Define “Fun” Again, FS1

When FOX Sports announced that it would be launching a “rival” to ESPN in the form of FOX Sports 1, many in sports and social media circles were thrilled. ESPN needs competition said some. The amount of drivel on ESPN makes it unwatchable said others. That was over a year ago. Some still believe that. 

How did I feel? Meh. 

Meh for the simple reason that sports networks just didn’t resonate with me anymore. I long ago tuned out ESPN’s non-event offerings. Only exceptions: 30-for-30 and E:60. Even their ESPN Radio offerings were a turn-off. Same goes for Fox Sports. Aside from a soccer match or an occasional NFL game, Fox’s sports offerings were putrid. So what would I need with a new sports network? Nothing. Especially since I have Twitter and my phone. 

Why watch a highlight on SportsCenter when I could see a GIF of it on Twitter? Do I really need to see the scores when it’s so easily accessible on the beat writer’s Twitter feed or on a phone app? Everything I need for sports news is easily accessible these days without turning on the television. What could Fox Sports 1 offer someone like me? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. 

Now that they’ve been around for a year and seeing stuff like this…I’m not missing much am I?

[tweet https://twitter.com/richarddeitsch/status/499955196420960256 align=’center’]

Didn’t think so.

[tweet https://twitter.com/richarddeitsch/status/499956566263885825 align=’center’]

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Truth be told, I couldn’t watch much of that video. I know some people who work at Fox Sports. I have no idea if they had anything to do with that ad or not. I truly hope not. FS1 has made some smart moves in recent months by hiring the likes of Bruce Feldman and Stewart Mandel for their college football offerings. Those two additions make up for the extreme misstep of the Crowd Goes Wild show and the still-employed Clay Travis. But, just barely.

The expectations and braggadocio of Fox last summer about FS1 were, in a word, FUN (The One for Fun).  They would challenge the mighty behemoth, ESPN. One year on, those expectations and braggadocio are gone. Disappointment might be a better description.

Long-term disappointment? Maybe not. As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But, with ads like that “one” FS1, your definition of FUN might need a bit of refining, especially for your long-term prospects.

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FINAL THOUGHT: Just in case you thought I was alone, a few replies to Richard Deitsch’s second tweet:

Twitter   richarddeitsch  College football is abt. passion  ...

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CadChica Sports

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CBS Sports: It Is Time

 

The headline read: 

 

CBS Sports to Make TV History with All Female Sports Talk Show This Fall   The Big Lead

History.

[tweet https://twitter.com/thebiglead/status/497837776461520896 align=’center’]

An all-female sports talk show? YES!

Before anyone gets the wrong idea, I’m not a female sports fan. I’m not a champion of all things women’s sports. I’m just a sports fan. Period.

For years, the sports media industry has relegated female sports journalists to very specific roles. Sideline reporter is number one on that list. If you’re a pretty blonde and you work in sports, there’s a good chance you’ll land a job as a sideline reporter somewhere in this country. Sure, there are female sports anchors, but how many are there to actually “discuss” sports? There simply isn’t enough time on a sportscast to hear an anchor’s opinion.

Then along came that story above from The Big Lead. The premise of it is exciting. A show with an all-female panel that is just talking sports? Not women’s sports – just sports! Terrific news, right? Well, I thought so initially. Heck, I’d want to be on that.  

Then, I started reading some tweets from folks who know the business far better than me. 

[tweet https://twitter.com/thefootballgirl/status/499233715231674369 align=’center’] [tweet https://twitter.com/thefootballgirl/status/499234138797662210 align=’center’] [tweet https://twitter.com/thefootballgirl/status/499234690344431616 align=’center’]

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[tweet https://twitter.com/stevelepore/status/499248556713443328 align=’center’] [tweet https://twitter.com/stevelepore/status/499248992321302528 align=’center’] [tweet https://twitter.com/stevelepore/status/499249218415263744 align=’center’] [tweet https://twitter.com/stevelepore/status/499250265015738368 align=’center’]

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Stepping stone or network gimmick?

I would hope a stepping stone and beyond. For women like me, we want to talk about sports. Not just women’s sports either. I want to talk about college football or basketball. Whether it’s on Twitter or more so on Google+, talking about sports is fun and insightful to me. Call me crazy, but this thing called dialogue…well, I like that! 

And that’s part of my hope for this new show from CBS. I’ve been trying to do something along those lines on Google+ with my show Tuesday Ten. Showing that a woman can talk about sports, in my case sports-social media, beyond the reasons of looks alone. Not saying I’m a beauty or anything like that — but it’s about being on camera for who you are on the inside too. Having someone of Amy Trask’s stature on that show (per The Big Lead), that’s saying something to me. That’s telling me that CBS knows there needs to be a platform to feature someone like Trask or Lesley Visser.

Maybe it’s a naive way to look at things, but that’s my hope. That this won’t be a gimmick by CBS Sports. Steve Lepore is right in his tweets above that sports media needs a change from within. More women decision-makers or, at the very least, less of an all-boys club. More people who are willing to think outside the box. For now though, the show needs to be an investment – a long-term investment in women who love talking about sports. 

It is time. 

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CadChica Sports

 Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

Seize the Mic

When you’ve got the mic, use it!

Over fifteen years ago, I heard those words uttered in church. That’s right…church. 

It’s hard to explain what I felt when I heard it. Maybe it was what Aeneas Williams was trying to describe in his speech last night when he said, “Pay attention to the signs God gives you”. I don’t know if it was necessarily a sign, but it was something that pierced my core. It pierced my soul. 

I’ve always taken that in the literal context. If the microphone is in your hand, use it for what its meant to be used for: to be spoken into and convey a message to others. 

Think about that concept for a minute. When someone is holding a microphone in their hand or it’s sitting in front of them on a desk or table, it’s there for them to speak into it. It’s as if the mic is saying, “SPEAK TO ME”. 

And, on the other end of that microphone is someone. Anyone with ears to hear will hear what the speaker has to say, right? You choose to speak. They choose to listen. 

But, nobody is listening if you ain’t even willing to use the mic you’ve been given. 

securedownload

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I thought about this again last night at the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer and Florida State Seminole, Derrick Brooks was up first. Brooks’ speech lasted 24 minutes. The chuckling in the press box began some time around minute 15 or so. After all, there are deadlines to meet. An audible groan could be heard when he said, “When you go first, you can take your time.” Which prompted a terrific response from Keith McShea from Buffalo News:

[tweet https://twitter.com/KeithMcSheaBN/status/495720332893114368 align=’center’]

Funny as that was, I remembered that statement, When you’ve got the mic, use it. 

Brooks used it. He, and the other enshrinees, used the mic last night to share a piece of they are. Who they are now, came from who they were back then. Who they were as a kid, you found out through the stories and introductions of their families. 

From Brooks whose mom told him, Never let me hear you toot your own horn ’cause it only makes one sound.

From Claude Humphrey whose mom told him after he asked to go play football, Yeah, but if you don’t get back in time for dinner, you don’t eat.

From Aeneas Williams’ dad: The name Aeneas means He is worthy to be praised. And he (Aeneas) is worthy to be praised. 

From Walter Jones on his mama working hard for the family: We were never in the dark and we never went hungry.

From Ray Guy: We were taught to appreciate the things we had and to take care of what we’ve got.

These are just a few of the examples of how these men used the mic to share a piece of themselves. When placed in front of them, they used it. 

But, the more I think about the statement and its literal meaning, I think about it now in a broader sense. 

When you’ve got the mic, use it = When you’ve got the opportunity SEIZE IT!

How does one get to the Hall of Fame? Any Hall of Fame, not just the Pro Football Hall of Fame? It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears. On the part of the players, as well as their families. There is no possible way to do it alone. Families need their attention, love, affection and most of all, time. Coaches and teammates pushing them beyond their limits. They demand more day in and day out. Fans too have their own expectations of players. Numerous challenges both internally and externally were faced by the Hall of Famers along the way.

These players last night (which also included Michael Strahan and Andre Reed), had opportunities throughout their lives. And, they seized them. They didn’t shirk away. They didn’t run and hide. Sure, they may have been angry or upset at times. Even despondent or frustrated. But, to achieve the level they did last night, they had to SEIZE THE MIC.

They had the mic and the used it. They seized the opportunity to speak to us last night. They won’t get that opportunity again. However long it took, despite media groans, they had the mic and the weren’t afraid to use it.

They had the “mic” placed before them throughout their childhood, teenage and college years, their playing career and they SEIZED IT. 

So I have to ask myself and you, my reader, what’s your “mic”?

For players, during their playing days their mic is on the field (or whatever their respective playing surface may be). For written media, their mic is through websites, newspapers, magazines or books. For broadcast media, the mic is through the televison or computer screen or a speaker (radio or computer/mobile device). 

We all have a mic in some way, shape or form. Mine now is through both written and spoken word. But, I could have easily shied away from them. I’m not one for the spotlight or self-promotion. But, you have to do that to some degree or you’ll never make it in this business. The opportunities (the mic) have presented themselves and I SEIZED IT

It hasn’t been easy. Speaking is not comfortable for me. Putting myself out there to be criticized and ridiculed for what I do, speak and write…hmm…let’s see…that’s a risk in today’s social media world. 

But, the mic (opportunity) has been placed in front of me…

And I’m SEIZING it.

Are you?

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CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

Journalism Judgment In A Twitter World

Context.

In the world of 140-characters on Twitter, context can be a missing element.

Come on people. If you didn’t get the sarcasm that’s on you. 

I shouldn’t have to explain my sarcasm on Twitter. Get with it people.  

Can’t you people take a joke? 

Journalists, bloggers, and others working in media have made those statements on Twitter over the years.

Toward fans.

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Do you understand Twitter? Do you understand how people use it?

How I use Twitter is vastly different from the next person. Many in journalism circles use it as a news feed. Others use it as a communication tool as part of their business (brand) strategy. Some use it to simply connect with their friends. Still more use it to find those who have similar interests (i.e. shared favorite tv shows, team, etc…). I’m a collection of all of the above. Mostly sports news mixed in with a bit of non-sports news and minimal personal information. That’s not the same for everyone.

As Twitter has grown, so has the idea of journalist branding. Particularly in sports media. Twitter is a broadcasting tool for journalists. Broadcasting one’s own content or opinions can be the norm. Now more than ever it’s about the clicks.  The more popular you are (followers) on Twitter, the more traffic you drive to your publication’s site. Gain followers – generate clicks. Gain followers by sharing your opinion…especially controversial or sarcastic ones.  It’s as if the thought process for some media is, “I have an opinion or a joke about this story. I need to share it on Twitter. My followers need to know it.”

It’s along that line of thinking that this tweet resonated with me recently.

[tweet https://twitter.com/AlanShipnuck/status/491286070458216448 align=’center’]

Is this statement true? Is everything we do “judged the same” in the online world? Is what we post on Twitter judged the same way as a blog or a video post? Can you tell the same thing about someone in 140-characters as you can a 1,000 word article? Perhaps we should ask Chris Kluwe (reference: his Deadspin article).

  • Chris Kluwe can’t be moral crusader after Twitter rant – CBS Sports
  • Chris Kluwe is both a hero and a hypocrite – Bleacher Report

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gavelBy Brian Turner (Flickr: My Trusty Gavel) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Are we judged the same on all outlets? Or, does Twitter, with its 140-character limit, have its own set of rules in today’s journalism? Needing perspective, I corresponded with a Twitter-friend who has worked in both media and social media. Tom Buchheim is the Lead Content Strategist for American Family Insurance. He was also involved in television broadcasting for several years. I asked Tom a series of questions on the topic of journalism and social media.

Can we be judged the same everywhere? Is it that black-and-white of an issue? 
 
“In this context, I think journalists seeking legitimacy should expect similar reactions across platforms and mediums. A reader is a reader. A fan is a fan. A hater is a hater. You can qualify opinions much easier in a column/blog post. It’s much more difficult and subjective in 140 characters (or less).
 
That being said, at some point, your personal brand becomes what people see, and if you’re consistently trying to be sarcastic or funny via social media, then people begin to expect it.”
 
Tom went on to say that there are certain sites he reads, not for their feature stories but for “their clever use of social media, their capture-the-moment-perfectly tweets and snarky approach to sports”. As Tom told me, “We have a superficial relationship, and I’m OK with that. “

On Whitlock’s tweet that SI’s Alan Shipnuck replied to

“To Whitlock’s credit, he’s being transparent enough in admitting his account is pure folly. My problem is it diminishes his serious writing/columns/reporting. It’s so “out there” that it’s off-brand for what I expect him to say, especially as someone whom I enjoyed hearing from weekly when he was on “Sports Reporters.””

Does personal branding supplant old-school journalism now? 

“I hope personal branding never supplants old-school journalism. There’s a place for personal branding — especially in sports — but we have enough loud-mouths out there. Earn your stripes through good reporting. I expect more — and I think others do, too — of journalists, no matter where they’re sharing opinions. To me, your work should be the showcase piece for your personal branding. But I understand how buzz and getting more readers, followers, etc. works.  know of friends in TV news who are under constant pressure to grow and engage more and more in social media. It’s harder to do that by just sharing really good content — unfortunately. We’re a headline-grabbing society with news cycles that last hours instead of days. That makes me sad for journalism. For old-school journalism.”

Context on Twitter

If you’re trying to be funny, someone will misinterpret the tweet. So then it’s probably not funny, right? Or you’re just not funny. Humor is hard. Big brands struggle — and usually fail miserably — with humor in social media, because it’s so subjective. We’re also a very skeptical society, even more so in social media. Twitter will see blood any time there’s a chance to knock someone down, especially sports writers or other journalists attempting humor. Or big brands.

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FINAL THOUGHTS: First, my thanks to Tom Buchheim for providing his perspective for this post. 

Second, Twitter is what you make of it. That’s been my belief for a long time. If you don’t like what someone tweets, don’t follow them. Simple, right?

There are very prominent media members, well-respected, that are quite popular on Twitter. Early on, I followed them. I found them to be arrogant, condescending and egotistical. They questioned fans who questioned them no matter how right the fans were. Now that I look back on it, to use a popular term, they “bullied” with words and dismissed fans who disagreed with them. I unfollowed them. I moved them to a Twitter List because they were great writers and I wanted to read their articles. Eventually, that wasn’t enough to keep me connected to them. I removed them from my Lists altogether.

Simple.

But, should I have to?

Well, that’s the beauty and curse of Twitter. Twitter allows you access to people who were not previously accessible. Depending on how much journalists filter themselves, Twitter allows for a peek into who they truly are. Personality, political and religious beliefs, even their favorite restaurants (think FourSquare check-ins and food pictures) can all be seen through the eyes of Twitter. That’s not always the case in their writing, unless they are a columnist. Columnists are paid to provide their opinion. 

In print, at least.

On Twitter, everyone can be a columnist, providing their 140-character opinions. Not always in proper context. It’s up to the user to decide how to interpret and convey their opinion to others. We’re all different in our personalities so why is that we should interpret one’s writing and tweets the same way. We don’t. And we won’t until someone creates that sarcasm font I keep calling for (sarcasm). 

As quickly as a tweet is written, that’s how quickly a judgment is made. With an article or blog post, the reader has time to fully grasp the context of what the writer is trying to say on a subject. I should say, “more words” not “more time”.  Like Tom said, “your work should be the showcase piece for your personal branding“. That doesn’t mean that comes through in only 140-characters. 

At least, that’s my “judgment” on the issue. 

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CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

Passion Drives Us

I understand this tweet.

As someone who works in media, I get how media has a different mindset than the fan. Cheering for a team, especially one that you cover, has always been, shall we say, frowned upon. No cheering in the press box. That mindset often carries over into writing or reporting.

Part of what drew us to working in sports media in the first place was our passion as sports fans. Growing up, we loved sports. We were fans. We immersed ourselves in every play, every official’s call, every stat, every game.  We were invested in our team. They became part of our identity.

And, yes, sometimes to the point of fanatical.

Perhaps that’s part of the charm of being a sports fan. As much as I dislike fans taking it too far, I understand the passion behind it. Our favorite teams become part of our lives, season in and season out.

© CadChica Sports

© CadChica Sports

Teams have our hearts. So much so that sometimes they can bring us to tears.

And to me, the right type of tears are a-okay.

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FINAL THOUGHTS: I know that sentiment in the above tweet is shared by others in media. Once you start working in sports media, the “fan” in us begins to fade. We no longer get what it means to be a fan the longer we’re in it.

By that same token, most fans don’t understand what it means to work in the media. Travel tweets…no, travel-complaint tweets come to mind. Tweets like this, for example:

I don’t want to lose my affinity for “my” teams. But, I also need to view teams, games, athletes from a media perspective. It’s a delicate balance now that I’m in media. Passion is important to work in media. Passion is what drives fans to the point of tears.

Is passionate balance a thing?

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CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

 

Player vs Media On Twitter

Use your social media platform wisely.

Case in point today: Former Tennessee Titan, Keith Bulluck, and ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky.

The back story. According to Kuharsky’s ESPN article from last week, Bulluck called ex-teammate, Chris Johnson, a me-first type of athlete during Bulluck’s time with the Titans.

“He’s a friend of mine but when it comes to athlete, he’s a ‘me’ person. He’s a ‘me’ person when it comes to the athlete.”

That article and Bulluck’s subsequent SportsNation appearance prompted Kuharsky’s tweet above (from last night). Call them fighting words, perhaps, but Bulluck wasn’t about to let that slide. The following are the tweets in chronological order.

NOTE: Some of Bulluck’s tweets are in screen-shot form. He uses an app called TwitLonger which allows users to go beyond 140 characters. I have included their screen-shots for reference purposes. TwitLonger can also be accessed by clicking on the link in the actual tweet. 

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Bulluck 1*

Bulluck 2*

Bulluck 3

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Bulluck 4

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Bulluck 5

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Bulluck 6***

FINAL THOUGHTS: This isn’t a new phenomenon, player vs journalist/media on Twitter. But, it has been awhile since we’ve seen an athlete go to this length to state (tweet) his case. I’ve long said Twitter (or any social media outlet) allows athletes to control the message. Say what you will about whether Keith Bulluck is in the right or wrong. He has a platform and he’s not afraid to use it. Neither is Kuharsky.

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CadChica Sports

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Tuesday Ten with Jimmy Sanderson

Sports encompasses a variety of dynamics. There is the actual athletic endeavor on the playing surface. There are the athletes, coaches, leagues and teams. Add in media, business and marketing, sponsors, social media and you’re talking about a wide-range of elements all under the “sports” umbrella. 

One that I didn’t mention is the world of academics. With the growth of Twitter and other platforms, social media has become very much a part of sports, leaving plenty of material for researchers to study. One of those leading the way in academics, utilizing social media, was my guest on tonight’s #TuesdayTen Google+ Hangout, Dr. Jimmy Sanderson, from Clemson University.

Dr. Sanderson and I discussed how he incorporates social media in his classroom and the discussions they have, including today’s topic, the Seattle Seahawks’, Richard Sherman. Watch:

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CadChica Sports