Well, not all of you. After all, TV judges not the sin but the sinner.
Why did NBC hire Mike Milbury if not for his lure as a player and coach given to brutish, caveman displays and wild words? NBC was eager to exploit him as a draw.
But now NBC has drawn a specious line on Milbury, removing him at least through the Stanley Cup playoffs, as a member of the He-Man Women Haters’ Club, Alfalfa presiding.
In this mad rush to demand unconditional tolerance attached to unconditional intolerance, Milbury was “caught” on the air speaking of teams’ COVID 19 “bubbling” as a means to devote full attention to hockey, “Not even any women to disrupt your attention,” he said.
Did he say that indelicately? No. As a wise guy? I don’t know. It didn’t sound that way, more like a statement of fact. Regardless, Milbury was canceled as a crude misogynist.
And with that decision NBC has drawn the inescapable attention that it hoped to avoid: the latest face, voice and big-events presence of NBC Sports, Mike Tirico.
In 1992 while with ESPN, Tirico served a three-month suspension for multiple alleged sexual indiscretions, including reportedly stalking a female producer. Staffers were astonished that only the colleague who assisted him was fired.
It’s “the secret” everyone knows but is supposed to ignore or forget. Milbury’s sacking for no clear sexual indiscretion makes that difficult.
After 25 years with Fox Sports, Thom Brennaman has been fired for speaking a slur for gays into what he thought was a dead microphone.
Brennaman’s two public apologies could not save him, though a longtime sports TV exec reminds us that a public apology was all it took for Fox host/hip-hopper Nick Cannon to retain his employment after his hate-filled, ignorant rant against Jews.
Yet, for all TV’s selective justice, there occasionally arrives a stout-hearted soul who can sort it out, which is why Jay Williams, known as Jason when he starred at Duke, likely will ensure his underutilization by ESPN.
Williams’ NBA career was lost to a motorcycle crash, which has provided him a strong sense of fair from unfair, right from wrong, real from wishful. During an ESPN panel discussion on college basketball court storming, he was the only — and youngest — to disagree that it’s a fun student-body tradition.
Williams instead told a non-pandering clear, present and proven truth: it’s dangerous and reckless. There’s no upside to thousands, with the final buzzer serving as the starter’s pistol, engaging in a human stampede.
Last week while the NBA again played dumb and cowardly, the Clippers’ Montrezl Harrell, a black man as is Williams, during a playoff game was heard and seen calling Dallas’ Luka Donic, “a b—h ass white boy,” thus a double slur, of women and white men.
Unlike Adam Silver, Williams didn’t run from it. On a Twitter video:
“I am no lip-reader, but damn, Montrezl. I can only imagine if Luka Doncic had said something like that to you and it got caught on tape. I can only imagine during Black Lives Matter how much a big deal that would have been, considering today’s climate and state.
“Everybody would have been commenting on it. People would have asked LeBron [James] and Kawhi [Leonard] about it. Everyone would’ve had some kind of statement on it.
“But it’s not that big of a story because Trez said it to a Caucasian person. It should have been a big story, because that’s not acceptable, man.”
During the next Mavericks-Clippers game, Harrell apologized to Doncic. And all is forgiven.
SNY takes lengthy leaps to lionize Lugo, Nimmo
We learned quite a bit from SNY’s Mets crew this week.
With reliever Seth Lugo starting, Gary Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez spoke of him as an indispensible superstar reliever, as if he were Mariano Rivera. Who knew?
Wednesday, during an ode to Jacob deGrom, game reporter Steve Gelbs told how Brandon Nimmo admires deGrom’s pitch selection, adding, “Brandon Nimmo is a guy who is obviously one of the best at picking up different pitches.”
Obviously. Good thing he has such a good eye or he might strike out more. He led the Mets with 140 in 140 games two seasons ago; last year he K’d 71 times in 69 games.
But according to Gelbs, he’s among the best at knowing what’s coming — and what he’s missing.
ESPN’s sense of in-game circumstances remains dreadful, frenetic, no better than a chimpanzee plied on Pixy Stix.
Sunday, the Phillies led the Braves, 5-3, in the top of the fourth. Philly’s Rhys Hoskins had a 1-1 count, bases loaded, none out, when Matt Vasgersian urged us to, “Take a look at this!” — as if we had a choice.
ESPN abandoned the pivotal scene for us to study a three-paneled shot of Hoskins’ improved batting stance.
Nets bomb in playoffs
In their last two games of the season — both losses in awful, pointless games — the Nets took 101 3-point shots, 54 percent of their field-goal attempts. Still, it was recorded as NBA playoff basketball.
MLB leadoff man of the week: The Reds’ Joey Votto, oh-for-four, all strikeouts. Brewers won, 3-2, 25 strikeouts in 8 ¹/₃ innings versus seven pitchers. As ESPN’s Alex Rodriguez says, “Baseball has never been more fun to watch!”
Always aim low. In a taped, thus chosen, WNBA Liberty feature on YES on Tuesday, a player referred to teammates as “these two mother suckers.” That should do it! Now you’ll become fans!
Tuesday on MSG, a Philadelphia offside against the Red Bulls was so obvious that no soccer fan in Philly or the Philippines would have griped. But the hometown public address system emitted loud boos, prompting MSG’s Steve Cangialosi to scoff, “That’s virtual booing.”
Next inductee into the Hall of Fame is the person responsible for the “hold” stat. To have such nonsense incorporated into box scores is worthy of unanimous enshrinement. Tuesday, Blue Jays reliever Wilmer Font, in one-third of an inning, allowed three hits and four earned runs — for his second hold of the season!
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