EDITOR’S NOTE: In his usual detailed manner, Evan Weiner takes a very interesting look at ESPN and its long-standing business relationship with the NFL over the years and how it resulted in ESPN’s withdrawal from their partnership with PBS Frontline. The League of Denial documentary on football concussions is now front and center in the media – not exactly what they expected when they made that decision to pull out. Posted with the express consent of Evan Weiner:
.

.
ESPN’s Football Faux Pas, NFL Concussions League of Denial
.
By Evan Weiner
August 29, 2013
SportsTalkFlorida
.
Goodell_WhaaaMake no mistake; the Walt Disney Company’s ESPN cable TV networks are not set up to be journalism bastions. There were two stories recently reported in the New York Times which clearly illustrated what ESPN is all about. Disney’s sports franchise pulled out of a partnership with PBS’s Frontline to produce a two-part series on head injuries suffered by NFL players. The New York Times reported that the National Football League pressured the very company that pays them billions of dollars to get out of the “League of Denial” presentation. The New York Times on Monday carried a piece on the paper’s front page about the ESPN partnership with the University of Louisville and how the company has been a critical component of the rise of the school’s football program.
. continue reading »

Roger Goodell Haste Makes Waste

.
The continuing flood of news coverage and studies has been relentless during this football season with no sign of letting up even as more retired players add their names to the growing list of concussion lawsuits. The results of Junior Seau’s brain study were finally released by the National Institute of Health (NIH) following months of speculation and rumors of a potential coverup following his suicide last May. We lead our latest concussion update post with the breaking ESPN report on the NIH study:
.
ESPN-OTL logo continue reading »

Hall of Famer Harry Carson stirred things up in a recent interview with CBS, telling them, “Regret? I’m not going to say regret. But if I had to do it all over again, I would not have played.”
.

.

NFL Hall Of Famer Harry Carson Says He Never Would’ve Played Football Had He Known Effects Of Concussions

continue reading »

Posted with the express consent of Evan Weiner:

THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS
.
Wednesday, 2 May 2011
.
BY EVAN WEINER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
COMMENTARY
.
I didn’t know Junior Seau although I met him on the day he was drafted into the National Football League in 1990 and probably interviewed him after a football game a few times more. From all accounts, he was a fearsome presence on the football field; a killer who at times could control a game defensively.
.
But Junior Seau didn’t live to be a ripe old age and until an autopsy is performed and a police investigation is complete, there is no need to speculate about the circumstances surrounding Seau’s death other than he was found dead of a shotgun wound on the morning of May 2, 2012 about 22 years after the San Diego Chargers football team called his name at the annual National Football League event.
.
The gun wound should strike a nerve among former players. It seems that is becoming a way of life and death among NFL alum suffering from life altering injuries that probably came from years and years of absorbing hits on the football field. People do hear about former NFL players but there seems to be no tracking of high school and college players who years after their football careers ended killed themselves.
. continue reading »

Posted with the express consent of Evan Weiner:

THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS
.

Fans don’t matter in sports
Monday, 16 May 2011
BY EVAN WEINER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
.
THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS
.
And so the National Football League lockout has become a version of the People’s Court. The good guys, the National Football League Players Association, are fighting for workers’ rights and are begging “fans” to help them lift the lockout. The owners, the bad guys, want to take away the players ability to make truckloads of money and are threatening their long term health care. Wait, the players have done such a great job in past collective bargaining agreements that former players lose health benefits five years after their playing careers are done and only if a player has three years in the league.
.
The “People’s Court” is now playing in Minneapolis, Minnesota where United States District Judge David Doty is figuring out of the owners owe the players money over how the league managed to negotiate TV contracts to protect that side if in the event of a 2011 lockout. The players are seeking $707 million in damages. The fans will get ZERO if Judge Doty gives the players a monetary award even through a good chunk of that TV money comes from the cable TV subscriber-based ESPN and the satellite pay service DirecTV. In fact a good many people who never watch an NFL game on either ESPN or DirecTV are subsidizing the billions of dollars that ESPN and DirecTV pays the NFL.
.
The chances are that Judge David Doty will not address relief for subscribers are great. Fans are not a part of the lockout equation. Cable TV subscribers never received a rebate in 1994 and 1995 when Major League Baseball shutdown the 1994 season and the National Hockey League’s lockout did not end until January leaving cable TV subscribers without a product from mid-September 1994 through January 1995. An awful lot of teams had local cable TV deals in 1994 and 1995 and subscribers were playing for something that they didn’t get. Programming in terms of games which they were charged for. In 1998-99, the National Basketball Association locked out the league players for about 30 games. Not one cable TV subscriber received a penny back for missed games. Interestingly enough the owner of the Golden State Warriors, Chris Cohan, tried to stiff the Oakland Alameda Coliseum Authority and not pay rent at the Oakland Arena during the NBA lockout.
. continue reading »

Posted with the express consent of Evan Weiner:

THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS
.

Why are NFL owners really locking out the players?

Tuesday, 26 April 2011
BY EVAN WEINER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM
.
The National Football League has been pretending that all is well in the land of the 32 franchises and the league’s more than 1,600 employees. Teams are conducting cheerleader tryouts. The league released the 2011 pre-season schedule, then came the regular season schedule announcement and the exciting month of NFL football reaches a climax with three days worth of what is essentially a major restraint of trade, the college draft. That exercise, which starts on Thursday, is made legal thanks to the 2006 National Football League-National Football League Players Association collective bargaining agreement which gives the NFL the right to offer college players a chance to join the players ranks through that mechanism even though the college players have no say in the 2006 agreement.
.
So all is wonderful in the land of the NFL except for one minor detail: NFL owners have locked out the employees who perform on the field — the players and no new negotiations on the collective bargaining agreement are scheduled until May 16 after a flurry of court decisions will be made on the legality of the lockout and whether the owners can use TV monies from 2011 rights from FOX, NBC, CBS, Disney’s ESPN and DirecTV for football operations even if there is no product.
.
The lockout was lifted by a Minnesota judge on Monday afternoon; the NFL will appeal the ruling which means both sides are back to the bargaining table with no rules for business for 2011. It could be that 2010 rules apply which is not necessarily good for either side. Players will have to wait six years, not four for free agency and the owners have no salary cap to control players costs.
.
continue reading »

Posted with the express consent of Evan Weiner:

THE BUSINESS AND POLITICS OF SPORTS

By Evan Weiner

March 7, 2011

.

As the representatives from the National Football League ownership group and the National Football League Players Association continue to try and bridge their differences and sign a new collective bargaining agreement (and yes Green Bay Packers players have collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin despite the best efforts of the state’s governor to bust public employee unions as Governor Scott Walker told the fake David Koch), it might be useful to review 60 years of television money and players association activity and how closely linked television and the players really are.

.

NFL owners were planning to use some $4 billion in 2011 television rights fees to underwrite a lockout. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (FOX), General Electric (now Comcast)’s NBC, Sumner Redstone’s CBS, the Walt Disney Company’s ESPN and DirecTV cozied up to the NFL owners because the owners’ product is still a consistently watched fare in an increasingly fragmented audience industry: TV.

. continue reading »

60 MinutesWell, I got reminded a little too late tonight that CBS’ 60 Minutes ran Bob Simon’s episode on brain concussions and brain disease tonight and I missed it (like a lot of you out there, I suspect!).

>>>

continue reading »