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Flying Close to the Sun

Flying Close to the Sun

By Cathy Wilkerson

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Tag: Espn

AP/Charlie Riedel

Does ESPN Have Room for Free Speech and ‘Monday Night Football’?

Popular sports commentator Bill Simmons was suspended by ESPN for violating editorial standards—or was it because he criticized the NFL, which happens to have a $15 billion contract with the network?

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE

Controversial Abortion Law Blocked, ‘The View’ Skewers Ken Cuccinelli, and More

A look at the day’s political happenings, including Massachusetts Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey speak up about “stand your ground” laws in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin and an embattled aide to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul resigns.

Posted on Jul 22, 2013 READ MORE


Report: Nate Silver Leaving New York Times

Election forecaster extraordinaire Nate Silver is packing up his FiveThirtyEight blog and taking it elsewhere, according to the Times’ own media reporter Brian Stelter.

Posted on Jul 21, 2013 READ MORE

Manti Te’o Gives First Interview After ‘Dead Girlfriend’ Hoax Revealed

Manti Te’o had no involvement in the bizarre hoax involving his “dead girlfriend,” the Notre Dame star linebacker insisted to ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap in his first interview since the story broke Wednesday.

Posted on Jan 19, 2013 READ MORE

Nate Silver’s Super Bowl Prediction

The statistician extraordinaire has correctly predicted presidential elections, baseball games and football rankings, which is why his Super Bowl picks warrant a close look.

Posted on Jan 10, 2013 READ MORE

Flickr / gongus (CC-BY)

Hank Williams Jr. Rips ‘Muslim’ Obama During Anti-Gay Rant

Actor Alec Baldwin hit back at Hank Williams Jr. after the country singer’s vitriolic, hate-fueled rant against the president and homosexuals over the weekend.

Posted on Sep 4, 2012 READ MORE

Jeffrey Beall (CC-BY-SA)

NFL Charges Broadcasters $20 for Every American

After negotiating various new agreements, Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN and DirecTV will altogether pay close to $6 billion a year to broadcast NFL games to a football-addicted America.

Posted on Dec 14, 2011 READ MORE

Flickr / gongus (CC-BY)

ESPN Pulls Song After Hitler Analogy

A song by country singer Hank Williams Jr. was pulled from the opening of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” broadcast after he used an analogy to Adolf Hitler in comments about President Barack Obama.

Posted on Oct 4, 2011 READ MORE

An Oral History of ESPN

The book lacks a narrative voice to set the scene, pull the reader along. Authors are not just tape recorders with expense accounts. They need to analyze, criticize, validate their characters. Here, they’re often missing in action.

Posted on Jun 9, 2011 READ MORE

AP / Disney / Matt Stroshane

ESPN Is the Diva, Favre Is Just an Old Pro With a Bum Ankle

In the 10 months from September to July, at least two of the four major leagues are playing. In July and August, we’re on our own and the Big Paparazzo does what it does when it has nothing ... guess at something, blow it up, project from it and comment on it.

Posted on Aug 22, 2010 READ MORE


What ESPN’s Bill Simmons Superdeluxe Media Empire Means for Facts, Fans and Sports

Going bonkers, lionizing winners and dumping on losers is fun, even if the cycle is accelerating to absurdity and beyond with modern 24/7 reportage. That’s today’s price of fame. Privileged as they are, today’s starry-eyed young athletes pursue their dream through a driving shitstorm.

Posted on Jul 7, 2010 READ MORE

Flickr / audrey_sel (CC-BY-SA)

Everything Wrong With America on Display at Hot Dog Contest

Competitive eating (aka food contests) is enough of a cultural phenomenon that the annual Nathan’s hot dog chokedown is broadcast on ESPN. This weekend Joey Chestnut took the honors, but his greatest threat (and some would argue the “sport’s” true champion), Japanese phenom Takeru Kobayashi, was barred from participating. (continued)

Posted on Jul 5, 2010 READ MORE


Et Tu, A-Rod?

Yet another top MLB player’s reputation has been besmirched by use of performance-enhancing drugs: Take a bow, Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez. The Yankees star admitted Monday that he’d dabbled in steroids years ago in a moment of high pressure and youthful indiscretion. He said the drug use occurred only while he played for the Texas Rangers.

Posted on Feb 9, 2009 READ MORE

‘Monday Night Football’ Does Politics

Who would have guessed that the “Monday Night Football” candidate interviews would turn out to be so bizarre? ESPN’s normally affable Chris Berman asked questions with a perplexing intensity while John McCain sounded as if he was in a vacuum cleaner showroom.

Posted on Nov 3, 2008 READ MORE

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