Tag Archives: ESPN

ESPN: Just Another Corporate Shill

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created image using NFL and ESPN logosLast week it was reported that sports network ESPN had pulled out of a co-production with PBS’ ‘Frontline’ documentary show about the serious issue of concussions in the National Football League (NFL). The report was that the NFL pressured ESPN to pull out which shouldn’t be a surprise since the network pays a billion dollars for the rights to NFL games and league access. It is further proof that our mainstream media won’t challenge their corporate owners.
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About The Game And Where Hindsight Is Virtue

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Logo of Ohio State UniversityOhio State and the team north of them play this Saturday (11/24) in their annual rivalry game. The difference is that Ohio State is 11-0 but is banned from post season play so ‘The Game’ is our Bowl game and championship all rolled into one. The Ohio State biased newspaper The Columbus Dispatch thinks having a bowl ban this season was a wrong result of the NCAA punishment the school got for Tattoogate. If only hindsight was a real thing to use in making decisions.
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Once again a sports hero has fallen – where was the Columbus media

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Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, held out as the model of integrity, resigned Monday as the pressure mounted due to a memorabilia-for-tattoo scandal that showed no sign of simmering down. Like all media created heroes, the backlash and piling on has been merciless. Besides the obvious questions about what is true or not, where was the Columbus media when all this was going on?
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Kirk Herbstreit has left home

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Over the weekend I saw some tweets and a Dispatch article about ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit and his family leaving Columbus and moving to Nashville Tennessee. That struck me as odd since Herbie is a dyed in the wool Buckeye. The reason he gave to the Dispatch was that relentless fans were driving him out of town. His reason didn’t surprise me.

Former player and ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit said he and his family are moving to Nashville, Tenn., 10TV News reported.

Herbstreit told the Columbus Dispatch that in his role with ESPN he has to be objective about the Buckeyes.

He said most fans understand that, but said a small percentage of them are so relentless in criticizing him that he has to move.

Herbstreit: ‘Relentless’ Fans Forced His Move To Tenn.

I met Kirk in the fall of 1988 when he was a freshman at Ohio State. The then new head coach John Cooper had decided that freshman football players needed to be more social with regular students like myself, so the players were housed in Morrill and Lincoln Dorms next door to Ohio Stadium. My room in Lincoln that year was in the same suite as Kirk and several other freshman football players.

There was Kirk and his roommate Paul. Next door was Len Hartman and his roommate Judah Herman – both would become starters for Ohio State in their years there. There were two more players in the other dorm room but I can’t remember their names. I really got to know and hang out with Kirk, Paul, and some with Len and Judah.

Kirk back then was typically shy with any new person but once we all got to know each other he opened right up and was fun to hang out with. He had the confidence and arrogance that comes with a hotshot football player. He liked to party and be with his girlfriend at the time. For someone like me, a lifetime OSU fan, it was fantastic when we would get treated better because Kirk was with us.

I remember going to a huge house party off campus where many OSU players showed up. Watching basketball player Chris Jent escorting not one but three dates around was awesome in my immature mind at the time.

Kirk brought his Nintendo game system to school and based it in my room because he didn’t want people traipsing through his room. We would play RBI Baseball all the time. Kirk played the Detroit Tigers and knew some way to make sure he won each game. He would hit the game winning home run, drop the controller and leave the room. It drove all of us nuts and we spent most of the year trying to figure out how to beat Kirk. During Spring Quarter we did finally beat him. There was a crowd in our room often for these games. We also played Tecmo Bowl football a lot.

I also remember he didn’t take criticism well. He hated not being liked. He was used to being told how great he was especially as a player but when he got to Ohio State some people didn’t like him and we heard the stories when he complained about it and we knew it bothered him.

“Relentless fans” have been the bane of his existence during his time with ESPN. I admire his effort to not be a Homer for Ohio State and think he gets too much grief here in Columbus for trying to be impartial.

What is a “Homer”?

What is a homer? I’m glad you asked. It is being a committed hometown or favorite team fan to a fault. This is a sports syndrome that many people get when they stop looking at something objectively and are subject to regional and cultural biases surrounding them. Fantasy football team owners: we are not general managers in the NFL, so stop saying “WE” when you address your favorite team. Stop jumping on your team’s, coaches, GM’s and owner’s back every time something happens that you didn’t like.

When (and when not) To Be a Homer

Most of the Columbus media are “Homers” toward OSU but Herbstreit is not. I think that’s why the relentless fans harp on him so much. He has a premier gig as ESPN commentator doing many of the big games. Some of them include Ohio State and some fans expect him to show bias toward OSU during the broadcasts.

It’s funny because there are several former players that work other sports like Clark Kellogg in basketball and I don’t see them getting hassled but then again maybe they do but it doesn’t bother them as much.

I actually feel bad that Kirk felt he needed to move away but knowing him like I do, it doesn’t surprise me.

A Second Chance

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This is a bit off topic but is a personal thing I would like to share:

As a senior at Findlay High, I played on the football team. Rather I was on the team but had no talent to play in a game. I was on the team only because I was a senior and the school had a ‘no cuts’ policy. As long as they had equipment for you, you were on the team.

One of my teammates that year was Jon Wauford. I believe he was a sophomore or Junior that year. He played running back and was on defense.

Jon turned out to be very good and in our 6 and 4 season he was the reason we even had a running game.

When he graduated he got a scholarship to Miami of Ohio and was a good player there as well.

After a few years I didn’t hear anything about him until last November when all the sports news shows led with a story about the end of the Miami and Marshall game. It seems a coach had decked a Marshall fan at the end of the game after Marshall had upset the Redhawks. That coach was Jon Wauford.

In high school he was a tall lanky kid who knew how to run. The story and resulting pictures plastered on newspapers showed a large angry man being arrested and led away in cuffs.

During the winter he was forced to resign from Miami and I didn’t hear anything more about him until tonight when I came across the following article in the DeMoines Iowa Register.

I’m glad he is still coaching and the incident last year didn’t ruin his life:

Keeler: No, this ain’t Ohio, but it’s a new life

By SEAN KEELER
Register Sports Columnist

11/21/2003

You ain’t in Ohio anymore. They must have told him that 10 times as he lay facedown on the cold turf at Marshall University Stadium, hands cuffed behind his back, a cop leaning hard on each shoulder.

You ain’t in Ohio anymore. At first he tried to explain what had happened, that he didn’t see the man, that he was trying to protect his players, but the West Virginia troopers would have none of it.

You ain’t in Ohio anymore. That’s all they would say. And they trussed him up as if he were trying to sneak a street sign back across the state line.

He was helped back to his feet and – click! – that’s where America came in. There was the photo of Jon Wauford, a hulking man in the cherry red Miami of Ohio polo shirt being led off the field in handcuffs, a policeman on each arm. It led “SportsCenter” the night of Nov. 12, 2002. The picture was beamed across the Internet, pasted onto sports pages, faxed to talk radio hosts. He was infamous.

So it was inevitable. Two months ago, one of Wauford’s students at Clinton High School raised his hand and asked his teacher if the barrel-chested man in that photograph was the same man at the front of the room. And Mr. Wauford nodded.

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Originally posted on the blog “Hancock County Politics Unfiltered”