ESPN removes Robert Lee from calling UVA game

Historians agree that Robert E. Lee could not call a game to save his life.

ESPN is known for making terrible decisions, from apology tours for rapist athletes, to hyping a guy who is mediocre at two sports because he’s a Christian, to talking about ball inflation for a year because they don’t want to cover hockey. But like all great innovators, ESPN has found a way to top itself.

It was announced late last night, under the cover of darkness, that announcer Robert Lee would be removed from calling the University of Virginia football team’s home opener. The supposed reasoning behind it is that Lee’s name is too similar to Confederate General Robert E. Lee, whose statue white supremacists neo-Nazis the KKK a group of free speech enthusiasts (who happened to all be angry white dudes but are surely fine people) held a deadly rally for in Charlottesville earlier this month. Robert E. Lee, of course, fought a war over free speech.

Broadcaster Robert Lee, however, isn’t the same person. As far as we know, they are in no way related, either. Finally, both the white supremacists and the people they want murdered en masse can agree on an issue.

Take it from Snee: Tolerating unsolicited opinions

MLB and every stockroom in Wal-Mart may be the last wildlife refuges for the goatee.
MLB and every stockroom in Wal-Mart may be the last wildlife refuges for the goatee.

I love baseball. Probably because I barely watch it, thanks to arcane legal agreements that make baseball a cable-only sport. (Streaming only works if you’re not a home team fan willing to shell out for MLB.com because they black out home games. Or if you’re a much more technically literate person than me.) Point is: I can forgive baseball its flaws because it’s barely around to bore me 5 hours at a time most days.

The best part about baseball is that it’s a human story. The players aren’t hidden behind helmets and body-changing pads. Except for the HGH Era, they look roughly like you and me, questionable facial hair choices and all. And, like the rest of us, they have personalities you can actually see and hear.

That’s also the problem recently, as Curt Shilling really, really wants us to know about Muslims, Hillary Clinton and — in recent headlines — transgender women using the women’s room.

On the one hand, I respect Curt Schilling’s pitching accomplishments. On the other, he demands that I respect his opinions, which weren’t asked for and make him look and sound like a douchebag.

So, how tolerant do I have to be? Do I have to tolerate it when someone’s an unbidden jackass in a public forum? You probably know the answer to this question, but hit the jump to find out why we don’t have to tolerate it from anyone who’s just “expressing his opinion.”  Continue reading Take it from Snee: Tolerating unsolicited opinions

You Missed It: Space monkey edition

I’ll say this first: I really like watching football, especially the NFL. However, I think we get a bit too hyped for the Super Bowl. Yes, it’s a championship game, but the frenzy leading up to it is a bit much. For a solid week, ESPN tries to find fresh angles, and the teams have to talk to the media for days about the same upcoming game. On top of that, all the big commercials leak, and it’s the only time anyone cares. If you were busy dodging questions about your banned drug use this week, odds are you missed it.

The wrong stuff?
This week, Iran shocked the world with its announcement that it launched a monkey into space and returned it to Earth alive and well. The reports from state-run media were never confirmed, and now critics are saying the launch was likely unsuccessful or altogether faked. They point to the video of the monkey before and after the launch, and how they don’t look like the same creature. If this is true, we have to commend Iran on its initiative to kill monkeys.

More than you asked for
Lena Dunham, the writer, star and sometimes director of HBO’s so-so show Girls has signed a deal with HBO to write the pilot for a TV adaptation of a personal shopper for rich New Yorkers. It’s unlikely that Dunham herself will be in the show, but she’ll no doubt find an excuse to get naked anyway. Yeesh.

Purplest teeth in the world
The U.S. is now the largest wine-consumer in the world, according to an industry analyst. According to Jon Fredrikson, the U.S. now makes up 13% of the global wine market, up 2% from a year earlier. Argentina, Chile and Australia were the chief suppliers to the American thirsty. Well done, ladies!

Disney gets goofy over selling junk to kids

It seems like the whole nation is now at war against junk food. Not us, of course. Sedentary people are sedentary readers.

First, New York mayor and pint-sized terror, Michael Bloomberg, proposed a ban on all sugary drinks served in 16-ounce or larger cups in the city’s restaurants. Now, Walt Disney Co plans to cut back on the number of junk food advertisements aired during children’s programming, including their Disney channels, ABC, ABC Family and ESPN Pop Warner. (Ask your cable provider.)

Disney must have realized that children built like John Candy are less likely to live long enough to buy Oliver & Company when it’s finally re-released from “the vault” in 10 years.

How to not spread a nickname (Chris Bosh)

If you haven’t been called a name at one point or another at some point in your life, it’s only a matter of time before you realize those bathroom scribblings are about you. We’ve all had embarrassing nicknames that we’ve earned. The trick is not spreading them yourself.

And this is where the article turns very specifically towards Chris Bosh. Bosh Spice, you’re doing it wrong.

Seriously, most of us had no clue what Skip Bayless called you, until you made it a feature story on ESPN’s First Take. Maybe you’re new to ridicule being a successful athlete all of your life, but, man, if some douche gives you a crappy nickname, don’t acknowledge it on the air, no matter what your high school Spanish teacher told you about bullies.

Eat My Sports: The running diary that should never have been

Welcome to my latest attempt to hack Bill Simmons’ career.

We’re coming to you live from the Eat My Mansion for the second half of tonight’s Game 6 of the NBA Finals, we would’ve included the first half had government officials not limited us due to costs incurred to clean up after BP.

Tonight we are joined by McBournie (via text), my two cats Despereaux and Bella, and a beverage that I have not yet named involving equal parts of tequila, orange juice and Sprite. Magic Johnson’s halftime gloat fest is over, we now re-join the game.

10:31 pm
As we get ready for the second half, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy go toe for toe with useless knowledge and jargon with hopes of campaigning for some NBA GM to give them a head coaching position. In total douche factor, I give Jackson the edge.

10:33 pm
McBournie: Anthony Kiedis looks like he’d be more comfortable at a pig roast.
Me: I think Doc Rivers could score the lead in a Ninja Turtles live-action movie.

Honestly, think about it. If you had to cast that movie perfectly, here are your leads:
Leonardo: Doc Rivers
Donatello: Turtle
Raphael: Kobe Bryant
Michaelangelo: Mr. Magoo
Splinter- Susan Sarandon Continue reading Eat My Sports: The running diary that should never have been

You Missed It: Caught in a pickle edition

Sometimes at the end of the week I find it hard to concentrate. But this Friday is harder than most. You see, I was at one of those Windows 7 launch parties last night, and let me tell you, it was wild. I am so hung over I am considering never drinking and downloading an operating system ever again. Let’s just say my stomach has uploaded several times. If you were busy flying past your airport this week, odds are you missed it.

The only baseball suspension that doesn’t involve steroids
Steve Phillips works at ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight,” but baseball wasn’t the only night activity he had, and now it’s lead to his suspension. Phillips, 46, had an affair with Brooke Hundley, a 22-year old coworker. It wasn’t even his first affair, but what happened this time was he had the mistake of dating a crazy person who left angry notes on his front door and put an ad on Craigslist offering $50 to harass his wife. Getting called out at home is never fun.

Earhart is still missing
The movie Amelia opens today, amid less than stellar reviews. Critics say the lines are terrible, there is little character development, and the dude who plays Amelia Earhart doesn’t even look like her. Personally, I’d like to see Charles Lindbergh’s life get made into a movie. Not only is there a kidnapping, but there are Nazis, too!

Bada-bing
A Sicilian builder serving a term on house arrest for dumping hazardous waste asked to be transferred back to prison to finish the rest of his sentence in prison. The reason: he wanted to get away from arguments with his wife. I–I don’t know what to say. There’s no punchline for this one. It really happened.

Eat My Sports: There’s only one Febtober

Everyone remembers the unforgettable “Celebrity Jeopardy” performances on SNL. There’s a “sword” comment one way or another in any conversation involving Sean Connery, it’s undeniable. My personal favorite was the skit where “Months That End In ‘tober'” is answered with a buzz and on cue “FEBTOBER!!!” delivered by Darell Hammond as the bearded Connery. Some of you may remember me starting writing about the 2009 MLB season way back in early February, and that got me thinking…

Febtober is the perfect way to describe a truly avid baseball fan’s passion for watching every pitch, agonizing over every box score, and blowing every loss out of proportion. While the casual sports’ fans were watching the NFL draft, we were watching pitch counts. When you were watching the Los Angeles Kobes, we were scrutinizing slugging percentages. And while you were debating whether Rafael Nadal would look better with a shorter haircut, we were debating whether or not Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay would make the better late season pitching acquisition. Continue reading Eat My Sports: There’s only one Febtober

OH SNAP! It’s not over until it red-rings!

We’re no stranger to athletes needing cause for attention and thus making insanely large jackasses of themselves regularly in the public spotlight. So, of course, when recently signed Seattle Seahawk, T.J. Houshmandzadeh found out his rating on Madden NFL 10 was only a 91, he became upset. And decided to let the world know that he was upset. Because you’re apparently allowed to do that when you make more than a million dollars a year, even in this economy.

EA Tiburon wasn’t having any of that. Nuh-uh.

Just last week, two developers for the game, Ian Cummings and Donny Moore went on to ESPN First Take to set the record straight. Houshmandzadeh (thank you copy and paste combinations) also appeared on the show.

It was predictably anti-climactic. No names were dropped, no fists were thrown (a little hard with Houshmandzadeh appearing via telephone, mind you), no challenges were uttered, but a resolution was sorted of sorts. Houshmandzadeh (once again, thank you Command + V) wishes very much for a mid-season update. Let’s just hope he’s earning his money by Week 9.

You Missed It: Ethics of steel edition

Sooooo, how are things? Yeah? How’s work going for you? That’s cool. Me? Eh, things are slowing down, you know how it is …. Yeah, well, um …. I should get going, but it was great running into you like this. Oh, one other thing. If you were busy downloading peephole videos of sports reporters this week, odds are you missed it.

But enough about that, let’s talk about important things, like Michael Vick being freed
Did you hear that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused with sexual assault this week? If you did, you did not hear about it from ESPN, who remained eerily quiet on the topic. The story broke earily in the week, when a worker at a Nevada casino filed a civil suit, saying that Big Ben called her up to fix his television, then, well, you know. The point here is that until last night, ESPN was not talking about it. Yes the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” was mum on the quarterback of the reigning Super Bowl champs being charged in a civl case with probably the most career ending charge, other than murder. We don’t want to offend toothless Ben, after all.

The Eagle has landed and provided us with news in a dry week
Forty years ago this week, man walked on the moon for the first time. It’s the kind of thing that makes you stop and pause. Or, if you’re the media, it’s the kind of thing that makes you cover the story from about every conceivable angle. Did you know that Neil Armstong is very reclusive regarding his fame? Did you know that Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin legally changed his name to Buzz in 1988? Did you know that the astronauts had to go through customs when they came back to Earth? It’s all true. Now, let’s move onto talking about the long bureaucratic process the Apollo program took, or President John F. Kennedy’s famous speech, or ….

Put him altogether, then take him all apart
Michael Jackson’s nose. It’s been the butt of jokes, the subject of wonder, and quite possible the target of a surgery or two over the years. However, it seems now that the King of Pop’s nose is missing! Reports are that while his body was in the morgue, witnesses said the nose was not on his face while he was on the autopsy table. Don’t worry, everyone. Inspired by Mister Potato Head he had 16 different, changeable noses, from the skinny and pointed looking to the downright elven.