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Friday, October 12, 2007

The Stephen A. Smith Interview

Next up in our ongoing interview series:

Stephen A. Smith.

We posed some questions for Mr. Smith, some of the answers may very well surprise you.

1) You have a unique style and presence. The internet and critics are often unkind and harp on the your propensity for loud deliveries. It's ironic that one of the 'endearing' things people find about Dick Vitale is his loud, excited manner. Do you think there is a particular reason that yours might be received more critically?

Obviously, my being BLACK doesn't help when coupled with my demonstrative delivery, and I'll openly admit I need to tone the volume down a bit -- which is difficult because I've been loud my entire life. But I really don't concern myself with critics or their views because, by and large, I think their cynicism is an ingrained excuse to avoid the validity of the words coming out of my mouth.

The fact, why far from flawless, I usually know what I'm talking about while providing a perspective that's rarely heard, mainly because of the paucity of BLACKS in my chosen field. I consider it my responsibility to express a point of view -- even one I may admittedly not necessarily agree with -- that echoes that of the disenfranchised, the individuals who feel passionately about something yet go unheard. When you have that type of conscience, that little something extra in your soul, the haters will undoubtedly be right everywhere. I not only except it; I embrace it. Always have! Always will!

2) What still remains for you to do on TV? You have had an accomplished career in television. What goals still remain to be met?

I'm still aspiring to be a reporter for 60 minutes one day. Regardless of my opinions, it would still be a dream come true for me.....Ed Bradley is something I've idolized my entire adult life. That has not change, although he's departed from us now.

3) Travis Johnson has taken a lot of heat for his post game comments about Trent Green. Many sportswriters (ie, Peter King) have lambasted Johnson for his statements, essentially saying 'get over it, the hit wasn't illegal'. Some of these are the same people (ie, Peter King) that years ago wrote columns saying that Warren Sapp's hit on Chad Clifton may have been legal, but was unnecessary and cheap . Any thoughts on this?

No thoughts whatsoever. I really don't care about that at all.

4) When is the last time you watched a hockey game?

Last year...........Flyers vs. Rangers.

5) As basketball season begins, we'd be remiss not to ask a basketball related question. We've read that the Pacers are re-marketing themselves to their fan base. That, essentially, their studies show they have a 'conservative market' that doesn't identify with 'hip hop' culture. As part of the effort to regain profitability and sell tickets, they hope to field a team which exhibits the 'conservative market's' values of 'hard work, fundamentals and team work', and focus less on the individual player. Do you think a team can be successful on the court with a basketball/coaching philosophy built on marketing goals? And, clearly when you cut through the politically correct language, those goals are based on appealing to a white fan base.

I see no problem with what the Pacers are doing, for several reasons. First, marketing is what's things are all about these days and if the Pacers decide they want to focus on team, we all can certainly understand why that would be the safest direction to head in, in light of Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and some of the other individuals that have managed to get themselves into troubling situations.

But more importantly, to answer your latter question directly regarding appealing to a white audience, if that's their audience, what's wrong with it? Just like politicians, no franchise is bigger than its constituency. If Indiana's fan base is majority white and you're asking them to pay their hard-earned dollars to patronize your product, then they have a right to want what they want and expect you to give them what they want. We all need to realize that and act accordingly. And if we have a problem with such a mantra or edict, then go work in a place or for an organization that mirrors you own individual belief system.

That's the way things are in America. We all need to get use to it.

38 comments:

Dave the Wave said...

ok...so screamin' a says that if you don't like the values of where you work, and that if they are directed towards embracing values that aren't your own...then find another job.

am i wrong, or is he suing his old newspaper for letting him go...because he no longer fit what they were looking for?

hypocrit.

uncommon sense said...

smith's answer about finding it acceptable to appeal to the white fan base is very clever.

in accepting that idea, he sets himself up to later, as the demographics in this country show the change, say it is ok to appeal to mostly a black audience.

nothing hypocritical about that!

Steven A's Cheese Doodles said...

you didn't aks him about cheez doodles!!!

Gern said...

Hey, congrats on your great interview with the black Skip Bayless. Talk about two peas in a pod.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"Talk about two peas in a pod."

Sir, let's.

Which peas and which pod?

censored said...

Do you think a team can be successful on the court with a basketball/coaching philosophy built on marketing goals?

Why are you limiting this marketing discussion to Indiana? Arent the knicks doing the same thing for a more colorful fan base by employing "bitch hatin'" isiah thomas and convict Zach Randolph? This is at least equal to indianas attempt to cater to a more conservative fan base.

Also steven smith is a loudmouth who often spews misinformation whenever he deals with any sport other than basketball..his ESPN show was a collossal failure because of this. ESPN should team him up on a new talk show with stuart scott..."Lazy Eye and the Screamin Guy".

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"This is at least equal to indianas attempt to cater to a more conservative fan base. "

Sir, no. It's not.

Do a little reading and find out about the completely revamped marketing campaign Indy is undertaking and find out about the ad firms research that led to it.

Please, stop making assumptions about things which you have clearly not taken the time to research.

It makes you look dumb.



Or should we say, dumber.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"his ESPN show was a collossal failure because of this'

Sir, certainly, it was a 'collossal' failure in comparison to your show.....

Jack Brown said...

Stephen A. Smith is BLACK?

censored said...

"his ESPN show was a collossal failure because of this'

Sir, certainly, it was a 'collossal' failure in comparison to your show.....

Sir i see your point...so certainly it was a collossal success compared to your blog.

censored said...

Do a little reading and find out about the completely revamped marketing campaign Indy is undertaking and find out about the ad firms research that led to it.

Please, stop making assumptions about things which you have clearly not taken the time to research.


Clearly the knicks goal is to sell tickets as well and so their moves indicate a catering to a different type of fan base.

Malcom Hex said...

i don't get it...he says that sometimes he says things that he really doesn't believe in, because other people that believe in them go unheard or are "disenfranchised"....so, i mean....when he talks.....how do you REALLY know what HE believes in???

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"Clearly the knicks goal is to sell tickets as well and so their moves indicate a catering to a different type of fan base."

Sir, and the Celtics play in a 'conservative' town...and they brought in Negro players and a Negro coach...are they catering the same way to their fan base? Or are they catering to their fanbase by trying to WIN?

We'd say the Knicks' are doing the same things as the Celtics.

You can't say that about Indy, the information about there intentions and marketing plan is out there. And it has been put out there by the people doing it.

You haven't done what we asked of you...you haven't researched this.

And you aren't making sense.

Sorry.

madd hatter said...

"You haven't done what we asked of you...you haven't researched this. "

Nois makes a good point, censored.

censored lives in a tit for tat world. what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

but when the information comes directly from Indy that they are appealing to the values they perceive of their 'conservative market'...you can't transpose that to EVERY team. IE, like nois said, the celtics...if that was the case they'd be doing what indy is doing....if censored can find info on the knicks marketing plan that corresponds to what he says, maybe he could prove his point....but, i doubt the knicks even have a marketing plan...lol

censored said...

"values of 'hard work, fundamentals and team work'"

If you build a team this way odds are it will be a winner...so try to put a racist spin on it all you want but it is yet to be seen if Indianas approach will be successful....this is a franchise that has been hurt terribly by the animalistic behavior of players such as ron artest....they have felt the sting of that at the box office and are entitled to try to get the fan base in any way they choose. The NBA is a league on a major downslide in terms of popularity....even the finals dont draw an audience anymore and I think teams are starting to panic a bit about the long term popularity of their franchises.

Graham Davis said...

Isn't it somewhat offensive to associate "hard work, fundamentals, and teamwork" with "white" culture? I mean, the truth is, I don't think a team will be popular for its marketing alone; winning is what matters. The Pacers collapsed after the fight at the Palace, then had all of the later Stephen Jackson nonsense... of course Pacers fans will stay away. Win, and they'll be back... commercials won't matter.

madd hatter said...

"If you build a team this way odds are it will be a winner"

it doesn't mention any thing about TALENT, dumbass.

Look at college sports...there are plenty of teams that are founded on hard work, fundamentals and team work....AND THEY SUCK.

same in pro sports...get your head out of your ass..

Al_Sharpton's_Banana_Hammock said...

"this is a franchise that has been hurt terribly by the animalistic behavior of players such as ron artest"

you forget, it was a little white dude talking shit and throwing beer at him that ignited the fire...

The Fan's Attic said...

The only thing Stephen A. could have written in those responses were the words "BLACK" and "BLACKS", since those are the only all cap words. And, as everyone knows, Stephen A. only writes and talks in ALL CAPS.

Also, I find it hard to believe that such an educated and intelligent black man, such as Stephen A., would make simple mistakes such as:

1. "I not only except it; I embrace it. Always have! Always will!" Obviously, a lesser person that Stephen A. wrote this because of the use of "except" rather than accept. And,

2. "Ed Bradley is something I've idolized my entire adult life." Surely, the real Stephen A. would realize that Ed Bradley is a person and not "something."

madd hatter said...

"Win, and they'll be back... "

NO DOUBT!


reading nois question again...stephen a. didn't really answer it....nois asked if they could build a winner by basing the basketball philosophy on the marketing strategy...smith never really addressed that...

Jack Brown said...

Weren't they selling out in Indy back when O'Neal, Jackson, and Artest had them in the playoffs? I wonder when market research will show that winning is good marketing. Maybe then Indy management would be willing to give it a try.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"The only thing Stephen A. could have written in those responses were the words "BLACK" and "BLACKS", since those are the only all cap words. And, as everyone knows, Stephen A. only writes and talks in ALL CAPS."

Sir, if your insinuation is that this was not real interview with Mr. Smith....well, you are wrong.

Just as our previous interviews with Scoop Jackson and Jason Whitlock were true communications.

Mr. Smith answered our questions via email and probably did not bother editing himself.

We put his responses up 'as is'.

Feel free to contact him and ask him.

Tripod said...

"Sir, if your insinuation is that this was not real interview with Mr. Smith....well, you are wrong."


this cat is probably just bitter he can't get anyone to interview for his own blog...

Dinosaur said...

Sir,

Another excellent interview, but I would like to take issue with your comment regarding Dick Vitale. Please understand that there is a significant number of people (white people, no less) who find Vitale not endearing, but annoying. Highly annoying. And a major reason we find him annoying is due to his "loud, excited manner." Many of us would compare him to a feminine hygiene product, or perhaps to a beast of burden from biblical times.

Of course, a much better reason to find Vitale annoying is due to his obvious, undying love for the Great Satan of Durham. Some things are unforgivable.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"but I would like to take issue with your comment regarding Dick Vitale"

Sir, if you noticed, we had the word endearing in quotes in the interview.

;)

The Fan's Attic said...

Sir,

I am insinuating that Stephen A. did not write this because he would never have such gratuituous errors in his pristine writing. Mr. Smith, unlike me, never has errors in his writing. He is the black Thoreau. A beacon for all aspiring black writers in America and would not tolerate such things.

He must have had one of the lucky people who have earned a coveted internship with Mr. Smith write this for him. This is standard practice for such esteemed persons. However, I, for one, am annoyed that Mr. Smith would not personally write his responses to questions from this prestigious website. I believe Mr. Smith has not given the proper respect that NOISblog has earned.

That is what I am insinuating. NOISblog has been disrespected and I do not want this to go unnoticed.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"NOISblog has been disrespected and I do not want this to go unnoticed."

Sir, the disrespect makes us defensive.

We apologize if we snapped at you.

Jack Brown said...

I'm inclined to think that if Stephen A. Smith wrote this there would have been that "This message was sent by a Blackberry device" note on the bottom. Of course, NOISblog could have edited this out for brevity. NOISblog has never lied to the people, not one time. Its the Jeezy of sportsblogs.

Mr Telefone Man said...

how can some of take something as wholesome and wonderful as a SAS interview and turn it into something sordid!!!

keveekev said...

There is an old saying in our family...."You is...what you is"...great interview, NOIS.....can't please all the 'necks...all the time.

Gern said...

Two peas in a pod: they both yell for no reason to make a point thinking it will intimidate whomever they are arguing with. Oh yeah, and they're both circus clowns. Just look under the desk, they both have huge, puffy, red shoes.

Sebastian said...

I think what was left unsaid by Smith's response to the Pacers' new model is their opportunity to win with it.

I'm not familiar with the story, but I hope the plan isn't to bring 16 Europeans to Indiana. That's not necessarily representative of Indiana.

A couple of quick laps around the internet brought me to a good point. Had Artest stayed on the floor, and Stephen Jackson controlled himself, what would be the current fan sentiment? I'll step out and say they'd be more worried about wins and losses than hip-hop this or that.

Another link led me to a story about how the Pacers are marketing the team as a brand instead of pushing individual players. This makes a lot of sense, given what's happened since Artest went into the stands and Jackson's inability to control himself.

As ridiculous as the plan of building a team of white kids for a white state sounds, winning will be the key. Right now, I'm thinking 16 white American NBA kids isn't going be enough to beat a team of 8 black NBA'ers and 8 white NBA'ers.

Even the social conservatives will get tired of losing. Big.

Jarrett Carter said...

I would've liked to see questions on his reduced role at the Inquirer, how ESPN affected that role, and his future plans around it.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

":I would've liked to see questions on his reduced role at the Inquirer, how ESPN affected that role, and his future plans around it."

Sir, that was a subject that we didn't delve into.

Specifically, because there is a chance of litigation.

We figured we'd leave it alone.

Tucker said...

"Sir,"

I believe you're missing the point, entirely. Let's look at it this way:

If a clothing company determines that its customers are primarily teenagers, would you expect them to market to all ages equally? And if they market in such a way as to appeal more strongly to teens, would you suggest that their actions were "age-ist"?

If a make-up company, well aware that the ridiculously vast majority of its customers are women, markets its products to women, are they sexist?

If the makers of a Spanish-English dictionary targets their marketing campaign towards Spanish and English speakers, but not French or German, would you call them language-ist?

And, as Stephen A. himself pointed out, if a politician caters to and targets a specific party group (i.e., Republican, Democrat, etc.), or even a certain demographic that s/he would like to gain the support of, would that make him a "politics-ist"?

Or is it that you only care when it involves race? After all, I don't see you campaigning for -- or even giving "a rat's ass" about -- equal treatment for all ages, languages, and political affiliations.

So if the Pacers have determined that their viewers and ticket buyers are primarily white, and tend to hold certain values, can you really expect them to go against all logic and appeal to black people and people with other values, as well? Why on earth wouldn't they direct their marketing campaign towards their target audience?

The point is pretty simple: I'm not claiming racism no longer exists, as that would be an absurd assertion. But racism often becomes more of an issue than it needs to be because people are so hypersensitive to it that they mistake circumstances like these for the real thing. This causes the problem of saturating the public's perception, if you will, of racism -- such that, when real racism does occur, it is not as clear or plain to see.

It's not a crime for a company -- which is what they Pacers organization is, a business -- to define its target audience, constituency, etc., and then market specifically to that group by highlighting, promoting, and advertising qualities and values that said group is statistically shown to identify with and appreciate.

On a different note... Now, I don't claim by any stretch of the imagination to be able to keep up with what is or is not currently considered "politically incorrect"... but isn't the word "Negro" a designation that fits into that category? Isn't that considered a racist and offensive term? And as such, isn't that pretty hypocritical?

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

Sir, we were prepared to address some of the relevent topics you hit on, but then you got into the PC stuff and attempted to impose YOUR personal assertion on what to call Negroes on us to offer us an insult.

Frankly, we and anyone else could care less what YOU determine to be the proper term these days for the Original Human.

Louis Farakhan made a very important address this week past. And, as has been his traditional way, used the term Negro to refer to the Original Human.

How bout this?

Instead of trying to throw insults at us with your pretentious determination of how to reference the Original Human; you listen to Farakhan's speech and understand WHY he/we call the Original Human,'Negro'.

We are ashamed that your ignorance has tarnished our righteous page.

Tucker said...

You sure are high and mighty, aren't you? The arrogance is astounding.

Did you even read what I wrote? There wasn't the hint of an insult. I clearly stated that, and I quote, "I don't claim by any stretch of the imagination to be able to keep up with what is or is not currently considered 'politically incorrect'"... and yet, you responded with the following:

"...but then you got into the PC stuff and attempted to impose YOUR personal assertion on what to call Negroes on us to offer us an insult."

Hadn't I just finished stating that I don't have a personal assertion as to what PC is?

Had you actually read what I wrote, you might have understood that as a legitimate question, with an honest desire to know your response. The question left the door wide open for you to either confirm my understanding -- an understanding which I freely admitted was but a loose and vague impression to start with, and by no means concrete or definitive -- or to explain, like rational human beings, why it is that the use of this term was in fact not against "PC"... or, for that matter, why you don't give a crap about what is considered PC! (As that would also have been an acceptable answer.)

But you seem to be too defensive to recognize an honest question and answer it with respect and sincerity. Rather, you response with a pompousness and arrogance that is typical of only the worst of bigots. Frankly, I'm disappointed.

So, to put it in your words... How bout this? I and anyone else could frankly care less about what you and your revered Louis Farakhan says about anything. Furthermore, I could care less about your thoughts on anything whatsoever, now that I have discovered that you are an arrogant, pompous, self-righteous, irrational, and overly defensive bigot who would rather fling cheap shots than discuss issues and respond to questions like any rational, calm, sane human being.

Good day, sir. I leave you to your slander and bigotry.

nation_of_islam_sportsblog said...

"
Hadn't I just finished stating that I don't have a personal assertion as to what PC is?"

Sir, have you hear the term 'passive aggressive'?

If you didn't have an opinion about what is PC as far as using the word 'Negro' is...you wouldn't have asked. Cause it wouldn't have crossed your mind.

Nice try tho.

We deal with unintellectual wannabe intellectual like yourself all day.

You try to play word games. But you arn't equipped to do so effectively.

"Furthermore, I could care less about your thoughts on anything whatsoever"

Yet you keep coming back.

That is the tell all.


"But you seem to be too defensive to recognize an honest question and answer it with respect and sincerity."

Sir, you lie.

There was no sincerity, and no respect in your question.

It was intentionally accusative in nature. And wholly ridiculous.

Additionally, you clearly don't know what defensive is.

We direct you to your second post on this thread for a characterization of the definition of defense.

Our 'bigotry' is no match for your racism.

If in fact 'bigotry' is trying to educate your feeble mind.