ESPN Story Detailing Safety of OSU Football Players sparks outrage

I’ll be honest, when I first came across the ESPN piece, I had to double check to make sure it wasn’t a troll account.

When I came to the realization that it wasn’t, I was stunned. How the hell could an editor at the Mothership (ESPN) green light a story and headline like this?

Underneath the original tweet of the story (which has now been deleted), someone underneath commented “Oh God, I sure hope the Volleyball team is okay.”

Simple yet so effective.

What happened Monday was something I never ever could have imagined would happen here at Ohio State. In fact although I was on south campus in Hale hall, the whole experience of being in a room with my peers with the door barricaded was terrifying.

To think that the first reaction is to write a story not even a day after the event had transipired and to title it “Ohio State Football players safe, accounted for after on-campus attack” was so incredibly tone deaf.

I get it. Austin Ward is a Big Ten writer for ESPN. He was attempting just to do his job. But to come out and release a story like this was so distasteful and insensitive beyond comprehension.

The most baffling thing beyond the existence and title of the story,  was how disorganized it was.

It leads with violent details about the attack, then bizarrely segues into how all Ohio State football players are safe before giving details about the the “second-ranked Buckeyes” and their practice ordeals.

As if it couldn’t get worse, the story closes out with a description of the attacker as well as newsworthy details about the attack which you would have presumed to be apart of the lede.

An absolute disaster.

I fully expect ESPN take the necessary action to either edit the story and headline, or just archive the story in it’s entirety. Although any efforts from now on maybe too little too late.

The damage is already done.

As cynical and blunt as it may sound, this story truly serves as a great example of how not to write a story.

Something I will never forget.

 

Is fandom in Sports Media wrong?

Last season when Leicester City ran their way to an English Premiere league title, NBC lead commentator Arlo White was jubilant as can be. The foxes came into the season with 5000-1 odds and through it all they won the title and by five points nonetheless.

White was born and raised in the city of Leicester but the thing I admired the most when he called the final game in which the Foxes were officially crowned champions, is that he didn’t take away from the moment. He simply watched and guided the viewers through one of the biggest stories in sports history.

Arlo White could have easily hijacked the moment by telling a somber tale of how he grew up in the city of Leicester and what this title means to him but he didn’t. He simply like the rest of us, just soaked it in.

One of the hardest things about the sports media world is walking that line of being a spectator vs. being a fan. We all know that media members aren’t supposed to actively root for their teams and there’s good reason for that, but would it have been so wrong in this instance per-say for White to intervene and express his joy he had for his boyhood club winning the EPL title?

It’s something I have thought about a lot recently. One of the main reasons is the career of Bill Simmons. Simmons was born and raised in Boston and he will never ever let you forget it. Breaking into the sports scene as a terrific NBA writer, Simmons established himself as one of the best and eventually became a member of the ESPN family.

Although he is now an HBO employee and a prominent member of the sports media world, he has no problem showing his allegiances to Boston and I found that to be extremely fascinating. Aren’t sports media members supposed to hide their fandom? After all it is the professional thing to do.

But why though? After all being a lover of sports is what got him into the business so why is it so wrong for him to express his passion as a love of all things Boston?

Sure it may rub some people the wrong way, but is it really so bad to be an outspoken fan of teams you clearly associate with?

Of course the case of Simmons is an anomaly because he has established himself as a very successful and prominent member of the sports media world, but the point remains the same.

Fandom is what gets most people in the business because after all, at the end of the day we are all sports fans. So why not act like it?

 

 

Please don’t stick to Sports

Locker-room talk. Two words that sent the world into a frenzy. When the Access Hollywood video surfaced I’ll be honest I was stunned to see such a wide spectrum of reactions to what Donald Trump said.

From people rushing to defend what he said (mostly twitter trolls) to people condemning and denouncing what Trump referred to as locker-room talk.

But more importantly like most of the things that come out of Trumps mouth, it sparked a conversation. This time one among athletes.

First up; Lebron James. Coming off an improbable NBA Finals victory over the Golden State Warriors, James took time out of preparing for the upcoming season to address these comments.

Why? Because the denigration of this talk as just “boys being boys” and locker room talk is one that inherently begins to generalize athletes regardless of the sport. A notion James wanted to quickly dispel.

James condemned what Trump said citing that there is no way what what he said was acceptable and appropriate behavior in a locker room.

“That’s not locker room talk.” said James. “That’s trash talk.”

James then went onto to delve into what he thought characterized the term which included family life, strategies and etc. but the point remained the same.

What Trump said in no way should be deemed as locker room talk.

Tom Brady the Quarterback of the New England Patriots took a more familiar approach when asked about what Trump said.

I will add, Brady is a self-proclaimed Trump supporter but when asked the question at a press conference Brady simply walked way.

So why does all the matter? With the election climate as volatile as ever, we have seen athletes come out of their shell and voice their own opinions.

Breaking the mold if you will on what they should and should not comment on and I think that’s an encouraging sign.

The NFL of all places where players anonymously and publicly condemn commissioner Roger Goodell as a dictator, had a player in Colin Kaepernick, make a national anthem protest that took that not only took the nation by storm but it sparked a conversation on the racial tension and divide in this country.

As a sports fan the worst thing I see is when people tell athletes to “Stick to sports.”

At the end of the day, these athletes go home to read and watch the news like everybody else. So why can’t they voice their opinions on political issues or social unrest in the country just like everybody else?

Or are they not supposed to?

This election cycle has been turbulent and at time loathsome but I will say the one of the positives has been athletes becoming more and more comfortable using their platforms to voice their own opinions.

Here’s to hoping that this trend we have seen continues to prosper.

After all, the worst thing you can do is to remain silent.

So please, athletes; don’t stick to sports.

Broadcast Project idea

For the project idea, James and I were thinking of doing a podcast with Beanie Wells about a myriad of topics.

The main thing we want to focus on is his expertise as an analyst and radio personalty, but also his NFL career.

His NFL career ended quite abruptly and there is little really know about what happened.

So we figured it would be a good idea to ask him about it if he could explain to us thoroughly about what actually happened.

Wikipedia isn’t always the best forum for finding out information about people for many reasons, so what better way to find out what truly happened than a first person recount from the man himself.

 

Why the Cubs winning the World Series would mean so much to the City and the fans

Steve Bartman. Ever heard of him? Well if you are a Cubs fan that name is all too familiar.

The last time the Cubs had a 3-2 series lead was of course during a series with the Florida Marlins back in 2003.

The Cubs were five outs away from clinching a birth to the World Series and their first NL Pennant since 1945 and then it happened.

Steve Bartman, a fan watching the game along with several fans attempted to catch a ball that was deemed foul. The problem with this though was that Cubs outfielder Moises Alou was also trying to catch the ball.

Bartman reached out for the ball, it deflected it’s course and Alou failed to make the catch. Of course after that happened, the Marlins rallied to score a whopping eight runs in the inning and the Cubs lost the game 8-3. They would eventually lose the series the very next day.

The incident is one that lives with many Cubs fans. Some say they are over it. Some say they will never be over it. But at this moment in time, the Cubs are on the cusp of fulfilling the dream of playing in the World Series.

The Chicago Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 last night, in a pivotal game 5 to take an all too familiar 3-2 lead in the series as they head back to Chicago to try and clinch a berth to the World Series.

A team that many believe to be the best team in baseball improving on 97 wins and a wild card birth the previous year, to leading the league with 103 wins and an NL Central crown.

As someone who remembers the losing seasons the Cubs endured following their 2008 winning season that ultimately ended in defeat, it’s almost surreal to think about what winning the World Series would do for the city and the organization.

From the Derek Lee, Alfonso Soriano, Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Dempster, Kosuke Fukodome and etc. years to the team that won 61 games in 2012, the Cubs fans have seen it all.

It’s been 108 years since the Cubs last won the World series. 108 years.

Just think about it for a second. It’s been 108 years since the city of Chicago has seen their team win a major league championship in baseball. A mark that is truly unprecedented in almost all of sports.

The team has been a literal and metaphoric scapegoat to sports fans. But something about this team, says these aren’t the same old Cubs.

We can talk about curses and how the Cubs once blew a 3-2 lead before but those are things of the past.

In the present times, this team looks poised to ignore all the naysayers and doubters to  bring something to the City that would mean so much to the fans and the organization.

A World Series Title.

Student Press Freedom

When topic of conversation came up regarding the unfortunate events of Jillian McVicker, I was blown away with what had transpired.

It’s tough being a young journalist. Already having to walk that fine line of reporting to the best of your ability while also avoiding stepping on the toes of the Institution you attend.

But at what point do we let that get in the way of fulfilling our duty to report? I will admit  was not aware of what happened to McVicker and when I found out it hit me.

If we wouldn’t have talked about it in class I probably wouldn’t have known about it until someone (11 Warriors) tweeted about it or mentioned it at a later date.

I then thought to myself, had I been aware of the situation at hand, what would I have done? Would I have written this story? Or would I have just waited until the University gave me permission to go ahead and right this story?

I firmly hope so that if I had the opportunity to write a story about what happened to McVicker that I would have taken the time of day to write a story about it. After all it is our jobs to inform others about what took place.

Not nine days later. But when it happened.

At the end of the day, I am an aspiring journalist. And if I want to keep it that way, then I heed the responsibility I have to report a story.

Introduction to Lacrosse.

When I chose to cover the lacrosse beat, it was something that I thought would challenge me just the right amount. As someone who is a very casual lacrosse fan per say, I’m looking forward to getting up close and personal with the Mens lacrosse team here at Ohio State.

The OSU Mens lacrosse team is coming off a very up and down season. They finished with a record 7-8 (2-3) in conference as they missed out on a birth to the NCAA Tournament in 2016.

Although not exactly the season they were hoping for going 1-5 away from home, the Buckeyes were an impressive 6-3 at home. A positive takeaway from the 2016 season.

The Buckeyes do however bring back four of their five top scorers from a year ago led by Austin Shanks who finished with 31 points was the leading point tallier. Adding a team high 16 assists, Shanks looks to lead the Buckeyes in his final season as a Buckeye.

Senior attack Eric Fannell who tied for the team lead with 20 goals last season, returns as well and along with Shanks and co. looks to lead the Buckeyes offense.

Other key returnees include Senior midfielder Johnny Pearson who finished second in points behind Shanks, Senior Attack J.T. Blubaugh, Junior Attack Collin Chell, and Sophomore Attack Jack Jasinski.

Head Coach Nick Myers announced on Wednesday that Pfister and Withers had been elected captains by the team. Citing: “Both Tyler and Jake are well respected by their teammates and we expect them to be outstanding captains.”

The Buckeyes, very much a senior lead team look to leave their mark this season.

Why I am interested in a Sports Media Career

Sports. I couldn’t imagine a world without it. Really I couldn’t. When propped the question of why I want to have a career in sports media the answer shouldn’t surprise you. The answer of course is simply; I love sports. When growing up we all played sports or had some connection with it.

The particular sport I fell in love with first was the sport many Americans call Soccer but almost everyone else in the world simply calls Football. At a young age being surrounded by my Dad who was a soccer coach, I dreamed of playing soccer for a team in one capacity or another and maybe representing my country. Those dreams quickly faded when I realized not only how bad of an Athlete I was but also the move to a different country. I came to the United States at the age of about 5 years old and as I grew up here my priorities shifted. Soon realizing that I probably wasn’t going to be a star athlete I turned my attention to observing and commentating on sports rather than actually trying to successfully play them.

From the age of about 1o years on, I became obsessed with College Football. Vividly remembering every detail of the USC loss in 2006 to Texas on that last second touchdown by Vince Young. To this day that play makes me cringe. But the desire to cheer on a team I loved so much and analyzing why I did had been rooted. With that then came the subsequent migration to the NFL where I decided to cheer on the New York Giants for some reason.

Same trend followed as I began to also watch sports like NBA, MLB, NCAAB,NHL, Tennis, Golf and etc. Point being my life was never the same when I realized how many different sports there were and how readily the access I had to each sport was. I soon began to spend the majority of my days remembering stats, trying to fake play by play games, analyzing games and so forth. Getting to the point where I would literally not leave my house.

Instead I would just sit at home, in my room by myself watching/listening to a game or broadcast. It simply became one of those things where I couldn’t imagine my life with out it. So when asked the question of why I am interested in a job in Sports media, the answer is I simply love Sports. Which may or may not sound cliche but it really is the truth. I simply could not imagine my life without it.