Thursday, February 03, 2005

When Fat Guys Attack

Well, Mark Madden has gone and done it. He's upset someone in the Pittsburgh sports media who's actually not afraid to fight back (using the very effective, but often under-utilized samurai tactic of name-calling). Last week Madden accused long-time Pittsburgh sports guy Stan Savran, of being "a shill", and a "Steeler PR guy." Madden also went on to say:
"The Steelers pour millions of dollars into Clear Channel," he said, perhaps exaggerating the figure. "Of course a guy like Stan is going to keep it positive and ignore certain things."
This all seems pretty innocuous -- especially when you consider the source -- but Madden has been antagonizing the rest of the local media for years, so I guess Savran finally blew his lid. Anyway, here was Savran's response:
"I don't take crap from management, I don't take crap from teams," he said Thursday at the start of a 14-minute rant. "If they were ever to do that, I'd be out the door the next day."

..."If you listen to him on any kind of a regular basis, you're a dope, you're not too bright."

..."It's easy to sit in a studio and take shots and don't ever go anywhere. It's easy when you're not willing to show up and face the music as a man would do. It's easy to sit at home and stuff burritos into your mouth until you're about to explode. But to never go out and face the music means you're a coward."
Savran's right. But the thing is, there is some substantial subset of the population that likes Madden's shtick and that's why he has a job. As much as I dislike what the guy says, I suspect he's smart enough to know that acting like a buffoon has gotten him this far, and there's no need to change. If anything (given the current rapid descent into mediocrity of the national sports media ESPN), Madden might be wise to crank up the circus act (look what it did for Screamin' A. Smith and Skip Bayless). And if you want concrete evidence, here's proof that America's getting dumber.

Here's another story about a fat media guy who made some questionable decisions, but this time, instead of getting his own radio show on ESPN, he'll probably lose his job. I found this over at Football Outsiders:
From Editor & Publisher: The Worcester Telegram & Gazette summoned home its New England Patriots beat writer from the pre-Super Bowl festivities in Jacksonville after learning that he may have plagiarized a column from an article previously posted on the Sports Illustrated Web site. In a correction published Wednesday, the paper stated, "Substantial portions of a column originally written by Peter King and published Jan. 24 on the Sports Illustrated Web site were printed Jan. 30 in the Sunday Telegram under the byline of Ken Powers, a staff member of the Telegram & Gazette. The Telegram & Gazette takes plagiarism seriously and is conducting a full investigation. We apologize to our readers and to Sports Illustrated."
OK, this guy is officially the biggest idiot on the planet -- and that includes those people who think Carrot Top is actually funny. If you want a side-by-side comparison of Peter King's column (the fact that he's also fat is pure coincidence) and what Ken Powers came up with, you can see it here. Note to dumb reporters: If you're going to plagiarize, aim a little lower. The funniest thing to come out of this story was some of the comments left by FO readers:

King: Many in the organization were stunned, and Belichick was really surprised.

Powers: Many in the organization were surprised, and Belichick was stunned.

I can't even imagine the thought process there. "I'll take what he wrote, but I'll switch the adjectives around. No one will ever know!"


I can see why he stole somebody else's work. He is laugh out loud awful. Excerpt " -- I've always believed age is just a chronological accounting of how long you've been on Earth -- " Well yeah that is a definition of age for any of you confused on such a complicated topic.


Ken Powers is an outstanding journalist of great integrity. I'm proud to add him to my staff here at MSNBC.

-Mike Barnacle

Patriots beat writer for the Worcester-based Worcester Telegram & Gazette.


-Pat on the Back

Only a two-bit newspaper from a podunk town like that would have a writer plagiarize. The good papers, like the New York Times, just have their writers make up their stories. Mr. Powers will have to learn that if he ever wants to make it big.


(me shaking my head).