How should a major commercial broadcaster handle the following scenario : one of soccer’s top managers — a telegenic, quote-factory and a subject of major fascination throughout the continent, but particularly in England —- gifts you with the scoop that he won’t be returning to Real Madrid in the summer?
If you’re ITV, the answer’s pretty simple. PULL THE PLUG and get out of dodge.
ESPN hoops reporter Chris Broussard (above) wasn’t quite ready to declare free agent C Jason Collins an American hero for the latter’s coming out yesterday afternoon, with Broussard adding that adulterers, fornicators and those engaging in pre-marital sex are Collins’ teammates “in opposition to God”. But enough about Steve Phillips, while most reasonable persons not named Bubba Watson found Broussard’s religious fervor a tad out of place in the middle of an “Outside The Lines” broadcast, serial doomsday predictor Pat Robertson has his back. From The Raw Story’s David Edwards :
“Somehow we’ve said if it’s heterosexual fornication, it’s bad; if it’s homosexual fornication — that used to be called an abomination in the Bible — now it’s a protected civil right,” Robertson said. “And so somebody that says that that kind of conduct is sinful is now being pilloried in the press. He’s telling the truth! This is what the Bible says!”
The TV preacher pointed out that “these media types” who were criticizing Broussard had chosen “a lifestyle that takes them outside the protection of God.”
“You can’t tell them if they want to go to hell or heaven, that’s their business,” he declared. “But don’t tell somebody that he can’t speak specifically about what the Christian faith says about certain conduct. There isn’t anything bigoted about that.”
“So, our hat’s off to somebody who’s brave enough to say it. But, whew, let’s hope the people at ESPN will man up and defend their guy for speaking what is truth.”
In which the Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley proves he’s fully capable of inserting himself squarely into the story in more than one professional sport. It would be simplistic to say Cowley lit a fire under The Fighting Yormarks Of Atlantic Avenue…but I’ve been waiting WEEKS to call the Nets the Fighting Yormarks Of Atlantic Ave., so this will have to do.
ESPN poker anaylst / Washington Post columnist Norman Chad notes that Michael Jordan was married for the 2nd time this past weekend, shortly after Kobe & Vanessa Bryant announced their reconciliation and LeBron James confirmed his engagement to girlfriend Savannah Brinson. Speaking from his own personal experience, Chad writes, “it is so depressing, and devastating, to watch our best and our brightest athletes throw away their future time and again by conforming and capitulating to a broken-down American institution?” (“If you back down a defender, then put up a fadeaway, turnaround jumper that keeps bouncing off the side of the backboard, you stop taking that shot, right? So why do these great, savvy athletes keep walking down the doomed aisle to matrimony?”). We’ll have to presume Norman was not invited to the Jordan/Prieto wedding, but who amongst us wouldn’t want to see Charles Oakley’s reaction if Chad had voiced any of these sentiments out loud?
This remains one of the few areas in life in which Couch Slouch has PhD-like credentials. I am the Stan Musial of husbands — conjugally speaking, I am considered a two-time loser, but in baseball, my .333 batting average would put me in the Hall of Fame.
Be like Mike? Are you kidding me? No. Guys, guys, guys — be like Hugh Hefner. And, hey, I guarantee you the most interesting man in the world — that deliciously debonair Dos Equis fella — has never been married.
MJ was married for 17 years to his wife Juanita. Their divorce settlement reportedly cost him $168 million. Frankly, I believe this was karmic payback: MJ got away with a massive push-off against the Jazz’s Bryon Russell before hitting the winning shot in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals; nine years later, his ex-wife got away with her own beneficial “legal” contact.
Keith Moreland remembers getting beer thrown at him as he walked off the field that day. Elia was right behind him.
“I got angry, started to lunge, and he said ‘Go on,’ and all the way down the line he was just ranting and raving. I thought he was mad at me,’’ the Cubs radio analyst said.
But Elia was angry at the fans. His rant moments later was triggered by a question from an out-of-town reporter asking if he thought the fans were still backing the team.
“There’s no question that if it happened today, he would have been fired that night,’’ said Bob Ibach, then the Cubs’ director of media relations.
In fact, general manager Dallas Green was ready to dismiss Elia after hearing the tape — and would have but for a chance circumstance that saw Elia in his office when Green called.
“There were no cellphones of course, and Lee told me later he had left because he was supposed to be a celebrity umpire for his daughter Tania’s softball game,’’ Ibach said. “But he left his keys in his office, came back and heard the phone.
“Had he left, Dallas would have fired him that night.’’
Instead, a mortified Elia listened to the tape and realized what his words sounded like.
“Lee told me years later ‘I was never good at math,’ ’’ Ibach said, Elia cursing “15 percent of fans’’ when he was thinking about those 15 to 20 he had just encountered.
Anyhow, good to know that Broussard’s gripes aren’t merely limited to those living the “homosexual lifestyle”, but also those who engage in “adultery, fornication ..premartial sex between heterosexuals”. That pretty much covers 100% of everyone the ESPN hoops analyst will be covering the rest of his career, not to mention his colleagues and employers. Unless AC Green has some plan we’ve not heard of to start his own 24-7 sports network, Chris Broussard might find acceptance far harder to come by than Jason Collins.
What might provoke a person in Collins’ line of work to come forward with this proclamation? “I have no idea,” grumbled Francesa, who seems to consider the intrusion of, y’know, real life, on his program, a huge annoyance. “I’d rather talk about the quarterback”, said the “Mike’d Up” host, presumably referring to Gino Smith. Or Tim Tebow. Or Mark Sanchez. Or Greg McElroy. Or David Garrard. One of those guys
If you turned off the TV or flipped to another thrilling sporting event after Tampa tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the 9th today in Chicago to take an 8-3 lead, you likely missed Rays starter David Price’s postgame comments about a contentious exchange with home plate umpire Tom Hallion.
Oh fuck, who am I kidding? Like I have any idea whatsoever if there’s a Rays postgame TV show, what channel it might be on and who plays the part of their scoldy Bobby Ojeda (presumably not Greg Vaughn, but like I said, I don’t know for sure). The Tampa Tribune’s Roger Mooney provides the helpful testimony :
Price, upset he didn’t get an earlier called third strike on White Sox center fielder Dewayne Wise, yelled into his glove as he was walking off the mound after inducing Wise into an inning-ending comebacker. That’s when Price said he heard Hallion say, “Why don’t you throw the ball over the (blank)-ing plate?”
A number of Rays said they heard the exchange, including Jeremy Hellickson, who was eventually ejected for yelling at Hallion.
Price said he spoke of the incident to reporters because he wanted it out there. “Something has to be done about that,” he said.
“I’ll come right out bluntly and say he’s a liar,” Hallion said. “I said, ‘Just throw the ball.’ That’s all I said to him,” Hallion said.
“I’m denying what he said I said, pretty strongly,” Hallion said.
Price responded with this tweet: “Someone give me the definition of a coward, please.”