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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rick Reilly: ESPN's New Direction

As most sports media followers are well aware, ESPN lured writer Rick Reilly away from Sports Illustrated for a hefty paycheck and, most probably, a promise of TV stardom.

Bringing a big name such as Reilly to ESPN means that, unfortunately, other ESPN writers might be in danger of losing some positioning. As ESPN pushes their big investment down our collective gullet, other columnists and contributors will certainly be pushed to the fringes of the .com. Which also means less exposure for the issues that they address.

Reilly has written four pieces thus far for the WWL. The topics:

- his father
- rooting for Phil Mickelson
- Georgia high school baseball
- a sailing catastrophe

Notice anything?

We'll give you a hint: Clorox.

ESPN has given us such columnists as Jason Whitlock, Scoop Jackson, LZ Granderson, Jemele Hill, Stephen A. Smith, Bomani Jones and several other writers who have made and Page 2 the go to source for relevant sports commentary, insight and opinion.

But we get Rick Reilly's colorless take on his relationship with his father. His bleachified notion that we should root against Tiger Woods, in favor of the lumpy, white Mickelson. We get a preachy discourse about 'good sportsmanship' in response to the antics of some Georgian high school baseball players. And we get a tear jerking tale about a man who gave his life so others could survive a sailboat accident.

Sailing. High School baseball. Golf. His father.

Clorox. And not the color safe variety.

Not a mention of any of the issues, trials or tribulations faced by Negro athletes in sports in America.

Not an ounce of social conscience as we prepare for our first Negro President. (Clinton can have the title of 'first Black' President. Obama is the first Negro.)

Not an attempt to shed light on any of the myriad injustices being systematically perpetrated against the Original athlete on a daily basis.

Even the deplorable and hideously predictable Bill Simmons has made mention at times of the iron clad grip racism holds on sports.

But Mr. Reilly? Not one nod to the subject. Not so much as a word.

How does ESPN intend for Reilly to be taken seriously as a columnist if he continues to shirk the long standing ESPN tradition of racially commentary? How does Mr. Reilly intend to bring page views to his column if he continues to simply provide this laundry service-like pattern?

The only column this far that could even be construed to have any sort of racially implied undertone or commentary is the golf entry. Metaphorically speaking, Reilly seems to be saying that we should be rooting against ALL Negro athletes because they are better than their dumpy, white counterparts.

Obviously, some readers will contend that we are reading too much into Reilly's urging people to hate Woods; but what else can we do? Reilly didn't take the initiative to elaborate or introduce race (at least overtly) into his column. Therefore, we are left to do it on our own, and that is the only way his column CAN be taken. A modern soliloquy exhorting his fellow Caucazoids to unite against the only Negro golfer of consequence. Which, logically allows for the leap to rooting against all Negroes in any endeavor. And, since Mr. Reilly never bothers to specifically address race, we can only assume that is what was intended.

Reilly certainly has a literary talent. That can't be argued.

But, until he comes down from the Ivory Tower and begins to frame his commentary in racial terms and find (even search for, if need be) opportunities to discuss issues of race --the injustice, insensitivity and down right -ism -- so prevalent in sports....

We can't take him seriously as writer.

Mr. Reilly is certainly a fine storyteller. But, unfortunately, he falls short of the type of commentary and insight we are used to getting from' Page 2.

Clearly, Disney had $3M to burn.


censored said...

The column Reilly wrote about his father was published for Father's Day. Spinning the story in a way for you to understand, such as saying the man walked out on him before he was born, would not be factually accurate in the case of Mr. Reilly. Instead of knocking Mr. Reilly why dont you explain what fathers day is to the 70 percent of your community who dont know what a father is.
And if that doesnt help, why dont you just get Shawn Chacon to come over and grab Reilly by the neck and throw him on the floor.

Malcom Hex said...

"why dont you explain what fathers day is "

fathers day is the day that censored and his lifepartner try to explain to their adopted daughter that it is ok to call two men daddy.

Avonte Mixon said...

Father's Day is the day censored Mom passes out in a haze of confusion.

Dave the Wave said...

quit your bitchin' nois.

reilly signed a 3m buck deal because he is a great writer.

you get payed nothing. exactly what you are worth.

the free market system. it works.

ZEKE said...

"you get payed nothing. exactly what you are worth.'

NOIS couldnt even get a gig blogging on AOL Fanhouse or one of those shitty outfits.

censored said...

NOIS I have to apologize. Your posting does seem to be right on point. After watching the NBA draft and not seeing a father in sight when the selections were made, it is clear that african americans cannot expect to be able to relate to Mr. Reilly's columns about fatherhood. Fatherhood is clearly a "chlorox" subject.

The Coach said...

I can't stand the guy myself, but he does get props for his help with the Nothing but Nets campaign:

RighteousReasoner said...

Sir, censored, what your futile honkey mind fails to realize is that you have once again been duped by the paleface Negro-hating media.

Indeed, your observation that few Original Fathers were present is correct.

However, what you do not know is that this was all a cleverly orchestrated ploy by the devil owners and administrators of the NBA. By providing all of the unsuspecting Negro Fathers with delectable extra crispy fried chicken fresh from The Colonel himself and plying them with ample quantities of Olde English Fine Malt Liquor, they ensured that the Innocent Negroes certainly would be unable to make it to the main event.

You see, censored, the league has an image it must maintain to protect the white sports fan. caucasoids naturally fear the Superior Negro Male Athletic Gene, and, as such, forked-tongue Stern and his cronies must resort to drastic measures to assure the continued success of their slave farm.

Honkey media will not tell you this. We at The Nation are only Vessel of Truth. Once again, we extend our Righteous and Humble Teachings to you and the other dumb ones. Heed our call, censored, and be saved.