Paul Shirley’s Modest Proposal For Haiti Gets Him Fired From ESPN

ESPN cut ties with NBA player turned author Paul Shirley after an inflammatory column that criticized relief efforts in Haiti. Those of a certain bent will frame this politically and make him a martyr, but it’s not a case of valid viewpoint discrimination.  Shirley’s words were inexplicably ignorant.

Continued at The Big Lead

Since When Do They Teach “Looking Away” in Journalism School

In Sunday’s Detroit Free Press, Mitch Albom wrote, “Once upon a time, we looked away.”  Journalists eschewed private lives to focus on the sports.  Tiger Woods and TMZ are pushing sports into a gotcha culture of celebrity journalism.  Yesteryear was a simpler, purer form of journalism.  Now, it’s more complicated.  Albom’s lament is eloquent and concentrated, but it’s simplistic. Continued at The Big Lead

Onion Bag: Liverpool Has a Cold

Liverpool has a cold. Well, that’s being polite. It’s more of a wheezing and hacking tuberculosis, exacerbated by the dust accumulating on the club’s last English league trophy. Portsmouth are bankrupt and bottom of the table, yet they comfortably dismantled Liverpool’s full-strength team during a 2-0 Saturday win. Karmically, Javier Mascherano tackled savagely, received a red card and injured himself. Shankly was certainly rolling.  Continued at The Big Lead

The Big Lead Articles December 15 2009

Halladay-Lee Trade Should Benefit Phillies, Mariners and Blue Jays

The three-team übertrade involving the Phillies, the Mariners, the Blue Jays and Cy Young winners Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee is not “complete,” but pending Halladay passing a physical it’s a reasonable certainty. At least on paper, this deal looks good for all three parties.

Why is Everyone So Excited About John Lackey?

Last week the dire Red Sox were in bridge mode.  They land John Lackey for five-years $85 million.  Now, they have “the best rotation in the American League” and are World Series contenders.  Both extremes are convenient hyperbole for baseball writers wishing to inject drama, but we must ask.  Why is everyone so jazzed about John Lackey?

The Big Lead Articles 14 December 2009

Onion Bag: Liverpool are Lamer Than Jim Rome’s Shtick

“You aren’t fit to wear the shirt.” The normally restrained Frenchman, Arsene Wenger, resorted to a rousing English cliche, and, despite just one Englishman in the squad, it worked.  Arsenal capitalized on fortune andAndiry Arshavin’s right foot, recovering form an insipid first half for a 2-1 win at Anfield.

ESPN 30 for 30: It’s All About “The U”

Whether it was the story or the soundtrack, The U generated excitement.  Shown a 9:00 PM on a Saturday night, it was not appointment viewing, as many of us have significant others and social lives, but it was certainly appointment DVRing.

The strength and, in some cases, the weakness of the 30 for 30 documentaries is the personal fingerprint.  Here it was helpful.  Billy Corben, the director of Cocaine Cowboys and an avowed Miami fan, presents the Hurricanes’ ascendance their way.  In their own words, the “thugs,” “hoodlums” and “convicts,” as well as those who coached and covered them, describe the experience.  This film was captivating and it was successful.

Onion Bag: Real Salt Lake Win MLS Cup

Penalties, where men are bewildered and broken. Real Salt Lake won the MLS Cup Final, edging the Galaxy 5-4 in penalties after a 1-1 draw. David Beckham took his first penalty kick since his epic Euro 2004 miss, slotting it calmly into the net. Normally solid Landon Donovan missed the net completely, for the first time in his MLS career. Beckham’s MLS vindication and, perhaps, Landon Donovan’s farewell were spoiled.

Real Salt Lake were impressive. They controlled midfield, particularly as the seemingly less fit Galaxy faded. Kyle Beckerman was tireless and everywhere. Robbie Findley was a constant threat with his speed. Both should be candidates for inclusion in the U.S. National Team.

Continued at The Big Lead

Onion Bag: Katy Perry is a West Ham Fan

kperry1Singer Katy Perry wore this for her boyfriend, British comedian Russell Brand. The West Ham supporter confirmed he would bring her to West Ham’s match against Everton, but denied speculation he would be taking her up the Arsenal.

Ronaldo Out: Cristiano Ronaldo will miss Portugal’s World Cup playoff against Bosnia on Nov. 14 and Nov. 18. Real Madrid doctors discovered a bony deposit in his injured ankle, the same injury that forced him to have surgery after Euro 2008. He aggravated the injury when called back prematurely for Portugal’s qualifier against Hungary. In a pure coincidence, doctors believe he could return to face Barcelona on Nov. 29.

Continued at The Big Lead

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