In the six months as SLAM magazine’s EIC, Ben Osborne has stressed the logical importance of broadening the mag’s readership while keeping its initial Hip Hop empowering fanbase intact. Ben has a vested interest in SLAM’s success not only because of the many years gaining experience and wisdom shooting through its ranks, but also because he wants to make sure SLAM remains the go to magazine for everything relative to the sport of baskeball. He’s a fan who truly cares about how his readers view his staff’s depiction of the sport and is determined to make a difference both here and abroad by implementing innovative nuances and mature features that will keep the sport’s most popular magazine fresh and relevant. I personally hope to positively impact SLAM’s future with upcoming features that will remain close to Ben’s personal responsibilty to continue the success of SLAM.
Archive for June, 2007
Which NBA teams are the big winners from last night’s draft? The big losers?
1. Portland: Greg Oden, Ohio State. Raef LaFrentz, Jamaal Magloire, Luke Schenscher, and Joel Przybilla are officially on notice. I say Przybilla stays. Just more chips for the Blazers to play with.
2. Seattle: Kevin Durant, Texas. Will Rashard Lewis be on the move now? Nick Collison? Chips, baby, chips. Also: Ray Allen to Boston for #5 pick (Cees will take Jeff Green and send him to Seattle) Delonte West and Wally World to Seattle, too. DAMN! The Sonics are doin’ thangs!
3. Atlanta: Al Horford, Florida. Al’s cool, no, he’s potentially a monster, but the Hawks better know they can get Acie Law at #11. Now, who is moving from the Ha
Tuesday morning, it was Doug Gottlieb’s turn to sub in for Mike Golic on Mike and Mike in the Morning. Tuesday is “Just Shut Up” day on that show, and the just shut up contestants were those who believe Sammy Sosa is a first-ballot Hall of Famer versus those who believe he is not. Gottlieb was adamant in his opinion that Sosa did not belong in the Hall of Fame based on three main points:
1) he obviously used steroids since his body changed dramatically and he went from being a pretty good player in 1997 to a monster player for the next several seasons.
2) he lamed out at the 2005 Congressional hearings, pretending he didn’t speak English and dodging the questions, just like McGwire.
3) he got a huge benefit from playing in Wrigley Field where, Gottlieb noted several times, he hit 350 of his career homeruns.
In an Outside the Lines piece on Sports Talk Radio a few weeks, former Boston Globe columnist and current WEEI radio man Michael Holley said that Sports Radio wasn’t about facts, it was about stating opinions loudly and exaggerating as much as possible. By that standard, Gottlieb did his job very well Tuesday. What’s unusual is that someone actually called Gottlieb on it. In this case, it was Steve Phillips, who subbed for Golic on Monday, but the following day was back in the more familiar role of baseball commentator.
This weekend marked the 35th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark act passed in 1972 that stipulated the following:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
Though Title IX applies to all sex-based discrimination in education and has had an enormous impact on women’s enrollment, for example, in undergraduate and graduate professional programs, the act is, of course, most commonly associated with inter-collegiate athletics. And, it has been a lightning rod in debates about college athletics for many years. And, in much of sports media, especially on sports radio, “Title IX” is a four-letter word, and not the good kind. To mark the anniversary of its passage, Outside the Lines devoted a several-minute segment to the issue this past Sunday morning. And, to OTL’s credit, one of the laudatory aspects its piece on Sunday was that, though it allowed room for multiple viewpoints in the debate, OTL took on directly the most common, damning claim made against Title IX: namely, that in order to make room for women’s participation in collegiate athletics, men’s teams are being cut.
There’s been mixed reaction to Sammy Sosa hitting his 600th homerun. I was watching the game Wednesday night when it happened, and the scene in the bullpen in right field where No. 600 landed was euphoric. The crowd was thrilled, and the announcers calling the game were certainly excited. Though in some quarters, the homerun has been met with a “shrug of the shoulders” as Mets’ announcer Gary Cohen put it, or ignored altogether (ESPN.com’s Rob Neyer has not mentioned it in his blog this week), ESPN networks have given the homerun significant attention. But, of course, a cloud hangs over Sammy’s milestone and the coverage of it. There have been no grand jury investigations into whether Sammy Sosa used PEDs, and though Jose Canseco’s book considers it a foregone conclusion that Sosa got bigger “overnight” due to steroids, no one has ever come forward to say that they injected him, or heard him talk about using, or anything of the sort.
Nevertheless, just as Sosa and Mark McGwire were once linked by the great homerun chase of 1998, they are now linked for a different reason: the likelihood that suspicions about their usage will keep them out of the Hall of Fame.
In this issue: 1) if we care so much about athletes as role models, why is a smoking golfer so funny? 2) baseball fights – no biggie. NBA fights – well, you know. 3) Whitlock on pensions.
1) Interesting reaction to US Open winner, Argentinian Angel Cabrera. Cabrera is portly and a cigarette-smoker, and puffed nervously in the clubhouse on Sunday while waiting for Tiger to finish his round. Monday, on Mike and Mike, Golic lauded Cabrera, noting that that was a guy that Golic could relate to. Today, ESPN’s David Schoenfeld offered a bemused history of athletes and smoking, while observing the contrast between today’s athletes and those of yore when it comes to health:
…most athletes these days are health nuts (well, except for NFL linemen, where there is no such thing as too many carbs). But that’s a change from the days of yore, when athletes smoked, ate bad food, drank too much, didn’t work out and worked as insurance salesmen in the offseason.