Tag Archives: ESPN

Did one team just 'quit' tonight?

First things first. I’ll stipulate up front that I am no expert on college football. I’m just a fan who likes to cheer for my favorite teams.

The Oregon Ducks currently are my favorite team and they did not disappoint this big-time fan with a 59-20 demolition of the Florida State Seminoles. The Ducks are Rose Bowl champs for the second time in four years.

It’s a huge deal. Now they’ll await the winner of the next football playoff semifinal game between Alabama and Ohio State. I have zero preference in that game.

I think the most stunning thingĀ said tonight by the ESPN announcing crew came late in the game when Kirk Herbstreit, a former Ohio State quarterback, accused FSU of quitting. He said it twice after the Ducks went up 52-20.

I know that Herbstreit is an expert on football. Again, I am not. I’m betting that once the fellow’s statement finds its way to FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher’s ears that the coach and the announcer are going to have a few four-letter words.

It’s hard for me to put myself in the minds and hearts of dedicated athletes who’ve just been blown apart by a superior foe on the field. Did the Seminoles quit? Did they lie down and give up? Or was that defensive unit just plain exhausted after trying — mostly in vain — to stop the Oregon offense led by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Marcus Mariota.

It might be that Florida State simply had nothing left.

Do I pity the Seminoles? Hardly. It’s tough to feel sympathy for a team in which 75 percent of its members walk off the field after a game without congratulating the winners, which the FSU players did tonight after the Ducks put that serious beat-down on them. You need to win and lose with class.

Still, to call them quitters? That’s a very tough thing to say. Kirk Herbstreit had better be ready to defend himself.

But … what the heck. My team won tonight — huge! One more game is left to play.

Go Ducks!


Hey, Mr. Lewis: Do not speak about criminal cover-up

Ray Lewis was one heck of a football player. He’ll probably be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible.

He also managed to dodge a serious crime involving a homicide. So, when the subject of another pro athlete getting into trouble with the law, my advice to Lewis is simple: Recuse yourself from any discussion about this issue. Button it up, young man.


Lewis was speaking on ESPN about Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL after a video surfaced showing him cold-cocking his then-fiancĆ©e. Here’s Lewis: “When you watch this video, you see that somewhere this young man, some leadership was lost. He got out there … and started doing his own thing and what happens is what’s in the dark is going to come to light.”

He might regret saying anything at all about this case. Why?

Well, in 2000 Lewis was involved in the death of two men at a Super Bowl party. He was charged initially with murder and aggravated assault when the men were stabbed to death. He testified against two other men who also were involved. The murder charges were dropped and Lewis pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of — here it comes — obstruction of justice.

Oh, brother.

So now this guy pops off about another out-of-control pro athlete doing something “in the dark” that “is going to come to light.”

Social media went crazy over this little bit of wisdom from someone formerly accused of murder.

ESPN perhaps ought to have known better than to open this discussion in Ray Lewis’s presence. As for Lewis, I believe when the subject comes up again he needs to wave his hands in the air and say, “No mas.”

Sports journalism takes a big hit

ESPN prides itself, we’re led to believe, on its courageous reporting on sports-related issues.

Which brings up the question: Why did the nation’s No. 1 sports network bail on a PBS project that examines the outbreak of concussion-related trauma being suffered by professional football players?

Was it pressure from the NFL, with which ESPN has a long-standing — and highly lucrative — financial partnership? It smells like it.

Frontline is an award-winning documentary series broadcast by PBS. The program, based out of WBGH-TV in Boston, is set to air a two-part series called “League of Denial,” in which it looks at the concussion rate among NFL players and examines whether playing professional football has become hazardous to the health of its participants.

The early indicators are that the concussions are becoming a grave concern.

ESPN was supposed to be a partner in the project. It backed out this past week. ESPN said the NFL applied zero pressure to the network, even though there have been reports of a extremely testy meeting between ESPN and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Two plus two still equals four, correct?

OK, the news isn’t all bad.

Frontline will present the broadcast, even without ESPN’s participation. It airs on Oct. 8 and 15, and will be shown in the Texas Panhandle on KACV-TV, the region’s public television station operating on the Amarillo College campus.

ESPN does its share of in-depth sports journalism, particularly with its “Outside the Lines” specials. They produce occasionally riveting and, if you’ll pardon the pun, hard-hitting examinations of the lives of prominent athletes.

As the network has shown, though, in cratering on the Frontline project, it is capable of missing a tackle or two.