned a lot. But it was work at the same time. The threshold question between Brandon and the team is whether this is something he should entertain again. If they say yes, we’d love to him again.”… Continue Reading

Former NFL player rips Lynch; Needs to apologize to the media

Jeff Nixon was a defensive back for Buffalo from 1979-84. Now he writes a blog “keeping former players and fans updated on the issues affecting former AFL and NFL players.”

This week, he took on Marshawn Lynch, showing it isn’t just reporters who are upset with his boycott of the media.

Nixon, who played in an era before players made true life-changing money, clearly is irked that Lynch has little appreciation for what the game has given to him. He writes:

The fact is no one forced Mr. Lynch to sign contracts that require him and all NFL players to talk to the media.  Those NFL contracts have grossed him $57 million in his nine year career. 

For that kind of money, I would talk to the press like I was being water-boarded by the CIA!

Nixon then staged … Continue Reading

The dreaded ‘talk about’ question; Why it is bad journalism

Today is media day at the Super Bowl, one of the worst days of the year if you are a serious sports reporter. Some of the lowest forms of journalism will be on display.

That includes the dreaded “talk about…” question. The over-under of how many times a variation of that opener will be used today has to be 2.4 million.

Bryan Curtis at Grantland wrote an interesting examination of the laziest way to ask what really isn’t a question.

Talk about the most insipid thing you hear in locker rooms.

What? You wanted me to ask a question? A passive-aggressive command wasn’t enough? Let me try again. What makes sports reporters venture the same cowering, deflated non-question in press conferences across the country? I refer, of course, to the Talk About.

Talk about the mind-set of this team. Talk about what

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Flashback: Young Ernie Banks vs. Mickey Mantle in Homerun Derby

It is a shame that so much of the footage of Ernie Banks is from later in his career. His knee problems led to him being heavier and looking less athletic.

Unfortunately, there aren’t many highlights available from earlier in his career. I can’t remember ever seeing any footage of Banks playing shortstop.

So I was glad to stumble upon these classics from Homerun Derby from 1960. They offer a different perspective of Banks. Much slimmer and a bit more subdued in personality. Remember Banks was shy as a younger player. He didn’t stay that way.

Enjoy.

Banks vs. Gil Hodges.

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Why wasn’t this done sooner? ESPN lobbies for playoff semifinals to be on Jan. 2

John Ourand and Michael Smith of Sports Business Daily have a story about ESPN and next year’s College Football Playoff.

Next season’s semifinals at the Capital One Orange Bowl and the Goodyear Cotton Bowl are scheduled for Dec. 31 but ESPN is pushing the CFP to move those games to Jan. 2, 2016, a Saturday with relatively little competition on TV. The NFL’s regular season concludes that Sunday, Jan. 3, and the league hasn’t had a Saturday game during the final week of its regular season since 2007.

Sources say that senior network executives as high up as ESPN President John Skipper are pushing for the change as a way to get better television ratings, but the CFP is unwilling to make such a move because it is committed to the original plan to hold tripleheader bowl games, including the semifinals,

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NFL is everywhere: New league channel debuts on youtube

The NFL’s domination of all things media now has extended to Youtube.

The league announced the launched this morning of youtube.com/NFL, an official channel on the platform. this partnership will enable fans to engage with NFL video content on PCs, tablets, and mobile phones.

More details from the NFL’s official release:

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Located at YouTube.com/NFL, the NFL’s official channel on YouTube allows viewers to access a uniquely packaged, seven-day-a-week NFL content programming schedule. Content posted to the NFL’s official channel on YouTube will include game previews, in-game highlights, post-game recaps as well as clips featuring news, analysis, fantasy football advice, and other select content from NFL Network and NFL.com.

Additionally, official NFL game highlights and content will be available through Google Search. A simple Google search will display official NFL video along with related news and information all … Continue Reading

Bulls Paxson takes issue with Van Gundy’s comments; “Pretty pathetic”

It seems like we have nice feud brewing between the Bulls and Jeff Van Gundy.

On Saturday, I did a post in the Chicago Tribune about Van Gundy’s comments during Friday’s Bulls-Dallas game.

Jeff Van Gundy came down on the media Friday, claiming some members “are in the hip pocket” with Bulls management. He alleges the Bulls are leaking stories to “undermine” Tom Thibodeau.

Van Gundy’s comments came in a strongly-worded defense of the Bulls coach during ESPN’s telecast of the Bulls-Dallas game. Thibodeau was a former assistant coach for Van Gundy and they are close friends.

“I read every Chicago story,” Van Gundy said. “There is no doubt the Bulls organization has the media, with a few exceptions, in their hip pocket. For whatever reasons, they have set their sights on Thibodeau when all he’s done is deliver greatness

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Other Miracle on Ice: Riveting new film captures tells story of great Soviet team; Hockey ballet on ice

My latest column for the Chicago Tribune is on a new film by Chicago-area native Gabe Polsky, who tells the complete story of the great Soviet hockey team.

The film, which opens in theaters this week, is terrific. Highly recommended.

From the column:

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Naturally, Gabe Polsky remembers all three goals he scored during his college hockey days at Yale. He also has vivid memories of what happened after he bagged two goals in the opener of his sophomore season.

“I wasn’t in the lineup for the next game,” Polsky said. “Welcome to college hockey.”

While the Glencoe native’s aspirations of a pro hockey career soon vanished, his sense of unfinished business with the game never dissipated. Polsky, 35, believes he finally has filled the void with the famed Soviet Union hockey team.

Polsky’s new documentary, “Red Army,” tells the … Continue Reading