ESPN is ending its relationship with Paul Lukas and his blog UniWatch. The column began as part of The Village Voice in 1999. It first debuted at ESPN.com in 2004, and while a full UniWatch blog debuted independent of ESPN in 2006, Lukas continued to contributing to ESPN through last week.
From ESPN’s perspective, the brand has been made less relevant thanks to social media. There are countless Twitter and Instagram accounts, each with thousands of followers, dedicated to sports uniforms.
Lukas isn’t bothered by that. He told The Washington Post that he is proud to take credit for it. “Part of the mainstreaming in the interest in uniforms is because ESPN took a chance on me and legitimized the coverage of this beat.”
On his own blog, Lukas made it clear to his readers that ESPN’s decision doesn’t change his feelings about the company. “I want to make it clear that I have no gripes whatsoever with ESPN. Having my work showcased on the world’s foremost sports media enterprise for more than 14 years has been a privilege and a thrill.”
ESPN does not own the rights to the name UniWatch, so Lukas will continue with business as usual on his blog.
Pat McAfee: I Don’t Have 45 Minutes To Read ESPN’s Andrew Luck Story
“I am happy I have smart people that are going to do it.”
Details about the reasons former Colts quarterback Andrew Luck decided to retire in 2019 are laid out in an ESPN+ article by Seth Wickersham that went live online on Tuesday.
It will take you a little while to get through the full piece, which is broken into 16 sections, but Luck’s former teammate Pat McAfee knows he isn’t going to make it through the whole thing.
Talking to another one of his former Colts teammates, Darius Butler, on Wednesday, McAfee said he didn’t have the time or the attention span to sit down and read the piece in its entirety.
“It was like a 45-minute read or something like that. A lot of words,” McAfee said. “I mean there’s a lot of gymnastics that you had to do. Super smart people talking to each other in Seth Wickersham and Andrew Luck, very smart people.”
He asked Butler if he too had read it, and Darius admitted he hadn’t yet. McAfee said he hopes Butler will so he can get his reaction.
“I will be excited to pick your brain about what you took in, because for me, it took (show contributor Ty Schmidt) – that guy got into Harvard – took him 35 minutes to read it. And when I asked Ty is that what it’s all like, he’s like ‘It’s all convoluted and this is his writing style.'”
Pat added that the way in which the profile is written based on what Ty and others in the Pat McAfee Show office told him is that it’s designed for more experienced readers. McAfee said Wickersham’s style just isn’t suitable for his reading ability.
“I don’t think I’m a good enough reader for the guy,” McAfee said. “I am happy I have smart people that are going to do it.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He works full-time as a multimedia specialist at the Virginia State Corporation Commission, while also putting in part-time work for News Radio WRVA and 910 The Fan in Richmond. Additionally, you can find Jordan contributing coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly and ABC 8News. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
Bomani Jones: Nothing I’ve Said Has Spread Like Deion Sanders Comments On CNN
“The only thing in my career that I can think of that has gone as viral as this Deion thing has, is the Donald Sterling thing in 2014.”
Deion Sanders has been on everyone’s mind over the course of the last week. Even people outside of the sports world are interested in Coach Prime moving from the HBCU Jackson State to the bigger and better-funded University of Colorado. CNN brought Bomani Jones on to discuss the topin on Tuesday’s edition of CNN This Morning.
During the appearance, Jones said he did not blame Deion for taking the Colorado job, in fact, he says he may have done the same thing. He did take Sanders to task though for claiming that God told him to go to Jackson State and then he left after 3 years. Bomani Jones called the Hall of Famer “the monorail salesman from The Simpsons” for selling a dream he never intended to deliver on.
Jones admits that he has been shocked by both the reaction to and popularity of the clip.
“The only thing in my career that I can think of that has gone as viral as this Deion thing has, is the Donald Sterling thing in 2014,” he told guest Howard Bryant on the latest episode of his ESPN podcast, The Right Time.
He noted that at the time of the recording, the video had over 2.7 million views on Twitter. That was just on the official CNN account. It could be considerably more as people post the video elsewhere on their own.
According to Bomani Jones, anyone that watched the segment in full would have heard him clearly state that Sanders going from Jackson to Boulder does not make him a sellout. However, he knows that not everyone watched the segment in full, most probably just watched the two-minute Twitter clip.
Bryant added that there are a lot of people that probably saw it at the gym or on TV at an airport with no sound. Jones acknowledged that was true and it doesn’t help that the phrase “Sellout?” was written on the screen. Still, Jones characterized some of the blowback on social media as wild.
“Not just the bots, but a significant number of people who watched that clip have been like ‘the white man put you on TV to tear another black man down,’” he told Bryant. “I’m sitting there, Howard, and I’m like ‘Don’t you see these white people on this stage pushing back on me? Do you see Don Lemon pushing back on me?’.”
Bomani Jones is a graduate of the Atlanta-based HBCU Clark Atlanta University. Both of his parents are professors at HBCUs. He acknowledged that he is “of that world” and that did shape some earlier critiques and requests he had for Deion Sanders as Jackson State’s head coach.
“I was fairly poignant and strident in the criticism,” he said. “I have no problem acknowledging this, but it was always in the name of Black folks and this Black institution that I think has done so much not just for Black people, but honestly for America. The response was ‘why can’t he go get his money?’ but somehow I’m the one doing the work for the white man?”
Former NFL Network Reporter Kim Jones Joining Newsday
“I’m so happy to have another opportunity to cover the Giants, this time for Newsday.”
Jones worked at NFL Network for a decade after spending seven years working as the Yankees clubhouse reporter for YES Network. She also has previously written for the Newark Star-Ledge and Centre Daily Times.
“I’m grateful and excited to join the great staff at Newsday,” Jones said. “I’ve always been a writer at heart. While the names have changed — Michael Strahan and Dan Campbell won’t be in the locker room this time around — I’m so happy to have another opportunity to cover the Giants, this time for Newsday.”
She replaces Tom Rock, who became an NFL columnist for Newsday after working as the paper’s beat reporter since 2008.
“Kim brings a lot of expertise as a reporter and her institutional knowledge regarding the Giants is exceptionally deep,” Rock said. “She’ll fit seamlessly into Newsday’s coverage while bringing a fresh perspective to the way we cover the Giants. I’m glad she is on our team. This is going to be fun.”