Any time “New England Patriots” and “videotaping” are in a story, the team’s ugly past with the “Spygate” scandal is going to be revived. A video crew hired by the Patriots to film an advance scout for their “Do Your Job” series was seen filming the Cincinnati Bengals on the field and sideline, dredging up this stuff all over again.
On Thursday’s WISE Sports Radio segment, Pat Ryan, Mike Gore, and I talk about that, Le’Veon Bell and the New York Jets, two Heisman Trophy-winning Oklahoma quarterbacks facing each other, and the Thursday Night Football game between the Jets and Baltimore Ravens.
The 2019-20 baseball offseason is already much more exciting and interesting than it was a year ago, when transactions and activity were virtually frozen until Bryce Harper and Manny Machado signed. And that didn’t happen until late February, when teams had already reported to spring training camps.
Meanwhile, the NFL and NBA make free agency an event which fans and media follow with excitement. MLB still isn’t there, but at least top free agents like Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg are now signing in December as expected. Baseball’s winter meetings — essentially the sport’s signature offseason event — is meaningful again.
Cole’s nine-year, $324 million (!!) contract with the New York Yankees was the main topic for Wednesday’s WISE Sports Radio baseball segment with Pat Ryan:
Shortly before our Monday baseball segment on WISE Sports Radio, Stephen Strasburg re-signing with the Washington Nationals hit the news machine. It’s an encouraging start to baseball’s winter meetings, which has traditionally been where big offseason news occurs but has been disappointingly quiet the past couple of years.
Pat Ryan and I also discussed the Modern Era Committee’s inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller. Not as flashy or controversial as last year, when Harold Baines was voted in. Miller, in particular, has been long deserving for his role in forever changing baseball’s economics.
On Tuesday’s WISE Sports Radio segment, news of the Carolina Panthers firing head coach Ron Rivera was raw and fresh so we got to that right away. Two days later, we’re on to the aftermath. What kind of coach will Panthers owner David Tepper seek as a replacement?
We also discuss Terrelle Pryor being arraigned in light of his stabbing, some Week 14 storylines to watch, and Thursday Night Football‘s match-up between the Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears.
Though it’s definitely part of the cultural conversation right now, I don’t know if I would’ve watched The Irishman over the Thanksgiving holiday if I hadn’t been asked to review it for Mountain Xpress. And would I have seen it at a local theater knowing that I could watch it at home on Netflix?
Considering how long the movie is, I’m grateful that Edwin Arnaudin gave the OK for a longer review in Mountain Xpress. Here’s an excerpt:
“[…] the true achievement is De Niro’s performance, the best work he’s done in many years. Sheeran is torn between friends (and family) and those who provide him a life he never could have imagined, and De Niro makes that emotional pain palpable.
“But perhaps the greatest acting surprise is Pesci, more reserved and quietly powerful than he’s ever been. (Pacino gets all the histrionics, portraying Hoffa’s outsized, bombastic personality.) Russell doesn’t bend people to his will by yelling, punching people or smashing things. He simply wields the fear of what happens to those who cross him or don’t show respect.”
Normally, I do baseball segments Monday and Wednesday on WISE Sports Radio. But Pat Ryan and I got our times mixed up on Monday, and Pat’s taking Wednesday off. So we did a longer mash-up segment on Tuesday with NFL and college football talk before touching on some baseball topics and doing a movie review.
News of the Carolina Panthers firing head coach Ron Rivera broke shortly before my segment, so Pat, Charlie Metcalf, and I started there first. Then we discussed my Awful Announcing interview with Toledo sportscaster Jordan Strack, who went viral when his question offended Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh. We closed out with the Pittsburgh Pirates hiring Derek Shelton as their new manager and conversation on A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.
I’m a big fan of Brad Marley’s newsletter, which talks about writing and storytelling — notably from a marketing and corporate perspective. How companies tell their story is important in reaching clients and customers, and Brad has talked to a variety of writers about their work.
I suppose my writing fulfills a similar purpose, whether it’s for the outlets I work for or in promoting my own ventures, such as The Podcass and the Casselbloggy, my social media accounts and the LST Media shingle I’ve hung out for those endeavors.
So I was surprised and excited when Brad wanted to interview me for his newsletter and talk about, as he put it, the media niche I’m trying to create for myself. (It’s very niche.)