THE BOYS ARE AT MEMORIAL ONE FINAL TIME!
As Week 7 of the high school football season is upon us, the boys are back at Memorial Field to bring you all the action in a Class 3A, District 1 match-up as the the Bishop Heelan Crusaders (4-2, 2-2), led by head coach Jerry Steffen, welcome the Bulldogs of Algona (3-3, 1-3) and head coach Andy Jacobson. This is Bishop Heelan’s final home game of the season.
It’s been a weird week insports.
Last week, the sports world was abuzz about the National Anthem stuff. It only took seven seconds of a Cam Newton press conference to put the country’s flagasm on the back burner.
On Wednesday, the Carolina Panthers quarterback fielded a question from Charlotte Observer beat writer Jourdan Rodrigue about wide receiver Devin Funchess embracing the physicality of routes and if Newton enjoyed that.
Newton replied, “It’s funny to hear a female talk about routes like — it’s funny.”
He then answered the question.
After the press conference, Rodrique tweeted (@JordanRodrigue): I don’t think it’s “funny” to be a female and talk about routes. I think it’s my job.
Later on, Rodrigue went back on Twitter: I spoke with him after and it was worse. I chose not to share, because I have an actual job to do today and one he will not keep me from.
The Panthers issued a statement. The Charlotte Observer issued a statement. Fine. PR people love to issue statements. Spin it however you want. End of story, right?
On Thursday, Dannon Yogurt announced it was dropping its sponsorship of Newton. This is weird because I had no idea Newton was shilling for a yogurt company. The only yogurt ads I ever remember seeing featured old people and one of the features of the yogurt was bowel regularity. Yogurt must be a more competitive business than I originally thought.
On Thursday morning, nobody in the sports world knew who Jordan Rodrigue is. Literally nobody. Now, everybody knows. And, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
Also on Thursday, a website called BlackSportsOnline.com discovered some tweets from Rodrigue dating back to 2012. In one tweet, Rodrigue referred to NASCAR driver Dale Earnhart as a b-word (rhymes with witch) n-word (but ends with a). Yeah, I don’t really get that one, either.
In two other tweets, she mentioned approvingly that her father was telling racist jokes, once as they drove through “Navajo country.”
So, later on Thursday, Rodrigue had to issue an apology of her own.
Tweets from that long ago should be well-forgotten by now. But when she made a big thing out of Newton’s statement, the lurkers went to work. And 24 hours later, she’s getting the type of publicity you never want. Just ask Don Imus.
Also on Thursday, thanks to a public records request from the Louisville Courier-Journal, we learned how the Adidas money was distributed at the University of Louisville. The school inked a 10-year, $160 million deal with the school in August. Now-suspended athletics director Tom Jurich was asked by a reporter at the time whether the school would be shared by the athletics department with the rest of the university. Jurich replied, “It’s for the athletic department. It’s for these student-athletes. It’s been earmarked for them.”
But if the past is any indicator (and it usually is), the athletic department is barely a beneficiary, let alone the school as a whole.
The real beneficiary is Rick Pitino, the now-suspended head basketball coach.
In 2015-16, $1.5 million went to Pitino under his personal services contract with Adidas. A mere $25,000 went to the program, according to the Courier-Journal.
The previous year, Pitino also got $1.5 million, while the athletic department got $10,000.
The credit for this nugget goes to the staff of the Courier-Journal who dug up the records. Politicians (both political and administrative) start believing their own B.S. without a media challenging anything they say. This happens all the time. News stories come from press releases and press conferences. I’ve got news for these reporters out there: press releases and press conferences are a manner of controlling information, not releasing information. It’s always one side of the story. Every time. Reporters are neglecting their profession if they take anything at face value from any official. Unfortunately, this happens the majority of the time in most news markets throughout the country. Reporters should not be anyone’s friend. They should not care whether they are liked by officials, but rather respected. A good reporter will earn that respect by doing a thorough job to bring the news to the public. And then maybe people will start buying newspapers again.
Are we still talking about sports?
The boys will be all together again in the booth this week. Justin Barker will handle the play-by-play. Dan Vakulskas will provide the color commentary, robed in all his glory. Brian Vakulskas will be there in the interest of snark.
It’s been a rough week for JB.
A text message sent in January to JB by his wife took him to task for an anti-satellite ratio statement posted on Facebook from his KSCJ’s public account.
The statement, which featured a photograph of JB listening to a portable Sony table-top radio, read, “Celebrating the value & miracle of all local radio stations #Sanctity of Local Radio Sunday 2016.” When a fellow terrestrial radio broadcaster thanked JB for his support of local radio stations over satellite radio, JB replied, “For the untold millions denied the right to local radio is #WhyWeMarch.” The posts came amid the annual March for Local Radio rally in Washington, DC.
“And you have zero issue posting your terrestrial radio stance all over the place when you had no issue asking me to listen to satellite radio just last week when we thought that was one of the options as we drove to Iowa City,” JB’s wife wrote via text message to the co-host of “Good Morning Siouxland”.
On Wednesday, JB issued a statement saying he would not listen to satellite radio anymore, given he hosts a morning program on terrestrial radio
A text from JB’s cell phone number that same day in response says, “I get what you say about my terrestrial radio messages. I’ve never written them. Michael Moos does them. I read them and winced. I told Michael don’t write any more. I will.”
Kickoff is set for 7:00 Friday night, with the Knova’s Carpets Pregame Show at 6:30 on KSCJ.
Pregame interview with Bishop Heelan head coach Jerry Steffen:
Pregame show opening segment:
Davenport Cleaners halftime interview with bestselling author Rich Cohen about his new book, THE CHICAGO CUBS: Story of a Curse: