WBEZ | ESPN http://www.wbez.org/tags/espn Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Life after pro football http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/life-after-pro-football-99020 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS5482_AndreRison-Broke-scr.jpg" style="width: 610px; height: 343px;" title="Andre Rison (Courtesy of ESPN Films)"></div><p>Fresh-faced rookies are scheduled to report Halas Hall Friday for mini-camp. Many presume rookies spend that time practicing, running drills, watching film and memorizing the Bears playbook—and there will plenty of that to be sure. But rookies will also receive some much-needed career counseling and financial planning advice. The average NFL career is between three and four years; that’s a frequently-cited statistic. In spite of that, most rookies enter camp, chests puffed, with the mindset that they’re going to be a 10-year-plus player. And in many ways, they have to think that way; to compete at the professional level, against other topflight athletes, they have to believe they’re superheroes, super human—indestructible.<br><br>The reality is that many will not make it through their first season—most will not make it more than a few years beyond that. And every player’s earning potential and long-term health will likely be stunted before their 30th birthday. The recent suicide of Junior Seau accelerated ongoing discussions about the various physical, emotional and financial difficulties associated with life after pro football. Many NFL players are idolized and worshipped and paid handsomely—for a time. But like it or not, these young men enter the league with an expiration date. Imagine starting—and finishing—your own career by the time you were 26 years old. Better still, imagine winning the lottery at 22 years old and making that money last.</p><p>According to <em>Sports Illustrated</em>, 78 percent of NFL players and 60 percent of NBA players file for bankruptcy within five years of retirement. Most people are appalled by that figure. But there's really no fair comparison—unless, does anyone have numbers on 20-something Mega Ball winners? On young investment bankers who made it big—and made it last?</p><p>Former Chicago Cub and baseball analyst <a href="http://www.dougglanville.com" target="_blank">Doug Glanville</a> spent nine years in the Major League. He <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/05/junior-seau-and-life-after-sports.html" target="_blank">recently wrote</a> about the difficult transition to retirement following Seau’s death. He reminds readers that more often than not, a player does not arrive at his new destination willingly. And asks, if years playing ball are supposed to be the best of your life—what is there to look forward to?</p><p>“When leaving the game, most players have spent countless hours and years denying their emotions to be able to perform: I am not hurt; I am not tired; I do not have doubt; I do not need drugs; I do not feel empty. NFL warriors don’t embrace vulnerability. Accepting those feelings is like having one foot out the career door, but counter to the culture, it is the key to having a reciprocal relationship with a spouse or a child,” Glanville wrote.</p><p>Filmmaker Billy Corben was shooting a movie for ESPN’s <a href="http://30for30.espn.com" target="_blank"><em>30 for 30</em></a> series on the University of Miami football program when he interviewed former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar. When they met, Kosar showed up with some very stressed-looking business associates. Less than a week later, the front page of the <em>Miami Herald</em> featured a story about Kosar declaring bankruptcy.</p><p>Corben, like many of us, wondered: how the hell does anyone blow that much money? So he started digging. Corben just recently screened his second ESPN film venture, <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/feature/index?page=tribecafilmfestival" target="_blank"><em>Broke</em></a>, at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film features vulnerable confessions from retired stars, detailing the various drains and strains on their bank accounts.</p><p>Corben joins Steve Edwards, former Chicago Bear and Super Bowl champion <a href="http://www.emerymoorehead87.com/" target="_blank">Emery Moorehead</a> and <a href="http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/Faculty/Directory/Rogers_Steven.aspx" target="_blank">Steven Rogers</a>, the Gordon and Llura Gund Family Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School of Management where he also runs the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program, about the reality of life after professional football on Thursday’s <em>Afternoon Shift.</em></p></p> Thu, 10 May 2012 13:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-05/life-after-pro-football-99020 How ESPN came to dominate the world of sports media http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/how-espn-came-dominate-world-sports-media-98104 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/espn.jpg" style="width: 620px; height: 514px; " title=""></div><p>Last week on the show we had a conversation about the explosion in sports media coverage during the last two decades and the effect it's having on our culture and on sports journalism.</p><p>The conversation touched on a number of factors, including the web, sports radio and social media, but one force stood head and shoulders above the others: ESPN.</p><p>"In so many ways it has become the 800 lb gorilla," said Jonathan Eig, co-founder and editor-in-chief of <a href="http://chicagosidesports.com/">the new long-form sports journalism website, The Chicago Side</a>. "They're the go-to source for all most everything.&nbsp; They control the TV, the internet - they have the most popular sites around. It’s something everyone has to deal with."</p><p>Just ask Ozzie Guillen.</p><p>The former White Sox manager has been all over the news during the last 24 hours for <a href="http://content.usatoday.com/communities/dailypitch/post/2012/04/ozzie-guillen-apology-fidel-castro/1?csp=hf#.T4RoB9k0jTo">his remarks in support of Cuba’s Fidel Castro and his subsequent five-game suspension as manager of the Miami Marlins</a>.</p><p>But that’s hardly the only storyline pulsing through the ESPN machinery this week.</p><p>Baseball is back. Basketball and hockey are rolling toward the post-season. Golf and tennis are back in swing. And it's ESPN that even turned the upcoming NFL Draft into a televised sporting event.</p><p>So how did a small, upstart cable network based in Bristol, CT come to dominate the global sporting field?&nbsp; For some insight, we turn to James Andrew Miller, co-author of the 2011 book, <em>These Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN</em>.</p></p> Tue, 10 Apr 2012 13:45:24 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-04/how-espn-came-dominate-world-sports-media-98104 Takin' it to the house: Local comics star in ESPN comedy sketch featuring Devin Hester http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-21/takin-it-house-local-comics-star-espn-comedy-sketch-featuring-devin- <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2011-November/2011-11-21/382584_2498648502265_1134462607_2815683_1998997115_n.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Overshadowed by Jay Cutler's injury during yesterday's game was Devin Hester's brilliant acting turn on ESPN's <a href="http://espn.go.com/nfl/">NFL Countdown</a>. ESPN's Kenny Mayne came to town last week to shoot a sketch for the pre-game broadcast.</p><p>And guess who they called? That's right, Kate James! Schadenfreude's leading lady and the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-04-01/opening-day-video-chicagos-1-cubs-fan-or-least-drunkest-84624">drunkest Cubs fan</a> known to man plays alongside Hester, Mayne and the guys from <a href="http://www.cookcountysocialclub.com/">Cook County Social Club</a>. James has been a regular on this here blog and WBEZ airwaves for the past decade.</p><p>The premise? Devin Hester can return anything. Even retail.</p><p>Best part? Twitter is blowing up with "That's the drunk Cubs fan!" or "That chick on the "Mayne Event" thing is the drunk Cubs fan chick!" or "I always knew that 'Cubs fan' video was staged."</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-November/2011-11-21/382584_2498648502265_1134462607_2815683_1998997115_n.jpg" title="From Kate's FB page: Devin and I both like long necklaces that accentuate our décolletage." width="537" height="720"></p><p>I'm so proud that Kate and the crew did bits with Devin Hester. I asked her how it went. How did it feel to do comedy bits with a future hall-of-famer?</p><blockquote><p>Kenny Mayne booked us out for a three week rehearsal period before we shot that video, so Devin and I really had a chance to get to know each other, workshop our acting styles, and discover each other's performance nuances. By the time the cameras rolled, it felt as if we'd been performing together for years.</p><p>In actuality, it was like being at a party with the most popular boy in school. You agonize about what to say, and then when you actually speak it sounds incredibly dumb. And you constantly question your outfit choice. But I'm pretty positive he felt the same way about me. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself. Let me have this.</p><p>We spent every moment between takes talking strategy against the Chargers. So, you're welcome, Chicago.</p></blockquote><p>Here is the <a href="http://espn.go.com/chicago/video/clip?id=7263166&amp;categoryid=4069364">video from the ESPN website</a>:</p><script src="http://player.espn.com/player.js?pcode=1kNG061cgaoolOncv54OAO1ceO-I&amp;width=576&amp;height=324&amp;externalId=espn:7263166&amp;thruParam_espn-ui[autoPlay]=false&amp;thruParam_espn-ui[playRelatedExternally]=true"></script></p> Mon, 21 Nov 2011 16:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-11-21/takin-it-house-local-comics-star-espn-comedy-sketch-featuring-devin- 'Catching Hell': The Cubs, the curse and the foul ball that changed Steve Bartman's life http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-27/catching-hell-cubs-curse-and-foul-ball-changed-steve-bartmans-life-92494 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-27/Bartman AP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Few things in life are as powerful as a curse--at least when it came to the Chicago Cubs. The North Siders haven’t won a World Series in over 100 years - though they came pretty close in 2003. Things fell apart for the lovable losers in Game 6 of the National League pennant race against the Florida Marlins. Left fielder Moises Alou and Cubs fan Steve Bartman went for the same foul ball; only one of them caught hell for it. A <a href="http://espn.go.com/espn/espnfilms/" target="_blank">new documentary </a>detailing the incident airs on ESPN&nbsp;Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.. So <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>asked around to see what people remembered about that night, including&nbsp;WBEZ's own Paul Friedman who was the Cubs PA announcer at the time.</p><p><a href="http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/6961163/catching-hell" target="_blank"><em>Catching Hell</em></a> airs Tuesday on ESPN at 7:00 p.m.</p><p><em>Music Button: Mocean Worker, "Do Like Ya Like", from the album Candygram for Mowo!, (Mowo! Inc.)</em></p><p><em>A correction has been made to this story</em>.</p></p> Tue, 27 Sep 2011 14:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-27/catching-hell-cubs-curse-and-foul-ball-changed-steve-bartmans-life-92494 Should college athletes get a larger slice of sports revenue? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-06/should-college-athletes-get-larger-slice-sports-revenue-91550 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-September/2011-09-06/Northwestern.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It’s not just back to school for the younger set; most higher education classes have also resumed.&nbsp; And that means college football is back at stadiums and on TV. But college football is more than mascots and fight songs – the sport is also big business. So should student athletes get some of those dollars? And do they really need to play college gridiron for four years before moving to the NFL?<br> <br> To debate these issues, host Alison Cuddy was joined by ESPN.com's <a href="http://www.lestermunson.com/" target="_blank">Lester Munson</a> and <a href="http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2008/02/Phillips.html" target="_blank">James J. Phillips</a>, director of Athletics and Recreation at Northwestern University.</p></p> Tue, 06 Sep 2011 13:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-09-06/should-college-athletes-get-larger-slice-sports-revenue-91550 Lester Munson updates NFL labor strife http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-02/lester-munson-updates-nfl-labor-strife-85924 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-May/2011-05-02/NFL 2 Getty Chris Trotman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Imagine if picking teams for a game of kickball took three days — you’d never make it in for dinner. But that’s how long it took the <a href="http://www.nfl.com/" target="_blank">National Football League’s</a> 32 teams to pick their newest crop of players. The NFL Draft is quite the event. But what if football season, as we know it, is a non-event? An off-season of labor disputes has threatened pigskin play.<br> <br> <em> Eight Forty-Eight</em> turned to ESPN’s go-to legal expert <a href="http://www.lestermunson.com/lmabout.html" target="_blank">Lester Munson</a> for an update.</p></p> Mon, 02 May 2011 14:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-05-02/lester-munson-updates-nfl-labor-strife-85924 Eamonn Brennan of ESPN gives his breakdown on March Madness http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-14/eamonn-brennan-espn-gives-his-breakdown-march-madness-83665 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-March/2011-03-14/marchmadness_getty.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>College basketball may not be everyone&rsquo;s cup of tea, but apparently up to 1 in 5 office workers will participate in some kind of March Madness pool. Chicago participants won&rsquo;t have many local options. Only Illinois made it to the dance, but if they look regionally there&rsquo;s plenty of powerhouse teams to chose from. <br /><br />So before you start filling out your own bracket, <em>Eight Forty-Eight </em>asked Eamonn Brennan of ESPN&rsquo;s <a href="http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation" target="_blank">College Nation Sports blog</a> to give his breakdown.</p></p> Mon, 14 Mar 2011 13:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-03-14/eamonn-brennan-espn-gives-his-breakdown-march-madness-83665 Month in Review: Chicago elects a new mayor http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-28/month-review-chicago-elects-new-mayor-and-residents-fight-weather-woes-8 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/mayor-elect emanuel Getty John Gress_0.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Citizens spent the first half of the month digging out&nbsp; and Politicians spent the last half digging in. No doubt about it, everywhere in Chicago this February, someone was shoveling something. A historic election topped a month where Chicago not just generated a lot of news but generated a lot of national attention as well.<br /><br />WBEZ's Jason Marck fills in for a vacationing Alison Cuddy to get behind the headlines.<span style="font-style: italic;"> </span><em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> invited a panel of esteemed journalists to talk about the news of the month of February 2011: <a href="http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/kyles-files/" target="_blank">Kyra Kyles</a> is a columnist for the <em>RedEye</em>, <a href="http://search.espn.go.com/lester-munson/" target="_blank"> Lester Munson</a> writes for ESPN and Ethan Michaeli is the executive director of <a href="http://wethepeoplemedia.org/" target="_blank">We The People Media</a> and founder of <em>Residents&rsquo; Journal</em>.</p><p><em>Music Button: Botany, &quot;Agave&quot;, Feeling Today (Western Vinyl)</em></p></p> Mon, 28 Feb 2011 14:14:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-02-28/month-review-chicago-elects-new-mayor-and-residents-fight-weather-woes-8