If you work in sports media, especially if you’re on the opinion and commentary side of the industry, you open yourself up to some harsh criticism. Sometimes, that feedback crosses the line into insults. So it’s understandable that columnists, reporters, and sports radio hosts block those who attack them on Twitter.
But how often does someone in the media block a colleague for criticism or good-natured mocking?
On Monday, Doug Gottlieb revealed that fellow Fox Sports Radio host Rob Parker blocked him on Twitter. Did Gottlieb direct a personal insult at Parker? Did he take some negative feedback too far?
No, Gottlieb was pushing back on Parker’s years-long narrative of Matthew Stafford being an overrated quarterback who compiled many throwing yards while trying to rally bad Detroit Lions teams from behind. “Pad Statford” was the nickname Parker gave him. Funny! And true.
But Gottlieb didn’t go at Parker with Stafford’s career stats or attempt to make an argument that he would’ve received more acclaim throughout his career if he hadn’t played for the Lions. All Gottlieb did was give a little elbow.
“Someone check on Rob Parker,” Gottlieb tweeted. That’s it. A playful poke at Parker’s anti-Stafford hot take. He didn’t say Parker was outright wrong. (Though he did so on the air, as you can hear in the clip above.) He didn’t insult him. Nope. This was just good-natured teasing.
However, that — along with taking issue with Parker’s contention that Tom Brady has been lucky throughout his career — was apparently all Parker could stand and he couldn’t stand anymore. He blocked Gottlieb.
Gottlieb was surprised, but tried to see it from Parker’s point of view. Maybe Parker believes that colleagues at the same company shouldn’t criticize one another. So Gottlieb texted him to ask why he’d been blocked. Parker’s response, which he later directed at everyone, was that if you can’t compliment him when he’s right, don’t criticize him when he’s wrong.
It seems remarkably oversensitive. But Parker has taken a lot of fire in his years as a columnist in Cincinnati, Detroit, and New York, and later as a sports radio host and TV personality. This is how he’s chosen to deal with the feedback he receives. Standing your ground and not backing down from an opinion is how approaches his job.
Parker isn’t easing off his Stafford take now that he’s won a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams. In his view, the Rams would’ve won with any top 15 quarterback in the league running that offense. Stafford isn’t special.
Gottlieb put it to the rest of his crew, asking if it was strange that Parker blocked him for something rather harmless. Everyone tried to give Parker the benefit of the doubt, even trying to rationalize that this was being playful. Yet all agreed that this seemed rather extreme.
So for those offering vinegar to Rob Parker, make sure it also comes with some sugar. Otherwise, he’ll block you. He even does it with his co-workers!
Ian Casselberry is a sports media columnist for BSM. He has previously written and edited for Awful Announcing, The Comeback, Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation. You can find him on Twitter @iancass or reach him by email at email@example.com.
WEEI Producer Begins Campaign To Get Greg Hill into Radio Hall of Fame
“He has been around for a long time in the Boston radio scene and raised a lot of money for charity and done a lot of good things and a lot of good radio.”
Greg Hill already has a Marconi, but that honor isn’t enough according to one of his producers.
Jackson, who hosts The Greg Hill Show’s after-show podcast, revealed on Monday that he is ready to make the case to the Radio Hall of Fame for the WEEI morning man to be included in next year’s induction ceremony.
He said that Hill treats the Marconi Award he won for Major Market Personality of the Year like it belongs to everyone. Hill credits not just the current cast he works with on WEEI, but partners from his days at active rocker WAAF as well, with helping him take home that award. Jackson wants to see Hill get an honor that is just for him.
“The Radio Hall of Fame would be very much Greg only, and I think he needs that solo recognition. Not for his ego, but for posterity and for his legend because he is legendary,” Jackson said. “He has been around for a long time in the Boston radio scene and raised a lot of money for charity and done a lot of good things and a lot of good radio.”
This year, the Radio Hall of Fame included a trio of WFAN legends in its induction class with found Jeff Smulyan, Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo and Suzyn Waldman all being honored.
Jackson says he is taking it upon himself to make the case for Greg Hill getting in, but he encouraged listeners to find out what they can do and then do it. While he made it clear that Hill deserves the honor, Jackson acknowledged that the recognition would make him feel pretty good too.
“That would be cool because then I would be working for a Radio Hall-of-Famer and in the circle of trust of a Radio Hall-of-Famer perhaps.”
Jason Barrett Podcast: Jeff Smulyan, Never Ride a Roller Coaster Upside Down
There would be no sports radio if not for Jeff Smulyan. He takes JB through the triumphs and disappointments of his career and explains why he is sharing so many stories in a new book, Never Ride a Roller Coaster Upside Down. To pick up your copy, click here.
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 JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Zolak & Bertrand: Kirk Herbstreit’s Comments A Wake Up Call For Patriots Fans
“Next time you feel like they shouldn’t be booing them, there’s someone from a national perspective – who has been calling games now in the NFL for at least all of this year – but is very familiar with the league and all the different cities and he’s been in college environments for a decade plus, and said their fans aren’t angry enough.”
Things appeared to come to a head for the New England Patriots and their fans last week as the team fell to the Buffalo Bills 24-10.
Many fans of the Patriots with the loss seem to have accepted the fact that the glory days of the franchise are officially over. Thursday Night Football analyst Kirk Herbstreit even noted that it was off-putting that fans near his broadcast vantage point were fine with the Pats coming out on the losing end.
“I just felt the sense of acceptance of where they are,” Herbstreit said during a Friday appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. “It really shocked me. I’m just so used to the Patriots’ 20 years of excellence, and not just the NFL in all of professional sports. And to see their fan base just like, we suck, whatever, game’s over, like early they were like that.”
On Zolak & Bertrand Monday, co-host Scott Zolak disagreed with Herbstreit’s take.
“I don’t know what you want from a fan base to do after that when the game’s over, and the place starts to dump out,” he said. “The game was well in hand.”
Zolak’s cohort Marc Bertrand felt differently, praising Herbstreit for offering that sort of perspective.
“Next time you feel like they shouldn’t be booing them, there’s someone from a national perspective – who has been calling games now in the NFL for at least all of this year – but is very familiar with the league and all the different cities and he’s been in college environments for a decade plus, and said their fans aren’t angry enough,” Bertrand said. “They let ’em off the hook.”
Bertrand felt like Patriots fans had every right to be pissed off with the product the team put on the field last week and have done so far this season. Especially when people are paying top dollar for admission to games.
“That product doesn’t match those prices last Thursday night,” he said, continuing to agree with what Herbstreit said. “You don’t hear that a lot around here. So I thought it was a nice change up.”
Zolak and Bertrand both seemed to determine that perhaps it was a case of fans being too nice and being willing to accept failure from head coach Bill Belichick and his staff.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.