Archives For media

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I wrote this post back in March, after Adam Aron went on a strange media tour in which he explained why the Sixers were so bad. I detailed the many reasons why I thought he was doing a terrible job as CEO, and as it turns out, I’m a goddamned soothsayer. So, given the news that he’s been fired, I figured, “Hey, why expend any energy when I can just use an old post, change the title and call it a day?” That’s what I’m doing. These are the reasons why I think Aron will now be looking for a distressed cruise line (perhaps this one?) to steer back to a prosperous port.

 

I’ve had enough.

Adam Aron keeps saying that he views fans as unpaid management consultants, thousands of passionate followers that give solicited and unsolicited opinions on each decision made by the newish Sixers ownership group. So, knowing that, consider this post free advice to Aron. Consultant’s fee waived.

Aron went on a mini media tour yesterday, first speaking with John Gonzalez at CSN Philly and then to an in-studio visit with Mike Missanelli at 97.5 The Fanatic, where he took calls from exactly the type of enraged hardos that would wait on hold for an hour to yell at an owner.

For Aron, it took balls. I’ll say that much.

I think it was somewhat overkill– the Sixers are in the midst of a losing season, but they didn’t sacrifice a small child in front of their 12,000 fans. A Rock Center-style sit-down with a charged up Gonzo and an hour and 20-minute-plus in-studio appearance with Missanelli felt like a bit much at this juncture. But, I’ll give Aron credit for taking the lumps, like he always does. He attached his face to the franchise, and he’s not backing down now that the going has gotten tough. Then again, Aron is a millionaire businessman who made a name for himself managing distressed entertainment properties back to health, so tough is a relative word here.

What we’ve seen in the year and a half since Aron, majority owner Joshua Harris and their nasally drones* have taken over the team is a series of alarming and somewhat offensive missteps that make you wonder if they nose know what they’re doing.

*Is it just me or do the Sixers have the second most nasally ownership (hello, Mark Cuban) in the NBA? Can’t they get an Afrin sponsorship or something? Hell, their mascot could even be a big nose that sneezes when the Sixers make a three. 

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I’ve spent quite a bit of time on these missteps on the site, so I’ll just touch on some of Aron’s accomplishments since taking over the team, with links for further reading:

Mascots. A moose, a dogg and Jerry Sandusky. These were the options Jim Henson’s Creature Shop came back with and that the Sixers, in turn, released to the public. That was more than a year ago, and the Sixers are still without a mascot.

Confetti. Perhaps the most noticeable in-game enhancement has been the confetti that ejaculates itself after each home win. Because the Sixers are a circus act. Or because it worked on a cruise line that Aron oversaw.

PA announcer. The Sixers get a da fuck? rating here. They turned Matt Cord into the website video interview guy (a role filled by interns at most professional sports organizations) and brought back 842-year-old Tom Lamaine to liven things up at the Well. A year later, they canned Lamaine, held an audition SO YOU CAN BE THE NEXT SIXERS PA ANNOUNCER (!!!)… and then went with Cord all over again. Fans are mad about many things, but I think this is the thing that should be investigated for false advertising. First off, who the hell makes a seasoned pro like Cord compete against jacklefucks to win back his old job? Second, DON’T DANGLE A STICK IN FRONT OF JACKLEFUCKS FOR YOUR OWN BENEFIT! The jacklefuck don’t like that. Did any of the auditioners ever really have a chance, or was this just some ruse by the Sixers to make it seem like you, the fan, could be part of the product? Because if it was the latter, I’d suggest holding an open audition to be the team’s center. Surely there is someone in Philadelphia who can pull down more than one rebound per game at the NBA level.

Ayla Brown. She’s pretty. Great pipes. Good singer, too. But she’s a former American Idol contestant from Boston whose father, Scott Brown, was (at the time of her hire) a Massachusetts Senator. Never mind that Harris’ company owns the rights to 19 Entertainment and American Idol, one Boston website lays out a great case that the reason Brown got the anthemeist gig with the Sixers was because, at the time, Harris needed support from then-Senator Brown to pave the way for a casino project that one of his companies, Caesars Entertainment, was bidding for in Boston. [Brown is out of office, but it sounds like Caesars is still in the running].

Cannon. The Sixers most productive offseason acquisition has been a giant cannon that shoots hundreds of t-shirts per minute.

image from mobilwi.typepad.com

Even P.T. Barnum is impressed with the absurdity of that list. Confetti, cannons, probably rigged contests? At what point will there be a bunch of near cross-dressers injecting artificial enthusiasm?

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Ah shit.

Now let’s turn our attention to some select comments made by Aron yesterday, because my BS meter is having a mild freakout.

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Yes, Please

Kyle Scott —  June 24, 2013 — 12 Comments

Female reporter drops a fuck me on the air. Love the coolness of the anchor who has to transition from an expletive-filled report on strawberries to US-Taliban relations. Local newseseses, FTW!

via The School Philly

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That’s Flyers PR man Zack Hill trying hard to hold back a smile

There’s always those scenes in blockbuster movies where the antagonist – Raoul in Skyfall and pretty much every Batman bad guy ever are examples – obnoxiously grandstands about his or her principles (while failing to mention their own shortcomings…) just before meeting their ultimate fate, which is death or banishment.

That was Ilya Bryzgalov yesterday.

In his thick, perfect-Bond-bad-guy accent, Bryz ripped the media for lousy reporting, citing ethics and the greater good as reasons to be better scriptuals. In his mind, he may not be the hero Philly deserves, but he’s the one it needs. Go:

“You guys just here to blame someone, but you never look yourself in the mirror, right? You’re always good, you never make the mistakes. Your article’s always perfect. But in reality, what have you done for this city, if you ask yourself? What have you done? Ask yourself that question. Besides only criticize. Well, not much.”

“Need to be fair, need to see the whole picture. It’s easy to criticize…  it’s tough to find something good.”

“Sometimes it’s just ridiculous. Sometimes you reading and it’s like, oh my God, who’s this lunatic you’re writing about? Because it was nothing close to the truth or close to related to hockey. You read this, and it’s like, oh my God, I got to deal with these people everyday. Like I said before– before you write something, you got to read what you’re writing. Because I never saw it. I’m two years here, I never saw it like for two years– good article, with, like, Flyers lose the game because this, this, this, this this. They need to improve their team, like this, this, this or this. I’ve never. That’s what you call professionalism. That’s where you can say: OK, this reporter knows hockey, he knows what he’s talking about.”

“I [read] a lot [of articles]. We have some clips in the locker room pretty much everyday. I read a lot, believe me.”

Hard facts, then: Bryz had a 2.79 goals-against average (36th in the league) and a .900 save percentage (43rd in the league).

Unfortunately, Bryz may be too busy ranting to notice a stealthy Paul Holmgren perched in a ventilation duct above with a shotgun and an amnesty exemption.

Must-see video after the jump. Continue Reading…

John Harbaugh, coaching the Ravens in the Super Bowl against his brother’s 49ers, in case you haven’t heard, spoke with reporters in New Orleans today and made this crack about his time as Eagles special teams coach:

Not sure if that’s because of the ferociousness with which they cover the team… or because of this series of hostage videos from Rob Charry on YouTube.


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Before speaking with the Philly media, Andy Reid met with reporters in Kansas City. As you can see, putting Reid in bar chair without a table in front of him was a bad idea.

 

Still working on that time management thing.

Andy Reid – I’m guessing somewhat reluctantly – met with the Philly media today via conference call. He was late. The call was supposed to begin at 4 p.m., but it was pushed back to 4:30 so Reid could continue to receive pleasantries from local media in Kansas City. And you know, it’s almost as if the delay was intentional– to just one last time get under the skin of local scriptuals. Which he did. But thankfully Howard Eskin was on the line to tell everyone to relax.

Some highlights from the edited audio, which you will find after the jump:

The first minute is the sound of irritated scriptuals and Howard Eskin complaining about the wait.

1:10- Howard Eskin takes a swipe at phone system in Kansas City (the call was on Free Conference Call).

1:15- Eskin asks why it took a week to talk to the Philadelphia media. Reid: “I just thought there was a time and place.” 

That place is, apparently, on a shitty conference line with an annoying metronome from 1,000 miles away. 

Reid mentions that he didn't want to address it right after the game… which is strange, because he supposedly wasn't fired until Monday, which – and I'm not good at math here – was a day after the Eagles' last game.

2:52- Reid asked about how he was treated by the fans. Reid: “The fans, they care. And that’s all that matters to me. I didn’t care if they were chanting my name in a negative way or a good way.” 

3:20- Reid asked why he didn’t take out an ad in the newspaper or a billboard. Reid said he was using this chance to talk to all media, knowing how closely fans follow through said media. Reid: “You can’t put a billboard in every part of the city. And I don’t know how many people read the newspapers anymore. They read the Internet.”

Zinger to hardened scriptuals– nice. But I think Reid is misunderstanding the fact that an ad in even one newspaper would be blasted all over local media– radio, TV and, yes, the interwebs. Of course, if he wants to take out an ad on CB and make up for all the dollars he cost me by NOT HAVING A PLAYOFF WIN TO COVER, he can be my guest. 

4:24- Still owns home, hasn’t sold it.

4:30- Les Bowen continues to haunt Reid, even in Kansas City. Bowen asks about Jeffrey Lurie’s comments that Howie Roseman handled only the 2012 draft and didn’t have final say prior to that. A good question. Reid hints that there was a divide there: “I think the most important thing… everybody has got to be pulling in the same direction. When that gets out of whack, bad things happen.”

5:48- Reid is pressed on that issue by Paul Jolovich, WHO SCREAMS A GOOD FOLLOW UP at Reid: “Listen, I’m not getting into all that. Those are just things you learn from and you move on.” 

Hmm.

6:00Fin. A cacophony of hang up alerts usher out the Reid era like soldiers firing their weapons to salute a fallen comrade.

Audio after the jump.

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I’ll be honest, when I read the Tweets from Jacksonville reporter Vito Stellino yesterday about Jason Babin’s criticism of the Philly media, I thought Stellino was at least somewhat embellishing Babin’s sentiment. 

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Like, Babin couldn’t have possibly said reporters had stinky breath and been serious, right? 

Wrong.

He was serious. 

As suspected, there was more to Babin’s interview than what was shown on the Jaguars' website. Stellino recorded it and passed along the audio to WIP’s Marc Farzetta [listen here]. Incredibly, Babin is even more of a douchebag crybaby than we previously thought. He said these words, in order:

“I got them last year, most of all the reporters, and I challenged them to be professional. I said, if you want the hard questions, you can’t come in here in shorts and old shoes that aren’t tied and stinky breath. If you want to write about something, ask a question to understand what we’re doing. I’ll explain it to you. Be critical. I basically told them to be professionals.”

“I just challenged them and they didn’t like it.”

“You guys (Jaguars reporters) are professionals, you know, you understand the game. You understand how to write, how to ask questions. All they do (in Philly) is ask loaded questions, “Do you blame Trent Cole for not getting a sack today?” You know what I mean? That’s all they did, they tried to pop headlines to read something wild. That’s how it is there, you know?”

 

Amazing. He actually said stinky breath… and meant it.

The audio and a full transcription is here.


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Here are some Tweets (aggregated) from Jacksonville reporter Vito Stellino (Irish?), who was there when Jason Babin met with the media today: [these comments didn't occur during the 6:21 of video on the Jaguars' website, so there is some context missing]

Babin met with press and said he is happy to be in Jax, impressed with practice and wants to be here long term. Of his image in Philly, he said he challenged the Philly writers to be professional. Said they asked loaded questions. Babin said of Eagles, "Things are kind of stagnant. They could ultimately get worse before they get better.'' Besides loaded questions, not being professional, Babin said Philly writers didn't tie shoes, wore shorts, had stinky breath.

 

I’m not 100% sure that last part wasn’t tongue-in-cheek (from Babin or Stellino), but still… wow. On one hand, I get an unnatural thrill every time an athlete rips the local media. It’s funny. But with the other, I want to punch Babin in the face. He’s either too stupid to realize what he’s saying half the time, or he is the biggest crybaby to ever play in Philadelphia (and I don’t take writing that sentence lightly). Challenged the media to be professional? YO DOUCHEBAG, HOWS ABOUT CUTTING BACK ON THE TRIBAL TATTOOS AND STUPID ASS CELEBRATIONS AND GETTING STUCK IN THE ALASKAN WILDERNESS INSTEAD OF ATTENDING MINI CAMP AND WANTING TO RUN WITH THE BULLS, YOU POOR, POOR SPORT, YOU.

This is the same guy whose wife went after CSN’s Reuben Frank on Twitter for a very fair criticism and whose publicist got irrationally snippy with us because we wrote some negative stuff about Babin in January.

Of course, Les Bowen punched Jeff McLane in the head last year. So there’s some truth to what Babin said. But he's still a dick.

Here are some other quotes, taken from the video on the Jaguars' website, which you can watch here:

Blames the team for his lack of sacks: “Sometimes individual stats are a culmination of team effort, even though an individual gets the accolades.”

Is delusional about the Jaguars“Things are stagnant [in Philly]. They can ultimately get worse before they get better. So being a part of something that is about to blossom is definitely an exciting feeling.”

On getting bashed leaving Philly“Well, if you don’t know Philly, that’s a little bit of endearment. That’s kind of the way they love. It’s like a backhanded compliment. The non-Philly person would look at it as mean cruel, but it’s a little bit of a sign of endearment. [When they say you’re surly?] It’s a little bit of their style, I guess.”

No, no– we really didn't like you.

On being misportrayed by the media“They got to find something to write about, right? There’s about ten-times them as there are you guys.”

The video cut off after that, so we'll keep you updated if we find the full context of Stellino's comments.

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Tipped off by a line from Sam Carchidi in this morning's Inquirer - which pointed to a Russian report that Ilya Bryzgalov had gotten testy with reporters after a recent 6-2 win for his team, CSKA – the folks over at Pro Hockey Talk were able to dig up video an awkward exchange between Bryz, a few Russian scriptuals, and one, dangling, protective cup.

Bryz, apparently unhappy with some things that had been written about him and his below .900 save percentage, told reporters that he had been advised by his wife, mom and dad to not speak with the media anymore. Here’s the full transcript of the exchange from SportsBox.ru: [translated] 

"What do you want me to say to all of you? Write some nasty things about me and now suddenly applying for the interview! Look at how many good players around! There is also talk with anyone. Why me? In fact, my wife has banned Eugene interviews. And mom and dad too. If you call them in Togliatti, and they are allowed, then maybe. You think I'm joking, knowing that I can do this? No. In this case, not joking. I'm telling the truth."

At least share experiences from the last game. She's turned out well for you, Bragin praised.

"What kind of experiences are you talking? I even remained dry form … Can you feel, to see this."

Why in the first period for a moment you substituted Ilya Proskuryakov [starting goalie]? Surely you were not aware that he was going out of the gate on the bench can not?

"To be honest, did not know."

Well, it's almost the interview obtained. Then it can be one more question: do you stick thrown in the washer [net?], then was appointed bullet [goal]?

"Of course not. It just fell out of my hand. All. No longer hear anything from me."

 

And scene. Arguing with the media is a transcontinental pastime for Bryz, it seems.

Video after the jump.

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