Posts Tagged ‘ESPN’

Real Headliners

// March 10th, 2011 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

These were among the top 5 headlines at last night at 10 o’clock.

1 - Spoelstra downplays Bosh’s Gripe on role. 2 - Report: Ex-Buckeye lawyer sent  Tressel email. 3 - Union: NFL lowers price but info still lacking. 4 - Report: Cabrera belligerent on night of arrest. 5 - NCAA rules Jones ineligible; Baylor appealing.

Let’s take a closer look at these “sports” stories.

eric-spoelstra21 – Refers to Eric Spoelstra’s attempts at damage control after he has lost his locker room in recent months. This story, (Check out Seth Newton’s excellent piece ‘The Miami Meat Has Gone Bad” posted on the FWG network this morning), was about the Heat’s continued off the court issues. We are witnessing one of the most exciting NBA seasons in recent memory, and the top NBA-related headline had nothing to do with anything Dr. Naismith had in mind while inventing the game in 1891.

2 – A big time college coach has done something wrong. Yawn. And lied about it. Double Yawn. (Insert annoying blowhard debate over validity of charges, fairness of punishment and sanctions, and effect on the Vest’s reputation as an upright beacon of coaching in a continually murky NCAA world.) Well, as I said in an earlier piece about Jim Calhoun’s suspension (‘Non Compliance Alleging Assh#@es), I am inclined to side with the coaches on these matters. But despite my defense of Calhoun, or Tressel, or whoever violates article 12-56-9900a-2 next week when he fails to tie his shoes using the NCAA prescribed; loop, swoop, and pull method, I am sick of these stories. They say those who can’t do, teach. It seems to me that we have become a society where those that can’t play, legislate all of the joy out of the game that shunned them. Or they write about it, but that’s neither here nor there.

3 – We all know the story with the NFL. They are nearing a lockout because the players and owners can’t seem to reach an agreement on how to split up the billions, and billions, and billions of dollars generated by the league each year. The only thing this story has to do with sports is that it indicates there is a possibility of there not being any football to watch in 2011. Deep down we also know that these rich men are not going to leave a year’s worth of revenue out there just to prove a point. Hollywood is still feeling the effects of the Writer’s Strike, and the NFL isn’t foolish enough to ignore the writing still etched on the wall. There will be extension after extension to the imaginary deadline they have given themselves, a deadline that is meant to give a sense of urgency to media stories like headline #3. At the end of the day, with all the talks of collective bargaining and revenue sharing, it has nothing to do with anything we used to consider sports.

miguel-cabrera-mug-shot4 – Miguel Cabrera was arrested in Florida on February 16th for drunk driving. Since it is the start of Spring Training this could technically be called a ‘Baseball Story’. However doesn’t running a story, a headline on your front page no less, about someone getting arrested a month ago seem a little gossipy? Like a bunch of middle school girls who don’t want anyone to forget that Suzy crapped her pants in the fourth grade. I am not blaming ESPN, we are all guilty. We have been conditioned to want to know more about what happened when an athlete goes off the reservation. But is what Cabrera said a month ago, while being arrested for drinking and driving, really an interesting sports story?

Ok so Cabrera told the cops to “f-ing shoot me.” That’s actually pretty interesting but wouldn’t it have been just as compelling a month ago? The story belongs on TMZ or Cops, but only in today’s reality TV controlled society could it slide under the umbrella of sports.

5 – Baylor’s Perry Jones was ruled ineligible by the NCAA because his mother accepted a series of short term loans from Jones’ summer league coach. Jones had no knowledge of the loans and didn’t benefit from them in any way. From what I have read, this amounts to the equivalent of Jones being suspended because his mother ran out of gas and his coach offered to loan her gas money. Or she couldn’t find her wallet at a local BBQ joint and he spotted her 5 bucks for brisket. This not only has nothing to do with sports, it’s so ridiculously arbitrary that one has to wonder whether the NCAA is just a group of bitter men who were picked last in kickball, twisting their mustaches in some dark basement, formulating diabolical plans to punish the cool kids.

I had no idea what my parents were doing with their money when I was a teenager. Why should Perry Jones be punished because his mom asked a friend to spot her some money? This story makes me angry, not quite Tiki Barber coming out of retirement because he is somehow broke angry, but definitely writing mean words angry. But it has nothing to do with anything that happened on a court, field, diamond, course, track, or rink. It has nothing to do with what I would have called sports when I was a kid.


There is excellent basketball being played in the Big East Tournament. Look no further than the great UCONN/PITT and St John’s/Syracuse double header today. The Knicks are relevant again, with Carmelo thriving on basketball’s biggest stage. The Lakers have rattled off the most undocumented eight game winning streak in history. Kevin Love has been banging out double doubles like Charlie Sheen bangs hookers and lines of coke (sorry couldn’t help myself), consistently and without remorse. For 52 straight games Love, who many thought didn’t have the athletic ability to play in the League, has been among its most outstanding players.

If none of that grabs you by the booboo, then maybe this will.

In Fennville, Michigan an undefeated high school basketball team honored fallen teammate Wes Leonard by sending four men onto the court to start their state tournament game. Leonard collapsed and died after making the game winning shot last Thursday. The team, playing through the unimaginable pain of having lost a friend, and teammate, banded together and beat Lawrence High to move into the second round of the state tournament.

espn_g_fennville02_3001A group of young men coming together in the face of an unspeakable tragedy, and honoring Wes Leonard with their performance, is the kind of sports story that I hope I never have to hear again. But it makes me feel empathy, and a sense of pride for a group of people I have never met. It reminds me of the places sports can bring us and of the great power that sports have to inspire us, and lift us up when it would be easier, and understandable to lie down.

The stories from Fennville expose the five headlines I found at 10 pm last night for their lack of anything that brings us even close to those places, or anything I would have considered sports when I was a kid.


FWG Insider: What It Is Like At The ESPYs (And Playboy Mansion)

// July 15th, 2010 // 12 Comments » // Uncategorized

FWG has a few friends in the NFL and media, high ranking officials with classified access.  One such official was at the ESPY’s and the Playboy Mansion.  Here is what she has to offer.


I’ve been to the ESPY’s twice. I hope to never go back.
Since I’m pretty much allergic to LA (everyone looks and acts like a DB), I don’t usually come in until Monday. Just in time for the big event…the Playboy party.

Held at Hef’s joint, it’s pretty much exactly how you picture it- lots of drunk athletes, scantily-clad girls with fake boobs looking for their meal ticket, and other celebrities of varying calibers (I spent a lot of time thinking “Wow…congrats on milking every second of those 15 minutes!”) trying to get some.

I’ve seen passed out NFL players carried out to their waiting limos, actors puking into bushes, and I got lost (I swear) and stumbled into the grotto to see a certain TV actor getting it on with 2 girls. Believe it or not, he did take 5 seconds from his…endeavors to tell me to leave.

The next day is for recovery. And going to the gifting suites. Because famous people looooove their free stuff.

There’s one main ESPY hotel where most of the talent (athletes, actors, singers, etc.) stay. One floor of the hotel is shut down to the common folk and each room is occupied by a different company to give their products out to the celebs.

Oh, and you’re escorted by a hot girl in tight clothing who introduces you to the companies like “Hey, this is so and so, and he is a HUGE fan of Pony running shoes!” And then they take your pic with the product to use online or whatever (“Look! The guy from American Pie uses drinks Badass Coffee!) and then you put your free stuff in a duffel bag and move to the next room. Repeat until said bag is full of tequila, headphones, etc.

Even though everyone on “the list” gets these trinkets, there’s a total hierarchy of how nice of a present you get. In the Russell Simmons jewelry room last year, most people got a stainless steel bracelet or necklace. Not really my style, but you end up giving most of our free stuff away to friends anyway so I wasn’t gonna say no!

But not the famous boxer who was in the room at the same time as me. He spotted the “Hello Kitty” diamond necklace on display from the Kimora Lee Simmons line and decided he wanted to give it to some lucky lady in his life. I wanted to ask if it was for one of the baby mama’s of his ELEVEN children, but decided against it. In any case, the Simmons people opened the case, put the bling in a box, and off he went.
Finally, it’s red carpet time.
You spend Wednesday getting dolled up, then make your way over to the sight of the show at around 5 or 6 PM. You get off the shuttle and are directed towards a tent with metal detectors. That’s where they separate VIP’s going to the event from the Super VIP’s who do the red carpet/paparazzi/fan deal. It’s just like you see for the Emmy’s or Oscars, except the men at the ESPY’s wear a lot more bling and you see ginormous football players having to mop the sweat off their heads with towels stolen from the hotel. You know, it’s classy.
You wind your way down the carpet, stopping for photo opps and interviews. At the end, they break you down the group again-famous people and special famous people.
The former go into the theatre and wait for the ceremony. The latter are led into a private room behind the stage where they schmooze with each other and drink free booze. Then the show’s host comes in for a quick meet and greet, you finish your drinks, go find your seat, and hope it’s on an aisle so you can leave before it’s over and get to the after-parties.
Let’s face it, the only people who care about the actual awards are the people who win them.
Tonight’s show is hosted by Seth Myers from SNL, which means it will probably be funny. Unlike last year’s host who was so bad, they taped us clapping, cheering, laughing, etc. for post-production. You know, the sound of crickets after a “joke” don’t really translate well on TV.
So there you have it, a quick inside peek at the ESPY’s.

Wake Up! Boston Radio Wars, Combine Results, and FWG-NFL on ESPN HOUSTON!

// March 1st, 2010 // 13 Comments » // Uncategorized

We did our feature on ESPN Radio 97.5- Houston on Thursday, have a listen as I get cut off by poor cellular reception, and leave the future of the “FWG” brand to Jay.  He does excellent.

It’s a proud day to be a Bostonian, the so called “radio wars” have been escalated, at the hand of Andy Massaua (The Big Show) who sent “thinely vailed homophobic insults” at the Sports Hub.  So he called him Canadian.  Who cares?

Jay has combine results over on FWG-NFL, who stood out and who didn’t.  Hint, Tim Tebow in the latter.

Very Funny ESPN, You Laugh Now But That’s Next Year’s Superbowl Champs You’re Mocking…

// December 30th, 2009 // 8 Comments » // Uncategorized

From ESPN Page 2 Poll:

the-bills-poll Dave Portnoy of put it best when he said:

I know it sounds crazy but I actually feel bad for Bills fans. Like it’s bad enough to live in Buffalo, but to have to root for a team whose greatest accomplishment is losing 4 straight superbowls? Just doesn’t seem fair. It’s like double jeopardy or something