Only 12 make the cut for the 2010 Dubious Dozen of the Sports Media, which we are compiling again for its annual post-Thanksgiving Day appearance on Friday.
A hint: Jim Gray and Jay Mariotti have stupidity in common. As do Hannah Storm, Oprah Winfrey and Inez Sainz.
Just a couple months after he was voted into the broadcaster’s wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame, ESPN decided not to rehire “Sunday Night Baseball” play-by-play man Jon Miller.
Ridiculously, that didn’t make the list.
Neither did KNBC-Channel 4 sportscaster Fred Roggin, who earlier this month refused to show highights, or even give the final score, of the San Francisco Giants’ clinching the World Series, saying he was going to make it as “painless as possible” for Dodgers fans — and instead showed highlights from the Clippers’ game and some high-school football from the previous week.
Nor did the NFL Network, which hired Joe Theismann to help call its Thursday night games.
Inexplicably, these also missed out, but are worth bringing up here to get you in the right frame of mind:
The culprit: The NBA.
The crime: In January, after the league suspended Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas for pretending to shoot his teammates with his fingers pointed in the form of a gun, NBA officials asked Getty Images, which distributes photos taken by the league-paid photographers, to remove the picture that had been taken of Arenas in the act.
The picture had already been available and posted on many websites.
After receiving media inquiries about the photo, Getty called the NBA back. The league agreed to make it available again.
An NBA spokesman said the photo “was taken down because we thought the actions depicted in the photo were insensitive given the circumstances. Upon the request of news organizations, we made the photo available for their editorial use and it will remain available.”
The aftermath: Bridget Russel, a spokeswoman for Getty Images, told the New York times that the NBA’s contract with its company means that “it was their photographer and they own the copyright. It’s their right to pull the image.”
As well as try to erase something that they didn’t want to happen.
A STRIKER STRIKES
The culprit: Asma Halimi, a female reporter for Algerian newspaper Competition.
The crime: After the U.S. defeated Algeria 1-0 during the World Cup in July, Algerian soccer player Rafik Saifi took out his frustration on Halimi — he slapped her on his way to the locker.
Halimi hit him back, in the mouth.
She said she did nothing to provoke him, after “he reached over and hit me, so I hit him back,” she told a reporter for Yahoo.com.
“I wrote an article about him some time ago, maybe he did not like it,” she admitted.
The aftermath: Halimi filed a complaint with FIFA, but there was no public punishment announced against Saifi.
Halimi later told an Algerian news organization that Saifi had threatened to kill her, and he had slapped her once before.
Salon.com reported that a year ago, Halimi published a translation of an interview Saifi did with an Arabic paper, revealing his engagement to a French woman. Given that Algeria and its formal colonial master France have a sensitive relationship, Saifi was probably trying to keep that information out of the Algerian press.
COWBOYS BACK UP
The culprit: The Dallas Cowboys.
The crime: As if a 1-7 start to the season wasn’t back enough, the Cowboys forgot to renew their online domain name — DallasCowboys.com. According to the Dallas Morning News, the site went dormant in early November and was replace with a generic page that said the name was available to purchase. Once the Cowboys figured it out and renewed, it took 48 hours for Internet servers to recognize the renewal.
“As a result, fans visiting the website eager for news about the Cowboys’ flop in Green Bay and the status of head coach Wade Phillips were greeted with a stock image of two kids playing soccer,” the News reported.
The aftermath: ComScore research shows that DallasCowboys.com is the second-most-popular NFL website behind only the league’s main page.
The culprit: Mike Bacsik
The crime: The former major league pitcher (he gave up Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 756th home run) who produced Norm Hitzges’ Dallas-based radio show found himself in a bar watching the Mavericks lose to the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA playoffs. Apparently having had too much to drink he tweeted about “dirty Mexicans in San Antonio” and blowing up the NBA offices.
The next day, he was fired.
The aftermath: He’s still unemployed. “Maybe things happen for a reason,” Bacsik told the Dallas Morning News.