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The musings of a Detroit-area sportswriter in the digital age.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

CBC's Don Cherry makes 'outdated' comment about female reporters

Times have changed, but not for CBC analyst Don Cherry
Known primarily for his hockey acumen and outlandish wardrobe, CBC "Hockey Night In Canada" analyst Don Cherry angered some Saturday night when he went on a tangent saying female reporters should not be allowed in men's locker rooms.
Cherry was defending Chicago's Duncan Keith, who reportedly insulted a female reporter.
"I don't believe a female should be a in a male dressing room," Cherry said, recalling the first time he remembered being approached by a female in the locker room. "Guys are walking around naked and I hear this woman asking me about a power play."
"I don't feel women are equal. I feel they're above us. They're on a pedestal and they should not be walking in when naked guys are walking around. Some guys take advantage of that."

If by "take advantage," it's possible Cherry feels he's defending female reporters, but in doing so implies that women can't hold their own when talking to male athletes.
Co-host Ron MacLean plays "Good Cop" throughout, while bringing common sense to the discussion. It's almost like a segment on ESPN's "First Take," except Cherry has long been known to carry beliefs that many would consider old-fashioned.
Cherry has been known to make his opinions public, leveraging his soapbox in the past.
In his rant, Cherry grasped for traction asking if MacLean would want men in women's locker rooms, to which Dave Hogg, who has covered the WNBA for various media, tweeted this is already commonplace. 

Predictably, the Association for Women in Sports Media called Cherry's comment "as sexist as it is outdated." 
The group praised MacLean for his poise and noted CBC in its response to the group added the disclaimer that Cherry's opinions are not those of the network. 
“As you know, Don Cherry has many opinions on a wide range of subjects and isn't shy about expressing them ... last night being no exception," CBC head of media relations Chuck Thompson said. "That said, in as much as he's hired to give hockey related opinions on 'Coach's Corner,' he speaks for himself and not the CBC. I should also point out, and something you likely heard when watching last night, Ron MacLean took the opposing view and countered Don's perspective, which provided some balance to the discussion."
Fellow CBC sports personnel were quick to disassociate with Cherry. The Calgary Herald noted Vancouver-based CBC sports reporter Karin Larsen tweeted the following: 
"I'm embarrassed by and for Don Cherry and for CBC. Sorry." 
The timing of this "discussion" is peculiar, given that women were granted locker room access decades ago. Did Cherry go overboard in defending his friend or were HNIC producers taking a page out of the "Book of (Skip) Bayless?" Keith reportedly had the good sense (or publicist) to apologize for his remarks, will Cherry?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pistons' Andre Drummond shows appreciation to fans with full-page ad

On the same day area Pistons beat writers were posting their grades for the team's abysmal season, rookie sensation Andre Drummond was thanking fans for their loyalty. Drummond was often a point of praise for the Pistons, who were recently ranked in the top half of the NBA in fan loyalty despite dwindling attendance.
After Drummond slipped to the Pistons in last season's draft, they've patiently brought him along. His athleticism did not go unnoticed. Neither has Drummond's social media outreach to fans. For the non-Twitter crowd (newspaper readers), Drummond spread goodwill in the form of a full-page ad in the Detroit Free Press.
It remains unclear if the ad was paid for Drummond himself or by the Pistons or Palace Sports and Entertainment, but the thank you note drew wide praise.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

'Mr. Hockey' reaches another Hallmark

c/o CBC
Gordie Howe had a long and illustrious career, one befitting the nickname "Mr. Hockey." In the tradition of ESPN's famed "30 for 30" documentaries, the upcoming made-for-TV movie "Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story" focuses on the 1973 season when Howe came out of retirement to play with his sons Mark and Marty Howe.

Actor Michael Shanks, who portrays Howe, accurately calls the film "a slice of his life" in a "making of" trailer.
The film first premieres at 8 p.m. April 28 on CBC — as hockey fans would want it. The production makes its American debut the following week, May 4 at 9 p.m., on the Hallmark Channel.
In case you were wondering, the film did not take advantage of Michigan's film incentives. It was shot in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, according to Internet Movie Database.
Watch the trailer for "Mr. Hockey" here

Big Papi's patriotic explicative better than typical sports trash talk

In an emotional speech, Boston's David Ortiz thanks law enforcement and legislators for their efforts in the Boston Marathon bombing aftermath. He ended by riling the crowd by saying "This is our (bleeping) city." (link NSFW)
The Federal Communication Commission, which reportedly has no jurisdiction over the regional cable network NESN (and other cable networks), which carried the speech, applauded Papi's sentiment. ESPN and others censored the explicative on subsequent replays.
Surely there are few who would object to Ortiz's exclamation, but the question remains: How much swearing are sports viewers exposed to on a regular basis? There are literally microphones everywhere and there's only so much a seven-second delay can catch — which are typically utilized only for large national broadcasts.
It seems like basketball games in particular are a hotbed for salty language, because of the players' proximity to a live microphone. Add to that the less-than-stellar crowds at The Palace and you've got yourself explicit language over the airwaves.
I'm not condemning bad language in sports broadcasts, but haven't we heard much worse than the message from Big Papi?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

ESPN attempts to appease media critics with new sourcing policy

Sources: ESPN gained a conscience about ethics
Many casual viewers may not know or even care that ESPN has been accused of plagiarizing on numerous occasions. In an even more fast-paced sports news cycle than the one it helped create, the four-letter network is trying to massage its image with a new sourcing policy. 
You may have noticed in the "Bottom Line" screen crawl the vague "media reports" or the equally elusive "source." The system is getting a bit more precise. 
The guidelines seem like common sense — don't take credit for something you didn't do — but beg the question: What took so long? This is the same thing mainstream media has been doing for several years.
"In the current environment of blogs and Twitter, it is often difficult to know definitively who was first to report a story, but it is still important to acknowledge how we initially became aware of that news. So, with a few exceptions, scripts and BottomLine entries will state the news was 'earlier reported by' or 'previously reported by,' rather than 'first reported by,' that ESPN reporter or outside entity. It will be at the discretion of the news desk to determine when and for how long a story warrants this treatment on television."
ESPN was first to report Lawrence Frank's firing Thursday afternoon. The Oakland Press and other media outlets credited them as such whether through re-tweets or written accreditation.
It's not difficult to give credit to other news orgs, whether it be through re-tweeting, "hat tips" (h/t) or "courtesy of" (c/o), or even using "via." A good policy is mentioning the actual source, whether it's a competitor or not, and a good, old-fashioned hyperlink.
That wasn't so hard, so what took "The Worldwide Leader" so long to get on board with journalism ethics? Might it have something to do with the fact their network's acronym puts the word "entertainment" before "sports?"