War on Football. Those three words are about as inflammatory as it gets in modern American society. Everything is a war. Every group feels under attack. And football is the nation’s IV drip on Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Don’t you dare take that away.
That’s the problem with Danny Kanell’s original position this week, which to be fair, he has softened on. There is no War on Football, it’s just a perfectly constructed phrase in its five-alarm howling. It can be hashtagged, splashed on screen in graphic form, repeated endlessly inside the internet echo chamber. War on Football. I mean, you have to hand it to him. It’s pretty perfect. I kinda wish I had thought of it.
I’ve met Kanell, and he seems like a good guy. We both worked at WQAM in Miami a few years ago. I once told him a story about how my parents bought me his Giants jersey for Christmas when I was in high school. I politely told them, “Mom, Dad, thank you. But we’re gonna have to exchange this. He’s not gonna be in this league long.” I returned it for a Robert Brooks’ Packers jersey. Kanell laughed when I told him.
I’ve got nothing personal against Kanell, and even he admitted this week to the New York Daily News, “it was probably a little bit of hyperbole.” In many ways it opened up the topic of player safety at all levels yet again. That’s never a bad thing. The problem is these types of instantly flammable words and ideas tend to catch fire, and poison the discussion. That’s what happened this week.
It fits this narrative that in a politically correct world yet another piece of good ol’ fashioned Americana was being snatched by the wussification crowd. And football is at the emotional crux of our country right now. But if there is a “war” or “attack” on anything sports-related it’s head trauma, not football. When MLB banned collisions at the plate, was that a “War on Baseball?” Now that headgear is mandated for some youth soccer players is that a “War on Soccer?” Head shots being eradicated by the NHL is a “War on Hockey?”
Of course not. There might be some bellyaching about over-governing, but no one frames those changes as an assault on America, because those sports don’t hold the same emotional control over us as football. Making those sports safer is seen as an evolution of the sport, not an attack on what we hold dear. I always cringe at the buzz words “war” and “attack” because it immediately taps into our ingrained human protective instincts, the fight or flight response. What happens when you’re attacked? You react. You defend. You don’t reason. You don’t think. And that’s what elected leaders and the media has taught us to do. React. Don’t think.
To read the rest of Damon Amendolara’s column visit CBS Sports where it was originally published
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at [email protected].
Desmond Howard: Paul Finebaum Now a ‘Cariacture’
“You can’t take anything he says seriously. You just can’t. It’s like they march him out there, they pull the string in his back, and he just starts spewing negative things…”
Both Desmond Howard and Paul Finebaum have been vocal on their stances about the Michigan sign-stealing allegations. However, Howard has shared his feelings about Finebaum, and they are not positive.
During an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show, the ESPN college football analyst had harsh criticism for Finebaum.
“Paul Finebaum is a caricature of a caricature of Paul Finebaum,”Howard said. “That’s what he is right now. You can’t take anything he says seriously. You just can’t. It’s like they march him out there, they pull the string in his back, and he just starts spewing negative things about Michigan. When a person does that repeatedly and you just know his shtick, you can’t take him seriously.”
Howard hasn’t been shy about defending his alma mater through the scandal. During an episode of College GameDay, the former Heisman Trophy winner told colleague Pete Thamel to “put your big boy pants on” after the reporter moved his segments on the program to inside Michigan Stadium after threats from Michigan fans were deemed credible enough that he was in danger.
Joe Castiglione: I Accidentally Hung Up on the Hall of Fame When They Called Me
“It was the most agonizing 40 to 60 seconds for that call to come back that I’ve ever experienced.”
Longtime Boston Red Sox radio voice Joe Castiglione was announced as the winner of the 2024 Ford C. Frick Award Wednesday, which is awarded by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to one broadcaster each year for excellence in the broadcasting medium.
However, the call from the Hall to Castiglione didn’t exactly go off without a hitch.
During an appearance on WEEI’s Gresh and Fauria after the announcement was made, Castiglione revealed he accidentally hung up on the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“They said, If you are the winner, we’ll call between 10:30 and 12 o’clock on the day of the announcement. If you’re not selected, you will hear nothing’,” Castiglione said. “And this morning, I was watching the clock. I tried to ride the exercise bike and stretch, and all those kinds of things to sort of divert attention. And then at 11:21, that call came in.
“People that know me know I’m a technical putz. And when the phone rang, I saw the 607 area code and knew it was Cooperstown. I figured that was the good news. But instead of hitting the speaker button so my family could hear it, I hit the red button that hung up on the call.”
As Gresh and Fauria laughed uproariously, Joe Castiglione explained the torture of the moment.
“It was the most agonizing 40 to 60 seconds for that call to come back that I’ve ever experienced,” he said.
Mike Stone on Streaming Services: ‘It’s All About Money’
“…The problem I have is to not be able to watch your local teams without multiple streaming platforms.”
On Tuesday night, there was frustration abound for some Detroit sports fans as they tried to watch Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans basketball games, along with the Detroit Red Wings taking the ice in the NHL. Although the basketball teams lost, the Red Wings were able to solidify a 5-3 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, moving their record to 6-1 since playing two games in Stockholm, Sweden as part of the league’s International Series. Mike Stone was watching, but with an additional cost incurred.
All of these games were on streaming services and required consumers to have a subscription in order to watch the action. Since Mike Stone subscribes to the Disney bundle, he is able to access Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, giving him the ability to watch Tuesday night’s Red Wings game. The only reason he has Peacock is because it comes with his subscription to Xfinity. Moreover, he shared that he is aware that people just paid for Peacock to watch Michigan and Michigan State football games during the college season.
“Coming up, there’s going to be some NFL playoffs – there’s going to be a Wild Card game that’s going to be on Peacock,” Mike Stone said Wednesday morning on 97.1 The Ticket. “Are you willing to pay for a Wild Card game? If the Lions are in it, they’ll show it locally but whatever.”
“I’m kind of at my limit on this seriously,” Stoney and Jansen with Heather executive producer Tom Millikan replied. “Last night, you couldn’t watch any of the teams play unless you had streaming platforms. I’ve accepted Amazon Thursday Night Football; it’s become a routine…. This has all turned into you end up paying more for all this garbage than what you paid for cable.”
Stone agreed with this point, questioning whether cutting the cord has truly saved consumers any money. Co-host Jon Jansen added that people still pay for their home internet using cable providers, another way for these outlets to obtain revenue.
“The only thing cable has right now is live sports,” producer Greg Hargrave said. “That’s the only thing they have over streaming services.”
Jansen proceeded to recollect on an experience of trying to sign up for NFL Sunday Ticket without purchasing a subscription to YouTube TV and how it was complicated enough that he gave up after 20 minutes of trying. While he does not want to watch every single game around the NFL, he wants to have the flexibility to choose to watch a contest when he wants to. Looking at the YouTube TV iteration of the out-of-market broadcast package, Stone has heard that people like it better because of the options it provides users.
“But that’s a product that you paid for before; it was just on satellites instead,” Tom Millikan said. “….The problem I have is to not be able to watch your local teams without multiple streaming platforms; [it] is just a turnoff and I’m not doing it.”
Under the new media rights deal the NFL began this year with its broadcast partners, Millikan feels that the diffusion of coverage is ultimately rendering increased profits. Furthermore, he wondered why Peacock was awarded a playoff game instead of Amazon, an inquiry to which Mike Stone replied that he did not pay enough money.
“It’s all about money,” Stone said. “It’s corporate America, baby!”
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