Pacers start(ed) four white guys

February 28, 2008

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I ran across this earlier over at The Big Lead and found it very interesting/surprising. Last night, the Indiana Pacers started four white guys in their game against the Bulls.

Not that I every really cared, but the Pacers have dropped off the radar since the Reggie Miller-era ended a couple of years ago and I don’t even know who their coach is or what their record is.

But in this day an age, it’s rare that you have one white guy starting for an NBA team, much less four.


Can sports save the ‘hood?

February 28, 2008

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 I’m not exactly sure where I want to go with this post, so bare with me.

Pictured above is an artist rendition of the Washington Nationalsnew stadium in Southeast DC. After a couple of years at RFK, the Nats are scheduled to start play in  their new stadium on opening day 2008. While the jury’s still out on what the team will look like, by all accounts, the stadium is a gem.

But rewind a couple of years ago when owners and city officials were trying to find a permanent home for the Nats. If I recall correctly, a different tune was being sung. Nobody, media included, was keen on building the stadium in “that neighborhood” After all, it was “in Southeast” It bothered me at the time because just a few years earlier the same discussion was held in reference to the MCI Verizon Center. However, one it was finished and that area turned out not to be as bad as presumed, it was the greatest idea in the world.

Today, as the Nats stadium is in its final stages of completion, it’s a totally different story. The area as been cleaned up and with talks of condos, shops, etc., the Anacostia waterfront it said to be experiencing a “Renaissance”

To me, I question has to be asked, why does it take sports to bring attention to, and revamp the ‘hood or low income areas. We’ve seen this in different citites and in all sports. The most recent one that comes to mind is the New Jersey Devils and their new stadium in downtown Newark.  Prior to, it was a disaster, a few months later, ease has set in.

People form opinions based on what they read/see in the media. So, if Joe Sportswriter blasts a team for an arena location, Sally Suburbs is going to believe it, thus forming an opinion about said area. I guess my beef is why it takes sports to bring attention and money to bad neighborhoods. But, on the flipside, maybe we should thank sports, because if it wasn’t for them, these areas may go ignored forever.


Carter to join ESPN

February 27, 2008

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Somehow, I missed this yesterday, but nevertheless, former Vikings All-Pro wide receiver Cris Carter is joining tWWL as a football analyst for their numerous platforms. I personally think Carter is a good addition and will fit in well, as he is more calm than his boisterous colleagues. Some say this is a reaction to the recent release of Sean Salisbury. Methinks this comes with the thinking that Keyshawn is more serious about returning to the NFL than he’s let on.

 From the ESPN release:

“Cris is a Hall of Fame caliber player and a tremendous analyst, and we are thrilled to welcome him to ESPN where he will give fans a true insider’s perspective on the NFL year-round across our various platforms,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production.

Added Carter: “I am very excited to be joining ESPN and their talented group of NFL analysts. I have always felt connected to ESPN since they gave me an opportunity to do some television work during my playing career, and even while working at HBO, I have always admired and respected how they do things. I look forward to getting started in April.”


BHM: Jemele Hill

February 26, 2008

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 In honor of Black History Month, we’ll set aside space to honor some of the pioneers who paved the way for minorities in sports media. Obviously, we can’t get to everyone, so if we leave someone out, please understand.

Usually, when you think of those making “history” you think of older people or those who have even passed away. However, there are certain instances when history is taking place right before our eyes and that’s exactly what Jemele Hill is doing.

Hill is a regular columnist on ESPN.com’s Page 2 and can often be seen on the network’s shows such as First Take and Jim Rome is Burning. Prior to joining ESPN, Hill was a columnist at the Orlando Sentinel. During that time, she was the only black female sports columnist in the nation — and we’re talking some 300-plus newspapers. It is/was that fact only that’s historic.

Often accused of playing the race card, Hill gives readers a unique perspective that generates dialogue, which is one of the main objectives of any columnist. In a white male driven industry, being able to stand her ground and write about issues that would otherwise be avoided sets her apart from writers male or female, black or white.

On the television side, when Hill is one of the few women of color you see on the sports side. I often find in interesting that not many young black females are into sports journalism, especially on the print side. It’s rare, which makes Hill’s accomplishments that much more respectable. Maybe if young girls look at what she’s done, it will change perceptions and stereotypes about the business.


Albuquerque Tribune folds

February 25, 2008

This past Saturday, the Albuquerque Tribune, an E.W. Scripps paper, published its last issues. In what was another shot in the arm to newspapers, the Tribune, which had a circulation of about 9,600, had to let go 38 editorial employees which obviously included the sports staff.

According to Joural-isms, eight journalists of color were on the staff of the New Mexico paper. Among those was sports editor, Mike Garcia. I don’t know Garcia, nor have ever heard of him before today. But when this happens, you feel bad. And I can only hope Mr. Garcia and others finds work soon.

The reality is, this will continue to happen. It’s no secret newspapers are losing money and corporations are going to cut costs no matter what it takes –even if that means shutting down a paper. One can only hope people in the industry are planning for the future, because newspapers certainly doesn’t offer a bright one.


Emmitt likes Sen. Obama…a lot!

February 22, 2008

I came across this yesterday on Awful Announcing and found it rather interesting. Former Cowboy great and current ESPN analyst, Emmitt Smith was in Dallas earlier this week to “endorse” Presidential candidate Barack Obama. Smith, who’s often criticized for his on-air speaking troubles, actually does a good job in his short time on stage.

Enjoy!


Is Keyshawn leaving ESPN?

February 20, 2008

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Who didn’t see this coming?

As soon as Bill Parcells left ESPN to join the Miami Dolphins, the rumors started that Johnson wouldn’t be far behind. Now it appears that perception may soon be reality.

According to Yahoo! Sports, “MeShawn” has been training hard in Southern Cal in hopes of possibly landed with an NFL team this season. At 36, the obvious choice would be the Dolphins, but the Titans, who offered him a contract before he decided to go to ESPN, and Raiders are said to be interested.

Personally, I think Keyshawn has a couple of years left in the tank, but that’s not my concern.

If this pans out, it will be the second straight year ESPN will lose a popular, outspoken “analyst” Say what you will, but Johnson, in my opinion, is one of the best talents ESPN has. He knows his stuff and unlike where many of ex-players fail, he really gives a good sense of the players point of view. And, he’s controversial, which is good for ratings.

He is sort of like a watered down Michael Irvin, who was “let go” by ESPN the year before.

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“The Playmaker” was my favorite analyst by far. He was loud, arrogant, dressed “weird” and had outlandish opinions. To me, I ate it up, but others detested it. His “antics” along with his off the field troubles made some not like him and though it was not official, I believe those troubles where the reason he was let go.

So, for me, this would be a huge loss for tWWL if Keyshawn returns to the gridiron. If so, my early vote goes to Marcellus Wiley to replace him.