On Monday, February 10th David Kaplan will host as some of Chicago’s current and former professional athletes receiving honors at the 26th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards. The Live Awards Ceremony will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet (7:30 PM) from the Hilton Chicago (International Ballroom).
The honorees chosen are top athletes from Chicago’s professional teams who have made considerable contributions to their teams and the Chicago community. The proceeds will benefit the March of Dimes
This year’s honorees include:
Martellus Bennett (Bear of the Year) Patrick Sharp (Blackhawk of the Year)
Nazr Mohammed (Bull of the Year) Welington Castillo (Cub of the Year)
Nate Jones (White Sox of the Year) Mike Magee (Fire of the Year)
Stan Mikita (Lifetime Achievement) Alyssa Gialamas (Inspirational Athlete Award)
Tickets are $400 per person. To purchase tickets to the 26th Annual Comcast SportsNet Sports Awards, please call Kate Adams at (312) 596-4721 or visit CSNChicago.com/sportsawards26
Now we move on to an exclusive discussion of sports media and sports that David Kaplan and I had by phone recently.
Paul M. Banks: how do you define the line between a fan and a journalist and how do you balance the two?
David Kaplan: In my opinion, if you become a sportscaster you had to have loved sports to get into it. If you’re not passionate about what you do, then what are you doing it for? I can tell you’re very passionate about your writing, that’s why you crank out as many articles as you do every day. I’m the same way. I get up early, I get home late. I work a lot of days and I love what I do. I love Chicago sports and I just happened to grow up a cub fan. I think I can put my fandom to the side and ask the tough questions, sometimes it ticks off the Jim Hendrys and Lou Piniellas and I were nose to nose.
He was screaming at me, dropping f-bombs at me one day on the field. He didn’t like that I was critical on television and radio. I felt that I was right and we ended up shaking hands a couple of days later, but it got pretty nasty there. He was literally in my face like he would be with an umpire dropping M-Fs and everything else. And it goes with the territory, never bothered me.
If you’re going to be critical, you owe it to the player, manager, executive to be around. Don’t sit in the studio and fire away and never be there.
Paul M. Banks: we always hear that tired cliche from players and coaches” “I don’t hear the criticism” “we don’t read that stuff,” is any of that true?
David Kaplan: Any of them that tell you they don’t pay attention to criticism is not telling you the truth. Absolutely, they pay attention to it. Some of them are better at saying they don’t care. Especially the great ones, it bothers them. I have a friend who is a Hall of Fame college basketball coach. I won’t reveal his name but he gets in the car and he flips on the post-game show. Win or lose, he’ll hear some goof call in and say he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Why is he running zone? Meanwhile, he’s only been one of the best coaches in the country the past 35 years and been to the Final Four. And it drives him crazy. Why do you care what some guy who’s calling in from his house thinks about your zone offense? You’re going to the Hall of Fame someday. Absolutely they hear it.
So if you’re fair in your criticism, you criticize them for their play and the numbers speak for themselves, they can be mad, but they know you’re just doing your job. As long as you don’t personally attack. You leave the personal stuff out of it and you critique their play, I don’t see anything wrong with that. I haven’t found a player yet who has a problem with it.
David Kaplan hosts The David Kaplan Show on WGN Radio (weeknights 7 to 10) and Sports Talk Live, a daily sports roundtable discussion show on Comcast SportsNet in Chicago (Monday-Friday from 5:30-6:30 p.m.)
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An MBA and Fulbright scholar, he’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments on ESPN, NBC, CBS and Fox Sports Radio. A former writer for NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, he’s also been featured on the History Channel. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks)
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