The Media Learning Curve: What was the name of that old ESPN show, “Beg, Borrow and .. Steal”?


It was actually “Beg, Borrow and Deal,” (still linked here) a sort of a scavenger hunt where teams had to complete a list of sports-related stuff in an “The Amazing Race” sort of frenetic pace and then appear to host Rich Eisen (circa 2002 and ’03) with their bounty at the end to claim their prize.

If it was called “Beg, Borrow or Steal,” then maybe there would have been some copyright infringement on a phrase that everyone uses (talk to Pat Riley about how that works). Or, the creative twist was that, since everyone knew that the word “steal” was implied in the title, they changed it to “deal” because . . . what does it matter, the show only lasted parts of two years.

Eisen, by the way, has a prized possession arrive in L.A. this week (linked here), but that’s a whole other messy topic. The only begging he’s had to do was explain to his current spouse why this former workmate once sent him photos of her in skimpy clothing.

The topic we’d like to embolden ourselves with — is “Shaq Vs.” (linked here) really his reality idea? Or course it’s not. So who really came up with the plan for this “fish out of water” scenario — the pro athlete competes against another pro athlete in their sport? Stevie Nash? Todd Gallagher? David, from the Old Testament?

Our column today (linked here) has more context.

For the record, this email came in this morning from a New York talent agency, asking if we could include this information:

“Steve is a good guy and was a fantastic teammate. He has made great contributions as an Executive Producer on “Shaq Vs. and we are all excited about the show,” said Shaquille O’Neal.

As Steve Nash told the Arizona Republic: “We collaborated on parts of the show,” he said. “I support him 100 percent. I thought the first episode was a fantastic episode, and I can’t wait for the next one.”

Sure, that’ll fly.

By the way, Petros Papadakis was in the running to host this charade. Mike Goldberg, who’s been involved in pro beach volleyball broadcasting, got the job as the host, with Pat Tomasulo and sideline candy Charissa Thompson.

Todd Gallagher, when contacted about his involvement in a lawsuit claiming some credit for this show’s idea, had no comment, but we also found this unsourced story on (linked here) that gives more background.

More media stuff to borrow from other sources that can be presented as original material:

== Bob Costas has a sit-down with Jim Bouton airing on the MLB Network (Sunday, 5 p.m.) that gets into the near 40th anniversary of his book, “Ball Four.” Bouton says on why he wrote it: “I really wanted to share the fun in baseball. That was my purpose for writing it. It wasn’t really a tell-all book. I didn’t have racial comments, all the sexy stories are anonymous. It really was a great environment to be part of, a Major League Baseball team. I got lucky, I was with the right bunch of guys and I kept good notes. … (1970) was a time in our history where people were questioning things, questioning authority, doing things in different ways. You had the Vietnam War, you had men landing on the moon that year, and it [the Seattle Pilots] was a wonderful team. It was an expansion team, the Seattle Pilots. These guys were getting to know each other because they haven’t played with each other. They were always telling stories about their careers and I was sitting there with my notepad.”

A Q-and-A we did with Bouton recently (linked here).


== When ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 launches its Little League World Series coverage today, check out “reporter” Moises Arias. With Brent Musburger and Orel Hershiser doing the main-game action, the 15-year-old Arias is an actor who, according to the press release, plays “the popular ‘Rico’ character on Disney’s ‘Hannah Montana’ show.” And he was in “Nacho Libre.” And he used to attend grade school in Sherman Oaks.
And he stars in an upcoming movie, “The Perfect Game,” about a team from Mexico that became the first non-U.S. squad to win the Little League World Series in 1957. The film was supposed to have come out by now, but the studio (LionsGate) has pushed it back for some mysterous reasons – maybe because it’s obvious that kids these days aren’t interested in watching anything Little League-related in August.
All 32 games of the tourney will be on either ESPN2, ESPN or ABC, starting with four games today and five Saturday (the U.S. team from the West is represented by Chula Vista).
And by the way, the official name is now “The Little League World Series Presented by Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Reduced Sugar.” Moms will be happier with that. The final is Sunday, Aug. 30 at noon.

== The MLB.TV offers the rest of the regular season live or in demand for $34.95 (go to this link for more info).

== Versus starts a Tuesday night sports business show hosted by Rick Horrow called “The $ports Take,” starting next week (various times, including 3:30 p.m., repeated at 1 p.m. on Wednesday) and sandwiched around stuff like “Wacked Out Sports,” “Sports Soup” and “Fanarchy.” Episode one includes Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones showing off his new stadium.


== NBC’s post-Madden existence as an NFL broadcaster will go to at least 2013, and then we’ll see what’s worth what.
The network’s decision to extend its NFL deal two more years and continue the Sunday Night package (with the 2012 Super Bowl), the opening night event and the wildcard weekend means the Peacock is in line with CBS, Fox, ESPN and DirecTV — all will expire in 2013 — and NBC will be paying about $600 million a year, same as Fox and CBS.
The most important part of this deal could be NBC’s ability to continue streaming all of its Sunday night games on and, adding four other camera angles and giving users the ability to pause, rewind and slow the speed of the video.
It can only open the door for the NFL to do similiar things with its other broadcast partners — and make the product easier accessable to all, as if it already isn’t.



== Boston Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy returns to NESN coverage of the team’s games starting with tonight’s game against the Yankees at Fenway Park.


The 56-year-old former Angels second baseman (’75-’77) who became an All-Star with the Red Sox in his first year with the team (’78) and stuck around until ’84, took a leave of absence in late May to recover from cancer surgery and a battle with depression.
Remy told the Boston Globe that he was glad he was able to do a pregame show last Wednesday before returning to the booth tonight.
“To get all this personal stuff out of the way I think was a great thing for me last week. But it is a little bit uncomfortable. You know I’m not a player, I’m just a broadcaster. To have that much attention put on you it means people care about you.”
Remy began broadcasting Red Sox games for NESN in 1988.


Meanwhile, 63-year-old Nick Charles, the former CNN sports anchor and current Showtime boxing analyst (since 2001) is taking time off for treatment of stage four urothelial carcinoma, or bladder cancer. He started treatment last week at the University of Texas. “Like a fighter, just give me one round at a time and I’ll eventually win,” he said in a statement. “I have a positive attitude, a strong Christian faith, and an amazing support system especially within the boxing family.” Charles has a wife, Cory, a 3-year-old daughter, Giovanna, and three grown children from a previous marriage. Contact Charles at

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