To Boycott or Not to Boycott
NBA coaches are pissed off at ESPN for doing a story in which LaVar Ball said of Lakers coach Luke Walton, “You can see they’re not playing for Luke no more. Luke doesn’t have control of the team no more. They don’t want to play for him”. Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, president of the coaches association calls this a disgrace and has threatened to restrict access to ESPN. Former Knicks coach and current NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy says coaches have every reason to boycott ESPN. His brother Stan Van Gundy concurs. He says ESPN can go to press conferences, but will not be given extra access from his Pistons. This is a serious problem because the NBA and ESPN are business partners. How this works out legally I don’t know.
Let me be upfront about this. Lavar Ball is a loudmouth blowhard. He’s an embarrassment. He’s an attention grabber who doesn’t care one bit how he might be embarrassing his three sons, the most notable being his eldest Lonzo who plays for the Lakers. But while I understand the coaches’ position here, I do not like the idea of a boycott. Yes, they have every right to be pissed off. LaVar Ball is a nobody wanting to be a somebody. So he does so through his sons. He rants and talks garbage. He’s no expert in basketball. He’s just a a loudmouth parent. The only thing he’s good at is making noise. And that’s why ESPN and the rest of the media go to LaVar Ball for comment. He makes noise. Lots of it. And noise sells. The coaches’ complaints here are valid when they talk about journalistic responsibility. They’re upset that a bum like LaVar Ball is given a platform to talk trash about one of their own, Luke Walton. Their complaint is not that somebody trashed Walton. It’s that a nobody like LaVar Ball trashed him. Ball doesn’t care what he says and everybody knows it. But a coaches boycott is not the way to go here. It sets a bad precedent. It opens up the door for a boycott every time somebody doesn’t like what is said or reported. We can’t have that. But on the flip side is journalistic responsibility. Not just for ESPN but for all media. Why are you doing a story? If it’s just to make noise because noise sells, that sucks. I’ve been in this business for 35 years. And I’m embarrassed to say that making noise in our industry has become the top priority with responsibility taking a back seat. Again, that sucks.
Leaking, Guessing, Speculating And BS!
The hiring of the new head coach of the Giants can’t come soon enough for me. It’s not because of my impatience. It’s simply that all the leaking and guessing and speculating is becoming way too much. How the hell does anybody know who the favorite is, when the Giants don’t even know who the favorite is? I’m talking about GM Dave Gettleman and President & Co-owner John Mara. They don’t know. They’ve gone into this search completely open minded. Yet from the moment Ben McAdoo was fired we’ve heard about one favorite after another. First it was Josh McDaniels. Then it was Jim Schwartz. As of this writing at 4:11 on this snowy afternoon, neither McDaniels or Schwartz have been interviewed yet. Other than Steve Spagnuole yesterday, there’ve been no other interviews. So where does all this favorites business come from? From the agents, that’s where. The thinking is to get their guys names out there and endear themselves to members of the media at the same time. Kill two birds with one stone. It’s the games people play in this business. And it’s misleading to the public. If you like a guy, just say you like the guy. But don’t say he’s a favorite because that’s simply nonsense. Just say it’s your opinion. But this favorites business is all about people trying to show they have inside information. And it’s all nothing but a bunch of BS!
A Giant Step Forward
“My plan is to come in here everyday and kick ass”. Those were the words of Dave Gettleman when he was officially introduced this morning as the new GM of the Giants. It’s what the Giants needed and now they have it. And Giants’ fans should be pleased. Gettleman wasn’t the most popular choice for some people, button of far greater importance he was the right choice. I’ve read and heard complaints that the Giants didn’t interview enough people for the job. But they did infact interview enough. Once they knew Gettleman was there guy, there was no need to look any further. Dave Gettleman probably knows personal in the NFL as much or more than anybody. He’s a workaholic. He loves what he does. And now he has his dream job. Add all that to the 15 years he previously spent with the Giants organization and you have a damn good combination. Dave Gettleman is also a straight shooter. He won’t tell you what wants to be heard but what needs to be heard. Thats goes for owners, coaches, players, and the fans. The time has come to fix the Giants. And this morning was a Giant step forward. Welcome Dave. Now go kick some ass!
Diddy or Dodo?
So Sean “Diddy” Combs wants to buy the Carolina Panthers. Fine by me. I wish him the best of luck in his endeavors to do so. I really do. But for crying out loud Diddy, stop being a dodo! Yes, we know that there are no majority African American owners in the NFL. So to become the first would certainly be historic. But so far you’re going about it all the wrong way. Going on Twitter and asking people to retweet your desire is just plain dumb. The Twitter world is not going to get you the Panthers. Beleaguered Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson will have to agree to sell the team to you for somewhere in the area of two billion and change. And should that happen you would then have to be approved by the other NFL owners. And they couldn’t care less about your silly tweets about how you’ll have the best music and best halftime show. And quite frankly, music is not uppermost in the minds of Panthers’ fans either. Football is. Winning football is. And by you saying that you’ll immediately sign Colin Kaepernick so that he could be in the running to challenge Cam Newton for the starting quarterback position is insulting to both Newton and the Panthers fans. Colin Kaepernick shouldn’t be mentioned in the same breath as Cam Newton. By doing so you sound like a foolish grandstander. If you truly are sincere in your desire to be an NFL owner, go get the cash and the proper backing to get the job done. But you won’t find it on Twitter. So Diddy, stop being dodo!
Pigs are pigs. Animals will be animals
You’ve no doubt heard the expression that “boys will be boys”. But please don’t use that phrase to describe what is going on with the sexual predators that we read and hear about everyday these days. These are not boys. They are not men. They are pigs. They are animals. They are abusers. They are abusers of power. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the movies they’ve made or starred in. I don’t care about their journalistic prominence or TV stardom. Pigs are pigs. Animals will be animals. And as men we cannot tolerate it. Not under any circumstances. This is not just a womens’ fight. It’s our fight. We have to be part of the solution to fix it. At the same time women must fix it as well. Many brave women have come forward to get the movement going. And I’m sure that more will follow. But this is where we all need to be careful. Because as history as shown us, every movement has opportunists. People looking to get rich. This movement will be no different. And we cannot allow opportunists spoil it. It’s up to all parties concerned to make sure that this doesn’t happen. This movement is too important. We have to be good examples for all of our children. Male and female.
A Whole New Ballgame For Derek
While the Yankees and their fans are rejoicing today over their acquisition of Giancarlo Stanton, their beloved former captain Derek Jeter is facing more criticism now than he received during his entire playing career. But being an owner is a whole new ballgame for the future hall of famer. On paper the Yanks just pulled off the equivalent of a Brinks truck heist in getting Stanton, the reigning National League MVP. The thought of Stanton and Judge in the same lineup has conjured up memories of Mantle and Maris. Think about that. The M&M boys. Legends of the game. With the acquisition of Stanton the Yankee are IT! Not only the sexiest team in baseball but perhaps in all sports in this country. They are now showtime on the diamond. And they got there by giving up just Starlin Castro and two minor league prospects, pitcher Jorge Guzman and infielder Jose Devers. Derek Jeter and his people believe they have a plan and are displaying the guts to stick with it. That’s not easy to do. I applaud him for trying. But I do believe he went about this the wrong way. It appears that Derek has taken an almost ruthless approach. From the moment he took over Derek began cleaning house by dumping the man regarded as Mr. Marlin, Jeff Conine. He then whacked three popular assistants in Tony Perez, Andre Dawson, and Jack McKeon. I get it. It’s a new time. It’s a new boss. Derek is the man. But what about the Marlins’ fans? How should they feel now? Optimistic? Why? Because Derek will say so? It doesn’t work that way. The business of sports is unlike any other businesses. Fans don’t care about your expenses, just your product. What you put on the field is what counts. And thanks to Derek, the Yankees’ fans now have showtime while Marlins’ fans don’t know what they have. The only thing they do know is that they’re not happy. It’s a whole new ballgame for Derek. He never had fans unhappy with him before.
Bad Day at Big Blue
Today sucked. Bigtime! For me it was the culmination of one of the worst weeks that I’ve ever had in all my 33 years covering sports. It began with one of the classiest athletes losing his job. And it finished with two very good men being fired. There’s no disputing that the Eli Manning benching could’ve and should’ve been handled better. But it wasn’t. So the outcry over it reached epic proportions. The only one who actually seemed to handle it well was Eli himself. But whether you like Ben McAdoo or not, he did not make the decision to save his own ass. He did it with the belief that he was doing what was best for the Giants. Unfortunately, what could’ve gone wrong for Ben this season did go wrong. So now he’s out of work. But don’t bet on him being out too long. As for Jerry Reese, what can you say? We’ve watched a man grow up in the Giants organization dating back to 1994. He now leaves after 23 years having helped place two Super Bowls in the showcase at the team’s facility. He too won’t be out of work too long. Again, just like Ben McAdoo, Jerry Reese never made a move that in his heart he didn’t believe wasn’t in the best interest of the Giants. Possibly to their detriment in this town, Ben and Jerry weren’t self promoters. Warm and fuzzy is not their trademarks. And once things started to go south on them, their hard work didn’t matter to fans and media. But they understand the business they’ve chosen. The bottom line is winning and 2-10 just doesn’t cut it. So as we approach the holiday season, two good men are unemployed. Not the best of time for their families. But it’s not just the McAdoo and Reese families that are affected. I just counted 19 assistant coaches in the media guide. That means 19 families around this upcoming holiday season don’t know what lies ahead for them. If a new GM and head coach want to clean house, they’re out of work too. And then there’s other front office people and scouts was well. When people get fired there’s always collateral damage. So please don’t rejoice in what just happened. It’s nothing to be happy about. Just move forward and hope for the best for all parties concerned. Go Giants!
Boone or Bust
Aaron Boone is a new major league manager. Not just a manager of any team, but manager of the New York Yankees. Arguably the most famous sports franchise in this country’s history. Yet he gets the job with no managerial or coaching experience whatsoever. Boone’s supporters say he has wonderful communication skills. They say he’s a peoples person. They say he’s a wonderful man. They say that he’s a fun guy with a great sense of humor. They say that he loves baseball. I have no reason to doubt any of these nice things people are saying about Aaron Boone. And yes I’m fully aware that he comes from a great baseball family. But I have one big question. What the hell is Brian Cashman and the Yankees thinking? I still haven’t been able to wrap my mind around why Joe Girardi was let go. Because he lacked communication skills with young players? Really? This is the propaganda BS we were served when Joe was bid farewell. This is what we were told about a man who had just led a young team in transition to within one game of the World Series. Okay. It’s Cashman’s bat and ball. His team. He’s the GM. I get it. He wanted to go in a different direction. But that direction leads him to man who has never managed or coached in the major leagues? This I don’t get. Do you remember back in 1996 when Joe Torre was hired by the Yankees? The back page of the Daily News had it plastered “Clueless Joe”. Well, this time I see it as Clueless Cash. I just hope it works out for Brian Cashman and Aaron Boone the same way it worked out for Joe Torre. Best of luck guys.
A New Beginning
Hello everyone. This is a new beginning for me. And for you too. My very first blog. But this one is really just to let you know what will be coming in the days ahead. While I’ve made my reputation in covering sports for 33 years and telling it like it is, we’ll be talking about any and everything. Sports, politics, topics of the day. Whatever is on my mind and what I think is on your mind. That’s what you’ll see here. You may agree with me or maybe not. But either way you’ll get it straight. No punches pulled. One thing is for sure, though. With what’s going on in our society these days, there’s plenty of topics to be taking punches at. When will I blog? When there’s something to say. So stay tuned and you’ll be hearing from me very soon!