Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fantasy football, and the death of my social life

I will start out by saying that neither article was as awesome as I had thought it was going to be, but that's neither here, nor there, nor anywhere.

In the article written by John Fortunato, I saw a lot of fancy words, math, and numbers. This could only mean one of two things... Either Sabre Metrics, or fantasy sports! I never played fantasy sports until this year, and boy has it taken a toll. But in a good way, I guess. Before Fantasy football, I used to just watch football and root for the greatest franchise ever, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now, I get to watch them, AND root for individual players, so I can crush my loser friends' teams. The Nadal Wedgie Express has beaten many teams this year, and as Fortunato suggests, it has increased my viewership.

Last year I never would have cared how many yards Arian Foster or CJ2K had, now, I'm all over it. It really is a cool experience to sit down and feel like an All-Star team manager, unless you suck at it and end up in the basement. I think Fortunato's idea of the networks choosing their schedule based on fantasy players is a good idea. The only problem would be the lack of Buccaneers on tv.

The second article, I wasn't really sure what the study was supposed to prove. It seems pretty obvious to me, unless I'm completely wrong (which the author points out I'm not), that when you participate in fantasy leagues, you consume and participate more in social networking and sports news consumption.

I will say, after reading Foltzy's blog post, I am quite pleased with his picks. He knows what he is talking about, as he's 4-2 on the semester. And 1-0 when he picks the Bucs. Keep on keepin on.

-Ean Dunn

Bellino fantasy sports

Well first and foremost I would like to thank Steve for his “expert” advice on what teams my money should be riding on this weekend.

 This week’s articles are based on fantasy football and the way it dominates today’s society. People become obsessive over their fantasy teams and the pride that winning brings them. Fantasy sports, football in particular have sky-rocketed in popularity ever since the inventions of rotisserie baseball, which ESPN’s 30 for 30 series did an hour long special on.

When it comes to the media’s coverage of sports because of an individual player’s impact the change in the past few years has been drastic to say the least. ESPN, CBS and just about any other website that covers sports now have their own individual pages just dedicated to fantasy games where people get the opportunity to own their own team, and the decisions made by said owner decide whose wins and loses money,  if that’s how the league is run. Each of the media outlets listed above also have their own fantasy “experts” who host shows that run from half an hour to an hour, telling the owners who to start and who to sit for that given week. The fact that these outlets are dedicating an individual solely for fantasy sports goes to show how important these games are in the public’s eyes.

The articles talk about how the more time one spends on fantasy sports the more knowledgeable that person will be in the given sport. If you want to be the best at a fantasy sport you are checking your leagues several times a day and it becomes a borderline obsession. Whether or not these leagues are good for the sport as a whole or for society will be an interesting talking point for our class, but for now I have to go edit my lineup before tomorrow night’s NFL game.
Week 9 Picks
Thursday Night: Chargers (-7.5) over Chiefs
Gerbec or Green? Holmes or Larry Johnson? Wait these guys do not play for the chiefs anymore? Will Dante Hall be returning kicks for them this time? Oh no I am stuck in the past when the Chiefs were not a joke. Although I think the Chargers might also be a joke, I think they are much less of one. Chargers NEEED this one badly, and I think they will get it at home.

Sunday's Games
Bengals (+3.5) over Broncos
Bengals off the bye should come back strong. Like taking the points at home against a Broncos team that has come off with two wins against not so impressive looking teams. I'll take the points here.

Packers (-11) over Cardinals
Going to give the Packers another shot at covering a double digit spread. Although their defense is no where near as good as the 49ers, Cardinals are back down to Earth, and Rodgers should tear them apart. If Nelson plays, laying all those points seems a bit easier.

Colts (+2.5) over Dolphins
Dolphins have a solid defense and Matt Moore played very well stepping in for the injured Tannehill. Although it looks like the rookie will be back this week, he isn't offensively enough to match Luck. I love Luck at home. Their defense is not terrific, but they should be able to help keep the game close for Luck and company. Luck has to win this one through the air as Miami's run defense is the best in the league. Luck gets it done at home. Take the Moneyline cough cough.

Ravens (-.3.5) over Browns
Ravens are elite, and should win this one comfortably. Browns may be a little better than their record suggests, but after the bye, I'll take Ray Rice and company to beat their division opponents. Browns beat a struggling Chargers team that they were statistically favored to cover. Can't find the trend that says an elite team in the NFL will lose on the road in this one.

Texans (-10.5) over Bills
Line perhaps could not be high enough. Texans best team in the AFC, with a strong defense. Should be able to come up with the stops that allow for a double digit win. Although I normally hate giving so many points, not worried about this one.

Redskins (-3) over Panthers
RG3. RG3. RG3. Cam Newton? Frustrated quarterback, coming off yet another lose. They did not play terribly against the Bears who have a much better defense than the Redskins do. High scoring game, that RG3 comes out on top of.

Lions (-.3.5) over Jaguars
Lions offense finally showed up and so did their quarterback. Jaguars amongst the worst teams in the league. Brunell likely to come in this one and hand off to Fred Taylor for a chance at a backdoor cover. Look out for Jimmy Smith available in 100% of your fantasy leagues to have a big impact on the game. I like Stafford to show up again this week.

Titans (+3.5) over Bears
Nothing other then I think it is a bad spot for the Bears. Pick 6 saved them last week from a home loss. Offense is not anything impressive, and I like the Titans to keep this one close.

Seahawks (-5) over Vikings
Vikings true colors are finally coming out. Seahawks terrific at home with an extremely good defense. Ponder has not been playing well recently, and against a tough defense, he won't find much success.

Bucs (+1) over Raiders
Ean Dunn and need I say more? Bucs coming off a great win in Minny and are finally silencing some of the haters. I like the Bucs to get one more on the road this week.

Steelers (+3.5) over Giants
Offense that loves long drives and they still have a top defense with or without Troy. I'll take Big Ben over Eli in this one. Steelers in a good spot to be getting points, in a game they very well could win. Giants have looked good and this game will make for one of the best on Sunday. However, I trust getting the points more so then giving them to the Giants in this one.

Falcons (-4) over Cowboys
Nothing Matty Ice likes more than being at home. Well maybe he likes his 7-0 record more? He will love it even more when it becomes 8-0 after this one.

Monday Night Football: Eagles at Saints
My fingers will not allow me to type an outcome that doesn't result in an Eagles win, so I therefore neglect to comment.

Sorry I saw sports gambling written on the board and simply could not help myself. So now for the articles...

     The article says that people care about games that effect their team, but do not necessarily feature their favorite teams. It is what makes Wild Card races so important and exciting. Phillies fans become fans of teams playing the Cardinals, Dodgers, Brewers, etc. at the end of the baseball season if we are competing for one of the Wild Card spots. This also plays into flex scheduling which is mentioned later on in the article. Some games are subject to change based on their importance later on in the season. Often times meaningful games to standings are pushed back to later time slots in order for more drama and better ratings for specific teams.
     When they discuss the reasons behind participating in fantasy sports, they mention all things that are true. However, they left out a large factor, which is money. Money may not be something that draws someone into playing fantasy football, but it certainly intensifies the experience.
     Fantasy has also made its way to ESPN. Matthew Berry, is a fantasy expert for ESPN, and gives fantasy tips during Sunday NFL Countdown. Also, Adam Schefter dedicates his Sunday's to injury updates for fantasy owners. As an avid fantasy player, the information that they give can be very influential to my lineups. NFL Redzone is also now offered by cable providers. It updates fans on games that are about to have a score. Fantasy owners only really care about TD's from their players, and this allows them to watch out of market games and see how their players are doing. Also, live stats are also available on any site that allows owners to keep track of their match ups.
    This article shed light on something I never really considered. It was interesting to see how fantasy ownership really effected the number of viewers for certain matchups. It is something that does not seem like a big deal, but with the amount of fantasy owners out there, it seems that they must have a direct relationship.
    The second articles goes a bit more in depth with the specific types of media. It is also true that the number of time that you spend on fantasy sports means that you will spend more time involved with the actual sport. Football is easy, but basketball and baseball remain much more difficult. The amount of time spent on fantasy for those sports needs to be much greater than football. Therefore, it is not as popular fantasy wise. Being "good" at fantasy sports does require much time and research. While a fair portion of success is based on luck, there is research that need be done in order to do well.

Iatesta Fantasy post

      I wonder how many of the fantasy players do it not because they're big sports fans but because they prefer the gambling aspect of it. I play fantasy football but it doesn't make me watch anymore football than I normally would. I might have greater interest in the games being played but I would watch anyway. But overall to me fantasy sports does not make me watch more football.
       I do however find myself checking twitter and stats online more often than I normally would. I usually use twitter to check for injury updates and use my fantasy app on my phone to check stats and my scores all the time. I think fantasy has definitely increased my usage of media.

      The one article talks about marketing by networks and websites and new to this year NFL stadiums is that all include fantasy updates in the stadium so people can see how there team is doing throughout the day. They put the stats up on the scoreboards during breaks and I believe some stadiums may have handheld devices with the information on them.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cranney questions

1. What is the general aura of the newsroom amid cuts?
2. What changes have been made under new ownership?
3. Is there a concern for the separation of business and editorial?
4. What's the new newsroom like?
5. What it's like to manage a tabloid?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Anthony Bellino Questions

1. What does it take in today's job market to break into the industry?
2. As a person who has vast amounts of experience how do you feel about the changes in journalism, and how did you cope with them as they happened?
3. What does the paper/media outlet look for most when hiring a new person to fill a job?
4. What made you want to be a journalist?

Ean Dunn Questions

1. How has the industry changed since you came into the profession?

2. Is Journalism dying, or is it just the newspaper?

3. Will social media outlets such as twitter end up killing long-form sports writing?

4. Is Roger Federer the Greatest Tennis Player of All Time? (I already know the answer to that one...)


1. What made you interested in journalism?
2. What was your biggest struggle you had while attempting to gain credibility?
3. What was your favorite event that you covered?
4. Where do you draw the line on professionalism between freedom of press and right to privacy?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Three Questions Iatesta

1. What are your thoughts on your writers using twitter?
2. How do you think social media has affected writing?
3. Do you think writers need to deliver the stories they deem important or what readers want?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ean Dunn's Paper Idea

For my paper, I will be looking at the race riots during the 2007 and 2008 Australian Open Tennis Tournaments and how the media covered it and how the world reacted.

A Race's Place in Space - Ean Dunn

While reading (some of all) of these articles, I found it very cool to see a different side of American sports history that I didn't otherwise know. 

It struck me as funny how in Carroll's 'From Pittsburgh to Chicago' piece he talked about the Chicago American Giants and how corruption ran rampant through the black leagues only because they would let anyone with money come in and sponsor the team.

I also liked how in Wiggins' article, he talked about how black baseball players were like the newspaper, in that the public needed to be ready for such a huge change in the business. This is very true because when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, a lot of people were upset. He received enough death threats to make any man go crazy. It is a true statement with anything in life. I guarantee that the next major update Facebook makes, people will be going crazy for about 2-3 weeks, then forget about it. So in that regard, sometimes you have to tell the world what they want and what they need. And the world of baseball sure needed Jackie Robinson.

(On a side-note, I looked at his stats, and for a 10-year career, he wasn't astonishing. I think if he had been a white player, he wouldn't even get a sniff at the HOF. But the fact that he was so influential to the sport rightfully outweighed his stats).

In regards to "A Perfect Baseball Day", I really enjoyed the idea of a black All-Star type game. It gave fans of black leagues and fans of baseball in general a chance to see that the black leagues, while maybe not as good as the Yankees of the 30's, could still produce some truly fantastic baseball players. It wasn't just a game either, it was a social event that meant something so much more to black people than to baseball fans. It was a way to show they belonged.

Iatesta Week 8

I find it really interesting how the one article speaks about the relationship between journalists and the organizations. It’s funny the parallel between the black reporters and the Negro League teams and Major League Baseball writers and the players like Babe Ruth. I mean that not only the situation was similar but the time period too. It talks about how after like 1925 this changed but this era matches up more or less.

The article about the East-West Classic shows the concept of media and sports needing each other to grow. The newspapers brought attention to the game but the Negro Leagues themselves helped grow the black papers like the Pittsburgh Courier. It’s amazing for me to think that in a time of massive legal segregation, a Negro League all-star game could bring so much attention to mainstream media and make it clear MLB would integrate. To see the integration eventually mean the end of the Negro League must have been bitter-sweet for the community. I find it interesting that this article talks about how it ended up being barnstorming baseball and there is now a youth black baseball team in Philadelphia that goes on barnstorming tours.

It’s interesting to me to see how things happen in different events and how similar they are. The one from the reading is how Wendell Smith is overlooked in Robinson’s ascent to the Major Leagues and credit is given to Branch Rickey. Historically Paul Revere is given credit for warning that the British were coming and although he did do this there was another patriot who rode for much longer to warn people. It is just weird to see how in historical events someone is given more credit than they are necessarily due and people don’t question it because they don’t know any better. 

Bellino Week 8 blog post

            The East-West Classic, the clash of the best African-American baseball players from across the United States. In the 1930’s at the height of the Great Depression the East-West Classic brought together the African-American community for one day. There were players that even the casual baseball fan has heard of such as Satchel Paige, and then players that even the biggest fans of today’s game would not recognize such as Buck O’Neil who said the classic was, “something special,” on page five of the A Perfect Baseball Day article.

            Page six of the article states, “Coming from all over the country every year, so many African Americans scheduled their vacations around the event that the Illinois Central and Union Pacific trains even had to add extra passenger cars.” When thinking about the article, I really couldn’t put a finger on a comparable American event today. Only certain groups of people like certain sports, the all-star games in all of the sports are jokes today and the fact that the media puts such a huge role on home field in the World Series for the Major League All-Star game is a disgrace.

            Journalists at black newspapers had to beef up their coverage and inflate the market with stories about the East-West classic, as they had a financial means backing the game. The job that was done building up this game each year and attracting the crowds they did at the time was unbelievable.

            The final thing I wanted to touch on was from the Carroll article, a quote in particular on page 15. Carroll says, “The passing of the hero’s baton, from businessman to athlete, is evidenced in the illustrations black newspapers published with columns and articles.” This started in the 1920s, but still today if I polled 100 kids across the nation asking who is your hero, Bill Gates or LeBron James I would say around 90 out of the 100 kids polled would say LeBron James. This is what the media has done to society whether it be for better or for worse, this is the world we live in today.
     Sports transcends the pulse of the nation. Sports integrated blacks and whites long before they were legally. Recently, I was privileged enough to hear Larry Lester, a very well known and respected Negro League Historian, speak at Temple. He has written many books, and in particular one about the Classic that this article talks about.
     Before this time, blacks were seen as inferior in every way shape or form. However, with some of the best talents that could be found in the country, they could no longer be seen as inferior. From a business standpoint at least, the black athlete had to be respected.
     The Classic was an event that kept the headlines hot, and the people coming to the games. That is until the "Jackie Robinson beat" occurred. That was the story that sold, so therefore drew the attention of the black media. No longer was the media able to hold together the league, and push for it as far as they could. They reached a goal of integration, but were not out of the water yet. The media felt it more important to cover the players that did instead of continuing to put the Negro leagues in good light to further advance some of those players.
     This is one of the functions of journalism. The media has the ability to decide what is the most relevant story. Blacks were not able to thrive in sports on just their talents. They needed that extra boost in order to hope to achieve any real success. However, they were left to die along with the Negro League as black baseball was overshadowed by the Major Leagues. The Classic, an event once seen as the best baseball in the country, became something of little to no relevance. The media certainly helped the demise of black baseball as this country knew it.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Game 6 NLCS 2003 will be the topic for my paper

Cranney Week 6

The introduction of the Leonard article lends itself to a greater discussion about crime and athletes, and crime and black athletes. All too often do athletes find themselves in the middle of a media fiasco because of a DUI, gun charges, or, in some extreme cases, rape charges.
Donte Stallworth drove drunk and killed a guy. Michael Vick tortured and killed dogs. Jason Michaels assaulted a police officer. Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg. Ben Roethlisberger was accused of forcing himself on a girl in a bathroom. I could go on. Athletes are glorified in the media often as heroes, and stories like these are damaging to kids who look up to athletes as role models.
But all of these athletes, after they committed/were accused of sometimes felonies, returned to the playing field. Professional sports is far too forgiving of athletes who commit crimes or surround themselves with criminals off the field.
It extends to collegiate sports to, and even Temple. This summer, a football player was charged with rape and Khalif Wyatt was convicted of attempting to solicit prostitution. The football player was kicked off the team, but as of right now, there are no plans to suspend Wyatt. Even now, when the woman who accused the football player of rape, has come forward and said that she had consensual sex with him prior to the incident, the football player in question is still not with the school.
The tolerance of criminal activities of student-athletes and professional athletes has to change, as does the way the sports media covers them.

The Kian article makes me think of something that happened to me recently...
At a recent Temple News staff meeting, the subject of the recent female referee who officiated an NFL game was brought up. We were doing an article on it, and were discussing the role of females in sports and sports media. One staff member said the majority of female sports broadcasters aren't as knowledgeable as the males, and the only reason they have jobs is because "they're really hot."
While the comments were ignorant, they were also representative of how a large portion of people view the sports media in Philadelphia. Females are still thought of as eye candy and not professional reporters, in the sports media at least. They are still the sideline reporters and aren't used in prime time. There are almost no female game broadcasters in the four professional sports. Their role is relegated to a lower tier than the male's roles.


One thing I find interesting about the Kobe Bryant piece is when he refers to Kobe as a “breath of fresh air.” I think that is interesting because before the rape I used to like Kobe and my dislike for Kobe had nothing to do with the rape. As a person he seemed to change, he changed his number, he started getting tattoos, and seemed to become the most arrogant ass in the world. I don’t know if it is significant but I just thought it was interesting that he talks about Kobe as if you could consider him white because he’s straight laced but this transformed him. He also talks about Allen Iverson among others disappointing fans. I think, just like many Sixers fans, Allen Iverson is a basketball god. Do I approve of his off the court discretions? Of course not but I can differentiate his basketball from his personal life. I feel like people forget that athletes are people, they aren’t robots they make the same mistakes as regular people.

One problem I find is that women are generally given the field reporter position, which to me is an unnecessary position. I think women have proven they can handle anchor jobs or studio hosts like Linda Cohn or Michelle Beadle. Women with these jobs are in the minority unfortunately. One thing that I do question is why Pam Oliver dyes her hair pink. I realize she can do as she pleases but I feel like any reporter doing that would lead to them being taken less seriously. It is just odd to me that she’s a woman in a field that has stereotypes against women and she dyes her hair an insane color.

I plan on doing the 1989 world series for my paper. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Race to the Finish

I was on Martha's Vineyard, off the coast of Massachusetts when the whole Kobe rape thing happened. I can remember following the story on the news for a couple of nights until I became bored of the whole thing. One of my lasting images of the whole debacle was Kobe sitting with his wife and speaking softly. I'll also remember my friend saying, "He should use an O.J. Move. 'If the dick don't fit, you must acquit'." I remember laughing very hard at the time, as I was young and didn't quite realize just how racist that joke was.

I don't have a problem with the article by Mr. Leonard, what I have a problem with is that people see these things and get ideas. There are people crazy enough to accuse someone of rape, just so they can get their name out there and get some of the millions of dollars these guys spend. It's a terrible thing to do to someone, but that's not to say these sorts of things don't actually happen (think Ben Rapelisberger.. or was it Roethlisberger?).

The second article I 'read' was the Kian one. You don't see a lot of legitimate female reporters, but that's only because, at least to me, Title IX is just starting to blossom.

10 years ago I never would have thought there would be any women in a class like this one. And while the class is predominantly male, the numbers of women are steadily increasing. We're used to old white dudes reporting on sports. It's time for a refresher.

One of the things that stands out to me is when a drunk Joe Namath tells Suzy Kolber he wants to kiss her. While it was a hilarious part in the football game, it reminds me of the idea that 'sex sells'. Men don't see women as competition or as a threat or really as on the same level as them because all they think about it sex. Non stop. Just ask Joe Namath.

Once the stigma is lifted that women can't host a major sports show (think Erin Andrew this summer), I think we will start to see an even bigger increase in women and minorities in sports than we have now.

Also, just as kind of an aside. I had planned to write at the end of this, "Just as long as I have a job!" And that got me thinking about how true that is. I would love to see women and other "misrepresented" people in sports journalism. The only problem I have with that is that I'm trying to do this as a living, and more of you means less opportunities for me. And if quotas become a major thing, I may just be screwed out of a job. Just something to think about I guess.

Anthony Bellino Race and Gender Blog

            First and foremost the Absurdity of Colorblind Rhetoric made me feel like I am becoming a very old person. The complaint for rape filed against Kobe Bryant was done so in 2003, at which point I was in the midst of my 11-year old season of little league baseball.

With that being said one thing I disagree with that the article says is on page five. Leonard states that Michael Jordan, Shaq, Tiger Woods and Lebron James are evidence of racial progress. Looking at these for above, Jordan has been documented as a gambler since his playing days, Shaq has been known to wreck team’s like when he was with the Lakers and Magic, Tiger Woods had his life outside of golf under a microscope after several women said to have had affairs with him and Lebron James is quite possibly the most scrutinized athlete ever. While I do believe there has certainly been racial progress in this country, I believe these athletes listed above are playing under more pressure because they are in the minority race. We still hear about Kobe’s rape accusations and it’s been nine years, Ben Roethlisberger was only called “Rapistberger” for a brief time and now everyone has seem to forgotten about it.

Moving on to the Kian article, there is a question posed on page four that says, “Are there attitudinal differences between female and male writers with regards to women’s sports?” I think the answer to that question is an obvious yes. With the exception of a few times, most of the time you see women play-by-play announcers on ESPN is when they are showing the Women’s College World Series, women’s basketball, and the WNBA. These women know a lot about their respective sports and I believe are looked down upon because they are women calling sports. Many are used a sideline reporters and like the article says are just hired because of their looks.

The two articles we read for this week will certainly spark an interesting conversation in the class just because it is a touchy subject whenever you get into the race/gender talks when talking about sports media.
     Black athletes have always taken the spotlight when it comes to crime in the media. The media makes a point to put a greater emphasis on these players, as to demean them. Their off the field problems say more about them than their performance on it. The legacy of some players have been tainted because of this. Once the media takes hold of a legal trouble, they run with it.
    In the case of Kobe, he had the opportunity to quickly make his fans forget about his troubles. Michael Wilbon commented on the incident stating that this was important for him to keep his name amongst the basketball elite. Kobe was not just another ball player, but this charge had put him into a category with a fair number of other players. Players that we not meant to be role models, but were just thugs and criminals that were good enough to play on an NBA team. Kobe was supposed to be better than that, yet he stooped down to their level and committed a crime that is directly connected to his race.
    The comparison to O.J. is an interesting one though. O.J. was seen as a white criminal, because at the time he was seen as a member of the white community. He became the victim in his own case, as the media portrayed him as being attacked by the accusations. The race card was not played against him as the black man he actually was. He was not seen as a murderer. At the time, he was not placed amongst the race, but rather the exception or an outlier. America's colorblindness through sports is exemplified by this. All of a players actions are judged based on the race that classifies his or her actions.