Weekly media column version 05.03.13 — The first column on a Friday about this week’s coverage of the first semi-active male player on a major sports team deciding to come out

Jason Collins, left, explains himself again to George Stephanopoulos during an interview Monday in L.A. that aired Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” (AP Photo/ABC, Eric McCandless)

What made it into this week’s sports media column: The news cycle on Jason Collins’ sexual orientation announcement seems to have pushed on to other pressing issues. But what did we learn from this revelation that says more about how the media believes it has to operate rather than giving some proper perspective to what actually happened?

What ended up missing from action in today’s column:

== How did SI get the story on Collins’ coming out announcement? Agent Arn Tellem tells all to the Sports Business Daily — it’s all about relationships and orchestration:  “When I was told by Jason in March that he was gay, we had a series of discussions about how this would be handled,” he said to writer Liz Mullen. “I had a long standing friendship with (writer) Franz (Lidz). I have known him since I was a child. We both grew up in the same neighborhood in Philadelphia. He is a fabulous writer, one of the best out there, and I knew I could trust him. … Ultimately, we agreed to do it with Sports Illustrated for a couple of reasons. They agreed to two conditions I had. One, that I wouldn’t tell them the player’s name. That had to remain confidential until the time of the interview. And two, what was appealing to using Sports Illustrated was the fact that Jason could write a personal piece, in his own words, which I thought was the best way — and so did Jason — for him to make this announcement. …  We decided to wait until after the season. And … he wanted to control the way the message was delivered, not somebody else.”

== Is this really a fireable offense?

== A vote for Mike Breen, best sportscaster working today.

== What’s so wrong with this bloody front page?

== The SEC’s new 20-year agreement with ESPN to have it launch its own league-wide network starting in 2014 steps in line with what the Big Ten and Pac-12 have already done. For the time being, only AT&T U-verse is on board. Some reaction here from Forbes.com

== We had a problem with the movie “42″ where screenwriter and director Brian Helgeland depicts Red Barber clapping for a climactic Jackie Robinson home run.We just tried to make a bigger deal about it, not to distract from the overall performance. Thankfully, someone else has circled back to write about it now that the honeymoon period has ended: “Having met Barber a couple times, I’m afraid he would have been unhappy to see this misrepresentation of him,”  writes special columnist David J. Halberstam for Bleacher Report, who also points out other mistakes made in the movie regarding the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster and Vin Scully mentor.

== The reconstituted AVP pro beach volleyball tour announced a deal with CBS Sports Net to carry the men’s and women’s championships of all five tour stops this summer, with CBS Interactive streaming the prelims on AVP.com. In its previous form, the AVP was a 20-plus stop tour each summer with the world’s best players, striking a deal with NBC for regular coverage — including key stops in Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach, which lead to the network featuring it during the Summer Olympics every four years. But with that tour’s demise due to financing, the new version is trying to take smaller steps to keep the brand alive with a five-event tour that starts Aug 16-18 in Salt Lake City and ends Oct. 19-20 in Huntington Beach. The tour hasn’t had a TV deal since 2010. High-profile players such as Kerri Walsh Jennings, Phil Dalhausser, Tod Rogers, Jen Kessy, April Ross, Sean Rosenthal and Nicole Branaugh has signed deals to play in the AVP events.

== Fox NASCAR pre-race analyst Michael Waltrip will compete in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 from Talladega (Channel 11, 9 a.m.). His brother, Darrell Waltrip, will be part of the race coverage with Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds.

== Fox has Joe Buck, Tim McCarver and Ken Rosenthal in Anaheim for the Angels-Orioles game (Channel 11, 1 p.m.), going to 39 percent of the country.

== Fox also has Gus Johnson calling Sunday’s Manchester United-Chelsea game from Old Trafford (Channel 11, 7:30 a.m.). Wondering about what kind of reviews has Johnson garnished lately for his work on Euro kickball?

== And finally: In 1981, Rhonda Glenn became an anchor for ESPN “SportsCenter,” the first fulltime female sports anchor in network television history, two years into the network’s existence. She works in communications for the United States Golf Association, but is retiring next month. Here’s her story.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email
  • Chilibreath

    I’m not exactly a devout Christian, but this came up in an email I received:

    Tim Tebow: “I’m a Christian.”
    Media: “Keep it to yourself.”
    The President: Nothing

    Jason Collins: “I’m gay.”
    Media: “This man’s a hero!”
    The President: Personal Phone Call Congratulating Him