ESPN loves a good Tebow story, even more than a John Wall 47-point performance

No Wall, But Tebow

John Wall scored 47 points, but it’s not here (Photo: @recordsANDradio)

John Wall scored 47 points for the Washington Wizards on Monday night in the team’s 107-94 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. With that, “Wall is the first player to record at least 47 points, 8 assists and 7 rebounds in a game since LeBron James recorded 51 points, 8 assists and 11 rebounds on February 3, 2011 against the Magic,” according to ESPN Stats & Research notes in the game story.

But someone may have forgotten to relay that information on to’s front page news editors. Or perhaps the business model for “The Worldwide Leaders in Sports” calls for clicks and page views to sometimes come before the day’s biggest athletic accomplishments (this makes sense in some ways, but not necessarily if you want to be known as the best source for the latest top stories in sports—which ESPN and it’s parent company very well may not care about as much as maximum revenue).

As @recordsANDradio pointed out on Twitter with a picture of’s headlines, “there’s a Tebow story & no mention of John Wall’s 47/8/7 game.”

I found this amusing since, on Sunday night, I’d noticed a tweet from ESPN’s Darren Rovell about Tebow’s impromptu speech to an NCAA tournament team and made this comment:

And here ESPN was, 27 hours later, still plugging the Tebow story in the main headlines on their website, ahead of a great on-court performance by Wall.

Tebow generates clicks. I get it. And the Tebow speech was a unique event. But shouldn’t a big night on the basketball court come before a day-old story about a guy who attempted eight passes this past NFL season? And that’s not meant as a knock against Tebow.

I’m sure plenty of ESPN’s readers ate up that article about Tebow, which can translate into social sharing, more page views and ad revenue. I found the circumstances of the Tebow speech somewhat interesting myself when I saw Rovell’s tweet about it on Sunday.

But by Monday night, is a story like that from the day before more headline-worthy than one of the top player performances of the 2012-13 NBA season? And what does ESPN want to be known for?

Catholic University vs. Washington Wizards

Who will draw a bigger crowd at home tonight in DC, the NBA’s Washington Wizards as they host the Portland Trailblazers or Catholic University as they host Frostburg State? That was the topic discussed earlier on Twitter between 106.7 The Fan’s Sky Kerstein and Holden Kushner, who then provided the photo evidence:

NASCAR should fine Clint Bowyer the way the NBA did Kobe Bryant for his slur

NASCAR is looking far from impressive for the way they’ve handled an incident that occurred over the weekend, when driver Clint Bowyer said that opponent Jeff Gordon’s actions on the track made them and their fellow racers “all look like a bunch of retards.”

From’s Jeff Gluck:

After speaking with NASCAR officials about his part in a late-race crash and melee in Sunday’s AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix, Clint Bowyer was both angry and downtrodden over Jeff Gordon’s actions.

Bowyer, who still had an outside chance at winning the Sprint Cup Series championship entering the race, was taken out by Gordon in an act of blatant retaliation that set off a brawl between the teams.

Gordon’s retaliation, Bowyer said, “makes us all look like a bunch of retards.”

Bowyer apologized on Twitter for his use of the word and his message was less than fantastic:

I can’t imagine someone using unacceptable terms like “nigger,” “spic” or “faggot,” issuing an apology like that and it being found acceptable. Like the video at the bottom of this post explains (which is 100% worth taking 30 seconds to watch), “the R-word is the same as every minority slur…” and it needs to be treated that way.

Last year, the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for using the gay slur “faggot” during a game. I’m not sure why NASCAR isn’t slapping Bowyer with a similar punishment for his insult. He was fined nothing at all by NASCAR for his actions Sunday.

Whenever someone in the spotlight uses the r-word, there’s often discussion about whether it’s really an inappropriate thing to say, since long ago it was an acceptable term for the intellectually disabled. But when people use the word the way Bowyer did, they’re not expressing it as a medical concept from a bygone era or in delicate talks about the issue; they’re using it as an insult.

The n-word wasn’t always considered a derogatory term, but it’s far from appropriate today. The r-word has gone through an evolution as well and the hurt it carries should be clear to people by now, or getting extremely close to it.

In the reader comments for a Sporting News article, “Clint Bowyer ripped by NASCAR fans for using R-word in interview,” many are pointing out that we’ve become too “politically correct” and are “over-sensitive.” But what these people fail to realize is that this isn’t about them.

There’s also a comment on that article from a father saying, “Maybe people are a bit over delicate as some have said but my son, a special needs child and MWR fan was DEVASTATED beyond belief when he heard Clint say that. That’s hard to take as a parent. There is not excuse and the 140 character or less tweeted apology didn’t seem to help when I read it to my son.”

Those who see no harm in Boyer’s words need to open their eyes to the fact that there are people with special needs who are offended by the inappropriate use of the word retarded (there’s been an entire campaign built around this). Isn’t this enough for everyone to consider its inappropriate use unacceptable, the same way other slurs are not tolerated by those with any decency?

Bowyer should have issued a more serious apology that didn’t say anything about how he “was so focused on not saying the F or the A word.” And NASCAR should be sending a message that it won’t tolerate the use of slurs, just as the NBA did with Bryant.

Until NASCAR takes action, they look just as bad as Bowyer.


There are no lockouts in kickball

There are no lockouts in kickballThat’s part of our new WAKA Kickball fall marketing campaign. Like it? Head to this link below and give it a Retweet please.!/WAKA_Kickball/status/101304390098485248

Did LeBron’s PR Team Drop the Ball?

I’m tight on time, so this is a quick one…

Yesterday, I discovered through an article on that LeBron James’ TV special “The Decision”—during which he’ll announce who he’ll play for next season—has a charity angle to it. Apparently, a big part of the decision to have a TV special was so that they could sell advertising to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of America.

As the article states it:

Sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard that representatives for James contacted the network, proposing the idea of a dedicated special. The sources said James’ representatives requested they be allowed to sell sponsorship for the broadcast, and ESPN agreed.

“Due to the unprecedented attention and interest surrounding LeBron’s decision, we have decided to make this announcement on national television,” James’ business manager, Maverick Carter, said on “By doing so we have generated funds that will be given to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. LeBron has a longstanding commitment to giving back to the community, and has worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs in cities across the country.”

The problem is, not enough people seem to know this leading up to tonight’s TV special. The public is very much aware of the event but, without knowing about the charity piece and that motivation for doing the special, it just looks like LeBron needs his ego stroked and that a standard press conference isn’t good enough for him.

It seems LeBron’s PR team has a messaging problem. I’m not familiar with the press release they sent out promoting the event but, if it led with the charity angle, that part of their pitch is getting lost. And if they didn’t lead with the charity, they should have.

At this point, even if they promote the charity angle during the event, there are some people who will never become aware of that. They just heard LeBron is having a TV special to make his announcement about who he’ll play for next season, thought that sounded ridiculous and lost interest. Follow-up PR can be done to promote the Boys and Girls Club and how much money was raised, but it seems the charity part of the event could have been promoted much better from the start.

Caps & Wizards fans, Verizon FiOS has “solution for the ‘over flow’ games”

Here’s some promising news on the Verizon FiOS/CSN+ situation

I’ve been exchanging messages with Verizon Director of Product Management Joseph Ambeault on Twitter over the past week and on Friday afternoon he said: “Caps & Wizards fans – you have been heard & we have a solution for the ‘over flow’ games – hustling implementation plan.”

Those are the only details I have from them at this time, but I will post any updates I get.

According to the schedules on each team’s website, the next game that is set to air on CSN+ is Saturday, December 12 for the Caps, when they play at Toronto, and Friday, December 18 for the Wizards, when they play at Golden State.

12/11/09 Update — as I’ve noted in the comments below, a Verizon official has said that the affected FiOS customers will not have CSN+ in time for this Saturday (12/12/09) night’s Caps game in Toronto.

Further updates have been posted in the comments below.

Previous posts on the FiOS/CSN+ issue:
11/18/09 – Verizon Fios Frustrating Some Caps Fans in D.C. Area
11/19/09 – An update on the Verizon FiOS & CSN+ situation
11/24/09 – FiOS Update…Why Some Get Two MASNs But Not Two CSNs