Tag Archives: espn
By: Alex Reimer
In 1979, when ESPN first launched, many doubted it would survive. Who would watch a channel only dedicated to sports? Even if people did want to catch, who could? Who in the world has cable?
Fast-forward 30 years, and ESPN hasn’t just survived, but has dominated all forms of media. From television to the Internet to radio, ESPN is omnipresent in the life of any sports fan.
I was fortunate enough to visit the ESPN studios in Bristol, Connecticut this past week with Boston Sports U 18. What a sight it is. Our tour guide, Jeff Israel (who has been an employee since the beginning), said it best, “ESPN has no competition.”
The most astounding thing is, even with the several studios, there still isn’t enough space. Occasionally the “Baseball Tonight” crew will have to do their show from the “College Gameday” studio if their studio is being used by an NFL show. Even though ESPN is such a conglomerate, situations like that still leave the impression that this is a “mom and pop shop.” The only thing is, “mom and pop” now reside over a really large family.
ESPN employs over 3,000 personnel. Their facilities are commonly referred to as “the campus.” I saw Herm Edwards working out in the gym, Bob Ley grabbing lunch with some colleagues, and John Buccigross shuffling about, preparing for a live edition of “Sportscenter.”
The fact is, even though people view or listen to ESPN-related content because of what they cover, they also do it because they’re infatuated with the personalities delivering the content. The sports anchor is the co-star along with the highlights he or she is narrating.
When one thinks about it, ESPN is the quintessential example of an “American success story.” It was an honor to witness it in action.
Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which now airs Saturday’s from 1-3 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston. Alex can be reached at Alexredsox076@aol.com
By Gethin Coolbaugh
Humor me for a second.
Go grab your TV guide, flip through it and take a look at the listings for both the CW and ESPN.
The CW features shows like Gossip Girl, 90210 and America’s Next Top Model.
As for ESPN, it airs shows such as Sportscenter, Around the Horn, PTI and Baseball Tonight.
At first glance, they seem like they broadcast completely different content, and for they most part, they do.
But believe it or not, ESPN and many sports media outlets alike have started to air content similar to that seen on Gossip Girl.
The main word to take from that sentence is gossip.
In short, the sports media world has become way too source happy.
This has most recently been highlighted by the LeBron James free agency saga. Last night as I hopped into bed, I received a text message from ESPN saying that “sources” of NBA insider Chris Broussard told him that, barring a late change, James would sign with the Miami Heat.
I have no problem with reporters relaying information they obtain, seeing as it’s their job. But when you throw sources around, you’re opening up a can of worms.
For all we know, Broussard’s source could be his cousin who happens to be a season ticket holder of the Miami Heat.
It’s the same for any reporter in any sport. Peter Gammons’ source within the Red Sox could be a janitor, Mel Kiper Jr.’s could be a substitute gym teacher at USC, and Chris Berman’s might as well be a ticket-taker at Cowboys Stadium.
Again, I’m not trashing any of these reporters. They are all great in their own right, no doubt. However, we just don’t know who their sources are, plain and simple.
And more likely than not, we’ll never find out their sources.
In the sports reporting game, the link between a source and a reporter is extremely confidential. These sources can be anyone within the front offices of the nation’s biggest sports franchises.
And if their bosses found out that they’re leaking information to trusted reporters, they’ll likely lose their jobs.
On the other side, if reporters start leaking their sources, it will close the door on an entire avenue of news that may cost a reporter his or her job in the long run.
I’m not asking reporters to leak their sources, because that’s not going to happen. But I am asking all of you to consider where these reports are coming from.
For example, I would trust a report from Peter Gammons sources that the Red Sox are going to trade David Ortiz more than I would from a reporter from a small-town paper in a Boston suburb.
Gammons has been playing the source game for a lot longer than most reporters, so he has most likely developed high quality sources.
And as for Chris Broussard’s report about James, I’m inclined to believe it because he is a 20-year veteran reporter.
Nevertheless, keep in mind that we all need to be aware of the quality of any reporter’s sources.
Gethin Coolbaugh is the Associate Editor of Boston Sports U18. He can be reached at 774-279-1995 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit Gethin Coolbaugh’s official website and follow Gethin Coolbaugh on Twitter.