Bottom Feed: SbB Powerless Rankings Are Here

Here’s my first SbB Powerless Rankings, which note the least influential prominent sports figures of the moment. The criteria is simple: The folks on the list would have no relevance if it weren’t for blind luck or undue support from their employers.

SbB Powerless Rankings: It's Nothing Personal

1 ) BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock: Most-despised man in sports, yet he has no power to do anything. Figurehead designed to distract fans from the actual, tiny cabal responsible for college football’s dark ages. Pie-in-the-face guy. Light a candle for him.

Baghdad Bill Hancock Executive Director Of The BCS

(‘Baghdad Bill’ Hancock)

2 ) Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio: Without relentless over-promotion by ESPN’s monopoly-enabled monolith, show wouldn’t exist. Perhaps the finest example of just how powerful ESPN has become as a sports marketing machine. Greenberg at least has a semblance of talent in a controlled setting - witness his SportsCenter performances.

Mike & Mike Mike Greenberg Mike Golic

3 ) The McCourts: The underfunded couple was handed the Dodgers by Bud Selig and MLB Owners to artificially limit payrolls in MLB’s larger markets and the NL West. Stole $120M from franchise to fund their personal lifestyles. Anonymous in L.A. outside the ownership suite - even despite the recent TMZ.com coverage.

Frank and Jamie McCourt Divorce

4 ) Mark Cuban: Great at selling tickets and advertising but too enamored with his own, overrated basketball IQ. Needs to hire good basketball people and get out of the way. By alienating other owners and David Stern, doesn’t have nearly the influence in league matters that he should.

Mark Cuban mad

5 ) Jim Nantz: Rakes in millions in salary and perks from CBS gig, but would one less person watch a CBS sports telecast if he wasn’t calling the game? From local radio appearances, appears to have an interesting personality and provocative opinions, but once he’s national he goes dullard on us.

Jim Nantz

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Surprise! S.A.S. Reports Iverson ‘Change of Heart’

After Stephen A. Smith’s spotlight-grabbing scoop yesterday that Allen Iverson was retiring, which included a live appearance on ESPN SportsCenter to make the announcement, Smith is now backtracking. From his Iverson *retirement* story on his blog:

Stephen A. Smith

(Kicked to the curb: S.A.S. knows just how A.I. feels)

Immediately after word came out that Iverson had announced he was retiring, sources close to him said he was having a change of heart.

“Word” came out? Uh, Stephen, no one else reported it but you, because we all know Iverson has no intention of retiring.

Ric Bucher on why teams don't want Allen Iverson

ESPN’s Ric Bucher gives us a clue why.

The more likely scenario is that Iverson finally figured out that no team in the league wanted his bad act anymore. And he went crying to Smith, who then ran with a trumped-up, *official* retirement announcement that Iverson moments later retracted. (Funny, don’t remember S.A.S.’ follow-up phone call to SportsCenter about that.)

Not coincidentally, Stephen A. buried the “change of heart” graf in his blog piece, giving no indication that his story of Iverson’s retirement was already dust in the wind. Read more…

Stephen A. Smith Rushes To Limbaugh’s Defense?

Whether he gets the team or not, Rush Limbaugh’s bid to become part-owner of the St. Louis Rams is already the gift that keeps on giving. Several NFL players, the NFL Players Association, and even MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann have had their say on the potential buy-in by the taciturn-challenged talk radio blabber guy, but now at this hour other voices are elbowing each other to be heard.

Stephen A. Smith, Rush Limbaugh

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on Monday not surprisingly came out against the notion of Rush owning an NFL team. But Limbaugh also got a surprising ally in Stephen A. Smith. Key quote from the cheesy-doodled one: Black players who say they wouldn’t play for a Limbaugh-owned team “are lying through their stinking teeth.”

Meanwhile, even Rush himself chimed in on the controversy. Read more…

Stephen A. To Spill Beans On Next Gig “In Days”

Stephen A. Smith is filling in middays this week on ESPN Radio’s affiliate in Philadelpha, as he noted on Twitter today.

Stephen A. Smith

(Can Stephen A. Draw An Audience Without ESPN Distribution?)

He also pointed out that he’ll have news on his full-time career plans “in days.”

Can Stephen A. Draw a National Audience Without ESPN?

View Results

Career crossroads time for Smith, who wasn’t able to establish an audience despite the second-to-none vehicle that is ESPN-TV and ESPN Radio.  If he’s going to remain a nationally-known personality, the success of this next gig, which I’m assuming is national in scope, will be critical to the future of his career.

If this next venture fails, I’m guessing he’ll be a local Philly on-air personality for the balance of his media career. Not there’s anything wrong with that.

Jefferson Jolts From Wedding, Doesn’t Tell Guests

Richard Jefferson got cold feet and decided to ditch his beautiful bride-to-be. Too bad the new Spur neglected to inform his wedding guests.

Richard Jefferson Kesha Nichols

• What’s better than $1 beers at the ballpark? How about $1 beers at the ballpark with a buxom Playboy “Hot Housewife” model?

• A British tennis coach is caught doing a little drive-by wanking near a group of 14-year-old girls.

• Nice to see Erin Andrews, Heather Graham & Kristin Cavallieri all share the same fashion sense.

• Hard to tell what looked weaker last night - President Obama’s first pitch, or the NL All-Stars’ overall play.

Read more…

We Suspect Dana Jacobson May Be Drinking Again

We suppose that we can forgive Dana Jacobson this minor transgression, but it’s hilarious nonetheless. During ESPN’s “First Take” this morning, Jacobson referred to college basketball analyst Stephen Bardo thusly: “St. Louis is considered one of America’s greatest sports towns, but is it the best? Skip and Stephen A. will debate that, coming up next.” No, Stephen A. Smith has not returned to ESPN (he left the network on May 1 when his contract was not renewed). Don’t panic.

Dana Jacobson

It was just an on-air flub. As AWFUL ANNOUNCING points out, “First Take” has been shuffling co-hosts with Skip Bayless since the departure of the Cheesy Doodled One. Bardo was teamed with Bayless today, his first name obviously overwhelming Jacobson with a wave of nostalgia (or she was hung over. Choose one). Video following the jump. Read more…

The Stephen A. Smith Podcast Is Here! Hooray!

Just when you thought that sports journalism couldn’t possibly get louder or more self righteous, Stephen A. Smith rolls out the next phase in his plan for world domination. HELLO AMERICA; IT’S THE STEPHEN A. SMITH PODCAST. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PODCAST YOU’LL EVER HEAR.

Stephen A. Smith

(Brought to you by Cheezy Doodles)

Stephen A.’s first victim subject in his very first podcast? None other than Brett Favre. Opening line: “Brett Favre! Did ya’ll think I’d let you outta here without commenting on that, tha .. tha .. tha .. that JOKE, Brett Favre?” (Yes, he really said it like that. Listen for yourself after the jump). Read more…

Week In Review: Harry Kalas, Mark Fidrych R.I.P.

• A sad way to start the baseball week: Phillies announcer Harry Kalas & former Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych both pass away on the same day.

Harry Kalas Mark Fidrych

• But it was nice to see Brian Bosworth help save an Oklahoman’s life.

• Wedding bells have rung for a couple of tennis stars: Andy Roddick ties the knot with Brooklyn Decker, while Roger Federer marries his manager.

• Padres pitcher Heath Bell is p.o.’ed about ESPN’s overwhelming coverage of all things Yankees, Mets & Red Sox.

• That stinks: Dwight Howard has a passion for passing gas.

Read more…

ESPN Dumps Stephen A., And I’ll Miss Him. Really.

Stephen A. Smith will be gone completely from ESPN at the end of the NBA playoffs.

Stephen A. Smith at Cavs Game

(S.A.S. enjoying being inside the ropes while he can)

THE BIG LEAD has the scoop:

Within the last month, a source says that ESPN and (Stephen A.) Smith went to the negotiating table and couldn’t reach an agreement. Apparently, ESPN’s offer was considerably lower than Smith’s previous contracts - which were multi-media faceted - and Smith passed. He was then offered the decision to work through the remainder of his contract, or walk away and still get paid, and a source says Smith decided to work.

99.9% of you probably had the same initial reax as me: Good riddance!

But after thinking about it, I was a little sad.

Will you miss Stephen A. Smith when he leaves ESPN?

View Results

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SB XLIII Porn Video Found; Comcast Offers Rebate

• For those of you Tucson TV viewers who had their Super Bowl interrupted by a schlong, Comcast would like to pay you $10 for your troubles.

Larry Fitzgerald Super Bowl porn girl

(The young lady on the right was smiling about seeing something just as long as Larry Fitzgerald’s go-ahead TD reception)

Kobe Bryant helps the Lakers knock off the Knicks with an MSG-record 61 point performance.

• Marquette basketball coach Buzz Williams feels stung by an innocent media question.

Manny Ramirez says no thanks to the Dodgers’ $25 million offer.

Read more…