Remember the blockbuster TV deal the University of Texas signed with ESPN? The Longhorn Network is set to go live in August after ESPN agreed to pay them around $300 million for the next 20 years. Well apparently Texas is in such high demand ESPN signed a sweetheart deal just to lock them up. So much so that they’ve conceded the ability to criticize the school in their contract.
“In the event that UT reasonably determines that any on-air talent does not reflect the quality and reputation desired by UT for the Network based on inappropriate statements made or actions taken by such talent and so notifies ESPN, ESPN will cause such talent to be promptly replaced (and will in any event no longer allow them on air following such notice).”
The first rule of ESPN and Texas’ broadcasting arrangement is you do not talk badly about the Longhorns. The second rule of ESPN and Texas’ broadcasting arrangement is you do not talk badly about the Longhorns. The third rule of ESPN and Texas’ broadcasting arrangement is you do not talk badly about the Longhorns.
Does anyone else see a problem here? Is it alarming to anyone else that one of the largest and most important sports networks in the country won’t be allowed to say anything controversial about one of the biggest football programs around? I understand objectivity is tough to achieve, but there’s a difference between having natural biases and outright cheerleading. I’m afraid we’re veering into dangerous ground here.
Running back Rashard Mendenhall was already well known to football fans before the weekend. After bin Laden was killed and Mendenhall made controversial comments about his death on his twitter account, he became infamous amongst non-sports fans.
For nearly a 24-hour span on Tuesday, Mendenhall’s name was atop Google’s chart for most searched term. That’s probably not the way he wanted to become known, but it’s what happened. And now that he’s been roundly criticized and hammered by the public and even his owners, he’s taken to his blog to try and clarify things. Here’s what he wrote:
Baltimore Orioles slugger Luke Scott has a reputation for his unconventional political views which aren’t exactly endearing him with most fans. In fact, the Orioles themselves have made it clear that Scott’s views don’t reflect those of the club. After all, how many clubs would be proud to say their left fielder is a birther?
“(President Obama’s) birth certificate has yet to be validated” Scott told The Kansas City Star. “If they can counterfeit $100 bills, I think it’s a million times easier to counterfeit a birth certificate, if you ask me,” Scott says. “So, all it is, let’s just see if it’s real. Anybody can produce a document, so let’s check it out.”
Talking to Luke Scott shouldn’t even be allowed for reporters at this point because it’s just too easy. It’s bad enough that we have football players who don’t believe airplanes brought down the Twin Towers, now we have to worry about baseball players not believing Obama was born as a U.S. citizen? Fantastic.
via Eye on Baseball
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Perhaps you’ve been caught up in the playoffs extravaganza with the NBA and NHL. Maybe spring baseball is what captivates. After all, if the season ended today… you’d have a lot of confused people. (Why would the postseason start in May?) An even smaller segment of the population may have been enthralled by the sequins and color coordination that the World Figure Skating Championships affords. If you’re mesmerized by any of these or just simply don’t like to watch football televangelist Mel Kiper, Jr. (whose haircut was inspired by the movie Eraserhead), then, perhaps, the business-section allure that sports are currently providing is what entrances.
Courtroom drama, as well as business and corporate takeovers, are as much a part of Americana as crappy automobiles, point shaving, and Klondike bars. Unfortunately, we have seen what people would do for all three and it isn’t exactly pretty. Normally, at this time of year, football talk surrounds a lack of prudence, maybe not a pigskin but certainly a ball-and-chain. Now that conversation has turned to jurisprudence: the uniforms may not be as vibrant, but it gives players a chance to break out the Paisley without fear of being pasted. Should it surprise anyone that the Los Angeles Dodgers season has played like an episode of Law and Order? After all, the alleged owners do spell their name with “court.”
Boston Celtics fans already felt like their team was robbed when Paul Pierce was ejected during the Game 1 defeat to the Miami Heat. Now we know they have a legitimate gripe because the team really was robbed after an April loss to the Heat during the regular season.
Yahoo! Sports reports that when the Celtics boarded their team bus to leave American Airlines Arena they realized “Someone had snuck onto the bus and stolen cash and belongings from the coaches’ and players’ bags.” It was apparently pretty bad — a lot of money was taken.
It doesn’t get much worse than that. Talk about a serious kick to the balls huh? Athletes are already prime targets for crimes because they are wealthy, have expensive belongings, and because people know their schedule. This just sounds like outright thievery and it totally sucks. Let’s just hope nobody made off with an AK-47 assault weapon during this heist.
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- Boston Celtics
Michael Oher, the Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman about who The Blind Side was based, spoke out Tuesday against players being tagged with a “character issues” label by draft analysts. Oher was upset with ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay and specifically called him out in a series of tweets, Pro Football Talk pointed out.
“Ok im so tired of the Character issues they are puttiing on ppl! What is Character issues?!? Somebody tell me? Todd Mcshay said I had Character and he never met me! What if someone was to talk about his son that way! I never got in trouble with the Law…yes sir no sir guy But this Todd Mcshay guy acts if he knows ppl on a personal level get real!”
Oher eventually turned his attention to McShay on twitter and said to him “tell me what are character issues because I dont know… you said I had them and you never met me?!” and “you need to meet ppl first and then judge them not go off what you hear!!”
Oher received no response because McShay is inactive on twitter, but he did get Percy Harvin to concur. Since he didn’t hear back from McShay, I’ll give him some responses.
Former Kentucky running back Derrick Locke wasn’t selected during the NFL draft. The good news is at least someone thinks highly of him. Locke was picked up in the UFL draft that took place on twitter Monday. A friend informed him he was picked up, and let’s just say he was hardly flattered. Here’s a screenshot of how the conversation went courtesy of SB Nation Atlanta:
Locke missed four games last season at Kentucky because of a shoulder injury and many teams removed him from their boards because X-rays revealed he has a back injury. Despite that, he vows he will play on Sundays and that’s likley why he had so much disdain for the notion of playing in the UFL. If he doesn’t find interest from NFL teams, my guess is he’ll change his tone.
The UFL “Where ‘I’m not going to that s***’ happens”
Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose became the league’s youngest player ever to win an NBA MVP Award. Rose captured 93% of the first-place votes and was a cinch choice for the trophy. People were wondering how his acceptance speech would go because Rose is known as a shy and quiet person. Despite his humble and reserved personality, he absolutely nailed his speech.
It starts at the two minute mark in this video, but make sure you don’t miss the part where he starts talking about his mother at the 5:00 mark. Here’s Derrick Rose’s MVP acceptance speech:
There is little doubt that Rose was on the mark with his speech. What’s also cool is Rose’s Adidas commercial after winning the MVP Award. Prior to the season, Rose suggested it was possible for him to win the award. Turns out he was right. Here’s that cool video:
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- Derrick Rose
Manny Pacquiao said on Tuesday what anyone who follows boxing could have already told you: Floyd Mayweather Jr. does not want to fight him. Pac Man is preparing for his Saturday bout on Showtime against Shane Mosley while Floyd hasn’t fought in just over a year. Incidentally, his last opponent was also Mosley.
Speaking with a few media members at the MGM Grand, Pacquiao was asked about Floyd. He tried to deflect the questions saying “I don’t want to talk about Mayweather’s issues. I’m the kind of person where I don’t want to talk about him behind his back.”
When asked about whether it’s better for the sport for the two to fight, Manny said that was the case “but I don’t think he really wants to fight.”
Originally I blamed Pacquiao for not submitting to the drug testing Floyd proposed believing that Manny should follow through if he didn’t have anything to hide. I still believe that’s the case. However, I’ve been convinced by Floyd’s lack of action that he really is not interest in fighting Pac Man. There’s no other way around it. The only good news is that Floyd may be returning to the ring this summer. When that happens we can finally discuss the potential dream fight again.
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New York All-Star athletes Mark Teixeira and Amare Stoudemire will be making cameos on the HBO show Entourage, the New York Post reports. On the show, Tex and Amare will be investors in the Italian restaurant Don Peppe.
Don Peppe is a real-life family-style restaurant in New York, and in the show Turtle will be trying to open up an LA location of the restaurant. The Post reports that they’re also in talks with Alex Rodriguez and Carmelo Anthony to appear on the show.
I’m really surprised that of all the Yankees it’s not Derek Jeter who’s appearing on the program. In a 2008 interview with SI’s Jimmy Traina, he said Entourage was one of two shows he had on his DVR. He also said that Drama was his favorite character on the show. Isn’t that the same answer for most people?
via Ben Maller