The Vick Saga, One Day Later

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


After this I promise there will be no more Vick posts, but I just wanted to share a couple of viewpoints that I found very interesting, one of which could be pretty controversial (if anyone took any stock in what Bayless spewed). Up first is a great breakdown of this morning's Sports Center by C-Mots at Mister Irrelevant. Read these stats and then take a few minutes to take them all in....I'll meet you on the other side....

* The show was 48 minutes without commercials, exactly 24 minutes and 45 seconds of which was devoted to Michael Vick.
* All or portions of Vick’s press conference from yesterday was shown five times. The terms of his plea agreement were shown four times.
* 18 different people shared an on-air opinion/thought on Vick (this obviously doesn’t count the anchors): Tom Jackson, Emmitt Smith, Keyshawn Johnson, Chris Berman, Michael Wilbon, Hank Aaron, Jim Rome, Jim Fassel, Mike Tirico, Tony K, Jaws, Kelly Naqi, George Smith, Roger Cossack, Sal Paolantonio, Joe Horn, Chris Mortensen, and some random Falcons fan.
* 30.6% on ESPN.com voters believe Vick should get a lifetime suspension. Overreact much?
* Best Quote goes to Chris Berman: “To use a sports metaphor: If the ball has hit the turf, and it hit the turf on Monday, and it’s just starting to go up, and we hope it goes high, then we can be upbeat and optimistic about it.”
* Second Best Quote: Steve Levy going into the first commercial break after 12 non-stop minutes of Vick talk: “And yes, there’s even more Michael Vick ahead on SportsCenter.”
Wow. Talk about overkill. I just don't understand this line of thinking at all. It's just my opinion, but isn't everyone done with and past this whole issue? There's some ridiculous playoff races happening in Baseball, the Yankees got slaughtered last night, and College Football is starting in two days. It just amazes me that they're pressing on with this thing.

The second item today comes from an email sent to me yesterday. I missed 1st Take (as I normally do), but I think this reader submission is a perfect synopsis. Skip Bayless has been the same for years, but I'm with the reader and think this is waaaay over the top.....
I start the day with Mike and Mike (listen to TV) and more than a few times stayed with ESPN until Skip Bonehead started spewing his uninformed and racist opinions. I've heard him criticize black athletes for celebrating and other on/off field acts that he never mentions about white athletes - or if he does it's with a "boys will be boys" spin. Today topped it all. His comments offended me as much as the Imus comments did and I think he should suffer the same fate.

My blood pressure is at about a billion because I'm still listening to ESPNs coverage - waiting for the Arthur Blank news conference - and I'm listening to the two Stews making intelligent, logical, informed comments while Skip Bonehead continues with his thinly veiled racist crap. Check out the tapes if you're not watching/listening. Sometimes I just wonder how people get their jobs and keep them. (E-bleeping-gads! Now he's pretending to support Vick by slamming Upshaw - he never misses an opportunity to slap the black folks!! If I listen to much more, my ears will start bleeding!)

-SR

FYI - I'm a lily-white grandmother from MA, now retired in NH. Was a peace activist in the 60s and haven't lost my sense of what's inherently wrong. This guy - Skip Bonehead - qualifies for Olbermann's Worst Person in the World award today.
Way to skew my demographic SR....just kidding. I'm glad people from all backgrounds can contribute to the site. A good rant is healthy for everyone, and I too have noticed this from Bayless over the years. It just amazes me that with as much criticism that ESPN takes on certain people that they never even think of getting rid of them.

I also really thought the Nation had moved past the Race Card regarding most issues, but the Vick Case and the Imus Incident showed that's certainly not the case.

SportsCenter: One Part Vick, One Part Every Other Sporting Topic on Earth (Mister Irrelevant)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 11:51 AM

19 Comments:

A 60's radical seeing racism at every turn? Shocking.

Someone called Czaban a racist this morning because he was supposedly saying that Vick should get 22mos rather than 18mos or something, it was hard to get what the guy was getting at. Also, not shocking.

Think of ESPN as a manufacturing business...and sports stories are the raw materials.

It's a lot more economically lgical for the company to create more product with less raw materials. If ESPN can create 100x more programming from one story than fifty different sources for 100 stories on MLB or something, it is obvious the way to go is to use the one story source to create many stories.

It's the "ride it into the ground" effect combined with laziness.

hollywood wags said...
Aug 28, 2007, 12:57:00 PM  

Expecting the "race card" to go away 40 years after black folks actually get to vote isn't happening. If anything good came out of the Vick-o-rama yesterday, it's that Doug and Ryan Stewart and Jemele Hill actually got to explain on a national stage why many of us feel the deck is still stacked, even though what Vick did was inexcusable and disgusting.

Signal to Noise said...
Aug 28, 2007, 1:04:00 PM  

Skip Bayless once did the impossible for me: he made me feel sorry for Tom Landry.

I'm a Cowboys hater from way back, but his book about Landry (God's Coach) was such a relentless hatchett job, that it made me have compassion for him.

Bayless is the Albert Goldman of sportswriters/commentators.

Chris said...
Aug 28, 2007, 1:21:00 PM  

Well, what are we going to do? Watch the OTHER nationally televised sports program? ESPN can do whatever the Hell it wants, and we have to take it.

What I can't take is ESPN's arrogance. The anchor makes condescending statements like "Our top story is OBVIOUSLY Michael Vick," and "Coming up, even more Michael Vick." Why is Michael Vick "obviously" the top story? Because you said so? Why do we need an entire show dedicated to him? Because you said so? Did you consult or even study your core audience before you made such an obvious decision to dedicate an entire newscast to this guy?

Or did ESPN just do what it always does: gain an audience dishonestly by getting it so pissed off that it just HAS to tune in to find out just how far it is going to take it?

Anonymous said...
Aug 28, 2007, 2:01:00 PM  

ok, here's my take on espn's take.

roughly about four years ago i quit watching sportscenter. slowly, i quit watching 80 percent of espn. now i only watch live games, college gameday and sometimes PTI (only because it too has become predictable).

as phil mushnick recently wrote, espn has become an "idiot's picnic."

there are tons of places i can get information from without having to deal with the PC slant of Father Disney or the ramblings of lunatics like Rome/Bayless/Mariotti/Paige/Screamin' Stephen A-hole Smith, et al.

and you know what? i am so much less stressed out than I used to be. and more informed.

everyone should do themselves a favor and just tune out bspn. you'll be surprised how much better off you will be.

I read the email you posted from the grandmother peace activist. i used to get all irate over this verbal sewage of bspn, until i just shut it off.

with the internet, satalite radio, podcasts and, thankfully, blogs like awful announcing, bspn has become irrelevent. i like to think intelligent people don't pay any attention to bspn any longer.

at least i know i don't.

i haven't watched/listened/read any of the bspn platforms in the past week mainly due to the fact i knew it would be virtually all vick all the time.

i don't know what has been said/written about vick by bspn, and frankly i don't care.

Anonymous said...
Aug 28, 2007, 2:03:00 PM  

There should be an award given to SR for being able sit and watch the entire Skip/Stu's banter. I had to change the channel.

What I did see in the few minutes that I was able to stomach was THREE "racists". Everyone points to the 'white on black' racism, but let us not forget there is 'black on white' racism as well. And you could literally see the venom in the eyes of the two Stu's.

Having said that, Hollywood nailed it on the head as to the "why" ESPN is on Vick overload.

Dummy said...
Aug 28, 2007, 2:37:00 PM  

please cindy brunson, put the glasses back on.

mcoale said...
Aug 28, 2007, 2:45:00 PM  

"Someone called Czaban a racist this morning"

Wouldn't be the first person to say that. Won't be the last either.

Anonymous said...
Aug 28, 2007, 2:46:00 PM  

Skip Bayless makes me yearn for more Tim McCarver and Joe Morgan.

GMoney said...
Aug 28, 2007, 4:13:00 PM  

Say what you want about Bayless, but he puts his neck out there every day unlike most of those guys who are careful who they criticize.

And I'd take him over the Two Live Stews any day. It's offensive that those two morons have been allowed to become the national voice for Atlanta.

Anonymous said...
Aug 28, 2007, 4:23:00 PM  

Skip Bayless would say that Wayne Gretzky was not the greatest hockey player of all time in a "First and 10" segment just to have an argument, if that's what the ESPN producer told him to do.

Anonymous said...
Aug 28, 2007, 4:47:00 PM  

The specific comment made by Bayless that prompted me to email AA was his calling Vick "bad to the bone" after describing what that meant to him. He did say at some point that it had nothing to do with race which made me wonder why he expressed that disclaimer. He said that there were some people that were inherently "bad to the bone"; born that way and would always be that. He used it the way he has used the word "thug" and, disclaimer or no, I don't recall his ever calling anyone who is white a thug or "bad to the bone".

Later when the 2 Stews were trying to explain what signing bonuses were by reading the definition from some document (? maybe NFL contract preparation glossary ?), Bayless refused to accept that definition and insisted he had a better take on it. The 2 Stews remained calm and tried to rephrase their point but to no avail. The shows producers halted the exchange by telling Bayless in his earpiece the the discussion thread was over and time to move on. (Yes, he said that on the air.)

I didn't see racism in the eyes of the 2 Stews. They had the look of men talking to a wall. And, they were far more critical of Vick than other guests. They didn't make excuses for him at all. When they did bring up race, it was to try to explain why there was such passion in Atlanta along racial lines.

SR

Anonymous said...
Aug 28, 2007, 6:10:00 PM  

So "bad to the bone" is racist?

He said that disclaimer because every time a white guy like Bayliss says something about the obvious thug nature of a lot of black guys in sports, he gets called a racist.

Which is absolutely stupid, but doesn't stop a lot of people.

I guess calling someone a moron for having this kneejerk race reflex will be also racist.

hollywood wags said...
Aug 28, 2007, 7:04:00 PM  

First off, I don't think any of the three are racists...I was merely pointing out that everytime the term "racist" is mentioned, it is almost always automatically assumed that it's 'white on black' racism.

Secondly, I totally agree again with Hollywood as to the "why" Skip felt he had to add that disclaimer.

Thirdly, you should read Jason Whitlock's column at FoxSports.com; it states really well the inherent "thug" nature in the Hip Hop community, which is the most prevalent culture of black athletes in professional sports (and no, I have no data to support that claim, but that is my assumption).

But again, kudos to you SR for being able to sit through those segments...this is a discussion that needs to be talked about.

Dummy said...
Aug 28, 2007, 8:15:00 PM  

What happened to Leonard Little if the US is extremely racist?

Why was he treated differently?

Maybe it's simply the insane shit that Vick got involved in and Little's offense was sort of more understandable and common. Who knows.

There are DUI deaths all the time, but not too many psychotic dogfighting rings run by superstar NFL QBs.

Was Art Schlichter vilified, sent to jail?

hollywood wags said...
Aug 28, 2007, 9:57:00 PM  

Does Stuart Scott now have a glass eye?

Anonymous said...
Aug 28, 2007, 10:32:00 PM  

Not only Leonard Little, but think Orenthal James Simpson, Ray Lewis, etc.

Honestly, if dogs' lives are worth more than human lives, then we, as a country, are in world of excrement.

And the claim that white athletes are not held to the same standard when it comes to abhorant behavior, just think of Pete Rose, Mark Macgire, Ken Camanitee (God bless his soul), and that Cubs pitcher that I can't remember the name of.

For goodness sake, if any of these people had electrocuted dogs, drowned dogs, hanged dogs, and killed them in any other way, you can bet your bottom dollar that ESPN would be all over it like stink on poop.

I'm just so very sick and tired of the race card being played anytime a black athlete (or non-athlete, for that matter) is played.

You can be totally free to do whatever you wish in this country, as long as you obey the laws. Vick obviously flouted those laws and should be justly ridiculed, punished, and made to do his time.

So let's get off this racist angle and realize that he bankrolled a felonious organization.

Dummy said...
Aug 28, 2007, 11:54:00 PM  

Hey Dummy,

You're supposed to write a few comments...get in and get out.

If you're going to write long-winded speeches every single time, start your own blog!

Signed,

The World

Anonymous said...
Aug 29, 2007, 1:39:00 AM  

Anonymous 1:39: You need to chill out, take some ritalin, and try to focus on more than 20 words at a time.

Anonymous said...
Aug 29, 2007, 3:53:00 AM  

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