One year ago on Thursday, the whole sports world changed and our new normal occurred due to COVID-19. During this week, some sports shows will look back on what they were doing on their shows at night when the news broke that the NBA season was suspended.
Here is a clip from that night’s SportsCenter broadcast:
For Scott Van Pelt, SportsCenter with SVP was going to be a lot different than a normal Wednesday night. This week, Van Pelt and Stanford Steve were joined on the SVPod by NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, reporters Malika Andrews and Royce White (White was in Oklahoma City for Jazz-Thunder), producer Marco Alfandary and director Joe Iuliano to reflect on the events from that night.
The show began with Alfandary talking about what was going on as the news started to break that the season was going to be suspended and that the night wasn’t going to be the same as Van Pelt was set to due a cut-in with Wojnarowski at halftime of the Nuggets-Mavericks game.
“I can remember walking into the control room maybe a little bit early. There were some early rumblings that maybe something unusual was afoot at the Thunder game. We were watching Woj’s timeline very closely. I remember being in the control room and the rest of it was an out-of-body experience as things started to cascade.”
For Andrews, at the time she thought she was missing out on covering a game without fans, but she thought back to how she feels now compared to a year ago when she got the call to get off the road.
“To think about that now versus what ended up happening. It is amazing to think back at how quick the dominoes were falling.”
Woj admits that before the night that the NBA halted play, the virus was on his mind and even predicted he would be writing more about health and safety than assists and rebounds.
“The NBA was preparing its teams in a way that the United States government wasn’t preparing its citizens to be quite honest,” he said on the podcast. “I remember saying to Cristina Daglas at some point in that week before, we are getting to a point where I think all I should be doing is writing about this virus. I don’t think there is any basketball stuff I should be worried about now. To the extent it did, I don’t think anyone else was prepared for that.”
Van Pelt mentioned that he thinks about that night, which he called the most memorable night of his career and how the control room helped him in a big way.
“That night, I remember that there was a permanence. We were the ones that got to document it. It wasn’t because we were good, we were on the air. What you guys did in that control room allowed me to be the anchor that hopefully didn’t throw the ball out of bounds. I always knew you were not going to put me in harm’s way. I just remember being so grateful we had a great room that we can trust. It’s what I think of now.”
Perry Michael Simon Upped To SVP/Editor-In-Chief At All Access
“Simon has been part of the industry site for 24 years.”
Perry Michael Simon has a new job title at All Access. He is now the SVP/Editor-In-Chief, News/Talk/Sports/Podcasting Editor.
Simon has been part of the industry site for 24 years. He has attended many conferences, interviewed many leaders and broadcasters, and processed and reported a lot of information in that time. The promotion is well-deserved.
“I’m looking forward to building on All Access‘ tradition of being the most complete and accurate source of information about the radio, music, podcasting and associated industries, Perry Michael Simon said in a press release. “I’m grateful to Joel for his confidence in me and for granting me my wish of having a title that’s too long for a business card, and I promise that I will keep the Philadelphia sports references to a reasonable amount.”
Prior to joining All Access, Simon programmed New Jersey 101.5 in the Philadelphia area and KLSX in Los Angeles. He also served as an on-air host and operations manager at what used to be Y107 in Los Angeles. The station flipped from modern rock to Spanish hits shortly after his exit in the late 90s.
In the publishing world, All Access isn’t the only place Perry Michael Simon has enjoyed success. He spent six years overseeing Nerdist as the site’s Editor-In-Chief.
“Perry’s leadership and creativity will continue our growth of 26 years in serving the ever-expanding radio/audio, music/streaming, podcasting and social media industries and their many platforms with the very best information served up on-demand on the AllAccess.com site, mobile, email and associated social media platforms,” the site’s President and Publisher Joel Denver added.
Warren Moon On Manningcast: ‘I Don’t Want To See Comedy’
When asked about the Manningcast, he said that he isn’t a fan and couldn’t see himself ever being won over.
Peyton and Eli Manning are winning over a lot of fans with their Manningcast coverage of Monday Night Football on ESPN 2. One person they won’t be winning over any time soon though is Hall of Famer Warren Moon.
The Oilers and Vikings legend stopped by Outkick’s tailgate party ahead of Georgia’s destruction of Vanderbilt on Saturday. When asked about the Manningcast, he said that he isn’t a fan and couldn’t see himself ever being won over.
“It’s a little bit different. I’m a hardcore football guy, so I don’t want jokesters in the game, I want to analyze the game,” Warren Moon said. “I look at the game a lot differently than most people look at em’, I’m really quiet about it and so that’s kind of what I want to see when I see a game. I don’t want to see a lot of comedy.”
During his visit with the Outkick crew, Moon touched on several quarterback related subjects. He said that rules make it possible for quarterbacks to have much longer careers than they would have in the past.
When it comes to Tom Brady though, Warren Moon said that career is not merely the result of being treated with kid gloves. He even admitted that he is a little jealous of what the Buccaneers’ QB has accomplished.
“I should have ate more avocado ice cream when I was playing and maybe I’d still be playing right now. But, he takes great care of his body. His body is like his temple. He trains well in the offseason, and then he went to a super talented football team, I mean he’s got four All-Pro receivers.”
Study Finds ESPN Leading Sports Media’s Gender & Racial Diversification
“Sports media at large made little progress towards a more diverse workplace as white-male influences are still dominant.”
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) released a report card detailing race and gender among sports media recently for the first time since 2018. Dr. Richard Lapchick and his team at the University of Central Florida put together the report. Lapchick is the endowed chair at UCF’s Devos Sport Business Management Program.
Sports media at large made little progress towards a more diverse workplace as white, male influences are still dominant.
The 2021 Sports Media Racial and Gender Report Card: Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) Racial and Gender Report Card showed minor improvements for the organization compared to 2018. APSE improved on its racial grade with a B-plus but still received an F in gender grade.
“We need more women in this industry,” former APSE president Lisa Wilson said in an ESPN article. “We need those voices. We need that perspective. We need them making coverage and hiring decisions.”
Racial demographics showed a much larger improvement across the board in a few key areas. Something the Rainbow PUSH Coalition has been hard at work to change.
“The stories that are being told should reflect those on the field as well as the audiences that they reach,” The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, said to ESPN. “Dr. Lapchick’s report indicates there has been some progress, but the sports media world is still overwhelmingly white and male.”
Lapchick noted that ESPN is a big driver in sports media’s racial and gender equity growth, so much so that removing ESPN from the equation massively impacts diversity across the industry.
Removing ESPN from the study brings the total female percentage of sports editors from 16.7% to 13.5% and columnists from 17.8% to 13.8%. The same is true on the racial side of the equation.
Taking ESPN out of the data completely, means sports editors of color would decrease from 20.8% to 18.9%, assistant sports editors from 27.7% to 22.7%, columnists from 22.9% to 18.1%, reporters from 22.9% to 22.5%, and total staffs from 23.5% to 22.0%.
ESPN takes plenty of heat in sports media circles, but they deserve a lot of respect and acknowledgment for how they have tried to level the playing field with their gender and racial hiring practices.
Check out the full report here.
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