Category: BTN

Media, keep covering Penn State Scandal! Boers and Bernstein Do!

Media, keep covering Penn State Scandal! Boers and Bernstein Do!
What went down at Penn State was the college football story of the year in 2011-12. Actually, it’s the most important sports story of the 2010s thus far. The Penn State child rape scandal is so much more than just a scandal and a cover-up; it’s all encompassing. And today, I find it bizarre that... Read more »

NBA Draft Combine hits Chicago: recap, synopsis, news and notes

NBA Draft Combine hits Chicago: recap, synopsis, news and notes
The NBA Draft Combine was held here in Chicago this past Thursday and Friday. Almost every player likely to get picked in the 2013  NBA Draft came to the Windy City for workouts in front of NBA scouts and interviews with the local and national media.

During the interview sessions, the draft combine reporter gets up close and personal with every former college basketball star soon to hear their name called on draft night. Each player gets his own table in the conference room and journalists rotate like speed daters to obtain quality face time with everyone. Conversation is much more in-depth here than at post-game press conferences. It's about the big picture here -- no time to waste on the boringly banal queries from newspaper beat writers forming out their pedestrian game recap articles.

On top of the media grilling, the draft combine includes tougher inquisitions from the league's teams. Four years ago, Arizona's Chase Budinger, picked 44th by the Detroit Pistons, currently balling for the Minnesota Timberwolves, said he faced a psychological aptitude test from our hometown Bulls. He had to arrange blocks to match a picture they presented. A lot of reporters toss boring, easy softball questions ("if you could have dinner with anyone in history who would it be?" "what's your favorite late night snack?)", but the professionals on NBA payrolls pull no punches. They're investing major paper, long dough in their selection. That means doing due diligence. Even players' personal lives are in bounds. At the NBA Draft combine, teams want to know if players are single, married, have kids, baby mommas, baby momma drama etc. Multiple players said they had to reveal if they had a "friend with benefits." Are we talking to a league front office? Or is this your prom date's father?
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Kendall Gill NOT Likely returning to Comcast SportsNet

Kendall Gill NOT Likely returning to Comcast SportsNet
You won't see Kendall Gill back on Comcast SportsNet Chicago any time soon. Most likely, you'll never see him again on CSN. We don't have an official statement yet from Comcast VP Phil Bedella, or anyone else at the station of similar rank, but the handwriting is certainly on the wall. The talk among media circles is that Gill has lost that job; exactly like we thought he would. However, you can still see his work on a national stage via NBA TV. Kendall Gill did an exclusive with ESPN 1000′s Waddle and Silvy a week ago. (He comes on around the 1:30ish mark here). This was the first time Kendall Gill talked publicly since he punched Tim Doyle in the face in mid March. Kendall didn't say much about the Tim Doyle incident. For obvious reasons...
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Time to Abolish Sideline Reporters

Time to Abolish Sideline Reporters
“I don’t disagree with you at all regarding the role of sideline reporters.  Most of the time, I find those interviews to be fairly useless,” a nationally relevant sideline reporter once told me years ago. The opinion I expressed and she agreed with was “sideline interviews serve no purpose.” In our off-the-record chat, I stated further, “We never needed these practices to begin with.” And we have the testimony of NFL Network and Notre Dame reporter Alex Flanagan. This exchange between Flanagan and The Sherman Report says it all. Sherman: “You know what the critics say about the value of sideline reporters. CBS doesn’t even use them. What’s your response?” Flanagan: “I’m often asked to defend the job of the sideline reporter. I think of myself as an accessory. I don’t know if you can appreciate this, but I tell my female friends, ‘When you get dressed up in that great outfit, the one thing that can top it off is a great accessory. Like a necklace or ear rings.’ Are we a necessity for a telecast? No. But I can see a lot of things that happen on the field that (the announcers) can’t see from up high.”...

Top 10 Chicago Sports Media Interviews

Top 10 Chicago Sports Media Interviews
We're close to the one year anniversary of Chicago Sports Media Watch. The inaugural post went live on April 20th, 2012 (yeah, 4-20 man! for all you stoners out there) To celebrate, I'm posting links to the top ten media interviews I conducted for this website. All media interviews are exclusives, because exclusive is how I roll. Ok, not really. I actually enjoy eating spray cheese and my all-time favorite movie Team America: World Police is filled with extremely low-brow humor. But the fact still holds, these media interviews were one-on-one Q&A. The interview subjects of the past year who didn't retweet me, after I nicely asked them to do so, were automatically eliminated from top ten consideration. But "Hey, thanks for coming!!!!" Stay tuned to CSMW this week as I will have exclusives with University of Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas and WFLD FOX Reporter Dionne Miller posted in the next couple days. The order below is totally random; these media interviews are not ranked by importance or page views or social media response. They are just the ten I enjoyed the most. (side note: here's my top ten media criticisms of the past year)...

Chris Collins definitely won the Northwestern Press Conference

Chris Collins definitely won the Northwestern Press Conference
You've heard the old adage "win the press conference." Yesterday when Northwestern University officially introduced Chris Collins to the media as the 24th head coach of NU college basketball...He definitely "won the press conference." First of all, Wildcat basketball had the full attention of the Chicago sports media as the presser was held in the larger, wide open area of Welsh-Ryan Arena instead of in the small, cramped media conference room. It was actually on the hardwood court itself. The press conference was broadcast live nationally by the Big Ten Network and locally by Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Journalists and reporters from all the local television stations and newspapers were there, and they saw Chris Collins wear his heart on his sleeve because that's the kind of guy he is. He got choked up a bit when talking about his family, in one of the press conference's most powerful moments. His father, former Chicago Bulls coach and current Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doug Collins, was in attendance. And Collins the Younger is excited to get his new regime in place. "I had an opportunity last night to have dinner with the current players. My first goal was to build a connection," Chris Collins said. And he'll be able to constantly tap a great basketball mind in Collins the Elder. "We talk daily. As I have gotten older, it has been more give and take," Chris Collins said of his Dad...
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What's next for CSN's Bulls Analyst Kendall Gill?

What's next for CSN's Bulls Analyst Kendall Gill?
Last week, Kendall Gill was a rising star in broadcast media, doing Chicago Bulls pre and post game analysis for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. Currently, he is suspended for the rest of the Bulls season. “We have made a decision to not have Kendall Gill appear on our air for the remainder of the Bulls season. We will re-evaluate our current position on this matter during the off-season,” said a statement from the station. So former Illini star Kendall Gill could need a new job this summer. Or maybe even consider a new career. But that’s all speculation on what’s down the road. Not many details are known about the event which occurred after Kendall Gill, Big Ten Network analyst Tim Doyle and Crain’s Danny Ecker appeared as panelists on CSN’s “Sports Talk Live,” a new talk show that debuted last month. Gill was relieved of on-air duties after he allegedly punched Big Ten Network analyst Tim Doyle last Tuesday night. The incident occurred after the show’s taping in the Comcast SportsNet studio newsroom. According to Ecker, who was there, Gill confronted Doyle in the CSN newsroom after the taping because of critical comments Doyle made regarding Gill’s analysis of last Monday night’s Chicago Bulls loss to the Denver Nuggets. A controversial call by the officials wiped out a potential game-winning basket by Joakim Noah in overtime. The Bulls really kind of got jobbed. As did the Illini on Sunday night in the NCAA Tournament, even a member of the Illini opposition admitted it. (What a tumultuous week for the Illini program) Kendall Gill said the officials made a “a very bad call.” Doyle, who used to play college basketball for Northwestern supposedly told Gill that he de-followed both him and fellow Bulls analyst Stacey King on Twitter. Now I said it would be a terrible idea to have Doyle on the show back on February 24th. When writing about the format change from Chicago Tribune Live to SportsTalk Live I said: “Just don’t have BTN’s Tim Doyle on; because he has a track record of not saying intelligent things on the air.” I never envisioned anything like this happening though. I also called Tim Doyle the worst sportscaster ever back in December. But no one should ever he physically attacked for expressing their opinion; and I didn't think anyone would. Also  you MUST listen to this Tim Doyle interview this past Friday on WSCR. He discusses the fight somewhat, but much more important is the perspective on life you’ll get from hearing Doyle talk about his past week. Neither CSN nor BTN will discuss this incident any further. Kendall Gill himself is wisely remaining silent. But ABC 7′s Mark Giangreco had an opinionated remark about the scuffle. And since Gill is a quintessential local guy, played preps, college and pro ball (at least for one year) locally, let’s look back at how he got to where he is in life before guessing on what could be ahead for him...

Illini Athletics Increasing Visibility in Chicago; Every NCAA Tourney Win Helps

Illini Athletics Increasing Visibility in Chicago; Every NCAA Tourney Win Helps
Remember when the Illinois Fighting Illini spent most of the 2004-05 season ranked #1 in all of college basketball and went to the National Title game? And during the Final Four, the Chicago skyline included buildings lit up to spell "Illini?" And the Sears Tower had one antenna glowing orange, while the other was blue? Chicago was an especially Illini town then, every station and newspaper extensively covered the Illinois run through March Madness with great detail. The Final Four clinching victory was in Chicago too. (suburban Rosemont actually, but close enough) The amazing, improbable comeback win over Arizona made Deron Williams a man-crush for a generation of Illinois basketball fans. Making deep NCAA Tournament runs every March is the best way for Illinois to once again capture the minds of the journalists working in Chicago, the nation’s third largest media market. Lots of NCAA Tourney wins will capture the hearts of Chicagoans as well. University of Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas is aggressively promoting the Illini athletic programs in Chi-City, and Illini hoops coach John Groce has re-opened the recruiting pipeline to the Chicago Public League. Dyeing the river orange, hosting an Illini football game at Soldier Field, having a Chicago Homecoming and landing star CPL recruits will all help to make Chicago more of an Illini town. But the best way to market your product is through victories. And the best way to obtain more publicity is by winning on the brightest stage...

Tim Doyle interview on 670 The Score a must listen

Tim Doyle interview on 670 The Score a must listen
Three days after a fight with Comcast SportsNet analyst Kendall Gill during an episode of CSN’s new show “Sports Talk Live,” Big Ten Network analyst Tim Doyle was on 670 The Score's "McNeil and Spiegel Show" to discuss the incident. And Illinois and Northwestern basketball. As well as the Northwestern coaching search. However, it's not the discussion of the recent scuffle or the college hoops material that makes this audio file a must listen. It's the perspective on life you can gain from hearing Doyle's words...
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ABC 7's Mark Giangreco Tweets Snarky Comment on Kendall Gill-Tim Doyle Altercation

ABC 7's Mark Giangreco Tweets Snarky Comment on Kendall Gill-Tim Doyle Altercation
It's not just local, but national news now- the Kendall Gill vs. Tim Doyle scuffle Of course, now it's put on the backburner with Brian Urlacher not coming back to the Chicago Bears, but it's still a huge story. Doyle discussed it on 670 The Score Friday morning, and his spot is a MUST LISTEN. Gill, the Comcast SportsNet Chicago Bulls analyst is currently suspended from CSN for the rest of the season. What an emotional, controversial week for the program! On Friday, the same day Illinois won their opening round game, the suspension of Gill an Illini legend from the 1989 Final Four team, was made public. And on Sunday night, Illinois gets eliminated from the NCAA Tournament, partially because of a blown call that was so blatant even an opposing player admitted it to the press. Of course, I called this on February 24th. When writing about the format change from Chicago Tribune Live to SportsTalk Live I said: "Just don't have BTN's Tim Doyle on; because he has a track record of not saying intelligent things on the air." The Big Ten Network has not taken any disciplinary action against Doyle, their television analyst, at least not publicly. And Doyle is currently covering the NCAA Tournament for BTN. The network will have no further comment on the matter. However, ABC 7 Chicago sports anchor Mark Giangreco had a comment, a very colorful one...