May 15 2008
By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
Some people sleep out for concert tickets. Others wait for XBox video games to be released. A few need to be the first to see a new release in movie theaters.
As a media critic in the Internet Age, I prefer to wait up late night for the arrival of things like the Boston Herald’s /John Tomase’s Spygate Explanation of what the heck went wrong in this whole sordid mess.
The process will go like this: The Herald will post the story sometime shortly after midnight; We will cut and paste a copy into the live blog; we will read the story; we will then begin the discussion as it were.
By live-blogging the posting of a story which will appear in Friday’s Herald and then assessing that piece in a live format will offer us (and I hope there is an us) a real-time, in-the-moment, visceral assessment of what Tomase has given us in Day Three of Tomasegate content.
The brilliant thing about live-blogging with CoverItLive.com’s outstanding software is that the entire live blog can be replayed and enjoyed by anyone at any time. For better or worse. So if you join us late, just click ‘replay’ and enjoy.
One other programming note: Some Shots’ normal Friday fodder
will be has been added to this post (below the CoverItLive box) once the live blog is over. Included is a look at the latest episode of Woe-Is-Bill Simmons and some nastiness in Heidi Watney’s Fresno wake.
Enjoy the Live Blog and be sure to take part in the polling and comments AFTER you have entirely read his explanation. We don’t want to completely rush to judgment.
• Wow, that went extremely well. Probably a good core of seven commenters and some legit discussion of the whole process of reading Tomase’s explanation/non-apology, apology.
Worth a ‘replay’ if you have the time. . . good diversity of commenters, too.
• While the Herald shimmies and squirms its way out of Tomasegate (Son of Spygate), there’s a noteworthy battle emerging between ex-Herald lackey, Bill Simmons (now The Sports Guy) and the Worldwide Leader in Prima Donnas, ESPN.
Simmons is yet again restless under the stringent reins of ESPN.com and he shared his semi-regular urge-for-going. We’ve had past Woe-is-me from the comfortably wealthy Simmons and to be honest, in this week when Tomase clings to his job by his notepad wire, we don’t need to be hearing the guy with one of the Top 5 jobs in sports writing bitching about constraints – real or perceived.
Know this too – ESPN is none-too-pleased with the latest Simmons microburst and probably really ticked off about the splinter website Simmons christened this week.
Shots alone has discovered these references to Simmons re-inventing or re-explaining what he believed to be his ESPN role that date back to 2005 and are found:here (3rd note from bottom), here (leeway comments), here (post-Janet Jackson era comment) and here (his NY Times interview).
The Guy clearly doesn’t like being told what to do or how to do it, and every now and again, he manages to get that message out.
So, in a Thursday email Shots asked Simmons these questions two:
1. If things are so awful at ESPN, why not leave?
2. Did you need prior approval to start your own blog page independent of ESPN? How serious will you take that blogging (daily, weekly, whenever?)
Simmons politely declined to respond, perhaps already feeling like he’d said enough to Will Leitch at Deadspin.
ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys also declined to comment further on Simmons saying, via email on Thursday, “(W)e aren’t going to get in a long dialogue on Bill. . . just going to leave it to what we said yesterday.”
Wednesday’s comment went like this: “Bill is an exceptional talent with a unique voice that we’re proud to bring to fans. In any creative environment that features talented people, there will inevitably be differences. As we have in the past, we’ll continue to work through them.”
Some Guys just don’t seem to appreciate how damn good they have it, ya know?
• Wow, Le Anne Schreiber gets a little carried away on this one. Yeah, the WWL did a nice job on the OJ Mayo story. But ESPN still completely underplayed the Reggie Bush story because it didn’t “own it.” Yahoo! did. She also touches on Miguel Tejada and then proceeds to question just how synergetic the TV and dot-com side are. Good stuff all around, but I do find myself thinking she has to do it bi-weekly. It’s always been the problem, even when Solomon had the space. Not frequent enough and not emphasized enough when presented.
• Nice headline on this Toni Monkovic blog entry for the New York Times. “Botched.” That’s what this was – a complete botching on the part of Tomase, the NFL, the Patriots (originally); Roger Goodell; the Herald’s management and leadership; are we missing anyone?
• Had to be a Comments record week for the Herald, as Tony Mazz’s piece generated over 200 comments on Thursday. Granted, a good 80 percent are worthless, vulgar, ill-informed or all of the above.
The sharp contrast from Mazz’s fire flamer to the editor’s letter from Kevin R. Convey (side-by-side in the print edition) is yet another illustration of just how opportunistic the Herald’s approach has been all week. Sorry, Dan Kennedy, but I don’t see how any can’t see the self-promotion aspect of how the Herald has (mis)handled Tomasegate into a three day newsstand boon.
• Some serious Heidi Watney backlash in Fresno and the comments are certainly worth perusing. We’re starting to think there may have been a reason – beyond NESN’s frugal ways – for the delay in hiring Watney after her audition out West.
[By the way, an email to Joel Feld and spokesman Gary Roy at NESN this week inquiring why Shots has been taken off email distribution for the Network's press releases was never returned by either party. We would certainly seek comment on whether the Network knew particulars of Watney's departure from Fresno, but if they aren't going to respond to emails, we're not going waste our time. This is how business is done over there, apparently. We welcome responses by either gentleman.]
Ever-diligent and alert Red Sox Monster, Dan Lamothe was sniffing the same trail. Nice week for the Monstah: TBL gig; Some Simmons revelations and a guest appearance at the Shots’ Live Blog (the third of which was a more of a coup for us, than anything.)
• Peter May, now officially done with the Globe, turns up at Yahoo! again in a freelance role.
• Lobel is already talking comeback and lobbying for a radio gig. So predictable and so disheartening. Have fun in the New Balance building with his act, y’all.
• One scenario already being floated from Herald Square is to send Tomase back to the Sox beat and put Jeff Horrigan full time on the Patriots beat. No matter the apology and the explanation it will be tough for Tomase to effectively do his job in Foxborough. Tough, not impossible, but certainly not easy.
• Greatest Feinstein takedown ever. Send Norman Chad a dollar, Shirley. (Not my mom Shirley, Chad’s Shirley.)
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.