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Cam Martin

Audio: Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports Calls Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports a Coward

Yahoo! Sports sports reporter Charles Robinson has been widely lauded for his 11-month investigation of former booster Nevin Shapiro and the illegal benefits he allegedly bestowed on legions of University of Miami football players. Brooks Melchior of Sports by Brooks and Gregg Doyel of CBS Sports were among the many who read Robinson’s captivating tale about the purported gifts of money, jewelry, prostitutes and alcohol and suggested he was worthy of winning the Pulitzer Prize. Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports wasn’t of the same opinion, questioning Robinson’s journalistic ethics, saying he relied too much on the words of a convicted felon, Shapiro, who is spending 20 years in jail for running a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

Perhaps the oddest assertion in Whitlock’s attempted takedown of Robinson’s piece is that the story didn’t include any tales of cocaine-fueled debauchery, which makes no sense (at least to Whitlock) when the story is set in “America’s Cocaine Capital” and features a bevy of prostitutes. (“Peanut butter and jelly have nothing on hookers, partying, cash and drugs. They’re birds of a feather,” Whitlock wrote.)

Robinson, for his part, said in an interview on Nick Wright‘s 610Sports radio show in Kansas City that speculating about drug use was something he wasn’t prepared to do. Unlike Whitlock, Robinson said he actually investigates stories, rather than sitting on his couch tossing around ignorant speculation about the work of dedicated journalists. To top it off, Robinson called Whitlock a coward.

Here’s the clip, via Sportsgrid.

Whitlock, in turn, offered today to have Robinson on his podcast to discuss the issue.

Ex-CNN and ESPN Sportscaster Fred Hickman Joins New Orleans Station as Sports Director

Fred Hickman, perhaps best known from his days as a CNN sports co-anchor alongside the late Nick Charles, has been hired as sports director of Fox affiliate WVUE in New Orleans. Hickman, who has also worked for ESPN and Fox Sports South in Atlanta, brings a wealth of experience to the station. He told The Times-Picayune that he’s always had a soft spot for New Orleans, which he’s visited numerous times while covering major sports events including the Super Bowl.

“I’ve been a big fan of the city of New Orleans for a long time,” Hickman said. “I’ve been there to cover Super Bowls and Sugar Bowls, but to be there and live there is very, very appealing to me and to my family, my wife and my kids. We’re looking forward to being a part of the fabric of the city.

“Coming back from Katrina and the whole thing, as a family we want to be a part of that.”

Versus Adding Live Weeknight Studio Shows 'To Be Relevant Each Day'

NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said the network is adding live weeknight studio shows starting Sept. 8 in an effort to be “relevant each day.”

“If we’re going to be important to sports fans, we have to be relevant each day,” he said.

This is the latest development following the merger of NBC and Comcast, and the new weekly sports programs will tap talent across those two companies. Former Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic anchor Russ Thaler will host “NBC SportsTalk” from 6-7 p.m. on Versus. (Versus will be rebranded as NBC Sports Network on Jan.2). On Mondays and Fridays, the focus will be on football and will involve Mike Florio, editor of ProFootballTalk.com. The 6-7 time slot runs against SportsCenter on ESPN.

Business writer Darren Rovell of CNBC is also hosting a new show that will air Fridays at 7 p.m.

“The live nightly shows also give us the opportunity to tap into our stable of top talent across all of our platforms to provide a unique perspective for sports fans,” said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and Versus.

September is arguably the best sports month of the year, so it’s as good a time as any to launch new sports shows.

Video: Lee Corso Eats Grass in New GameDay Promo

The start of college football is now only one day away, and while it’s nice that the season is kicking off on a Thursday, everyone knows that Saturdays belong to college football. More specifically, Saturday mornings belong to ESPN’s GameDay program, starring Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso. In this promo LSU coach Les Miles, who’s been known to gnaw on some grass to let “me know that I’m a part of the field and part of the game,” suggests the GameDay crew should do the same to bring their show to another level. Fowler and Herbstreit take a pass, but Corso, who’s always game, happily chows down.



(H/T to Awful Announcing)

MLB Fans Asked to Vote for Hall of Fame Broadcaster

Do you think Joe Morgan, Joe Buck or Tim McCarver are Hall of Fame-level broadcasters? If so, be sure to vote in the 9th annual Ford C. Frick Award contest, which will help winnow a field of 75 broadcasters down to one new member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Starting tomorrow and running through Sept. 30, fans can vote for their favorite broadcaster on the Hall of Fame’s Facebook page. The top three fan selections will be among the final 10 candidates for this year’s Frick Award, which will be selected by a 20-member board including last year’s winner Dave Van Horne, who currently broadcasts Marlins games, and the other living Frick Award recipients.

The 75 candidates include a pair of broadcasters from each Major League city, as well as numerous at-large candidates. Here is the full field:

Read more

Kid Rock, Maroon 5 and Lady Antebellum to Play Concert Before Pack-Saints Kickoff Game

Nothing gets me ready for football like listening to Lady Antebellum and Maroon 5. Their music makes me want to run through a freaking wall. Obviously NFL officials share this sentiment, because these two groups — along with Kid Rock, who’s a little soft for my tastes — will be playing the pregame concert before next Thursday’s NFL Kickoff game between the Saints and Packers at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

These acts will play on a stage adjacent to Lambeau Field, with the concert starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game itself kicks off at 8:30 p.m. The concert will air on NBC and on the NFL Network.

The concert before last year’s game in New Orleans featured The Dave Matthews Band, Taylor Swift and Harry Connick Jr., who are likewise staples in NFL locker rooms.

Bill Belichick's Entire 2009 Season Miked Up For NFL Films Series

Bill Belichick is a complicated man, perceived as the ultimate winner by some, and by others as the type who’d sell their own mother to win. He’s been the mastermind behind three Super Bowl titles with the Patriots, and before that was the defensive coordinator for two Giants title runs. He was also the villain in SpyGate, and the man who unabashedly wears hoodies for all occasions. David Halberstam‘s wonderful book, The Education of a Coach, peeled back some of the layers on the multifaceted Belichick, and a new NFL Films series promises to do the same. The two-part series, which airs Thursday Sept. 15, at 9 p.m. ET and Thursday, Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. ET, is the product of a yearlong project set in 2009, when Belichick agreed to let NFL Films put a microphone on him around the clock. We get a full portrait of the coach as he fishes off Nantucket in the preseason, goes through training camp, returns to Giant Stadium before it gets demolished, and handles coaching decisions including the infamous LateGate, when Randy Moss and others showed up late to practice during a storm storm.

“Bill Belichick doesn’t only make history – he studies it; he understands his place in it; and he appreciates our desire to capture it,” said NFL Films President Steve Sabol. “Like Vince Lombardi‘s Packers in 1967, Belichick and the Patriots gave us access to his football life and what we created is a portrait of the coach, the father, the taskmaster – and most importantly – the man.”

Here’s the trailer on NFL.com.

For those who say Belichick is a bloodless automaton, he does get choked up when discussing the destruction of Giants Stadium. So never let it be said he doesn’t have feelings towards public buildings.

Radio Host Finebaum to Write for SI.com

Radio host Paul Finebaum, a former columnist for al.com who last year wrote that Vanderbilt should be kicked out of the SEC for not being competitive in football, is joining SI.com as a columnist. He reported the news on Twitter, saying his first column will run Thursday. Perhaps his first piece will address the ongoing story involving USA Today oddsmaker Danny Sheridan, who recently went on Finebaum’s radio show claiming to know who paid Cam Newton‘s father, Cecil, so that the 2010 Heisman Trophy Winner would attend Auburn. Sheridan has refused to name the alleged “bag man,” claiming his source within the NCAA would lose their job. The NCAA, for their part, says Sheridan’s claims are without merit.

Finebaum’s popular radio show is syndicated throughout the southeast and can also be heard on Sirius XM Radio (Channel 91).

Bill Buckner on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' This Sunday

Once upon a time, the mere mention of Bill Buckner‘s name would make Red Sox fans turn pale. But time heels all wounds (especially when your team wins two World Series), and Sox fans aren’t particularly bothered when Buckner’s name comes up nowadays. It’s even gotten to the point where Buckner can have a good laugh at the iconic moment when Mookie Wilson‘s ground ball rolled through his legs in the 1986 World Series. The former Red Sox first baseman is making a guest appearance on this Sunday’s episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm (1o p.m. ET on HBO). The theme of this week’s episode is haunted pasts, and Buckner will reportedly help Larry David get past a scarring softball incident from his past.

Good for Buckner. Everyone knows that ground ball wasn’t his fault anyway; the guy could barely walk and he shouldn’t have been on the field in that situation! Former Red Sox manager John McNamara should have been the one vilified for not putting Dave Stapleton in as a defensive replacement!

(OK, some Red Sox fans aren’t completely over it.)

 

Video: Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski in Another New Era Video

The Red Sox and the Yankees begin another series in their hate-filled rivalry tonight, so that means it must be time for another Alec Baldwin-John Krasinski video from New Era. In this installment — the fifth in a six-video campaign — Baldwin, a diehard Yankees fan, and Krasinski, a diehard Red Sox fan, are communicating via Skype when Baldwin decides he’s going to burn a handful of tickets to Red Sox home games. Why does he do this? Because doing so is supposed to make a Red Sox fan like Krasinski apoplectic. In burning the tickets, Baldwin inadvertently burns down his apartment building (which is supposed to be hilarious), and then has to go on the lam, so he goes to Krasinski’s apartment to hide out. I think Yankee fans would have rather seen Baldwin burn Curt Schilling’s bloody sock.

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