While negative reactions toward NASCAR’s recent decision to immediately ban the Confederate flag from all future races were highlighted, there are many people who supported the move.
NASCAR no longer subscribes to the “heritage, not hate” excuse and Carl Dukes of Dukes and Bell on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta believes the decision will bring in more fans than it costs the sport. Joining The Damon Amendolara Show Thursday morning on CBS Sports Radio, Dukes told DA he believes NASCAR saw the big picture in banning the flag.
“I think NASCAR is smart enough to realize that, yes, you might tick off a few people, but in the big picture, in moving forward with this, you’re going to gain a lot of new fans,” Dukes said.
Dukes said his initial reaction upon hearing the Confederate flag was banned at future NASCAR events was one of surprise. “To think this would happen with a sport that traditionally has been looked upon as not being inclusive, and the statement to say symbolism matters, I think that’s important for people to understand.”
While there are some fans who won’t support NASCAR’s decision, there are also people who have avoided the sport because of its synonymous connection to the Confederate flag. It was a delayed decision that stemmed from the Black Lives Matter movement being placed at the forefront of our national consciousness, but NASCAR finally showed accountability.
“Accountability is a big part of this in sports as we move forward,” Dukes told DA “And I think the sports that are accountable and acknowledge what’s going on and recognize how important it is, those sports will thrive, and they will be better for it. I think that’s the thing that NASCAR got yesterday with that statement.”
The immediate audience return supported Dukes’ belief that NASCAR will gain more fans than it loses. Wednesday night, hours after the decision was announced, the race from Martinsville did a 1.14 overnight rating, up 104 percent year-over-year. They also saw a 16 percent jump from the last weeknight race of the season, May 28. NASCAR was heavily featured in the news during the hours leading up to their Wednesday night race which likely contributed to promoting the event.
Doug Gottlieb On Praise For Pat Beverly: ‘What a Joke!’
“To be in the NBA and say things that are demonstrably false, outright mean, and oh by the way, obtuse to reality and turns people off to your sport.”
Pat Beverley of the Minnesota Timberwolves may have used his appearances this week on ESPN to set up a potential career in media, but some just simply weren’t impressed.
You can count Doug Gottlieb among them. Gottlieb said Wednesday that Beverley’s takes on Suns guard Chris Paul and words for Matt Barnes regarding James Harden’s contract didn’t do him any favors for the future.
“Pat Beverley, if you’re going to die on a hill, James Harden’s hill is not the one to die on,” Gottlieb said. “In a week in which you have a chance to carve out a potential career for yourself which is as good, or greater than your NBA career. What a joke!”
Gottlieb added that Beverley also lost people completely “acting like the arrogant NBA athlete that so many assume that NBA athletes are.”
“To be in the NBA and say things that are demonstrably false, outright mean, and oh by the way, obtuse to reality and turns people off to your sport,” he said. “Congratulations, hell of a week and you’re only in day two.”
While Beverley may not have Gottlieb singing his praises as an analyst, the T-Wolves journeyman did get the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said if Beverley wanted to do a podcast for the company, he would give him a blank check and hire him no questions asked.
Mick Hubert to Retire After 33 Years As Voice Of Florida Gators
“This wasn’t the end of a five-year plan. I don’t know if I can explain how I knew, but I knew.”
After more than three decades and more than 2,500 games called in Gainesville, Mick Hubert is retiring as the voice of the Florida Gators.
Hubert, 68, will call it a career after the Florida baseball team concludes its regular season this weekend.
Hubert, who’s called numerous Gators national championships across multiple sports in his tenure, said he had been thinking about retiring but finally had peace about it to make the decision.
“This wasn’t the end of a five-year plan. I don’t know if I can explain how I knew, but I knew,” he said. “I had been considering this for a little while. I just had to do some praying about it and enjoy every game.”
The longtime broadcaster is a 2019 inductee into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.
Hubert said he poured his heart and soul into broadcasts and that hopefully fans recognized that.
“I hope they heard the enthusiasm, and the credibility is important to me,” he said. “You need to be factual and credible, but you need to be enthusiastic. That’s what I always felt. I always wanted to take my audience on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I also wanted to give them enough information so they could paint that picture in their mind.”
Reporter Tells Kevin & Query About NBA Draft Lottery Security Measures
“By the time you’re watching the production on ESPN for the lottery, we already know.”
The NBA Draft is coming up towards the end of June, and the top half of the draft order was set this week in the NBA Draft Lottery.
The lottery adds a level of excitement to the mix because you never know if the team with the best odds for the number one pick will actually get it.
But it’s a whole process that actually unfolds well before it airs on ESPN. Pacers reporter Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files told Kevin Bowen and Jake Query on 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis what it was like to have access to the lottery.
“By the time you’re watching the production on ESPN for the lottery, we already know,” he said. “It’s already happened. But we’re locked down, sequestered in a room, a ballroom, can’t leave.”
What was even more interesting to Agness was the fact that even people representing lottery teams were under an embargo until the results aired on TV.
“We had all that good info, but the person that won the lottery for instance couldn’t call and celebrate with their people,” Agness said. “None of us in the room could tweet it out because none of us had our devices.”
Agness added that the league had contingency plans in case the lottery drum failed, if the same team had its ping pong ball drawn, and just about every other scenario you could think of. He said he was very impressed with how the NBA did things.
“It was kind of cool to see how well-run everything was in the end,” he said.