NFL TV analysts drowning telecasts with endless talking
Sam Rosen deserved better than this sports gambling nonsense
Insanity is becoming a troublesome sports norm
Mike Francesa's Twitter nemesis is now calling out Colin Cowherd
NFL can't stop giving you reasons to turn it off
Where are we headed and why are we headed there?
Thursday afternoon on the sports radio wasteland still known as WFAN, a taped promo was heard during the Craig Carton and Promo Code Evan Show. It was an appropriate placement for a highly inappropriate promo.
In it, Maggie Gray, a Bills fans, said the Bills “have made me wet my pants.” Classy.
Yet WFAN selected this to be heard again as a come-on to her next show.
But WFAN has long confused — or intentionally substituted — crude for clever. I suppose it’s designed to appeal to its target audiences — ostensibly sports fans — who would be entertained by coarse references to urine, feces and flatulence, in the pre- and post-prison Carton mode.
The next morning, Friday, morning drive co-hosts Gregg Giannotti and Weekday Boomer Esiason resumed one of their on-air specialties: irresponsible recklessness.
Giannotti read something he was handed, found or sent to him via the internet from a travel feedback site. They jumped in with all available feet, as if being on the ’Net was all the proof needed to confirm and advance this story. They didn’t even hint that it might not be true.
Several times a five-star resort in the Turks and Caicos Islands was identified by name then attached to some anonymous and perhaps fabricated claim that the wife of a man, who had left the resort for the day, was seduced by a masseuse who then spent the night in her room.
Of course, salacious wise cracks followed as sports wasn’t even used as a false pretense to get to the core of the purpose — to make empty-headed droolers drool while Esiason and Giannotti and their seconds made naughty, adolescent cracks.
Again, they demonstrated not even a flake of common sense and public broadcasting integrity or they would not have repeatedly spoken the name of this resort without knowing if the claim was even marginally true.
But it was about sex, the kind to stoke the interests of the simple. That’s what was important. Who cared if it was true? Who cared if WFAN is falsely advertised as an all-sports station?
Canceled Adler is the real victim
This Australian Open is the fourth anniversary of one of the worst still-untreated injustices in modern media, the insidious out-of-court prosecution and knee-jerk guilty verdict of a conspicuously innocent man who remains distraught and destroyed. And the corrupt prosecutors — The New York Times and ESPN — have ignored their primary roles and culpability.
Working the Open, a New York Times stringer, Ben Rothenberg, attaching his social media takes to a NYT identity, accused longtime ESPN tennis analyst Doug Adler of racism in the first degree for calling Venus Williams, on the air, a “gorilla.”
Nothing of the sort happened. Nor was there any applicable, sensible context for Adler to have done so. Adler had used a common tennis expression, complimenting Williams for her “guerilla” tactics, also known as poaching the net.
But ESPN — rather than defend Adler, ignore Rothenberg’s preposterous claim or tell Rothenberg that he disseminated an outrageous lie — was instead frightened that the Times would follow up with a published piece on ESPN indulging Adler’s “racism.”
So ESPN immediately fired Adler, who was left so upset and confused he soon went into cardiac arrest at age 57.
But the illogical fear among media to avoid this story was nearly universal. They let him twist. Social activist Williams, who might’ve set Adler free, said she didn’t want to be involved. The stars of Nike ads pitching “Guerilla Tennis,” Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, didn’t say a word.
Two years later, with ESPN still obdurately insistent that he called Williams a gorilla, Adler settled a wrongful termination suit against ESPN. He thought his place on ESPN’s tennis telecasts would be restored. They weren’t.
Other tennis events he had worked, including the U.S. Open, ditched him as his reputation and career were deemed irreparable. A few months ago he began some piecemeal work for The Tennis Channel.
And the Doug Adler Story, very intentionally, remains untold by those who otherwise advocate — even demand — social justice.
Hank is still Home Run King
Among the most admirable traits attached to Hank Aaron is that he didn’t unconditionally pander to Barry Bonds having broken his home run record — and for all the wrong reasons. It was as if Aaron was fulfilling the role “Bottom Line” Bud Selig abrogated. Aaron represented every clean player who made it to the majors.
Consider, too, that Aaron averaged just 68 strikeouts per season. Selig-era slugger Mark McGwire, who hit 70 home runs then 65, averaged 138 per season. In 2002, drug cheat Alex Rodriguez, last week re-signed with ESPN for no good reason — the same reason he was hired — hit 57 HRs, striking out 122 times. He averaged 133 Ks per season.
And given his in-game dignity, I think Aaron would find Rob Manfred’s and MLB’s sell of bat-flipping and other rank, in-game immodesties to kids as repulsive.
Finally, only the dim and easy would think of Bonds as the Home Run King instead of Henry Aaron. The King is dead. Long live The King!
The undefeated UConn women last week beat 1-9 Butler, 103-35. To yet another look-away pass on SNY, UConn coach Geno “The Impaler” Auriemma played two starters 30 or more minutes while allowing two subs 3:41. I kept looking around the arena to check for anti-bullying signs.
Reader Pete Dibiasi wonders if ESPN’s Tim Legler, in discussing the Nets’ addition of James Harden as having “added another dribble-dominant player,” meant “ball hog.”
NBC, as per Buffalo’s Jeff Allen, still pitches 300-plus yards passing as a game-winner’s stat, when it’s often a stat compiled by losing teams forced to pass early and often, including late against concession defenses. Want a winner’s stats? How about 185 yards passing, two TDs, no interceptions. Tom Brady, Phil Simms, Matthew Stafford, Dan Marino, Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees are among those who surpassed 500 yards passing in games their teams lost.
ESPN is as dumb as an inverted spittoon. A graphic Friday read: “Bills seek revenge for Week 6 loss to Chiefs.” Yeah, it’s that Week 6 thing! Reader Steven Jezyk: “As if beating the Chiefs to reach the Super Bowl is not motivating enough.”
The company that designed the Knicks’ assortment of black uniforms identifies itself as the maker of “street wear.” What happened to court wear or basketball wear?
Reader Kevin Joyce: “I tried to watch an NFL pregame show last weekend but lacked the eye discipline.”
But remember the wisdom of former Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain, who said, “At the end of the day, the sun comes up.”
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