Snow today has everything a bit behind, so to make up time, this is what we discuss today.
• The MLS Labor situation. Read more about that here.
• Whitlock vs. Daulerio. We talk about how many of us try to make a story about us. Self-promotion is how we survive in this business. But Whitlock has seemed to take it to a whole new level. We talk about that, his decision to use the blog world as puppets to do his bidding, and how Daulerio really doesn’t seem to care what people think of him. Which, frankly, makes it hard to get over on the guy. Whitlock clearly cares what people think of him, no matter what he says or writes.
But mostly, Whitlock’s job is to get you to pay attention to Whitlock. He always succeeds, but it doesn’t make it right that he does it or how he does it.
• The Olympics are coming to a close. Will you miss them, or will you be happy to get back to normal viewing habits? What will NBC’s fallout be? Will ESPN really get the Olympics and put things on live? And will we care about curling next week?
If ESPN really wants the Olympics, and wants to prove it’s about the sports, they should buy up the American TV rights to all these events — handball, curling, archery, etc — and put them on a specific Olympic-themed ESPN360 channel, giving us maybe 3-4 hours a week on one of their networks for a “Wide World of Sports” themed show. Let’s hope it happens.
• Congrats to Rovitz for winning the Blogs with Stones Curling Championship. Matt Suss– got the silver and cknoblockhead got the bronze. Great even, and we’ll do it again soon.
Let’s have a short recap today, shall we? Nick and I talk about the Canada-Russia hockey game last night. It seems Canada woke up from whatever US-induced haze they were in and seem like, literal, world beaters again. And we link to a report that Mike Milbury used the term “Eurotrash” to describe the way the Russians played. Bill Patrick and Jeremy Roenick seemed very taken aback by that. Is it that derogatory? Where does that term rank on the epithet list? Or was it more a shot at European HOCKEY player?
Stephen A. Smith wrote a column about Brian Westbrook getting released, and turned it into yet another shot at the Eagles front office. So, if for no other reason than it’s fun to point out how ridiculous his words can be, we turn it into another shot at him. This could be a recurring show theme, so buckle up.
The big Blogs with Stones curling tournament is tonight. Here’s a bracket…vote to see who you think will win. Follow #blogswithstones on Twitter to stay on top of all the action. Even more Olympic conspiracies last night, making the IOC the only sports organization worse than the NCAA at this point. It has to be close, right?
Click here to listen. Oh, and be careful in the snow.
Two big media stories today, and both involving ESPN. First, SportsCenter got pranked called last night with someone claiming to be Brian Westbrook. This actually happened at a TV station where Nick worked, so we talk about how this can get through on the air and what kind of planning it takes to pull off a prank like this. You’re a douchebag for thinking it’s funny to prank call live TV and send it in to Howard Stern for 30 seconds of “fame” but you’re a dedicated douchebag. Here’s the video and whatnot.
Inside the Press Box:
We talk about the Kornheiser suspension. Yes, it’s a story I said a few times was not a story, but now that word came out that ESPN suspended him for two weeks, it’s a story. ESPN made this a story by completely overreacting to something that was posted on the blogosphere. Well played, World Wide Leader.
We also talk about this back and forth between AJ Daulerio of Deadspin and Jason Whitlock. Whitlock seems pissed that Deadspin isn’t giving credit to The Big Lead for this story, instead pushing the angle that the real story is Gary Braun’s dig on Chris Berman — that Tony facilitated — and THAT’S why Tony was suspended. Daulerio trusts his sources, but Whitlock thinks it’s bunk, and AJ is only going with that angle to rumor monger in an effort to steal the thunder from TBL to Deadspin.
Whether you believe the Berman rumor or not, what TBL did is NOT REPORTING. Someone listened to the radio. That’s it. Someone listened to the radio and wrote down what Tony said and posted it on a blog. What is a good thing to post on a blog? Certainly. It got a ton of traffic and spread throughout the internet. But it’s not news and it’s not reporting. The fact that ESPN suspended Kornheiser wasn’t broken by them — he wasn’t on PTI, said on Friday “I’ll go to my room now” and explained it on his radio show on Tuesday morning. Again, LISTENING TO THE RADIO IS NOT REPORTING. It’s smart blogging, but let’s back off on who “owned” this story.
Nick and I start the show with a conversation about Allen Iverson’s leave of absence from the Sixers to be by his four-year old daughter’s side. She’s sick. They aren’t sure what it is. Iverson could be done with the Sixers, and in theory, with the NBA if nobody else picks him up.
First and foremost, we wish his daughter a speedy recovery. Being a parent of a child around that age, you spend every minute of every day thinking and worrying about their safety. Second, Nick points out that Iverson’s career may end with a whimper, like most stars that shine bright…then burn out. But if he leaves the game to be with his family, doesn’t that illustrate that Iverson has his priorities straight. That a player everyone called selfish is hanging it up so he can take care of his kids? It’s bittersweet, perhaps.
Josh Zerkle joins the show to promote our curling tournament tonight. There may or may not be spots left, so email me if you’re interested. And we talk about curling in the Olympics, and if it will actually spill over to become a recreational sport in America, not as popular as bowling, but somewhere higher than crab soccer. What, you’ve never played crab soccer with your friends on a nice summer afternoon? You’re not livin…
Nick and I discuss the victory by Team USA over the Canadians in what had to be the most intense first-round matchup I can remember. That was the greatest All-Star game I’ve ever seen (and yes, I understand that the likes of Ovechckin, Malkin, et al were not involved). Can a game like that restore my interest in the NHL? It sure can’t hurt.
There’s a lot more we discuss about the game, including all the references by NBC people to the Miracle on Ice this week — including last night — but the lasting image I have is Martin Brodeur failing. And that makes me smile. Nick points out that the combination of the United States beating Crosby and Brodeur in the same game is maybe the best scenario ever.
We also take a look at the Olympic bracket to realize just how tough Canada has it now. By my view of it, they’ll have to beat Germany and then face Russia AND Sweden just to get to the Gold Medal Game. Yeesh.
There is a lot going on in sports today, namely a press conferences — SORRY, NOT A PRESS CONFERENCE — in two hours, so we give you bullets today.
• My new love of online curling.
• Tiger talk, specifically if the GWAA was just in boycotting. Are they missing out on media opportunities outside of Tiger?
• What station will you watch? Will you got to a sports station or a news station for the coverage?
• The Olympic hockey tournament just got interesting last night. Too bad NBC doesn’t seem to care.
• Are snowboarders just programmed differently? Does winning matter as much to them, or is it a lot of hanging out on the mountain? The NBC announcer seems to think that training isn’t what most snowboarders do. Okay then.
• More Olympic stuff.
Is it okay for a school to spy on your kids through a school-issued computer? I think it is, with limitations. If the kid visits a website or keys in something that triggers the web cam to come on, that’s fine to me. I plan to spy on my kids computer habits as well. But random searches of kids’ rooms is not right. Listen and let us know what you think.
• Flash Mobs are getting people to sue Facebook. That’s hilarious.
Thanks for listening all week and putting up with our transition to the new site. Click through to listen to today’s show.
Whenever we have a long show (run time on this sucker clears 62 minutes) I always seem to come up with a shorter write up. It’s no disrespect to our guest, Chris Chase of Yahoo’s Fourth Place Medal, but more to the point that there’s so much we discussed, I can’t remember everything when I try and do a recap. So, I’ll do my best.
First, Nick and I discuss the Tiger Woods news that he’ll be conducting a (NOT IN ANY WAY) media conference on Friday morning, with three wire services, TV camera and select friends in sports media world. Nick, like most people, thinks this is cowardly and typical of what Tiger Woods would do. If he were a changed person, he’d open it up to all media, or at the very least, allow those privileged enough to get a Golden Ticket the ability to ask questions. Basically, the media is window dressing for what could have been a recorded message thrown up on his website for the world to embed.
Nick and I start the show (well, after a quick rant about having a kid who is almost three years old acting like a three-year old) talking about the Olympics. For those who didn’t see it, I filled in for Shanoff at the Wake Up Call on The Sporting Blog today. In that, I pose the question of if we have to root for Americans in the Olympics just because we’re expected to be Patriotic.
What if the person is unlikeable? What if there is more to it than that? It’s not a loaded question at all, I really don’t know the answer about our national responsibilities. Please click over there to read more, and listen to the two of us discuss. Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Our good friend Zach Harper from Talkhoops.net joins the show, at 4am eastern time, to talk about the All-Star Weekend in the NBA. But first…
Nick and I talk about the Olympics coverage thus far. First, we put on our Al Roker costumes (yes, I totally wish I had an Al Roker costume) to discuss the weather in Vancouver and how it’s really starting to screw with the quality of the events. But then, our ire is shifted toward NBC. How in the world can a media company spend more than $800 million and not show all the events when they happen? And how in the world do they think that we’d rather see a human interest story by Mary Carillo — who I like, by the way — interviewing Polar Bears more than 1,000 miles away from Vancouver. Just because it’s “CANADA” doesn’t mean it has anything to do with the Games going on in VANCOUVER.
Was is just a string of bad luck, or was there something NASCAR could have done about the giant holes in the track that held the race up for nearly three hours? And while we’re all making Pothole 500 jokes this morning, is there something more serious about the issue. Jimmie Johnson was interviewed after the race and mentioned that when his tire went over the pothole, it was never the same, intimating that he was bounced from the race early because the track screwed with his car.