8:45 PM Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez recalls the time he ran into a photographer during a game at Candlestick Park, and how doctors found a tumor in the photographer's brain that wouldn't have been discovered had Gonzalez not hit him.
8:30 PMShin Dong-hyuk, who was born in & escaped from a North Korean prison camp, writes to Dennis Rodman about his latest visit to see Kim Jong-Un: "No dictatorship lasts forever. Freedom will come to North Korea someday. When it does, my wish is that you will have, in some way, helped bring about change."
As it’s such a valuable resource, I’m spending more and more time on Twitter. Tweeting has been a revelation for many athletes and media members in connecting with fans and sharing information in real time. A much more immediate vehicle that Facebook.
While there’s a lot of new and old media members who have enthusiastically bought into the medium, there are many who curiously have not. Here’s a list of people who I would like to see Tweeting regularly. For all I know, many of those listed have Twitter accounts that aren’t public or have accounts that are essentially idle. Or perhaps I’m actually missing someone. If I am, leave in the comments.
1a) Todd McShay: I’ve got ESPN muted most days, but the sound goes on when McShay appears. He’s one of the few media personalities who consistently tells you something you don’t already know. Mad homework and we’re the beneficiaries. From the way he funs people on-air, he’d light it up on Twitter.
1b) Doug Gottlieb*: Another homework guy who always has college hoops nuggets you get nowhere else. Since I rarely watch college hoops, great catch-up guy to watch. General sports talk host on ESPN Radio and consistently says stuff I can’t believe corporate lets him get away with. Probably the loosest cannon in Bristol. Anyone who drops a “game blouses” while doing a game is automatically on the list.
1c) Brian Kenny: Solid when anchoring but radio show allows him to bring the knowledge you can’t get from the prompter. Best interviewer currently on radio. Asks a pointed question and gets out of the way. (Doesn’t answer question he’s asking!) Voice of reason in the insanity of the boxing world. If I’m driving back from Vegas, he’s the podcast.
4) Matt Vasgersian: I know him well from my baseball broadcasting days. Killer natural sense of humor that gets dumbed-down by MLB Network. He could let that out on Twitter. He’s much more than just a sports guy, but the only place most people know him is when he’s hemmed in by a sports broadcast. He needs to eventually do something professionally that isn’t sports. Funny dude.
5) Jared Allen: Only athlete on the list. Best video pieces from an athlete I’ve ever seen. Has both over-the-top and subtle sense of humor. Doesn’t have a big ego or have every move that he makes mapped by a marketer. (Ochocinco, LeBron, etc.)
The Worldwide Leader dropped the bomb around midnight that Terrell Owens, whose given name could be Mercurial T. Owens, has been let go by the Dallas Cowboys. Clearly, anticipated chemistry issues with Jon Kitna forced the move. Kitna is on the record as preferring Sweet’n'Low while Owens is all about the Equal.
(”Ha ha ha ha… pack your stuff.”)
On SportsCenter last night, ESPN’s Michael Smith reported there would be significant financial penalties for the Cowboys to cut Owens as much of his 4-year, $34 million contract signed less than a year ago is guaranteed cash. We hope this means Owens will continue to have at least twenty million reasons to come back to camp this summer.
(Note to ESPN: Neil Everett is monumentally awful at ad-libbing. Never tell us how cool it is to be the one on the dais when news breaks. When a big story hits, break the glass on Bob Ley. Surprisingly good: Stuart Scott. Also, how did Ed Werder not break this story?)
(Note 2 to ESPN: Please remind Keyshawn Johnson that Charlie Manson comparisons may be a bit dated, not to mention a little racy.)
In brighter news, the Cleveland Cavaliers claimed the first musical chair in the Longines Symphonette that is the NBA playoffs with a 91-73 triumph at home against Milwaukee. The Cavaliers move to 48-12, which is exactly how LeBron James hopes his Knicks career starts in two years. (We kid, Cleveland, we kid.)
Then, when the Van Gundy with the honest living fussed about the sad little move, there was a Shaqhissy, captured on Miami’s 790 THE TICKET by Jorge Sedano and reproduced below in the popular MP3 format:
None of this, of course, helped the Suns win in Orlando or Miami. The Suns dropped their second Florida game in the “He Hate Me” series of former O’Neal teams last night in Miami, 135-129. No defense in here anywhere.
We feel compelled to note again that Shaq’s a complicated fellow. We recently saw him encourage his kids post-game to say hello to a fragile 7′ 6″ teen that sat near courtside after being featured on the local news the previous night. This was done under the stands with little fanfare, maybe a few dozen witnesses and none from the media.
When his young son was too shy to do so and tried to hide under Dad’s massive jacket, Shaq gently insisted until his son shook the adolescent hand. Shaq could relate to the teen’s condition better than nearly anyone on the planet and made sure that young man felt welcome. Also, Shaq showed his own son the importance of graciousness.
Shaq makes that gesture damned near every day of his life, often without credit. He’s also the same man that made the comments to the media above. He may have been compared to a meteorite by this author yesterday, but not in the most important way: Shaquille O’Neal is a force of nature. Try to comprehend him at your own risk.
Same for Terrell Owens. Same for LeBron James. Maybe not so much for Jon Kitna.
The biggest news out of the NHL trade deadline: Olli Jokinen moves from Calgary to Phoenix for a pretty bauble or three, allowing him to work for a team that has a half-decent chance of being solvent next season.
Michael David Smith of AOL Fanhouse watched Dana Jacobson’s return to ESPN’s morning show “First Take” and reports that she seemed slightly miffed at how her rant was reported. With the emphasis on slightly.
“I want to once again say how truly sorry I am for my poor choices and bad judgment,” Jacobson said. “I’ve taken responsibility for what I did say and do, and realize it was wrong. … I have already learned a lot.”
Although Jacobson didn’t get into the details of what she said at the roast, the way she emphasized the words “what I did say” seemed to be a subtle suggestion that some of the reports that have come out in the past two weeks overstated exactly what Jacobson said.Read more…