Media Notebook 12-14-12: NFL Cheerleader MMA, Playboy hoops, Racist RG3 Comments

Media Notebook 12-14-12: NFL Cheerleader MMA, Playboy hoops, Racist RG3 Comments

Former Kansas City Chiefs cheerleader Rachel Wray, not to be confused with Rachael Ray, has given up the sidelines for the octagon. She’s become a MMA cage fighter, and she’s even won her first two fights.

You can watch those fights here

-(Playboy) Take a look at who they have in the college basketball sweet 16. Infographic below. Michigan State Spartans for the national title? Well, they’ve struggled with some scrubs this year, but the teams of Tom Izzo are always way better in March than in November. They’ve got the Kentucky Wildcats in the title game, those freshmen will have to mature quickly for that to happen. Playboy has Marquette and Ohio State in the sweet 16 and everyone’s national title favorite, the Indiana Hoosiers, making the Final Four but falling short of the ultimate prize.

-What were the most discussed sports topics on Facebook? Go here to find out

-Ask ranked the most desirable women in the world Go here to see where various sports figures (Hope Solo, Lolo Jones, Kate Upton, Paulina Gretzky, Ana Ivanovic etc. )rank

-(National Review...we’re going with back to back far right-leaning media outlets in our outbound links…this is what all the racist comments on RG3 are about)

columnist and ESPN analyst Rob Parker evidently thinks otherwise. On the network’s First Take show this morning, Parker said, “my question, which is just a straight honest question, is [Griffin] a brother, or is he a cornball brother?” Parker, a columnist at a handful of outlets over the years, has a history of stirring the pot when it comes to race issues in sports. He teeters back and forth between evaluating how “black” Griffin is – “kind of black,” “not really down with the cause” or “not one of us,” but it’s the evidence that prompted his hand wringing that’s so disturbing. “We all know he has a white fiancé. There was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which, there’s no information [about that] at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper as to why he has an issue.”

To see pics of that white fiance, Rebecca Liddicoat, go here

- (Fox News) A U.K. man collapsed and died from a heart attack at his office Christmas party – after dancing to Gangnam Style. Eamonn Kilbride, 46, had been doing the energetic horse-riding style moves to Korean pop sensation Psy’s hit song with his co-workers – but seconds later suddenly dropped to the floor. The tragedy occurred at an office party for the Thwaites brewery, in Blackburn, Lancashire, where Kilbride worked as an IT manager.

-REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL wraps its 18th season with a special roundtable review of 2012 when the show’s 189th edition, available in HDTV, debuts TUESDAY, DEC. 18 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. I’ve seen a special preview of this episode and it’s a must-see.

Other HBO playdates: Dec. 18 (4:00 a.m.), 22 (11:00 a.m.), 24 (12:10 a.m.), 27 (5:30 p.m.), 28 (10:30 a.m., 7:00 p.m.), 30 (7:30 a.m.) and 31 (3:00 p.m.), and Jan. 3 (8:00 p.m., 1:50 a.m.) HBO2 playdates: Dec. 19 (8:00 a.m., 9:00 p.m.), 21 (7:00 p.m.), 26 (10:00 a.m.) and 29 (4:00 p.m.), and Jan. 2 (8:00 a.m., 11:55 p.m.), 6 (7:30 a.m.) and 8 (5:00 a.m.) HBO On Demand® availability: Dec. 24-Jan. 14. The program will also be available on HBO GO®.

Departing from the show’s regular format, host Bryant Gumbel leads correspondents Mary Carillo, Frank Deford, Jon Frankel, Bernard Goldberg, Armen Keteyian and Andrea Kremer in a spirited roundtable discussion of 2012, touching on everything from favorite stories of the year to the interviews and segments that had the greatest impact on them.

-Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On, hosted by SportsNet Central’s Pat Boyle, chronicles the tragic story of this promising 16-year-old high school running back, who was paralyzed in a game against Oak Forest High School in September of 2000 when he was tackled just four plays into the contest.  He immediately suffered two broken vertebrae in his neck and a devastating spinal cord injury.   From that moment forward, his life changed forever.

With a deep faith and a determination to rise above this tragic setback, Rocky never gave up.  With his heroic mother Annette at his side, Rocky graduated from Eisenhower H.S., attended junior college at South Suburban College and even helped coach his old high school football team…all the while receiving around-the-clock medical attention.  However, Rocky’s story gained national attention in 2010 when his school’s $5M insurance policy had reached its cap.  Annette received a two-sentence letter from the insurance company notifying her of that fact.  Just 16 months later, Rocky passed away at the age of 27.

This impactful look at Clark’s life and death, featuring numerous interviews with his family, friends, coaches, nurses, state representatives and others who all called him one thing – an “inspiration” – premieres Sunday, December 23 at 7:30 PM CT exclusively on Comcast SportsNet.  In addition, viewers are urged to visit Comcast SportsNet’s website,, for video excerpts from Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives One immediately following the 7:30 PM debut airing.

Produced and edited by Comcast SportsNet’s Sarah Lauch, Rocky Clark: The Legacy Lives On will also re-air on the following dates/times:  Christmas Day/December 25 (9:30pm), New Year’s Eve/December 31 (9:00pm), January 5 (7:00pm) & January 7 (7:00pm).


-Man NO ONE READS posts about player awards (player of the week, player of the month, national/conference player of the week/month, Doak Walker award, AP All-American etc.). Yet SIDs and PR departments bombard media members with emails on these very topics. There’s an extreme disconnect here.

-On Friday, January 18th from 10:30AM – 4 PM, Blogs With Balls will present the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl 2013 Digital Symposium at the Home Depot Center (18400 S Avalon Blvd, Carson, CA 90746).

The symposium will be a part of NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Media Day and will afford attendees media availability and meet & greet/interviews with Collegiate Bowl Coaches, Ambassadors, Players and NFLPA New Player Reps.

During the day, BWB will host a trio of football and digital media-related panel discussions featuring, among others:

  Deadspin Editor Erik Malinowski
  Fox NFL Sunday Writer/Producer Bernie Kim
  ESPN LA’s Arash Markazi
  Jason Kirk, co-host of SB Nation’s Shutdown Fullback
  Former Cal Bear and Bleacher Report writer Ryan Riddle founder Cyd Ziegler

The topics will be:  How second screens and fan connectivity are changing the gameday experience;  whether the League will ever return to LA; and the state of bowl games and the BCS and what it means to players, programs and fans.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar, published author and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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