Our (real) Daily Dread: One big sorry sh*%storm of sorriness

I don’t make monkeys, I just train ’em: Mark Whicker, Melanie Oudin’s tennis coach and those who make decision about NFL blackouts.

Sorry, sorry, sorry.

And you’ll be sorry Pee-wee Herman. Someday.


Those three things (minus Mr. Herman) are linked only in the sports world today because fans are subjected to some unnecessary head-shaking, wondering if Bizarro world had come upon us on 09/09/09.

The day after, we still wonder what happened.

In brief:

== Mark Whicker, the Orange County Register columnist for the last 20-plus years and frequent guest on ESPN’s “Jim Rome Is Burning,” wrote a piece for Tuesday’s paper about … you know, we’re not even going to go there. Even in our warped mind, we never made a connection between a kid abducted at 11, raped for 18 years and suddenly found, and the sports world she missed. The reaction to it was swift and painful. His apology for it was at first bewilderment at such a backlash, then the realization that he probably disconnected from his audience.

*The original column (linked here)

*The apology (linked here)

They say in the news biz that if you can get a reaction out of the audience — good or bad — you’ve done your job. Congrats to Mark on this one. He broke the bank.

The real curious thing is: How did editors let this get into print and online? The desk crew at the newspaper is something of a luxury to those bloggers who are self-propelled idiots capable of shooting themselves in the mouth repeatedly because of the lack of an outside filter that helps decide what’s in good taste and what isn’t (and I take this moment to thank all of those over the years who’ve done this for me — you know who you are).

Why this even made it past some supposed clear-minded editors is another example of perhaps cutting corners in the newspaper world leads to these kind of problems. Just read the list of “corrections” in the newspaper front section each day. It’s almost comical how the checks and balances departments just aren’ there as more and more news get shoveled into the paper and online without proper roadblocks to prevent embarassment.

It’s on the writer for producing such a flamable subject matter to try to incorporate into a sports column. It’s up to the editors for stopping it before it becomes an unnecessary firestorm.

Pass the hose and call in the planes dropping that red stuff. There’s a mess to clean up in the O.C.

And thanks to Fang’s Bites for bringing this story, and more reaction, to the surface (linked here).


== Melanie Oudin is the 17-year-old who sprinted through the U.S. Open women’s draw before finally losing Wednesday. Then SI.com reported that more than a year ago, her father filed for divorce from her mother because she had an affair with her coach.

The Los Angeles Times has a poll up now on its staff blog site:
Does the public have the right to know about this? Vote in today’s poll, then leave a comment letting us know why you voted the way you did. An overwhelming majority have voted “no” to this.

Maybe the better question is: Does the public have a need to know? It puts into context, in some crazy way, just how crazy her performance was, considering all the stress this must have put on her. It’s public records, this divorce proceeding. Scandal for scandal’s sake isn’t beneficial for society. In this case — and you really have to take these on a case-by-case basis — the backstory really does make the accomplish all that more newsworthy.

We just wonder if SI.com had been waiting to drop that news, or would it have held it another day or two if she had kept winning. There’s the angle of the story we want.
Sorry we had to bring that up. Would have loved to hear how mom and dad explained this one to the kid.


== NFL blackouts are going to be a problem this season. The economy, supposedly, is to blame.

Sorry, that excuse is lame-o lame.

Reports a while back that at least 12 teams are in serious problems selling games out so that the local TV market can see the game live raised some eyebrows, but because L.A. has no such problems any more — hurray for us — this is one of those “other guy’s” problems. This is the benefit, we’ve learned, of living in a non-NFL town.
The San Diego Chargers, for example, could go the whole season without selling out a game, the league worries. And L.A. doesn’t.

But there are teams, in cities such as Pittsburgh and New England, that don’t seem affected by this “economy” thing. They’ve figured out how to fill the stands, even if ticket prices are ridiculous in other parts of the country.

We’re not buying this economical “economy” excuse, although we are painfully aware of its repercussions.

The NFL needs to be a little more forgiving in its blackout policy this season, especially with all the home openers. That 72-hour rule that starts to smack teams today will likely be pushed and pushed until the opening kickoff scramble to get it resolved.

The NFL Network’s RedZone channel, and DirecTV’s RedZone Channel that used to be connected to it’s pricey “NFL Sunday Ticket” but now stands alone because of recent tug-o-war proceedings from cable companies, has live in-game reports on all the contests. But that’s really not enough.

The NFL announced today that games blacked out in home markets will be available on NFL.com in their entirety — but only on a delayed basis, starting at midnight on the day of the game, and they’re only available for 72 hours.

How does that fix the stress of fan disconnect?

“We understand that the economy is limiting some families and corporations from buying as many game tickets as they had previously,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. “These free re-broadcasts on NFL.com will allow our fans that can’t get to a blacked-out game an opportunity to see the entire game.”

Thanks for the cold left-overs and the fake Band-Aid on this one. We’ll just get the 2-minutes worth of highlights on the 11 o’clock news.

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  • gregb

    The Whicker story and aftermath takes away the “authority” of the “conventional” (or MSM) that it is superior to bloggers because of the editing and review process of professional “journalists and editors” that are supposedly in place within the newspaper medium. Yes, sometimes there is review. But not always perfect…even with time on its side.