• TV Timeout: Black Hole

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    Columnist Kevin Blackstone, on ESPN's Jon Gruden possibly returning to the Raiders as coach: "He'd be foolish to leave this network and go back to that mess in Oakland where he once was and knows it better than anybody and try and fix it. They have been a pathetic franchise since they lost in the Super Bowl in 2002" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/1).

    UP, UP AND AWAY? CNBC's Scott Wapner said of the NFL and DirecTV reaching an agreement on the "Sunday Ticket” package, "I wonder how much my bill for the 'NFL Ticket' is going to go up now" ("Closing Bell," CNBC, 10/1).

    SCRIPTED RESPONSE:  ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said of Derek Jeter’s The Players’ Tribune website, "You will get athletes sitting in front of a camera, reading off a prompter statements that their agents have written for them" ("PTI," ESPN, 10/1).

    GOOD YEAR: LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan, on this season: “No matter what angle you take, whether it's TV ratings, whether it's who's winning on tour, whether it’s the race for the CME Globe, all of the stories are pretty good this year" ("Morning Drive," Golf Channel, 10/2).

    NAMING RIGHTS: ESPN's Bomani Jones said of the FCC possibly banning the name Redskins, “Important people seem to want Dan Snyder to change this name. How long is it going to be before he realizes, in the words of a great philosopher, ship be sinking?" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 10/1).

  • TV Timeout: Voices Of Dissent

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    ESPN’s Mike Golic, on turmoil at the Univ. of Michigan: “You've got students at the president's house chanting, ‘Fire the AD,' holding signs saying, ‘Money over tradition.’ Do you even know what you're holding? Were you marching to the president's house because of the situation with Shane Morris? Or was this a collective thing of, ‘We're not happy with where our program is now and it needs to change?’” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 10/1).

    WINNING IS EVERYTHING: Former NFLer Kirk Morrison said of the Raiders, “Quit worrying about building a stadium and build a team because if you build a team, then you win. When you win you get a stadium” (“America’s Pregame,” FS1, 9/30).

    TIME’S UP: ESPN’s Skip Bayless said of Michael Phelps being arrested, “It’s time for people in this country to quit giving a pass to Michael Phelps just because he is an 18-time Gold Medalist and an Olympic golden boy. All I know is that he still does ads for Subway, Under Armor and Visa” (“First Take,” ESPN2, 10/1).  

    CARPE DIEM: CBSSN's AmyTrask: "There exists right now a moment in time where the National Football League can lead. It can seize this opportunity to foster transformative social change" ("We Need To Talk," CBSSN, 9/30).

    GAME TIME: MLB Network’s Kevin Millar said of MLB playoffs, “It's a fun time. When you have Monday Night Football and playoff baseball, there's something to do because some nights get boring. Now you have some ball to watch” (“Intentional Talk,” MLB Network, 9/30).

  • Podcast: SEC, Pac-12 take fan's eye view

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    College writer Michael Smith and Assistant Managing Editor Tom Stinson discuss how the Southeastern Conference and Pac-12 Conference are attacking the fan experience from different sides, as well as Val Ackerman and the new Big East's first year.

    Tags: SEC, Big East, Colleges, SBJSBD Podcast, Pac 12
  • TV Timeout: London Bridge

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    NBC’s Tony Dungy, on playing in London: “Every year we'd get the call from the league office. Bill Polian would come into my office and say, ‘Do we want to give up a home game to go play in London?’ I'd say, ‘Are you nuts?’ That was the end of the conversation” (“FNIA,” NBC, 9/28). CBS’ Charlie D’Agata: “What at first felt like a kind of gimmick has tapped into a serious market and big business. (For) the first time there are three NFL matchups here this year, all sellouts, 250,000 tickets” (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 9/27).

    SUPPORT GROUP: NASCAR driver Tony Stewart, on his sponsors: “It's obviously a tough circumstance for a corporation to be a part of but they've been very supportive through this process and I can't speak to what the future will be for them. But they've been supportive to this point and that's something I've been very grateful for” ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/29).

    THUMBS UP: Cowboys TE Jason Witten, on the league’s issues: “I thought Commissioner Goodell did a good job of kind of standing up and owning it and saying, ‘We made a mistake.’ Obviously, as players, mistakes were made. But at the same time, you’re in the spotlight and you have an obligation and responsibility as athletes” (“FNIA,” NBC, 9/28).

    ONE AND THE SAME? Sports on Earth's Will Leitch, on ESPN’s Bill Simmons’ suspension: "Simmons is maybe an unlikely martyr for censorship and free speech … (and) he got tied into what's generally been going on with NFL rather than just being something that was just inside ESPN and that's why this became such a big deal" ("Reliable Sources," CNN, 9/28).      

    CHARITABLE CAUSE: ESPN’s Mike Golic said of Bengals DT Devon Still’s jersey sales, “Let’s be honest, it’s a horrible story. We are talking about a child with cancer. But then all the good that the money can eventually do for others in that situation is truly fantastic” ("Mike & Mike," ESPN Radio, 9/29). 

    TRUE COLORS: SNL’s Michael Che said of President Obama, "You thought people flipped out over your tan suit, wait until they see you in a purple suit. You could give the next State of the Union looking like the No. 1 pick at the NBA Draft" ("SNL," NBC, 9/27).

  • Podcast: NFL ratings, Simmons' suspension

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    Media writer John Ourand and Assistant Managing Editor Tom Stinson on how the NFL's recent scandals have had no effect on the league's ratings or advertising, as well as their thoughts on ESPN's suspension of Bill Simmons, in this week's NFL "Behind The Headlines" podcast.

    Among the comments:

    "The first chance that we're going to see that these scandals are having an effect on the public is going to come through the TV ratings and through advertising."

    "No advertiser has pulled their advertising. No advertiser has cut into their budget across all of the NFL network partners. And more importantly, viewing of NFL games … is up slightly this year than it was last year. So right now they're not seeing any effect."

    "It appears clear to me that the fans are able to compartmentalize it and that they're able to watch and support their teams on Sunday while during the week hoping for changes at the NFL level."

    Tags: NFL, Media, ESPN, SBJSBD Podcast
  • TV Timeout: Quoth The Raven

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    CBS Sports Network’s Jim Rome said of Steve Bisciotti’s press conference, “I don’t know what’s worse, you saying it didn't cross your mind to further investigate a video of one of your players dragging an unconscious woman out of an elevator, or you trying to discredit ESPN sources” (“Rome,” CBSSN, 9/23). ESPN's Bomani Jones said, "A man with that much money doesn't have to answer to people very often and he did a really bad job of pretending to actually care what we think" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 9/23). ESPN's Jackie MacMullan asked, "Did you ever once hear him express remorse about the fact that we're talking about a domestic abuse?" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 9/23).

    DAMAGED REPUTATION: Sports commentator Frank Deford, on Roger Goodell: "I think his moral sway has absolutely evaporated. He's a ghost now. I don't know when he'll leave but I don't think he can continue to have any kind of real credibility. I think what the league needs is somebody from the outside. Remember, Goodell grew up in the league. He's a lifer. He only sees it from a football point of view" ("Real Sports," HBO, 9/23). ESPN’s Ashley Fox, on the NFL: “They've said this is an organization that cooperates with the Department of Homeland Security to protect its Super Bowl, but you cannot get a video tape from a casino that's gone out of business in Atlantic City? It doesn't make any sense” (“NFL Insiders,” ESPN, 9/23). NFL VP/Social Responsibility Anna Isaacson said of what the league can do to educate against domestic violence, “These are societal issues. We know there are many societal issues that not only impact the public, but impact our players and we have a lot of programs in place to try to prepare players for playing in the NFL”  (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 9/24).

    EMPTY NEST: NBA TV’s Dennis Scott said of the Hawks' front office issues, “This is going to be a busted situation until they sell 100 percent of the team or until Adam Silver says, ‘I have to let my authority come and help you in this situation cause I don’t see how this can continue to go on’” (“NBA Game Time,” NBATV, 9/23). ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said of Magic Johnson’s comments on Hawks GM Danny Ferry, “Even though he shouldn't be labeled a racist and shouldn't be refrained from receiving another job as an executive in the NBA, in the city of Atlanta, Magic Johnson and others are going to have to respect that they do have the right to feel like he's not the guy they want” (“First Take,” ESPN2, 9/24).  

  • A Point of Reference for Media Coverage of Sports Scandals

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    Maybe because of the timing involved coinciding with the NFL domestic violence scandal, but if you haven’t read Matt Bai’s New York Times Magazine piece on the media’s coverage of the fall of Gary Hart, do so. It brought up themes of power, hubris, process and media coverage of a story that wasn’t traditionally covered at that time in 1987. Those same themes have haunted the NFL this summer.

    Bai’s argument was that the media’s examination of Hart’s personal life forever changed political coverage in America. I’m certainly not equating a public figure’s personal affairs with racism or domestic violence. But the fact is, in addition to leagues and teams reacting to the new challenges of information gathering today, the sports media is figuring some of this out as it goes along, too. Have the Donald Sterling and Ray Rice incidents and the way they were uncovered through video and nontraditional means forever changed how organizations respond? Will these cases that pulled the sports media to cover stories of social importance and the role that leagues and sports organizations play in society forever change the way teams, leagues and athletes are covered?

    Let me know what you think.

    Tags: On The Ground
  • TV Timeout: Addressing The Issues

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    Atlanta-based marketing consultancy Ries & Ries President Laura Ries, on the scandals in the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell: "He is not the whole problem, but he has become the face of the problem" ("Opening Bell," Fox Business, 9/22). SI’s Lee Jenkins said, “As long as these commissioners continue to work for owners and not for the good of the league, we’re going to have situations like this" (“Rome,” CBSSN, 9/22).  ESPN’s Skip Bayless said of the NFL, “The people who run these teams and this league are going to have to get enlightened and conditioned enough to understand if a NFL player slaps his wife, that can do a lot of damage” (“First Take,” ESPN2, 9/23).

    PLAY ON: ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, on MLB’s pace-of-play committee: “I want to hear from someone from within the baseball world who is in his 20's or his 30's about these ideas” ("Mike & Mike," ESPN Radio, 9/23). ESPN's Keith Olbermann: "A majority of the members of the pace quickening committee have strong ties to the Red Sox and/or the Yankees, whose games usually last four hours or more. Genius, I tell you, genius" ("Olbermann," ESPN, 9/22).

    MET EXPECTATIONS: N.Y. Daily News' John Harper said of the Mets giving GM Sandy Alderson a three-year contract extension, "When he came in here, the big thing was build this organization from the ground up. He's done a good job with the farm system, and it’s not what you want as far as what he's done with the free agents. Still, I think they are going in the right direction” ("Daily News Live," SNY, 9/22).

  • TV Timeout: Style Over Substance?

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    USA Today’s Nancy Armour said of Roger Goodell’s Friday press conference, “There was really nothing of substance. He had been incommunicado for ten days and I think most people were expecting him to come out with something very substantive and say, ‘We’re going to do this, we’re going to do this, we going to do this,' and really all we got was, ‘We’re going to try really hard and we’re going to talk to a bunch of experts. … I think part of it is just some tone deafness” (“Today,” NBC, 9/20). N.Y. Times’ William Rhoden: “I think that the owners should suspend him for two games and give him tone deaf management and then when there is an outcry, they should say, ‘No, no, no Roger, not two games. We’re going to suspend you for the entire year. We changed our mind.’ That’s how ludicrous this has been” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN2, 9/21). USA Today’s Christine Brennan: “This is a mess. This is, as we said, the worst scandal I think in U.S. sports history” (“GMA,” ABC, 9/20). ESPN’s Tom Jackson: “I believe there has to be a change in the culture that created everything that's gone on here” (“NFL Countdown,” ESPN, 9/21). CBS’ Boomer Esiason said, “He's a compromised commissioner right now. I think his judgment was clouded when he came to the sentence that he gave Ray Rice. I thought that he was too lenient because he was lobbied by his friends Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome and Dick Cass from the Baltimore Ravens” (“The NFL Today,” CBS, 9/21). NBC’s Peter Alexander, on Goodell: “He offered plenty of promises, but really very few details. This was heavily scripted damage control, but it didn’t satisfy many of his critics” (“Today,” NBC, 9/20).

    WANTING MORE: Fox’ Troy Aikman: “If you're going to hold players and coaches to a certain standard, then you as the commissioner, who has served as judge and jury since 2006, you've got to be held to the same standard as well” (“Fox NFL Kickoff,” FS1, 9/21). CBSSN’s London Fletcher, on Goodell: “My thoughts are leaders must lead. That's the No. 1 thing a person in leadership must do is lead. Throughout this whole process, Roger Goodell and the NFL have followed” (“That Other Pregame Show,” CBSSN, 9/21). CBSSN’s Jim Rome: “Goodell's press conference was essentially a disaster. I saw your lips moving, Rog, but I did not hear you say anything, at least nothing that mattered” (“Rome,” CBSSN, 9/19). Former NFL coach Kevin Gilbride, on Goodell's presser: “As a long-time employee (in the NFL) … it saddened me to see the league portrayed in such a powerless and mercenary fashion” (“PFT,” NBSCN, 9/19).  ESPN’s Tedy Bruschi: “We needed someone to go up there and be a leader and say something substantial … and that wasn’t done. I don't think Roger Goodell is a guy that can do that anymore" (“NFL Live,” ESPN2, 9/19).

    STILL OPTIMISTIC: NBC’s Bob Costas, on the Goodell presser: “It seems on Friday the consensus was that the press conference didn't go so well. But that can become a footnote if, in short order, not by the Super Bowl but sooner than that, these various committees come up with protocols that make sense, that can be consistently applied and that show that the NFL means business” (“FNIA,” NBC, 9/21). NFL Network’s Michael Silver: “I know people might not have liked the style of his press conference, but if you look at the substance, the most important thing he said is, ‘Everything is on the table,' and that includes how much power he wields in terms of the personal conduct policy. That is very new. That is not the talk of an arrogant man who believes he has all the answers" (“Around the NFL,” NFL Network, 9/19). FS1’s Peter Schrager said, “I think the NFL has been dealing with integrity issues the last several weeks and he addressed those straight up. I thought a lot of the questions about the Ray Rice situation, Goodell was open and honest” ("Fox Sports Live," FS1, 9/19).

    BROTHERLY LOVE? Fox' Joe Buck, on a fight breaking out between the Eagles and Redskins: "The last thing the league needs right now is some brawl along the sideline here in Philadelphia" ("Redskins-Eagles," Fox, 9/21).

    SEMINOLE MOMENT: ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit, on Florida St. suspending QB Jameis Winston for Saturday's game against Clemson: "This has everything to do with the climate of the sports world, the NFL and what Roger Goodell is going through" ("College Gameday," ESPN, 9/20).

  • Podcast: Analyzing autonomy in college sports

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    College writer Michael Smith and Assistant Managing Editor Tom Stinson discuss autonomy among college sports, the uncertainty it has created and what comes next.

    Tags: Colleges, SBJSBD Podcast
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