Author Archives: daviddietrichbgsu

About daviddietrichbgsu

I am second-year student at Bowling Green State University. I am a Sport Management major, with a minor in Journalism. I hope to one day work in the communications department for a Division I college or university.

An Inside Look at the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp

By David Dietrich

May 6, 2019

David Dietrich is a second-year undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University. The Tiffin, Ohio native is a Sport Management major, with a minor in journalism. His primary sports interests are football, basketball, and baseball, at both collegiate and professional levels.

Broadcast Boot Camp

Earlier in April, I had the opportunity to be a student ambassador for the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp. For three days, I guided current and former NFL players around BGSU’s campus where they were trained in different aspects of sport media. During this time, I was able to observe some of the unique simulations that occurred in our facilities. The different types of training included TV studio and radio recordings, discussions about fair coverage, and analytical approaches that can be used with the newest technology.

For me, one of the biggest takeaways from this week was the demand for simplicity from the NFL’s representatives. All 39 players in attendance know that game inside and out, so they were instructed to explain everything in a way “a smart 5th grader” would understand. Early in the week, several players used the technical terms for coverages and routes, which would not be understood by the common viewer. As the week progressed, the players improved in this aspect and began speaking in a way that is normally heard on the NFL’s television or radio broadcasts.

Another thing that stood out to me was the kindness of everyone involved. There were 39 players, some who will continue playing next season, and some who may have an appearance in Canton in their future. There were countless NFL media members, including some of the biggest producers and hosts in the business. Regardless of their status, each person treated me and the rest of the BGSU students and faculty with respect, often smiling and thanking us for our help. Some went as far as introducing themselves, despite being so recognizable they needed no introduction. They asked questions about my background, experiences, and goals, and seemed genuinely interested in what I wanted to do in the future.

On the final day, I spoke with many players about our shared love for sports and our shared interest in the media. Despite wildly different backgrounds, we were all on the early stages of a similar career path. We all have a goal to work somewhere in sport media and the Broadcast Boot Camp provided some very valuable experiences as we progress towards our goals. Overall, this was one of the most informative and fulfilling experiences of my career, and I am very thankful BGSU and the Maxwell Media Watch was able to provide me with this opportunity.

Social Media Discoveries Show a Different Story Between Westbrook and Jazz Fans

By David Dietrich

March 15, 2019

On Monday, the Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Utah Jazz, 98-89. While the showdown between the potential playoff teams was a subject of discussion this week, it was not because of what happened on the court. A video surfaced that showed Thunder guard Russell Westbrook threatening two fans, with very strong language being used. The video can be found below, but there is inappropriate language used throughout.

When asked about his actions, Westbrook defended himself, telling reporters the fan made racially charged comments. “If I had to do it again, I would say the same exact thing, because I truly will stand up for myself, for my family, for my kids, for my wife, for my mom, for my dad every single time” (MacMahon, 2019, para. 5). Westbrook and the fan, Shane Kiesel, had conflicting stories about what was said. Westbrook claimed he was told to “get down on your knees,” (MacMahon, 2019, para. 3) but Kiesel told the media he was yelling “ice those knees,” (MacMahon, 2019, para. 6).

After the game, some of Westbrook’s teammates and opponents came to his defense, saying they heard the offensive comments and wanted to know how they were being protected as players. Westbrook and Jazz fans are no strangers to controversy, with Westbrook being criticized last year for slapping at a fan’s phone after a playoff game. It appeared this event would take the same path, with Westbrook receiving a $25,000 fine from the NBA. However, the discovery of Shane Kiesel’s social media posts completely changed the situation.

Because of the strong content, I will not be sharing links to the posts by Kiesel. I will leave it at this: racial slurs, offensive comments, and blatant disrespect are evident throughout. With this discovery, many came to the defense of Westbrook, such as USA Today’s Nate Scott (2019), who writes “The point guard screaming at the fan isn’t just an immature malcontent, especially when the fan allegedly said something horrible and has a history that appears to show extremely racist and violent thinking” (para. 13). Scott also mentions this is “one of those instances where I am glad we have the internet. Fifteen years ago, we would have labeled Russell Westbrook a problem or worse for what he yelled at a fan on Monday night. Today, we can (more quickly and easily) learn about the fan, and begin to understand and empathize with, if not exactly condone, what Westbrook did” (para. 6).

While Russell Westbrook’s comments were very inappropriate, they were nowhere near the level of offensiveness that Kiesel portrayed on social media. Like Nate Scott mentioned, this is a circumstance that was sorted out largely because of social media. Today, social media, especially Twitter, can be a blessing and a curse. With little to no context, we saw a video of an NBA star yelling profanities at a married couple. It is very easy to make assumptions based on this single video, but we are fortunate more information was brought to light. With news being spread as quickly as possible on social media, it is difficult to see the entire scope of every situation. Thankfully, media members in Utah and Oklahoma City were able to investigate the entirety of the situation. Because of their work, we are now aware that the video portrays NBA star Russell Westbrook standing up for himself against Shane Kiesel, a very racist spectator.

Note: The picture below is a screenshot of a statement from the Utah Jazz, which permanently banned Shane Kiesel from attending any events held in the Vivant Smart Home Arena.

Jazz statement

References

MacMahon, T. (2019, March 12). Russell Westbrook threatens courtside fan, fan’s wife. ESPN.com. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/26234619/westbrook-threatens-courtside-fan-fan-wife

Scott, N. (2019, March 12). Russell Westbrook threatened a Jazz fan, but then we learned about the fan. USAToday.com. Retrieved from https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/03/russell-westbrook-jazz?utm_source=ftw&utm_medium=recirc&utm_campaign=rail-most-popular

utahjazz. (2019, March 12). A Statement from the Utah Jazz. Twitter.com. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/utahjazz/status/1105570407598321664

Woodyard, E. (2019, March 11). Things get heated between Russell Westbrook and Jazz fans again. Twitter.com. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/E_Woodyard/status/1105297381384368128

Super Bowl LIII Recap

By David Dietrich

February 22, 2019

For the second year in a row, I was fortunate enough to be selected to work at the Super Bowl Experience as a member of the BGSU Sport Management Alliance. Last year’s trip was one of the best experiences of my life, and I had very high expectations for this trip. I wanted to take advantage of everything that Atlanta offered and genuinely soak in the experience. For much of last year’s trip, I was shell-shocked by the enormity of the entire spectacle, so I did not take much time to step back and think about how lucky I was. We had a slightly more relaxed schedule this year, so I had some time to literally sit down and soak it in.

I worked at the fan experience on Wednesday and Thursday, helping the guests at some of the attractions. My shifts included the NFL Draft Simulation, Champions Ring Display, and Punt Return Simulation. Each one offered different opportunities for different fans, so I was able to talk to and interact with fans of all ages. Many fans were proudly dressed in Falcons gear, with some Patriots and Rams fans spread throughout. Other popular teams included the Steelers, Panthers, and Saints.

On game day, my official title was “On Location Experience Wayfinder.” I was stationed directly outside of the pre-game party entrance, directing guests to their parties. There were three separate parties, so I had to inform the guests which direction their specific party would be. Unlike last year, this did not occur in the stadium, so we did not get to stay for the game. While this was a letdown, we knew in advance it was unlikely we would work inside the stadium. Fortunately, our credentials allowed us to enter the stadium on Saturday, which was our day off.

SB4

The main entrance to Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Mercedes-Benz Stadium is truly breathtaking, especially when it is prepared to host the biggest event in American sports. We were not allowed on the field, but we could get as close as the first row in the corner of the end zone. After taking a few pictures there, I decided I had enough time to trek to the top row and get the best view of the stadium. I spent about 20 minutes sitting in the top row, soaking in the view. I thought about how blessed I was to be able to be on this trip, sit in the stadium, and be a part of another Super Bowl.

SB2

My panoramic view from the top row of Mercedez-Benz Stadium

There are countless aspects that go into the planning and execution of the Super Bowl, but I particularly wanted to observe the media’s presence throughout the week. Media Day occurred on Monday, which was before we began traveling. I saw some of the highlights online, but they appeared to be the typical question and answer interviews that happen every year. During the week’s festivities, I witnessed several media members actively creating content.

One thing that stood out to me at the Fan Experience was the massive number of reporters. They often walked around with a camera and microphone, looking for interactive events and passionate fans. Some fans were interviewed, others were filmed while they participated in events. A handful of reporters participated in the events themselves, microphone and all. On gameday, I noticed a separate entrance for those with media passes. Security was extremely tight, so I assumed the area was reserved to screen the equipment being brought in by reporters, journalists, or photographers.

My biggest takeaway from the week was how important it is to pay attention to every detail, no matter how big or small. It could be making sure the case surrounding the rings is secure or making sure a local news reporter is able to get a clear shot of the Lombardi Trophy. It could also be taking a picture of a Falcons fan next to a replica jersey or directing a fan to the NFL shop. Our goal was to provide a unique and memorable experience for each fan, so maintaining enthusiasm and positivity were incredibly important during our long shifts.

My personal highlight occurred at Super Bowl Live, an outdoor event that was free to the public. Among the attractions was an interview stage, and I stood in the fourth row while Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was interviewed by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer.

SB5

Browns QB Baker Mayfield answering questions from Jay Glazer

I was in awe of the presence of both men, one being my favorite athlete and the other being one of my favorite NFL media members. Witnessing a live media event from a close distance was remarkable, especially considering the people who were involved. This singular event was my favorite part of the week, but the entire experience is something I will never forget.

I would like to thank BGSU and the Sport Management faculty for preparing our group for the trip, we could not have done it without your expertise and support! I would also like to thank Cory Radebaugh and the rest of the Sport Management Alliance for organizing everything, their hard work and dedication made the trip a success! Finally, I would like to thank friends, family, and the community of Bowling Green for supporting me and my classmates, we are grateful for everything you do for us!

National Media Plays Dangerous Game with Motivated Mayfield

By David Dietrich

November 29, 2018

On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns won a road game for the first time since 2015. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield was spectacular, finishing with 258 passing yards on 19 completions, four of which led to touchdowns. While the 35-20 defeat of the Cincinnati Bengals and former coach Hue Jackson was noteworthy, Mayfield is receiving backlash from the national media for his postgame actions and comments directed towards former Browns head coach Hue Jackson.

After the Browns’ convincing win over Cincinnati, Hue Jackson sought out his former quarterback for a hug. Mayfield gave Jackson a straight-faced handshake, denying a hug and walking away. When reporters asked Mayfield what happened during the exchange, he mentioned that he “didn’t feel like talking” to him (Cabot, 2018, para. 3). Mayfield defended this by telling reporters that “somebody that was in our locker room asking for us to play for him, goes to a different team we play twice a year” (Cabot, 2018, para. 4). The young quarterback felt betrayed by his former head coach, and perhaps rightfully so.

Since then, national media members, some with NFL experience, have been ripping into the Browns rookie, calling him ‘immature’ (Gamble, 2018, para. 9) and ‘classless’ (Gamble, 2018, para. 18).  One former NFL player who chided Mayfield was ESPN First Take guest Damien Woody. Woody called Mayfield “hypocritical” (Curtis, 2018, para. 2) and told him to “grow up” (Curtis, 2018, para. 1), prompting this response from Mayfield (“Baker rips Hue,” 2018, para. 2):

Mayfield comment

The now-deleted Instagram comment sparked an even bigger response from the national media. The Undefeated’s William Rhoden (2018) wrote that Mayfield “hopefully will wise up or, at the very least, learn some respect” (para. 28). David Hookstead (2018) of The Daily Caller advises Mayfield to “chill out, stop behaving like a petty teenage girl and focus on playing football” (para. 6).  Former NFL safety Ryan Clark appeared on ESPN’s Get Up and told Mayfield “Stop being petty, stop being soft” (Pastrick, 2018, para. 15).

While the Instagram comment may have been unnecessary, it was not completely surprising. Mayfield has been very active on social media in the past, often responding to posts that criticize his actions. He even keeps a list of media members that have “crossed the line,” and uses those names as motivation. His postgame comment about Hue Jackson was his personal take, as he told reporters “Everyone can have their spin on it, but that’s how I feel” (Cabot, 2018, para. 4). With these words, Mayfield acknowledged that different people would have different opinions, but he felt comfortable with his. The NFL is a business, but it is also a highly competitive league. Baker Mayfield is a passionate player, and his competitive comments should not be held against him.

Baker Mayfield

Unlike most NFL quarterbacks, Baker Mayfield is outspoken, fiery, and unabashed. These rare qualities can often be valuable. Whether he is on or off the field, Mayfield does not hold back. His intensity, accuracy, passion, and ability to create have helped him win the Heisman, and Browns general manager John Dorsey believed those qualities could translate to the NFL. In just 8 starts, Mayfield has helped the Browns join the playoff conversation. More importantly, he has restored hope in Cleveland, a city desperate for a winning football team. Baker Mayfield has always been motivated by criticism, and the backlash from the media will only fuel his fire. This week’s media backlash will inevitably lead to more names being added to Baker Mayfield’s personal list. With a motivated Mayfield under center, Browns fans have a list of reasons to believe in their beloved team.

 

References

Baker rips Hue Jackson (again). (2018, November 25). Bleacher Report. Retrieved from https://bleacherreport.com/post/nfl/72e09cd2-6c95-4dac-95d6-8123b382f9bc

Cabot, M. (2018, November 26). Baker Mayfield ‘didn’t feel like talking’ to Hue Jackson postgame after he defected to the Bengals. Cleveland.com. Retrieved from https://www.cleveland.com/browns/2018/11/baker-mayfield-didnt-feel-like-talking-to-hue-jackson-post-game-after-he-defected-to-the-bengals.html

Curtis, C. (2018, November 27). ESPN’s Damien Woody’s beef with Baker Mayfield and his ‘fanboys’ intensifies. USAToday.com. Retrieved from https://ftw.usatoday.com/2018/11/cleveland-browns-baker-mayfield-damien-woody-beef-twitter-video

Gamble, J. (2018, November 27). Baker Mayfield’s classless shots At Hue Jackson. TheShadowLeague.com. Retrieved from https://theshadowleague.com/baker-mayfields-classless-shots-at-hue-jackson/

Hookstead, D. (2018, November 27). Baker Mayfield’s actions are getting out of control. His latest stunt is downright embarrassing. TheDailyCaller.com. Retrieved from https://dailycaller.com/2018/11/27/baker-mayfield-hue-jackson-first-take-comment-instagram/

Pastrick, C. (2018, November 27). Ex-Steeler Ryan Clark goes off on Browns QB Baker Mayfield for ‘being soft.’ TribLive.com. Retrieved from https://triblive.com/sports/nfl/14342239-74/ex-steeler-ryan-clark-goes-off-on-baker-mayfield-for-being-soft

Rhoden, W. (2018, November 27). Who does Baker Mayfield think he is? TheUndefeated.com. Retrieved from https://theundefeated.com/features/who-does-baker-mayfield-think-he-is/

CLEan House: Browns Fire Hue Jackson, Media Members Speak Their Minds

David Dietrich is a second-year undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University. The Tiffin, Ohio native is a Sport Management major, with a minor in journalism. His primary sports interests are football, basketball, and baseball, at both collegiate and professional levels.

On Monday afternoon, the Cleveland Browns’ front office announced they would be relieving head coach Hue Jackson of his duties. This marks the sixth time since 2010 the Browns have fired their head coach after a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is justified by Sunday’s game, which was one of the ugliest games in recent memory. Jackson is notorious for leading his teams to competitive games, only to lose in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. This time, the Browns faced a three-touchdown deficit with under a minute to play. A last-minute touchdown drive against a cruising Steelers’ defense brought the score to a more respectable number, but the damage was already done. The day of reckoning had passed, and Jackson failed yet again.

Both local and national media publications are aggressively criticizing Jackson for his unsuccessful stint in Cleveland. The combination of his numbers (three wins and one tie in 40 games, good for a winning percentage of .088) and his constant mishandling of adversity made Jackson an easy target for frustrated writers and analysts. Terry Pluto (2018) of Cleveland.com  wrote that this action “won’t make things any worse” (para. 13), while SB Nation’s Ryan Van Bibber (2018) asserted that “Hue survived by creating chaos and then positioning himself as a victim and the one person who can clean it all up” (para. 36).  In perhaps the most opinionated piece, Pluto’s colleague Doug Lesmerises (2018) took several digs at Jackson, including “anyone could have done better” (para. 10), “every single problem Jackson faced for 2 1/2 seasons, he took and made it worse” (para. 19), and “the future of the Browns is brighter today because Jackson isn’t part of it” (para. 33).

Local media members will continue to take their shots at Jackson this week, then turn their attention towards interim head coach Gregg Williams as he prepares the team for a match-up against the AFC-best Kansas City Chiefs. Williams has not been a head coach since 2003. For now, Cleveland fans will do what they always do: tune in on Sunday afternoon and hope their beloved Brownies can somehow pull out a rare victory. This is potentially the most discouraged fan base across all major sports, and the loyal fans simply deserve better. As NFL teams progress through the back half of the season, there will be one question looming in the back of the minds of fans, players, and media members. For many people, it will be a rallying cry; for Browns fans, it will be a cry of desperation. As they try to salvage another disappointing season, Browns fans will be among many asking the all-important question: who’s next?

References

Lesmerises, D. (2018, October 29). Hue Jackson fired by the Browns, and no coach ever deserved it more. Cleveland.com. Retrieved from https://www.cleveland.com/browns/index.ssf/2018/10/hue_jackson_fired_by_the_brown.html

Pluto, T. (2018, October 29). Hue Jackson’s firing should set up John Dorsey to pick new Browns coach. Cleveland.com. Retrieved from https://www.cleveland.com/sports/columns/2018/10/hue-jacksons-firing-should-set-up-john-dorsey-to-pick-new-browns-coach-terry-pluto.html

Van Bibber, R. (2018, October 29). Hue Jackson finally ran out of excuses for the Browns being terrible. SBNation. Retrieved from https://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2018/10/29/18035166/cleveland-browns-hue-jackson-todd-haley-hot-seat-rumors-excuses-losses-steelers

 

Hue Jackson Under Fire Once Again

David Dietrich is a second-year undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University. The Tiffin, Ohio native is a Sport Management major, with a minor in journalism. His primary sports interests are football, basketball, and baseball, at both collegiate and professional levels.

Following yet another close loss on Sunday, fans and media alike are wondering how much time Hue Jackson has left as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Many consider this Sunday’s match-up against the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers the day of reckoning for Jackson. This is primarily because the last five Browns coaches have been relieved of their duties after a game against Pittsburgh. This year, Jackson is in a very different situation than his predecessors. As ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Grossi (2018) points out, this game is only the Browns’ eighth of the year. The past five coaches were relieved of their duties after the last game of the year, coincidentally against Pittsburgh each time.

With a record of 3-35-1 over the past 3 seasons in Cleveland, it comes as no surprise that Jackson has not been portrayed as a savior by the local media. What is surprising is the recent increase in criticism for the man who has won twice as many games this season as in the previous two combined. Granted, that number is only two, but it is still an improvement for a young team playing in the very competitive AFC North. Phrases such as “the worst coach in all major sports” and “end of the road” are being posted on both local and national media sites (Gurzi, 2018, para. 11), and Jackson was criticized for saying he would “get this thing to where I think it needs to be” (Orr, 2018, para. 4).

After this postgame statement, rumors flew about Jackson taking over the play-calling duties. NFL.com (Teope, 2018) and CBSSports.com (Wilson, 2018), among others, reported that Jackson would contemplate this decision, leading Jackson to clear up his statements in Monday’s press conference. He asserted that he would not be taking over as the play-caller, telling reporters “I will infuse myself to help and assist our offensive coaching staff.” The lack of clarity in his original statements led to an influx of criticism for possibly the most criticized coach in the NFL.

Cleveland has lost three games by one field goal, and most of the blame is placed on the man in charge. Local media members like Tony Grossi and Terry Pluto have voiced frustration with the Browns, who have long struggled with inconsistent play. Grossi believes the 2018 Browns practice the same habits as last year’s team, despite having more talent. He writes about the Browns’ inability to manage critical situations, their lack of discipline and their fragile mentality, and Pluto (2018) bases Jackson’s future on the Browns’ upcoming offensive performance.

When multiple games are decided by one field goal, writers such as Grossi and Pluto are quick to blame the person in charge. Whether or not this is the case is up to the fans, but head coaches consistently take the blame. Hue Jackson is no different, but the Browns are seemingly the same. After the interpretation and report of his postgame remarks, Hue Jackson’s seat may finally be hot enough to melt the already thinning ice beneath him. This could ultimately, and in some eyes mercifully, end his tumultuous tenure in the “Hardland of America.”

 

References

Grossi, T. (2018, October 21). Just what Hue Jackson needs — a pre-Halloween date in Pittsburgh. ESPNCleveland. Retrieved from http://www.espn.com/blog/cleveland/post/_/id/5677/just-what-hue-jackson-needs-a-pre-halloween-date-in-pittsburgh

Gurzi, R. (2018, October 19). Cleveland Browns: Is Hue Jackson the worst coach in all major sports? Dawg Pound Daily. Retrieved from https://dawgpounddaily.com/2018/10/19/cleveland-browns-hue-jackson-worst-coach-major-sports/

Orr, C. (2018, October 22). Are we nearing the end of the road for Hue Jackson and the Cleveland Browns? Sports Illustrated. Retrieved from https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/10/22/hue-jackson-cleveland-browns-john-dorsey

Pluto, T. (2018, October 21). Cleveland Browns: Can Hue Jackson rescue the offense? Cleveland.com. Retrieved from https://www.cleveland.com/pluto/index.ssf/2018/10/cleveland_browns_can_hue_jacks_1.html

Teope, H. (2018, October 22.) Browns’ Hue Jackson mulls play-calling responsibilities. NFL.com. Retrieved from http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000977339/article/browns-hue-jackson-mulls-playcalling-responsibilities

Wilson, R. (2018, October 22). Hue Jackson’s plan to save the Browns: Possibly taking over play-calling duties from Todd Haley. CBSSports.com. Retrieved from https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/hue-jacksons-plan-to-save-the-browns-possibly-taking-over-play-calling-duties-from-todd-haley/