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 much of sports is drama.”

Keith Continue Reading

My view: Why sportswriters shouldn’t vote for Heisman, Hall of Fame, MVP and all other awards

My view is based on an experience that occurred more than 20 years ago.

When it comes to the issue of whether sportswriters should vote for prestigious awards and the Hall of Fame in various sports, I flash back to a day in Miami in 1991. I saw my name in large type in the Miami Herald and realized I had become news.

It seems timely to weigh in on the subject after heavy traffic and reaction generated by a post I did yesterday on Notre Dame beat writer Brian Hamilton. He was conflicted over what to do with his Heisman Trophy ballot in light of Irish linebacker Manti Te’o being a top candidate. Eventually, the Chicago Tribune decided to use an internal staff poll to determine Hamilton’s vote.

Hamilton’s dilemma underscored the possible pitfalls and conflicts that result when writers engage in this exercise. He is to be commended for … Continue Reading

Q/A with Jay Mariotti: On two years out of spotlight; his side of what happened on that night and aftermath; and his next step

The email in my inbox had a familiar name: Jay Mariotti.

Earlier that day a couple weeks ago, I had written a post about Mariotti. I wondered why he had taken two years off and if anybody would hire him again?

The email read: “You’re welcome to ask me questions. Don’t have to guess when I can give you context.”

Mariotti has a point. If I am going to comment and speculate about him, I should allow him to give his side. That’s the way I operate.

I followed up, asking if he was up for doing a Q/A. Prior to sending out questions, I did read his book on Amazon, The System: A Manual on Surviving Liars, Loons, Law, Life. Much of the book is Mariotti’s account of a domestic violence incident with a woman he was dating in 2010. He gives … Continue Reading

Will Jay Mariotti ever land another big-time gig? Says he still loves sportswriting

Jay Mariotti is back–sort of.

The former Chicago Sun-Times columnist wrote his third column this morning for ChicagoSide. The headline read: “Mariotti: Why I Still Love Sportswriting.”

He writes:

Why continue to embrace a craft that literally almost killed me, a profession currently diluted by so many unskilled bloggers and corporate suckups that it has lost much of its soul?

My answer remains the same as it has for three decades: Because I still love sports, and because I still love to write. Sports + writing = sportswriter.

His love letter continues:

After all the madness, all the liars and loons, why would I want to continue writing about sports? Wouldn’t I rather be a factory worker in China? An elephant sperm collector? Not a chance.

There’s no better place on the literary landscape that regularly strikes every nerve

Continue Reading

New role: Former USA Today reporter launches new sports business blog

Michael McCarthy is the latest installment of journalists looking to reinvent themselves in the new media age. Welcome to the club, Mike.

A veteran sports business and media reporter, McCarthy saw his 12-year career at USA Today end last spring. However, he saw no reason to change what he had been doing at the paper.

Last week, McCarthy unveiled a new site, Sportsbizusa.com. The site will examine all facets of sports business, from sponsorship to rights deals and beyond.

Here’s Mike on USA Today and his new endeavor:

On covering sports business: It’s something I’ve always been interested in. For two years, I worked on the Game On blog for USA Today. I saw the great reaction to sports business news. Sometimes, it was the most read posts on the entire website.

I saw a real market for the game within a … Continue Reading

Is Sports on Earth another version of Grantland?

ESPN’s Grantland has been around for just over a year and it already has an imitator. Impressive.

At first glance, the new Sports on Earth site looks to be another version of Grantland. After a soft launch during the Olympics, the site made its full-blown debut this morning. It is a new joint development venture between USA TODAY Sports and MLB Advanced Media LLC (MLBAM).

Sports on Earth has many of the same traits as Grantland. It will feature excellent writers writing about the predictable (the upcoming college and pro football seasons) and the unpredictable (Dave Kindred’s great piece on the 40th anniversary reunion of the 1972 U.S. basketball team that got screwed out of a gold medal).

The showcase star for Sports on Earth is Joe Posnanski. The former Sports Illustrated writer, who is in the headlines for his Paterno biography, … Continue Reading

My first job: Bob Ryan covers Celtics for Boston Globe at 23: Intern class of ’68 included Gammons

Bob Ryan is hanging it up as a regular columnist for the Boston Globe after the Olympics. It’s been a great run. Ryan has been a distinctive voice in the Northeast for more than three decades.

I remember a long night at Runyon’s in New York with Ryan, Malcolm Moran of the New York Times and Jackie MacMullan of the Boston Globe. Moran had a train to catch to get back home, but thanks to Ryan, the conversation was so lively, Moran kept saying, “I’ll catch the next one.” Not sure if he ever made it home.

In honor of Ryan’s last columns for the Globe, it seems fitting to look back at how it all started. I had a chance to talk to him a few years back for a project about sportswriters.

It turns out Ryan didn’t have to wait long to … Continue Reading