Monday, March 25, 2013

Tony Stewart, Tim Tebow and using the media

For all the battles he fights on the track, Tony Stewart is known almost as much for his clashes with the media off of it. I'm guessing more than a few reporters who have spent time in the Nascar garage over the years have stories about confrontations with Stewart.

Including me.

It was last year at Darlington Raceway when Stewart told me after a media session that he didn't need my newspaper coverage -- among many choice words he directed my way that day. And yet Stewart continues to make himself accessible to me or any other reporter who covers the sport. I imagine it's in part because he understands the importance of media coverage to Nascar -- and to the companies that give his race team millions of dollars -- whether he personally likes us or not.

When I heard about Tim Tebow's fan appearance at Whataburger Field in Corpus Christi, Texas, last Wednesday, I couldn't help but think of Stewart.

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Marriott whore no more

I've slept with you over 500 times in my life. That's a lot of nights in your beds. Yes, I've strayed a few times, had that fling in New York with Kimpton. No marriage is perfect, right?

Still, I was in it for the long term. I was committed to you. Until I finally realized you're not committed to me. At least, not anymore.

So maybe this is goodbye, Marriott.

I never wanted it to end. Remember when I broke up with Westin all those years ago and rushed to sign up for your Rewards program? So many points. So many hotel options. I thought I had finally found my home away from home with Marriott.

OK, your rooms were no match for Westin. Like most sportswriters, I was more interested in points, stay totals and silver, gold and platinum status. In my business, those Rewards levels are seen as a measure of achievement more than a pathetic sign of how much of our lives we have given away to work.

Then things began to change.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Te'o, Tia and sports journalism today

When Deadspin reported that Manti Te'o's deceased girlfriend never existed, some high profile sports journalists scrambled to quickly offer an explanation for why they wrote the emotional story of his loss without first confirming she was real.

No such mea culpa took place last week when it was reported that

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sports media and the white male scorecard

I once asked Tom Sorensen, the longtime sports columnist for the Charlotte Observer, why his newspaper wouldn't hire a woman to cover the Carolina Panthers back when the beat job came open in 1999. I've never forgotten his response.