Trey Wingo

Sports Media Weekly No. 161- Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report & ESPN Media Day Interviews

We have multiple guests on this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for our news segment is Ed Sherman of the Sherman Report.

Our top story of the week is still evolving as it was announced late today that ESPN is backing our of its partnership with PBS’ Frontline show in producing an investigative documentary on concussions in the NFL.  ESPN claims the move is over a lack of editorial control on the project.  We speculate that there must have been a major disagreement between the parties.  We will follow the story as it progresses.

We then look at last Saturday’s launch of Fox Sports 1.  The three of us agree that as much as people want to send out flash judgments of what they’ve seen over the first five days on the air, it’s better to judge the success of the network over the long haul.

We wrap-up the news segment by reviewing my trip yesterday to ESPN as part of the network’s Media Day.  We discuss the state of ESPN, particularly through the words of ESPN President John Skipper, who held an hour-long Q&A session with reporters over lunch.

The day at ESPN also included panels on college football, the NFL, and a look at ESPN’s new digital studio, which will host SportsCenter beginning next year.

The second half of the show features my interviews with four members of ESPN:

  • SVP of Programming, College Sports Burke Magnus on the upcoming college football season
  • SVP of Content, Digital and Print Media Rob King on the network’s online properties
  • NFL Live host Trey Wingo
  • SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy who is celebrating his 20th year at the network

PROGRAMMING NOTE-  There will no Sports Media Weekly program next week.  Ken and I will return after Labor Day.

Speculation on Parade

I am spending my lunch hour watching ESPN’s special coverage of the meeting today between NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and former Patriots videographer Matt Walsh…and I am being told emphatically that the New England Patriots are Satan.  At least according to those on the ESPN set.

Trey Wingo, Mark Schereth, and Chris Carter are spewing so much speculation and innuendo that anyone watching can come to no other conclusion.

There were so many examples of attempting to mislead the viewer that I lost count. At one point Wingo speculated that although there is no proof the Patriots taped defensive signals during any of their Super Bowl victories, he questioned why the Patriots’ offense was so much more effective in the second half of Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Carolina Panthers, insinuating that the Pats used information collected during the first half.  Even though Wingo did make note that the Panthers scored more points in the second two quarters as well, the emphasis was squarely on the Patriots.

Schlereth and Carter both questioned the taping of opponents not in their division, insinuating that the Patriots must have used the tapes during the game in question, as there was no guarantee they would meet these non-divisional foes later that same season. 

Even after Goodell addressed the media and said Walsh indicated the tapes were not used during he course of the game, Schlereth and Carter would not let it rest.  They kept hammering the speculation that despite the proclamation, it doesn’t mean it did not take place.

Today’s coverage does nothing to paint the media as being responsible.  The conduct of the ESPN crew is another example of the need for the media to perpetuate rumors to further a story.

So if you can’t beat’em…join’em.

Just because we don’t have any evidence, it doesn’t mean that the other 31 teams did not also tape oponents’ signals.  Also, even though we don’t have any evidence, it doesn’t mean that Mark Schlereth and/or Chris Carter did not take steroids.  Sounds ridiculous? You bet.  Stick to what we know.  Playing the speculation game does no one any good.