Another Example of Lousy Sports Reporting

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It’s usually Flyers writers mouthing their subjects. But Bob Grotz of the Delco Times managed to show just how shallow and easily-won-over local, access-seeking sportswriters can be.

I don’t know LeSean McCoy. I’ve never met him. But doing what I do I’ve heard from more than one person that early-career success has, at least a bit, gone to his head. His Twitter feud with his baby mama and a lawsuit which alleges that he and his boys assaulted and threw a woman off a party bus on the NJ Turnpike buoy that claim. McCoy has created a bit of a troublemaker image for himself.

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Over time, it’s easy enough for any athlete or celebrity to shed such a non-damning image. Time and a few gentle deeds will win-over most observers. Or, if you’re Grotz, one charity softball game – that McCoy showed up late to – is enough to alleviate any character concerns: [Delco Times]

For a while there, LeSean McCoy sure didn’t seem like the guy you would want pitching an ALS Society fundraiser.

The fierceness that made McCoy a Pro Bowl running back with the Eagles two years ago got the ultimate competitor in trouble off the field.

But Saturday, McCoy didn’t seem remotely like the guy who went toe-to-toe on Twitter with the mother of his son, an ugly exchange in which he ultimately apologized to the woman and to the public.

He didn’t seem at all like the guy who commissioned the so-called “party bus” in which one of the female passengers allegedly was jettisoned at a rest area on the New Jersey Turnpike after reportedly claiming she was assaulted. Police said no charges were filed.

Saturday night, McCoy was simply the ambassador of the second LeSean McCoy Charity Softball Game at Clipper Magazine Stadium, home of the Independent League Lancaster Barnstormers. The event pitting NFL players against McCoy and the Eagles raises funds and awareness for ALS, the disease that claimed McCoy’s late grandmother, Maryann Branch.

Arriving fashionably late, McCoy went right to work, defeating Torrey Smith of the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens in the home run derby and then drilling another dinger in the game.

Well! Forget about the guy who abandoned his child and called its mother worthless. And forget about that whole party bus misunderstanding. McCoy showed up late to his own charity event and hit a home run. That’s what matters. You know who else shows up late to their own fundraiser? Dickheads.

As I said, I’ve never met McCoy. Maybe he’s a great guy, maybe he’s not. Maybe, like most NFL players, he’s somewhere in between good kid and murderer. That’s not the point. The point is that (sports and other) media is often too obsessed with gaining access to their subjects for often mundane, canned and scripted comments. This instead of actually questioning them. As such, you get lazy and favorable clichés so, next time, McCoy might talk to me.

Andrew Sullivan (one of the bloggers who is having success with a paywall) summed up this paradigm nicely in writing about the mainstream media’s terrible coverage of Ed Snowden (admittedly a much more important topic than LeSean McCoy being a troublemaker):

First, underlying a lot of this, is the MSM’s fear and loathing and envy of the blogger journalist. Notice that [NBC News' David] Gregory calls [Guardian reporter who broke Snowden story Glenn] Greenwald a “polemicist” – not a journalist. The difference, I presume, is that polemicists actually make people in power uncomfortable. Journalists simply do their best to get chummy with them in order to get exclusive tidbits that the powerful want you to know.

The point is, many writers – sports or otherwise – too often give favorable coverage to their subjects in order to continue, or further, their access.

Good for McCoy for hosting a charity event. But, newsflash: just about every major athlete has a foundation. It’s PR 101 for these guys. Hold a few events a year, raise some money, donate a portion to charity… and use the rest to pay for the event (some are better than others, and we’ll have a post on this soon). McCoy showing up late to a softball game does not shed his troublemaker image– it makes him just like his peers: Brent Celek, Cole Hamels, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, Lou Williams and, yes, Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson, all of whom have foundations.

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Let’s talk about those last two.

Here was the official press release for McCoy’s event, which cost anywhere from $10-$60 to attend:

Philadelphia Eagles’ All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy and the LeSean McCoy Foundation have released the names of several NFL players who have accepted the invitation to play in the 2nd Annual LeSean McCoy Celebrity Softball game at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, PA on Saturday, June 22nd at 7pm. The softball game will pit McCoy and his Eagle teammates against NFL All-Stars. DeSean Jackson, Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin are among McCoy’s Eagles’ teammates who have indicated they will be participating.

Guess who wasn’t there? Vick and Jackson. Guess who glossed over that whilst waxing poetic about McCoy? Grotz:

In addition to Maclin, Eagles teammates involved in the event were Brent Celek, Jamar Chaney, Brandon Graham and Jason Avant. Quarterback Michael Vick and wide receiver DeSean Jackson canceled due to “last-minute obligations,” according to organizers.

I get the sense that, often, players are listed as attending these sorts of events without actually ever confirming their presence. It’s happened to Jackson before. So you can either blame McCoy, for promoting their supposed attendance, or blame Vick and Jackson. Here’s what the latter was doing on Saturday:

I’m sure D-Jac will just have to glance at Grotz in a press conference and all will be forgiven.

McCoy held a nice event on Saturday. But saying that it shed his troublemaker image is lazy and yet another example of media being wayyyy too willing to regurgitate a press release and a few canned responses, all so they can continue to play the game.

28 Comments

  1. You’re one to talk about lousy sports reporting.
    What’s Jeff Carter up to?
    HOW MANY beers did Scott Hartnell order for his teammates at a Phillies game?!?!?!
    Who are the morons who reported that Aron was fired? Even though I reported it as well I’m gonna trash everyone else!
    Seriously, what is Jeff Carter up to? Is he at the shore? You need to send someone to stalk him!
    Can we get a reaction video of someone listening to Cary Williams?

    This blog is TMZ, sports edition, garbage.

    • Kyle Scott

      June 25, 2013 at 11:44 am

      In order:

      In Sea Isle, I have pictures.

      No sure. Last I saw him he was singing karaoke.

      Eskin, the Inquirer, and Dei Lynam.

      Yes, he’s in Sea Isle.

      I’ll be sure to do that the next time he says something dumb.

      • You clearly don’t get it. People in glass houses…..

        • Kyle Scott

          June 25, 2013 at 11:50 am

          I got it.

          • Did you also get the memo that your wife gets destroyed by black guys on the regular??? That’s why she doesn’t take you seriously. Your skinny dick doesn’t satisfy her and she secretly hates you for not being able to pleasure her.

    • John,
      You know you love this site

  2. The most shocking thing to come out of this post is that Kyle Scott reads Andrew Sullivan. That is in no way a bash.

  3. John's a loser

    June 25, 2013 at 11:49 am

    That is all

  4. Kinda sad and pathetic to see adults spending their hard earned money trying to see a guy who plays with a ball for a living.
    Hopefully they were able to fulfill their lifetime dream of patting him on the but.

  5. Careful…Grotz is Cataldi’s boy at the DelCo Times. You toe the party line with the propaganda and agenda of the Morning Show and WIP in General going against Grotz may cause conflict.

  6. Why are you so angry John? Kyle is just pointing out that these heroes that you worship, aren’t what they portray themselves to be. Just be thankful Marcus Hayes hasn’t had the time to write a soliloquy about this yet.

    What you or anyone who attended the game should be angry about are all of the names that were advertised to appear in in the local paper just two days before the game, and never showed.

    “The game will pit McCoy and his Eagles teammates DeSean Jackson, Fletcher Cox, Michael Vick and Jeremy Maclin against NFL All-Stars. Two members of the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, running back Ray Rice and wide receiver Torrey Smith, will be headlining the NFL-All Stars team along with Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis. Plaxico Burress of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Marques Colston of the New Orleans Saints, Heisman Trophy winner and New Orleans Saints Mark Ingram Jr., Mike Wallace of the Miami Dolphins, and Penn State alumnus Devon Still of the Cincinnati Bengals, former Penn State defensive lineman and Lebanon high school grad, Jared Odrick, currently of the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay¹s Kevin Ogletree, Greg Little and Dion Lewis of the Cleveland Browns and wide receiver, Chris Givens, of the St. Louis Rams. While no player appearances are guaranteed, former Eagle cornerbacks Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and current Eagles tight end Brent Celek have committed to the game, according to the Lancaster Barnstormers.”

    Either that’s lazy reporting or they were given incorrect information from a guy who shows up late to his own home run derby and game.

    • You CLEARLY don’t get it. I don’t care about petty nonsense that consumes this blog.
      GIROUX PLAYED BEER PONG! OMG!!!
      GIROUX DOES KARAOKE! While drinking BEER!!! OMG!!!
      Scott Hartnell orders BEER for his teammates at a Phillies game!!! OMG!!!!!

      Who the F cares about this stuff? All Kyle Scott is doing is trying to start trouble. Athletes go out. Athletes are human. They aren’t Kyle Scott’s goddamn slaves who should be practicing or lifting weights 24/7. This blog is a prime example of why athletes don’t want to come to Philly. People like this moron won’t let them have a normal life.

  7. Shady loves beating chicks

  8. I don’t understand why people care what sports players do off the field… as long as he can run the ball efficiently on the field i dont care if he talks trash on twitter or drops women off at a rest stop.. can we get some real sports news? maybe phillies trade rumors.. who they are trying to buy? Flyers off season rumors? you know sports related things..

    • people care bc 1) they’re celebrities and 2) in some cases “role models”… whenever you’re in the public eye, people care. DUH. this would apply to actors/actresses, musicians, etc, too…. as long as the movie is good, as long as the CD is good, who cares what they do? ….but people do.

  9. Candy from the Oak

    June 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Any story on horse getting knocked up

  10. The Original that guy

    June 25, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Kyle, you are dead on about most journalists. The good thing is, their mediums are dying, and shake ups will take place.

  11. Best line of this article:
    “You know who else shows up late to their own fundraiser? Dickheads.”
    Why do athletes think they are above everyone else and just act like douchebags all of the time? Showing up late to his own event puts him a small step above Lochte on the douche ladder

  12. So should we only focus on gossipy and negative and nothing positive? Or do we have read a personal back history on every player each time?

  13. Make Philadelphia a better place to live. Fire Michael Barkann. A self important Buffoon.

  14. Worley's Hot Piece of Ass

    June 25, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I bet that old blonde hag loves getting pounded up the hershey highway. She looks like one of those kinds

  15. Delco Times is a R-A-G. how do I know ?

    I’m from Delco.

    Girls from Delco suck harder than Candy from the Oak

  16. journalists are going the way of the dinosaur.

    they won’t embrace the future of recording stories for future generations.

    ” will I Dream ?”

  17. Tyler Durden PHI

    June 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    I went to this event – mainly to get Ray Rice to sign my Rutgers jersey (I attended Rutgers the same time he did) but he was another no show. Crowd wasn’t huge but it was decent for what it was.

  18. John,

    I dont think you get it…Why the fuck do you come on here and waste your time if you think this Blog is TMZ Sports Garbage.

    Kyle CLEARLY Stated the purpose of this blog last week and I think you have high expectations or your just angry at life…maybe you need to rub one out fuck I don’t know…Either way it cracks me up to see people rip Crossing Broad like there expecting some 30 for 30 shit.

    He reports about Philly sports,(and sometimes just things that happen in and or around Philly) and what our athletes who we scrutinize so much do when there not playing sports and he also takes info that’s already out there and puts most of it in one spot for your daily dose of social networking updates.

    Go read the New York Post if you want something to stimulate your super huge brain man.

  19. manager schrobbs

    June 26, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Desean jackson is acting like an ahole? I can’t believe it.

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