Sports Goggles

Archive for August 2007

Spotes Notes: 8.31.07:Wrestlers and Roids; MLB Fashion Police; U.S. Hoops; NASCAR and Japan; The Phillies Are Coming; Michael Vick Is Done; HSUS and PETA Are, Ummmm, Suspect

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soulfood.jpgSpotes Notes Update #2: Just minutes ago on USA television, Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated attempted to state unequivocally that the present tennis match-fixing scandal is confined to lower-level events. However, this quote from Bill Dwyre of the LA Times refutes Wertheim’s assertion:

The French sports publication L’Equipe, went with a story Thursday that anonymously quoted two so-called elite players, Mister A and Mister B, as saying they have actually witnessed “thrown” matches, including one on the level of the Tennis Masters Series. Each said he was offered a bribe to throw a match and one said the sport must act “before things get out of hand.” One also said that players’ lounges are full of people on laptops, and that “60-80% of the coaches are on Internet betting sites.”

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Written by dwil

August 31, 2007 at 3:27 pm

A Closed Letter to Open Minds

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slavery.jpgThey try to beat us down. And it’s something most white people will never understand. They don’t get it when we see a Michael Vick segment or three in a row followed by a Todd McNair two segments, followed by a, does Sylvester Croom’s “inspirational” coaching style work at Mississippi State?

The sheer magnitude of morning news about us throwing as many black faces as possible under the bus, the thought of grinding blackness to dust, and then they wonder when we get more than angry and say there’s a lack of trust….

Then, as if to reinforce what is necessary to “make it” as a black man in this country they show Roger Goodell followed by a video snapshot of ————– Tony Dungy.

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Written by dwil

August 30, 2007 at 10:05 pm

It’s a Crappy Day to Be Lovie Smith

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dogpoop.jpgDamn, people can you just chill the @#$^%&# out?! Stop Mike Greenberg (Mike and Mike in the Morning) – and all your buddies in your bonfire on the beach, male writers-only circle jerk. Stop Rick Morrissey (Chicago Tribune). Stop bringing up the ‘Roger Goodell tough guy world we live in, Pacman Jones, is this wise, I’m deer hunting out of season to put food on the table’ crap.

Just put away your “I need to breathlessly hype this story because I’ve convinced myself that we live in a world of terrorist uncertainty where every man for which my job depends more powerful than my punk, metrosexual – “I am not gay, I never have been gay”(Senator Larry Craig, R-Idaho) – ass, and really, I just hate these thuggish millionaire jocks who would be nothing more than dollar menunaires if it wasn’t for sports – except for the guys who smile and grin and act humble and shuffle a little bit when they’re talked to because that puts me at ease and makes me feel more like they’re just oversized pets instead of malevolent, potentially violent, giants who could snap me in two if I say the wrong thing and they happen to catch me alone.

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Written by dwil

August 29, 2007 at 2:35 pm

The Two Sides of Nolan Richardson

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nolanrich.jpgNolan Richardson’s teams still bring it. The pressing, up-tempo style is the same and though the name sounds different, its meaning has never changed: “Cuarenta Minutos de Infierno” in any language is “40 Minutes of Hell.”

However, watching a now full-white-haired Richardson prowl Mexico’s National team sidelines during the FIBA Americas Championship is not quite the same as watching the jacket come off in a fit of pique in front of 17,000 screaming faithful in Bud Walton Arena at the University of Arkansas. Watching him with Mexico makes one wonder why at University of Texas-El Paso, Nolan Richardson’s home where he became fluent in Spanish as a child in the only black family in an all-Mexican neighborhood, he cannot get so much as an interview for the men’s basketball head coach job when the position has changed names three times.

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Michael Vick in Boxes; Black Faces on TV; J.P. Goodwin’s Sudden Amazin’ Grace; a Greenie and Skip Bayless Addendum

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jgoodwin.jpgAs I wrote yesterday, “protecting the brand” is everything today. Morality be damned (Justin Babineaux), humanity be damned (Patrick Kerney), it’s the damage to the brand that you messed with Michael Vick, at least according to Atlanta Falcons owner, Arthur Blank. And I’m sure as the day is long that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was nodding his head in agreement when he heard Blank utter that phrase.In the process of messin’ with the brand, Vick is being boxed into a corner from which his newly-emasculated self will never get scramble away. Don’t worry, Mike, they from here on out, they always got you in the grasp.

The language of this after case talk is – the box. The person who set this, ummmm, dog trap, is ESPN resident lawyer Lester Munson; well Munson and his new best verbiage buddy and ex-Animal Liberation Front (ALF) pseudo-hippie turned devout Christian Tennessee gentleman, John Goodwin.

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Big Box Sports Media Outlets: The Nature of the Threat

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Sunday I wrote a commentary about fond memories of the sports writing that, as a young boy, captivated me. Today, as an adult, I look at the sports world and am sick.

The bottom line, “protect the brand” mentality of those in management positions of the leagues, of teams, and the “Big Box” sports media outlets that are charged with covering the teams and the leagues, is sickening. It negatively affects everything it touches. And the people it touches most are the athletes who play the games and the fans who watch them.

Arcing backward in time, athletes are feted, protected, and advised at every turn on what to say, how to say it, who they say it to, and how to appear as they say what they say. It’s the same in the corporate world when the P.R. person stands near, microcassette player in hand listening intently as an interviewer asks questions of the newly-minted COO, ready to terminate the interview at the slightest hint of an uncomfortable query. Except in sports, it starts when athletes are but children. Arcing forward, by the time they are pros, these people have few thoughts of their own, which is exactly how the teams and leagues and teams for which they play want them.

Welcome to the real world of sports.

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This Morning on OTL: Why, Ms. Hill, Why!

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Just a tidbit (sorry, J) for today. On Outside the Lines this morning ESPN’s Jemele Hill was on a panel with Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Dr. Todd Boyd, professor at USC and ESPN.com Page 2 columnist.

The topic of discussion on OTL’s first segment? Why Michael Vick, of course.

I have to admit, I didn’t scramble to record the segment because I thought I’d hear the same old same old. Then Bob Ley mentioned Hill’s “Open Letter to Young Black Men” Page 2 column.

Now, I recognize that being the only black female columnist in the country make Hill a unique commodity. As a result, she is allowed latitude and leeway that other journalists might not be afforded. Her voice, because of that explosive combination of the “exotic other” of race and gender automatically allows her a platform on which to speak.

Should our society be so backward as to feel this way toward Hill? No.

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Written by dwil

August 26, 2007 at 3:20 pm