Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dana Jacobson Update

Many of you have probably heard of ESPN's Dana Jacobson's drunken antics at the Mike & Mike roast in Atlantic City recently. later reported from a tipster that Jacobson stated the following: "f*** Notre Dame", "f*** Touchdown Jesus", and "f*** Jesus." This has all started a maelstrom with Bill Donohue of the Catholic League getting upset about the Jacobson comments and people calling for her head. Video then surfaced of the event but not of Jacobson's tirade. Jacobson was suspended for her ramblings and issued an apology.

Obviously the political pressure has increased significantly on ESPN regarding this matter. Enough so that ESPN has now doubled back on its "policy" of not commenting on personnel matters. I wonder if Jacobson's gender has anything to do with this given ESPN's less than stellar history with gender relations.

Regardless, I have learned that Bill Donohue considers the matter over.

On January 22, I said in a news release that ‘there is no evidence that ESPN is taking this matter seriously.’ I am happy to say that after speaking to two ESPN officials today, and having learned more about exactly what happened, that the are in fact taking this matter seriously. Indeed, I am convinced that what occurred at the roast will not happen again.

To be sure, Jacobson’s remarks were patently offensive; no one involved in this incident, including her, is maintaining otherwise. But it is also true that there is no evidence that what we are dealing with is a bigot—lots of people who have made bigoted comments are not inveterate bigots. No, what we are dealing with is a person who went off the rails while drunk at a raucous event. “The ESPN officials whom I spoke to answered the questions I had to my satisfaction. Therefore, as far as the Catholic League is concerned, this matter is over.

ESPN has mollified the Catholic attack dog. And, I have also learned that ESPN will be meeting with the Christian Defense Coalition on Friday after the group protested ESPN corporate HQ in Bristol, Connecticut. This information comes from an email from ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber sent to me by a reader.

So, what have we learned today? ESPN will cave to political pressure and violate its own policies on personnel matters. Any way Jesse Jackson can get righteous and indignant about Harold Reynolds's situation so we can get more information?

Timber Jim Retires

Long-time Portland Timbers mascot "Timber Jim", Jim Serrill, is retiring. Timber Jim has been a fixture in the Portland soccer scene since 1978 when the Portland Timbers were a team in the defunct North American Soccer League (NASL).

Anytime a mascot that has incited a riot retires it is a big loss for all of us.

There's a story about an episode in Vancouver [B.C.] in the old days. We were in a playoff game and it was packed-33,000 people in Empire Stadium. We won and I was doing my thing. I was in their face, and the Canadians didn't like that. I got attacked. I incited a riot; and a bunch of Canadians came out of the stands. One guy hit me with a big bag of ice and cold-cocked me. The next thing I know, I'm being escorted out of the country by the Canadian police.


Timber Jim's act is well-known and widely regarded as one of the best mascots. He wields a chainsaw cutting a log round after every Timbers goal, coming down from the rafters with his chainsaw or drum and doing handsprings even into his 50's. Jim has retired or come close to retiring on several occasions for various reasons including the tragic death of his daughter in 2004. Jim has persevered and now it seems is finally calling it quits, which isn't surprising considering the physical demands of his routine.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Irony This Is Your Picture

I made my first visit to modern day Sodom this past weekend. New York City. I had a great time despite all of the smug, self-involved hipsters who seem deadset on reviving all the worst fashions of the 80s.
Sport was not the reason for my visit, but I couldn't leave it behind. Actually, it kind of hit me in the face in the form of an 80-foot tall billboard on the side of building on 8th and 42nd in Midtown. (I know the quality sucks but try to take a good picture with a cell-phone from a moving vehicle.)

This is without a doubt intended to be an un-ironic statement from ESPN's marketing gurus. But, it is the epitome of irony. Every time I have listened to any of the "talent" on the billboard I have been dumber for it.

Just for shits and giggles, I found further evidence that NYC is full of heathens. This sign was on 5th Avenue somewhere in Midtown. I am quite sure you would probably break your neck if you ever attempted what this sign implores you to do--"toss your own salad."