May 22 2008
By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Shots will be accompanying the Memphis Tigers basketball program on its upcoming trip to China. Because of that, our Boston Sports Media duties will be on hiatus. But you can follow the journey from Hull to Huizhou at the Conference USA website beginning Monday and continuing through June 2.
The trip is part of a deal announced last Fall and will include three games against Chinese National team competition. Players from three other C-USA teams will join a mostly Memphis team (including Lynn’s Antonio Anderson on the week-long journey.
[The Shots connection in all of this is that I am working on a book with Calipari (see tag line below) and the trip offers some downtime to work on that project. How's that for full and total disclosure?]
Before we board that big bird to the Far East, here’s a few media morsels to tide you over. We should be back with regular posts by mid-June, barring any unforeseen international incidents.
When we did our liveblog of the Tomase story release a week ago we conducted a very informal poll of where T-gate ranked in Boston sports media lore. Inexcusably, we omitted the Lisa Olson story from the conversation. As one Herald hero reminded us this week, “That was before the Internet so people were calling the office directly. They had to hire an intern just to field all the calls.”
With Tomasegate, that anger was vented on the message boards and at sites like this one. So the actual impact to the staff was not felt as deeply. However, BECAUSE of the Internet, this go-round of the Herald’s inglorious history probably had a wider initial impact and a longer residual effect.
. . . Tomase mentioned in a blog item this week that he wouldn’t be writing for a few days. It would appear to be a great time for Tomase to take some time away from the game and the games. It would also appear to be decision time as to whether or not he can continue on the beat.
• At the core of any good media case study is the over-used, but under-utilized term, “transparency.”
The more forthcoming, and the more transparent media organizations, bloggers – even corporations – can be, the more trust and loyalty they will instill in their users. In return, they will likely have repeat customers that help support the cause, as it were. Without that transparency, readers are left to wonder, “What else aren’t they telling me?”
Case in point came from the Globe’s Tuesday A-1, above-the-fold Dan Shaughnessy article – NOT a column, mind you – on Jon Lester’s wonderfully poignant no-hitter. Shaughnessy scraped together a passable report on the accomplishment but he did it from his couch. Shaughnessy was not at the game and a bulk of the quotes in his story appear to have been taken off the NESN broadcast. None of that is noted in the story.
Shouldn’t it have been? Why not even play it up a bit and columnize the concept with a goofy dateline like: MY COUCH.
Shaughnessy saw the game the way thousands and thousands did – on TV and there’s no shame in that. But it’s a fairly important piece of background information if he wasn’t at Fenway for the moment.
Gordon Edes – who was at Fenway and had the no-no gamer on the front of sports – should have been given A-1 and Shaughnessy should have banged out a quick Sports-1 column from home and acknowledged that he was doing just that.
. . . No progress to report on the Edes buyout denial appeal at the Globe, but it is certain that Edes has retained counsel to present his case to the ERISA board, at whatever time that occurs.
Globe sources have indicated that the paper desperately wants to be able to fill the Edes slot with a new hire and if the buyout is granted after the appeal hearing, they can not do that per the terms of the buyout.
• Jerry Remy riffing on hospital gowns during the Wednesday night 9th inning was one of those ever-dwindling times when Remy’s silliness was well-appreciated and quite hysterical. But that needs to be the end of the Pajama Game he’s been playing with Don-O. The Japan trip was many moons ago.
. . . And ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy on “humping” during the Celts’ game on Thursday was also pretty damn amusing. JVG has really shone in these playoffs and if he can shake the coaching urge, he should remain at the TV table.
• Despite FOBS’ (Friends of Bill Simmons) strong denials, Shots is still seeing the strains of his dot-com days wearing on the Sports Guy. The recent launch of his separate blogspot page has been more than just a forum to run his old columns; it’s become a forum for his festering feud with the ESPN.com powers-that-be.
However, just because the former Boston Sports Guy is unhappy with the constrictions that go with his web work, it doesn’t necessarily signal the end of the Disney/Simmons relationship. Even if Simmons’ writing for the website declines, it would only mean more opportunities for multi-media Simmons (E:60, Podcasts, Original Entertainment, etc.), indicating the thought of Simmons bailing out of his most recent contract appears unlikely. But his swipes at the dot-com’s rules and regulations will probably continue unabated.
• New UMass head coach, Derek Kellogg, was masterful in his first Coach’s Caravan stop at Clarke’s on Wednesday night. Kellogg worked the room deftly, gave a solid, enthusiastic stump speech and genuinely looked at home in his new role. Kellogg’s still trying to add a big man late, but really likes his guards.
. . .Speaking of UMass guards, Jim McCoy was in the house to greet DK (or is it Coach K?).
• A very strong showing from ex-Providence coach Tim Welsh on the 7 p.m. Thursday “Out of Bounds” on CN8. Welsh took part in a “Crosshairs” segment and not only gave concise, honest, insightful answers to his inquisitors but also deftly managed his flimsy umbrella as an early evening thunder storm passed through his live shot outside the Garden.
Welsh hasn’t hooked on anywhere to coach this upcoming season, so one of the networks need to snatch him up for some analyst work either in the studio or at courtside. Welsh has all the skills necessary to climb quickly through the TV ranks. And he has a good handle on both the college and pro game.
• I shoulda stayed in Sports Information. Grizzer’s a class act and always has been. I just wonder when Shots’ early mentor, Howie Davis, is going to pull that trick at UMass!!!
• Bob “Neumie” Neumeier, who has been fantastic as always on the first two legs of the Triple Crown, will also handle NBC hockey desk duties for the network’s hyped-up Stanley Cup coverage. Alongside Pierre McGuire and old friend, Mike Milbury, Neumie will be taking his on-site studio show cues from producer Sam Flood, the former captain of the Williams College hockey team (Class of 1983) and the son of a hockey coach.
• We will have some sort of earthquake disaster fund-raiser when we return. We’ll have a better grasp on what will be most beneficial after our trip.
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmediaDOTcom.
Scott’s first book, with Memphis Coach John Calipari, is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2009.