Sports media beat: Howard Cosell if he existed today; Blogs With Balls fireworks; Tim Kurkjian

Reprising an old favorite. There’s always so many good stories on the beat worth sharing.

Ryan Glasspiegel of Big Lead did an interesting two-part series on Howard Cosell. Part 1 dealt with why he became disillusioned with sports. Part 2 examines what kind of work he would do if he existed today.

I asked Kornheiser if he saw similarities between Cosell and Keith Olbermann. “I agree with you on Keith — I think he’s the logical connect-the-dots guy,” he said. “I’m a big fan of Keith Olbermann. The thing that Howard valued most was brains, and Keith’s got brains.”

Dave Kindred, who wrote a dual biography of Cosell and Muhammad Ali entitled Sound and Fury, concurred. “Howard would have to be the star of anything he did today — there’s no doubt about that,” Kindred said. “His ego would demand that, and almost nothing else. That was one of the things that enabled him to be a star in his time. There was nobody else. He was everything. Everything that he did, he did by himself. Everything that broadcast media has grown into, he did in one version or another. Olbermann is a direct descendant. He’s smart and can connect the dots between cultural events and sports events. He’s the closest to Cosell. Cosell wanted out of the sports box — for a stretch, Olbermann was out of the sports box.”

There was a panel that created fireworks at the Blogs With Ball convention. Andrew Bucholtz of Awful Announcing reports reports.

Kluwe also made a passionate case for letting athletes speak out, saying  “We are human beings as well. We would like to use that voice the way everyone else gets to use that voice. We’re gladiators. Go forth and bleed in the arena. And then shut your f**king mouth. That’s bullshit.” Harison responded by saying Kluwe being cut by the Vikings was his own fault for being such an activist. “You did create a circus around yourself and played a position that’s replaceable.” (It’s notable that Kluwe also said later he believes he was cut for his views, saying “”If you speak up, and you’re not a Tom Brady or a LeBron James, teams can find reasons to replace you.” His interpretation of the “circus” is rather different, though.) Kluwe then brought this around to Floyd Mayweather, saying that Harison’s “sports should be sports” stance would completely ignore Mayweather’s domestic abuse record. “You’re saying that we don’t have to care that Floyd Mayweather is a serial abuser of women because he can box really well.” He followed that up with perhaps the line of the day, blasting noted Mayweather enabler Stephen A. Smith: “First Take is huge, it makes a ton of money, it’s dragging us straight towards Idiocracy.”

Tim Kurkjian is the latest subject in the “Still No Cheering in the Press Box” series by the Povich Center for Sports Journalism at Maryland.

Transitioning from writing to broadcast was difficult at first. I spent a fortune on clothes. I wear more makeup than my wife. I spend a lot of time walking around talking to myself. I finally figured out in a short amount of time that broadcast is just like presenting a story in the newspaper, but you just have to present it in another way.

The newspaper business and magazine business taught me how to tell a story. Being a reporter, I knew how to report the story; I just had to do it in a slightly different way for television. The newspaper training I got trained me to be on TV, and I’m sure it could work the other way, but I think it’s a whole lot easier to go in the other direction, the way I did it.

I’ll always love writing the most. But I must say, I love doing television because I can talk about something right now. With the newspaper, I’d have to wait ’til the next morning. With the magazine, I’d have to wait an entire week. Now, if I need to say something, I can say it now and not have to wait. The spontaneity of TV I really like.

Matt Zemek of Awful Announcing details why Google might affect Twitter’s ability to break news.




One thought on “Sports media beat: Howard Cosell if he existed today; Blogs With Balls fireworks; Tim Kurkjian

  1. I worked with Tim at the Dallas Morning News. Soon after he arrived in Dallas, he was sent to interview SMU coach Ron Morris about a continuing story regarding NCAA violations. As mentioned in the story linked to above, Tim is 5-foot-3.
    Tim showed up at Morris’ house, knocks, Morris opens the door. “Hi, coach, I’m Tim Kurkjian from the Morning News.” Morris says, “OK, just a minute.” He leaves, comes back with his check book.
    Morris thought Kurkjian was the paper boy collecting.

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