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ESPN.com is launching a makeover

New-ESPN

Many of you sports junkies are going to be in for a surprise in the near future when you visit the World Wide Leader’s world wide web page. ESPN.com will soon be launching its first redesign in over five years, with an aim toward making the website more mobile-friendly and responsive.

As you can see from the image above that Mashable passed along, ESPN’s new site features a white background that makes graphics pop more than the old red backdrop and border. You can see a comparison between the new (left) and old (right) designs below.

ESPN-new-vs-old

Ryan Spoon, ESPN’s senior vice president of digital product management, told Mashable that one of the goals with the new makeover is to provide a similar look over multiple devices and screen sizes while also making ESPN’s main web page look more like its apps.

“We aimed to create a cohesive aesthetic and experience across the new ESPN.com and our native applications like SportsCenter and Fantasy Football,” Spoon said. “Over time, you will hopefully notice that our site and our applications feel connected and familiar.”

Here’s a comparison between the new (left) and old (right) mobile layouts.

ESPN-mobile-new-old

Most users don’t like change, but I think this is a good one for ESPN.com. The new site looks a lot cleaner.

Broncos fans petition to get Phil Simms off their games

Phil Simms CBS

Denver Broncos fans are so sick of having color commentator Phil Simms broadcast their games on CBS they’ve started a petition to get the former New York Giants quarterback off their games.

The title of the petition is “Ban Phil Simms From Broadcasting Bronco Games,” and it was created by The Denver City Page. The petition is directed towards CBS and was launched on the website Change.org.

“We do not know why he is assigned to the Broncos games every year. It is sure and complete torture for Bronco Fans to have to listen to his biased drivel every week. Please sign this petition so our voice can be heard. We are tired of Phil Simms in Denver!” the petition states.

The Broncos have been regularly featured as the national game on CBS the past couple of years because they have superstar MVP quarterback Peyton Manning and one of the highest-scoring offenses in football. Couple that with them being in the Mountain Time Zone, and that results in them being the top CBS game. As a result, the top CBS broadcasting crew of Jim Nantz and Simms are assigned the game, leading Broncos fans to repeatedly hear the same guys call their games. And they’re sick of Simms.

Broncos fan site MileHighReport.com says Simms argued against the Broncos/lobbied in favor of the Chiefs for “virtually every penalty or near-penalty or close call under review” during Sunday’s Week 2 game. Simms was so aware of his slanted calls he even said, “I’m not sitting here rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs, but…” at one point.

Sports fans are incredibly fickle and can find anything to get upset about, so we wouldn’t put much stock into this. I will, however, say that Simms has become pretty annoying to me as a broadcaster. Then again, listen to enough guys enough and most of them will probably bother you.

The petition had 15,000 signatures as of Monday. They probably could get a couple hundred thousand if they wanted … and none of that would matter to CBS.

Photo: Twitter/cjzero

Jonathan Papelbon crotch grab on Philly Daily News back page

Jonathan Papelbon crotch newspaper

Just in case there were any doubt about whether or not Jonathan Papelbon made a deliberate crotch grab towards the fans who were booing him, the Philadelphia Daily News ends the argument.

Just remember …

I don’t know anyone who gets that wide and low in their stance to adjust themselves. Just saying …

Photo: Twitter/BoopStats

49ers announcer Ted Robinson suspended for domestic violence comments

Ted Robinson 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers and Pac-12 Network have both suspended announcer Ted Robinson for his comments on domestic violence.

Robinson co-hosted “The Tom Tolbert Show” on Bay Area sports radio station KNBR on Monday and discussed the Ray Rice situation. Robinson essentially scoffed at the notion that Janay Rice is a victim and demonstrated his ignorance towards the psychology behind women who return to their abusers.

The Twitter account LOL KNBR captured some of his thoughts.

The 49ers announced that Robinson would be suspended for the team’s next two games. Here is a statement from team president Paraag Marathe:

“The comments made by radio broadcaster Ted Robinson on Monday were offensive and in no way reflect the views of the San Francisco 49ers organization. We have made the decision to suspend him for the next two games. I informed Ted of our decision earlier today, and we will continue to address this matter with him internally. Our organization stands strongly against domestic violence and will not tolerate comments such as these.”

And here is an apology statement from Robinson.

“I want to unconditionally apologize for my comments the other day. As a professional communicator, I am responsible for my words. My choice of words was careless and does not reflect my true feelings about domestic violence. I understand that the cycle of abuse keeps people in unhealthy relationships. No blame or responsibility for domestic violence should ever be placed on a victim.”

Pac-12 Networks also suspended Robinson two weeks.

The 49ers suspended an announcer for comments on domestic violence, but they allowed a player — Ray McDonald — who was arrested on felony domestic violence charges, to play in Week 1.

Danielle Trotta offended by Pam Oliver’s ‘young, blond and hot’ comment

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Pam Oliver seemingly pointed out the obvious in her recent essay discussing her demotion with Fox Sports. Whether by coincidence or not, Fox has hired a number of young, attractive blonde women as on-air personalities. Erin Andrews, who is taking Oliver’s old job with Fox’s top NFL crew this season, is one of them. Danielle Trotta, a co-host of Fox Sports 1’s “NASCAR Race Hub,” is another.

Trotta was apparently offended by Oliver’s comments. She felt she was being lumped into a certain demographic and had the following to say on her Facebook page, via The Big Lead:

Danielle-Trotta

Wait, blonde by choice? Does that mean she dyes her hair? Or does that mean Trotta chooses to not dye her hair, thus choosing to remain blonde?

In any event, you can see both sides of the argument here. You can easily see why people like Trotta, Andrews and Charissa Thompson have Oliver convinced that being blonde and “hot” gives you an edge in the industry. You can also see why Trotta would want to be seen as someone who earned her job through hard work, not because of her looks.

Photo: Twitter/Danielle Trotta

Pam Oliver: Fox Sports on-air people are young, blond and hot

Pam-Oliver

Fox Sports announced earlier this summer that Erin Andrews will be taking over for Pam Oliver for the networks top NFL broadcast team for the 2014 season, and Oliver openly admits she didn’t take the news all that well. In an essay she wrote for Essence, the 53-year-old industry veteran admitted she was “humiliated” when rumors began circulating that Andrews would be replacing her.

Fox seems to be looking to appeal to a certain demographic, and Oliver realizes that. At age 36, Andrews is still young. She is also tall, thin and blond and is well-known beyond the sports world for appearing on programs like “Dancing With the Stars.” Oliver explained why she believes the decision was made to essentially force her out.

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NY Daily News will no longer use Redskins nickname or logo

NY-Daily-News-Redskins

The New York Daily News announced on Thursday that it will no longer be using the Washington Redskins team logo or nickname in its print and online publications.

“Enormously popular and deeply ingrained in sporting culture, the Redskins name is a throwback to a vanished era of perniciously casual racial attitudes,” the Daily News said in a lengthy essay explaining the decision. “No new franchise would consider adopting a name based on pigmentation — Whiteskins, Blackskins, Yellowskins or Redskins — today. The time has come to leave the word behind.”

As you can see from Thursday’s NFL preview, which is shown above, the Daily News has replaced the Redskins’ traditional Native American logo with a generic burgundy and gold icon. They also referred to the Redskins as “Washington” but used every other team’s nickname. Here’s a closer look at the logo the Daily News will use from now on:

Simply put, it is a matter of when — not if — Redskins owner Daniel Snyder will be forced to change his team’s name. There will always be people like Sarah Palin and Mike Ditka who think the Redskins name debate is stupid, but we have also seen an increasing amount of broadcasters who refuse to use Washington’s nickname. Then there’s the fact that the US Patent Office has cancelled the Redskins’ trademark. It’ll only get worse for Snyder from here.

Photo via Pat Kiernan