Posted by Brother Bob on 30 July, 2017 at 5:40 pm. 3 comments already!


Wealthy people who end up bankrupt get asked how it happens. And the answer is, well, the title of this post. It seemed a fitting intro to looking at how I no longer consume what had been for decades the staples of my sports diet. And from what I’m hearing I’m far from alone.

As a child of the 70s I loved Sports Illustrated – there were other magazines, like Sport or The Sporting News, but SI was always the go-to mag for the best writing and pictures of the games. I sill remember how the happiest days were when the college and pro football previews would show up in the mail. And of course, as a kid the pre-Internet era’s annual swimsuit issue arriving in February was just gravy. SI was great for reading, but there was nothing comparable on TV. Then came ESPN.

With the cable revolution of the 80s it was only natural that someone would start a cable channel dedicated to sports. And it was glorious. I remember getting ready for school in the morning and watching a few minutes of Australian Rules Football. I could never figure out the rules but it reminded me of a game of Team Schmeer that we used to play at lunch recess or after school. I also liked watching the Canadian Football League, and wondering what the insanely talented quarterback for the Edmonton Eskimos could do if he ever got a shot in the NFL. Pat yourself on the back if you already remembered that the QB I just referenced was Warren Moon.

Then came the 90s, what I remember as the Golden Era for for sports media. ESPN’s flagship show, Sports Center was must watch TV for any fan. Their hosts, Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann gave a great mixture of humor and solid analysis we had never seen before on TV. And yes, there actually was a time when Keith Olbermann was sane! Saturdays were wall to wall football, and Sunday’s bookend programs of NFL Countdown in the morning and NFL tonight were the perfect appetizers and desserts to an afternoon of football.

Today the only time I’m not ignoring these media giants is to blog about them doing something stupid. How did these two media giants lose this football junkie?

The simple answer is today’s technology. Thanks to the Internet I can find well written and sometimes humorous analysis of my beloved Philadelphia Eagles over at For breaking news, the gang over at the (closed) Facebook group Pattison Avenue seems to have every breaking story regarding the birds. But that’s not the whole story. As a guy I’ve always liked having a base knowledge of sports knowledge as a good way to make small talk with other guys and some of the cooler women. In fact, this always gets me flak, but I’m still a fan of Jim Rome. However annoying one may find him, Rome is a great interviewer and has come a long way from his days of being a jerk toward then LA Rams QB Jim Everett. Regrettably, he’s no longer on in my radio market, as DC is a joke of a sports town. And since we got rid of cable a few years ago I don’t catch his daily TV show anymore, either. Of course, saving over $1,000 per year on cable bills doesn’t hurt, either. But that’s not why I’ve turned my back on ESPN and SI, either.

I’ve already written about ESPN’s downfall. They seem to have decided that since their business model is in a death spiral, they might as well just cater to a small base of left wing sports fans. With all of the talk about how they’ve turned their back on real sports fans, they decided to have Michelle Obama at their annual ESPY awards. Yes, seriously.

What about Sports Illustrated? Even in the Internet era I still liked their magazine. Again, thanks to good writing I liked learning about sports and teams that weren’t my favorites. For me, the downfall with the magazine came 15 years ago. Their back page always had some relatively light story or editorial from the generally annoying Rick Reilly. One week the editorial was an anti-Iraq war screed. That’s right, nothing sports related whatsoever. Personally, I fully support Reilly’s right to free speech and to voice his opinion. But not in a magazine that is dedicated to being a haven from political talk. There were no shortage of Internet outlets or cable news channels that would have probably gladly given him a platform. And believe it or not this wasn’t the straw that broke the camel’s back.

A few weeks after his Iraq War rant, Reilly followed up with a snotty “Do this, don’t do that!” Article filled with short pieces of “advice” for his readers. I’ve long forgotten most of them, but two really got under my skin. One was “Don’t coach a kid’s sports team. Do fantasy sports instead!” I’m sorry, but this pompous (rectal cavity) wants to sit back and judge all of his readers? Personally, my hat is off for every Little League coach out there. I know that’s a helluva time commitment and not something everyone can do. And fantasy sports is a great outlet for sports fans who just want to have some fun. My own FFL team, The Money Shot, will be launching its next campaign in a few weeks, but I digress. The other piece of that article that dug at me was Riley ripping on Michael Jordan for not publicly supporting whatever dopey political whining the Radical Left was doing at the time. Because of course, it’s just not enough to just not be a drug addict or drunk driver or wife abuser and being a great athlete, team leader, and role model for kids just isn’t enough, Having grown tired of being lectured when all I wanted was sports news, I let my subscription lapse. And I’ve never looked back. Even today, when I buy my one NFL preview magazine for the year I won’t even consider SI’s offering. What about their web site, though?

Through a tragic event SI lost its top football writer. Paul Zimmerman, who was indisputably the greatest pro football writer in the history of the game, suffered a viscous stroke. While he survived, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever write again. Even he wasn’t immune to throwing political jabs, though. Unlike most other sports journalists he had a talent for making his shots short enough and not overbearing where he could get away with it. The only other two I’ve seen who could pull that trick off Jim Rome and writer Jeff Pearlman. Every other sports journalist who tries to wade in these waters either comes off as snotty and condescending like Reilly, or whiney and naive, like SI’s Peter King. And lest you think this is a partisan attack, I blasted Rush Limbaugh for his misdeeds on this subject some years back (and not for the reasons you’d expect coming from an Eagles and Donovan McNabb fan). But who is Peter King, you ask?

King is now the lead pro football writer for SI, and it’s hard to argue that he’s not good at it. His years in the business get him reliable sources inside of various teams’ organizations, and he is a good story teller. And unfortunately he’s another Radical Leftist who suffers from IDontGiveATurdAboutWhatMyReadersWant-itis. His Monday Morning Quarterback is another must read piece for any football fan. Or was, anyway. King is one of the bores who can’t stop praising Colin Kaepernick, can’t stop praising his favorite teams (the Cowboys and Patriots), and at the end of every MMQB article rattles off a few non personal notes, generally including some of his whiny politics. When this year’ NFL free agency period started, some big moves happened early. My Eagles made two big signings, giving their young QB some good weapons at the Wide Receiver position in Alshon Jeffery from the Bears and Torrey Smith from the 49ers. Our former Speedster and fan favorite Desean Jackson who had gone to play for the divisional rival Washington Redskins, had thankfully left our division to play for the Buccaneers. And another division rival made news when the Giants signed the aging but still dangerous WR Brandon Marshall. Guess how many words were dedicated to these significant moves in the following MMQB. Zero. Zip. Nada. But what seemed like at least 1/3 of the article was dedicated to three topics: the Cowboys, the Patriots, and President Trump. I was pretty annoyed, but that wasn’t the last straw for me, either.

Every June King takes a vacation and gives an opportunity for some non-SI writers (often current players) to guest column the MMQB for a few weeks. I think this is a cool idea for some fresh perspectives and give some athletes a chance at prepping for their lives after football. This year his first choice is the one that made me now turn away from their web site for good. One retired player, who’s name I don’t recall and am not interested enough to look up, made news recently. He came out of the closet as the NFL’s first openly gay retired player. Before any lefties start screaming that I’m anti-LGBTQWERTY there’s a reason I have an issue here.

I’m assuming this player is a good dude, and frankly it does take guts to be the first to come out in a business where whichever way you swing isn’t common. This is actually a bipartisan issue, as I’ve heard from a few sources that there’s an equal stigma attached to playing in the WNBA and not being a lesbian. For real. And if I truly believed that this issue would stop at gay players in the NFL not having to be closeted I’d be completely behind this guy. But that’s not how the Radical Left works anymore. A while back I wrote about mission creep in various organizations, and if you believe that this issue will end with NFL players being able to be openly gay I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d be happy to sell you. Following on the NFL’s “Breast Cancer Exploitation Month” where players are forced to rock pink gear to market NFL attire to women, I don’t want “Coming Out Month”. I don’t want a few weeks where rainbow colored gear becomes mandatory, where high schools are encouraged to have “coming out days”, and kids in Pop Warner are forced to sit through gay awareness lectures. If any lefties reading this are rolling your eyes right now perhaps you can explain to me how in just over a decade we went from Civil Unions being considered slightly left of center to our last president joking about a family who had their lives ruined by the Gaystapo over a thought crime?

And just like that, I was done with SI. Both in print and on the web. What burns me the most is that I’d support any player who came out as long as he wasn’t tryIng to be the next Michael Sam. OK, OK, if member of the Cowboys were to come out I’d probably roll out a string of juvenile jokes, probably stealing a great joke from The Onion some years back along the lines of, “Local homosexual tearfully admits to being a Dallas Cowboy”
Thank you thank you, be sure to tip your bartenders!

So now for general NFL news I got to CBS’ web site. Yes, they have their share of lefty politics, but not as bad as SI or ESPN. And ESPN still gets some of our business, as during the fall we get their channel for $20 per month through Sling. Personally I’d ditch them entirely and just stream Merrill Reese calling the Eagles’ Monday Night Football games on the radio, but Sister Babe insists on being able to watch the Eagles when they play on Monday Night Football. Yep, not bad for a woman who knew almost nothing about football when we met! Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful…

But as for SI and ESPN, I already know that you hate me. I just wish you could have kept that in the closet.

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Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog

Image at the top of the post appears via Stilton’s Place

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