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Talk Should Be About Rioting, Not Who’s The G.O.A.T.

“Violent disturbances after championships are troubling enough in normal times, but amid a pandemic, Los Angeles looks particularly ugly — which should bother LeBron James.”

Jay Mariotti



Just so no one is confused, the cops weren’t the aggressors. Not this time. In a year roiled by social injustice and police brutality, authorities in Los Angeles had pleaded for people not to bullrush Staples Center after the Lakers, 2,500 miles away in a joyful Disney World gym, had reclaimed NBA preeminence. “Celebrate responsibly,” tweeted LAPD chief Michel Moore, as the county health officer warned that “we’re still in the middle of a pandemic” and “still seeing a high number of cases.”    

Fan Celebration of Lakers Victory near Staples Center Prompts Police  Response – NBC Palm Springs – News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Didn’t matter. Caution and sensibility were like the barriers blocking nearby freeway exit ramps, ignored and eluded. Though LeBron James had given L.A. a gift, a chance to feel proud and unified after a wicked summer of Black Lives Matter confrontations and relentless COVID-19 surges, the people flocked downtown anyway, more than 2,000. Many wore masks and simply wanted to chant “Kobe! Kobe!” — reveling in the now-epic tale of how James and the Lakers won a championship months after Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, perished in a helicopter crash on a Calabasas hillside. But the rowdy fringe, as always, had other ideas.    

Maskless and witless, the knuckleheads wanted trouble. When they hurled glass bottles, rocks, firecrackers and other objects at police in riot gear, L.A. became what no American city wants to be in 2020: the place that gags on perspective, the nuthouse that doesn’t know how to celebrate sports glory amid a pandemic. There were stores to loot, punches to throw, a bus to set on fire, cars to spin wildly in the streets, anti-police messages to spray, a man’s hand to blow off with a firework. The police responded by firing shots — plastic, hard foam, beanbags — and making 76 arrests, with more ahead after surveillance footage and social media clips are reviewed. Across the viralsphere, videos confirmed the havoc, including a ravaged Starbucks shop where I’ve ordered many a non-fat cinnamon latte.     

So warm, so cool, so desirable and dreamy in normal times, L.A. looked like a hell pit. And to think only a few yards away, in the plaza across from the arena Bryant helped build, thousands of mourners had come last winter to mourn his passing, leaving flowers, notes and remembrances in a scene that touched the world. “What started out as a largely peaceful celebration … turned into confrontational, violent and destructive behavior,” LAPD said in a release.     

When I first saw the damage, I thought of James. He’ll be remembered  in pandemic and sporting lore for sequestering in the NBA Bubble almost 100 days, without his family and sometimes lacking mind and spirit, and conquering challenges as a player and an activist. He led the Lakers in a boycott of a playoff game after the shooting of Jacob Blake. He scorched President Trump at every opportunity. He implored Americans to vote. The conversations could not be basketball-only; they had to center on racial inequality. “Being here has given us strength in numbers,’’ James said as he finally departed Florida for the new home he hadn’t seen, a $36.8-million mansion in Beverly Hills. “That’s a byproduct of us being able to use this platform and talk about everything going on outside the court. All the social injustice, voter suppression, police brutality and so on. Even though we live in a small world within the game of basketball, there are so many different (ways) you can make an impact, make a change, have a vision.”    

Yet in an otherwise flawless experience, James did make a mistake. He should have addressed his new metropolis after the Lakers took a 3-1 lead in the Finals, warned the City of Angels not to be overtaken by devils. Why didn’t he? Is LeBron so single-minded about police brutality that he doesn’t consider the reality of a bottles-and-rocks riot: The officers have no choice at times but to respond and shoot back? As James lauded the league for a science-and-health masterpiece, a Bubble with zero positive tests among NBA players, he and his teammates could have recorded a public service announcement about wearing masks during public celebrations. A pre-game tweet from L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti  — “As we cheer our @Lakers’ 17th championship, please remember it’s still not safe to gather in groups” — didn’t exactly resonate.     

Activism isn’t a one-way street, LeBron should know, especially on Chick Hearn Court and Figueroa Street. Leadership must be multi-dimensional.     

All of which seemed lost the next day, when the sports media shied from these violent disturbances to step into a safe and oblivious cocoon. Rather than ask why humans would sabotage the glee and glow of a championship, a familiar debate that grew tiresome years ago was re-posited again: Has James, with championships in each of his three NBA destinations and four total, finally eclipsed Michael Jordan as the Greatest Player of All Time? Well, no, he hasn’t. What has changed? Jordan never quit on a team in the postseason, as James has twice, in Cleveland and Miami. Jordan never lost in the Finals, unlike James, who is 4-6. Jordan made every player around him better throughout his six-title run; not until this year, surrounded by aging and spotty talent beyond superstar Anthony Davis, could James make the same claim. I realize media can be prisoners of the moment, especially when they’re in their 30s and 20s and think they’re guardians of the LeBron James Legacy Society. But must they jump on the angle simply because Lakers coach Frank Vogel, whose reputation is shimmering now after two previous firings, understandably anoints him the G.O.A.T.? And because his teammates, most of whom also have first-time rings because of James, were chanting “Greatest! Greatest!” during the trophy ceremony?     

“He’s the greatest player the basketball universe has ever seen,” Vogel said, “and if you think you know, you don’t know — OK? — until you’re around him every day, you’re coaching him, you’re seeing his mind, you’re seeing his adjustments, seeing the way he leads the group. You think you know. You don’t know.”     

Uh, has Vogel ever been around Jordan? You think you know, Frank, until you don’t know. I assume he watched “The Last Dance,” which conclusively shut down the debate forevermore. In L.A, as the debris is cleaned off the downtown sidewalks, everyone from the purists to the looters realizes the debate isn’t simply Jordan vs. James. What about Kobe, who won three titles with Shaquille O’Neal, ran Shaq’s rump out of town, then won two more titles with a roster that didn’t have an All-NBA sidekick as James has in Davis? It’s doubtful the Lakers, with a roster needing reconstruction, will defend their title as smoothly as they won it. This could be LeBron’s famous final scene, as Augusta National was for Tiger Woods in 2019. One pro-James argument that flies: He’s arguably enjoying the longest timespan within a career prime — the mid-2000s to 2020 — of any sports legend ever. The closest comparison is Tom Brady, who might be fading out at 43 but won a sixth Super Bowl at 41. How long can James go? How long does he want to go?     

When and if the NBA launches its next season, James does have the comfort zone of having endeared himself to L.A. Before the clincher, he had said of his faint acceptance: “The Laker faithful don’t give a damn what you’ve done before. Until you become a Laker, you’ve got to do it with them, as well.” Now that he has won for Kobe, won for beloved owner Jeanie Buss, won for Vogel and embattled basketball boss Rob Pelinka, won for the banners and retired jerseys in the rafters — and won for the people — James’ life will change in southern California. He’s more now, much more, than the rent-a-mercenary who longed to take over Hollywood. “This is a historic franchise,” he said, “and to be a part of this is something that I’ll be able to talk about and my grandkids and kids will be able to talk about; their pawpaw played for the Los Angeles Lakers. It’s like playing for the Yankees and winning or playing for the Cowboys and winning a Super Bowl, or the Patriots.’’     

Such is the shame of the rioting. The scene was so beautiful at Disney World, everyone oozing the tao of Bryant. His close friend and longtime agent, Pelinka, became the Lakers’ basketball operations executive — and ultimately was attacked as an office backstabber by franchise superhero Magic Johnson. Now look at him. “Kobe’s voice is always in my head, always, every day, every minute,” Pelinka told reporters. “There would be times in the middle of the night, I’d hear his voice: ‘Stay the course. Finish the task.’ To be able to have a friend who changed my life, and helped me understand what greatness was about and sacrifice was about, there’s not many greater gifts. To be able to share this moment right now, knowing that he and Gianna are looking down from heaven, I know he’s proud.”     

In those dysfunctional times, Bryant supported his friend. “When I took the job, I remember he said, ‘Hey, I know what you did for me for 20 years. I’ll give you two, three years, you’ll fix this. You’ll get the Lakers back on top,'” said Pelinka, who then looked skyward and said, “I guess you were right, man. You give me the energy to do it.”

From shouting “1-2-3 Mamba” in huddles to Davis channeling Bryant’s name when he hit a game-winner in the Western Conference finals, this was about Kobe. “I know that he’s looking down on us super proud,’’ Davis said. “Before the tragedy, he would come to the game and just tell us, ‘This is y’all year. Go out and take it.’  He had a lot of confidence in our organization to go out and win it this year. We miss him. And this is definitely for him.”    

Anthony Davis seems to have found his NBA home with Lakers - Los Angeles  Times


As he spoke in the Bubble, the L.A. fools already were spoiling a potent moment and tarnishing a mystical story. If this is a shape-shifting year in American life, it’s important to talk about the destructive behavior — why knuckleheads would bring darkness to much-needed community light — rather than conveniently ignore them to tap into sports arguments. As James said about society moving forward, “Where do we go from here? We don’t stop, obviously, when the season ends. Let everyone disperse and go back (home), but I hope that people continue to use their platforms, use their individual social media platforms.’’     

Do that, please, because there are too many dirty cops in this country. But some of the civilians aren’t so swell, either.

Jay Mariotti, called “the most impacting Chicago sportswriter of the past quarter-century,’’ is the host of “Unmuted,’’ a frequent podcast about sports and life (Apple, Spotify, etc.). He is an accomplished columnist, TV commentator and radio host. As a Los Angeles resident, he gravitated by osmosis to movie projects. He appears Wednesdays on The Dino Costa Show, a segment billed as “The Rawest Hour in Sports.’’ Compensation for this column is donated to the Scripps College of Communication General Fund at Ohio University.

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Tricia Whitaker Will Find The Story That Matters

“My role is to really bring the viewers down to that level of the dugout and into the clubhouse.”

Derek Futterman



Tricia Whitaker FNB
Courtesy: Apple

When St. Louis Cardinals designated hitter Albert Pujols hit his 700th career home run in his final season in the majors last September, the baseball world erupted in mass jubilation. Although the milestone achievement occurred during a road game, the fans still showered one of the sport’s quintessential athletes with praise as they witnessed the fourth player enter this exclusive pinnacle of power hitters. For fans watching from afar, they were treated with crisp, vivid footage of the moment since the matchup was exclusive to Apple TV+ as a part of its Friday Night Baseball slate of games.

The game broadcast featured field reporter Tricia Whitaker, who had just joined the Apple TV+ presentations to begin the second half of the season. Being there as one of the voices tasked with keeping viewers informed and captivated by the action was a special experience that she will never forget. 

“You’re talking about the best cameras in the entire world capturing one of the most iconic players ever,” Whitaker said. “I thought the call was amazing; I thought the quality of the shots was amazing [and] I’l never forget that broadcast, ever, because it was so cool.”

Whitaker grew up in Bloomington, Ind. and would journey to Wrigley Field with her father once per summer to watch the Chicago Cubs. Through those games, she realized that a ballpark was her ideal future workplace.

“We just didn’t have a ton of money, [so] I would sit in the nosebleeds with him once a summer and that was the biggest treat in the world,” Whitaker said. “I just realized that I loved telling stories and I loved sports, so I decided to do that.”

Whitaker’s journey in the industry genuinely began as an undergraduate student at Indiana University Bloomington where she adopted a mindset to seize any opportunities offered to her. Despite having no knowledge or previous reporting experience, she accepted a role to cover a tennis match and quickly started preparing. After one of her professors saw her nascent media acumen, they recommended she audition for the university’s student television station to hone her skills. Whitaker earned a spot and began covering Indiana Hoosiers basketball and football for the show Hoosier Sports Night. From there, she simply kept on accepting anything in her purview.

“Your best asset is your availability, so I basically just said ‘Yes’ to everything,” Whitaker articulated.

Once it became time to search for a full-time position, her experience and tenacity helped her land a role at WBAY-TV in Green Bay as a sports reporter and anchor. After two football seasons working there, Whitaker relocated closer to home to report for WTTV-TV Channel 4 in Indianapolis. The time was valuable for her to cultivate new relationships with those around the industry while strengthening existing ones, serving as a foundational aspect of her reporting. 

“If they don’t trust you to tell their stories, they’re not going to talk to you,” Whitaker said. “You have to be able to have a good relationship with the players; with the coaches and everybody involved.”

At the same time, Whitaker felt compelled to make a lasting contribution to Indiana University through teaching and inspiring the next generation of journalists. She is now an adjunct professor for the IU Media School and wants her students to know how integral it is to make themselves available while being open and willing to try new things to make inroads into the profession. 

“There’s always a story to be told, so even if it’s a random event that you don’t think anyone’s paying attention to, there’s people there; there’s human stories and their stories matter,” Whitaker said. “That’s what I always try to tell my students is [to] just find that story that makes people interested in it and find that story that matters.”

Over the years working in these dual roles, Whitaker became more skilled in her position and proceeded to audition to join the Tampa Bay Rays’ broadcast crew on Bally Sports Sun as a field reporter. When she received news that she had landed the coveted job, she remembers starting to cry in her closet while trying to organize her clothes. After all, Whitaker had just learned that she would get to perform the role she idolized when she was young. The access her role gives her to the players and coaches on the field is not taken for granted.

“I’ll interview hitting coaches about a guy’s hands and where they’ve moved and about his stance,” Whitaker said. “….In the next hit, I’ll tell a story about a guy who drinks a smoothie every day before the game and he feels [that] putting spinach in it has really made a difference or something like that. My reporting style is pretty much all of it, but I do like to do the human interest stories more than I like to do anything else because I think that’s unique.”

After each Rays win, Whitaker takes the field and interviews one of the players on the team. Earlier in the season, she remembers speaking with Rays outfielder Jose Siri after he drove in three runs against the Detroit Tigers; however, the broadcast was not on Bally Sports Sun. Instead, she was doing the interview for Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV+, a national broadcast property the company pays MLB an estimated $85 million annually to carry. Going into the interview, Whitaker knew that she would need to appeal to more than just Rays fans and appropriately started the conversation by asking about the game.

Yet she also knew that it was “Salsa Night” at Comerica Park in Detroit and thanks to her work with the regional network, was cognizant of the fact that Siri likes to dance in the dugout. As a result, she concluded the interview with a request for Siri to demonstrate his salsa dancing skills, something that made an ordinary conversation stand out.

“I tried to personalize it a little bit to help people get to know Jose Siri a little bit better because I think that’s important,” Whitaker said. “….You make sure you talk about baseball, but then you add a little flair to it; add a little personality to it. Everybody loves salsa, right?”

The Apple broadcasts require Whitaker to prepare as she executes her role with the Rays, keeping her wholly invested and consumed by baseball. There are occasions where she is afforded the luxury of reporting on Rays games for her Friday night assignment, but they are rare. Therefore, she needs to become familiar with two teams by reviewing statistics, reading local reporting and conversing with those involved. She keeps her notes on her cell phone and makes lists of what she is going to do during the day to keep herself organized and focused.

Throughout the week, Whitaker actively prepares for the Friday night matchup and meets with her producer to contribute her ideas and learn about the macro vision of the broadcast. The Apple broadcast, aside from using high-caliber technology, also regularly equips microphones to place on players that allow viewers to hear what is transpiring on the field. Whitaker, along with play-by-play announcer Alex Faust and color commentator Ryan Spilborghs, coordinate with the production team throughout the game to present an insightful and compelling final product.

There was criticism of the Apple TV+ live game baseball broadcasts during its inaugural season, but the noise continues to diminish in its sophomore campaign. Whitaker views her role as accruing a confluence of stories about the game and more insightful looks at the personalities on the field. Before each contest, she interviews a player in the dugout and asks questions that put the season in context, granting a comprehensive understanding about a subset of their journey.

“We try to get their thoughts on the season so far at the plate, but also try to get to know them on a personal level,” Whitaker said. “My role is to really bring the viewers down to that level of the dugout and into the clubhouse.”

It is considerably more facile to execute such a task before the game than it is during gameplay because of the introduction of the pitch clock. While it has undoubtedly sped up the game and made the product more appealing for fans of all ages, its actualization threatened the viability of unique aspects of baseball broadcasts. The Apple TV+ crew may work together once per week, but over a 162-game season spanning parts of seven months, there is a perdurable bond and unyielding chemistry evident therein.

“Everybody on that crew – and I seriously mean this – is so supportive no matter who you are as long as you do your job well,” Whitaker said. “They don’t even think about the fact that I’m a female in sports [and] they just support me. They help me take constructive criticism because they care and because they truly see me as an equal.”

Whitaker has had the chance to report from Wrigley Field with Apple TV+ and vividly remembers her experience of stepping inside as a media member for the first time. It was a surreal full-circle moment that has been the result of years of determination and persistence to make it to the major leagues.

“I walked into Wrigley and I started to tear up because I remember when my dad and I used to go there and I was 12 years old,” Whitaker stated. “If you would have told me at 12 years old [that] I would be doing a national game at Wrigley, I would have told you [that] you were lying because I just wouldn’t have thought that was a possibility.”

Although Whitaker is receptive to potentially hosting regular sports programming in the future, she has found the joy in her roles with both the Tampa Bay Rays and Apple TV+. Being able to experience historic moments, including Pujols’ milestone home run, and then diving deeper into the situation makes the countless flights, hotel stays and lack of a genuine respite worthwhile. She hopes to continue seamlessly fulfilling her responsibility this Friday night when the New York Mets face the Philadelphia Phillies at 6:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. PST, exclusively on Apple TV+.

“There’s always a story to be told, and if you’re good at your job, you’re going to find that story even on a day where you’re like, ‘Oh gosh, there’s nothing going on,’” Whitaker said. “I take that pretty seriously.”

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Radio Advertising Can be the Secret Weapon For In-House Digital Marketers

“The trend of businesses gaining digital marketing proficiency presents a unique opportunity for YOU.”

Jeff Caves



Courtesy: ETSY

Remember when in-house marketers were primarily focused on traditional media and needed help navigating the digital and social media landscape? Well, the tables are turning! 

The rise of digital-savvy in-house marketers is opening up exciting opportunities for radio ad salespeople. As local businesses increasingly invest in digital marketing, some are finding they need your expertise in radio advertising.

Borrell Associates has released their latest Business Barometer, and included in the findings was a slight but noticeable shift favoring traditional forms of broadcast media. Let’s dive into how sports and news radio ad salespeople can leverage this shift to target businesses with proficient digital marketing people on board who may need to know more about the potential of radio advertising.

1. Digital-Marketing Trending UP!

Borrell Associates’ recent findings indicate that businesses are increasingly proficient in digital marketing. They are adeptly managing their websites and social media channels, driving results through online campaigns. However, this digital surge doesn’t necessarily translate to expertise in traditional media, such as radio. Hey, do you know a business like that? And make sure you know of an outsourced digital agency you can refer who can handle your clients’ digital and social media for very few dollars. You can help manage the rest of the budget! 

2. Target In-House Buyers

Make a list of businesses you know that have in-house people who are digital-oriented or younger owners who handle mostly digital advertising independently. Or, how about the in-house marketing person who only takes on marketing initiatives like events or sales promotion and knows nothing about advertising? Get ’em! 

3. We create demand

One of the unique selling points of radio is its ability to generate demand and send more customers to Google or your client’s website. Digital marketing can often direct buyers seeking a specific purchase but can’t create lasting impressions and build demand and loyalty like your station. Use this advantage to demonstrate how radio can reinforce the brand story and enhance the effectiveness of digital campaigns.

4. Surround the listener

Recognize that businesses with digital marketing expertise may want holistic solutions. Sell packages that combine digital and radio advertising. Include your streaming endorsements with social media and geo-fencing. They get it and will be impressed with reaching their target audience across multiple touchpoints.

5. Be the Teacher

Your prospects may be experts in digital marketing, but they might not fully understand the potential of radio advertising. Take on the role of an educator. Provide resources, case studies, and success stories that showcase how your station and radio have boosted digital-savvy businesses’ results.

6. 1+1=3 for Creativity

Collaboration is key when working with clients with a digital marketing team. Involve them in the creative process of writing and producing radio ads. Creativity could be their strength, and they will bring fresh perspectives to your production.

The trend of businesses gaining digital marketing proficiency presents a unique opportunity for YOU. Maybe your client is struggling with their digital strategy. Imagine that now they may be seeking you out to help them understand what they have already read about buying radio advertising. It’s time to adapt your approach and position radio as a complementary and powerful tool in the digital marketing person toolkit.

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Bill Parcells Shaped The Media By Giving Them Hell

“Parcells doesn’t belong in a studio chatting with a quarterback. He belongs in a temper tantrum screaming at a sportswriter.”

John Molori



Bill Parcells
Courtesy: AP Photo

Two of the most talked about media stories of the past couple of weeks intersect in the form of one legendary NFL head coach – Bill Parcells. 

In the wake of Aaron Rodgers’ potentially season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1 of the NFL season, many media pundits harkened back to 1999 when then-Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde suffered a similar injury in the first game of the season. Like Rodgers, Testaverde was a veteran signal-caller looking to bring the long-suffering Jets to a Super Bowl. 

One week after Rodgers’ injury, Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley was in the media mechanism for an exchange with a reporter after his club fell to 0-2. Staley took issue with a query about whether the team’s monumental playoff collapse last season versus Jacksonville has carried over to their slow start this season. 

ESPN’s First Take included video of Staley’s comment on their September 19 show building it up as some rash, heated interaction between coach and press. It was not. In fact, Staley merely directly answered the question asserting this season has nothing to do with last season. 

Both of these headlines find common ground in the person of Bill Parcells. Parcells was the head coach of the Jets in 1999 when Testaverde’s season ended in that fateful game vs. New England. In addition, he was notorious for some truly vitriolic run-ins with post-game reporters. 

Forget about Staley or even the infamous press conference rants of Jim Mora (“Playoffs!?”), Herm Edwards (“You play to win the game!”), and Dennis Green (“Crown ‘em!”). To the media, Parcells was Armageddon, Three Mile Island, and Hurricane Katrina rolled into one. Never has there been a football character so inexplicably loved and despised. 

In New England, Parcells’s arrival as head coach of the Patriots in 1993 signaled the turnaround of the franchise, but fans refuse to vote him into the team’s Hall of Fame because of his unceremonious jump from to the Jets after the 1996 season. 

When that happened, Parcells again grasped the media spotlight stating, “If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries.” He was referring to new owner Bob Kraft taking final say personnel decisions away from Parcells.

Like him or not, Parcells, known as The Tuna, rejuvenated five NFL franchises. The New York Giants were a mishmash of Joe Pisarciks and Earnest Grays before Parcells turned them into two-time champions.

Patriot fans actually cheered for the likes of Hugh Millen and Eugene Chung until Parcells came to town and brought in players like Drew Bledsoe, Ty Law, Willie McGinest, Adam Vinatieri, and Tedy Bruschi, laying the foundation for a dynasty.

And the Jets? They were living off the fumes of Joe Namath’s Brut 33 until Bill Parcells constructed a team that went from 1-15 in 1996 under Rich Kotite to 9-7 and 12-4 in 1997 and 1998 respectively with Parcells. 

The Cowboys were 5-11 under Dave Campo in 2002. The next year, they went 10-6 with Parcells. Miami was 1-15 in 2007. The next year, with Parcells as executive VP of Football ops, they won the AFC East with an 11-5 record.

The Catholic church has its Apostle’s Creed. Those who follow the gospel of The Tuna have A Parcells Creed, and it goes as follows: I believe if a reporter asks Parcells if he outcoached a colleague, that reporter will be called a “dumb ass.” I believe that the media are “commies” and “subversive from within” as Parcells once labeled them.

I believe in using the media to denigrate young players to keep their egos in check. After Jets QB Glenn Foley had a solid preseason performance a few years back, the New York media surrounded the redheaded QB as if he had won the Super Bowl. 

Parcells walked right in front of Foley and sarcastically asked, “Do you mind if I get past Sonny Jurgensen over here,” referring to the similarly redheaded Redskin quarterbacking legend.

In 1995, when all of New England was agog over a rookie running back named Curtis Martin, Parcells slyly commented to the press, “Well, we’re not carving his bust for Canton just yet.” And of course, there was the late Terry Glenn. When asked how the former Patriot wideout was recovering from an injury, the Tuna spouted, “She’s doing just fine.”

Parcells’ stints as a studio analyst on ESPN, although insightful, seemed out of place. He would sit there, dressed in a dark blue suit talking strategy with fellow ESPN gabber Steve Young. Honestly, he looked like a rotund funeral director searching for someone to embalm.

Parcells doesn’t belong in a studio chatting with a quarterback. He belongs in a temper tantrum screaming at a sportswriter. 

I interviewed Boston media personality Steve DeOssie about Parcells. DeOssie was the defensive signal caller for the New York Giants (1989-93) when Parcells was the team’s head coach. He again played for Parcells in New England in 1994.

He told me, “Parcells realizes that the media is the enemy. Let’s face it, the media cannot do anything positive for a team, but they can put stuff out there that could lose a game. The bottom line with Parcells is whether it helps his team win.”

“He loves the camera and the camera loves him. He enjoys that part of the business. The media can spin it any way they want. Parcells does not suffer fools gladly and a lot of media types don’t like being called out in press conferences.”

Another Boston media legend also gave me his reflections of Parcells. Bob Lobel is the most revered sports anchor of all-time in New England. He stated, “I did a one-on-one interview with Parcells awhile back. He is so down to earth yet has this aura. It’s easy to be in awe of him.”

The national perspective is similar. When Troy Aikman was an analyst for FOX Sports, the current Monday Night Football color commentator credited Parcells with restacking the Cowboys’ roster and bringing winning back to Dallas.

When asked about playing for Parcells with the Jets, FS1’s Keyshawn Johnson offered, “He taught me how to do things, how to pay attention.” 

Even people whom Parcells fired maintain a respect for him. Sirius NFL Radio’s Pat Kirwan was the director of player administration for the Jets when Parcells arrived in 1997. 

Kirwan told me, “Parcells rebuilds a franchise from top to bottom. He evaluates everyone from the trainers to the doctors to the equipment guys. In 1997 when Bill came to the Jets, I knew I was qualified, but I also knew that Bill would let me go.”

In a September 12, 2023 story, New York Post reporter Brian Costello interviewed Parcells about the Rodgers injury. 

This master of media mind games famous for the quote, “You don’t get any medal for trying,” revealed his visceral core telling Costello, “You are charged with winning games under any circumstances … They’re not canceling the games. They’re not canceling them. You’re coaching them. It’s your job to get your team ready to play to the best of their ability.”

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