It’s Out of the Question: And now some random acts of fact checking …

Fishing around on the Internet today — not catfishing, just to be clear — we found this note in the Nov. 5, 2012 issue of Sports Illustrated, under the headline of “Random Act of Kindness:”

“When a mutual friend told him about Bridget Smith, a 12-year-old Notre Dame fan who was dying of a brain tumor, Fighting Irish linebacker Manti Te’o — whose girlfriend died of leukemia last month — composed an emotional e-mail to the girl’s parents, who read it to her just before she passed away. ‘It was just a bright spot on the saddest day of our lives,’ said Louise Smith.”

The note is credited to an editor at the magazine, who, today, probably wishes it wasn’t.

Presumably, that information was drawn from what was called a “Fox Sports Exclusive,” written by’s Greg Couch on Oct. 25, 2012, about this little girl from Detroit. picked up on the story and applauded it. The story so moved the publishers of American Athlete magazine that they made Te’o its “Athlete of the Week” for Nov. 30.

Go to Couch’s story online, by the way, and you’ll find it was “updated” at 7:21 p.m. on Wednesday.

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Weekly media column version 01.18.13

What made it into the contents of this week’s media column: How the NHL can rebuild its image through TV coverage, starting with the Kings’ banner-raising ceremony Saturday, plus an update on Doug Gottlieb’ new CBS Sports Net run and more Lance Armstrong media fallout.

What didn’t but could have if the space was more spacious:

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Lance, Oprah: LOL

If Lance Armstrong was supposed to be coming clean, why do we feel the need to shower after this?

Maybe the tears will come in Part 2 Friday. But any remorse that viewers might have expected from the disgraced seven-time Tour de France cyclists were not to be found in the opening act of tonight’s 90-minute interview with a surprisingly tenacious-at-times performance by Oprah Winfrey.

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Got Gottlieb? Got a minute …

Some days, you Google yourself up a menu of Doug Gottlieb and you’re not certain if by some mistake you’ve stumbled onto Gilbert Gottfried.

He’s a couple weeks into his new CBS Sports Radio gig, manning the noon-to-3 p.m. slot behind Jim Rome, but the things that have drawn the most reaction for Gottlieb lately are his “CBS Sports Minute” updates that are inserted during the day on various affiliates.

So, without an outlet in L.A., what are we missing?

The purpose is to give a quick take on a topical subject. And, in turn, a reaction to it. Monday, Gottlieb made a comparison to Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez experiencing his first NFL playoff victory to when former Laker A.C. Green finally had his first sexual experience after years of abstinence. jumped on it and referenced it as a “media meltdown.” It provided a platform for immediate Gottlieb bashing, which was to be expected.

Gottlieb explained that the Gonzalez-Green comparison was “more tongue-in-cheek than anything and some fail to see the sense of humor in it.” He understands there’s “a little ‘gotcha’ factor to it – someone hears something and if they like or don’t like you, they try to say something outlandish, so they overreact.”

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Q-and-A: Dick Vermeil’s role in educating NFL-ready players isn’t all that emotionally draining

Dick Vermeil gets the Gatorade treatment after leading his squad to victory in the first NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

On any given Sunday, Dick Vermeil could be in the Napa Valley working at his winery, or near his home in Chester County, Penn., restoring some his father’s old race cars.

This week, he happens to be in Carson, working with college football players who may not be ripe enough to become high-round NFL draft picks, but have the mechanics to have some kind of future in the game as a professional.

The 76-year-old former UCLA head coach who parlayed a victory over No. 1 Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl into 15 years of NFL head coaching with Philadelphia, St. Louis and Kansas City will coach the one of the two rosters of seniors who are NFL-draft eligible in Saturday’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl at the Home Depot Center. It’s the second year that the league’s players association has sponsored the game, which may not yet attract the A-listers who gravitate to the Senior Bowl or East-West Shrine exhibitions, but tries to offer more in education than just physical evaluation.

Some of the players invited are projected to be fifth-to-seventh round draft selections. Vermeil, who coached the winning squad last season, coaches the National roster that includes quarterback Dayne Crist, the former Notre Dame High quarterback who went to play for Charlie Weis at both the University of Notre Dame and Kansas, as well as UCLA safety Andrew Abbott, linebacker Damien Holmes and defensive tackle Donovan Carter. Those three Bruins will have a chance to tackle former teammate, tailback David Allen, who is on the American roster, coached by Herm Edwards.

Some of the practice sessions are televised on ESPNU (Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30-to-3:30 p.m.) prior to Saturday’s game (3 p.m., ESPN2).

Prior to collecting his coaching staff together for the first time, Vermeil talked about how this all works into a win-win situation for all involved:

QUESTION: What would benefit someone playing in this game versus some of the other college all-star games?
The NFLPA’s whole approach to this is a little different. Yes, it is to give the players an opportunity to display their wares to the NFL, but it’s also to give them an introductory course on how to live your life as an NFL player, what problems to expect, how to solve them. The NFLPA is very serious about this orientation approach.

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