Our Olympics Q&A series from London is back with beach volleyball reporter Heather Cox. Heather's work will be very familiar to you as one of ESPN's top sideline reporters for college football and the NBA, but she was also once a top NCAA volleyball athlete at Pacific in the early 90s. We ask Heather what it means to report on Olympic beach volleyball at one of the best venues in London.
Q: Given your history as a top volleyball player, does it mean more for you to be involved with the sport at the Games versus reporting for football or basketball?
A: It is an absolute honor to be involved in Olympic volleyball. Every athlete dreams of being an Olympian and I feel like this is the next best thing. I feel so lucky to still be involved in the sport that is so near and dear to my heart.no comments
The following letter was delivered to Ramzy Nasrallah of Buckeye blog Eleven Warriors from the campaign desk of one Craig James. Ramzy brilliantly donated a measly $5 to the campaign so stuff like this would be more easily available to those of us that know the real Craig James and find his epic failure of a senate campaign delicious schadenfreude.
You see, Craig James needs a little help. His campaign racked up enough debt to the point he needed to send out an e-mail to donors to ask for even more money. In the letter, James touts his message not being the problem, but rather time and money. Naturally, no mention of the candidate's controversial history or the dedication to his own media career as a football analyst delaying said campaign is listed as reasons for failure. Then again, James has always excelled at revisionist history.
You can check the image of the letter here, and a transcript is posted below:no comments
Back in May one of our ten sports media questions for this upcoming football season was "Will Peter Berg's Mike Leach documentary series become a reality?"
It was certainly something I was hoping to see come to fruition. But with no real updates from Berg's camp or Washington State, I had all but given up on the chance of the show being produced. Unfortunately, yesterday confirmation came in that proposed series is not happening, most likely due to a lack of interest from the likes of HBO and Showtime. From The Spokesmen Review:no comments
Local sports talk radio is an interesting animal, especially in markets outside of the biggest few cities in the country. Some local talk show hosts are true professionals grinding their way through smaller markets in search of climbing the ladder to national recognition. Some local talk show hosts are complete buffoons who have no business being in front of a live microphone. The vast majority though fall somewhere between the two. All of that makes the following story so surprising and strange.
The local drive time hosts on the ESPN Radio affiliate in Columbus OH, Mike Ricordati and Scott Torgerson, are your prototypical hosts described above. At times the "Common Man" and "Torg" (as if there were ever more fitting nicknames for medium sized market radio hosts) are entertaining and informative. Then there are the natural patches of blatant homerism, sophomoric humor, and loud opinions. I can imagine the show is quite similar to your own local drive time show, just with different teams and topics.
All of the above was reason for me to nearly drive off the road in Columbus yesterday when the program announced that President Barack Obama, the leader of the free world, would join the pair for an exclusive interview!no comments
Much of the vitriol over the (non-permanent) suspension of The Independent's Guy Adams' Twitter account following tweets critical of NBC's Olympic coverage has been directed at the network, and that's fair. It was an NBC complaint that got Adams banned, after all, and trying to stifle criticism that way is certainly problematic for a media entity. However, Twitter deserves a lot of the flack here too, especially since general counsel Alex Macgillivray wrote that "The team working closely with NBC around our Olympics partnership did proactively identify a Tweet that was in violation of the Twitter Rules and encouraged them to file a support ticket with our Trust and Safety team to report the violation." Macgillivray condemned that behavior, and rightly so, but this could provide an important lesson for Twitter. If they're going to be a trusted source for news and opinion, it's critical for the company to ensure their behaviour doesn't skew towards protecting advertisers and corporate partners.
The line between advertising and editorial content is one every media company has to walk carefully, and the fact is that Twitter is turning into a media company. It's a unique one, as its content comes from a much wider array of sources than usual and is chiefly created by people outside the company, but Twitter is still essentially presenting itself as a vehicle for news and opinion, similar to most existing media outlets. Reputable media outlets have to make sure they don't just turn into a mouthpiece for their business partners, though.no comments
One of the stranger stories of the Olympics has been the badminton scandal that saw the expulsion of several teams for tanking their group stage matches. Two duos from South Korea, one from Indonesia, and the top-seeded Chinese were all expelled from the games for trying to lose on purpose. The teams were trying to get a better draw for the knockout stages (thus still trying to win the gold medal), but they were kicked out for not following the "Olympic spirit" or something like that. Good thiing the international badminton federation has no say in the NBA Draft Lottery.
And while "Badmintongate" has actually thrown the Olympic future of the sport into doubt, it's also led to some humorous reporting moments. Where else can you hear serious journalists use phrases like "tanking" and "shuttlecock" so liberally? But the weirdest report comes from CNN correspondent Zain Verjee. Watch as she reacts to the "BAD-MIN-TON" by literally swinging a badminton racket like a gavel of justice. What the actual presence of a badminton racket does for the report beyond that escapes me though. Hopefully Verjee can start a trend of reporters using their subject matter as props in the future, it'd really add something to a John Clayton injury report.
H/T Jacob B.
NBC puts out a daily press release noting the highlights of their television coverage for the next day. Given the difficulty sometimes in knowing what event is being televised when and where, we'll share that schedule from NBC with you the previous night so you can set your DVRs and plan accordingly. The schedule is sorted by network. Below NBC's press release we'll add the live times at the bottom for gold medal events you can catch online as well. All times are eastern.
Phelps v Lochte, women's gymnastics all-around, and the USA men's basketball team highlight what promises to be a mermorable day.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 2 (Day 6)no comments
On yesterday's AA Podcast, John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal predicted ESPN would win the rights to the new college football playoff soon to hit the market. Bristol took a step in that direction by planting another flag high atop college football's mountain this week.
SBJ reports ESPN has won the rights to the new Champions Bowl, played between the champions of the SEC and Big XII. The reported deal runs from 2015 to 2026 and matches the number ESPN is paying for the Rose Bowl - $80 million dollars per year. That huge figure and commitment from ESPN is significant in the changing college football landscape.
First, it immediately places the Champions Bowl right next to the Rose Bowl as the elite games of the college football bowl structure, leaving the Orange, Fiesta, and Sugar in its wake. The presence of the SEC champion is enough to do that on its own, but this is a game with no history and no tradition. And yet, it's been placed on equal footing with the Rose Bowl.
Second, the business of college football is still going as strong as ever. The cries of the NCAA for culture change in college football are all well and good when they're talking down to a program run amok with power and evil men. It will really mean something when the first priority of the sport isn't stuffing its own pockets and the pockets of bowl executives. As long as the athletes are making nothing while these execs and others make millions, no real change will happen.
And finally, ESPN is declaring their intention to remain the home of college football. The network already lost the World Cup to Fox and won't want to lose the new postseason as well, whatever it looks like. ESPN has already committed $160 million to just two bowl games and it's more than likely they'll match whatever price tag is set for the first ever I-A playoff.no comments
While NBC has been criticized for crafting fictional drama in their primetime coverage during the Olympics, we all know the sports show that sets the bar in fiction and make believe... First Take. While you (hopefully) haven't been watching First Take during the Olympics, it's time for us to fulfill our watchdog duties on the insanity coming from the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports and their resident carnival barker, Skip Bayless.
Today, Skip Bayless went on a national television show today and said he wasn't impressed by the greatest Olympic champion of all-time, Michael Phelps. Phelps has won a record 15 gold medals and a record 19 overall medals. He's the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympics, going back to 1896. And yet, like the cartoon character that his television persona is, Skip Bayless can say whatever he wants outside the realm of logic and reason.no comments
Vin Scully is one of the greatest broadcasters who ever lived. The fact that he still calls games for the Dodgers at a high level at age 84 is a testament to his longevity and legend. He's simply the best baseball announcer of all-time.
He is not a Twitter user.
Watch and listen as Vin attempts to read "a Twitter" from new Dodgers outfielder and frequent tweeter Shane Victorino. A single message is usually called a "tweet" and not a "twit", but Vin Scully can call it whatever he darn well pleases. He's earned it.
(H/T Hot Clicks)no comments