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"Sports Journalism" Archive


Was 60 minutes Serious About That One-Sided Drew Rosenhaus Piece?

Congratulations to super star sports agent Drew Rosenhaus who was the beneficiary 60 minutes' lazy reporting on his favorite topic--himself.

In the category of interviews-that-are-less-like-interviews-and-more-like-sucking-someone-off, 60 minutes’ “profile” of Drew Rosenhaus was an embarrassment to journalism. The piece consisted of about 14 minutes of Scott Pelley verbally making out with Rosenhaus and feeding into every storyline  the sports agent has ever created about himself. It’s no wonder the segment was sponsored by viagra.

Through this piece, we learned:

  • Rosenhaus is the hardest working sports agent in the NFL
  • The NFL needs him and would “fall apart” without him
  • His clients are the best served in the NFL
  • He’s on call 24/7 no matter what sacrificing his personal relationships for the sake of his clients who are like his “family.”

Not a word of his canned talking points was challenged. What a fluff piece. And it angers me because sports agents and their relationships with their clients aren’t the stuff that fluff is made of. Sports agents have been responsible for players’ careers successes, but also in many cases their downfalls and advice that led to bad financial decisions. It’s an industry that deserves a deeper look in the mainstream media, not a fluff piece designed to enhance the image of someone who’s already filthy rich.

Rather than do the work of providing a complete picture of Rosenhaus,  60 minutes decided to allow its show to be used as some promotional tool for Rosenhaus Sports. Pelley even went so far as to try to prove to the viewer that Rosenhaus’ exuberant way of speaking is natural and not “put on” for the cameras. There seemed to be a concerted effort on the part of CBS to wrap Rosenhaus’ flaws into a a ball of eccentricities without which he would not be successful. In other words, who cares about personality defects when errytime I come aroun’ yo city bling bling? It’s the American way!  [Side note: It felt like the piece was consistent with America's utter disinterest in questioning charismatic white men about their actions. Like, isn't this how old ladies get conned into giving up their pensions? Isn't this why people are occupying Wall Street?]

Pelley interviewed NO ONE else for the Rosenhaus story except  New York Jets Wide Receiver Plaxico Burress. Yes the same Plaxico Burress who is forever indebted to Rosenhaus for finding his financially troubled ass a job post-incarceration. None of Rosenhaus’ former clients, no other agents, no one in the NFL, no one who objectively covers the business side of the NFL commented for this piece. Pelley did mention that Rosenhaus has been sued for poaching clients by other agents, but again, other agents weren’t contacted to provide context. The lawsuits were glossed over with a dismissive wave of Pelley’s oddly flirtatious hand-though he did find time to mention that Rosenhaus has won every case filed against him with the NFL Players Association.

The crux of the “profile” is that Rosenhaus is the most financially successful sports agent because he’s smart and works hard. Nothing else. No other reason. He’s just smarter and works harder than anyone else. The story lends ZERO time to the realities of being a sports agent such as towing ethical lines, advancing players money, wooing them from other agents, helping them hide their cheating and addictions from significant others and any other host of things that  most agents get involved in on some level. I’m not sure whether you file all of those under “smart” or “hard working,” but I’d be hard pressed to believe that Rosenhaus’ ability to navigate those murky waters whilst staying in the favor of the NFLPA isn’t a big part of why he is successful. Pelley did mention Rosenhaus sending clients to rehab, but that was under the umbrella of how much Rosenhaus cares. **insert girly sighs**

Of course, I’m not saying that Rosenhaus doesn’t work hard. It’s clear that he does, and I respect that. Though I’d be just as remiss as CBS if I didn’t point out that most sports agents do whether they’re powerhouses in the stratosphere of Rosenhaus or whether they run boutique agencies. It’s really not a business that much lends itself to laziness.

But I’d like to take issue with what 60 minutes allowed Rosenhaus to portray as “dedication.” When Rosenhaus says that he works out with clients and parties with them too, I didn’t get the sense that that was a result of being hardworking so much as having a twisted sort of fascination with the guys he works for. And, not to mention, no personal life of his own. When Burress said he had to tell Rosenhaus not to call every day, I got what Buzz Bissinger described as “psycho sexual” Nevin Shapiro vibes all up and through that piece. There will ALWAYS be something odd to me about older white men who insist upon inserting themselves deeply into the lives of young strapping black dudes.

But who wants to discuss all that when you can watch the King of Men Drew Rosenhaus split fiery bricks with his texting hand. aye carumba!

Just so it’s clear, my frustration with this piece has nothing to do with Drew Rosenhaus. He is undeniably supremely talented and a master at the game of business. My annoyance lies with the 60 minutes broadcast using a light hand to draw a heavy character in a shape of his own choosing.

Shout out to Drew though. His name formed the basis for my alias. I am now known as SHREW Rosenhaus. I like it.

If you missed 60 minutes’ airing of the Drew Rosenhaus sex tape…er…I mean interview, you can see it here:



Emotional Romocoaster: Cowboys Romo is a HUGE Disappointment and a Gigantic Success

Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant

oh wow! You mean there are Cowboys NOT named Tony Romo?

Apparently the Cowboys still enjoy some semblance of being America’s team or whatever cause the Redskins/Cowboys Monday Night Football game got the highest week 3 ratings EVER!  Eva eva? Yes, eva eva. But then again, the NFL is rising in popularity all around so maybe all credit shouldn’t be given to Cowboys marketing and the storied rivalry between them and the Skins.

I fell asleep on this super exciting game right after one of the teams kicked the 5th field goal. Don’t ask me which one cause I don’t like lying in public.

I think the game played out as expected with both defenses playing hard and the stars having a good showing (Demarcus Ware and Brian Orakpo, for example). And at the end, being personified by whichever QB made the last critical mistake. Which in this case was Redskins QB Rex Grossman. I wonder what his haters are saying this morning?

The real story of the week was whether Tony NoNo would play with the cracked rib and miraculously healed punctured lung he sustained in the game against the world famous San Francisco 49ers. And, also,  whether CB Deangelo Hall would take a hurting to any of NoNo’s injuries. Tony delivered. Deangelo lost his package.

I hope Romo doesn’t read a lot of sports sites. Really, no athlete should. But Romo especially given the fact that if he paid attention to what’s said about him even he wouldn’t know what to think of himself.

Romo has been crucified and resurrected more times than any QB in recent memory. I hear there’s a 3rd testament to the bible in the works that covers only Romo’s career. He has been carried to the morgue then dug up and paraded through the streets like a hero several times this season already—and it’s only Week 3.

Why can’t the media just finally decide how fucking good they think Romo is or isn’t and stop taking us on an emotional Romocoaster?

Here’s the real as I see it. As a QB, Romo is…OKAY…GOOD…SOLID…RESPECTABLE. He’s not in my top 10, he’s not elite, but he’s not terrible, embarrassing , middling or below average. He’s just fine. He’s in a comfortable quarterback suite that features a three tier bunk bed with Jay Cutler on top and Mark Sanchez on the bottom. #NoRomo (I’m sorry, but why is his name so much fun!)

Romo makes some critical mistakes at some of the worst times.  Sometimes he wins in spite of them and sometimes he loses badly. That’s what makes him GOOD and not great. But he’s not the only person on the team and he damn sure doesn’t coach himself. Ain’t nothing in this world wrong with having a solid QB. In fact, in this league it’s a blessing.

But back to my point. Romo is 31…he’s not a youngin anymore. We should have decided what we think about him already. But because sports is nothing without superlatives, and “good” just isn’t a good enough in the world of SEO, we are alternately told that Romo is huge disappointment or a gigantic under-appreciated success depending on whether a groundhog sees his shadow that day or not.

Quite frankly, I’m tired of it.

I remember one of my favorite players, Demarcus Ware, complaining about his ranking on the NFL Top 100 players list among other griping about not getting his due. It’s quite possible Ware doesn’t get his due in part because people are too busy talking about Romo to realize there are other Cowboys.

The great talent that is Dez Bryant could barely get a mention until the world found out he was in diamond debt. Nary a peep about Miles Austin until he dated and then promptly dumped hot hottie Kim Kardashian.

The next time people are so inclined to discuss how good Romo is consider it a well-worn NoNo and give some lip service to one of the other Cowboys. Sean Lee perhaps?



The Classical: Support What Could Become The Best Sports Site Ever (Besides this one)

The Classical logo*Steps on Soapbox*

One of the biggest complaints I hear from people is that sports sites are completely dumbing down content leaving many sports enthusiasts feeling short changed. I would tend to agree. And it’s part of the reason I started PlayerPerspective almost a year ago. I thought that amongst the gazillion sites in the universe there was still a need for more sports blogs and sites that don’t treat sports like an afterthought.

I believe that need still exists.

That’s why I’m excited to see a really talented group of writers start their own sports site that, as they say, will allow them to write “about sports the way that smart people talk about sports.” It’s music to my ears. But smart doesn’t mean boring, and I’m confident this site is going to pop with good topics and better conversation.

The cast of characters behind the site ranges from Free Darko founder Bethlehem Shoals (a friend of mine since I was in college) to Tom Briehan who used to write the Village Voice’s “Status Ain’t Hood” blog. All the writers working to get this project off the ground are supremely talented and respected at what they do.

To get this project off the ground, they need 50 thousand dollars by September 29. As I hit send on this post, there are 13 days left to donate and they are just under 9 thousand dollars short of their goal. Here’s the opportunity to be a part of raising the level of sports discourse and maybe even contributing to something significant in sports history. The potential is really limitless here. And you can donate any amount to the project.

For a complete list of the talent behind The Classical, and to take advantage of your opportunity to donate, head over to Kickstarter.

I’m really enthusiastic about this site coming to fruition. And hey, who knows, you may see some of my work pop over there. Hint Hint.

Oh and you could see your work too. Check out the complete description.






NBA Lockout: Compliment Costs Michael Jordan $100K

Former Chicago Bull Michael Jordan in his younger days

A young Michael Jordan, long before he started wearing wide leg jeans with dress shoes

The differences between the NFL and NBA lockouts are just astounding. I think I already mentioned in an earlier post how the NBA cannot profit off of players during the lockout, so they had to do things like take all player video and images off their web site. During the NFL lockout, you couldn’t even tell it was a lockout. NFL network, and pretty much everything related to the NFL went on as usual except contact between team staff and players and organized team activities.

Now, thanks to Michael Jordan’s decision to give an innocent compliment to Andrew Bogut in an interview with Bogut’s hometown paper…IN AUSTRALIA, we find out that owners can’t discuss players in any capacity.

A snippet of Jordan’s comments:

“I can’t say so much … but I know the owners are not going to move off what we feel is very necessary for us to get a deal in place where we can co-exist as partners. We need a lot of financial support throughout the league as well as revenue sharing to keep this business afloat.

“We have stars like Bogut who are entitled to certain type of demands. But for us to be profitable in small markets, we have to be able to win ballgames and build a better basketball team.”

Jordan said small-market teams would benefit greatly from a “hard” salary cap, and it would allow clubs such as Milwaukee to plan a future on key players including the Australian centre.

“Bogut is a good piece to build around for Milwaukee,” Jordan said.

Then BAM! $100K fine! Jordan’s comments violated both the league’s rules on discussing individual players as well as the general collective bargaining process.

If you ask me-and no one has-this is how a lockout should be done. Everyone should suffer. Not that $100K is taking anything out of Jordan’s golfing budget or anything. But it made me think of how whenever the government shuts down, only employees are hurt (for the most part). The public and those in power keep going along just fine. Not enough of the government is ever shut down to make people realize that there’s actually a problem. Therefore, no one takes it seriously. Yeah I know the government is a lot less important than the NBA *snickers* but you get my point.

If you’re gonna shut it down, shut it alllll the way down. Every time someone violates a lockout rule we are reminded that shit in the NBA is pretty real right now. Pretty real = pretty messed up.  The guys across the blogosphere think the NBA is going too far in enforcing the rules. Funny to me, because I don’t see them saying the rules aren’t good, just that the NBA is taking them too seriously. Odd position to take in my opinion.

For some reason though, this fine reminds me of a school yard fight between two girls over their cheating boyfriend. The owners and Billy Hunter are arguing with Hunter telling the owners to KEEP MY MAN’S NAME OUT YOUR MOUTH OR ELSE.

Or something like that. Can you tell I have some hood in me? Mind your business!





Dear ESPN and Toure: What’s So Black About Michael Vick’s Playing Style?

According to an article in ESPN Magazine Michael Vick Plays Quarterback Like Some Black Guy

It’s one thing to have folks disagree with a piece and it’s another write something that makes no sense at all. Somehow, in his piece that he says he didn’t name “What if Michael Vick Were White” the writer Toure managed to do both. Kudos. It’s quite a feat.

For those who aren’t familiar with Toure he often writes about black people and black culture. But at every turn, it’s clear that he’s a man who has a dysfunctional relationship with race. And it bothers me that mainstream publications have called upon this individual to be a sort of “negro whisperer.” According to Toure, he was asked by ESPN to produce a piece on Vick.

—feel free to skip down to “My Issue With The Part I Understood” if you don’t like messy details—

Messy Details

On twitter, Toure has revealed time and time again his fascination with blacks. He has even posed questions about caring for his (partly black) children’s hair—what comb to use, what shampoo et cetera. It appears that Toure, himself a black male, is lost as to what to do with the black hair of his black son and has no black family members to help him deal with this black dilemma in a black manner. Perhaps this confusion is why he reportedly told everyone he was French while he was in college.

But what took the cake for me was the time that he tweeted about black female slaves SEDUCING their white masters. And when an uproar ensued, he insisted that he’d gone to yoga class and his COUSIN took his phone and tweeted those terrible things. He later admitted that he’d tweeted the ideas himself.

But even without these messy background details that I couldn’t resist sharing, it’s painfully clear that Toure is full of shit.

In his ESPN piece, Toure continues to work out his issues with being black in front of a public audience. Only this time, he projects his conflicted fuckery onto Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Michael Vick.

My goodness, doesn’t Vick have enough problems?

My Issue With The Part I Understood

The article in totality sounded like an ethnic comedian talking. You know those “black people do this (insert negative thing), but white people do that (insert positive thing)” jokes. In one fell swoop Toure assigned dog fighting to inner city minority communities (dog fighting was traditionally a poor rural white activity), attributed fatherlessness to all black boys born to unwed mothers (a child born to an unwed mother is not necessarily fatherless), accused most local sports coaches of being “unsavory” bad influences on the young athletes they mold (umm what? Is he trying to say a coach may have intro’d Vick to dog fighting??), and implied that getting caught with marijuana is an urban youth kinda thing (I’ve seen COPs, I know that ain’t true!).

And moreover, the article made it seem like black athletes are a particularly troubled group in general and that did NOT sit right with me.

But this is a football blog so let me make this post somehow relevant rather than a random rant on a man who has disgusted me with his commentary time and time again. And who, by the way, should neva eva eva eva eva in life be allowed to write about America’s greatest sport.

The analogy he uses:

WHEN MICHAEL VICK PLAYS, I see streetball. I don’t just mean that sort of football where you have to count to four-Mississippi before you can rush the quarterback, nearly everything breaks down and it’s all great fun. I also mean street basketball. Vick’s style reminds me of Allen Iverson — the speed, the court sense, the sharp cuts, the dekes, the swag. In those breathtaking moments when the Eagles QB abandons the pocket and takes off, it feels as if he’s thumbing his nose at the whole regimented, militaristic ethos of the game.

All of that is why, to me, Vick seems to have a deeply African-American approach to the game. I’m not saying that a black QB who stands in the pocket ain’t playing black. I’m saying Vick’s style is so badass, so artistic, so fluid, so flamboyant, so relentless — so representative of black athletic style — that if there were a stat for swagger points, Vick would be the No. 1 quarterback in the league by far.

On Michael Vick playing street ball… I’d probably have less issues with Toure’s description if he didn’t 1. Make Vick sound like a running back and 2. Allude to Vick’s “raw” talent after he’s clearly gone through great pains to polish it. 3. Make it so obvious that anything “black” equals “street” to him (street meaning amateurish and preferring style over substance).

Without knowing this is an article about Vick, if someone said “XX QB’s style is so badass, so artistic, so fluid, so flamboyant, so relentless” my immediate thought would have been Drew Brees or in the past, Steve Young, not Michael Vick. Without “flamboyant,” those words absolutely apply to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. And without the word “fluid” you could easily be talking about Ben Roethlisberger.

I would venture to say Toure has never watched a complete football game even once in his vaguely black life.

Toure capitalized on two lazy narratives for his piece: 1. That black people are just soooo much cooler than white folks that we must write about how FUCKING COOL they are and romanticize it all 2. That black QBs play the game entirely different and must be praised and criticized accordingly.

So what exactly is soooooo black about Michael Vick’s play in particular? Toure says he’s not talking about leaving the pocket (the normal black QB meme), so then what pray tell is it? And do these differences in style apply to other positions and races? Does Cleveland Browns running back Peyton Hillis play like a white man or a black man? Does New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez quarterback like a Mexican? I need answers!

If there IS something “**deeply African American” (VOMIT!!!) about the way Vick plays, the adjectives to describe what in the entire hell that means do not appear anywhere in Toure’s piece. And the idea that Vick’s game is ‘street’ seriously downplays the work this man has put into his game. It also underestimates what it takes to make it in the NFL. Raw talent cuts it in high school, but this is the pros. We off that!

Scrambling is not just a black thing. Extending a play isn’t just a black thing. EXCITEMENT is not just a black thing. All of Vick’s highlight-reel quality plays involve techniques he’s worked to perfect. Toure seems to think Vick’s abilities arrived in the mail with a bottle of melanin addressed to “da homie Mike Vick.”

** From unreliable sources I’ve heard that Michael Vick also has a deeply African American approach to eating fried chicken, breakdancing, and sitting around the house doing nothing.





False Starts: Is Live TV Ready for Terry Bradshaw’s Brand of Color Commentary?

Fox analyst Terry Bradshaw

I love former Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw, but I don’t know if the world is ready for his live commentary. Last night during the Philadelphia Eagles Pittsburgh Steelers pre-season game, Terry was in the booth with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman. He starts off by asking Joe Buck if his throat was okay (he recently had surgery) and then he struggled to find the words to describe how it sounded. Finally he settled on “sexy.”

Lots of things go on during a football broadcast, but one man calling another man’s voice sexy usually isn’t one of them.

Later, Terry went on to become emotional about having the opportunity to be in the booth. He kept thanking Aikman and Buck for “having him” as though they hired him or something. He admitted he was “emotional” (his words) and Buck was audibly uncomfortable. Aikman was silent (as usual). During the broadcast, Terry also complained about Fox pushing him to tweet and accused Aikman of tweeting throughout the broadcast saying that Aikman had been “pounding that thang” (presumably his cell phone?) all night long.

Is Aikman texting during games?? If so, that actually make sense!

Since Terry admitted last year that concussion damage was affecting his memory and his ability to do his job on Fox, I’m surprised to see him give live broadcasts a go. I will say that I appreciated the level of institutional knowledge Terry has. A lot of the color commentary guys right now are guys who played more football than they’ve watched at home. You can tell Terry has watched a lot over the years so he gets not only the players perspective but the viewer perspective as well.

Terry said he doesn’t like the new kickoff rule because he thinks it has contributed to the success of the game. And that it’s a shame ratings and the need to make sure stars can stay on the field (which makes people watch more) have caused a rule change that decreases from the excitement of the game. He doesn’t seem to be too invested in player safety given how affected he’s been by his playing time.

One thing is true, there’s never a dull moment with Terry!




Incarcerated Booster Snitches on Former Miami Players-Says Bounties Paid For Injuries

Poor David Akers...3.7 million gone in a ponzi scheme? WHYYYYYY

Life lesson #3459920: Boosters don’t like it when players turn their backs on them when they’re in need. How do I know?? Cause that’s when they gets to snitchin’!

Yahoo’s Charles Robinson just busted the door open on an 11 month investigation into a booster named Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro claims he provided everything from jewelry and bounties for injuring opposing players to prostitutes and, in one case, an abortion for 72 former University of Miami players and some coaches and staffers. University of Miami is one of the top collegiate producers of NFL athletes. So the names listed in the report are pretty recognizable.

To name a few: Patriots Vince Wilfork, San Francisco 49ers Frank Gore, Denver Broncos’ Willis McGahee and the late Washington Redskins Sean Taylor who was gunned down far too soon about 4 years ago.

Robinson writes:

Also among the revelations were damning details of Shapiro’s co-ownership of a sports agency – Axcess Sports & Entertainment – for nearly his entire tenure as a Hurricanes booster. The same agency that signed two first-round picks from Miami, Vince Wilfork andJon Beason, and recruited dozens of others while Shapiro was allegedly providing cash and benefits to players. In interviews with federal prosecutors, Shapiro said many of those same players were also being funneled cash and benefits by his partner at Axcess, then-NFL agent and current UFL commissioner Michael Huyghue. Shapiro said he also made payments on behalf of Axcess, including a $50,000 lump sum to Wilfork, as a recruiting tool for the agency.

In an effort to substantiate the booster’s claims, Yahoo! Sports audited approximately 20,000 pages of financial and business records from his bankruptcy case, more than 5,000 pages of cell phone records, multiple interview summaries tied to his federal Ponzi case, and more than 1,000 photos. Nearly 100 interviews were also conducted with individuals living in six different states. In the process, documents, photos and 21 human sources – including nine former Miami players or recruits, and one former coach – corroborated multiple parts of Shapiro’s rule-breaking.

Shapiro’s said that when times got tough none of the players would help him. He couldn’t even get bail money from them.

I can’t really say I understand boosters completely. I kept reading the article trying to figure out what guys like Shapiro get in return for playing sugar daddy to college athletes. ESPN posted an interesting article on boosters back in 2006, and most seem to want influence over the University programs-in particular athletics.  I suppose giving players perks keep them happy and helps the school recruit top players.

But in Shapiro’s case, beyond having some sort of student lounge named after him, he didn’t seem to have a hand in the direction of the school, the bulk of his money came from ponzi schemes. Am I missing something? Let me know.

Also, speaking of Ponzi schemes, my beloved former Eagles Kicker Dave Ackers says he lost 3.7 million dollars in a ponzi scheme.

I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights,” Akers said, according to the Austin American-Statesman. “This is my family’s future. I said that to Kurt a lot of times. I said, ‘Man, I’m trusting in you.’”

According to the American-Statesman, prosecutors contend Barton hired former NFL quarterbacks Koy Detmer and Chris Weinke to pitch real estate and business deals. Detmer has said he lost $2 million in investments with Triton.

Included among the failed investments Akers made with Triton was an insurance company and land for an athletic center, neither of which were purchased.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell clocked Akers lifetime earnings at 5.1 million after taxes. HOW CAN THAT BE! Sometimes I wish athletes would hoard their money and be happy just building interest until they’re old enough and educated enough to manage investments properly. Everyone always wants to pressure people into growing their wealth (usually quickly), in particular via real estate investments. Too many athletes go broke trying to invest their money wisely. Such bitter pill to swallow.

Last note on Robinson’s report: I love a good ol’ fashioned sports investigation. And for your reading pleasure, Yahoo has created separate player pages with detailed information on what Shapiro claims they received.



NFL’s Carl Johnson Says He Thinks Female Referees Will be Well-Received

I still remember when the NBA hired Violet Palmer. It was a huge deal to me.

The NFL’s VP of officiating was interviewed for an ESPNW article on officiating:

Carl Johnson, the NFL’s head of officials, isn’t interested in publicly evaluating potential referees, but he did say that there are women who are currently under consideration, and that he expects he will be hiring one to officiate in the NFL.

In December, the NFL hosted an officiating clinic for about 40 players from the Pittsburgh Passion women’s football team. And two women were included in a recent officiating clinic in New York City. The point isn’t just to get women, but to get people with a deep knowledge of the game. Drawing from both genders increases the talent pool.

“Our goal is to get the best people working this game,” Johnson said.

Compared with other sports, football doesn’t include a lot of debate between players and officials during a game. The NFL expects officials to be less about personality than about the game, and Johnson doesn’t foresee a problem if a woman were to wear the stripes.

“I think it’s going to be well-received, because we have a huge following among females,” Johnson said. “All the players want is someone who is going to call the game properly.”

That’s definitely the kind of attitude the NFL should have. I’m tired of the argument that women aren’t has heavily involved with football because it’s a sport they don’t play. Lots of NFL officials have ZERO football experience been watching and officiating. And now that we have the Lingerie Football League, which looks like fluff but is actually pretty hardcore, the women-don’t-play argument flies in the face of reality.

Of course, as a woman I dream of an NFL that incorporates more women across the board. From coaching staffs (YEAH I SAID IT) to color analysts. I hate that women are typically relegated to roles in football that don’t require or call for analysis. During broadcasts women are relegated to sideline reporting, and I’ve even heard men complain about that (when they’re not assessing whether or not they’d have sex with her).

And certainly, many of those women are happy to have their jobs cause reporting is their thing, and they’re just pleased to be a part of a big broadcast. But when will women be called on more often to analyze the sport the way the men do? Will a woman ever stand between Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico in the booth on Monday Night Football? I mean Tony Kornheiser admitted he didn’t know football and he still got a crack at it!

Having women officiate is a step toward a more inclusive game. I still remember when Violet Palmer was hired to officiate NBA games. I was so happy for her. And granted there hasn’t been the influx of female NBA officials I’d hoped there’d be (those positions are few and far between regardless of gender) it still remains an important step and one worthy of celebrating.

I agree with Johnson when he says that a woman referee will go over okay in the NFL-but that’s only because most NFL fans don’t understand the game well enough to know who’s a bad official and who isn’t. That’s why not much about officiating is ever discussed in the NFL beyond botched reviews. Hundreds of games later, message boards are still tough on Palmer, but NBA refs are far more visible than NFL refs. I’m sure that the home of sexism (sports message boards) will find plenty wrong with a female referee. I’m already seeing people talking about how the first time a female referee gets hit, she’ll cry (vomit) but from a broader perspective, there shouldn’t be too much whining.

The rest of the ESPNW article is also worth checking out.






Peter King Says He Was “Stiffed” By Carolina Panthers Cam Newton

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King is doing his tour of football camps this week. According to his tweets, while at Carolina’s camp he was refused an interview by Cam Newton. King, a sacred cow in the NFL world-for those who don’t know, complained that his long-running “Monday Morning Quarterback” column comments about Newton would be “odd” cause Newton isn’t quoted.

If you remember, Peter King was the one that interviewed Cam Newton when he made his infamous “icon” statement. That was when he said “I see myself not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon.” That sent the NFL world snark machine at Pro Football Talk and beyond on a rampage. Perhaps that’s why Cam was hesitant. Since then Newton has been a star at dealing with the media and hasn’t made any additional missteps.

Though I still enjoy King’s column and there’s no denying the impact he can have on the image of players, I find he can uncomfortably biased sometimes. For example, his decision to blame the Steelers Super Bowl loss almost solely on Running Back Rashard Mendenhall didn’t sit right with me, in light of all the mistakes my favorite QB Ben Roethlisberger made in addition to the near-absence of Safety Troy Polamalu and Linebacker James Harrison.

I suppose this is an FYI post. It’s kind of fun to read King’s column and play guessing games about who he likes and who he doesn’t. Plus, the writing and information makes his MMQB column worth reading no matter how you feel about him personally. It’s one of the few long form columns I read regularly.

Quick note: I think that this might be a nod to how much media is changing. ESPN and Sports Illustrated aren’t the only media outlets in town. There’s a zillion other ways for players to get stories out. Whether it be via blogs like this one or even TMZ, which I’m noticing is a site where more PR folks are increasingly placing stories on football players. Soon, there probably won’t be as many sacred cow reporters.


Miami Dolphins Brandon Marshall Has Borderline Personality Disorder-Films Documentary

I don’t know where to begin on this one. As most of you know, Brandon Marshalls wife was arrested for stabbing him a few months ago and the charges have since been dropped. Apparently, Marshall was inspired by all the talk about he and his wife to share a little more about what makes him tick. He decided to announce to the world that he has borderline personality disorder via the Sun-Sentinel.

Marshall has long struggled with so-called character issues off the field. Apparently, the NFL had ordered him into therapy, and after four years he has now been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

During Marshall’s treatment at McLean, he learned how to defuse the bomb inside of his head. Now with the tools and a new perspective he’s returning to the real world, to the NFL, to a marriage he admittedly broke, and to a wife who feels vilified. He must use the skills he’s learned to survive, if not thrive.

He has informed the Dolphins of his diagnosis and said he is revealing his story with the goal of creating more awareness of BPD and advocating for better treatment and medical coverage for a treatment program that cost him $60,000.

From NIH:

Borderline personality disorder is a condition in which a person makes impulsive actions, and has an unstable mood and chaotic relationships. Symptoms: Relationships with others are intense and unstable.

Worth noting, Borderline Personality Disorder is one of the personality disorders that escaped removal from the Fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders that is slated for release in 2013.

Based on Marshall’s tweets and this article, he is trying to take responsibility for the issues he has caused in his marriage. That doesn’t really change the face of what happened, though. Whenever there is a domestic abuse incident I assume either or both people in a couple has some sort of problem. Only difference is Marshall’s condition has a name that we know.

Update: I thought this article in the NY Times was interesting. It’s about a renowned expert on mental illness who struggled with it herself. She said that one of the reasons she committed to battling her own illness is so that she could help others who were suicidal, usually as a result of borderline personality disorder. BPD often causes a gap between who you are and who you want to be. Thought that was pretty deep.

Also, Brandon has released the trailer to his documentary “Borderline Beast.” Most powerful line? Marshall says he’s been trapped all his life, not by man or by beast, but by his own emotions.

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