Posted on: February 27, 2009 1:57 pm

Save the Media

Tyler Kepner, George Vecsey, Jack Curry and Richard Sandomir of The NY Times, David Lennon, Ken Davidoff, Neil Best, Barbara Barker, Randi Marshall, Wallace Matthews, John Jeansonne, Jim Baumbach, Katie Strang and Kat O'Brien (3 articles) of Newsday, Larry McShane, Mitch Abramson, John Harper, Matt Gagne, Mark Feinsand (2), Bill Madden, Michael O'Keeffe, Oren Yaniv, Teri Thompson, Corky Siemaszko, Bill Gallo, Bob Raissman, Nathaniel Vinton, David Hinckley and Mike Lupica of The Daily News, George King III, Joel Sherman, Brian Costello (2), Mark Hale and Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post, Mel Antonen, A.J. Perez, Mike Lopresti and Gerry Fraley of USA Today, Peter Abraham of The Journal News, Mike Bauman, Tom Singer, Anthony DiComo (3), Doug Miller, Hal Bodley and Bryan Hoch of (which then states, "This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs"), Tim Keown, Mike Fish and Jayson Stark of, Jeff Little of The Hartford Courant, Ben Reiter and Jon Heyman of, Sam Borden of LoHud, Pete Caldera of

These are all people around the New York area that wrote an article regarding Alex Rodriguez and steroids on February 18th, 2008, just that day alone.  Newsday had ten writers write twelve articles! The Daily News had 16 different writers on the story! Even had six writers come up with eight different, yet basically the same, articles about the press conference and steroids in baseball, something they should probably not want to draw attention to.  I know this was a big story and New York is one of the media capitals of the world, but come on, there are thousands of other things worthy of telling your subscribers.  So now I will mention why the media is one of the worst problems with our society today:

We're paying people to be hateful and negative.  These writers have a job to do.  This is a negative situation for everyone involved.  Instead of paying thirteen guys to write about what's wrong with the sport, throw in a couple of good articles like "Bernie Williams Ready For WBC" or "Jose Reyes Donates $50,000 to Local Charity".  I don't care what it is, just don't make me have to read the same thing over and over.  These editors have it all wrong and it pisses me off that negativity sells.  I can't imagine these guys telling the writers, "Ok, we're gonna send Dave, Steve, Mary, Frank, Al, Tom, Kathy, and the Lewis twins to Tampa, while the four I didn't mention will stay in New York...everyone come up with an article about steroids by the deadline tonight.  Let's pound this into every American's head! Let's make them sick of this before they get their lunch tomorrow!! Get in here everybody:  On three, one, two, three, (everyone) - 'BEEEEE PREDICTABLE!'."

  - off topic note:  Here's another example of the media being negative for the sake of dividing the country.  After Obama's speech the other night, I happened to have on ABC.  Whether you like the President or not, he gave a pretty good and uplifting speech.  He told American's to stay positive, to further their education and their childrens education, to help one another out and to be a good American.  Even if you didn't agree with the stimulus bill, you agreed that he was bringing hope to our citizens.

So, what does ABC do in their post-speech analysis? They ruin everyones uplifted spirit by saying he's doing too much at once, the economy is bad, Republicans are not pleased, etc.  As soon as Obama was done talking about staying positive, the idiots on TV ignore him and try to put fear into the Americans at home.  Then, they put on Louisana's governor to tell us what he would have done if he were in charge.  Well, he's not in charge, so shut the fuck up and be a good American by sticking by your President.

People get payed to cause controversy.  I love the show Around the Horn.  Four writers debating about sports.  I'm fine with that.  I have a problem when these guys on the radio get paid to say the opposite of what the caller says.  I once was listening to Mark Madden on 105.9 WXDX in Pittsburgh and a caller said that "Nate McLouth is not worth $6 million a year" and started to explain why.  Madden cut him off and yells, "Do you think it's easy to hit 30 home runs and steal 20 bases?!"  Less than an hour later, a guy calls and says McLouth IS worth the money and Madden again rudely makes the caller wish he didn't have ears by saying "He's a career .260 hitter! He has one good year in him! What's good about that!?" - Flip-flopping within the hour, with no true opinion of his own, and no positive bone in his 350 pound body.  Yet the producer of the station wants him on the air because apparantly people like controversy.  I guess everyone can't be Max Kellerman, opinionated, but with knowledge of sports (and not a complete tool).

- off topic note: Why does the news give us useless information? I was watching Fox 5 news on Wednesday and they had a segment called "Travel Weather", which took up a good 10 seconds of air time.  This is a good idea.  What would you do for showing the days weather around the country? I'd probably put a map up of the U.S. with different suns and clouds with the temperature around the U.S. cities so I could get an idea of what it was like where I was traveling.

So, what does Fox do? They list four cities and the temperature for the day on the screen.  They weren't even the major cities.  One was Milwaukee and another was Charlotte.  I forget the other two, probably Waco, Texas and Dayton, Ohio or something...point is, there's about a 2% chance your traveling to one of the four cities listed.  Who's the idiot in charge?

They beat you to death.  As soon as the press conference was over, Michael Kay talked about steroids from 2-7 on ESPN radio.  That's five hours of nothing but steroid talk.  Kay said he wished he didn't have to talk about this and that the media is going crazy right now.  He said this shouldn't be the main story in baseball and we should talk about the upcoming season....and then he went on for five hours about ARod.  LIAR! It's your show.  You can talk about whatever you want.  Sure, talk about ARod for a while, mix in some other shit.  He went negative on everything for the entire show.  He wasn't happy with how ARod presented himself, didn't believe him, didn't think the PR company was worth a penny, etc.  Agreed, but for five hours of the same thing! I only listened to a lot of it because I get paid to, but if you actually listened to the entire five hours of Michael Kay's case of dementia then I give you props for enjoying torture.  Mike Francesa is the same way.  After a Jets loss, he'll give you thirty different ways to tell you they're horrible.  What a waste of our time.  There are millions of things to talk about, but these guys get stuck on the same issue for an hour without saying anything new.  Move on or come up with another point.

- similar topic note:  I think it's bullshit that ESPN plays every sport but hockey, which means they won't cover hockey because it doesn't benefit them.  It's like the eighth sport listed on their website.  Doesn't Steve Levy have the tenure to make things happen? That guy loves hockey.  The worldwide leader in sports is also the worldwide leader and promoting what benefits them instead of having a unbiased eye.  I start to have a problem when I go to the website and then let my computer load a commercial, then turn on the station to see only sports they have rights to on SportsCenter.

That's enough of that.


P.S.  I realized as I was writing this blog that I was hating on haters, making me a "hater" too.  I realize it's easy to write about what pisses you off, which is what many newspapers are all about.  I think every paper should have a "What's Good" column with stories that don't make you hate getting up in the morning.  I'd like to end this with some uplifting and positive things so that I can practice what I preach.

- It's great that Tim Duncan has accomplished what he has without me ever hearing of anything negative.  He stayed until his senior year at Wake, won some titles, put up consistently good numbers, yada yada yada. 

- Tony Dungy is one of the most unselfish people in sports and it will be a great day for the NFL if he ever returns to coaching.

- Maria Sharapova, Natalie Gulbis, and Danica Patrick are all very talented.

- Everything is gonna be alright.  Listen to Bob Marley, not your local hater (sports writer). 

Posted on: November 9, 2008 10:45 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2008 10:53 pm

BCS...College Football is not a Sport

The night before the election, Barack Obama said in an interview at halftime of Monday Night Football that he would propose a playoff system for college football.  Now, he may have been joking, because this obviously is a mundane detail in the reasons he defeated McCain so easily, but I couldn't agree with the President more.

How do we call college football a sport when the media votes on who plays for the championship?  Without any playoff system at all, I put it in the same ranks as figure skating, gymnastics, and cheerleading.  Let's let athletes do their thing, then we'll decide, with whatever knowledge we think we have, who we liked the best.  Who's to say LSU was the best two-loss team last year?  How can we be certain they were better than Missouri, USC, or West Virginia? Kansas only lost one game (Hawaii too, but they honestly played nobody and then got killed in their bowl game).

The 2003 season is another great example.  USC and LSU both won their BCS games, LSU finished 13-1, USC 12-1, but USC was the official BCS Champion.  So, because the "great minds" voted for USC to play in that game, they were the official champs.  How are you going to tell members of the 2003 LSU Tigers that even though they didn't get a shot at USC, they were not that seasons best.  Common sense says they should have played to determine the champion.  Instead, there was controversy as the ESPN/USA Today poll differed from the AP poll.

The regular season IS NOT the playoffs in college football.  Ask Penn State if it's better to lose a game in September or November.  What happens if Texas Tech or Alabama lose a game in the next couple of weeks?  How do we decide between them, along with Florida or Texas or Oklahoma or USC or Boise State or Utah? 


A quick solution would be an eight-team playoff.  This means that the champion will have to play three extra games.  Considering lesser athletes in Division III can play a 32-team playoff, eight teams is justifyable for everyone who is worried about these students playing too many games.  Critics might say that this still leaves the ninth best team out.  At least we're letting more teams get a chance to actually play the game of football to decide a champion.  That's a big difference compared to letting the third ranked team play in a game, where whether they win or lose, their conference and school still get money, but the fact they might be the best team in college football means nothing.

Obama is in office to change things that are outdated.  I don't want to get into healthcare, my college loans, or why I am saving so I can afford to pay rent all by myself in the future.  Let me stick with what I know and a solution to change it.  Colleges, conferences, and companies are all making profits at the expense of the credibility of college football.  There are so many great aspects of the game.  I love the devotion of the fans and the feeling of seeing my school play with other alumni and students.  I just can't take the game seriously and call it a sport.  Sports determine their winners based on what the outcome of the games are, not by sports writers voting on "sexy" teams.  Ask previous champions in college baseball, basketball, the NHL, MLB, NBA, NFL, etc.  A lot of these teams weren't expected to win a title when the playoffs started, but that's why you play the games. 



Posted on: March 21, 2008 9:18 pm
Edited on: March 21, 2008 9:20 pm

College Hoops vs. NBA


I recently had a discussion with someone who works for the NBA about why I thought college basketball was more entertaining than professional basketball.  My point was that the NBA has a short shot clock, which leads to too much one-on-one.  The players just don't seem to have the same passion in the NBA.  The runs and excitement of underdogs just makes the college game better.  It's more of an art.  The teams have 35 seconds to set up their plays and really make plays based on schemes.

I'm not saying the NBA isn't fun to watch, especially come playoff time.  And yes, I know there are different types of schemes in the NBA, but it just isn't as interesting.  I also grew up in Pittsburgh and we don't have an NBA team, so I'm sure that plays a part.  I like the current system the NBA has with a soft cap, and as a major sport, it's in much better shape than the NHL and MLB.

I also think it was a good marketing tool by David Stern to make players at least go to college for one year.  It was hard to like and follow players who were coming out of college because we didn't know who they were.  If we get to watch them develop in college instead of on NBA benches it lets us fans develop opinions of these players.  It's good for both college and the NBA.

Category: NBA
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or