Sunday, September 25, 2011

BWB4: Rising Stars/In praise of Josh Elliott

We're going to be running plenty of panel recaps from Blogs With Balls' fourth edition (which I'm in New York City for) here this week, but the best moment actually came in the final panel of the day yesterday. Thus, to borrow from a famous quotation, "the last shall be first and the first shall be last". The most newsworthy moment of the whole day came from Josh Elliott, former ESPN SportsCenter anchor and current ABC Good Morning America co-host, who was on the final BWB panel ("Rising Stars") and candidly responded to my question about how he handles criticism of ESPN (along the lines of what I've delivered in a couple of pieces at The Good Point).

"I absolutely understand why people criticize ESPN," Elliott said. "It’s so pervasive and there are certain decisions it makes that are so terrible it sets itself up."

Elliott was particularly bothered by his colleagues' reactions to his GChat interview with Deadspin's A.J. Daulerio, shortly before he left to work at sister company ABC.

"I did an interview with AJ, but I got a torrent of criticism when I walked into the newsroom the next day," Elliott said. "It spoke to the knee-jerk response of this 1000 pound gorilla. They’d trust me to go on live TV for three hours but they wouldn’t trust me to GChat with somebody."

Elliott also criticized ESPN for its decision to start putting Chris Mortensen "reports" that were reworkings of other organizations' football stories on their ticker.

"They just started stealing scoops," he said. "It was a practice I never agreed with. ... I felt horrible."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Conference expansion: Mike Slive gets his Aggies for nothing

BIRMINGHAM, AL—The world of college football is going nuts at the moment with realignment, expansion and potential superconferences that could exacerbate the divide between the haves and have-nots. Other NCAA conference commissioners are raiding opponents, desperately trying to keep their conference alive, desperately trying to save their own job, lurking quietly or plotting world domination, but SEC commissioner Mike Slive has been rather quiet lately—despite extending an offer to Texas A&M and reportedly (or maybe not) to Missouri as well, allowing the ACC's raid on the Big East to dominate the headlines. Slive chose to break his silence at a Birmingham bar Tuesday night, walking out on stage with rock legend Mark Knopfler and debuting a new song the two of them have been secretly working on. Unfortunately, video cameras were not allowed, so to get a sense of what went down, watch this video of Knopfler's original (now permitted in Canada!) and substitute in the transcript of Slive's new lyrics below.

I want my, I want my, I want my ESS EEE CEE.

Now look at them Aggies, that’s the way you do it!
They’ll play their football in the ESS EEE CEE.
Conference expansion? That’s the way we do it!
Get our Aggies for nothing and our Tigers for free.

Conference ain’t working? That’s the way you do it
Let me tell you, them guys ain’t dumb
Maybe get a Baylor on your little finger
Maybe get a Baylor on your thumb.

We gotta install Missouri Tigers
Custom contract delivery!
We gotta move these threats of lawsuits
We gotta get more cash from TV.

That little AD with the beer sales and the couches?
Yeah buddy, that’s his own hair.
That little coach with the skullet and the Red Bull
He won’t fit in with our millionaires

We gotta install A&M Aggies
Top-ten fanbase delivery!
We gotta build our superconference
We gotta get more cash from TV

Look at that, look at that
I should have learned to play the tennis racket
I should have learned to play them bums
Look at that conference, cash sticking in the cameras
Man, can we have some?

And them out there, what’s that, Hawaiian noises?
Man, they just lost to UNLV!
That ain’t working, that ain’t the way to do it
No place for them in my ESS EEE CEE.

We gotta install new divisions
New big market delivery!
We gotta move these outdated contracts
We gotta get more cash from TV

I want my, I want my, I want my ESS EEE CEE
Get your Aggies for nothing, and your Tigers for free
I want my, I want my, I want my ESS EEE CEE
Destroy the Big 12 for nothing, get your cash for free.