Sorting out the Ryan Braun Fiasco; Who were the winners and the losers?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unlike most of the sports media world, I thought I would sit back and soak up the details before discussing my opinion on the scandal/drug testing fiasco involving the reigning National League MVP and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun.

Thus far, we’ve heard the results of the appeal, some details involving the test, Braun’s comments and the MLB’s irate feelings on the entire situation.

A lot of questions still linger around Braun’s successful appeal, so let’s take a look at where we are now from three different perspectives; Braun himself, Major League Baseball and the Media. [Read more…]

No Matter the Result on Ryan Braun, ESPN Needs to Focus on Reporting

 

 

 

 

 

There is no doubt that ESPN has become the #1 outlet for sports news in the world. With their coverage in over 200 countries and across multiple forms of media on a 24/7 timescale, they have become the all-knowing power when it comes to sports or we thought so.

Over the last couple of weeks, the “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” has published a few stories that questions whether they truly have a neutral standpoint. In what I like to call the twitter-age, it’s all about being first to the story and ESPN is full-heartedly playing in to that notion, even if they don’t have all of the facts.

By not reporting all of the facts, ESPN is jumping to conclusions and in essence fabricating how we perceive the world of sports.

A good friend said it best, we want ESPN to report our sporting news, not make it. [Read more…]

Michigan State versus Illinois Preview, Predictions

By Jeff Ghiringhelli, feat. the two Pauls

Photo’s courtesy of Illinois Loyalty.com (be sure to check out that awesome website!)

There always seems to be an added excitement around campus when College Gameday comes to town. Even those that do not follow sports very closely know that there must be a big game. Tonight’s clash pitting Michigan State against Illinois is no exception.

All of a sudden, it appears as though a Big Ten title being delivered to East Lansing is no longer a foregone conclusion. An 18-point loss at Wisconsin was bad enough, but to make matters worse Spartan team leader and point guard Kalin Lucas went down in the second half with a sprained ankle.

[Read more…]

Connections, Nepotism Brings ESPN College GameDay to Champaign Saturday

By Paul M. Banks

Once again the old adage “it’s not what you know, but who you know” rings true.

This time it’s applied to ESPN’s location selection process for broadcasting their national college basketball pregame show. From 2003-07 Illinois had MORE WINS than any program in the nation. But ESPN College Gameday never visited once (not even during the Champaign Campaign season of 2004-05, when the Illini tied the all-time record for single season victories).  But tomorrow “ESPN College GameDay Driven by State Farm” will broadcast live from the University of Illinois prior to the prime-time basketball matchup between the Fighting Illini and Michigan State. UI is one of just eight universities chosen by ESPN, out of 343 Division 1 basketball programs, for a live GameDay broadcast this season.

So it’s finally happened for the Illini! Unfortunately, it’s in a year that’s actually been very disappointing for the orange and blue. The Illini find themselves on the wrong side of the NCAA bubble and not even remotely close to a national ranking. So why this year? Because the school has the right connections.

[Read more…]

Memo to Ohio State: End This Matt Barkley for Heisman Nonsense

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This comes to us from our friend Jerod Morris, at Midwest Sports Fans.com

I go to ESPN.com this afternoon looking for sound sports analysis (always a mistake) and right smack dab in their headlines is a reference to Matt Barkley’s Heisman hopes in ’09. After one game. Against a shitty team.

And his cocky bravado without winning anything makes it even worse.

Here’s hoping the Buckeyes lay the smack down on him Saturday (although after that performance against Navy, we should all be worried…)

ESPN Finally Gives Gameday Love to the Illini

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By Paul M. Banks

For some bizarre reason, the Eastern Seaboard Programming Network ignored the University of Illinois when it came to finding a locale to host their popular “College Gameday” pre-game show. The show has been running for six seasons, and during that period of time, the Fighting Illini were 6th in the nation in total wins! They’ve been a NCAA Tournament regular and they’re tied with Duke for the most number of 25+ win seasons this decade. A 2006 USA Today poll stated that Illinois was the 5th most recognizable college basketball program among 14 year old males, who comprise a huge demographic within ESPN’s pregame show audience. Yet despite all these facts, the Eastern biased conglomerate and empire brand NEVER made a single trip to showcase the Orange Crush at Illinois’ Assembly Hall. That all changed today.

Please read this press release sent straight from Champaign-Urbana this afternoon:
Champaign, Ill.-ESPN College Basketball GameDay driven by State Farm will make its first appearance at the University of Illinois’ Assembly Hall on Feb. 6, 2010, when the Fighting Illini host Big Ten rival Michigan State.

The popular network show will feature a pair of one-hour telecasts, at 10 a.m. CT and 7 p.m., followed by the 8 p.m. tip-off of the Illini and Spartans in ESPN’s Saturday Primetime Game of the Week.

“We are thrilled to have College GameDay coming to the Assembly Hall,” head coach Bruce Weber said. “We have watched the show at various college sites the past few seasons and have been anticipating the opportunity to host it on our campus. There are so many factors that make this a perfect fit. We enjoy a tremendous relationship with both ESPN and State Farm, we have high expectations for the upcoming season, and we are facing an outstanding opponent in Michigan State. I’m sure the Orange Krush and Illini Nation will be out in full force as we showcase our program to a national audience that day, and for what should be an incredible game-time atmosphere that evening.”

The complete ESPN Gameday schedule is as follows:

Jan. 16 – Notre Dame at Connecticut (women’s); Jan. 23 – Duke at Clemson; Jan. 30 – Kansas at Kansas State; Feb. 6 – Michigan State at Illinois; Feb. 13 – Tennessee at Kentucky; Feb. 20 – UCLA at Washington; Feb. 27 – Villanova at Syracuse; March 6 – North Carolina at Duke.

“We obviously feel the choice of Illinois men’s basketball and Assembly Hall, which is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s great home court atmospheres, create a great match with the College GameDay brand,” said Chris Hanna, Illinois Assistant Athletics Director for Sales and Marketing.  “We take great pride in our ongoing relationships with State Farm, the sponsor of College GameDay and a long-time Illinois corporate partner, and ESPN through our Big Ten Conference television agreement. We will approach this event with the intention of establishing a new attendance record for College GameDay in addition to filling Assembly Hall with 16,618 orange-clad fans for the Illinois-Michigan State game.”