I don’t listen to enough other radio — online or otherwise — to say with authority that WFMU is the nation’s (or the world’s) best broadcaster. But as someone who’s been listening for more than 30 years, I will say this much : in an era in which there’s myriad options that all but guarantee you’ll never encounter something you dislike, a genre you’re unfamiliar with or an artist that lacks the backing of a colossal infrastructure, WFMU has never been more crucial or fun. Even with the disappearance of a certain Tuesday night program (the less said about the show that replaced it, the better) WFMU’s cavalcade of hosts have the ability to entertain, educate and enrage, sometimes within the confines of the same show/hour/set.
I live in a house surrounded by more interesting records than I’ll ever have time to listen to, yet I still find myself listening to WFMU when I get up, in the middle of the afternoon, driving around town or at the end of the night. At any given moment I might hear an amazing song I’ve not even thought of in years. Or I might hear something (old or new) that I’ve never come across that’s nothing short of mind-blowing.
Is every show the greatest listening experience of all time? Absolutely not. But the vast majority are programmed by the sort of insane music obsessives that have the sort of wit, zeal, perspective that no algorithm can ever hope to replace. To say this type of broadcasting is not exactly in vogue would be a huge understatement — even so-called public radio is tightly playlisted, genre-specific and fixated on marketing/branding in ways you’d have previously associated with commercial radio. So give what you can ; they only do the shakedown thing once (ok, sometimes twice) a year and given the amounts people are dropping on cable, netflix, hulu, various music subscription services, etc., throwing a few bucks at WFMU isn’t the least you could do (that would be giving them no money at all), but please consider it just the same.
As you’ve probably read by now, Curt Schilling’s 17 year old daughter was recently the target of Twitter creeps who found themselves named and shamed by the ex-hurler turned TV analyst. Along with blaming this incident and the further decline of western civilization on Vince McMahon and Snoop Dog (Jay-Z is inexplicably dissed by omission), the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick declares, “there is no form of mass media and entertainment commerce — TV, music, internet, video games, radio, movies, advertising — that isn’t heavily and aggressively invested and reliant on any combination of violence, sex and crudity.”
Not for years have “edgy” and “irreverent” meant edgy and irreverent. They mean vulgar. Language arts? “Stinks” became “sucks” became “blows.” “Crap” and “piss,” “balls,” “ass” and “scumbag” have become so TV/radio common that to scold a teen for their usage will leave them curious about specifics.
Modesty, a component of civility, has been deemed commercially worthless, replaced by boastful, chest-pounding “swagger.” You don’t cheer for your team, you chant insults and obscenities at the other team. And one can learn to “twerk,” as opposed to dance, in just one try!
Yet to fight it, to object to the escalation of common incivility, is to risk condemnation — run for your life! — as any combo of geezer, radical right-wing conservative, Christian zealot or bigot. The safe media route is to indulge it, suffer it quietly. Or pander to it — just hop on!
It’s a good bet one or both of these young tweeters grew up as two of the millions of lemmings drawn to the work of Mr. and Mrs. Vince McMahon, who ordered their dubiously muscled, limited life-spanned wrestlers to stand in front of TV cameras, thrust their hands toward their genitals and holler, “Suck it!”
Though I’m mostly comfortable letting Phil’s words appear with no rebuttal, I think everyone should be slightly alarmed at the possibility Mr. Mushnick believes twerking is easily accomplished.
Crazy scenes followed Aston Villa’s 2-0 home F.A. Cup Quarter Final victory over West Bromwich Albion Saturday evening, with sanctions against the hosts likely to follow. Villa Captain Fabian Delph claimed, “people tried to kiss me and were biting me”. So it’s like a slightly more athletic finale to an Air Traffic Controllers show, then.
Jim Boeheim should not be entitled to keep his job in perpetuity, through an unseemly and craven abdication of rules compliance. He’s not emperor. He’s a basketball coach, and a great one, but also a basketball coach who oversaw a scofflaw program and is now dealing with the second postseason ban of his career.
You have to win a lot of games to keep your job after one postseason ban. Nobody should keep their job after two. Not even the patriarch of a powerhouse program.
If Syracuse wants to kneel at the throne of King Basketball, fine. Take your academic reputation there with you and lay it at Boeheim’s feet. Take all the grandiloquent puffery that accompanies the ideals of higher education and call it what it is – empty rhetoric. Just declare yourself a basketball factory and stop the charade.
Columnist / former TV analyst / PDF publisher Jay Mariotti, he of the burned bridges at the Chicago Sun-Times, ESPN and many boasts of the impending death of traditional media prior to an all-too brief tenure at AOL Fanhouse, has been hired as “sports director” by the San Francisco Examiner, a paper the San Francisco Chronicle’s Joe Garofoli points out, is “an outlet not recently known for its sports coverage.”
“I’m not looking at it like, ‘Wow, this newspaper needs help,’” Mariotti told The Chronicle Friday. “I’m a story guy first. How can you look around here and not be excited?”
Mariotti has largely fallen out of the national spotlight since two highly publicized 2010 incidents involving charges of domestic violence and stalking of a then-girlfriend. He pleaded no contest to stalking and assault-related charges in exchange for a judge reducing the charges to misdemeanors and completing community service and probation. A court expunged those charges from his record in 2013. His attorney said Friday he expects an expungement hearing for remaining charges to be scheduled soon.
Mariotti was confident that he would be accepted in San Francisco, where accusations of domestic violence — later dropped — against Ross Mirkarimi nearly ousted him from the San Francisco sheriff’s office in 2012.
“If people take the time to investigate the finality of this case, they will understand what truly happened and not judge me from false, reckless allegations from four years ago,” Mariotti said.
In 2011, Mariotti detailed his legal case and career in an e-book, “The System: A Manual on Surviving Liars, Loons, Law, Life.” He devotes a substantial portion of his personal website to correcting all the “falsehoods” that have been written about him over the years.
Murphy, a devout Christian, said he would embrace Bean despite a divergence in their beliefs.
“I disagree with his lifestyle,” Murphy said. “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.”
Though I have no interest in belittling Murphy’s faith, I’m of the opinion his religious beliefs are far more of a lifestyle choice than Bean’s sexuality. Matt Ginter running around the clubhouse with a banjo and a crossbow is a lifestyle choice. Mike Piazza’s wearing of Affliction tees and hanging with Eddie Trunk are lifestyle choices. Bean being gay is no more or less a lifestyle than Daniel Murphy being white.
Writing for MLB.com, Bean takes a far more diplomatic approach to the matter, expressing his “tremendous admiration and respect for Daniel Murphy as a family man.”
After reading his comments, I appreciate that Daniel spoke his truth. I really do. I was visiting his team, and a reporter asked his opinion about me. He was brave to share his feelings, and it made me want to work harder and be a better example that someday might allow him to view things from my perspective, if only for just a moment.
The silver lining in his comments are that he would be open to investing in a relationship with a teammate, even if he “disagrees” with the lifestyle. It may not be perfect, but I do see him making an effort to reconcile his religious beliefs with his interpretation of the word lifestyle. It took me 32 years to fully accept my sexual orientation, so it would be hypocritical of me to not be patient with others.
Whether he realizes it or not, Murphy has probably already played alongside a gay teammate. He might’ve even played for a gay coach or manager, or been interviewed by a gay sportswriter or broadcaster. He’s certainly plying his trade in front of gay paying customers. No one is quizzing any of them about the awkwardness of accepting heterosexuals or whether or not they “agree” with heterosexuality.
There’s been any number of persons in the basketball world who’d like to silence Frank Isola, but here’s one rather expensive way of doing so ; the NY Post’s Emily Smith reports competing tabloid the New York Daily News is on the radar of Cablevision’s James Dolan, who already has his hooks in Newsday :
A source tells us Dolan’s interest in the tabloid is a natural extension of Cablevision’s current ownership of Newsday. But Dolan and MSG have been locked in a 10-year feud with the News, which could put some of the paper’s editorial staff in a precarious position if he becomes the buyer.
The feud between Dolan and the News dates back to ’05, when the paper backed a plan by former Mayor Mike Bloomberg to build the West Side Stadium. Cablevision, with Dolan as CEO, opposed the move, as the new sports venue would have competed directly with MSG.
On Thursday, Zuckerman announced he was exploring a sale of the loss-making tabloid. He said the move comes after “we were approached about our potential interest in selling.” Dolan was not the person who made that initial approach, we’re told. The Post’s Keith Kelly reported on Saturday that Cablevision has the cash but risks backlash from investors still unhappy about the drag on earnings from the $650 million purchase of Newsday in 2008.
Stymied in prior attempts to land an NBA head coaching job, often tarred as aloof or worse by old-timer sports media, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (above, far right) is more likely to find himself interviewing Attorney General Eric Holder or critiquing Lena Dunham or David O. Russell these days. Writes the Washington Post’s Geoff Edgers, “Abdul-Jabbar has emerged as much more than an ex-jock diagramming an inbounds pass on a clipboard. He has become a vital, dynamic and unorthodox cultural voice.”
Abdul-Jabbar is not a name dropper; he’s a fact dropper. References dart across history, pop culture and the special life he’s lived. Mention Boston and he doesn’t reminisce about the Lakers’ epic victory in the 1984-85 finals. He talks of his admiration for the city’s late detective novel master, Robert B. Parker, author of the Spenser series. Ask him about Morales, his unorthodox choice for a manager — she’s white, Jewish and had no idea who he was when they met — and he’ll invoke the name of Gertrude Berg. Gertrude who? You know, the writer and actress who earned an Emmy as the matriarch of the pioneering 1950s sitcom “The Goldbergs.”
Abdul-Jabbar watches lots of TV, loves “True Detective,” “The Wire,” and “Breaking Bad,” and is a lifelong jazz lover who won’t hesitate to hand over his headphones when he thinks you just need to hear Cuban pianist Ernán López Nussa on his iPod.
He talks about how he has tried to make peace with celebrity. He remembers meeting former Brooklyn Dodgers slugger Duke Snider at the baseball star’s Hall of Fame induction in 1980.
“What a wonderful guy,” he says. “And that really made me start thinking, ‘Have I been that wonderful guy?’ That’s what changed my attitude. I bled Dodger blue when I was a kid. When they left Brooklyn, I cried. I had heard someone else tell me a story about Carl Furillo. That he was a real a——. I don’t want to be remembered like that. That’s not me. I’ve got that much graciousness in me.”
10 year veteran Dustin Penner found himself excused from TSN’s NHL trade deadline coverage Sunday following the prior night’s series of tweets that seemed to suggest there was some thing hilarious about rape. Penner’s yet to delete the missives below, perhaps in keeping with his profile description (“Professional lightning rod, comedic enthusiast. Comedy is not subjective, you’re just not funny”)
Is it always consensual if she's your girlfriend? Asking for my gf…& shortly arriving police
Good thing there’s nobody in the sportswriting profession with a drinking and/or zipper problem. Two days after Dallas Morning News colleague Evan Grant adopted a strangely sneery tone in covering Josh Hamilton’s latest setback, colleague Tim Colishaw takes to the same paper’s pages to wonder if Hamilton and former manager Ron Washington’s respective tenures in baseball are over (“I don’t know if it’s time to say we’ll never again see either man in a major league uniform. Seems too soon for that, but sometimes you wonder”)
Washington wants a job but has he really come clean as to why he quit on his team last September? You always prefer to take a man at his word. But if one night of infidelity chased him away from the game — and he almost certainly would be the first if that’s true — why didn’t his positive test for cocaine send him running years before?
I think someone could hire Washington as a coach and maybe next season. But it’s hard to envision unless he’s willing to be more forthcoming.
If you require some precedent in a manager bailing on his players and finding another job soon afterwards, look no futher than journeyman skipper Jim Riggleman, who resigned as Nationals manager in the middle of an 11-1, June 2011 run. The following spring, he was managing the Reds’ Pensacola (AA) affiliate, their Triple A club in Louisville a year later. This February, Riggleman’s in Cincinnati camp as the Reds’ third base coach.
When you’re done comparing the two situations, consider their managerial resumes. Washington went to the the World Series twice. None of Riggleman’s 4 MLB clubs made the playoffs. Riggleman compiled 2 winning seasons out of 12 ; Washington won 90 games or more 4 times. But Wash is the one who’s unemployable. Maybe that’s because, as Colishaw alludes, he’s got a skeleton in the closet much, much worse, than say, Jim Riggleman throwing a fit over his perceived market value.
Anthony Mason took the ball to the hole with all the elegance of a tractor-trailer going over a cliff. A goddamn wrecking ball in shorts that drove opponents (and often his own coach, Pat Riley) bonkers. A summary of his stats/career achievements won’t even come close to explaining how much Knicks fans loved him. Manufacturers of ice packs and heating pads will raise a glass in his honor and when I’m done crying, so will I.
Who amongst us hasn’t stayed awake late at night wondering where Pittsburgh Pirates ownership, management and players stand on the issue of the Islamic State and their horrible executions? I for one have always wondered, if, for instance, Andrew McCutcheon or Neil Walker weren’t closet ISIL sympathizers, if for no other reason than the lawless iconography typified by the Pirates’ club colors and logo.
Fortunately, the club has put such fears to rest on Friday, making it very clear that the Pirates cap sported by the infamous Mohammed Emwazi aka Jihadi John— alleged executioner of James Foley amongst others — was not sanctioned by the team (or presumably, MLB). From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Aaron Aupperlee :
The British news outlet Sky News broadcast a photo of Emwazi, who is linked to several Islamic State beheading videos, wearing a black ball cap with a yellow Pirates “P” on it.
The photo is from when the 26-year-old Briton studied at the University of Westminster.
“The classic gold P stands for Pittsburgh and is worn by our players, coaches and fans with a great sense of pride,” the Pirates wrote in a statement released Friday afternoon. “It is absolutely sickening to everyone within the Pirates organization, and to our great fans, to see this murderer wearing a Pirates cap in this old photo.”
The Fiver’s Paul Doyle describes the above atrocity as an instance of “Liverpool innocently using its position as a much-admired sporting institution to help flog junk food to kids, while Dunkin’ Donuts unwittingly went and polluted the memory of the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy.” And as you might expect, apologies followed.
Fortunately, Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t get where they are today – which is just about everywhere – by not having someone on hand with a bucket and mop to wipe up any unpleasantness before someone slips in it and does more costly damage. “We apologise for any insensitivity regarding our tweet supporting an LFC-themed promotion featuring the LFC crest,” simpered Dunkin’ Donuts after deleting its tweet featuring an altered version of the Liverpool crest in which the Hillsborough eternal flames had been replaced by what appeared to be milkshakes, just like the ones Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling don’t drink on a regular basis. The crest also wrote over ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with the similarly inspiring ‘America runs on Dunkin’’, though evidently there was not enough room to complete the new legend with ‘’but not very far before breaking down and wheezing like a pimply slob”.
In a statement to the Liverpool Echo, the company confirmed that it had deemed the campaign not fit enough to continue. “As a proud partner of LFC, we did not intend any offence, particularly to the club’s supporters,” read the statement. “We have removed the tweet and halted the campaign immediately.”
“As someone who merely publishes articles online, I can’t remember the last day someone somewhere didn’t remind me how stupid I am, or invite me to dislodge my head from my ass,” muses The Daily Beast’s Luke O’Neil. “This obviously increases exponentially with a bigger profile.” One such bigger profile would be that of ESPN late night host (the oft-traveled) Keith Olbermann, who on Wednesday was hit with a three day suspension after an ill-advised Twitter spat with a Penn State student. If you’re wondering why Olbermann would risk further damage to his reputation over such small stakes — keep in mind, some find said behavior totally within character — O’Neill sought out some expert opinions :
Since places like Twitter level the playing field of conversation, “It can be extremely galling for a certain type of person to be criticized by his ‘inferiors’ in a public arena,” says Boston Globe advice columnist and research psychology PhD Robin Abrahams.
“And now this exchange, the first and last interesting thing in your life, is at an end,” he tweeted to one of the many PSU supporters who’d gathered outside the ogre’s hovel, evidence of the type of digital dick-measuring often at work here.
That self-perception, and hyper-sensitivity to sleights can be common amongst the powerful, generally speaking, says James Niels Rosenquist, PhD, MD and psychiatrist at Mass General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
“The first thing to recognize when talking about people in a position of power: One consistent theme in psychological studies is people who crave attention in general, and approval,” says Niels.
That’s why he thinks Twitter is the perfect storm of confluences when it comes to servicing this need.
“It’s a quick hit, if you will, and the parallels to drug use are very similar.”
The rollercoaster ride of Angels OF Josh Hamilton took a rather precipitous drop with Ken Rosenthal’s revelation the celebrated reprobate is facing a likely MLB suspension for something “worse” than PED’s. Though this might be an opportune time to send one’s thoughts to the Hamilton family, the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant — awfully familiar with Hamilton’s tenure in Arlington — chose a somewhat different tact, instead reassuring Rangers fans they’re better off without the guy.
By the looks of everything, the Angels weren’t counting on much from Hamilton this year, anyway. He waited all winter to have shoulder surgery, then underwent a procedure in early February that will likely keep him out until May. He wasn’t even in spring training and doesn’t currently have a locker in the Angels’ clubhouse, but has rather been rehabbing at a friend’s ranch outside of Houston. The Angels, according to the Times, agreed to the odd arrangement, which might be a clue the club feels its less of a distraction to have Hamilton gone.
Now, you can go ahead and laugh.
In the first two-years of a back-loaded, five-year, $125 million deal, Hamilton managed a .255 average, .316 OBP and .741 OPS with 31 homers. By comparison, Mitch Moreland of the Rangers has a .235 average, .299 OBP and .712 OPS with 25 homers in 300 fewer plate appearances for about one-tenth of Hamilton’s salary. He alienated management over those two seasons and that was before the shoulder issue.
And we haven’t even mentioned the decision by Hamilton’s wife, Katie, to join the cast of “Real Housewives of Orange County.”
It all adds up to a very awkward situation for the Angels that would produce only one potential positive outcome for the club: the removal of Josh Hamilton from the picture.
Sportscaster Dale Hansen is no stranger to delivering editorials that run counter to some folks’ expectations of what you’d hear from (in his words), “a big, fat old guy from Dallas, Texas”. That said, in chiming Monday night on the recent display of signs reading “White” & “Power” during a Flower Mound vs. Plano East high school basketball contest, Hansen spoke frankly about the danger of turning a blind eye to such stupidity, but not without detailing his own racial ignorance and how his perspective has changed.
It’s the sort of thing you’re not gonna see on many TV news programs, let alone in the time allotted for sports. Compare and contrast Hansen’s editorial with the work of the Cleveland Fox morning host who insists she was unfamiliar with the slur, “jigaboo” (after using it on live TV) ; the former will likely not see his clip circulated nearly as much this week, and that’s a shame.
Pawtucket, RI’s McCoy Stadium has hosted minor league baseball for nearly 70 years, most prominently in the form of Boston’s International League affiliate. Site of a 33 inning Pawtucket/Rochester game that took more than two months to complete in 1981, McCoy is now in jeopardy of losing the Red Sox to neighboring Providence, a switch Pawtucket Mayor Donald R. Grebien claims was a fait accompli, thanks in part to one of the PawSox’s new owners, Larry Lucchino. From the Providence Journal’s John Hill (link swiped from Baseball Think Factory) :
“I can’t tell you half of what they said, because when they said, ‘It’s not going to be Pawtucket,’ that just took the air out of the room,” Grebien said.
They mayor declined to discuss any of the specifics of the new ownership’s plans, or even who they were, saying that was up to them to reveal.
The PawSox signed a new lease just about a year ago that was supposed to keep the team in McCoy through 2021, with a five-year extension after that. But that lease is with the state, not the city, Grebien said, so Pawtucket appears to have few legal options if it wanted to fight to keep the team in the city.
Greiben said the new owners talked about wanting a location with transportation access, to be in an urban setting and be a place were they could create destination type facility.
Not even the star power of LeBron James, let alone the outside chance James Dolan might write another insulting email to an elderly fan, was enough to keep Sunday’s Cavs/Knicks matinee at MSG on ABC’s programming schedule. The New York Post’s Marc Berman reports the game was pulled in favor of some sort of Oscar coverage, “the first time in the network’s 13 years of telecasting Sunday games it has obliterated a basketball window without replacing it with another game, according to industry sources.”
All of the Knicks’ final five games scheduled for national TV quietly have been pulled — vs. the Cavaliers; at the Lakers (March 12, TNT), which had been announced; at the Suns (March 15, TNT); vs. the Clippers (March 25 , ESPN); and vs. the Nets (April 1, NBATV).
The Knicks (10-44) had 23 national games on their schedule entering the season and 13 were yanked, including the last 10 appearances.
In one of the bigger embarrassments of the season, the Lakers-Knicks game on Super Bowl Sunday was pulled off ESPN for celebrity bowling.
Even worse, one of the celebrities was Mark Linn-Baker!
On Friday, Yankee manager Joe Girardi suggested that despite an onerous contract and prior achievements (albeit chemically-assisted) that dwarf those of all other active players, Alex Rodriguez — he of the multiple apologies earlier was week — was no sure thing for the Bombers’ Opening Day lineup. And he might be as washed up as he’s ethically challenged, YES Network analyst Suzyn Waldman insists she finds Rodriguez, “impossible to dislike.” From the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman :
“I’m not defending him. I think what he did was stupid more than anything else,” Waldman said. “I know he’s lied. He’s made every wrong decision. He says things and does things and you just want to say ‘Why?’ I also know you can’t go wrong for dumping on Alex. This is what it’s become. What’s he supposed to do?”
In the next breath, Waldman answered her own question. There’s nothing left for him to do, she said, but play baseball. She tisked-tisked all the talk of distraction, reminding the free world A-Rod is a walking one.
“The way this offense is (coming into spring training) they better hope he still can play,” she said. “Look, it’s not my job to psychoanalyze Alex. What I do, and sometimes don’t, understand is the anger directed at him. This just didn’t start with the steroids. His persona, for many people, has never been likeable.”
If Waldman sounds confused, keep in mind, she considers the likelihood of an A-Rod media circus in Tampa to be a positive (“they (the players) are probably going to like the distraction. Everyone will be in Alex’s corner of the clubhouse and not asking some pitcher why his elbow blew out.”)
Steve Earle Autographed Dollar bill “VERY RARE” Wont find anywhere (north austin)
Went to Steve’s Album release party and had the opportunity to talk with him and go eat at 24 hr downtown. He signed a dollar i had and said hes only ever remembered signing one other one before. I’m in a financial bind and willing to sale it for a decent price. can prove signing have pictures. call or text leaving Austin to go back home at 13:00 on a plane
serious cash offers only…also have his coffee mug ..would be willing to sell both for a decent price
The Hollywood Reporter’s Lesley Goldberg gushes that ABC is preparing “a buddy comedy set in the world of the NBA and centering on a rookie who doesn’t speak English and a translator who doesn’t speak basketball.” Hopefully, this upcoming series, featuring “Pitch Perfect” star Skyler Astin, will dispel many of the negative stereotypes..about translators. Or failing that, the band Translator, whom I always disliked but might actually be OK people for all I know.
Astin — who was fielding multiple pilot offers this season — will star as Jason, a sweet and slightly wimpy guy who was previously with the Peace Corps. A bit of a loser with no athletic prowess whatsoever,? Jason works as a teaching assistant and, while living in his ?parents’ basement, is tapped by the GM of an NBA team to be the translator for Mo, a new recruit from Botswana. A munchkin among giants in the world of professional basketball, Jason soon discovers that he’s being paid to be a lot more than just a translator. He also has to be the new player’s 24/7 guide/best friend/mentor and protector — and find a way to light a fire under this incredibly tall and talented athlete who seems to lack any drive.