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Sports Media Musings: ESPN’s White Michael Vick, Deadspin’s ESPN Invasion, And More

ESPN Doctored a Picture Of Mike Vick

This Was, uh, Strange

ESPN posing the question what the ramifications of Mike Vick’s race had on his life and career isn’t anything novel. On the contrary, the odd decision to transpose a picture of the controversial signal-caller to make him Caucasian certainly is.

The Big Lead takes a look at the four-letter network’s curious choice here. I’m not saying it is wrong or right. I think it was strange. I couldn’t help but think of the 80’s film, Soul Man

Speaking of Dated References

For the professional wrestling fans out there (I know, there aren’t many), remember when D-Generation X invaded WCW’s Monday Night Nitro taping? It was innovative because the WWE was openly breaking the fourth wall by addressing competition. A great moment.

Tommy Craggs, of Deadspin, decided to take part in a similar mission. He infiltrated a ESPN talent meeting. The full report is coming out today, but he apparently had some run-ins with high-ranking ESPN executives.

I think Deadspin has built up a great amount of credibility. They are the first blog outfit to gain recognition in mainstream media. The influx of blogs has created an accountability that consistently challenges “old media” outlets. This, obviously, is a good aspect on the Internet in general. In the same token, there needs to be accountability toward the blogosphere. The critics have to maintain propensity toward responsibility. This is accentuated as an outlet flourishes. That’s why the Portnoy thing sucked. He spat in the face of accountability.

Deadspin’s “field trip” doesn’t broach the same zip code as Barstool’s recent actions. The site’s previous tactics have been questionable, nonetheless. And this was an example of going for Stern-esq shock value over good content. And that’s fine. But, Deadspin will always be Star Magazine as long as they pull stunts like this.

One More Wrestling Reference

Grantland’s article on the demise of Ric Flair was overwhelming. Who has the time to read this? I’m the audience for this type of content, and I couldn’t get through it. I preferred Simmons’ ode to Macho Man Randy Savage. Ironically this is the last column updated on his old Sports Guy website.

He’s A BAD GUY, Mike

When the Albert Haynesworth deal went down, I quipped Tony Massarotti’s worrisome tone made it seem like he thought Fat Albert was going to go to his home and eat his family. Gerry Callahan offers a similar distaste for Haynesworth’s transgressions here.

The whole Haynesworth debate is interesting. It reminds me of how baseball writers subjectively decide – with individual sets of criteria – which players in the steroid era should get in the HOF. Callahan concedes he knows players already in the Boston market aren’t all humanitarians. I guess he is drawing the line at Haynesworth’s wrong-doings. Everyone has a breaking point. Dale Arnold’s is when Kevin Garnett swears on the basketball court. No one seemed to care about the Joe Corvo signing, because the Bruins won the cup, and that makes everything good, right? Meanwhile you, me, and your dog serenaded Wil Cordero with boos in Fenway for his criminal history.

I’m not saying it is fine to castigate one guy and not another. I’m not saying anyone has a moral agenda. I’m simply implying a lot of this opinion is subjective by nature. The line is arbitrary. I’m not a Fat Albert fan. He seems like a troubled dude, and lacks remorse. I also think Donte Stallworth made one REALLY bad decision, and he is not a terrible guy for it. So where are my values when stacked against Callahan? The central theme here is the power of the platform and deciding things – as a consumer – for yourself.

About Ryan Hadfield

Ryan Hadfield is the author of the weekly Sports Media Musings column at Sports Of Boston. Hadfield is known as one of the top sports media critics in Boston. He also contributes to Boston Sports Media Watch. In November 2011, Hadfield helped launch the new SoB Point Taken blog featuring his podcasts & musings on sports, media and culture. Follow Ryan on Twitter.

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