Covering Sixers games you come across all kinds of Philly luminaries inside and out of sports. Sitting in press row, you might see legendary journalists like David Aldridge or Phil Jasner doing their thing any given night. Since I live in the Philly area, I get a chance to see their local news stations and there’s nothing like Action News. I grew up watching professionals like Vernon Odom, Jim O’Brien (Sportscaster turned comedic weatherman who tragically died in a parachuting accident helping someone parachute to safety) and the beautiful Lisa Thomas-Laury. So one day to my surprise, I saw Keith Russell anchoring sports on 6-ABC. I was shocked being that he was one of my favorite ESPN News anchors because of his quick wit, chemistry with other anchors and funny as hell facial expressions. My sister, Gina, does the best Keith Russell impression…Has me rollin’ just thinking about it. Simply put, Keith is a natural and one of the best. I wanted to do something different (type of journalist) and get the perspective of a sports anchor to give everyone an idea of what it takes to be one of the elite. Keith’s dedication to Philly sports as well as his craft goes unparalleled. Enjoy, but more importantly pass this interview to a talented youngster who has a dream of doing what Keith does so well.
Jemele Hill, columnist for ESPN.com, has caught some flack around these parts. This is an age where some media entities represent Disney eared, Aaron McGruder caricatures adorned with extra teenie glasses whose sole aim is to pander to the disillusioned masses–themselves jackasses. You all know where I personally stand with Jemele. Similar to what we have here with the TSF creative, I wanted to engage you with provocative thoughts of visualizing where she stands in OUR collective hearts. There’s no one in journalism like her and she hears it from everyone. Could you imagine being in the center of a room with your eyes closed and wearing headphones? Opening your eyes, you are bombarded with screaming criticism from any and everyone. The faces are Black. The faces are White…Brown and so on and so forth. There are men. There are women and even youngsters.
You stand up with a sista burned fire ready to snap.. As you remove the headphones, the faces and voices fade to black like rescinding fog in a bizarro world. You wonder to yourself , “What the hell is going on?” Thinking aloud… “Is this my professional existence? Is this what I signed up for? Am I supposed to care what these strangers think? Why are they so passionate about the words I write? Do they scream their loved ones way, like they spew hatred and venom in my comment section every day?
Why do all these people want my writing to just go away?
I tell you what, this my destiny. I do this for the love. I’m here to stay no matter what they say….
Read Jemele’s archived work here.
It’s Friday. Jemele is coming off the set of ESPN’s First Take and on her way to the airport. She graciously takes time to give TSF some real rap.
I hope she answers some questions a few of you have about her writing philosophy. There are many music links below. Please check them all out because your soul will be enriched.
I have to personally apologize for the delay of part three. I simply have no excuse so I won’t cowardly use one. This conversation is more of a precusor for an interview DWil and I conducted with Scoop Jax that will be posted Monday entitled Vantage Point.
Read the first part one of Jemele’s interview again and notice that Jemele was the first to alert the sports world regarding Don Imus’ now infamous comments. We also discuss her knighting 24 as a better player than 23. That column sparked a mini controversy that she backs up her very eloquently here. Jemele is simply a journalistic force–not in a couple of years–but right now. Open your perspective to change and I assure you, it will be duly noted. She will be a voice of dissent in a white male dominated field that desperately needs adaptation. She’s not a female kicker, but a strong armed quarterback with the keys to an entire gender.
Could you handle the scrutiny?
Interview with ESPN Columnist, Jemele Hill Part 2: #42; Pacman; Pokey, and the Real NBA MVP from 4/13/07Posted in Blogroll on June 19th, 2014 by Michael Tillery
In Part 2 of this conversation, Jemele and I converse candidly about some issues that need to be addressed in sports. I really appreciate her honesty. It’s unusual to hear someone voice their true thoughts in such an arena. She deserves mad props for understanding the true meaning of what The Starting Five is all about. My wish is that all writers would be this forthcoming because only then will sports fans truly learn through a writer’s extensive experience as well as the sports they cover. We see sports differently than fans. The levels and layers of understanding are vastly different because its our specialty. These interviews have that in mind, so begin to see a little more objectively and open up your perspective of sports in general.
Jemele Hill is the only Black female sports columnist currently writing for a major outlet. It’s very important there is a prominent influx of dissenting minority female voices in journalism so fans of sports get more objective coverage of the games they love. Jemele is very talented, knows her stuff and will be the force formidable for years to come. Because Jemele is alone, she carries the burden of cultivating role models in female youth who aspire to do what she does so well. Open your minds people and allow yourself to see things differently. I enjoy interviewing journalists because readers can get a insider view of the voices behind the pen. I hope you enjoy.
The Christies are a great example of what love should be. In a society where people flip flop in and out of marriages, they are the constant. They project strength that is refreshing to see. It has to be very difficult being a celebrity couple, but they do what works for them. During a recent trip to Vegas for Chris Webber’s charity weekend, Bada Bling, I was able to observe their interaction with other people. I can say personally that the media’s negative characterization of them is incorrect. Jackie wasn’t overbearing at all. Doug certainly wasn’t put off by her being there. There were scantily clad women everywhere – Vegas is what it is – and her reaction to people seemed very genuine. It put a smile on my face to see them dance, laugh and smile with one another. At times you could see the separation from everything that was going on when they shared private moments. Taking it all in moments. You could surely see that they are indeed best friends. They are their own entity and their picture of love is what every couple in this world needs to view.
The reality show will air on DirecTV’s new network, BET J on channel 330 starting October 5th at 10 PM EST. They recently gave me an interview via telephone to in part dispel the negative perception of their rock solid relationship.
During a trip to Vegas to cover Chris Webber’s Bada Bling Charity event, I happened upon one of the baddest DJ’s on the planet by chance. I was exhausted from having such a good time mingling and getting to know the numerous celebrities at Hard Rock Café’s Body English—from Nas and Kelis (Bossy was currently number one on the charts) to Emeka Okafor, playground legend Lloyd “Sweet Pea” Daniels, NBA champion Gary Payton and defensive stalwart Doug Christie (who was there with his lovely wife Jackie). Just so you know, Jackie is not the otherworldly jealous caricature media associated, so gently squash those ridiculous rumors. Common and Talib Kweli performed a classic set that I’ll not soon forget. My fiancé and I saw Common—my favorite alternative to what’s popular presently—perform a couple months earlier at the University of Delaware, so I knew the night would somehow develop its proper perspective. The night was laid back and especially memorable because I was able to reminisce and laugh with Webb, Juwan Howard, and Jimmy King of the Fab Five about their glory days—literally a dream come true.
Importing interviews from the original TSF wordpress site to the current one.
Dave Zirin is a lightning rod for trouble. He is a white man who boldly stepped into the arena of sports and race and politics – and took the side of the underdog. He has been attacked by writers like me (dwil) who questioned his conviction, his purpose, and his motives; questioned why a white man would chance the comfort of his skin color’s privilege to champion female athletes and athletes of color. He is still attacked by the other side who question his politics, mistaking his beyond progressive politics for the overly simplistic label of liberal-leftist.
By withstanding these attacks through plainly facing his critics, Zirin stands even taller than most allegedly insightful sports writing peers. What separates him from them is the depth of his understanding of the intersection of race and sports and politics, and society.
Now, he is feared by shallow members of the sports media, respected by thinkers who too see beyond the games into the dark morass of the corporate fray; into the fear-based sickness on which rests the pillars of institutional racism and sexism.
Dave Zirin is one sports writer who is unafraid to place his beliefs before the glare of the sun’s harsh light and unafraid to search moonless nights for hidden truths. In the following interview we explore these beliefs and these truths with him.
dwil (D. K. Wilson), mizzo (Michael Tillery)…
David Aldridge has been a fixture on the athletic sideline for going on two decades. His journalism is as professional and factual as his reporting and David admirably has a heart felt sense of wanting the field of journalism to flourish with true diversity. He also understands the efficiency of stressing education to our children and the detrimental effect a lack of educational importance can have on our youth. Presently working with TNT, he consistently gives the correct analysis regarding the inside workings of the basketball business. The Philadelphia Inquire was very smart in keeping him around after a well publicized layoff that claimed over 60 jobs. It was truly a pleasure to interview someone who knows what it takes in this business and makes no bones about helping us all get to where we aspire in our collective journalistic endeavors.
Here’s another head banger in our series of journalism interviews. Dan has been there, seen it all and talked to the best. He full well knows his place in the field and for the most part, I for one agree with him. There are two points of contention–the Luther Campbell and Tim Hardaway stories. I wanted to give him a chance to explain himself at length. He does just that and keeps his cool even when I try to back him into a corner regarding said incidents. Simply put, he’s one of the best who tries to keep a balanced head when he writes. Judge for yourself. I’m sure you’ll find this quite interesting.
David Aldridge is next.
Importing interviews from MichaelTillery.com to TSF.
Editors Note: Softball Powerhouse UCLA was eliminated over the weekend by Northwestern University.
Angelica Selden is poised to become one of the best pitchers ever. She doesn’t tell you this, but the sense you get from such a maturely grounded and crazily talented sophomore is something to behold. She has helped pitch the number one ranked UCLA Bruins to another run at a national title. Last year, as a freshman, she helped the Bruins get to the best of three championship series before losing to Michigan in three games on a extra inning home run by fellow freshman Samantha Findlay. Her 2006 stats: 35-6, 1.02 era, 400 strikeouts in 274.2 innings. The opposition batted a paltry .149. That’s ridiculous! Jelly took some time out before the College World Series to let Blacksportsnetwork.com know what makes her tick.
Importing interviews from MichaelTillery.com to TSF.
Vying for a spot in the Elite Eight, The Boston College Eagles need to first get through former Big East rival Villanova, in a highly anticipated showdown. Coming off of two tourney wins which are clearly at diverse ends of the spectrum, Boston College is looking to build on the success that helped them make their historical mark in the ACC. Even though this is their first year of membership, they have made a tremendous impact in a talent laden conference which is always considered one of the best. Craig Smith is a senior man-child who will throw it down hard on anyone in his path as well as take the big shot when the shot clock is running down. Jared Dudley is another very capable junior scorer who also provides muscle and experience up front. Senior Louis Hinnant is an all around talented player who has a high intelligence for the game. Every team should have a player with Hinnant’s skills if they want to win late in March. They have a pair of 6’10 sophomore high flyers in John Oates and Sean Williams as well as 6’8 sophomore Akida McLain. A pair of confident freshman guards in Marquez Haynes and Tyrese Rice who has a deadly touch from outside. This is a team that will be perched at the top of the country for many years to come because of their cool and focused leader, Al Skinner. Coach Skinner is a legend in the making, whose impact on the team will contribute volumes to the impact this team will have on the national arena.
MichaelTillery.com is offline, so I’m importing my work there to TSF…
Love him or hate him, you must trust that Jason Whitlock knows the field of journalism. He’s coming off a controversial transition from ESPN to AOL Sports because he had the temerity to express himself in an age where the media hasn’t any accountability for anything and everything. Sit back and observe the inevitable and seismic media shift that soon will become evident. While I personally don’t agree with everything he says—I’m sure he really doesn’t care—he is uniquely confident in his conviction and makes no bones about it. He deserves props for standing up to the powers that be at ESPN and speaking his mind about the Bonds witch hunt that had the majority of the media running around in circles like a disillusioned dog chasing its own tail.
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
About says it all right?
First things first…RIP Ruby Dee. You were as great a person as this world has ever had. Thank you. We will miss you, Maya Angelou and Yuri Kochiyama…
“Don’t ever underestimate the heart of a champion.” Those words were of course uttered by former Houston Rockets head coach Rudy Tomjanovich after the Rockets successfully repeated in 1995. Houston underachieved during the regular season yet defeated 4 higher seeds to reclaim the Larry O’Brien trophy. After getting blown out by the Spurs, what else will the Heat say to themselves after the Spurs smashed them for a second straight game 107-86 — at home? San Antonio now is one game away from winning another NBA title. If the Heat are to comeback, they’d be the first Finals team to ever do so.
31 teams have tried and 31 have failed.
(Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)
You see Floyd and Jamie over there. Hope Floyd didn’t drop too much on the Heat.
Got up in them; demolition; ass whuppin’ like Pop used to give; whatever else; it all applied. San Antonio took a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals last night, 111-92. Kawhi Leonard got hot early with a dunk and some easy baskets from inside and outside the arc, and his teammate Danny Green got off as well to help Pop and the Spurs retake home court advantage. Miami looked out of sorts on both ends and woefully just didn’t want it as much as San Antonio. This is the NBA Finals and quite honestly, the Heat played like it was an October game in Phoenix. Tim Duncan (14 points, 6 boards), Tony Parker (15 points, 4 dimes) and Manu Ginobili (11 points) didn’t have to do much because the young cats stepped up and stomped the Heat in their collective throats…