Reporter: ‘Disrespectful’ Reilly ‘Why People Die’

Thanks to his experience researching and running with the bulls at Pamplona, Spain, award-winning NFL reporter Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports was appalled at an ESPN-TV piece on the subject by Rick Reilly aired today on the network.

Rick Reilly Swatting Bulls of Pamplona With Rolled Up Newspaper

Robinson made the following observations about Reilly’s piece on Twitter:

Rick Reilly is a jackass. Saw his piece w/ the running of the bulls. His swatting bulls w/ a newspaper is dangerous & disrespectful. Moron.

Rick Reilly and ESPN are lucky he didn’t get someone killed. Do some research before you endanger other people’s lives. Reckless & terrible.

I love that ESPN glorifies Reilly being a totally disrespectful ass. Do some research. He’s exactly why locals hate Americans at the event.

Friends who I met when I ran w/ the bull can’t believe the Rick Reilly video piece, either. Dangerous self-aggrandizing garbage. Shameful.

5 minutes of research tells you the rolled newspapers R to distract bulls if they get disoriented & charge. Not 2 recklessly hit them. Idiot

I am beyond pissed about this Rick Reilly running with the bulls piece. He endangered other runners. He’s why people die. Total idiot.

The running of the bulls is an extremely dangerous endeavor, so it’s surprising that Reilly took such a lighthearted approach - especially when lives of people around him are literally at stake.

Also worrisome is the apparent endorsement of Reilly’s wrongheaded approach to the activity by ESPN, which could lead to viewers adopting similar tactics if they choose to run with the bulls in the future. Read more…

Jay Glazer: We Fear What We Don’t Understand

Recently Richard Sandomir, the sports media watchdog of the NEW YORK TIMES, examined the business relationship Fox NFL reporter Jay Glazer has with NFL players.

Jay Glazer

Noting that Glazer now trains NFL players in the art of MMA, Sandomir observed:

Glazer’s arrangement is unusual, at best, and raises questions about how he balances his competing interests. While some N.F.L. reporters and sportscasters cover the sport for more than one news media outlet, Glazer reports on some of the same players and teams who pay him for his training expertise.

In polling Fox, the NFL league office and NFL players and coaches, Sandomir was unable to find anyone who objected to Glazer’s arrangement.

Journalism ethics expert Bob Steele of the Poynter Institute though did raise questions about Glazer’s situation:

“You can only scrutinize what he reports. But you can’t scrutinize what he does not report, so we don’t know what he didn’t ask an athlete. He might be making legitimate journalistic choices, but you can’t tell because you can’t see beneath the surface.”

That’s as deep as the criticism went of Glazer in the New York Times piece.

Though in a recent blog post on his personal website, successful author and former Sports Illustrated reporter Jeff Pearlman wasn’t nearly so kind.

When he’s not reporting on NFL players and teams, Glazer, ahem, works for NFL players and teams. Literally. He is a mixed martial arts trainer whose clients include two franchises (the Falcons and Rams) and, apparently, dozens of players, ranging from Ryan Grant to Patrick Willis to Matt Leinart. As in, they pay him for his services.

This, journalistically, is a joke. An embarrassing, pathetic, worst-of-its-kind joke.

Read more…

Rick Reilly The World’s First Singing Sportswriter?

Since his experiment of doing it all for ESPN is going so well, WHY NOT.

Rick Reilly as Neil Sedaka

Dude clearly has the distended chops for it.

ESPN’s Celebrity Journos: Proficiency, Interrupted

If you asked NBA observers about Michael Jordan’s legacy as a league executive, most would first chuckle and then say it’s a good thing he’s now an owner.

Michael Wilbon, Rick Reilly, Tony Kornheiser

Apparently not Jordan friend Michael Wilbon though. On ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption yesterday, he responded to co-Host Dan Le Batard calling Jordan a “pretty terrible executive” thusly:

I know Michael wanted to be an owner. Not a GM. A GM is not what he’s signing up for.”

When one broaches Jordan’s front office aptitude the past decade, the conversation cannot avoid his astonishingly incompetent performance. In disregarding that, Wilbon did a disservice to his credibility as an NBA analyst. But the PTI host is far from the first media member to allow a personal relationship with a subject color his on-air conduct.

Though the irony of ESPN’s highest profile, old school journalists is that the more famous they become, the less reliable their resulting work. Work that also largely pales next to their pre-ESPN resume. Read more…

Simmons Slips Sly Reilly Rip Past ESPN Editors

Fun read by’s Bill Simmons about the Tiger Woods speech on Friday. There’s some good stuff in there, but one particular graf towered over the rest of the piece - at least for me.

Bill Simmons roasts Rick Reilly over Tiger speech reax

Three grafs down, Simmons writes:

But listening to talking heads praise that ludicrous speech pushed me over the edge. Someone actually said, “It came from the heart.” It did? Was it C3PO’s heart? I thought it seemed like an automated response from Microsoft’s new “Cheater’s Confession” program.

Either that passage is more coincidental than a Mark Geragos-led murder trial defense, or Simmons was referring to his ESPN colleague Rick Reilly.

Read more…

A Rick Reilly Golf Movie To Heal A Troubled Nation

Rick Reilly has been knitting warm, comfortable sports columns for a generation now; material that has morphed into several books, television appearances, and even a film (he co-wrote “Leatherheads.”). I’ve always found his writing to be nourishing, if bland; a kind of chicken soup for the reader, Melba cracker on the side.

Rick Reilly, Steve Carrel

The worst thing about Rick Reilly is that he pretends to be the everyman he is not — jotting down notes while walking alongside Michael Jordan at a celebrity golf tournament, while the regular journalists look on from behind the ropes. The best thing about him is that that is the worst thing. Some writers can be much bigger poseurs. Trust me.

But here’s wonderful news if you’re a Rick Reilly fan; troubling information if you’re not. One of those books, “Missing Links,” is in the process of being made into a movie. Steve Carrel is attached in the leading role, and this time Reilly seems not to be involved in co-writing  the script. Which will be welcome news to anyone who has seen George Clooney in a death struggle with the dialogue in “Leatherheads.” Read more…

What’s Rick Reilly Really Saying About Bowlen?

We don’t know everything about what Rick Reilly brings to the ESPN table, just that the man is overpaid. His $4 million salary could pay for, let’s say, 20 very good writers at $200,000 a pop, and it’s safe to say that 20 good writers would be able to cover far more for the WWL than Reilly’s oft-cliched columns. But whatever, ESPN knows more about running a sports media empire than we do.

Pat Bowlen

But we digress. Reilly, for his faults, has tons of sources - part of being part of the national media for that long, we suppose - and we assume he’s as well-connected as anybody else on the ESPN Campus. But you’d think someone who’s swimming in Best Sportswriter awards would have a little more journalistic tact than what he just pulled on Denver Owner Pat Bowlen.

Read more…

Tony La Russa Hates Fake Profiles, Sues Twitter

Satire’s always the most difficult style of humor; either it’s really funny, or it’s just confusing and lame and a total bummer. Satire in 140 characters or less is even more difficult, and to this day, the only truly funny fake Twitter profile we can think of is the (sadly defunct) Fake Rick Reilly, host of such cringe-inducing gems as “Houston, you don’t have a problem! Beating the Lakers in LA is enough to make any fan say Yao-ie!”

La Russa Fingers
(”140 characters? How about two: FU”)

Then there was (key word was; we’ll get to that) Tony La Russa’s fake Twitter profile, which had a typical ho-hum reference to his DUI and, a location of, um, “tossing Albert Pujols‘ salad.” So that gives you a good idea of what an intellectual titan we’re dealing with here. Obviously, there’s only one proper response by La Russa and his bored lawyer friends legal representation: our good old friend, the lawsuit (H/T: Leitch):  Read more…

Rick Reilly Blurs Line Between Movies and Reality

In Rick Reilly’s last ESPN column (unofficially titled “Hangin’ with Mr. Bryant Just After Elmo“), Reilly dropped a tidbit about Kobe’s life to give us a taste of the man behind the marketing campaign: “He’s taken up golf. Played Pelican Hill the other day with Bobby Plump, the inspiration for the Jimmy Chitwood character in ‘Hoosiers.’ Forgot to ask why.”

Rick Reilly and Kobe Bryant

If you go to the article today, though, you’ll see a different bit of tid: “He’s taken up golf. Played Pelican Hill the other day with Maris Valainis, who played Jimmy Chitwood in Hoosiers.” It would appear that Kobe’s Ferrari made too much noise, so Reilly mixed up his Chitwoods.

Read more…

Speed Read: Come and Kneel Before Tiger! Kneel!

Rick Reilly stands this morning as the sports media’s Jack O’Halloran, the ever-prodding manchild from Superman II: every time he throws a bus at Tiger Woods, Tiger crawls out from underneath just a little angrier.

Tiger Woods and Superman

Sunday, Bay Hill stood in for Metropolis and Sean O’Hair pulled over the black bedazzled robes to take the Terence Stamp role to Tiger on Sunday, seemingly in control until he saw that red swoosh fill the camera.  At that point, O’Hair dropped from the Saturday leader to a Sunday round of 73 and Tiger dropped a 15-footer for the one-shot victory at 18.

Tiger Woods

In drama worthy of a Donner-esque cut of a better sequel, Tiger took his first title after last year’s knee surgery on a long putt at hole #72 just like he did last spring.  After the win, he met again with the namesake of the Arnold Palmer Invitational, who we think might be Perry White in this analogy.  Or Lois Lane.  This one may need some work still, unlike Tiger’s knee.

Want Tiger to show you how the heat vision works, Rick? No, you’re good?  Fair enough.

Roy Williams trims for the Final Four

Sunday held little heat for the Final Four as Michigan State and North Carolina committed to a weekend in Detroit in April, otherwise known as “the best weekend of weather ever”.  No, really… just listen to every sportswriter go on about it next weekend, assuming they don’t spend the whole time in Windsor.

Neither game was particularly close, leaving casual sports fans hunting for Tiger or smaller game (as mentioned below).  Sadly, even Clark Kellogg’s stale “versatile like baking soda” line couldn’t get any vinegar for a volcanic explosion.

At least the ticket sales should improve with a state team available to attend.  Villanova and Connecticut will fill out the other two slots as we all spend all week polishing our convoluted plans to justify picking against a UConn-UNC final Monday night. (Oh, and is Roy Williams finally accepted at UNC? Just checking.)

Vancouver murder

A foreign country bordering the United States has such a horrific crime problem due to a drug war that it could affect their ability to host international tourists.  Of course, we’re talking about Canada.  Specifically, Vancouver’s inability to get decent amounts of cocaine has caused a gang war to break out, raising the murder rate dramatically.

The area has grown so desperate for warm bodies with badges that two officers that “smelled of alcohol and uttered racial slurs” while allegedly beating and robbing a newspaper delivery man in Vancouver won’t have to stand trial for a year because the police can’t spare a single person to be a witness at the trial during the 2010 Winter Olympics. (h/t RAINCOASTER)

After having to spend most of last summer listening to the incessant whining about the safety of the 2008 Beijing Games, we can’t help but notice the silence surrounding the 2010 Vancouver Games. We can’t quite put our finger on what could be different about the two countries.  Maybe journalists feel safe after watching a “Da Vinci’s Inquest” marathon?

In case you suspect we’re overstating the case, listen to a local activist: “I’m really apprehensive about going out in the evening.  We’ve turned into an American city.” Does that mean you’re not interested in two free Final Four tickets?

Speaking of a hail of bullets, duck even though you don’t feel threatened in your job by Todd Jones

  • We’re with Ray Ratto: we’re not sure Oakland A’s owner Lew Wolff has a plan anymore for a new stadium.  He’s the Underpants Gnome of owners.  He knows “back up garbage trucks of taxpayer cash to my home” is Step 3, but he’s damned if he knows what Step 2 is anymore.
  • Congratuations to Bemidji State for advancing to the Frozen Four in NCAA hockey.  We don’t have anything more to add; for that, please check out THE HOOVER STREET RAG.  We just always wanted to link to the BEMIDJI PIONEER.
  • Finally, we know a referee that will be working the NBA Finals next in about 2024 after nearly injuring the future of the league by getting tangled underfoot of LeBron James:


Your 2009 NCAA men’s basketball champions are…

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