Category Archives: ESPN

ESPN will honor Eric LeGrand at ESPYs

A few times a year I end up linking to the awesome speech Jim Valvano gave at the ESPYs back in 1993.

I want to take a quick moment to do it yet again since ESPN announced today that Eric LeGrand will be the recipient of the Jimmy V Perseverance award this year. LeGrand is certainly a well deserved recipient. If you don’t do it already you should follow him on twitter and go buy his book.

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Shaquille O’Neal Press Conference

Shaquille O’Neal announced his retirement this week marking the end of one of the greatest careers in NBA history.

There really hasn’t been anyone as dominant as him in a long time. To me he really was the total package. He was great on the court (even with his troubles on the free throw line) and hilarious off of it. He always seemed have “it”. He knew how a star like him should act and how he should market himself. I can’t think of another athlete in recent memory who was as good as him on the field of play and handled him or herself in a great manner off of it the Shaq always did. He was never afraid to laugh at himself and that was part of his charm.

He invited the basketball media to his mansion in Orlando for his press conference because he said he wanted to thank each one of them personally. I’m sure part of it that he wants a future in the media and he didn’t shy  away from that letting ESPN,TNT and CNN among others know that he was looking for a job. TNT needs to hire him immediately. Put him as the fourth member of TNT’s crew with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith. It would be must watch TV each and every time. ESPN has apparently reached out to him already.

You can watch the press conference here.
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Shaq Talks BackMcFarlane Toys NBA Sports Picks Series 2 Shaquille O'Neal (Los Angeles Lakers) Yellow Jersey Action Figure

Posada and the Yankees

Day 2 of the Jorge Posada saga.

As the Jorge Posada drama continues to play out in the aftermath of last night there are a lot stories being written about the terrible contracts the Yankees have handed out the last few years and how this Posada situation is likely only the start of trouble. Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York wrote this great column last night about similar situations likely coming with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. Speaking of Derek Jeter, ESPN New York asks where was the captain last night?

The drama last night was an example of the power struggle that has already begun between the Yankees management and their aging veterans. The absence of Derek Jeter from the locker room spoke volumes.  Jeter who himself is coming off a surprisingly bitter contract negotiations with the Yankees will likely be in a similar situation very soon. Shouldn’t Jeter as a friend (and more importantly as the captain) have talked Posada out of his stupid move? Shouldn’t Jeter as the captain have called out Posada for pretty much quitting on the team last night? The battle lines were drawn last year when the Yankees weren’t afraid to call out Derek Jeter in public and the divide is even more evident now. The public war of words between Posada and Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman hurt Posada a lot more then they hurt Cashman. Why was Posada expecting this to be kept quiet when it is common practice for organizations to address late scratches? Posada looks even worse since Cashman has stated publicly that Posada and his agent knew that he was going to address the media. Like I said lat night I don’t think Cashman makes the comments publicly that he did last night if they weren’t true.

Split PA AB R H RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS GDP HBP SH SF IBB ROE BAbip tOPS+ sOPS+
vs LHP as RHB 30 24 0 0 6 10 .000 .200 .000 .200 2 0 0 0 1 0 .000 -26 -41

When will Posada return to the lineup? As I mentioned last night he is hitless in 24 at bats versus left handed pitching this year and the Yankees face Jon Lester tonight and David Price tomorrow.

By the way, Posada’s wife went back and deleted the tweets she made yesterday in defense of Jorge Posada.

This situation isn’t going to get better anytime soon. Instead of apologizing and moving on Jorge Posada put forward a ridiculous display in front of the media. Did he really convince anyone with his story about the injured back? Of course he further boxed himself into a corner when during the same appearance in front of the media he talked about needing time to “clear his head.” He should have apologized and moved on but instead he gave everyone a story. A story that will only get tougher on him as the day progresses since the Yankees and the Red Sox don’t play until 8 PM.

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Jorge Posada New York Yankees Name and Number T-Shirt (Medium)Play Ball!

VIDEO: Kevin Na shoots a 16 on the 9th hole

Kevin Na shot a 16 on the par 4 9th hole at the Valero Texas Open today. Yes, you read that part right, he shot a 16. I just saw this on Sportscenter and am trying to find the ESPN highlights online. If one of you finds it please send me the link. In the meantime watch the clip from the PGA Tour.

Card

Here is the play by play from the PGA Tour.

Shot Shot/description
1-2 Tee shot right. Went down and found ball and declared an unplayable lie.
3 Went back to the tee box and hit another tee shot which went right in to the woods. Then hit a provisional left (Abandoned provisional). Found second tee shot on the right and played it.
4-5 Played ball in the woods and hit a tree and the ball hit himself and took a one shot penalty.
6 Took unplayable where ball came to rest.
7 Hit ball in woods.
8 Hit ball in woods (Left-handed and missed ball).
9 Hit ball in woods (Left-handed and advanced ball).
10 Hit ball in woods (barely moved the ball).
11 Hit ball in woods and did not get out of the trees.
12 Hit ball in woods and advanced to the rough.
13 Hit ball from woods in to rough.
14 Played from rough to the fringe.
15 Played from fringe on to green.
16 Made putt from 5 feet, 10 inches.

One of the craziest sights I have ever seen in pro sports. Na, finished 39th on the PGA Tour money list last year and 19th in 2009. Have to be impressed with him going out and having a pretty decent back 9. He gave an interview to PGATour.com after his round.

4/15/11 EDIT: I can’t find the SportsCenter clip from last night with John Anderson and Scott Van  Pelt anchoring but here is one with Stan Verrett and Neil Everett.

The craziest part of the story might be that there were three other golfers who shot worse than him for the round.
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VIDEO: Obama on ESPN for Womens NCAA Tournament

Earlier this week ESPN unveiled President Obama’s bracket for the NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament. Earlier today they officially did the same for his bracket for the Womens Tournament.

You can also find his entry in ESPN’s Tournament Challenge. Will it do as well as his Mens Tournament bracket currently is which finds itself in the 99.9 percentile at the moment.
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Barack-etology 2011

For the 3rd straight year President Obama has filled out NCAA Tournament brackets for ESPN. 

ESPN College Basketball analyst Andy Katz (you can find his blog post here) was at the White House yesterday to host the segment for SportsCenter and the other ESPN platforms. The video is embedded below. Two years ago he correctly picked UNC to win the NCAA Tournament. Last year his pick of Kansas got knocked out in the second round.

You can find Obama’s brackets for both the Mens and Womens tournaments on the White House website. He will appear on SportsCenter again tomorrow morning with Doris Burke to unveil his Womens Tournament bracket. Earlier today on Sportscenter John Buccigross and Doug Gottlieb said that Obama’s signed bracket from two years ago is displayed in the ESPN cafeteria. I’ll post my bracket at some point between now and tip off on Thursday. Really struggling with it this year and coming out with a lot of chalk results and that is why I am not really surprised that Obama is going with the four #1s

Obama’s Mens Tournament Bracket for ESPN

Obama’s Womens Tournament Bracket

From ESPN’s SportsCenter earlier today. 

ESPN has entered Obama’s bracket as an entry into their Tournament Challenge. How well will he do? In a usual year I may have criticized Obama for going chalk with his bracket but in talking with other college basketball fans most of us are coming out with brackets very similar to his.
Andy Katz has had some nice exclusives with Barack Obama over the past few years.

Neil Best of Newsday pointed out, it is worth noting that Obama picked Kansas to win it all again. They are the only one of his Final Four teams that doesn’t play in a battleground state. Reid Wilson noted earlier today that one of Obama’s first round upsets is Marquette over Xavier (the alma mater of Speak John Boehner). I am not a of over analyzing the bracket from a political angle but sometimes it just can’t be helped.

What I absolutely have to laugh at is those who criticize Obama for filling out a NCAA bracket. A large chunk of the people criticizing him are probably in a office pool of their own. Just take a look at this clip from Fox “News”.

Just because Obama spent a small part of his day with ESPN we are to believe he is not paying attention to what is going on in the world? That sentiment is even more ridiculous when Obama asks people to donate to help the victims in Japan as part of his segments on ESPN. How many people do you think Obama reached out with that message by going on ESPN? I just don’t understand the people who act as though just because he is the President he shouldn’t do anything “normal”. I always point people out to this (and this).

One of the things I wanted to do on the show was, as people are filling out their brackets — this is obviously a national pastime; we all have a great time, it’s a great diversion.  But I know a lot of people are thinking how can they help the Japanese people during this time of need.  If you go to usaid.govusaid.gov — that will list all the nonprofits, the charities that are helping out there.  It would be wonderful for people to maybe offer a little help to the Japanese people at this time — as they’re filling out their brackets.  It’s not going to take a lot of time.  That’s usaid.gov.  It could be really helpful.

That is what Obama told ESPN about the events that are unfolding in Japan. What more do people want him to do? Do you have a problem with Obama filling out a bracket? Let me know here.

Houston Chronicle takes a look at just how hard it is to predict the NCAA Tournament. ESPN also takes an interesting look at the NCAA Tournament. I honestly had forgotten that it has been nine years since a #15 beat a #2.
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When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed BasketballNCAA Basketball 10