Monday, March 21, 2011

Reversal Of Fortune

Shankologists may remember the special venom directed at Nomar Garciaparra and Curt Schilling (too many to mention) by the Shankster over the years. Since both of them became ESPN analysts last year, there hasn't been much written by Shank on either, excluding that Globe column on Garciaparra.

Maybe Shank has turned the corner on the professional athlete thing?
Dwight Freeney interviewed me last month. He asked me about Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady, Bob Sanders, and who I liked in Major League Baseball this year.

I am not making this up.

More and more, athletes are getting into the media business. Most guys do it when their playing days are over. In 2011 some of them go to the dark side while they are still playing. No doubt they are getting ready for a work stoppage or the next career after retirement from the playing field.


I never thought stuff like this was going to happen when I got into the sportswriting game. There was a clear separation. We were newspaper guys and they were players. There was little crossover. We didn't have a lot of opportunities to appear on television or radio. And players didn't entertain the idea of joining the media.
"This ain't what I signed up for, damn it!"

There's also a mention of a local angle:
Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell is a commentator on the C's flagship radio station. Maxwell did not speak to the media for one entire season when I covered the Celtics, but now he occasionally asks me a question.
Lest we wonder why, one reason Cedric Maxwlll might have told Shank to piss off:

“You could not print all the things we said,’’ said Cedric Maxwell, Ainge’s teammate from the 1980s and a Hall of Fame trash talker. “You could not write it all down. The families. The moms. Didn’t make any difference. We didn’t have to be politically correct. We could be asinine.

“I remember one guy, before the start of a playoff series, saying, ‘No way that bitch is getting 40 points off of me.’ Somebody wrote that down and it actually got in the paper.’’

I know. Because Max said it about Bernard King, and I (Shank - ed.) wrote it down, and it appeared in the Sunday Globe on the day of the first game of the 1984 Eastern Conference semifinals between the Celtics and Knicks. King refused to shake Max’s hand before the game. King didn’t get his 40 until Game 3, but the Celtics won the series.


mike_b1 said...

"And players didn't entertain the idea of joining the media."

Like hell. The CHB began reporting in 1977. At that time, Tony Kubek ex Yankees SS) and Joe Garagiola (ex Cardinals C) had been calling games and hosting baseball shows on NBC for years. Within that same year, Bob Prince (ex college swimmer) and Bob Uecker(ex Milwaukee/Phillies C) signed on to do Monday Night Baseball. Uecker in fact had been doing play-by-play for the Brewers since 1971. Uecker's ex Cardinals teammate, Mike Shannon, has been calling games since 1972.

Hell, Dizzy Dean was a Browns, Cardinals, Yankees and Braves broadcaster starting in 1941!

Once again, The CHB lets the obvious facts get in the way of his story. He can't stand that not only are these guys better athletes, they also are better journalists.

Anonymous said...


.... probably better human beings ...