Monthly Archives: December 2012

Analyst deserves longer suspension for RG3 comments


ESPN analysts are known for their ignorance, but how far is too far?

Rob Parker took it too far when discussing Robert Griffin III. Parker questioned Griffin’s blackness because he is engaged to a white woman.

Parker’s comments were very uneducated as interracial relationships are a big part of our society. Parker also claimed Griffin was a Republican. What does his political affiliation have to do with his identity?

His comments reflected poorly on ESPN and could make other black ESPN analysts, his co-workers, uncomfortable.

Griffin and his fiancé were also impacted by his comments. The star quarterback could now endure backlash for his political views.      

Parker apologized, but it did not seem sincere. He only apologized due to the negative response received from ESPN and sporting world.

He was suspended for 30 days, but I feel it should have been longer. He impacted many people through his statement.

Raudio weighs in on racist tweet during Obama’s Newtown speech


During this week’s Sunday Night Football game, NBC pre-empted the game to cover President Obama’s speech in Newtown, Conn.

Most appreciated the sign of respect for the tragedy, but not all.

One North Alabama football player, Bradley Snapper, sent a racist tweet when the game was interrupted, according to an article in the New York Daily News.

Many Twitter users were outraged and notified North Alabama’s athletic director, Mark Linder. He responded quickly, notifying them Snapper was no longer a member of the team. He also thanked users for the information and emphasized North Alabama doesn’t condone such behavior.

According to the article, Snapper wasn’t the only one upset about the interruption. Other people sent tweets voicing their anger.

It’s very upsetting to see this. For a nation in mourning, it is important to be united and hear from our leaders. Sports can have healing properties, but the nation’s current priorities should be in helping Newtown. I’m glad NBC saw the importance of the President’s speech and broadcast it on their main network.

I believe this delicate situation was handled very appropriately. NBC made the right call showing the speech on their main network, and Linder and the University of North Alabama made the right call removing the player from the team.

It is sad to see people such as Snapper with the wrong priorities, but I’m glad to see a majority of the media, the sport industry, and the nation show respect and honor to the victims in Newtown.

TV networks show respect for Newtown tragedy


Following the tragedy in Newton, Conn., I was interested to see how the media covered the story in their pregame broadcasts and during Sunday Night Football.

CBS, ESPN and FOX all acknowledged the event and did so in a very respectable way. They should be commended. Even the slightest choice of wrong words could hurt many people. 

Each network interviewed Giants head coach Tom Coughlin about how his team wanted to remember all the victims with a moment of silence and initials imprinted on their shoes. The networks were respectful of the emotions involved with this tragedy.

At halftime during Sunday Night Football, I wondered if Bob Costas would use the events in Newtown as another stage to address the issue of gun control. Just a few weeks ago, Costas was heavily criticized for his feature on gun control in the wake of Jovan Belcher’s suicide.

This Sunday, Costas instead chose to discuss another topic and avoided any political issues.

NBC also decided to cut into the first quarter of Sunday night’s game to televise President Obama’s speech at the prayer vigil being held in Newtown. This was a classy and respectable move by the network. It demonstrated how sports should be in the back of viewers’ minds right now and instead focused on showing respect for this tragedy.

Reilly’s coverage of Belcher suicide ‘powerful’ and ‘appropriate‘


Rick Reilly is often criticized for the tone in which he chooses to write, not to mention for his giant contract with ESPN.

Even with his polarizing style he has won countless awards. He proved why with his latest article on titled, “When ‘help’ is the hardest word.”

His article was written in response to the tragic death of Jovan Belcher, who took his own life on the morning of Dec.1 Belcher killed himself in front of members of the Kansas City Chiefs’ coaching and front office staff.

Reilly focused on Brady Quinn and how he has already lost two teammates to suicide in his short NFL career. Along with Belcher, Quinn lost teammate Kenny McKinley in 2010 when he was a member of the Denver Broncos.

Suicide is a sensitive and personal topic, but Reilly did an appropriate job and summed up the comments made by Quinn after the Chiefs’ win on Dec. 2. Reilly said we never know how someone is doing or if they need to talk to someone about their issues.

It is tough to pry this personal information from people, even if we find them to be close friends.

Reilly relates Quinn’s situation with his own, as he lost a friend to suicide just a few years ago. This story led to Reilly’s most powerful statement in the entire article.

“Are we our brother’s keeper? Our teammate’s? Our colleague’s? Do we have a duty to help people even when they’re not asking?”

Suicide is, unfortunately, something we must deal with in our society, including the sporting world.

Herbstreit’s attack on NIU ‘baseless’


Kirk Herbstreit is one of the most respected analysts in college football and he has proven to be an unbiased commentator. This is why I was shocked he trashed the BCS system for allowing Northern Illinois, from the Mid-American Conference, to play in the Orange Bowl against Florida State. To say I was disappointed by his reaction would be a complete understatement.

“The fact that Northern Illinois is in the BCS in 2012 is really a sad state for college football and where we are with the current system,” Herbstreit said.

How is it sad that Northern Illinois is in the BCS? Is it sad for ESPN because ratings won’t be as high as it would be with a team from a power conference? Is Herbstreit assuming fans do not like teams from mid-major conferences to pull off upsets against teams from power conferences? If that is the case, he must have been asleep during Boise State’s upset against Oklahoma.

“They [Northern Illinois] don’t deserve to be in the BCS this year,” he continued.

This is where Herbstreit’s argument becomes baseless. This was not a football decision.

By rule, if a team from a non-BCS conference makes the top 16 in the final BCS poll and they are ranked higher than a BCS conference champion, they are in no matter what. This rule was put in place so the BCS would avoid an Anti-Trust lawsuit. Northern Illinois was ranked ahead of two BCS conference champions.

It just so happens Northern Illinois also won a conference entering seven teams into bowl games. That is the third highest in college football and highest among non-BCS conferences. It is not Northern Illinois’ fault Louisville plays in the free-falling Big East conference, nor is it their fault Nebraska horrifically lost in the Big Ten Championship game to a team only playing because Ohio State and Penn State were not eligible.

I understand analysts are paid to express their opinions about what is going on in their sports. If they want to say Northern Illinois has no chance of winning because Florida State is a superior team, then fine. If they want to say that the Huskies do not have as good of a team as Utah, TCU, and Boise State when they made the BCS that would be a valid point.

But to completely dismiss the rules in place and to just to bash a team is just wrong and unfair. It is wrong and unfair to the Northern Illinois team, which worked hard to be in this position. It is wrong for their students and fans that have supported this team throughout the entire season. It is also wrong and unfair to those teams in the MAC conference like Bowling Green, Kent State, and Toledo, among others, who have competed in one of the most competitive conferences in college football this season. But most importantly, it is wrong and unfair to the viewers of ESPN to use the airwaves to slam a team that earned a spot in the BCS by rule just because the usual favorites from the power conference teams did not get in.

Herbstreit has the responsibility to viewers to offer his opinion in a fair, unbalanced way. For years, he has done just that. But on the night of the BCS selection show, Herbstreit blew his opportunity. If Northern Illinois beats Florida State, he will be eating his words in front of a national audience.

Gruden and Tirico are ‘Primetime’


Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico turned in a primetime performance Monday in the NFL matchup between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins. Their performance is coupled with some of the best camera work for replays and between play shots by the ESPN network.

Tirico does a great job setting up Gruden to do his analyst job after a play, complemented by good camera angles. For example, ESPN showed a run by Redskins running back Alfred Morris from a bird’s eye view right behind the player. It was a great view and allowed Gruden to dissect the play.

During the course of the game, Gruden and Tirico both highlighted certain players because of their role or ability.  The cameras worked very well with the commentators in showing these players.  When Gruden spoke about Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn and how important he is to the Giants defense, the camera cut to a shot of Blackburn on the field.

Energy is the strength of the Tirico/Gruden broadcasting team. You can hear Gruden’s excitement and energy for the game in his analyses. It is very contagious and great to see a commentator love what he is doing.

It is obvious why Gruden and Tirico are on the call for Monday Night Football on ESPN. They provide great information and energy and receive great support from the camera work.