What Is The Starting Five?


Relaxing in Vegas in February 2007, I had a vision of creating a conscious and unique alternative to MSM. My personal website recently went online, but I believed a more important impact could be made banging the door down with a talented team. After a couple of emails, I called D.K. Wilson–sight unseen–and presented my idea. I grew to admire Dwil’s writing while we both were writing for BSN and thought we could make noise exhibiting our contrasting styles. Along with Dwil, I had plans on including Dave Zirin (hard hitting, intelligent and political), David Aldridge (very knowledgeable and extremely professional) and Scoop Jackson (experienced, helpful, misunderstood and unapologetic). I thought the five of us working together could forge a new path for those who follow. Obviously, this wasn’t going to happen because of contractual obligations, but the dream couldn’t stop there…

We scoured the web in hopes of locating capable underground writers.

Dwil contacted Jonathan Weiler and Myles Brown. I located Dax Devlon Ross.

A dream realized…

The Starting Five (TSF) intends to cause a ruckus in the most honorable way. Our collective goal is to provide sports fans with an alternative to the popular Internet social and sports readings of the day.

We are scrupulous in our reporting of sports-related topics and subject matter; we source actual people; we reference actual publications. We relate the truth as it finds us, not as we want it to be.

Some days TSF will raise eyebrows. Some days TSF will anger many people, but inform more. But most importantly, we of TSF will be relentless in our pursuit of knowledge about the games about which we write and equally relentless in our pursuit of the truth about the people in and around the games, sports, and leagues we love.

Welcome to The Starting Five.

TSF is: Michael Tillery (mizzo), Vincent Goodwill (youngvito), Ron Glover (thebrotherreport), Anthony CinQue Carter (anthonycarter), Jerold Wells Jr. (wellslion1), Anthony “AG” Gilbert (north philadelphia) and Alex Reed (areed12).

(links are email addresses)

Lets Get It!

Postscript: You can find our archived writings at our original blogs and websites. They are: Michael Tillery, TheBrotherReport, The Detroit News (youngvito) and MVN (north philadelphia)

Unfortunately, four of the founding writers–D.K. Wilson (dwil), Jonathan Weiler (jweiler), Myles Brown (maxairington) and Dax Devlon-Ross (hnic)–have moved on. We wish them well on their continued quest to raise the journalistic bar higher and higher with every single insightful piece they create.

It’s not cool to look back, but brothas you always have a spot on the floor before tip-off.

Their work can be found all over the web, but mainly at these sites:

Sports Media Review (jweiler), The HNIC Report (hnic), SLAMonline (maxarington), and Sports On My Mind (dwil).

The good are separated from the great simply by the risks they take.

One Love

For all times….

54 Responses to “What Is The Starting Five?”

  1. I came accross your website while searching for any group or organization that is trying to support Pacman Jones. I am very disturbed by Pacman’s punishment, as well as the overall treatment of professional athletes by the major sports organiztions. If you are aware of any organizations working on either supporting Pacman or supporting the labor rights of atheletes I would appreciate it.



  2. april spraggins Says:

    check out the open letter to Jason Whitlock by Etan Thomas on Slam Online. I love Etan.

  3. TSF:

    I’ve been reading your blog and really enjoy it. I started my own blog a couple of months ago and was wondering if you’d be into exchanging links.

    My blog is The Sports Couch Potato (sportscouchpotato.com) and features regular news and commentary about sports media. I covered the networks for many years as an editor at the trade paper The Hollywood Reporter.

    The Potato is starting to gain some traction but could always use another high-quality link partner.

    Best of luck,

    Howard Burns

  4. Miranda Says:

    I am telling as many people as I can about this site….this is SUCH a breath of fresh air!

  5. Can you guys help me get this guy fired:


  6. Thanks Miranda!

  7. Yes, thank you Miranda. Welcome fam!

  8. Dwil – I just saw your byline at Chicago Sports Review! I wrote a piece for them back in March. Glad to see your name up there as well.

  9. Cool man, thanks…

  10. CJ Scudworth Says:

    I’ll be curious to see if you guys write anything about Chris Benoit. Is everyone just going to blame Vince McMahon and the WWE for Benoit’s disgusting actions? Given the steroids connection, will there be fallout for this country’s professional sports leagues?

    Honestly, I think this story, and how it may impact the perception of PEDs in this country, is right up TSF’s alley…

  11. If you guys have a tips email, I apologize, but I didn’t see one. If you haven’t read about this yet, I figured you’d be interested:


  12. CJ,

    If it had been an NBA player who dad done what Benoit did, the media fire to get rid of the thugs in the NBA would have been the biggest sports story ever. Yet about Benoit, hardly a peep.

  13. CJ Scudworth Says:

    I think the Benoit story is starting to gain momentum, KevDog. While channel surfing tonight I saw it being played on both FNC and HLN. I think Benoit’s dad put it best when he said something to the effect that an irrational action can’t be explained, but we’ll see if the media makes this all about steroids or just latches on due to the grisly details.

    By the way, for what it’s worth, it seems AI’s trial is getting scant attention…

  14. Marc A. Says:

    Has anyone read Scoop Jackson’s recent column for ESPN Page 2, and the commentaries he has received? Talk about “narrow-minded”(the responses).

  15. Yeah, Scoop Jackson is really great!! The way he postures like a teenager and writes like a 40-yr old man still trying to be ‘down with the hood’. I especially love that he plays the race card in every single article he writes. Hey, at least he isn’t an apologist for hip-hop artists and entertainers as they provide a shining example to the African-American youth in this country.

  16. Seriously Dwil, no take on Benoit yet?

  17. Hey Dwil Tell us again how you have Vicks back. Your as big an Idiot as Vick himself. HAHA!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Hey DWil,

    Mike says he will see you in hell!


  19. Phil4Real Says:

    Great work Starting 5! It’s about time someone communicates and address the media and athletic community with honesty and facts.

  20. “Whitlocks boy” is so right. I forwarded this site to my coworkers (black, white, asian, middle eastern) and they all saw the ignorance of these five “journalists??”. I would be real scared if blogs with the mindset of these five jokers ever made it mainstream. GO WHITLOCKS BOY, the only people who truly see the false message they are trying to portray are educated and sensible people. Can you let us know what form of higher education you gentlemen received in a bio except for “ummm we’re five guys who like uhhh sports and love to use the race card” uhhhhh. yeah. BTW, the company I work for is a fortune 500 company and the interns make close to $60k/yr, even the african americans thought your writing was sending a terrible message. reality sucks guys.

  21. I am an average white guy who reads this board. At first I was discouraged. But I decided to stay a read. I don’t agree with everything that is posted here but some of the content I do believe is true. In order to have a discussion with someone you first must show them that you respect there opinion, even if you disagree with it. Only then will people respect your opinion. I try to argue the white point of view without being dogmatic. And I am willing to agree to disagree if my point is not accepted. In the end, it is an exercise in accepting others.

  22. TSF,

    We would like to invite you to our new social network for sports fans,
    FantasySportsMatrix.com (FSM). We are launching in a few weeks and would be delighted if you took part in our private beta testing program.

    If you’re interested, please visit our site and submit your email address.


    Michael Vu
    …a social network for sports fans.

  23. I just found this site — today being 28 August 2007. And I can’t believe what I’m reading; I can’t believe I haven’t seen this before. This is like the website I’ve been wishing existed and it is my own damned fault for not having coming across it before. Seriously, the discourse of contemporary sports needs you guys SO BADLY and I’m literally moved to tears that you guys are saying what you’re saying. Of course I’m drunk, and I just quit smoking, and I’m staying with fam which is always a turmoil, and so on. But really, I sincerely consider this to be a HEROIC F—ING BLOG and I am swollen with admiration. Thank you for being so damned smart and for saying what NEEDS TO BE SAID. If there were ANY justice it’s you guys who would be telling me about the sports world on channel 530 right now. Peace.

  24. G-Mo
    Thank You.

  25. Just found you guys and am glad to know that alternative reporting exists to offset the foxnews of sports (espn) which is in my hometown and is shameful.

  26. G-Mo
    “But really, I sincerely consider this to be a HEROIC F—ING BLOG and I am swollen with admiration. ”

    Absolutely G-Mo. I don’t know what the payoff is for these dudes in the long run. Let’s enjoy it as long as we can.

  27. I thought you didn’t delete comments. Sorry to call you out but I know you deleted a handful of “non-cursing” comments by people who did not “love” your website. Where’d they go, oh the delete button. Fake.

  28. blacknblue Says:

    This site is great, I just stumbled across it and having been reading it for a few days. The articles by your team are just the truth, y’all doing your thing man. The comments are so similar to thoughts that are in my head both negative and positive, that’s the beauty of the site, grown folks. I just stumbled across the site and have forwarded it to others that are looking for a site such as this. Great work, much respect!

  29. lets see,
    NBA player kills his wife and child
    or a wrestler kills wife and child hmmm
    what would be the bigger story…hmmm this is a hard one
    OH Wait, of course the nba player would be the bigger story…who gives a f about wrestling. Its not a sport it’s entertainment.

    But pull the race card all you want guys.

  30. Stupid is and stupid says: Who cares about wrestling…do the math, do the math, do the math.

    In the last decade, professional wrestling, coined “sport-entertainment” by WWE owner Vince McMahon, has skyrocketed in popularity. It is broadcast to over 130 countries in twelve different languages, viewed by 34 million people in the United States, and industry revenues exceed $1 billion annually. Attendance for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) events, the industry leader in virtually every statistic (e.g., television ratings, live event attendance, licensing revenue), rose from 1.1 million people in 1997 to 2.5 million for the year 2000 (wweecorpbiz.com, 2001). While live event attendance has fallen a bit in the past two years, the WWE still drew 2.0 million attendees in 2002 (wwecorporate.com, 2003a). WWE’s flagship show, RAW on TNN is consistently the number one rated regularly scheduled cable television program, and the company’s other core show, SmackDown on UPN, is consistently one of the top rated sports programs (as categorized by Nielsen) on network television, both shows drawing combined weekly Nielsen ratings ranging from six to twelve over the last two years (tv.zap2it.com, 2003). Other more mainstream sports are losing coveted young viewers to the WWE. For example, 143% more males (and 73% of males and females combined) aged 12-17 watched the WWE’s Monday Night RAW compared to the 1999 NBA finals. Further, the WWE continually outperforms a large number of professional sporting events in key demographics, including the Major League Baseball playoffs, NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs, and Monday Night Football (BW SportsWire, 1999).

  31. Still, it’s not a mainstream, REAL SPORT. So a REAL athlete commiting such a crime like Rae Carruth, would be a bigger story.

    Oh no, I mentioned Rae, now it’s gonna be because he was black right?

  32. And benoit was old and washed up. I could see it being a bigger story if stone cold or one of the bigger guys popularity wise did it, or even Hulk hogan who is old and washed up.

    Look, what he did was terrible. And was covered extensivley. And nobody stuck up for the scum bag. There is no Benoit divide. Where are all the white folks sticking up for him? Nowhere. But there are lots of people not wanting vick to even have to pay for his crimes, simply because they don’t want another “successful brother” go down. So they pull the race card. Sad sad sad.

  33. Two questions for you Nick…Does racism exist in sports and if so, what is an example?

  34. Wanted to know how you guys go about getting your interviews and how you go about conducting them. I am part of the Sidelineshow.com a fellow finalst for the Blackweblog award. We have been around for a couple of months but now we want to know how we can expand. Thanks for your time. And if you get a chance take a look at our site and tell me what you think. Your site is very interesting. I’m a big Gator fan so your take on that was full of intrigue. But if you get a chance holla back at me.

    Kenneth Barkley aka K-Boogie

  35. So Nick, you just decided to not read the post or the link.

    By what definition is wrestling not mainstream? The events aren’t carried by FOX, ESPN and the big three networks? Is that it?

    If they have the revenue and the viewership, does it matter what the distribution is? People can find wrestling any time they want to. They’re voting with their feet and their remote controls. Snap out of it.

    You should get a job at Microsoft – so you tell Billy he has nothing to worry about from Google and the iPod. 21st century, baby. It’s on.

  36. Nick, you’re dreaming. If you took the time to look, you could find hundreds/thousands of fans/commenters who are Benoit apologists. You’ve already demonstrated you’re lazy as hell when it comes to this sort of work. I’ve got to ignore you on this because I’ve already seen the justifications from so many folks all over the nation. Benoit was far more popular than you’re willing to admit – and his offense has garnered for more sympathy than you can imagine.

    If you won’t do the work, kindly zip it.

  37. Ok oh wise semantics playing temple.

    IF there are all these idiots defending benoit or giving him sympathy. IF there are. Then does that make it right for people to defend mike vick blindly? The offense by benoit was a million times worse than vicks I will grant you that. But you are doing what you say “crackers” do all the time. You are saying, well look at the benoit situation there are people sticking up for him too. Yea and they are fucking idiots. The people caliming racism or in your case “white supremacy” are downright pathetic idiots. And the people defending benoit are idiots.

    I’m white. Have freinds of all backrounds and from different cultures. It’s hard not to when you’ve played sports all your life. NOBODY I know watches wrestling. NOBODY. It’s common knowledge that most wrestling fans are rednecks or hillbillys. So if you told me that a lot of wrestling fans were sympathetic to benoit, then I wouldn’t be suprised. BUT WHERE IS THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA>>>THE EVIL MEDIA that you guys call out on this issue. Where are MOST WHITES on this issue. We all think benoit is a scumbag and is in hell rotting right now.

    I don’t spend time researching obvious things. I don’t need to research whether wrestling is popular or not. To me, it’s not. It’s not as popular as the nba, nfl, mlb or even hockey (which is pathetic). ITS NOT A SPORT. Its more of a popular tv show. Thats it. So do all the work you want to try to prove there is racism…oh i’m sorry, gotta play semantics with old temple….”white supremacy” in everything…..let me guess…you just read a report done by some professor that shows that my comments wreak of “aversive racism” im just an “unconcious racist”. You are hilarious man. You try to act a lot smarter than you really are.

    Your like my buddy who is working on his PHD down at Texas A&M. Educated. But educated doesn’t mean smart. He will be the first one to knock someone out in a barfight then resist the police and get maced….not to smart after all. Use your education on something better than only studying or reading about how black folks are being mistreated.

    Maybe you can study on how to get more black males to actually raise their kids. Maybe you study on how to get black folks to respect their own neighborhoods and communities. Change from within will come faster than changing the other side.

  38. Dude answer the question.

  39. yes, racism does exist. Thats why I think black folks are blindly defending vick. Cause YES, there are those racists out there who love to see “successful black people” fall from grace. But that is the minority. But because black people know that there are those out there that are reveling in vicks misfourtune, they choose to act like the whole situation is a conspiracy of racism. It’s not.

    Here is an example of institutionalized racism.

    If you get caught with a gram of cocain you will get popped for possesion of cocain and fines. YOU MAY DO jail time, but not usually. Well if you get caught with one crack rock in some projects for instance, you get 10 years per rock mandatory minimum. Crack will get you the harsher penalty even though it is a dilluted form of cocain. Obv thats the lehmans term version. But i do believe there are some racist drug laws in this country.

    The vick situation had nothing to do with race. It had to do with the fact that a mega superstar football player made a dumb ass choice and broke a federal law. Now the media did harp on the subject. But was it because he was black, hell no. It was because we live in an age where we know every time a celebrity (which is what vick is) sipps a latte with whom and where. It was a popularity issue, not a race issue. But pulling the race card and blindly supporting vick is what ignorant people choose to do. There are many many african americans who do not support vick. And the african americans who do just call them uncle toms, or say they aren’t really black they are just white people with black skin. Thats nuts.

    Racism is also when a poster like eric daniels calls white posters crackers and white boys all while railing against racism in this country. Hypocrite.

  40. Nick, thanks for your response…but what was the original question? Could you answer that for me? Please.

  41. “Maybe you can study on how to get more black males to actually raise their kids. Maybe you study on how to get black folks to respect their own neighborhoods and communities.”

    Before anyone says that this is somehow a racist statement, let me ask you this.

    Do you not think that a child (black or white) isn’t affected by not having a father in his life?

    Do you think that if people (white or black) don’t respect thier own communities, have a right to complain about other communities. I saw a poster on here talk about how black folks are going to unite and build community centers and raise “african” babies to be africans and the black community will rise up and blah blah. It all sounds good. It really does. I think black folks should circle the wagons. But the fact is there are many problems (including racism) that are keeping black people from advancing. The absent father. The idea that it’s not cool to do good in school. The idolizing of drug dealers and gangsters. These are issues that white people can’t help you with. We can help fight institutionalized racism. We can find our fellow whites that are racists and ressist them. But we can’t change things that you guys have adopted into your culture that are hurting your own people. You have to do that for yourselves.

  42. Does racism exist in sports and if so, what is an example?

    Wasn’t this the question? If so, i answered it.

  43. oh in sports, ok glossed over that word.

    Sure it still does. Coaches not giving a white kid a chance at tailback, or a black kid at qb, there is an example.

  44. No you didn’t. You lamely sidestepped it and then just rambled on with your real agenda – the same old tiresome and halfwitted “black pathology” lecture.

  45. i didn’t sidestep anything. I will gladly discuss any issue. And I won’t always disagree with you. But I disagree with the vick situation. To say that was somehow tied in with racism is comical.

  46. Give me a specific answer Nick would you please?

    Quit with the general bs.

  47. Bravo NICK Says:

    Seriously Nick, don’t get involved. Their ignorance and one sidedness is like granite…no logic will penetrate. It’s absolutely ridiculous but I’ve read these posters and Mizzo for a while. The Starting Five, they’re actually breaking up, wanna know why? I guarantee you they had their own personal agendas and there was an argument in the group. Forget that they think they are doing the public good, I am 100% positive there was turmoil going on w/i the group and they just don’t want to go public. Mizzo, you’re a joke and we know Dwil prolly got pissed b/c he writes most of the stuff people on this site reads. hahaha, true? YES.

  48. Bravo Nick think he’s a master mind reader. A Starting Five Whisperer if you will…funny guy.

    We all did what we did best on the site.

    I’m happy with that.

    Bravo Nick you’ve been had! Take off your mask 😉

  49. I have an idea. Let’s all take our anger out on, say, Scott Boras.

    As criticism continues for his handling of Alex Rodriguez’s departure from the NY Yankees, a tearful Scott Boras, in an exclusive interview, told eTrueSports: “I’m a real jerk.”

  50. Are you serious? Wow. I’ll check out.

  51. thought you might like the videos. I just finished the videos. Like your blog…

  52. I wanted to send a private email asking to get added to the blogroll, but couldn’t find the email address. I just started my own blog after reading this one and others for so long.

  53. Check out this clip of Torre talking about Steinbrenner. It’s an excerpt from his interview premiering in “Conversations with Michael Eisner” at 9p/12a ET on CNBC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyHKlXi0XRY

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