In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on New York and Washington DC that occurred on September 11, 2001, Olympia’s Unwound were forced to cancel their show that night at Cambridge, MA’s Middle East.
Perhaps recognizing the adage, “if you don’t create an Unwound show with cardboard cut-outs in place of Justin, Vern and Sarah, the terrorists have already won,” the below video clip was produced.
Leave it to New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon (above, left) to murder the good vibes generated by the club’s unlikely late run at .500. The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir reports that self-styled ballpark architect / genetic lottery
loser winner Wilpon is the target of a discrimination suit alleging the Mets fired ticket executive Leigh Castergine for being pregnant out of wedlock.
Castergine said Wilpon fired her last month in retaliation for complaining about him to the team’s human resources department. Among other things, she said Wilpon told her that “when she gets a ring, she will make more money and get a bigger bonus.”
Castergine, who was hired after the 2010 season, said in her court papers that she modernized the team’s ticket-sales operation, received raises of $50,000 in both 2012 and 2013 and a $125,000 bonus in 2013, and earned a promotion to senior vice president
She described an environment in which she quoted Wilpon saying at a meeting: “I am as morally opposed to putting an e-cigarette sign in my ballpark as I am to Leigh having this baby without being married.” She said that higher-level executives did nothing about Wilpon’s remarks and that the head of human resources urged her to quit.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson visited Manhattan’s VA Hospital Monday and
aside from noting the absence of Carlos Beltran jerseys on hand, told his hosts the ballclub are considering addressing Jeff Wilpon’s folly — ie. a ballpark that’s greatly handicapped what few power threats the home team has trotted out. From the New York Post’s Howie Kussoy :
Unprompted, Alderson told the group of veterans there have been discussions within the organization about reducing the distance to right-center field. At the new, unspecified distance, he said, Granderson would have seven additional home runs this season.
“It’s something that we had talked about the possibility in the past and we continue to look at it,” said Alderson. “We brought the fences in a couple years ago. It’s not about tailoring the ballpark to a particular player or a particular composition of team, it’s about making Citi Field as fan-friendly and as exciting as we can make it.”
Alderson’s 90-win goal in spring training was his way of creating excitement, serving a reminder that what has been the norm doesn’t need to remain the norm.
He is approaching next season no differently.
“It really wasn’t a prediction, it was about thinking differently,” Alderson said. “If you’re going to set a goal, you need to set a goal not that you can just achieve easily. You have to set a goal that’s aspirational.”
Prior to the Mets’ 2-0 dispatch of the Rockies — a result that improved the former’s post-All Star Break mark to a heady .500 —- Terry Collins was quoted by MetsBlog as being in favor of bringing the fences in (““I think it’s going to help us a little bit, confidence-wise…I think it would be great for us.”) So if this decision was such a no-brainer, when are we graced with an admission from ownership that they tore down a perfectly functioning stadium to make way for an overpriced beer garden that’s actually played a role in killing the Mets’ offense?
My flight to NYC this morning features a screening of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm”. I’m tired, the picture is blurry and I don’t really wanna go to the effort of putting on headphones, not when I can look at the display every 10-15 minutes and try to imagine the dialogue.
“SO LET ME GET THIS RIGHT….YOU’VE GOT A GUY WITH A MILLION DOLLAR ARM? SIGN ME UP. THAT SOUNDS GREAT.”
“I’M TELLING YOU, THIS GUY IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A MILLON DOLLAR ARM. THAT’S A VERY EXPENSIVE ARM. I THINK WE NEED TO CHECK THIS OUT”
“WAIT JUST A MINUTE. THERE’S TWO GUYS THROWING BASEBALLS. WHICH ONE OF THEM IS THE ONE WITH THE MILLION DOLLAR ARM? WE DON’T HAVE TIME TO BE DEALING WITH ANY HALF MILLION DOLLAR ARMS”
“MRS. MOTHER OF THE BASEBALL THROWER – LET ME TAKE YOUR SON TO AMERICA, SO THAT WE CAN PROPERLY ASSESS THE TRUE VALUE OF HIS ARM. IF INDEED, IT IS WORTH A MILLION DOLLARS, WE’LL CHOP IT OFF AND SEND IT BACK TO YOU”
PF/C Marvin Barnes, who led Providence to the Final Four in 1973 and was the 2nd overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft (instead signing with the ABA’s St. Louis Spirits), passed away earlier today at the age of 62. A young Bob Costas did play by play for the Spirits in those days, and this conversation with St. Louis Magazine’s William Powell (7/19/13) he recalls Barnes’ most famous off-court incident :
The Spirits had future Hall of Famers like Moses Malone and streetballers like Fly Williams. But the biggest character was Marvin “Bad News” Barnes. Do you have a favorite story about him?
The one that people most frequently want to hear is the one from Kentucky, the morning after another loss at Freedom Hall in Louisville to the very strong Kentucky Colonels. Teams didn’t travel by charter then, so we meet at the airport for the commercial flight back to St. Louis. The traveling secretary, who also was the trainer, hands out the itinerary. It reads, “TWA Flight 305. Depart Louisville, 8 a.m. Arrive St. Louis, 7:56.” And Marvin Barnes walks over to me, holding the sheet of paper in his hand, looks down at me from a foot above me, drapes his arm around my shoulder, brandishes this itinerary, and says, “Bro, bro, bro, I do not know about you, but as for me, I am not getting on any time machine.”
Now, some people took that to mean that Marvin was dopey and confused, but Marvin was actually smart. I mean, he was self-destructive beyond belief, but he wasn’t dumb. He knew full well that he was saying something funny. But he was staying in character to do it.
Because what could be funnier than Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancee out cold on videotape for the entire world to see?
Kilmeade criticized domestic violence victims for sending a “terrible message” by staying with their abusers, and clearly he’s done all sorts of reading on the subject. It’s the sort of inelegant victim-blaming you usually have to go to the comments section of a local newspaper website to find, though perhaps the burden of sending messages out to be down to highly paid public figures like Rice and the persons who employ him. Rather than, y’know, a woman he’s battered.
A few months back, Mavs owner Mark Cuban was a less than enthusiastic supporter of Donald Sterling’s banishment, warning that if NBA owners were held accountable for non-public statements, well, who knows what kind of dirt would come up? After the not-quite-voluntary release of Bruce Levenson’s 2012 email suggesting the atmosphere at Atlanta’s Phillips Arena was scaring away middle-aged white fans, Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski details (partially, anyway) what led up to a determined effort to stage manage an embarrassing story.
Through the league’s back-channel gossip circles, this was known: An NBA owner is in deep trouble, and as one high-ranking official told Yahoo Sports on Friday, “I’m told it’s Sterling-esque in nature.”
Fear spread rapidly, because without knowledge of Levenson’s identity, more than one owner wondered: “Do they have something on me?” Other high-ranking officials in organizations wondered, “Do you know if it’s my guy?” Until the NBA issued a statement – deftly buried within hours of the NFL season’s start on Sunday – the league was littered with guilty consciences bracing for the worst.
The NBA and Levenson say he self-reported the email, but a high-ranking league official with direct knowledge of the probe told Yahoo Sports on Sunday that wasn’t completely accurate, that the email had come back to haunt the owner within his organization.
“Semantics,” the source called the NBA’s insistence of a self-reporting scenario.
Silver is no liar, but he’s a gifted lawyer and carefully scripted an apology and framed Levenson’s ouster to make easier the decision to sell his majority share of the Hawks.
(EDITOR’S NOTE : Earlier today, Atlanta Hawks co-owner Bruce Levenson announced he’d be selling his stake in the team, citing a 2012 internal e-mail that some folks — ie. anyone who can read — might find racist. Via Sunday’s Atlanta Journal Constitution, here’s the email in question. )
From: Bruce Levenson
To: Ferry, Danny
CC: Foreman, Todd (ucg.com); Peskowitz, Ed (ucg.com)
Sent: 8/25/2012 11:47:02 PM
Subject: Re: Business/Game ops
1. from day one i have been impressed with the friendliness and professionalism of the arena staff — food vendors, ushers, ticket takers, etc. in our early years when i would bring folks from dc they were blown away by the contrast between abe pollin’s arena and philips. some of this is attributable to southern hospital and manners but bob and his staff do a good job of training. To this day, I can not get the ushers to call me Bruce yet they insist on me calling them by their first names.
2. the non-premium area food is better than most arenas, though that is not saying much. i think there is room for improvement and creativity. Levy is our food vendor so we don’t have much control but they have been good partners. i have wished we had some inconic offereing like boog’s barbeque at the baseball stadium in balt.
3. our new restaurant, red, just opened so too early for me to give you my thoughts.
4. Regarding game ops, i need to start with some background. for the first couple of years we owned the team, i didn’t much focus on game ops. then one day a light bulb went off. when digging into why our season ticket base is so small, i was told it is because we can’t get 35-55 white males and corporations to buy season tixs and they are the primary demo for season tickets around the league. when i pushed further, folks generally shrugged their shoulders. then i start looking around our arena during games and notice the following:
— it’s 70 pct black
— the cheerleaders are black
— the music is hip hop
— at the bars it’s 90 pct black
— there are few fathers and sons at the games
— we are doing after game concerts to attract more fans and the concerts are either hip hop or gospel.
Then i start looking around at other arenas. It is completely different. Even DC with its affluent black community never has more than 15 pct black audience.
Before we bought the hawks and for those couple years immediately after in an effort to make the arena look full (at the nba’s urging) thousands and thousands of tickets were being giving away, predominantly in the black community, adding to the overwhelming black audience.
My theory is that the black crowd scared away the whites and there are simply not enough affluent black fans to build a signficant season ticket base. Please dont get me wrong. There was nothing threatening going on in the arean back then. i never felt uncomfortable, but i think southern whites simply were not comfortable being in an arena or at a bar where they were in the minority. On fan sites i would read comments about how dangerous it is around philips yet in our 9 years, i don’t know of a mugging or even a pick pocket incident. This was just racist garbage. When I hear some people saying the arena is in the wrong place I think it is code for there are too many blacks at the games.
I have been open with our executive team about these concerns. I have told them I want some white cheerleaders and while i don’t care what the color of the artist is, i want the music to be music familiar to a 40 year old white guy if that’s our season tixs demo. i have also balked when every fan picked out of crowd to shoot shots in some time out contest is black. I have even bitched that the kiss cam is too black.
Gradually things have changed. My unscientific guess is that our crowd is 40 pct black now, still four to five times all other teams. And my further guess is that 40 pct still feels like 70 pet to some whites at our games. Our bars are still overwhelmingly black.
This is obviously a sensitive topic, but sadly i think it is far and way the number one reason our season ticket base is so low.
And many of our black fans don’t have the spendable income which explains why our f&b and merchandise sales are so low. At all white thrasher games sales were nearly triple what they are at hawks games (the extra intermission explains some of that but not all).
Regardless of what time a game starts, we have the latest arriving crowd in the league. It often looks and sounds empty when the team takes the floor.
In the past two years, we have created a section of rowdy college students that has been a big plus. And we do a lot of very clever stuff during time outs to entertain the crowd. Our kiss cam is better done than any in the league.
We have all the same halftime acts that other arenas have but i question whether they make sense. people are on their cell phones during half time. i wonder if flashing on the scoreboard “$2 off on hot dogs during halftime tonight” just as the half ends would be a better use of our halftime dollars and make the fans happier.
We do all the usual giveways and the fans are usually their loudest when our spirit crew takes the floor to give away t-shirts. It pisses me off that they will yell louder for a t-shirt then for our players.
Our player intro is flat. We manufacture a lot of noise but because of the late arriving crowd and the fact that a lot of blacks dont seem to go as crazy cheering (another one of my theories) as whites, it is not great. Even when we have just returned from winnng four straight on the road, i am one of the few people in the arena standing and cheering when our team takes the floor. Bob has kicked around ideas like having the starters coming down aisles rather than off the bench during intros. Sounds cool but may highlight all the empty seats at the start of games.
Not enough of our fans wear hawks jerseys to games. i have just begun to push for ideas like discount food lines for folks wearing jerseys, special entrances, etc. I think we need a committed and perhaps incentivized fan club. We need to realize atl is simply different than every other city. Just adopting nba best practices is not enough. we have to create our own.
I am rambling and could probably go on forever. If you have any specific areas you would like my thoughts on, let me know.
ps — I have cc’d todd and ed so they can chime in with additional or different thoughts.
I suspect Levenson will have defenders who will claim he’s either highlighting (take your pick) racial prejudices or economic realities, but regardless of his personal feelings, he seems far more hellbent on pandering to white paranoia than changing anything. I’m surprised, however, that during his extensive research into poor season ticket, merchandise and food/beverage sales, the Hawks lack of an NBA title in their entire history, their failure to reach the finals during their whole tenure in Atlanta and inability to get out of the second round in nearly 50 fucking years, weren’t considered major factors.
Newark’s Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium was vacant this past season as the Can-Am League’s Newark Eagles failed to field a team after years of financial struggles. On Saturday, The Record’s Joan Verdon reports TV marketing maven A.J. Khubani (above), founder of Telebrands, the company behind the Pocket Hose and the Slice-O-Matic, is interested in bringing a new team to Newark. Verdon warns however, that Khubani, “has tangled with the Federal Trade Commission and the state Division of Consumer Affairs over advertising claims and practices, and in August the state filed a complaint accusing Telebrands of violating the Consumer Fraud Act.” So in other words, why isn’t he partnering with Fred Wilpon?
“As I get older, like most people, you start to think about their legacy and what they’re going to do with the money they’ve accumulated,” Khubani said.
“I’m a Jersey boy,” he said. “I love this state. The goal is to bring that team back and support it. It’s something that’s good for the state.”
Al Dorso Sr., one of a group of investors who last year acquired Skylands Park, a 4,200-seat former minor league stadium in Sussex County, and who is working to put a team in that stadium, said he wishes Khubani luck in his efforts but that operating a team in Newark is a challenge. “It’s a difficult stadium [to fill]. There’s a lot of competition. And they didn’t have a lot of community support. They really need the community behind it.”
Khubani said he is confident that he could develop some strategies to sell tickets in Newark. “I happen to have some expertise in getting people to buy things,” he said.
There’s some bad vibes this morning after Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek enraged a Raleigh, NC audience at the Hopscotch Music Festival, calling them “fucking hillbillies” and admonishing them to “shut the fuck up”.
Though Mr. Kozelek — no stranger to effervescent banter — has forgotten that modern music audiences are a coddled bunch who fully expect artists to tolerate chatter, iPad videos being shot, stupid requests, etc., there is a possibility that he was simply paying homage to one of the great performers of the last half century.
Surely I am not the only observer who thinks Mark has taken some measure of inspiration from the Mass Transit-mutilating mind of Jerome Young, aka NEW JACK?
Both Total Sports Pro and The Score are reporting the gentleman above was ejected from Thursday night’s Blue Jays/Rays encounter after having been shown on television using his laptop to stream the contest to a friend via Skype. Clearly, we’re in a world getting advance permission for this sort of thing is no longer standard practice.
The 2014 NFL regular season commenced last night in Seattle, a glittering affair that brought such A-list talents as Richard Sherman, Aaron Rodgers, Ariana Grande, Al Michaels, Clay Matthew and Marshawn Lynch into our living rooms. Like many of you, I observed the action slack-jawed, marveling at pro football’s intoxicating cocktail of skill, strategy and y’know, VIOLENCE. The physical toll taken on the participants ranks somewhere on a long list of offenses, including but not limited to
allowing Chris Cornell to sing on national TV racist nicknames, domestic abuse and asshole owners lining their pockets at the expense of struggling communities, and I’m often inclined to turn a blind eye to this shit because AT LEAST IT’S NOT AS FUCKING EXPLOITATIVE AS COLLEGE FOOTBALL.
Thankfully, former African dictator Mobuto Sese Seko aka Mr. Destructo aka journalist Jed Lund, still has something approaching a conscience. Writing in Friday’s Guardian, Lund argues “The NFL, as fun as it is, is the only major sport that has forced its fans, for two consecutive years, to spend their Sundays wondering: ‘Am I facilitating evil?”(“given its indifference toward women and racism, its eagerness to plunder public coffers and its outright economic and medical hostility toward its own labor force, it is flabbergasting that any of us remain fans of the NFL at all.”)
You don’t need to have a Dan Snyder or a Jimmy Haslam to have a creep for an owner. Almost every one of them is either plotting – or still celebrating – the fleecing of ladder-climbing, short-time stewards of local American governments for a publicly financed stadium. The NFL represents a collection of billionaires extorting towns into socializing debt and privatizing profit, despite consensus that publicly financed stadiums do not create revenue for local governments
It’s a game of on-the-field supermen managed and exploited with all the “superman” sociopathy of Wall Street-Silicon Valley vulture capital neofascism. The one thing the NFL hasn’t figured out how to do yet is compel fans to download a $159 app, the only purpose of which is to tell them they’re fungible, fired and that both their job and satellite feed has been outsourced to a bare wall in a 50,000-square-foot maquiladora in order to free job creators from their shackles.
If American football was a game played by 22 men in $5,000 bespoke suits passing a briefcase full of junk bonds to each other, we’d rightfully despise it. Instead, I will probably watch over 300 hours of this game before the postseason starts. Because I am stupid, and because I tell myself that the bargain I have struck where I am not a Nielsen household, and I buy no tickets or cable packages or merchandise is enough. And nothing will change, because NFL ownership and their hollow-hammered lickspittle Roger Goodell know that millions more will strike similar, smaller compromises.
No matter how many titles Oklahoma City and K.D. might win in the future, they’re never match the meme-anticipating insanity of Seattle’s Predrag Drobnjak television advertisements.
Criticize all you want, but you wouldn’t want to be the person explaining to a sculptor that you were commissioning a statue showing Lewis taking a hose to the interior of a limousine.
Last Saturday,director Andrew McLaglen —- whose film and TV credits included nearly 100 episodes of “Gunsmoke” — passed away at the age of 96. Aside from suffering the indignity of being (indirectly) mocked by Rob Brydon, McLaglen was also the auteur behind the 1977 made-for-television saga, “Murder At The World Series”. It’s hard to say which stretched the bounds of believability more, the Astros playing in the Fall Classic or Bruce Boxleitner as a would-be homicidal kook.
Don’t even try to rent a bootleg DVD of this movie. Bo Porter has the last remaining copy and he’s been watching it non-stop for two days.
Sky Sports’ Alan Irwin’s attempts at providing transfer deadline reportage took a bit of a hit Monday, specifically a blow to the head in the form of a purple dildo. The Guardian’s Barry Glendenning witnessed the attack, writing, “if we’d known that’s all you had to do to wring cheap schoolboy giggles out of an audience of football enthusiasts, it would have saved us an awful lot of effort down the years.”
“Millions of viewers followed our coverage of transfer deadline day, which included over 270 live reporter updates from outside football clubs over the final 24 hours,” said a Sky Sports statement you could kind of tell was hoping to divert attention towards the 269 live reports that didn’t feature a fearsome looking bedroom aid. “We apologise to those whose enjoyment was spoiled by a small number of incidents and we’re looking into ways to avoid this happening again in the future whilst ensuring fans remain a key part our live coverage.”
While the Fiver can appreciate that having their put-upon reporters surrounded by gurning delinquents shouting abuse and making rude hand gestures only enhances the Sky Sports News deadline day party for viewers, one way “to avoid this happening again” might be to ask football clubs to set aside a wee corral inside their stadia or training grounds so the poor sods can go about their thankless task safe in the knowledge that the next loon to attack one of them won’t be brandishing something steelier, sharper and even more penetrative than that purple monstrosity. Indeed, it seems they’ve already done that but the clubs in question have declined to co-operate on the perfectly understandable grounds that they’d rather the Sky troops weren’t deployed anywhere near their stadia and training grounds on deadline day at all.
From time to time, The A/V Club quizzes musicians of varying degrees of repute about their least favorite song. Previous entries have included the late Oderus Urungus of GWAR on Billy Ocean’s “Get Out Of My Dreams (& Into My Car)” and John Vanderslice on the only Third Eye Blind song anyone can remember. Matters took a turn for the turgid this Tuesday, however, when the celeb subject was Max Bemis of the thoroughly feckless Say Anything. The song he’s got a problem with? Nirvana’s “Rape Me”.
The A.V. Club: So, why did you pick “Rape Me”?
Max Bemis: There’s two facets to why I picked that song. One is that it’s my least favorite Nirvana song. I also just straight-up don’t like it as a song.
The backstory is that Nirvana is one of my favorite bands, as one might imagine. I mean, they’re everybody’s favorite band. I think it would be very rare to find someone who wouldn’t say Nirvana’s an incredible band. But “Rape Me” is my least favorite Nirvana song and also my least favorite song of that era. It’s my least favorite grunge song—it’s my least favorite of many, many different genres and subsets of music. And the structure, the lyrics, the production, everything—I don’t like. I just don’t like it. Nevermind came out and changed my life. And when this came out off In Utero, I was really disappointed.
Sonically and musically, this song annoys me. Lyrically, it’s vapid. And then on another level, it annoys me because, as someone who makes music and someone who admires Kurt Cobain as one of the greater songwriters and musicians of our time—to me, it’s the prime example of a musician feeding into or just being overly influenced by success, even if his knee-jerk reaction is to write a song like “Rape Me,” where it’s railing against his success. He probably wouldn’t have written the song if it wasn’t for becoming this unlikely icon. And so, clearly, he wrote the song to be a punk rock song about, like, “Fuck the fact that I’m a celebrity and screw the fact that the man has co-opted Nirvana.”
AVC: But it was written before Nevermind even came out.
MB: Is that true?!
That former Sirius/XM sports yapper / paragon of hate fuckery Dino Costa might not have the most enlightened take on the St. Louis Rams cutting rookie DE Michael Sam is not a big surprise, especially if you recall Costa’s hysterical reaction to a minor display of affection between two adult males. Still, freed from the constraints of corporate employers, any advertisers and relying upon a smattering of podcast subscribers/acolytes, Costa can raise a 7th round draft pick’s poor job prospects to something akin to a battle between good and evil. In Dino’s view, Michael Sam is “representative of a movement, an agenda, a mafia like army of people who are hell-bent on capsizing the ways of God ordained, traditional, normal, every day life,” and if you’re not opposed to this alleged movement, “you ought go and have a conversation with God about it.”
Michael Sam represented a way of life, and a lifestyle, that data clearly shows causes and spreads disgusting diseases, and in many cases is a lifestyle that causes the death and destruction of individuals and often times entire families.
The above sentence is inarguable to anyone seeking to debate me on this issue utilizing factual information.
Mike Sam was the latest to lead this brainwashing revolution that too many people have been buying into (not that they have a choice) – and his ascent to the roster of an NFL team would have been a significant symbolic marker to those who are rabidly involved in the movement of psychologically coercing and intimidating people into buying all in – or else.
Sam’s place on an NFL roster would be much more than that – it would be viewed by the Homosexual community as proof positive that a sodomite lifestyle could mesh seamlessly within the culture of an NFL locker room and the greater NFL community.
Sam, writes Costa, “was expected and counted upon to lead a modern age revolution that would have punctured one of the last remaining areas of society yet to be polluted by the kind of unnatural lifestyle he leads.” To laugh at loud at such declarations, is in Dino’s opinion, an example of “Christaphobia” ; he actually claims that during Tim Tebow’s NFL tenue, the pious QB “was greeted with less than enthusiastic fanfare from the majority of those covering the NFL for a living.” Who knew ESPN was so hard to get in Wyoming?
As far as Costa’s Fear Of A Sodomite Planet is concerned, the good people at Websters define sodomy as “anal or oral intercourse between human beings.” With that in mind, I think it’s a pretty fair bet that practitioners of such acts infiltrated NFL locker rooms — if not everywhere else — a very long time ago.
With an MLB-low team payroll of $44 million, you might think Astros skipper Bo Porter, he of the 110-190 record, would be cut a little slack. Porter, relieved of his duties as Houston manager Monday morning, was widely rumored to be at odds with GM Jeff Luhnow , but not until today’s report by former Houston Chronicle baseball scribe Richard Justice, was the full extent of Luhnow’s frustration detailed (“he didn’t dismiss Porter for losing too many baseball games. He dismissed him because he no longer respected Porter’s leadership skills and his ability to be a team player in the organization”) From MLB.com :
Porter had the walls papered with motivational sayings and placed mirrors in each locker to remind players to look at themselves first before blaming a teammate. He had players turn their chairs away from their lockers, his way of telling them to look forward.
If he’d been managing a Little League team, that stuff might have played well. Adults? Not so much. When one coach left the big league staff, he went directly to Luhnow and said, “You had better get that guy away from your young players.”
(FIU’s head of reporter banning, Pete Garcia)
In recent years, Florida International University has made CSTB headlines for incidents including, but not limited to Isiah Thomas’ unsuccessful head coaching tenure, and ex-CNN anchorman Rick Sanchez’ awkward debut as a color analyst for the school’s football team. Said squad, coming off a 1-11 2013 season under Ron Turner, will not be covered this season by the Miami Herald’s David J. Neil. as the school as refused to issue the reporter media credentials. In response, the Herald announced they were skipping FIU’s home opener, a 14-12 defeat to Bethune-Cookman yesterday afternoon. From the Herald’s Linda Robertson :
No explanation was given by FIU, but Neal’s access to FIU coaches and athletes had been dwindling for months, to the point where he was no longer permitted to attend football practice or conduct interviews. Last week, when Neal attempted to write a story on the FIU women’s soccer team, he was told no one was allowed to talk to him.
“It’s unprecedented for any local team to refuse to credential our beat reporter without reason,” Miami Herald Executive Editor Aminda Marqués Gonzalez said of the four pro and two college teams the Herald covers on a regular basis. “The team does not get to choose who covers the program.”
Sandra Gonzalez-Levy, FIU’s senior vice president for external relations, said it was unfortunate that the Herald would not staff FIU’s game against Bethune-Cookman University at FIU Stadium on campus.
“We’re very disappointed the Herald has decided on this course,” she said. “Credentials were given to other reporters. We regret that this is the Herald’s choice.”
The ban on Neal was imposed without an explanation from Pete Garcia, FIU’s athletic director and executive director of sports and entertainment. Garcia received an email Monday from Herald Managing Editor Rick Hirsch inquiring about “evidence of unprofessional treatment” of Neal. Previously, Herald Executive Sports Editor Jorge Rojas also sought an explanation for FIU’s actions, with no response from Garcia. On Wednesday, FIU denied the Herald’s request for Neal’s credential.
Who amongst us hasn’t woken up one Sunday morning and thought, “if only there were a Chinese a sports-themed youth theater event telling the story of Coney Island’s U-Stream fixture turned Beijing Ducks MVP Stephon Marbury”? If you’re the only person on earth who meets that description, you’ll be thrilled to know “China’s first fusion of sports, music, dance and multimedia”, “I Am Stephon Marbury” opens in Bejing this fall. According to the New York Times’ Becky Davis, the show “plans to feature the Chinese Basketball Association’s top cheerleading squad and performers trained to do various basketball tricks. According to the website, other celebrities will make surprise appearances on stage, including Yao Ming.” Please note, however, Marc Berman is not considered a celebrity.
The play, which will run for 11 consecutive nights, centers on the idea that Marbury is a successful Beijing vagabond, or beipiao — a Chinese term typically used to refer to the millions of migrant workers who flock to the capital in search of employment without official Beijing residence permits. The plot follows the story of a musician, a beipiao himself, who arrives in Beijing in search of fame and is inspired to beat the odds by watching Marbury lead the Ducks to their first-ever championship during the 2011-12 season.
Despite its title, the play isn’t a straight biographical account of Marbury’s life, but rather a parable about pursuing one’s dreams. Though Marbury will play himself in the production, the show’s official site warns that he will appear only in a limited number of scenes because of his inexperience with acting and inability to speak Mandarin.
Las Vegas 51′s skipper Wally Backman was named Pacific Coast League Manager Of The Year yesterday, a fitting honor given the former Mets 2B had led the Amazins’ Triple A affiliate to their second consecutive Division titles. Said news will undoubtedly fan the flames for those who’d just as soon see Backman unseat Terry Collins as the parent club’s manager, but along with warning there’s little or no chance of it happening, MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone vaguely alludes to Wally’s notorious temper (“he’d be great between the lines when the game is going on. In fact, I’m not sure anyone will be better…I worry how he’ll do in the time before and after the game, specifically in regards to the media”)
The reality is, like it or not, New York managers have to talk to reporters twice a day – and a lot more if you consider all the sidebar, off-record discussions that occur anywhere they can. My fear is that he’ll divide the clubhouse more than he’ll motivate and unite it. This might also be an issue if he’s bench coach, by the way.
I think his message will work at first, but could so easily turn south if the team doesn’t do well, and depending on the talent that could be beyond his control. I love our local reporters and media, they’re great at what they do; but that’s the problem, they’re great at what they do. I can totally see him saying things, on record, off record, building walls, isolating people, taking shots at people above and below and – even if those comments are justified and accurate – it will spin out on control in way that, unless he’s really, really good at damage control, will create a bigger circus than already exists at Citi Field.
That said, it would be fun to watch.
Had he not succumbed to a lifetime of self-abuse, American poet laureate GG Allin would’ve turned 58 years old yesterday. With that occasion in mind, let’s recall the classic moment in local TV history when investigative maven Bill Proctor attempted to make-sense-of-it-all, with the help of an expert of panel of budding young scumfucs in Farmington Hills, MI.