Eddie Matz of ESPN The Magazine reported last month that Kansas City Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe told him that in 2007 his Chiefs teammates would “import” women to the hotel where the team was staying on road trips.
After Bowe’s story was published by ESPN, on May 26 former Bowe teammate Eddie Kennison told WHB-AM in Kansas City that Bowe told him he never talked to anyone from ESPN about the story.
On May 27 Bowe himself was asked by a K.C. reporter, “What about the actual interview? Did you actually talk to the guy?”
Bowe replied, “I really can’t remember, man. That’s why I’m still stuck in a daze.”
Bowe also claimed he was, “misquoted” and “the way he (ESPN reporter) took it was totally not the way that I said it.”
After Bowe’s hedging denials, ESPN The Magazine editor Gary Belsky revealed that Matz had taped his conversation with Bowe and offered to play the audio file for Bowe or anyone within the Chiefs organization.
Though ESPN subsequently declined to release the audio to the public, leaving some to wonder about the veracity of Belsky’s claim.
I have confirmed through a source that the tape does indeed exist and that there’s a specific reason why ESPN doesn’t want to release the contents to the media.
I was told earlier today that while telling the story, Bowe mentioned names and details that ESPN felt shouldn’t be released to the public. The move was explained to me as protecting those named in the story and Bowe himself.
Based on Bowe’s subsequent, multiple contradictory statements in the past 48 hours in denying responsibility for the story, he’s eliminated any chance of anyone believing him about anything.
For that reason, ESPN made the right call in withholding the contents of the tape to the public.
Here’s Sarah Reinertsen on the cover of ESPN THE MAGAZINE’s “The Body Issue,” and I have to say, smoking hot and competes in the Ironman Triathlon? Very nice. It almost makes up for naked Carl Edwards. Almost. Read more…
More and more pictures are being leaked from ESPN THE MAGAZINE’s well-hyped “The Body Issue,” most notably cover models Gina Carano, Serena Williams, and amputee triathlete Sarah Reinertsen. And though the cleavage-heavy pictures of Carano and Williams (to say nothing of the heavy beefcake of Adrian Peterson and Dwight Howard) are certainly titillating, it seems that the magazine’s focus for the issue is going beyond mere cheap sex appeal.
That’s Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones, best known for being one hurdle away from gold in the Beijing Games. She’s also in the issue, and though she cuts a striking figure, we can’t put all of it above the fold for limited-buttcrack-related reasons. You can see her larger picture after the break. Her contribution to the issue, while not as high-profile as the cover athletes, has its own measure of controversy–not the least of which is the revelation about her weight. Looking at Jones’ gaunt face and lithe frame, what do you suppose it is?
(Surfer Claire Bevilacqua - credit ESPN The Mag/USA TODAY)
I’ve actually shot the SbB Girls at that exact location many times. El Matador Beach - far north side at low tide. Malibu. House in back tips it off. You can only reach that spot at low tide through a passageway through a massive rock.
We knew there had to be a reason for ESPN to ban its employees from Tweeting about stuff that might affect the Mother Ship. A case in point came on Monday, when ESPN THE MAGAZINE senior writer Bruce Feldman took a shot at NEW YORK DAILY NEWS hobbit Mike Lupica via the Twitter Machine.
Feldman had taken exception to something Lupica said on ESPN’s “The Sports Reporters,” and did what few in the sports media have the backbone to do these days — take Lupica to the virtual woodshed. That he did it via Twitter is both unfortunate and hilarious. Let’s take a closer look. Read more…
SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY, my first stop on the web every morning, has this handy chart of SI vs. ESPN THE MAG sales the past two years:
Wonder what those numbers would look like if you removed revenue from SI’s swimsuit issue - a copy that happens to be the highest-selling mag on the planet every year. I’m guessing the ad revenue for SPORTS content would be a lot closer to dead, flat even.
I know the swimsuit issue probably does more in actual sales than ad rev, but still you have to believe that those numbers skew the comparison to the ESPN offering. Read more…
For years, mainstream media outlets have declined to give credit to the vast majority of sports blogs based on two major pillars of journalistic self-importance: one, that bloggers blog their bloggy little blog posts anonymously (and presumably without the holy grail of a Journalism Degree from an Accredited Journalism Program) and two, that their little rabble-rousing rumors are unsourced and unverified by Multiple Reputable Sources or other Credentialed Journalists.
For years, ESPN led the self-righteous anti-blog crusade, stealing scoops and refusing to credit anonymous bloggers. Now, though, they’ve seen the light profit that spurious rumormongering can bring: ESPN THE MAGAZINE is launching a new, anonymous gossip column supposedly written by an NFL player. The only difference between that and an anonymous, unsourced blog is…what, exactly?
I have always thought it’s weird when people bring up the idea of removing steroid-era numbers from baseball’s official record book, as if history can be fixed simply by ignoring it. Say what you want about Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire, but every single home run they hit counted in a real-life Major League Baseball game.
For those of you scoring at home, that’s twice now that John Calipari-helmed teams have seen Final Four runs erased from the books, although in 1996 UMass was only forced to give up its 4-1 NCAA tournament record, and not its entire season, due to Marcus Camby’s indiscretions with an agent. In this case, Memphis’ whole season is being invalidated and Calipari is about to find his coaching resume to be 38 wins lighter.
(This didn’t happen either.)
I suppose it makes sense on some level. If Rose shouldn’t have been eligible to play, then how could any of the team’s wins be valid? But ultimately, this is just a big fat case of “who cares?” Michigan vacated its two runs to the title game with the Fab Five, but what did that accomplish (other than banning the team from the postseason in 2003 for things that happened a decade earlier)? It’s not like they’re giving up anything tangible. The memory of what happened will always be there. Chris Webber isn’t suddenly off the hook for that timeout thing.
“Honestly, I don’t care,” former Memphis guard Antonio Anderson said. “We know what we did. We didn’t do anything wrong, but it is what it is.”
And he’s got a point. The rest of the team didn’t do anything wrong. Even Calipari, it seems, didn’t do anything wrong here. Derrick Rose did allegedly do something wrong, but it’s unlikely that anything is going to happen to him. He, like Camby and Webber, will go on to make tons of money in the NBA while their former teammates are told that their dream college seasons didn’t even happen.
Of course, thus far, only teams that didn’t win the title have had such sanctions levied against them. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA is willing to strip a team of a title and hand it to the runner-up if something like this happens in the future.
(This…yeah, this happened.)
So, remember how (insert contending team here) was crazy not to give up half their team to get Roy Halladay a couple of weeks ago? Well, there are at least two teams that are feeling pretty good about their decision not to mortgage the farm for a short-sighted chance at success.
• English soccer team Burnley, playing its first Premier League home game ever (and first in the top division in 33 years), did the unthinkable last night, shocking Manchester United 1-0 on an awesome volley by veteran Robbie Blake:
• Here’s more details on the odd case of Caster Semenya, who won the women’s 800 meter run by a ridiculous 2 1/2 seconds at the World Championships. She is undergoing what is reportedly an “extremely complex, difficult” set of tests to determine whether or not she is actually a she. A gynecologist is involved, so I imagine that “extremely complex” is an understatement.