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Nick Saban reportedly banned ESPN in his players’ hotel rooms

nick sabanNick Saban wants his players focused for the national championship game and not getting lost in all the hype surrounding the team. In his quest to have his team achieve the proper mindset, Saban reportedly banned ESPN in his players’ hotel rooms.

According to ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, Tom Rinaldi said Saban had the team’s hotel make ESPN unavailable in players’ hotel rooms since Sunday.

Yahoo! Sports Dan Wetzel reported something similar.

That’s a classic Saban move, if true. It’s also smart.

The last thing Alabama needs entering Monday’s BCS National Championship Game is to hear how great they are and how they’re favored to beat Notre Dame by 10 points. Believing one’s hype often leads to teams playing with less motivation for a game.

Remember how things were leading up to the 2006 Rose Bowl? ESPN spent weeks fawning over USC and trying to decide where they ranked among the best college football dynasties of all time as if they had already beaten Texas. Sure enough, the Trojans lost to the Longhorns. Saban is doing what he can to make sure Alabama avoids the same fate. He has Bama in contention to win its third national championship in four years, which would be pretty incredible.

ESPN: Rob Parker’s Robert Griffin III comments were ‘inappropriate’

rob-parkerESPN is dealing with some serious backlash against “First Take” personality Rob Parker, who accused Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III of being a “cornball brother” who is not black enough during Thursday’s show.

The network’s PR representatives addressed the issue, saying, “The comments were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps.”

Griffin seemed to address the comments with the following tweet.

The comment from Griffin was about as appropriate as his thoughts on being a black quarterback.

ESPN says it is “evaluating” its next steps. Hopefully those next steps will involve firing Parker and dumping “First Take.”

Rob Parker should be fired and without such a large media platform for one simple reason: He lowers the human race. While many people in the world are fighting injustice, prejudice, stereotypes, and biases, Parker is enforcing these notions by criticizing someone for not fitting in the way he wants them to be. It’s that type of thinking that prevents people in the world from achieving what should be one of our ultimate goals: equality for all, and the ability to be viewed based on who we are as individuals, regardless of race and color.

Not only do I hope ESPN’s “next steps” involve firing Parker, but I also hope they are reconsidering the entire “First Take” program. The show is designed to do one thing: spark debate by any means necessary. The hosts sit there each day trying to top the other in a game of “who can offend the public with the most outrageous statement?” The show promotes bad values, bad patterns of thinking, and it teaches aspiring broadcasters that being a loudmouth with radical opinions is the only way to get on TV.

I try to convey my personal feelings about the program any time I am forced to write about it. I hope many people have taken note and will fight the show the only way possible: by refusing to watch it or acknowledge anything that is said on it. The only way it will be cancelled is if people stop watching.

I just hope that ESPN will save its soul by dumping the program and its personalities finally.

ESPN commenters create funny > Sanchez meme

Visiting the comments section for ESPN.com articles is generally a masochistic practice that offers very little reward for readers. While not quite as bad as YouTube commenters, ESPN commenters are pretty poor. However, on Sunday, the cosmic forces aligned and led the ESPN.com community to create a pretty funny meme.

Much like last year’s ESPN commenter meme against Tim Tebow, this one involved commenters writing things that are greater than Mark Sanchez. The comments were added to an article about Fireman Ed saying he’s resigning from his superfan post. This was likely chosen as the place for the meme because Ed says his support of Sanchez over Tebow led to confrontations with Jets fans.

Take a look below and you’ll get an idea of how the comments went. Some of them were actually pretty good.

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Neil Everett apologizes for accidentally swearing on-air (Video)

ESPN anchor Neil Everett was caught swearing on-air during a Friday night edition of SportsCenter at a time when he thought his microphone was off.

Everett could be heard saying “son of a bitch,” and “god dang it.”

After the show returned from commercial, he apologized for his language.

“My mic was open. I know better than that. I’ve been doing this long enough, and I apologize to all those who had to hear that,” he said, clearly disappointed with himself.

Nobody will hold it against Everett. He is an excellent broadcaster and, along with Stan Verrett, he forms the best SportsCenter anchor team. Let this be another lesson to current and aspiring broadcasters to never say something you shouldn’t as long as a microphone is around, because you never know when it might be on.

ESPN NFL show goes crazy with ‘The Princess Bride’ references (Video)

Last week, the hosts of ESPN’s “NFL Kickoff” show decided to try to work in as many references to “The Princess Bride” into one episode as they possibly could. Buzzfeed put together a video featuring several of the references, though host Trey Wingo says they missed a few.

Yes, that’s Wingo, Mark Schlereth, and Tedy Bruschi running as many references to the classic movie as they could imagine. The Cliffs of Insanity, storming the castle, corners of an unusual size, inconceivable, only mostly dead … it was brilliant. We asked Wingo about the inspiration for the references:

Whatever the reason, the result was our pleasure. Well done fellas, well done.

I’d offer more commentary, but I was not hired for my brains.

Stan Van Gundy accuses David Stern of preventing him from working at ESPN

For a while it appeared as though Stan Van Gundy was going to join ESPN this upcoming season and help an NBA Countdown crew that was the target of a ton of criticism last year. According to The Big Lead, that is no longer the plan as David Stern has allegedly stepped in and blocked Van Gundy from joining the World Wide Leader.

On Wednesday, TBL called ESPN and a spokesman told the website that the network is going in a different direction after not being able to agree on what Van Gundy’s role would be. In an interview with Dan LeBatard on The Ticket in Miami Wednesday afternoon, Van Gundy said that is a total lie.

“No one at ESPN will tell us what happened,” Van Gundy explained. “Certainly the NBA office isn’t going to tell us what happened. One of the quotes from ESPN in there – we had discussions, but couldn’t agree on a role … as usual, that’s a bunch of BS from ESPN. We actually did agree on a role, but then they came back and pulled that. That’s when we knew something was up.

“What I find fascinating … you have to give David Stern and the NBA a lot of credit … ESPN pays the league, and then the league tells them what to do. It’s more ESPN’s problem. You gotta have no balls whatsoever to pay someone hundreds of millions of dollars and let them run your business.”

Van Gundy said ESPN claiming they disagreed on his role is a “flat out lie” and that it was simply a case of them making an offer and then pulling it back. As we have seen when he goes on rants like this one and this one, Stan is one of the most outspoken figures in basketball. Stern has ESPN in his back pocket, and it’s probably that outspokenness that he is afraid of.

ESPN accidentally aired report saying Bobby Valentine was coming back for second season (Video)

ESPN was so prepared for the Red Sox to make an announcement on Thursday about the future of Bobby Valentine that they had Tim Kurkjian create two television reports: one in case Valentine were fired, and the other in case the Red Sox brought him back. Even though it was like 99.99999% certain Valentine would not be back, the network wanted to make sure they were prepared for either scenario.

Unfortunately, after the Red Sox announced Valentine would not be back, SportsCenter aired the report saying he would be returning. The result was a humorous conflicting message from ESPN; the scroll on the left side of the screen read “Bobby Valentine fired,” while Kurkjian was telling us in a prerecorded report that he’d be receiving a second chance.

“Valentine is getting a second chance because he never had his A-team on the field for even one minute this season,” the report said. “Major injuries to (Carl) Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, Andrew Bailey and others, had Valentine juggling new lineups everyday. He’s getting a second chance because the vaunted rotation once led by Josh Beckett and Jon Lester was terrible.”

ESPN quickly realized the error and pulled the report before it was done running. This sort of mistake is nothing new in broadcasting and print, but it sure produced a funny moment.

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