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Practice What You Preach

Brian Noe

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Game 1 of the NBA Finals reminds me of a scene from the movie Old School. Will Ferrell shouted at his fraternity brothers, “We can’t have anyone freak out out there, okay? We’ve got to keep our composure. We’ve come too far. There’s too much to lose. We’ve got to keep our composure.” He yelled this message while slamming a folding chair into gym lockers.

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LeBron James pulled a Will Ferrell by preaching one thing and doing another — stressing the importance of a cerebral approach to basketball after punching a whiteboard with his shooting hand. 

Will Ferrell’s act in Old School was hilariously hypocritical. It was a joke in a movie. LeBron’s act was just hypocritical. You can’t sit there and emphasize the significance of having a high basketball IQ in order to beat the Warriors, while going Bruce Lee in the locker room and damaging your hand. LeBron had the nerve to make this comment about the Warriors leading up to Game 4 after hurting his hand, “In order to win, you’ve got to have talent, but you’ve got to be very cerebral, too.”

What exactly is cerebral about punching an object that leaves your hand twice its normal size? The result of the Hulk-like hissy fit included two MRIs and a significant bone contusion. Not quite the stuff of cerebral legend.

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Look, I’m not one of these people who hunts for the tiniest reason to criticize LeBron. It’s a shame that conversations about an all-time great typically center on what LeBron hasn’t accomplished instead of what he has. Just because he isn’t on Michael Jordan’s level doesn’t make him Nicolas Batum. He’s an amazing talent. However, LeBron has made mistakes that legitimately deserve to be questioned. Bashing his hand while punching a whiteboard in a fit of rage ranks pretty high on the list.

Similar mistakes are made in many other occupations as well. Sports radio is a hotbed for these types of miscues. Has a boss or co-worker ever told you to do something while they actually did the exact opposite themselves? I can envision a high percentage of sports talk employees resembling bobbleheads as they emphatically nod yes. It happens far too often.

An easy way to lose the respect of a co-worker is to do the opposite of what you’re asking or demanding of them. If you tell your producer or co-host to get to the point quickly, you better not be rambling either. If you tell your co-workers to pay attention to detail, make sure you aren’t making careless mistakes yourself. And whatever you do, if you preach the importance of being cerebral, don’t injure your hand by punching a whiteboard! 

Okay, that last example might not apply to sports radio, but you get the idea — don’t just talk about it, be about it.

Your own message is devalued when you fail to execute the same tasks. The people around you won’t take your expectations seriously if you fail to get the same things accomplished. They’ll also lose respect for you. It’s like the cop that pulls you over for running a red light and then turns around and does the exact same thing. Do you respect that person? Your reaction probably isn’t, “Hey, that’s cool.” It’s more likely a mixture of Andrew Dice Clay and the drill sergeant from Full Metal Jacket.

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I dislike the thought that the Warriors would have won a championship anyway in spite of LeBron’s karate-chopped hand. It’s true, but it’s letting LeBron off the hook way too easily. Nobody made excuses and said the New York Giants wouldn’t have won a Super Bowl when Odell Beckham Jr. punched a wall after losing to the Packers in the playoffs. We just said that it was a stupid thing to do, which it was. The same applies to Jean-Claude LeBron.

It’s also far less likely that you’ll be given the benefit of the doubt in a sports radio setting. Let’s say a rival radio station is performing much better and won’t be beaten. Can you really envision a co-worker saying, “Man, Brian sure is a hypocrite, but it’s okay because we aren’t going to beat the guys across the street anyway”? That simply won’t be the case. In most situations, being a hypocrite will cost you more than it did LeBron.

Yes, LeBron still found a way to be very productive in spite of his injury, but maybe he could’ve done more without a bashed paw. Maybe a fully healthy LeBron would’ve helped the Cavs win Game 3. Maybe LeBron would’ve taken more than three shots in the second half of a closeout game. And don’t think for a second that there aren’t some of his teammates who are looking at LeBron sideways when his cerebral comments don’t align with his silly Kung Fu action.

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It’s very risky to fall short of the standard you hold others to. Whether it’s at work or in a relationship, people will turn against you if you gloss over your own mistakes while dissecting their shortcomings. It can lead to a lot of resentment. There can also be a loss of trust, admiration, and respect. That’s a triple whammy of yuck.

Think of the requests you have for others as automatically being your mission too. I realize that every expectation you have for another person won’t be applicable to yourself, but many things are. Focus on leading by example and following through on the same things you want from others. There is a much better chance that your demands will be met if you practice what you preach.

Barrett Blogs

BSM’s Black Friday SALE on BSM Summit Tickets is Underway!

Jason Barrett

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Each year I’m asked if there are ways to save money on tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit. I always answer yes but not everyone takes advantage of it. For those interested in doing so, here’s your shot.

For TODAY ONLY, individual tickets to the 2023 BSM Summit are reduced by $50.00. Two ticket and four ticket packages are also lowered at $50 per ticket. To secure your seat at a discounted price, just log on to BSMSummit.com. This sale ends tonight at 11:59pm ET.

If you’re flying to Los Angeles for the event, be sure to reserve your hotel room. Our hotel partner this year is the USC Hotel. It’s walking distance of our venue. Full details on hotel rooms can also be found via the conference website.

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BSM Podcast

Media Noise: What Does The Return of Bob Iger Mean to ESPN?

Demetri Ravanos

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Demetri Ravanos has questions about Disney going back to the future with Bob Iger. This entire episode of Media Noise is all about what the change at the top of the Walt Disney Company indicates about the future of ESPN.

ITunes: https://buff.ly/3PjJWpO

Spotify: https://buff.ly/3AVwa90

iHeart: https://buff.ly/3cbINCp

Google: https://buff.ly/3PbgHWx

Amazon: https://buff.ly/3cbIOpX

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Barrett Blogs

Mina Kimes, Bruce Gilbert, Mitch Rosen, and Stacey Kauffman Join the 2023 BSM Summit

“By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference.”

Jason Barrett

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The 2023 BSM Summit is returning to Los Angeles on March 21-22, 2023, live from the Founders Club at the Galen Center at the campus of the University of Southern California. Information on tickets and hotel rooms can be found at BSMSummit.com.

We’ve previously announced sixteen participants for our upcoming show, and I’m excited today to confirm the additions of four more more smart, successful professionals to be part of the event. Before I do that, I’d like to thank The Volume for signing on as our Badge sponsor, the Motor Racing Network for securing the gift bag sponsorship, and Bonneville International for coming on board as a Session sponsor. We do have some opportunities available but things are moving fast this year, so if you’re interested in being involved, email Stephanie Eads at Sales@BarrettSportsMedia.com.

Now let’s talk about a few of the speaker additions for the show.

First, I am thrilled to welcome ESPN’s Mina Kimes to the Summit for her first appearance. Mina and I had the pleasure recently of connecting on a podcast (go listen to it) and I’ve been a fan of her work for years. Her intellect, wit, football acumen, and likeability have served her well on television, podcasts, and in print. She’s excelled as an analyst on NFL Live and Rams preseason football games, as a former host of the ESPN Daily podcast, and her appearances on Around The Horn and previously on Highly Questionable and the Dan Le Batard Show were always entertaining. I’m looking forward to having Mina join FS1’s Joy Taylor and ESPN LA 710 PD Amanda Brown for an insightful conversation about the industry.

Next is another newcomer. I’m looking forward to having Audacy San Francisco and Sacramento Regional Vice President Stacey Kauffman in the building for our 2023 show. In addition to overseeing a number of music brands, Stacey also oversees a dominant news/talk outlet, and two sports radio brands. Among them are my former station 95.7 The Game in San Francisco, and ESPN 1320 in Sacramento. I’m looking forward to having her participate in our GM panel with Good Karma’s Sam Pines, iHeart’s Don Martin, and led by Bonneville’s Executive Vice President Scott Sutherland.

From there, it’s time to welcome back two of the sharpest sports radio minds in the business. Bruce Gilbert is the SVP of Sports for Westwood One and Cumulus Media. He’s seen and done it all on the local and national level and anytime he’s in the room to share his programming knowledge with attendees, everyone leaves the room smarter. I’m anticipating another great conversation on the state of sports radio, which FOX Sports Radio VP of programming Scott Shapiro will be a part of.

Another student of the game and one of the top programmers in the format today is 670 The Score in Chicago PD, Mitch Rosen. The former Mark Chernoff Award recipient and recently appointed VP of the BetQL Network juggles managing a top 3 market sports brand while being charged with moving an emerging sports betting network forward. Count on Mr. Rosen to offer his insights and opinions during another of our branding and programming discussions.

By the time we get to March, we should have somewhere between 40-60 participants involved in the conference. My focus now is on finalizing our business and digital sessions, research, tech and sports betting panels, securing our locations and sponsorships for the After Party and Kickoff Party, plus working out the details for a few high-profile executive appearances and a couple of surprises.

For those looking to attend and save a few dollars on tickets, we’ll be holding a special Black Friday Sale this Friday November 25th. Just log on to BSMSummit.com that day to save $50 on individual tickets. In addition, thanks to the generosity of voice talent extraordinaire Steve Kamer, we’ll be giving away 10 tickets leading up to the conference. Stay tuned for details on the giveaway in the months ahead.

Still to come is an announcement about our special ticket rate for college students looking to attend the show and learn. We also do an annual contest for college kids to attend the event for free which I’m hoping to have ready in the next few weeks. It’s also likely we’ll give away a few tickets to industry professionals leading up to Christmas, so keep an eye out.

If you work in the sports media industry and value making connections, celebrating those who create an impact, and learning about the business from folks who have experienced success, failure, and everything in between, the Summit is worth your time. I’m excited to have Mina, Bruce, Mitch and Stacey join us for the show, and look forward to spending a few days with the industry’s best and brightest this March! Hope to see you there.

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