Let’s provide a few sports media thoughts on this Sunday. They’ll be in bullet form.
- Last Thursday’s release of Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State University’s conduct in the Jerry Sandusky scandal was the sports media’s version of the Obamacare Supreme Court decision. Unlike the Obamacare decision, no media outlet made errors in reporting. But there were a couple of errors in judgment in the aftermath.
First was allowing Matt Millen to go solo on SportsCenter to spout freely to defend Joe Paterno and his legacy. ESPN should have had one of its legal experts like Roger Cossack to discuss the contents of the reports. To let Millen go on to defend Paterno right after the report’s release was irresponsible. If ESPN was going to have Millen on, it needed to have an opposing viewpoint accompany him. Bad decision by ESPN.
Second was crackpot Bill James originally stating on his own site and then again on ESPN Radio’s Doug Gottlieb Show on Saturday that the Freeh Report had somehow exonerated Paterno. James currently works for the Boston Red Sox in an advisory role and while he did not make those statements representing the team, they have a conundrum knowing that the calls for James’ firing have already begun. Someone should have corralled James before he went on ESPN Radio and embarrassed himself. How James could believe the report that report exonerated Paterno is beyond belief. The Red Sox will have to take action on James. And no, this is not a First Amendment issue. Under an organization’s employe, that organization can fire someone for actions or statements it deems offensive or contrary to its values.
The Paterno story and its effects on Penn State will be going for a while, I’m afraid.
- I’m a fan of HBO’s boxing coverage from Jim Lampley to Larry Merchant, Emanuel Steward and Harold Lederman, but when it comes to Max Kellerman, the man is abrasive, obnoxious and a charlatan. Often, he repeats what Jim Lampley has already said. Larry Merchant is much better in the third analyst role. How Kellerman has worked for ESPN, Fox Sports Net and HBO is beyond me.
- After watching a few MLS and US Soccer games on NBC Sports Network, I’ve become a fan of how Arlo White and Kyle Martino call contests. With White in the traditional commentary box and Martino down on the field, the two have very good chemistry. I look forward to having them call Olympic Soccer in the UK at the end of this month.
- If I’m on a baseball team playing on a Fox Saturday Baseball game that’s being called by Kenny Albert, I’m calling in sick. In 2010, Kenny called two marathon games, a 20 inning affair between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals and a 13 inning contest between the Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers. Then on Saturday, Kenny had another 13 inning game, this time between Detroit and Baltimore. Kenny is truly a baseball Marathon Man.
That will conclude the thoughts for today.