St. John’s Nation has Grassroots Support for hiring Lavin

Steve Lavin with wife Mary

By Paul M. Banks

OK, so maybe the St. John’s fanbase isn’t really a nation these days, more of a microstate, or at best a breakaway republic in the realpolitik of college basketball. However, the Johnnies were a glorious program once, and they’re intensively seeking to be once again. Check out this comment I received on my previous article highlighting the chances of DePaul hiring ESPN’s Steve Lavin as their next coach.

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Illinois! Michigan St! ESPN! Erin Andrews! Pop the Champaign!

By Paul M. Banks

Chris Rock once told us “No matter who you are, there’s no sex in the Champagne room”. Equally true- Even if you’re a top 5 ranked team, there’s no easy games visiting the House of ‘Paign. This Champaign party date has been circled on the calendar for months. The hype has been building for a long time. Dickie V. is here. Erin Pageviews is (I mean Erin Andrews) is here. And we’re just one hour from tip off. Here’s a few more links to get for the game.

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Erin Andrews Sexually Harassed by College Gameday Sign


By Paul M. Banks (photo courtesy of The Big

ESPN College Gameday may want to re-consider broadcasting live if this continues. Or they might want to dip into their deep pockets, and hire some private security to screen out the people coming to see the show. Check out this photo on The Big it’s the full size version of the thumbnail above, and I have a feeling that we’ve now found the guy who secretly videotaped Erin Andrews through a peephole. Because the maker/carrier of this sign is just as much a disgusting degenerate as the person who violated her privacy earlier this year.

Whether you love or hate EA, you have to be with her on this one. Seriously, this sign didn’t cross the line of bad taste, it dropped a nuclear bomb on it. This is, to quote Seattle Seahawks Coach Jim Mora yesterday, “unacceptable. UNACCEPTABLE.”

It will be interesting to see how ESPN handles their future on-site broadcasts, and possibly censoring the unruliest of fans who show up. Because this network is owned by Disney, and just as last night’s Family Guy reminded us, every thing produced by the world of Disney is happy, and family-friendly. Well, sort of.


Big Ten Network Playing Erin Andrews Card in Talent Selection


By Paul M. Banks

Everyone knows “sex sells” and the “news business is actually show business,” but there are still instances when a network overwhelmingly panders to the frat house demographic. Like hiring a bikini model to be a journalist, as the Big Ten Network just did with Melanie Collins. Sure, she did have a stint at NBA TV, but I still just can’t take her seriously as a college football reporter.

For the same reasons, I never took former Playboy Playmate Lisa Dergan seriously as an anchor for Fox Sports West. You can call me sexist, narrow-minded, chauvinistic, socially backwards etc. for what I believe, but I don’t care.thompson

If a woman rises to fame and her position by holding a job which is essentially little more showing T&A and being an inspiration to male self-gratification, how seriously can you view her authority to inform the general public?

When a political leader comes to power through illegal or criminal means, how legitimate do you take the individual’s ruling capabilities?

It’s not that I think Collins or Dergan are/were awful at their jobs, I just don’t think they are/were very good. I think Erin Andrews is ok at her job, but nowhere near deserving of the publicity she receives. I think EA is a very attractive woman, but again, nowhere near deserving of the publicity she receives. So much so that the practice of “hottie tokenism” in sports media has become synonymous with her. I don’t think she consciously sought that title, but she certainly doesn’t do anything to shy away from it either.

I probably watch more Big Ten Network that any human being reasonably should. It’s unhealthy, I admit it. I can recite, line for line, all their annoying programming promos- they do run the exact same spots during EVERY commercial break. But I just can’t, and never will, take Melanie Collins seriously. Because I know there are hundreds, maybe thousands of female and male applicants that could/should easily taken her place.

It may be unfair to compare Collins to fellow network denizen Charissa Thompson, because Thompson is a much more accomplished journalist with better credentials. And you won’t find raunchy pictures of her kissing another girl online, like you would in Collins’ case. But Thompson, like Collins is so attractive that they are distracting. There’s eye candy all around the Big Ten Network talent pool, but these two reporters just jump out at you because they distract you from the content. If you held a poll between who was “hotter,” Collins or Thompson, it’s a toss-up. Now BTN’s hottie tokenism has one-upped that of every other network.

Both of them, whether they want to be or not, have become the story instead of reporting it. And that’s a very bad personnel decision on the Big Ten Network’s part, because now people are talking about the rail-thin blonde delivering the information, instead of the information. Or maybe it’s not a bad decision, as it gets people talking about the network. They did get me.

But I’d still probably watch that network, even if something as visually disgusting as Charlie Weiss hosted every show. Ultimately though, it’s about timing and development. I can take reporters like Jill Arrington and Jillian Barberie seriously because they did the racy photo spread in a raunchy lad-mag AFTER they had already established themselves, not BEFORE.

Is ESPN Going to Cover the Erin Andrews Story?


By Paul M. Banks

Erin Andrews is the most recognizable on-air personality for the most powerful entertainment network on Earth. Due to her combination or looks, knowledge, personality, looks, plum story assignments, intelligence and looks, she’s become possibly ESPN’s biggest rock star. And now that she’s been victimized, her star is set to rise way beyond the stratospheric level it currently resides at.

ESPN has been called many things: the four-letter, Eastern Seaboard Programming Network, the Boo-Yah Network. But the most appropriate nicknames are “The Evil Empire” or “The Mothership.” Because they’re the 400 lb gorilla in the room of sports media; actually, they’re so powerful that the Disney-owned concern makes 400 lb sports media gorillas look like 4 ounce gorillas. If you’re living in a cave and haven’t heard the Erin Andrews saga by now, here’s the gist of it

Some creepy, pathetic weirdo taped EA changing in her hotel room and then posted/distributed the video online. Its now been pulled off the internet and most places claiming to host it actually give the user malware, a Trojan horse or some other computer virus when they download it. I usually think that hackers are the lowest form of primordial ooze life has to offer, but on this one I give them a high-five. Because Andrews’ privacy has been violated and her image tarnished, and those who add to this injustice (by watching the video) compound the problem by receiving stolen property. Both the producers and watchers of the video are committing illegal acts, and I sincerely hope Erin Andrews is able to recover some form of compensation for the humiliation that she has suffered.
Any web page with a picture or mention of Erin Andrews is blogosphere gold. Her internet cult following makes web traffic flock to anything EA related. This goofy YouTube tribute video has been viewed well over two million times. As awful as this situation seems for her now, in the end she’ll be fine. If there’s anything America loves, it’s an underdog story. Look at every politician who has risen to high office: every one has a story of overcoming adversity in their biography.


ESPN produces a full roster of personalities that have engaged in controversial (and sometimes harassing) behavior relating to sex, including:

-Chris “Mr. Family Values” Berman and his penchant for “making it rain” in strip club V.I.P. rooms.

-Sean Salisbury emailing a female co-worker a picture of his…”little friend.”  The part of his body that seems to make his decisions.

-Harold Reynolds, fired for supposedly giving “an inappropriate hug” to an intern at a Boston Market. And if there’s anything defining sexy in this world, it’s a Boston Market hug…especially one that inspired the name of a sports blog.

-Mike Tirico and his lurid tales that helped sell books

None of these incidents were reported at all by ESPN (for obvious reasons). So if the four-letter network ignores or under-reports this story, it won’t exactly set precedent. But the Andrews story is much bigger than all of them combined. And the demand for information on it is too high to keep ESPN from covering it. If they’re truly “the worldwide leader” than they need to keep the public updated on the story that the world is demanding to know about- even if it revolves around one of their stars.

Of course, this incident is completely different from the four I just mentioned in that here, the ESPN personality is the victim, not the “victimizer.” It mostly resembles another incident in which the journalist was the one begin harassed, not doing the harassing. erin-andrews

The popular blog Kissing Suzy Kolber got its name from the night a drunk-of-his-ass Joe Namath tried to pressure sideline reporter Suzy Kolber into kissing him during a NFL game carried by the network. The duo calling the game for the Bristol boys that night repeatedly said how “happy” Namath was. What an often “happy guy” he truly is. Obviously happy=drunk and horny in that context, but it was a perfect example of how the Disney-owned sports media empire “Disniefied” an “adult situation.”  So that’s what I think the network will do here.

They’ll probably try to minimize a situation that the world wide web buzzes about and try to find some way to give a G or PG rated account of a NC-17 situation. Given the corner they’re backed into- probably the best thing they can do.

Tune in this weekend for more ESPN criticism. A friend of mine who actually works for the evil empire asked me to DVR the Espys for him. I’m going to have him over for dinner Sunday night, and for the first time ever, watch the Espys! Lots of sites do anti-ESPN material. But I’ll be blogging my vitriol with a member of the network actually beside me.