Long overdue, Stephen A. Smith joins the show to talk about his departure from the Philadelphia Inquirer, the rumor of LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh going to Miami (and the notion of revisionist journalism) and a lot, LOT more. What else?

• We talk about that ONE TIME when he filed a story from his Blackberry.

• We talk about Allen Iverson’s retirement and how he broke the news then wrote a column saying he didn’t believe the news to be true.

• We talk about celebrity and debate whether or not he’s star (hint: I think yes, he thinks no).

• We talk about the quality of his work at the Inquirer and his original termination and subsequent reinstatement.

• We talk about his settlement, and how ostensibly he was only working back at the paper the last six months until that settlement could be reached. That’s why both sides are happy…because neither really wanted him to be there.

• We talk about the rumor that the Inqy was able to get out of his deal because of his appearance on the View.

• We talk about being a political pundit — as he puts it, not an expert, just an American with an opinion.

• We talk about the news that he’s in talks with Showtime for a new TV show and an upcoming book he’s working on.

This show is entirely fascinating. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

(Image via StephenA.com)

DL384: Brian Cook of MGoBlog on BwB3 & Blog Ethics

Brian Cook of MGoBlog and The Sporting Blog was on a panel at Blogs with Balls in Chicago. It was not the panel on ethics, but if you watch the video, his voice makes a cameo somewhere after Spencer Hall got into a little blog tete-a-tete with The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre. That’s at the 24:00 mark (or thereabouts).

Seriously, watch the exchange between Jason and Spencer, which spills into the rest of the panel and includes others in the crowd (including Cook). It will give you some context. Or, go to MGoBlog as Cook transcribed the entire thing.

Look, ethics are somewhat of a sliding scale, depending on the site, right? See, there are different kind of ethics. Spencer challenged McIntyre for his lack of ethics in checking sources and running a story based on a made up email and a cursory Google search on April Fool’s Day. Spencer claims that illustrates The Big Lead’s lack of ethics in checking sources and being a responsible journalist, making the case that other sites — like SB Nation — suffer when bigger blogs act so irresponsibly.

Cook and I discuss the flip side, as well. I got an email (from someone in the industry) asking me if I thought what SPENCER did was ethical at all? He made up a story and sent it to a rival site in hopes that story would be run, then used the ruse to prove his point that the site was unethical.

So, as was posed to me, Cook and I discuss which was the less ethical act. And is it that easy?

Continue reading and listen, there’s a lot more to it…

There has been a lot of talk about Donovan McNabb being traded, both in the local and national media. It’s amazing the disconnect between the two. And frankly, in this case, the national guys don’t really know what they’re talking about.

I’ve read too many stories talking about the disrespect McNabb is getting from Philadelphia, and from the Eagles. The only problem? The articles are combining the two concepts, which is completely unfair to both the fans and the organization.

You can’t blame the Eagles for wanting to get value for a quarterback they’re obviously not looking to re-sign to a long-term deal. Why play McNabb this year and let him walk for nothing, then give a contract to Kolb to be your starter in 2011 after another year on the bench? Actually, forget about Kolb for a second, and let’s ask why the Eagles shouldn’t try to get something back for McNabb if they don’t plan to keep him beyond this year? Isn’t that what smart football teams do with their players? Why is shopping a guy around for value disrespect? And how in the world is asking for a first or second round draft pick a sign of disrespect either? If they took a fifth rounder for the guy, sure, THAT’S disrespect. But asking for top-round value for a guy who has been in the league for more than a decade? That’s actually a sign OF RESPECT, if you consider the fact that no team is willing to make the deal. The Eagles, based on the current market, have OVER-VALUED McNabb’s value to the rest of the league. And if the rest of the league doesn’t see value in signing McNabb long-term – or at least trading away top picks to get him for a year with the chance to sign him long-term – why is it disrespectful of the Eagles to feel the same way? Because he’s played for them all this time? They should know the deterioration level of his skills more than anyone.

Second, to the point of the fans, yes a few idiots went to NYC to boo him when he got picked. I actually had one of them email me today to explain he’s not a bad guy and he does a lot of charity work and has apologized to McNabb in the past. That’s all great, but it doesn’t excuse the fact that the group of “fans” who went up to the draft to boo McNabb put a stain on the fanbase of this city for the last 12 years. Every time there’s a conversation about McNabb, writers go back to that day. So thanks for that, guys. Any rational assessment of McNabb’s skills, or any person who thinks that after this much time of not winning a title, a change of pace is better than status quo, is hit with “YOU BOOED THE GUY WHEN HE WAS DRAFTED.”

No we didn’t. A few fans who didn’t know what they were talking about did. And some of them realized they were wrong.

MJD in his (joking) post about disrespecting McNabb by sending him to Oakland. Mark Kriegel of Fox Sports actually wrote this as a reason for why McNabb is being unappreciated:

Continue reading and listen to the show…

We’re back. Please tolerate the congestion.

Pleased to have Gary Thorne, venerable broadcaster and the voice of MLB2K10 on the show. We talk a bit about the game and the process by which he records all those sounds. I never knew they do it in a booth with no visual aids. They are basically calling an imaginary baseball game? Wait not just one game…like 70 hours of imaginary games.

We talk about the fact that Thorne isn’t given a script – that he’s hired for the way he calls the game as much as his voice – and how different the game is when there’s nothing to cross-talk about. Isn’t the cross talk what makes baseball announcing so much fun?

We discuss actual baseball as well, as I ask Thorne about the differences between calling national games and local games for the Orioles. And being in Baltimore, does he find his audience is much more dedicated, and therefore baseball savvy, than a larger audience of bandwagon jumpers may be in, say, Philadelphia or Boston? Thorne does agree that it’s important to know the audience, but not to talk over them and get to inside baseball.

Speaking of that, we do discuss the balance of stats and sabermetrics in a broadcast with the “Joe Morgan” types of announcers. Thorne’s wife has a company that trains former players to become broadcasters, so we discuss the importance “having been there” with “the numbers indicate”. What is the balance? And could it be that TV and radio – due to the audience and the time constraints of the game going on in front of you – lend themselves more to “experience” as expertise while the number crunchers can have more focus in print and other non in-game mediums?

We talk a lot about , and if it’s a viable idea for change. In fact, is any change needed? Thorne does bring up the concept of buying a championship, which you can make the case that only a handful of teams can afford to do. Of course for every Yankees (or Red Sox of Phillies) there is a Dodgers or a Cubs, who can get to the playoffs, but can’t win anything – a concept to which Thorne rightly brings up the point that getting to the playoffs has been far too marginalized in baseball. It’s still a really big deal.

Last, we talk about hockey. Well, hockey and baseball and which Thorne likes to announce more and which he thinks he is more known for. The short answer: it’s like asking him which kid he loves more.

Continue reading and listen to the show…

Huge show today. And long shows always lead to short write-ups. Today’s show features conversations (here comes a list of bullets that all start with ‘in which’):

• In which Nick gets me fired up about local radio hosts thinking Erin Andrews’ wearing skimpy outfits on DWTS is tantamount to getting peeped.

• In which Chris Dobbertean from SB Nation’s Blogging the Bracket talks about his prognostication prowess (or lack there of) when it comes to the field of 65 and their respective seeds.

• In which Dobbertean and I (and later Nick and I) equate the concept of Bracketology to an SAT Prep course, in that he’s not trying to figure out who will win the national title, but rather who will make the field of 65 and where they will be placed.

• In which Nick and I wonder if the selection committee pays attention to the likes of Joe Lunardi when filling out the final bracket and some of the seeding quirks are really a dig at all the Bracket Gurus out there.

• In which Jon Tannenwald of Philly.com’s Soft Pretzel Logic drops the biggest bit of Temple-Cornell knowledge you’ll ever need to know to pick that game.

• In which Tannenwald and I (then Nick and I) discuss what the heck to do with Villanova.

• In which Nick and I look at the week in SAS. Yes, our friendly-neighborhood general columnist is taking on the Temple Owls, with such delights as: “Before one captures glory, he must believe he can do it first. To believe it, he must envision it. And after four years at the helm of Temple, considering the legacy he was handed by the irascible one himself, John Chaney, along with the record and accomplishments of this 2009-10 team, Dunphy can hope for the best all he wants.”

• In which we ask you to click here to listen to the show.

DL347: Brackets Brackets Brackets

Brackets Brackets Brackets. It’s like Christmas day for everyone who sits at a desk all week. Nick and I peruse the bracket to talk about some of the top storylines, and Nick gives the ridiculous impression that he won’t be filling out a bracket this year.

Ridiculous. Lots of other blogs involved. Get in now before it fills up.

I then have the opportunity to talk with Kyle Whelliston of MidMajority.com to get some insight into the mid-majors who are dancing this year. Not only do we talk about the Butlers and the Woffords of the world, but we get into some of the theory about what makes a team a mid-major. The Mountain West is no longer a mid-major, but is the A-10? Is C-USA? Heck, with barely two teams in, is the Pac-10? We kid, about the last one, obviously, but there is a huge gray area surrounding The Mid Majority’s “red line” of demarcation for mid-major status.

We also discuss some of the teams you may not know much about in the bracket, and who has a real chance to do some damage in the tournament. Is anything really a true upset when it’s commonplace to have major conference teams like Washington and Florida as double-digit seeds and top five and six seeds going to traditional mid-majors?

Did someone on CBS — I want to give “credit” to Greg Anthony — really call New Mexico a sleeper in the East? They are a THREE SEED. But who are some sleepers? And is it fair to call a major conference team in the double-digits a sleeper, or just an underachiever? Are there any true sleepers out there?

Kyle also implores fans to follow the mid-majors all year, not just when it’s trendy to pick them in your bracket. He uses the analogy that they are cute puppies you can love forever, not goldfish you flush after a few weeks. This actually happens, and is so perfect an analogy it needs to be on a t-shirt.


Nick and I discuss the CBS schedule for the games. The 5:00 p.m. game is the lost timeslot. And why are there so many teams playing at the same time as others in their conference. .

Continue reading and listen to the show…

DL 336: Canada vs. Russia, DL on SAS on BWest, Snow & The Culmination of Online Curling

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.

A Present to Me: We go FJM on SAS

With all apologies to the fine folks at Fire Joe Morgan, who took columnist dissection to a whole new level, we break down the most recent column of PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER COLUMNIST Stephen A. Smith.

SAS talks about how Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid are linked forever. It’s a new concept, it seems. He thinks that they should both be back, but if people want McNabb gone, he thinks Reid should be gone too. Rather than break it down here, just give it a listen. And if you think we went overboard, consider it a birthday present to myself.

“Ooh, I got a poorly constructed column to dissect! It’s what I always wanted! And it’s wrapped in newsprint…how clever.”

Thanks for indulging us. Be safe in the snow.

Continue reading and listen to the show….