Tag Archives: ESPN

Humanity and Joe Namath

Joe Namath and Suzy Kolber

This past weekend, I got the opportunity to watch a fascinating documentary on Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath. It shows on HBO and prominently includes interviews with Namath, teammates, journalists, and Beaver Falls, PA residents.

One of the things that most impacted me was the incident that occurred between Namath and ESPN sideline reporter Suzy Kolber during a 2003 prime time game between the Jets and Miami Dolphins.

Namath was honored along with his teammates from the 1969 Super Bowl team. Namath admitted that he had been drinking heavily all day. By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, he was completely intoxicated. Kolber was charged with interviewing Broadway Joe. In the beginning, it was apparent that Namath was having some issues talking, but they had no idea what was about to happen in front of the entire prime time audience. Namath eschewed Kolber’s question about Chad Pennington and several times told her he wanted to kiss her. ESPN scrambled to get out of it, but the damage was done.

Namath admits he was humiliated. In fact, that set the stage for him to reform his life to where it is today. But, I digress. The thing that resonated with me was the response by Suzy Kolber.

She was interviewed for this documentary and clearly recounted the event, with assistance from the footage. She recounted how Namath called her the next day to apologize. She said it took him 5 minutes to apologize and she accepted. She then spent 45 more minutes on the phone with him talking football and life. Here’s what she said that so intrigued me. She said, “What I saw was a really good guy who was in trouble.” She felt bad for him, didn’t judge him, and saw him not as some drunk who couldn’t control himself, but as a regular guy who needed help.

In the world of sports, we are very quick to pass judgement. We often look for and hope that successful people fail (see Tim Tebow). We automatically jump to the conclusion that someone is damaged. I loved that Suzy Kolber looked deeper. She really exuded a perspective that thinks of the human being first. Often, journalists are the most cynical. Kolber showed humanity.

I’m as guilty as most of us. It’s easy to throw guys under the bus; make fun of them; and not worry about consequences to their lives. Suzy Kolber gave me perspective and one that I hope I can keep the next time my QB throws an interception or one of my sports “heroes” falls.

© 2012 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Hawks Showed Up…Next the Saints

I asked for it and I got it.

The 12th Man indeed showed up and so did the Seahawks defense. That was the loudest stadium I’ve ever been in and definitely had playoff atmosphere. The Hawks fed off it and it turned into another NFC West banner in Qwest Field.

A few comments from last night:

  • I couldn’t believe arguing with people on the ferry ride home about Charlie Whitehurst’s performance. The dude was on the winning side of the game, for goodness sakes! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think he’s our next franchise QB. However, he played a decent game (in fact his stats were better than Sam Bradford’s). His mobility saved easily 5 sacks and actually picked up positive yardage. Charlie’s job was to not lose the game and that’s exactly what he did. He’s a capable backup, a young guy who’s learning, and played a solid game. ESPN’s Trent Dilfer (a guy who won a Super Bowl as a “solid” QB) said as much after the game. Cut the guy some slack. He played a game good enough in the biggest game of the year.
  • The defense was crazy. I know it wasn’t the New England Patriots, but Sam Bradford has had an excellent rookie year, and Steven Jackson is a stud. To hold the Rams to 2 field goals was unbelievable. I loved how Aaron Curry, Chris Clemons, David Hawthorne, Lofa Tatupu, and Marcus Trufant played. Will Herring played a great game. This was a total team effort and a sight for sore eyes.
  • Pete Carroll is the right guy for this city. He brings a great energy that really gets the 12th Man going. I think good things are on the horizon.
  • I expect that Matt Hasselbeck will start if he’s healthy. He’s the veteran; he’s got playoff experience; he played a good game against the Saints last month; and he’s the right guy. However, if he can’t go or plays poorly, I have less issues with Charlie Whitehurst than I did 2 weeks ago!
  • Marshawn Lynch bounced back after being stripped of the ball and ran in “beast-mode” the rest of the way. He could not be stopped in the 4th Quarter when the Rams knew we were running.
  • I don’t care what our record is. The Mariners won 116 games in 2001 and didn’t win the American League to go to the World Series. This is about getting to the playoffs by winning your division.
  • I just LOVE that the Giants, who humiliated us at home earlier this year, aren’t even in the playoffs. That’s really cool.

This was a huge win for this franchise. Just like the University of Washington needed a bowl game and the rest was gravy; the Hawks needed to get to the playoffs and the rest is gravy. Two years ago, the Huskies were 0-12 and the Seahawks were 4-12. Now, the Dawgs have upset Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl and the Hawks are NFC West Champs. Unreal.

Fantasy Football

This is the week that most fantasy football leagues start drafting. If you’ve never played fantasy football, I encourage you to join in the fun by playing in at least one league. Here’s why…

1 – It gives you a broader scope of the NFL. You find yourself being interested in players outside of your personal favorite team.

2 – You get to watch ESPN and the NFL Network on Sunday nights to see all the highlights.

3 – You become addicted to the little boxes on the TV showing the fantasy stats, praying that your guys are scoring touchdowns and making plays.

4 – It’s free. Now you may have leagues that have a buy-in with prizes at the end….that just adds to the flavor and fun.

5 – If you’re a female and think this isn’t for you, think again. I play in leagues against many women, including my two daughters. Let me tell you that the women are the fiercest competitors!

The greatest value however is the camaraderie. I started a league on ESPN about a dozen years ago with a few friends. One of my pals invited members of his family from all over the country. I got the opportunity to at least “virtually” meet them all. My friend’s father became one of the most colorful members…often trash talking his kids and just simply enjoying himself. He passed away a couple year ago during the football season. George was a Marine veteran who loved his Steelers and loved playing fantasy football with his family and people he never met in person. We re-named our league the “Leatherneck Memorial League” after him and our draft will be held this Saturday. I’m sure we will talk about him.

Fantasy Football is back and if you even like football, consider joining in on the fun. This week will be dedicated to Fantasy Football. Each day, I will bring my predictions, my stories, and my opinions for your consumption. I look forward to your participation.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Tough Loss for Auburn

Tough loss last night for Auburn in the Little League World Series. I was watching the game on television in a Pittsburgh sports bar before catching my plane. I was pumped when the boys from Washington took a 5-3 lead in the 5th inning. I just red the results of the Texas comeback win this morning on ESPN.

Great year and effort for the kids from the Northwest. It’s exciting to see a local team to a national stage. Gets me excited for Kitsap County’s own Babe Ruth 13-year old World Series in 2012. Some of the Little Leaguers you will see on ESPN next year may very well be playing in our tournament.

Planning is now going full steam ahead for the 2012 Babe Ruth World Series. I am excited to be on the board as Director of Public Relations and we can use all the help we can get. Follow the progress on our Facebook page.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Breaking News: Don Wakamatsu Fired

Don Wakamatsu was fired today as Mariners manager – Read story from ESPN

Blows my mind. Last year, he was the shining star leading this team to 85 wins after a 100-loss season. Today, he’s the goat of the franchise. According to ESPN’s Rob Neyer, he lost control of the team. Really? I guess a 42-70 record will do that. He’s had public spats with Chone Figgins. He’s had clubhouse issues with people talking about Ken Griffey Jr. and “sleepgate.” Bottom line – he’s had a team that should be at least 20 wins better than it is. Still, I thought he would get another year. I’m shocked.

Pitching coach Rick Adair is also out. He was credited for getting Jarrod Washburn to pitch well last year. He also went from a savior to a goat, primarily because the bullpen went to pieces.

I know it’s about winning. Daren Brown from Tacoma will take over for the rest of the year. Don’t count on him being the replacement. Look for the M’s to do the same thing the Seahawks did after abruptly axing Jim Mora. They need to make a splash. They just saw Baltimore get Buck Showalter (who would have worked here). What other big names are out there? Looks like it will be an interesting off-season.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Moving Day at St Andrews


One of my favorite things to do on British Open week is getting up early and watching The Open on TV. It’s my World Cup. It’s still windy, but looks playable. U.S. Open champ Graeme McDowell is at -5 and in the hunt. The last two times players have won both the US and British Opens were in 2000 (Tiger Woods) and 1982 (Tom Watson). Don’t be surprised to see McDowell in contention tomorrow.

((Hey look – Phil finally makes a putt this weekend))

I love having Tom Watson and Paul Azinger in the booth with Mike Tirico on ESPN. As much as I loved watching Watson play as a leader last year, he is very goo as an analyst , and Azinger is brilliant.

As I watch this morning I can only think of one thing – I just love The Open.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Monday Morning QB – Odds and Ends

1 – Cliff Lee leaves the Mariners and gives up three HR’s and loses a complete game 6-1. Do you think he brought over the “hole in the bat” curse to the vaunted Rangers lineup? Plus, he gave up 6 runs which only happened once with the M’s. Don’t expect either of those to last long.

2 – Justin Smoak was 1-8 with 3 strikeouts over the weekend against the Yankees. Not quite the sizzling start the Mariners hoped for. I watched him play and like his swing (like I have an eye for talent!). I am guessing he will eventually be a fine player, but it might be in 2011. Mariner fans be patient (our motto since 1977).

3 – The NFL is around the corner. All has been quiet on the Seahawks front although that will soon be changing. The quiet before the storm.

4 – The Groz is back – Dave Grosby is coming back to 710 and now it’s got more pull as an RSPN affiliate. He will team with Kevin Calabro in the afternoon spot. I’ve always liked the Groz and I believe he will add value to what I think is now the best sports station in town. I do like and listen to them both, however the ESPN rights which bring John Clayton and others is too good.

5 – The World Cup is over! The World Cup is over! Spain won and I should be happy…I have Spanish blood through Columbia. Viva Espana and let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

NFL Draft Day – Dan’s Big Board for Seahawks

I love the NFL Draft. I remember being a teenager in the mid-1980’s and getting up at 5:00 am on a Tuesday morning to turn on ESPN to watch the draft live. Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, and even Mel Kiper Jr. were all there. Now, it’s on Prime Time. Unfortunately for me, I can’t watch it live due to a school board meeting. It fgure the year the Hawks have two picks in the first 14, I’m stuck discussing budget in a middle school library. My daughter will be texting me (I raised her right).

‘m not going to pretend I know more than Todd McShay and the aforementioned Mel Kiper on who goes where. However, I do have my druthers on who the Seahawks pick. Here is my "Big Bard" for them (just in case Pete Carroll is reading my Tweets):

1 – Russell Okung OT – The best of the left tackles. He can step in immediately and fill Walter Jones’s shoes (ot at least break them in). If he’s gone…

2 – Trent Williams OT – The next best tackle, but still worthy of this high a pick. Another guy who ca fill a tremendous need. #8 will be happy with either. If they are both gone…

3 – Eric Berry S – This guy sounds like Kenny Easley reincarnated. Everyone I hear talk about him says he can’t miss playmaker on defense. We only have two safeties, so also a huge need.

With the 6th pick, I can’t imagine all three are gone. If they are, someone has fallen and probably a great pick at this spot.

As far as the #14 selection, here are a few names I would love to see if available. If Berry is selected, it must be the next level of tackles. If a tackle went, then one of the others…

– CJ Spiller RB, Derek Morgan DE, Anthony Davis OT, Bryan Bulaga OT, Dez White WR

If two of these names surface by around 6:30 this evening and include taking care of the o-line, I’m a happy guy. And of course, that’s all that matters right?

My best guess goes like this – #6 Eric Berry and #14 Anthony Johnson. Why? Because I think the top 2 tackles will be off the board; Kansas City will take one of them leaving Eric Berry available.

What do you think?

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Paying It Forward

I listened to Ndamukong Suh on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike yesterday. This dude is probably the best player in the draft and maybe the sharpest. He graduated from Nebraska with an engineering degree and now announced that he is donating $2.6M back to Nebraska for scholarships for engineering students and athletes. He is well spoken, bright, and well-rounded.

Just the kind of guy any team would want on their team. Too bad he won’t be around by the 6th pick for the Hawks…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

The Butler Did It!

So far, so good on my Final Four predictions. I was off on the score a little bit, but getting the winners is the end game.

I’m sticking by my pick of Butler by one point. In total transparency, I will reveal that I do have Butler in the Vic Ulsh Oddity Lottery pool and having picked them with the 13th pick will look like the ultimate genius with a win.

Odds and Ends on Championship Day:

  • Is it just me or does Butler coach Brad Stevens look like he should be playing for the team, not coaching it? He looks like he’s 21 for goodness sakes! He’s actually 33 and probably the hottest coaching commodity in the country.
  • A recent ESPN poll shows that 82% of the country thinks that expanding the tournament to 96 teams stinks. The 18% must be NCAA committee members and their families.
  • It’s “madness” to think the expanded tournament is a good idea. It’s the one (and I mean the only one) thing that the NCAA actually does perfectly. That’s probably why they want to ruin it.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved