LATEST NEWS

Another dump on Goodell Sunday: Praise for ESPN’s Jackson, NBC; thumbs down for Lewis

I’m fairly certain Roger Goodell is skipping the Sunday pregame shows these days. Or if he’s watching, the NFL commissioner is turning the sound down when he is the focus.

Yesterday featured yet another round of the analysts sharply criticizing Goodell for screwing up the Ray Rice situation. This time, the focus was on his poorly-received press conference.

Some of the harshest words came from ESPN’s Tom Jackson on Sunday NFL Countdown. As we’ve seen in the past, especially with the Rush Limbaugh fiasco on Countdown, you always can count on the former Denver linebacker to be a strong voice.

Jackson: “Until these men in these offices on Park Avenue really care about the women involved in these incidents we are not going to have real change. The good part of this – public pressure, political pressure, corporate … 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

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ESPN OTL got it right: Exceptional reporting on Ravens story

As a connoisseur of sports journalism, I was blown away by ESPN’s OTL inside account of how the Ray Rice saga went down in Baltimore and the NFL offices. The depth of reporting by Don Van Natta Jr. and Kevin Van Valkenburg, the two “Vans”, was exceptional.

The story shows the power of investigative journalism still rules in the new media age. Nothing beats boots-on-the-ground, making calls, mining sources and doing scores of interviews to provide a perspective on a story you can’t get anywhere else.

In many cases, the reader had the feeling of being in the room with these executives when the important decisions were being made.

Despite the Ravens claims of “inaccuracies” and poor assumptions, you know that OTL’s account is exactly how it went down. The Ravens lobbied the NFL and Roger Goodell to be … Continue Reading

Another dump on Goodell Sunday: Praise for ESPN’s Jackson, NBC; thumbs down for Lewis

I’m fairly certain Roger Goodell is skipping the Sunday pregame shows these days. Or if he’s watching, the NFL commissioner is turning the sound down when he is the focus.

Yesterday featured yet another round of the analysts sharply criticizing Goodell for screwing up the Ray Rice situation. This time, the focus was on his poorly-received press conference.

Some of the harshest words came from ESPN’s Tom Jackson on Sunday NFL Countdown. As we’ve seen in the past, especially with the Rush Limbaugh fiasco on Countdown, you always can count on the former Denver linebacker to be a strong voice.

Jackson: “Until these men in these offices on Park Avenue really care about the women involved in these incidents we are not going to have real change. The good part of this – public pressure, political pressure, corporate … Continue Reading

Blackistone: Media perpetuating stereotypes about domestic violence and NFL

Wanted to share a commentary Kevin Blackistone wrote for the American Journalism Review about media coverage of the Ray Rice/domestic violence situation in the NFL.

The headline reads: “We haven’t let the facts get in the way of the Ray Rice react.”

Blackistone makes the case that the media is portraying the NFL as being full of players who commit domestic violence. By extension, the main targets are African-American players, who comprised 70 percent of the league.

He writes:

The new polling service Vox Populi reported Saturday that it found a majority of Americans believe the NFL has a widespread epidemic of domestic violence problems, including 70 percent of people who identified themselves as NFL fans and 73 percent who are women.

A college classmate and friend of mine, USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan, commented during a PBS NewsHour

Continue Reading

APSE survey: Do sports journalism students come out with basic reporting skills?

Former APSE president Tim Stephens posted results of a survey with sports journalism hiring managers, instructors and students.

He writes: “(The goal is)  to learn more about the priorities in the classroom as well as the priorities in the newsroom. The goal is to outline where the interests of universities and the newsrooms are in alignment as well as areas upon which they could work together to strengthen the connection of interests and priorities.”

Definitely some interesting perspective. Here is a key finding about the preparation of sports journalism students:

– Hiring managers are concerned about recent graduates’ knowledge of basic reporting skills. Twenty-six percent of hiring-manager respondents expressed moderate to strong negative feelings when asked if recent graduates they have seen as job candidates in the past three years have the ability to obtain information from public records requests and

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Baseball card: Frank Howard, king of power in Washington

In honor of the Washington Nationals clinching the NL East title, here’s a D.C. favorite. Frank Howard didn’t play on any great teams with the Senators, but he was the undisputed king of power in Washington.

A massive man at 6-7, 255 pounds, “Hondo” could mash. From 1968 through 1970, he had seasons of 44, 48, and 44 homers. All told, he had 382 career homers.

Here are his stats of a memorable career.

 … Continue Reading

Brandon Marshall media beat: Tweets complaints about E:60 profile; takes week off on ‘Inside The NFL’

The Chicago Tribune might need to assign a full-time Brandon Marshall media beat reporter. Last night was another busy one for the Bears receiver.

Actually, it should have been quiet. I wrote on the Tribune’s site that Marshall was given a scheduled week off from his Inside The NFL analyst job because the Bears played a Sunday night game in San Francisco.

From the post:

Marshall and the team returned early Monday morning. If he did the show Tuesday, it would require him catching at private plane between 5:30-6 a.m.

DeBlasio said Marshall’s absence wasn’t due to him remaining in Chicago Tuesday to get treatment for his injured ankle.

“There are no issues,” DeBlasio said. “He wasn’t here because of the Sunday night game.”

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Ah, but Marshall fans still could get their fix by watching a profile of him … Continue Reading

Claire Smith: First-person account of ‘pioneer’ reporter who made a difference

Claire Smith says she doesn’t like to be regarded as a pioneer. Yet how can she be regarded in any other way?

When Smith was a baseball writer in the 80s, she often was the lone African-American and the lone woman in the press box.

I knew Smith back then when she covered the Yankees for the Hartford Courant. I recall her being a real pro, and I know others would agree.

Of course, I was a young, rather naive sportswriter trying to survive on the White Sox beat for the Chicago Tribune. I wasn’t completely aware of the obstacles Smith experienced on the beat.

I know quite a bit more now, and so will you after you read Smith’s excellent first-person story in the latest edition of Still No Cheering in the Press Box. This installment for the … Continue Reading

New season of 30 for 30s: Film on ‘Goodfellas’ game-fixer at Boston College

My favorite series on television returns for its fifth season. As always, I am pumped for the new slate of 30 for 30 films.

The opener, Playing for the Mob, looks like a can’t miss. Here is a link to the preview.

The official rundown:

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ESPN Films today revealed the films that will make up its fall 2014 30 for 30 slate. The series will return for a six-week runTuesday nights on ESPN beginning October 7, with one additional film in December. This October marks the fifth anniversary of 30 for 30’s launch in 2009.

The upcoming slate will kick off with “Playing for the Mob,” which delves into how mobster Henry Hill once helped orchestrate the fixing of Boston College basketball games. The film is narrated by actor Ray Liotta, who played Hill in the iconic movie “Goodfellas.” Other … Continue Reading

Urlacher quits role as analyst for Fox Sports 1; ‘Wanted to feel retired’

After only two games into the new season, Brian Urlacher has decided to quit his role as analyst at Fox Sports.

The former Bears linebacker informed the network that he is resigning his position so he could spend more time with his family. This season, Urlacher worked on Fox Sports 1’s “America’s Pregame” and Sunday morning’s “Fox NFL Kickoff.”

In an interview with Matt Spiegel and his former teammate Patrick Mannelly on WSCR-AM 670 this morning, Urlacher said traveling weekly to Fox’s studios in Los Angeles was taxing.

“I really enjoyed working with the guys at Fox Sports 1,” Urlacher said. “The travel to (Los Angeles) got to me quite a bit. I called the producers and they were understanding about my situation. I wanted to feel retired. That was my main reason. They were cool about it.”

Urlacher went … Continue Reading