Tag Archives: Sports Media

Hookers, Media Feuds, and the Ego that Binds Them

Long before Mitch Levy allegedly plunked $160 in cash upon a bedside table in anticipation of a good old fashioned happy ending, The Seattle Times had already determined they’d be severing a long-standing association with Levy’s employer, Sports Radio 950 KJR.

The newspaper and the radio station had no real reason to be on the outs were it not for Frank Blethen, the publisher and CEO of Seattle’s paper of record. Blethen, who has been at the Times’ helm since 1985, was done with the relationship for various reasons – chief among those being a certain level of frustration over KJR’s criticism of the Times’ controversial stance on two different Seattle arena proposals, as well as perceived criticism of the paper itself. As a result, Blethen chose to enforce a moratorium on Times writers appearing on both Sports Radio 950 KJR, as well as “competing media” in the local Seattle area. The Times would later clarify its stance, singling out KJR as the sole outlet from which writers were explicitly forbidden, while also adding that some semblance of managerial permission would be required for employees to appear on-air with other local entities. Previously, this lack of autonomy had not existed.

By now we know that the Times cited “off-color” and “sexist” remarks from KJR radio personalities as the reasoning behind their imposed operational changes. However, that language didn’t emerge in an official statement until Thursday, August 31st, which might not mean much if it weren’t for Levy and his fateful blunder nearly a week earlier.

Continue reading Hookers, Media Feuds, and the Ego that Binds Them

Update: The Seattle Times Bans Sportswriters from Local Radio, TV

*Updated 8/31/17

In what is sure to be hailed as a brilliant public relations maneuver by absolutely no one, The Seattle Times has decided to prohibit their entire sports writing staff from appearing on local radio and television for the foreseeable future.

Beginning September 5th, Times sportswriters will be barred from the Seattle airwaves at the behest of management, preventing reporters and columnists from fulfilling previous commitments to local sports radio stations and television outlets. Once imposed, the ban will primarily have an impact on entities like Sports Radio 950 KJR and 710 ESPN Seattle, where many of the Times’ stable of writers would often appear.

Citing “competing forms of media” as the reason behind the embargo, the Times seems willing to sacrifice much-needed exposure for… ego, perhaps? Because make no mistake about it, this decree comes straight from the top and is a direct result of hurt feelings and a bruised manhood.

Continue reading Update: The Seattle Times Bans Sportswriters from Local Radio, TV

Athletic Supporters Send Jerry Brewer to Bullets

shvxAs the owner, general manager, and sometimes point guard of a rec team of increasingly unathletic amateur basketball players, I’m here today to formally announce the sad news of the departure of a fellow Athletic Supporter teammate of mine.

Jerry Brewer, who supplemented his time as a power shooting center by moonlighting as a columnist for The Seattle Times, has been dealt to the Washington (D.C.) Bullets, ending his tenure with the Supporters. The move will subsequently necessitate a career change for Brewer, who will be leaving the Times for a similar position at The Washington Post.

In his time with the Supporters, Brewer emerged as a favorite of the team’s five or six fans. Recognized for his matching green warmup suits, as well as his inability to corral wayward behind-the-back passes from guard Ryan Divish, Brewer etched himself into rec league lore by successfully bringing back the spectacle sport strap, not seen since Kurt Rambis last played in the NBA.

Brewer may best be remembered in Seattle for his time spent off the court, however.

Occasionally penning stories that geriatrics loved to forward via “the internet mail” to their grandkids, Brew established himself as one of the most respected voices of the sports fan in the Pacific Northwest.

When he wasn’t waxing poetic about athletics for the Times, Brewer seized the opportunity to start a family, seducing a woman, marrying her, spawning a son, and even adopting a kitten. He also made time for his buddies, often showing up to local watering holes in crisp sport coats while everyone else donned tattered t-shirts and worn jeans.

For this scribe, at least, Brewer will be remembered as a friend and confidant who helped foster an ability to piece words together in a captivating way. While anyone can write, Brew would devote entire afternoons to sitting at a bar, discussing life, and inspiring the ideas that materialized into print for a twenty-something lazy-ass. That he once triumphantly captained a mission to get that same lazy-ass to 1,000 followers on Twitter will never be forgotten, either.

As our pal departs for the other Washington, we remember karaoke renditions of Gin and Juice, a knack for incorrectly spelling words that describe acts of human nature, and that one time a whiny kid on an opposing team threw a basketball at Brewer for reasons unknown.

Jerry, no matter what all the internet haters say, we don’t think you’re weird at all. In fact, we’ll miss you. And we wish you well as you depart your adoptive home for a new adventure.

In exchange for Brewer, the Bullets will send 48-year-old forward/center Pervis Ellison, who averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds in the 1991-1992 season, to Seattle.

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The Greatest Thing You’ve Never Heard

I’ll tell you what it is first, then I’ll give you the back story. It is a weekly podcast featuring myself, producer extraordinaire Josh Sabrowsky, traffic diva Ashley Ryan, and the Tacoma News-Tribune’s Ryan Divish, hosted by Sports Radio 950 KJR, published through 950KJR.com and SeattleSportsnet.com, and available through iTunes.

There you have it.

So how did this come to fruition?

Very simply, it started with a karate emergency. And for the record, “Karate Emergency” is now my new favorite quote. Because nothing says “emergency” quite like karate.

Josh and I were headed to play some pickup basketball with my brother at the Northgate Community Center on Thursday evening. We go every Thursday for open runs. We play ball with high school kids who talk a lot and make us feel better about our fading game and aging bodies.

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Top 11: Best Local TV Sportscasters

Brad Adam, aka "Bradam"

Because we don’t watch enough of the news anymore. And these 11 folks need our attention. They demand it. They crave it. It’s why they’re on TV.

11. Andrea Nakano, KING 5 News

Andrea is the newest kid on the block when it comes to the local TV sportscaster scene. She’s been tasked with filling the shoes of the now-departed Lisa Gangel (Kerney), which is akin to handing David Pauley a baseball and asking him to take over for Cliff Lee.

To say that Andrea has a lot of pressure on her shoulders would be an understatement at this point. However, she seems to be fitting into the role nicely so far and has yet to run off and marry one of our local professional athletes. Good for her.

10. Jen Mueller, Fox Sports Northwest

Jen Mueller spent nearly two years living in the shadow of Nicole Zaloumis’s cleavage. As soon as Nicole and her funbags left town, it was time for Jen to shine.

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FSN: Home of the Epic Fail

FSN. Like an itch on your balls that you just can’t scratch because you’re talking face-to-face with a girl who is clearly better looking than you and you do not want to ruin this, they pretty much annoy the hell out of you.

On the plus side, they provide a service that many of us can’t live without: sports, live, on television, for our enjoyment.

On the other hand, they suck at providing that service. And so we have a catch-22.

Last week, we fanned the flames of war by first posting a critique of the embattled sports network, followed shortly thereafter by a mock interview with an FSN employee.

Surprisingly, we managed to score a reaction from FSN with the airing of our dirty laundry. They sent one of their plebes to handle us through email, and wouldn’t you know it, they screwed that up, too.

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An Exclusive Interview With FSN

In response to our Semi-Annual Critique of FSN, we managed to land an exclusive interview with an employee of Fox Sports Net, who shall remain anonymous for the purposes of this article. Enjoy.

Seattle Sportsnet: First off, I want to thank you for taking the time to join us here today. And rest assured your identity will be kept confidential, so feel free to be as honest and open as you like with us.

Fox Sports Net Employee: No problem, it’s my pleasure. Most days I barely even work.

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My Semi-Annual Critique of FSN

Dear FSN,

Well, we made it to January 11th. Eleven days. That’s how long it took for you guys to violate the terms of our trust. To review, those terms are as follows:

“I, the viewing party, will watch FSN’s programming without complaint so long as FSN broadcasts live and recorded television without a) insulting my intelligence directly, b) repeatedly mispronouncing someone’s name, c) misnaming or mislabeling someone or something on more than one occasion, d) just sucking in general.”

Of course, we all know what happened. Yesterday, during the Washington-Arizona men’s basketball game — a mere microcosm of two hours of your broadcast day — two members of your Arizona-based announcing crew violated every single one of our four simple terms. Every single one.

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What Is Mainstream Media?

deadspinI was reading this article when I came across an interesting fact that turns the tables on “mainstream media.” Here’s the quote:

“One of the favored criticisms of blogs in general by “mainstream” media is that blogs lack accountability. Backing into this, the definition of “mainstream” is entirely out of whack by those who toss it around. In August, [online sports blog] Deadspin had 22 million page views. On Wednesday alone, the site had over one million. If Deadspin is not “mainstream,” then virtually every newspaper site in the country is outside the mainstream as well. So are most television shows on cable, virtually every print newspaper in the country, and just about every radio show on Earth. So Deadspin rests squarely in the middle of the stream, occasionally urinating in the water as it goes past perhaps, but squarely in that stream.”

The author of this quip is a former Deadspin.com editor who attempts to provide some insight into the debate between “mainstream” media and the blogosphere, generally thought of as the un-mainstream, if you can call it that.

It’s funny, but mainstream media is actually taking a back seat to the un-mainstream these days and it makes you wonder what we really consider to be mainstream. Do we consider the newspaper that we occasionally read mainstream? Or do we think of our favorite blogs, which we check every hour, as mainstream?

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We Follow You, Hugh Millen

hughmillen3If there’s one man you should know, it’s Hugh Millen. Out of all the dudes out there, he is your guy. Forget about Barack Obama, or Ryan Seacrest, or even Y.E. Yang. If you’re not following Hugh Millen, you aren’t truly living life. And that’s a scientific fact. Hugh can prove it to you, because Hugh’s a genius.

Some of you may remember Hugh when he was a quarterback, first at Seattle’s Roosevelt High School, then at Santa Rosa Junior College, the University of Washington, and finally the NFL.

Hugh was damn good at what he did back in the day, tossing footballs to receivers of varying talent like pebbles into the ocean. He helped the Huskies win the 1985 Orange Bowl as a junior, and backed up Hall of Famers like Troy Aikman and John Elway when he ultimately made it to The League.

A fool would attribute the successes of the Aikmans and Elways of the world to hard work, perseverance, and God-given ability. A much smarter individual would credit the likes of Hugh Millen for lighting a fire underneath their first-string counterparts and thus enabling the greats of the game to play at such a high level.

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Add LZ Granderson To The List of “Sportswriters Who Should Be Doing Other Things”

lzgrandersonThis monstrosity is LZ Granderson’s most recent column.

LZ Granderson is ESPN’s resident homosexual columnist, and somehow or another he always finds a way to incorporate his social cause (gay rights) into every single article he writes. I would have to imagine that if you were a gay guy who was into sports, LZ Granderson would only ruin it for you.

My first exposure to Granderson came during the whole, big, giant Tim Hardaway scandal. Hardaway made an inappropriate comment about gay people, and LZ Granderson suddenly had a purpose in life, filing a new story seemingly every minute. It was, to say the least, annoying.

And now, with nobody out there making ill-advised statements about gay people, Granderson is struggling once again to come up with new material.

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Mark May Thinks He Knows What He’s Talking About

markmaylaughDeadspin is wrong.

They waste time hating on NFL analyst Mark Schlereth when it’s another Mark that torments sports fans the world around.

That would be Mark May, ESPN college football analyst and former NFL offensive lineman.

The oddly-bespectacled May is the bane of yours, my, and our existence and arguably the smartest-sounding dumb guy in the history of sports media.

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Chopper 950 Flies For Seattle Sportsnet, Husky Nation

brianabker
The Captain of Chopper 950, Brian Abker

It doesn’t matter who USC starts at QB…USC will win this game by 3 touchdowns…Dawgs are better than last year, but that’s equal to saying Kathy Griffin looks better after plastic surgery.”-Brian Abker, 9/18/09.

I picture this quote flashing ominously across the Jumbotron at Husky Stadium, minutes before the 2009 Apple Cup is set to kick off.

But first, we need some highlights of Husky heroics from days gone by.

Steve Emtman recording a vicious sack, Mario Bailey hauling in a deep touchdown pass, Marques Tuiasosopo running in for a score. All amidst a soundtrack of foreboding music.

Continue reading Chopper 950 Flies For Seattle Sportsnet, Husky Nation