Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Jim, Cedrick & Plax

Jim Gray is far and away the biggest doofus doing sideline reporting in sports. And it's not even close. Gray's antics make Lisa Guerrero seem like, well, the hot, dumb-but-harmless cheerleader from high school who always had aspirations of being a television celebrity. Gray strikes me as the nerd in high school who was crapped on by the Lisa Guerrero's of the world, and is now using his position to get back at all those who slighted him.

Anyway, I bring all this up (and by the way, my nickname in high school was "the next Jim Gray") because Mark Cuban calls out Gray for some nifty (if not necessarily true) sideline reporting he did last weekend:
I didn’t catch this while it was happening, but thanks to Adam W for emailing me and bringing it to my attention. I know I said chemistry was better this year, but made zero mention of Steve Nash in my comments regarding chemistry.

I will just go with Adam’s Email to say it all

During yesterday’s game vs. Houston (no comment) Jim Gray said something very interesting. the summary of it was something to the affect of

JG: Dirk, I asked Mark [Cuban] and Finley if team chemistry was better without Nash, would you agree:

DN: No I don’t think so (with a puzzled look on his face)

Now if I recall when Jim Gray talked to both you and Fin there was no mention of Nash in his chemistry statement. He just asked if team chemistry was better.

I thought Jim Gray was a solid reporter (if that's what you call him) but this was ridiculous.”

Obviously I trust Adam to report accurately more than I trust Jim Gray.

What Gray did is pretty much the definition of slime reporting. I will talk to Dirk about it, but for a reporter or whatever he calls himself to misrepresent an interviewee’s comments in order to elicit an emotional or controversial response is wrong.

ABC Sports should take immediate action against Jim Gray and suspend him from working until he apologizes to Dirk and Mavs fans.
I don't care so much about Gray apologizing, but I would love to see him called out on national television (preferably a blindside by one of his coworkers -- you know, the same M.O. Gray uses when interviewing players). Maybe someone could ask him: "Jim, thanks for that report, but I've got an important question to ask. How have you made it this far without routinely getting the crap kicked out of you? You're awful, spiteful, smarmy, and often seem to relish asking really asinine questions to players three times your size." How this guy has a full-time job that doesn't include wearing a name tag and a paper hat I'll never know.

And while I remember the whole Pete Rose ambush a few years ago (I mean really, how big of an ass do you have to be to make fans side with Pete Rose?), this was something I hadn't heard (it was left in the comments section of Cuban's blog, so consider the source when considering the veracity):
"...But the icing on the cake is the "spell that" he comment he made to Shaq during last year's finals, when Shaq described the season as "enigmatic". There was something offensive, and borderline racist about it....he either thinks an athlete like Shaq wouldn't know how to spell the word, or a black man like Shaq wouldn't....one way or another, it was surprising that he didn't get disciplined for it, and Shaq had the good grace not to pound his face in for it."
Stay hot.

OK, two questions. Why are the Steelers interested in Cedrick Wilson and why aren't the Steelers trying to re-sign Plaxico Burress?

I admit it. When I found out that Cedrick Wilson was in Pittsburgh yesterday, my first thought was, "who the hell is that?" And then I looked up this scouting report on the Sporting News:

2004 scouting report

Ht./Wt.: 5-10/183

Strengths: Has good quickness and adequate speed. Gets off the line and creates separation. Will go over the middle and make tough catches in a crowd. Is a willing blocker who gets downfield and works in the running game.

Weaknesses: Lacks great hands and inexplicably drops easy balls. Looks to run before he secures the ball.

Bottom line: Wilson isn't reliable, and his lack of size hurts him.

Um, don't the Steelers already have this guy, and isn't his name Lee Mays? Except the only difference is that Lee Mays is taller and faster. Actually, the fact that he can't catch is a little troubling, but hey, maybe the change of scenery will do him good. Still, I'm curious why Pittsburgh hasn't made some low-ball offer to Plax (or more specifically, why hasn't anyone told me if the Steelers have made any offer to Plax) -- at least to gauge how he's feeling after a week on the market and barely lukewarm interest from other teams.

But on the upside, even if this Wilson character can't catch, we've got Jeff Reed locked up for five years, so the Steelers can kick their way to victory for the foreseeable future.