Tag Archive | "ESPN"

LBJ and “The Decision”

“The Decision”, a one-hour special on ESPN is the first network program to receive our Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week and it shares the honor with the show’s star NBA free agent, LeBron James who will be making his decision regarding where he will land and attempt to become, in his words, the world’s first billion-dollar athlete.

During the FIFA World Cup game between Spain and Germany, ESPN’s ticker tape “Breaking News” announced the show that in many people’s minds is nothing more than a network handing an egotistical, arrogant overpaid athlete their own one-hour special to announce to our recession-infested country, where he will be making his 100’s of millions of dollars.

That’s great, King James, now your audience can go climb up on a hot roof and nail some shingles for $800 a week or flip burgers at their second job so they can have electricity to pay for air conditioning this summer. Hope you enjoyed rubbing it in their faces and reminding them the reality of how overpaid pro athletes like you really are.

Kevin Blackistone of AOL Fanhouse wrote this about James in his article entitled, “Free Agent Circus Stains LeBron’s Image”.

“. . . all of a sudden [James] appears to be as egotistical and megalomaniacal as any of the most self-absorbed athletes we’ve come to know over the years. What a shame. Over the past few weeks, James has made himself as easy to dislike as he’d made himself over several years easy to like.”

In another article entitled, “ESPN Defends LeBron Special”, the network is quoted as they explain the purpose of the show. “We believe this is a unique program,” Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president of production said.

Yeah, it sure is. No network has ever wasted an hour of air time for an announcement of a free agent on where he will land.

The great champion NBA players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and Shaq, players who have all WON championships, something LeBron has not come close to accomplishing, have discreetly made decisions and taken their $100 million contracts as quietly as possible.

Getting beat by Orlando two years ago and again losing to the underdog, aging Boston Celtics this year, I guess LeBron can accept this special as a consolation prize as opposed to the back-to-back victory parades that Kobe and his Lakers team had, the confetti Shaq was driven through in Miami and L.A. and the half dozen Michael celebrated in the Windy City.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Joey Chestnut wins 4th Nathan’s title

Joey Chestnut defended his title as the champion hot dog eater at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island, New York.

But it was a win without greatness because the former champ, Takeru Kobayashi did not compete. Chestnut took the crown in 2007  from Kobayashi, a six-time winner and never relinquished it.

Chew cam captures Chestnut’s word record of 68 hot dogs and buns

The men pushed each other to historic heights, culminating in 2009 when Chestnut consumed 68 hot dogs and buns.  This year, Chestnut who had predicted a new record, had to make due with a total of only 54.

Kobayashi in contract dispute with Major League Eating

Kobayashi’s absence became a discussion point among fans more than a week ago when it was reported that he was in a contract dispute with the sanctioning body of competitive eating, Major League Eating (MLE).

When people say it’s not about the money, you know it’s about the money. Chestnut’s competitive eating career reportedly pays him nearly $150,000 a year and it’s climbing.

Kobayashi came on the scene and took circuit by storm. Before he started competing at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, the winners were consuming fewer than 30 hot dogs and buns.

Kobayashi set a record of more than 50 in his first year and ramped it up from there. When Chestnut wrested the crown from Kobayashi he consumed 66 dogs and buns and never looked back.

First ever Chew-Off, in 2008, Chestnut won in over-time

Just prior to the start of the contest, the ESPN cameras caught glimpse of Kobayashi in the crowd. He was there but not on the stage. It’s unclear who he was rooting for.

Today’s competitors tried to keep up for the first few minutes and their consumption per minute was not far off Chestnut’s pace. But by the half-way mark, Chestnut’s training and experience took over.

His nearest competitor, a man known as Eater-X, reached a total of 45, with the third place finisher, Pat Bertoletti consuming 37 hot dogs and buns.

Competitive eating champions exercise their jaw with gum chewing and other exercises. They work with doctors to prepare their stomachs for the influx of food.

Chestnut reportedly starts expanding his stomach a month prior to the Nathan’s contest, by drinking massive amounts of liquids.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Comcast teams up with ESPN 3D

Comcast sent out this recent press release regarding carrying ESPN 3D.

Comcast Corporation one of the nation’s leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services, and ESPN today announced an agreement to provide ESPN 3D to Comcast’s Digital Cable customers, to bring top sports events to consumers in next-generation 3D.

Comcast is the first cable affiliate to sign on to distribute ESPN’s new network that will launch on June 11 and will include nearly 100 events in its first year.

“As a leader in the distribution of innovative content, it’s fitting that Comcast is the first cable distributor for ESPN 3D,” said George Bodenheimer, co-chairman, Disney Media Networks, and president, ESPN and ABC Sports. “This agreement demonstrates ESPN’s and Comcast’s shared commitment to bring the latest viewing experience to sports fans.”

ESPN was a pioneer in HD, and continues to move the industry forward with the first 3D sports network,” said Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation.

“We delivered the first live national 3D sports event to consumers homes earlier this year with the Masters Tournament and believe that 3D sports will drive the adoption of this technology and continue to revolutionize how we deliver entertainment.”

In addition, Comcast and ESPN will provide customers access to select ESPN 3D events on VOD.

ESPN 3D will sign on the air June 11 with the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match featuring South Africa versus Mexico. ESPN 3D will feature up to 25 matches throughout the World Cup. Along with college football and NBA games, schedule highlights for the new network include:

• X Games 16, July 28-Aug. 1

• College basketball’s Old Spice Classic, Nov. 25-28

• College football’s ACC Championship on Dec. 4

• Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 7

• 2011 BCS National Championship game Jan. 10, 2011

• X Games 15, Jan. 27-30, 2011

• College basketball’s Big East Tournament, March 8-12, 2011

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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LaGarrette Blount this year’s sleeper of the NFL draft

Oregon Ducks running back LeGarrette Blount may be the sleeper of this year’s draft, literally.

lagarrette blount sleepingWhile still waiting for his name to be called during the final rounds of the NFL 2010 Draft, Blount was caught by ESPN cameras taking a nap.

Last season, Blount instantly became a member of the Hall of Shame when he sucker-punched an opposing Boise State Broncos player after being taunted after his team’s loss.

Before cold-cocking that player, Blount was projected by many draft analysts to go in the 3rd round.

Unfortunately, Blount never heard his name before the gavel hit and the draft was over.

But this story doesn’t end here.

Shortly after the draft, along comes San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary galloping in on a horse in shining armor, signing the undrafted player. This could prove to be a great move by the 49ers. Blount is a strong runner with talent and strong competitive nature with the ability to run over a few NFL linebackers if given the chance.

Though crucified by the public and many sports sites, including us after that incident, Blount deserves a chance to find a permanent spot on an NFL roster and is our hands-down pick for ‘sleeper’ of the draft.

Editor’s Note: Shortly after this article was written, LaGarrette jumped ship from the 49ers and instead signed with the Titans.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

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NFL 2010 Draft 2nd round results

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The 2010 NFL Draft has been full of surprises. After much speculation about teams trading for the2010-nfl-draft-logo St. Louis Rams first pick in the 2nd round to land Notre Dame quarterback, Jimmy Clausen, the Rams kept the pick and Clausen dropped all the way down to 48th overall where he was selected by the Carolina Panthers.

Clausen’s drop in stock was one of the biggest surprises but he wasn’t alone. As Clausen squirmed in his seat, dropping 44 picks lower than the slot ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr. had him in, Texas Longhorns quarterback Colt McCoy dropped all the way into the 3rd round. McCoy was selected 85th overall by the Cleveland Browns who threw in the towel on the Brady Quinn project, trading Quinn to the Denver Broncos in the off season.


33. St. Louis Rams: Rodger Saffold- offensive tackle, Indiana
34. Minnesota Vikings: Chris Cook- cornerback, Virginia
35. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brian Price- defensive tackle, UCLA
36. Kansas City Chiefs: Dexter McCluster- running back, Mississippi
37. Philadelphia Eagles: Nate Allen- safety, South Florida
38. Cleveland Browns: T.J. Ward- safety, Oregon
39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Arrelious Benn- wide receiver, Illinois
40. Miami Dolphins: Koa Misi- linebacker, Utah
41. Buffalo Bills: Torell Troup- defensive tackle, Central Florida
42. New England Patriots: Rob Gronkowski- tight end, Arizona
43. Baltimore Ravens: Sergio Kindle- linebacker, Texas
44. Oakland Raiders: Lamarr Houston- defensive tackle, Texas
45. Denver Broncos: Zane Beadles- offensive guard, Utah
46. New York Giants: Linval Joseph- defensive tackle, East Carolina
47. Arizona Cardinals: Daryl Washington- linebacker, TCU
48. Carolina Panthers: Jimmy Clausen- quarterback, Notre Dame
49. San Francisco 49ers: Taylor Mays- safety, USC
50. Kansas City Chiefs: Javier Arenas- cornerback, Alabama
51. Minnesota Vikings: Toby Gerhart- running back, Stanford
52. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jason Worilds- linebacker, Virginia Tech
53. New England Patriots: Jermaine Cunningham- linebacker, Florida
54. Cincinnati Bengals: Carlos Dunlap- defensive end, Florida
55. Dallas Cowboys: Sean Lee- linebacker, Penn State
56. Green Bay Packers: Michael Neal- defensive tackle, Purdue
57. Baltimore Ravens: Terrence Cody- defensive tackle, Alabama
58. Houston Texans: Ben Tate- running back, Auburn
59. Cleveland Browns: Montario Hardesty- running back, Tennessee
60. Seattle Seahawks: Golden Tate- wide receiver, Notre Dame
61. New York Jets: Vladimir Ducasse- offensive guard, UMass
62. New England Patriots: Brandon Spikes- linebacker, Florida
63. Indianapolis Colts: Patrick Angerer- linebacker, Iowa
64. New Orleans Saints: Charles Brown- offensive tackle, USC

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

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2010 NFL Draft teams select character

The NFL Draft’s first round wrapped up pretty quickly. Teams knew who they wanted but more so who they didn’t 2010-nfl-draft-logowant. Tim Tebow celebrated at his home in Florida as he put on a Denver Broncos cap after being taken with the twenty-fifth pick.He said what many were thinking when he told Jeremy Schaap of ESPN that the Broncos knew that by picking him they were getting a guy who won’t get in trouble.

The word “character” was thrown around all night just as it has been for the entire episode involving Ben Roethlisberger. The media or perhaps the NFL began using character a few years back as a euphemism for words like, good behavior, discipline, lack of ego and law abiding citizen.

Despite being a first round pick in mock drafts from the likes of Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock, Jimmy Clausen was left sitting in his home in California without a phone call from any NFL team.

Generally acknowledged as the easiest of the available quarterbacks to fit into an NFL offense, Clausen had trouble with one of the meanings behind the use of the word character.

He is called arrogant and cocky. He admitted this week on the Dan Patrick radio program that he was asked about that on interviews with teams that showed interest in him.

His answer to the question was to send the clubs to his coaches and teammates, leaving draft watchers to wonder if those worries were being confirmed as Clausen went undrafted in round one.

Character is in the eye of the beholder of course and just to prove that point, Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys gleefully plucked wide receiver Dez Bryant out of the pile.
Bryant was considered worthy of the #4 pick by Kiper and #11 by Mayock but came perilously close to being left out of the fun.

Jones, known as a guy who loves turnaround projects, (TO, Tank Johnson, Adam Jones) saw the glass half full when it came to the subject of Bryant.
Rather than seeing his run-in with the NCAA as a reason to ignore his obvious talents, Jones traded up to get him at #24. You think he had Deion Sanders whispering encouragement in his ear?

The Cowboys gave New England their third round pick at #90 in exchange for a chance to get Bryant and the Pats fourth round pick. But without the intervention from Jones, Bryant would be sitting in the same spot as Clausen.

It used to be that legal trouble, drug use or team suspensions were the hot buttons for NFL draft experts. Not any longer. If you’ve got an iffy personality or one that can’t be deciphered and considered manageable you better prepare yourself for getting overlooked. Rounds two and three kick off tonight at 6 pm EDT.

Re-printed with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™

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Dancing With The Stars Erin Andrews Receives Death Threats

It has been reported that emails threatening the life of ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews surfaced this week and Dancing With the Stars Erin Andrewswere brought to the attention of the FBI.TMZ.com initially broke the story about the emails, some of which dated back to September 2009.

They were sent to the Dan Patrick radio program and characterized as sexual in nature. Lately the messages became threatening and specific. That is when the federal authorities were notified.

SportsbyBrooks.com reported that Directv, which simulcasts the radio program on its Channel 101 was being criticized by Andrews’ attorney Marshall Grossman for failing to alert him when the messages were first received.

Brook’s discussion with a Directv source made it clear that the emails weren’t even reviewed until this week, which Brooks claims is not unusual for a national show that gets buried in mail. There was no delay once they were discovered.

Grossman told media his client is “having a rough time” and ABC which broadcasts Dancing With the Stars has added to its security for Andrews.

Andrews was victimized by Michael David Barrett, a stalker who followed her while she traveled on business, checked into hotel rooms adjacent to her and videotaped her through holes in the room walls.

Some of that video was posted on the Internet. After his capture it became known that Andrews was only one of multiple women who were victimized by his crimes.

The ESPN personality spoke at Barrett’s sentencing hearing and detailed for the judge how she lives in fear of it happening to her again. She also spoke about the vulgar taunting she now absorbs in public while performing her job at college sporting events. Barrett was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison.

Some of her fears seem to have been realized with these latest developments.GQ Erin Andrews Photo

There were critics of her decision to appear on the wildly popular ABC program who thought she should keep a lower profile or at least one that didn’t entail dancing in outfits that titillate.

As far back as last spring, Andrews talked about how much she wanted to appear on the dancing program. “I want to do it, because I think I’d be good at it,” she told Dan Steinberg for The Sporting Blog.

She apparently decided to live her life in a manner that wasn’t dictated by the effects of Barrett’s crime, which she has every right to do. Emails sent prior to Dancing With the Stars are evidence that there are people, or at least one person, who needed no further provocation for what he did.

It’s anyone’s guess if Andrews’ attitude will remain the same as a result of the latest news, but it’s clear that she has entered that realm of celebrities who contend with stalking and violent threats.

Re-printed with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax™        


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Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week – ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser

SLAP! ESPN host and analyst, Tony Kornheiser gets the Sports Climax Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week after he was suspended Tony Kornheiser Hannah Stormby the network for two weeks after trashing fellow ESPN commentator Hannah Storm about her short, tight sexy outfits.

Pardon the Interruption Tony but what are you trying to do, ruin a beautiful thing!

The attractive Storm has been a celebrity of sorts on web blogs all over the country as a following of admirers have accumulated over the years, many times posting her sexy pics on their sites.

While most males would be complimentary of Hannah’s outfit in question, Kornheiser trashed it calling it a “horrifying outfit” and went on to slam her high heeled “red go-go boots” and skirt that was “way too short for somebody her age.”

SLAP!! There’s another backhander, Tony, haven’t you heard the cliche, “If you still have it flaunt it.”Sexy Hannah Storm outfit ESPN

Kornheiser’s comments were made on the air on Friday on ESPN’s Washington, D.C., affiliate and here’s the text to that rant.

“Hannah Storm in a horrifying, horrifying outfit today. She’s got on red go-go boots and a catholic school plaid skirt, way too short for somebody in her 40s or maybe early 50s by now. She’s got on her typically very, very tight shirt. She looks like she has sausage casing wrapping around her upper body. I know she’s very good, and I’m not supposed to be critical of ESPN people, so I won’t but Hannah Storm, come on now! Stop! What are you doing? She’s what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point.”

ESPN VP John Skipper said the remarks were “entirely inappropriate. Hurtful and personal comments such as these are not acceptable and have significant consequences.”

And those consequences are a two week suspension and a possible change to Storm’s attire.

Kornheiser was said to have called Storm to directly apologize and also apologized numerous times on the air.

If Hannah drops the hem on her skirt, he should personally call every one of her male fans to apologize as well.

Copyright © 2010 – Sports ClimaxTM

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Is Chris Berman Leaving ESPN?

Chris Berman’s contract with ESPN expires in a few months and he may be allowed to depart the network for the NFL ESPN BermanNetwork or Directv, according to various NFL insiders.

Berman, whose tenure with the behemoth sports broadcast system began in 1979 has other potential employers throwing opportunities his way and no firm extension with ESPN says Sportsbybrooks.com and thebiglead.com.

Leaving the Worldwide Leader,(“WWL”) so to speak, limits his scope to one sport, and it looks like it might just be football – and we all know Berman is about size and scope.

His voice, his delivery, his schtick and his 6’5″ body, Slim Fast diet or no Slim Fast diet render him the biggest presence on any set he shares with other sports personalities.

Leaving aside the critiques of his style, my interest is piqued by the potential for him to rejoin and over shadow the current stars of their respective sports networks: Rich Eisen at the NFL Network and Dan Patrick at Directv’s 101 Channel.

Both of these men are former colleagues of Berman at ESPN and from their references to him when they banter with each other during the course of Patrick’s daily radio program, it is apparent they aren’t Boomer’s biggest fans. Then again he was the top dog there and perhaps wasn’t as gracious about it all as he might have been.

But if the rumors about Berman’s pursuit by either of the other networks is true, the potential to overshadow Patrick and Eisen exists unless he is restricted to particular duties that never intersect with theirs. I find that hard to imagine.

Also on notice is Andrew Siciliano who has competently handled the chores every NFL Sunday for Directv’s Red Zone Channel which surfs from game to game to pick up the action inside the 20 yard line and more.

Adding Berman to any of those networks sports packages could be dicey for the men who have carved out their niche independent of the WWL. But Berman’s fan appeal and “Q” rating would be hard to turn down for networks that only hope to make a dent in ESPN’s sports broadcasting domination.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

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Avatar Surpasses $1 Billion – ESPN Announces 3D Sports

Around the time James Cameron’s masterpiece box-office hit Avatar surpassed $1 billion and brought a new meaning to the term 3D3D, ESPN reported they will launch the first 3D television network.

ESPN 3D will showcase a minimum of 85 live sporting events during its first year, beginning with the first 2010 FIFA World Cup match on June 11 between South Africa and Mexico.

In addition to the World Cup opener, ESPN will produce up to 25 total World Cup matches, as well as the Summer X Games, college basketball, and college football, including the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Ariz., January 10, 2011.

ESPN has been testing ESPN 3D for more than two years and produced USC’s 18-15 win over Ohio State in 3D for select theaters back in September.

This network launch will certainly drive the early adoption of 3D TV sets, while combining “great content with new technology to enhance the fan’s viewing experience,” according to ESPN President, George Bodenheimer.

ESPN went on to report that “Even more events will soon be announced, and we’re crossing our fingers that the following shows make the cut”

Around the 3D Horn: All of the guest hosts will appear to sit in a semi-circle around an actual horn, reminiscent of the conch from Lord of the Flies.

Outside the Lines 3D: The most literal television show ever, as it will actually appear to be outside the lines of your TV.

3D Cold Pizza: Because all that was missing were various toppings appearing to fly through your screen.

3D PTI:It’s not a robot, it’s Tony and Wilbon in your living room.

SportsCenter 3D: Is that Scott Van Pelt and Steve Levy or just clever holograms delivering you the highlights? We’ll never tell.

Copyright © 2010 – Sports Climax

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