….because they don’t get much more grim & all-around scoldy than former Amazins starter Bobby Ojeda, who over the past 6 years has presided over Mets postgame wraps with his own unique brand of tough love. Perhaps thinking Keith Hernandez has already filled the quota for ’86 Mets alumni willing to call out today’s players, SNY is waving bye bye to Bobby O after rejecting a raise request, and Metsradamus is not alone in bemoaning the departure of a commentator he calls “your cranky uncle”.
There aren’t a lot of baseball broadcasts I enjoy more than SNY’s from top to bottom, and I do peruse my share. Burkhardt’s and now Ojeda’s departure will hurt. But it will probably mean that I just won’t watch nearly as many post games as I used to. To be honest, it’s very rare that I will leave Dog Piss Live (which is what Post Game Live is called after tough losses) on for any reason other than “Is Bobby Ojeda going to finally smash the set with a baseball bat after a tough loss.” Sadly, this will never happen.
Say what you want about Ojeda … he was honest. And he drew from his experience to make points about the current team. And good or bad, he had conviction. Hopefully the news that Nelson Figueroa is the front runner to replace Ojeda will prove true and pan out, because if his replacement comes from among the backups that usually roam 51st street when Ojeda is on vacation, I’m flipping the channel after the 27th out. And I sure as hell hope that Ojeda’s departure doesn’t open the door for the slanted, homer scourge that has seeped in pretty much everywhere else.
(would you trust this man to mix a Purple Pecker Wrecker?)
CSNNE.com’s Tom E. Curran took in Roger Goodell’s pre-Super Bowl XLIX press conference yesterday and denounced the NFL Commissioner for “a vindictive, self-important, spare-no-expense investigation into footballs being less than 12.5 PSI” (“how’s that Jets tampering charge coming along, Rog? What a %#$&*$% fraud”). Midway thru Curran’s rip job, he had a chance encounter with NFLPA President Eric Winston, who added, “Hey, even the worst bartender at Spring Break does pretty well. Think about it, a 2-year-old could [be NFL Commissioner] and still make money.” On Saturday, Winston apologized, as the Washington Post’s Marissa Payne details :
Winston, an offensive tackle on the Cincinatti Bengals who was elected to lead the NFLPA last March, took to Twitter after Curran used the remark in his Friday column and accused the reporter of taking his comment “out of context” and using it to “burn” him.
“I am disappointed that my comment was taken out of context and inserted into a column without any knowledge that the conversation was ‘on the record.’ I am disappointed that this reporter chose to burn me, but this is an important lesson that I will learn going forward,” Winston wrote.
While condemning Curran, Winston also doled out an apology to Goodell.
“In a casual conversation … about the success of the NFL and how nothing seems to get in its way, I inappropriately and flippantly made a remark about the job of Commissioner Goodell. We often disagree on the issues but I want to apologize to Roger for being unprofessional,” Winston wrote. “This is my fault and again, I apologize.”
Curran’s yet to respond, either via CSNNE or on Twitter, and it would be interesting to learn more about he “burned” Winston, who presumably has dealt with the media before.
Sadly, it’s been a few years since Chuck Meehan updated us on the mischief taking place at Philadelphia’s annual salute to gluttony, The Wing Bowl, but leave it to former WWE/WCW/ECW fixture / best-selling author Mick Foley to bring the event back into the CSTB-sphere. Philly.com’s Vaughan Johnson details the former Dude Love’s ill-advised attempt to cheat in this esteemed competition :
Because of the entrance order, Foley was seated next to Molly Schuyler, the defending Wing Bowl champion, who set a world record during her dominant victory in 2014.
Foley estimates he got through about 70 wings before looking over at Schuyler and realizing that she had already devoured more than 200. He quickly knew he was in way over his head at this point.
Despite the numerous steel chair shots to the cranium, Foley quickly thought on his feet and weighed his options. Foley believed that if he attempted to keep up with Schuyler, he would eventually vomit all over the place, publicly embarrassing himself. The alternative to throwing up would be to cheat. Like a good wrestling heel, Foley knew he was overmatched and chose the latter option.
“I’d rather cheat than puke,” Foley said afterward.
Thus began the process of him stuffing his trusty fanny pack with poultry. While Foley was disqualified before even reaching 100, Schuyler wolfed down 440 wings, but was still good enough to finish only in second place, as Patrick Bertoletti unseated the defending champion, with a record 444 wings.
If a recent Instagram post is to be taken at face value, Limp Bizkit guitarist Wes Borland is somewhat ambivalent about his band’s legacy and space in the current cultural climate (AND WHO CAN BLAME HIM?). As Metal Injection reports, Borland would seemingly rather schedule root canal than participate in the ShipRocked cruise alongside other iconic düde-metal purveyors :
Getting all packed up this week for Broatchella 2015. It’s the same as Brochella but it’s off land. Can’t wait to see me some roided out tribal tattooed spray tanned Jell-O shot filled bohunks do their best drunk MMA impressions in the top deck mosh pit. Whenever we aren’t on stage, I’ll be curled up fetal position in my cabin, palms up, while I desperately cling to the last week of my thirties as it slips through my hooked fingers. So, I’d like to give a shout out now to all the other over-the-hill late nineties/early 2000s bands going on the cruise: Let’s give these people the raging alcohol fueled nostalgia fest they’re paying for guys! I know we can do it if we tune down low enough!”
Of Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch’s near legendary truculence when confronted by tape recorders and notepads, the Saint Paul Pioneer Press’ Brian Murphy opines the Skittles enthusiast’s “tired sphinx act masks the hard truth that without the media NFL players would be playing in a parking lot for $8 an hour.” I guess we’ll have to assume that denied the opportunity to write about the exploits of the NFL’s workface, Murphy would be curing diseases or winning Drama Desk awards (as opposed to, y’know, manning the mop at an adult bookstore). The argument seems to be that Lynch desperately needs the media to do his job, not the other way around, with Murphy insisting, “Lynch mocks the $2 billion TV networks pay to broadcast his profession and paying fans who consume NFL coverage across every medium.” Given that Lynch cashes his paychecks, I’m not sure he’s mocking the league’s TV partners. He might, however, be mocking journalists who have a very inflated sense of their own importance. In the wake of all this outrage, The Atlantic’s Dashiell Bennett suggests Lynch’s act is in the very rich tradition of another World Champion, albeit one from another sport who is generally treated with far more deference by the reporters who line up for his abuse.
Lynch isn’t the only media-averse sports figure. Gregg Popovich, the head coach for the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, is another famous interview malcontent. He participates in the mandatory shakedowns with sideline reporters, but unlike most NBA coaches, he responds with only the most terse answers, or with open disdain for the interviewers. Also, unlike almost every other NBA coach, his media moments are a must-watch.
In that sense, it’s hard to argue that refusing to pal around with reporters is unprofessional. Not cooperating with the machine actually generates better stories. And it only underlines the point that reporters need the athletes way more than the athletes need them. It seems likely that every news outlet in the country could fire their sports reporters tomorrow (please don’t!), but the NFL would keep filling stadiums. Lynch’s (high-paying) job will continue to be playing football, not giving quotes. Although if the media paid a little closer attention, they’d realize he’s graciously giving them the second part for free.
“There is no standard course; it is tailored to each individual,” says England Football Association inclusion education advisor Chris Gibbons of the special diversity training he’s meant to provide to Wigan Chairman Dave Whelan (above, right), currently serving a 6-week ban for his comments regarding Jews and the Chinese. As Gibbons explains to The Guardian’s David Conn, “At the end, we encourage people to think about positive things they could say publicly.”
Gibbons,who was formerly responsible for the education campaigns at Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity. says “we absolutely don’t want it to be a lecture by somebody suited and booted from the FA; we structure courses with interactive exercises aimed at helping people to understand the impact their comments or behaviour can have. There are different ways of showing people, even if they didn’t mean something to be offensive, how others can be very, very offended and hurt. We show them some actual responses from the community referred to, discuss big episodes of history where such things were said, we encourage people to put themselves in the place of those who were the subject of the comments.”
Gibbons says that in Whelan’s case he is likely to show the offence which was taken by Jewish people and organisations to the comment that “Jewish people chase money more than everybody else” and Chinese people to Whelan’s assertion that calling them “chink” is not offensive. Eight Chinese organisations headed by the British Chinese project reacted furiously to that.
Their spokesman, Michael Wilkes, told the Guardian that the Chinese community is not as well institutionally organised as the Jewish community, but there was great anger at Whelan’s revival of a derogatory term they thought had been largely consigned to history.