Thursday, December 20, 2007

Say A Prayer For My Boy, Stu Scott

In case you haven't heard, ESPN's Stuart Scott is battling cancer. The condition was discovered last month after he underwent an appendectomy. An additional surgery later, Scott now faces several rounds of chemotherapy this winter-- all while still maintaining his studio duties on ESPN's NFL coverage as well as ABC's NBA package.

There is probably not be a person in this country that has not had his or her life affected by cancer-- either battling the condition themselves or watching family or friends go through the arduous ordeal. I am no different. I lost my father to cancer in 1996.

So, if you find it in your heart, please say a prayer for my boy, Stu Scott. He is ready to face the battle ahead, and with your thoughts and prayers, he won't have to face it alone. No one should!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Sorry, Roger! I'm Not Buying It!

It took nearly a week, but Roger Clemens finally responded to his name showing up in the Mitchell Report on steroid abuse in Major League Baseball.

The statement issued by his agent, Randy Hendricks, reads as follows: "I want to state clearly and without qualification: I did not take steroids, human growth hormone or any other banned substances at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life. Those substances represent a dangerous and destructive shortcut that no athlete should ever take.

"I am disappointed that my 25 years in public life have apparently not earned me the benefit of the doubt, but I understand that Senator Mitchell's report has raised many serious questions. I plan to publicly answer all of those questions at the appropriate time in the appropriate way. I only ask that in the meantime people not rush to judgment."

Let me start by saying that I have long suspected Clemens of using steroids, human growth hormone or some other performance-enhancing drug. But like so many others, I had no tangible proof of such use, nor did I make any attempts to find any evidence. Frankly, I didn't and still don't care. What professional athletes choose to do to their bodies is their choice. They must live with the decision and the potential risks, not me.

However, what I do care about is Clemens seemingly getting a pass through the years when it came to suspicions of performance-enhancers. If skeptics pointed to how a player looked earlier in his career compared to his physical condition in his late 30's or early 40's (ie. Canseco, McGwire, Bonds), then Clemens should have been held to that same skepticism. The guy who struck out 20 batters in 1986 looked vastly different from the guy who did it again more than 10 years later.

Perhaps the thing that irked me the most about Clemens recent statement was him saying, "I plan to publicly answer all of those questions at the appropriate time in the appropriate way."

I'm sorry, Roger but isn't the appropriate time right now? What could he possibly be waiting for?

If your wife or girlfriend accused you of cheating and you hadn't done so, how would you react? Would you tell her to be patient and wait for your appropriate response at the appropriate time? Of course you wouldn't. You would try to squash those lies right then and there.

But let her accuse you of cheating and you had indeed stepped out on her. You would more than likely pull a Dean Smith and break out the "Four Corners" stall. Because anyone who has ever cheated knows the last thing you want to do is speak too fast and say something that might get you into even more trouble down the road.

Instead of "The Rocket", maybe "The Staller" should be his nickname.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

College Scholarships Available

Do you know any high school seniors that will graduate by June 2008, and would like to attend a Historically Black College or University?

The Tom Joyner Foundation is offering 'full ride' scholarships for graduating high school seniors.

Deadline for applications (attached) is January 18, 2008.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


UPDATE: In case you missed the show or the news, LSU's Glenn Dorsey won this year's Lott Trophy. Going in to the presentation, I believed he was the best defensive player in college football this year. And actually, he should have placed much higher in the Heisman voting as well.

However, after doing more research on this young man and then talking to him at the awards dinner, I am even more convinced that the Pacific Club could not have a better person to represent the Lott Trophy. His athletic talent and dedication are only surpassed by his class and humility. He has truly made an IMPACT on and off the field.

Lott Trophy Presented to College Football Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year
Event Telecast Airs Sunday, December 9 at 9:30 PM Live from Newport Beach

Los Angeles – On Sunday, December 9, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation presents the 2007 IMPACT Award from Orange County’s prestigious Pacific Club. FSN WEST, the regional sports network with over two decades serving sports fans in Southern California, Nevada and Hawaii with comprehensive telecast coverage of local team games and events, will provide live telecast coverage of the black-tie banquet from The Pacific Club in Newport Beach, Calif.

The FSN WEST event telecast begins live on Sunday, December 9 at approximately 9:30 PM, after the Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers post-game “Lakers Live” show on FSN WEST. Bill Macdonald hosts the event; Michael Eaves provides interviews and reporting.

The IMPACT Award recognizes annually college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year. An acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity, the IMPACT Award honors exemplary athletic prowess and sound personal character. The IMPACT Award tradition began in 2004 when the Lott Trophy was presented to David Pollack of Georgia. Named for the former USC All-American and College Football Hall of Fame inductee Ronnie Lott, the trophy, designed by Michelle Armitage. is a bronzed depiction of a defensive player making a tackle.

Four finalists for the 2007 IMPACT Award have been named. Glenn Dorsey of Louisiana State University, James Laurinaitis of The Ohio State University, J Leman of The University of Illinois and Chris Long of The University of Virginia will attend the ceremony on December 9 in Newport Beach. The IMPACT Award winner will receive the 2007 Lott Trophy. Additionally, the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation will make a $25,000 contribution to the general scholarship fund of the winner’s university. Similarly, $5,000 will be donated to the schools of the other three finalists.

Voting for the 2007 IMPACT Award is tabulated by Ernst & Young. Ballots are distributed to college offensive and defensive coordinators, sports journalists, The Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation Board of Directors, and a Board of Advisors made up of former NFL players and coaches along with the 17 members of the Master Coaches.

Together, FSN WEST and sister network FSN PRIME TICKET present more live, local sports programming than any other network or broadcast system in the market. Serving sports fans in Southern California, Nevada and Hawaii, FSN WEST and FSN PRIME TICKET produce over 700 live sporting events and telecast 5,000 hours of original programming every year. For complete national and regional sports news, provocative opinions, telecast schedules and updated statistics, log-on to

Sportswriting Pioneer Elected To Hall Of Fame

Today, I feel particularly proud to be an African-American sports journalist. With the news that Larry Whiteside will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, a lifetime devoted to his craft as well as the future of other black journalists has been validated. I just wish Larry would have lived long enough to hear the announcement himself and to stand before the game's greatest players and his journalistic peers on the steps of Cooperstown on induction day. Congratulations, Larry!

WASHINGTON – The Baseball Writers’ Association of America elected late sports-writing pioneer Larry Whiteside to receive the 2008 J.G. Spink Award today for his outstanding contributions in baseball writing.The former sportswriter for The Boston Globe, who died in June of complications from Parkinson’s Disease, became the Globe’s first African-American beat sportswriter and the only African-American in a metropolitan city to cover a Major League Baseball team on a daily basis when he joined the newspaper in 1973.

“This induction couldn’t happen to a more deserving journalist. Larry Whiteside paved the way for so many journalists of color in a section of the industry that still struggles with diversity,” says Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

“He is truly a trailblazer.”

As a recipient of the Spink Award, Whiteside will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 27, in Cooperstown, N.Y.

“He was a constant, motivating force in the world of sports journalism and for African-Americans in particular, he was our Jackie Robinson,” says Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Sports Editor Garry Howard, who was among those to cast votes for Whiteside’s award.

“What an honor, what a life. I'm truly ecstatic over this moment, because even though Larry would say humbly, ‘No big deal,’ it truly is, and we at NABJ can, and should, celebrate this moment loud and proudly.”

As a founding member of the NABJ Sports Task Force, Whiteside continues to have a profound impact on today’s sports journalists, an impact that earned him the Sports Task Force’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999.

“Today, I am so proud that when kids see Larry’s spot in Cooperstown, they can learn his legacy as an outstanding journalist and a pioneer,” says Greg Lee, NABJ treasurer and chairman of the Sports Task Force.

“Larry’s legacy not only lives through the many black journalists who work in newsrooms today, it will live on in the sport he loved so much.”

In addition to the Hall of Fame honor, Whiteside’s family will travel to Kansas City to receive the Sam Lacy Award on his behalf from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on Jan. 12.

Donations for the scholarship established in his honor by the NABJ Sports Task Force can be sent to the National Association of Black Journalists at 8701 Adelphi Blvd, Adelphi, MD 20783-1716.

Monday, December 3, 2007

This Dorrell Firing Talk Needs Perspective

There's been so much talk around LA the last two weeks about the impending firing of UCLA Head Coach Karl Dorrell. It's another example of our ever-shortening attention span when it comes to athletics--especially college athletics. Most of the talk seems to be uninformed and lacking perspective.

During Saturday's FSN Live pre-game show prior to the UCLA/USC foootball game, I gave the following report.

Just two seasons ago, Karl dorrell was the PAC-10 coach of the year, and his team has been bowl eligible every season he’s been the head coach at UCLA--only 15 other coaches have streaks of 5-straight bowl eligible seasons or longer and USC's Pete Carroll is the only other PAC-10 coach with such a streak.

However Dorrell’s critics point to poor showings in those bowl games and an average of 5-losses a year. Reason enough, some believe, for Dorrell to be fired if UCLA loses today to the Trojans for the 4th time in five years under Dorrell.

Earlier, I had a private conversation with the Bruins head coach and I asked him flat out if he thought today’s game would decide his fate. His response: “I don’t look at it that way.“ He also believes UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero isn’t looking at today’s game in that fashion either--neither do a handful of players I spoke to.

But having said that, Dorrell readily recognizes the disappointment felt by the fans, which pales in comparison to the disappointment he feels. As far as the talk about his potential firing is concerend, he told me, “I don’t worry about things I can’t control.. I can only control our practices and the preparation for this game," which, by the way, he feels really good about.

Some other things to consider about Dorrell’s tenure at UCLA: 1) he signed an extension last February paying him through the 2011 season (it includes a $2 million buyout) 2) not only did he lose 6 assistant coaches from his staff following the Bruins 10-and-2 season (three he dismissed and three others who left for NFL jobs), but the Bruins coaching staff is the 5th-best paid in the PAC-10 And Dorrell’s salary ranks in the 40s’s nationally among Division One head coaches.

So if UCLA expects Dorrell's team to play with the big boys, then they need to pay like the big boys!