What they said in 2012: Quotes tell tale of year in sports media

Part 1:

I’m a big quote guy, as evidenced by the quote I run at the top of this site.

While going through my review of sports media in 2012, I came across so many relevant quotes from my reporting and elsewhere, I decided to share them. Some are insightful; some are funny; some are just plain stupid. Yet they all tell a tale of what occurred on this beat.

I had so many, I decided to split them into two posts. Part 1 covers the beginning of the site in April through early August.

Frank Deford on current state of sportswriting: “Unfortunately, we’ve gotten swamped by the numbers. People have gotten buried under the numbers. Statistics. That has become everything. Pitch count is more interesting than what the guy is made of. I think that’s a shame because so … Continue Reading

Top newsmakers for 2012: No denying that everyone talked about Skip Bayless

When I launched ShermanReport on April 16, I had some initial concerns that there might not be enough fresh content to do a daily site.

Couldn’t have been more wrong.

There’s so much territory to cover, it can be overwhelming at times. For a solo performer, it is a challenge to keep up. It’s never dull, that’s for sure.

As 2012 nears a close, I’m going to reflect on the year in sports media this week. Today, I begin with newsmakers. My criteria is people who were interesting, intriguing, controversial, and generally seemed to be in the news cycle, for better or worse.

Here we go:

Skip Bayless: Yes, Skip Bayless. I can see your eyes rolling, but name me someone who has generated more sports media talk?

I know he is extremely polarizing, and he routinely gets obliterated from … Continue Reading

Lipsyte weighs in on Costas: ‘Shill becomes a journalist’

I was set to let the furor over Bob Costas’ anti-gun commentary runs it course. However, I have to make note of a Robert Lipsyte column on the subject.

Writing for Slate, the former New York Times columnist discusses their relationship and the impact of Costas’ actions on Sunday night.

First about the part of labeling Costas “a shill”:

Since 1993, Costas and I have been in an uneasy relationship of mutual regard and disagreement, each waiting for the other to fulfill unreasonable expectations. He wants me to be more open to the joy of sports. I want him to take advantage of his pulpit and be more of a journalist.

And to the point:

In our almost 20 years of dialogue, Costas has been most bothered by my use of the word shill to describe how he

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Costas interview with Posnanski: Author believes Freeh report flawed; wasn’t going to write a takedown book

Perhaps this is why Joe Posnanski is not doing a big media tour to promote his book Paterno. It would take too much out of him to repeatedly defend a coach nobody wants to hear being defended.

Posnanski appears Wednesday on Costas Tonight (NBC Sports Network, 9 p.m. ET). The 90-Minute Show Includes Costas’ full November 2011 interview with Jerry Sandusky from Rock Center with Brian Williams with never-before-seen footage.

Posnanski has done limited interviews since release of the book last week. You can see why from the Costas interview. There are tough questions to be answered.

Here are some of the more interesting segments.

On the Freeh Report being flawed:

Costas: “Without getting bogged down in the particulars, this is the essence of Louis Freeh, former FBI director‘s report. The conclusion: In order to avoid the consequences … Continue Reading

My first job: Costas calls minor league hockey for $30 per game in Syracuse; McCarver recalls Costas’ Uncle Lenny

I’m launching a new feature today called My First Job.

For all the success and accomplishments people have in the business, virtually everyone had a first job that saw them start on the ground floor, or lower. Often, it was a humbling, if not sobering, experience that included a pitfall or two along the way. Call it  learning life’s lessons. The stories are pretty entertaining.

From time to time, I’m going to check in with the now rich and famous to write about where they started in the media game.

With the Olympics taking place, I figured Bob Costas would be a good first subject. Besides hosting the Olympics, he is known for his work on baseball, football, basketball and as an excellent interviewer.

Yet his first paid broadcast job came doing hockey. Here’s Costas:

I called games for 

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Costas keeps vow: Honors slain Israeli athletes

Bob Costas did live up to his pledge to honor the Munich 11 during Friday’s night’s Opening Ceremonies. And given NBC’s relationship with the IOC, he walked a fine line by not hammering the committee for their refusal to have moment of silence for the slain Israeli athletes.

Here is what Costas said as the Israeli delegation walked in:

The Israeli athletes now enter behind their flag-bearer Shahar Zubari. These games mark the 40th anniversary of the 1972 tragedy in Munich, when 11 Israeli coaches and athletes were murdered by Palestinian terrorists. There have been calls from a number of quarters for the IOC to acknowledge that, with a moment of silence at some point in tonight’s ceremony.

The IOC denied that request, noting it had honored the victims on other occasions. And, in fact, this week (IOC President)

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NBC producer coy about Costas moment of silence for Israeli athletes

From listening to Jim Bell, NBC’s executive producer for the Olympics, I’d say Bob Costas definitely will speak out against the IOC’s refusal to have a moment of silence for the Munich 11 during NBC’s telecast of  opening ceremonies Friday.

But it remains to be seen whether Costas will go through with his vow to have a moment of silence to honor the athletes.

When pressed about the issue during a conference call Thursday, Bell said, “You’ll have to watch the coverage.”

Bell spoke of the coverage regarding the controversial issue being “measured and balanced,” and that it would be handled “respectfully.”

“If anybody knows how to handle that situation, to have the right tone, it would be Bob and (Matt Lauer),” Bell said.

Bell also stressed that even though NBC has a multi-billion dollar relationship with the IOC, it … Continue Reading

Jewish Federations official: Bob Costas, NBC should ‘do right thing’ on honoring Munich 11

The Jewish Federations of North America expect Bob Costas to honor his pledge to observe a moment of silence for the Munich 11 during the opening ceremonies at the Olympics.

“We encourage (Costas) and NBC to do the right thing,” said William Daroff of the Jewish Federation.

Daroff spoke on a Jewish Federations conference call this morning. It included several members of Congress and Anke Spitzer, widow of slain Israeli coach Andre Spitzer. They are working to have an official moment of silence for the slain athletes included during the ceremonies.

Costas and NBC were lauded several times on the call for Costas’ strong stance on the issue. Costas is outraged at the International Olympic Committee’s refusal to observe the 40th anniversary of the tragic event.

However, I pointed out to officials Costas’ plan regarding the opening ceremonies isn’t a … Continue Reading

Will NBC force Costas to back off pledge to honor slain Israeli athletes during opening ceremonies?

I imagine there are some intense discussions taking place between Bob Costas and the high brass at NBC.

Last month, Costas told the Hollywood Reporter that he is planning his own tribute to the slain Israeli athletes in Munich during NBC’s telecast of the opening ceremonies Friday. The International Olympic Committee has turned down a request to honor the athletes on what is the 40th anniversary of that tragic event.

Costas said: “I intend to note that the IOC denied the request. Many people find that denial more than puzzling but insensitive. Here’s a minute of silence right now.”

But will it happen? Ah, this is where it gets interesting.

When asked about Costas’ plan this week, NBC bounced back with a statement: "Our production plans for the Opening Ceremony are still being finalized and Bob is part of that Continue Reading

Pressure to fill Ebersol’s shoes: NBC’s Larazus now squarely in Olympics spotlight

It’s finally here.

After all the countdowns, hype and preparation, the opening ceremonies are set for Friday.

Few people will be feeling the pressure more in London than Mark Lazarus. All the NBC Sports chairman has to do is step into the huge Olympics TV legacy left by Dick Ebersol.

Here’s my look at Lazarus and NBC in a story that also ran Sunday in the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune:


Mark Lazarus is an affable man, but he seems to prefer to be in the background.

The Olympics, though, will thrust him squarely in the intense spotlight created, in part, by his predecessor, Dick Ebersol.

Lazarus, 48, takes control when NBC begins its massive coverage of the Summer Olympics next week. When Ebersol resigned suddenly in a contract dispute in May, 2011, Lazarus stepped in as chairman … Continue Reading