Saturday, December 8, 2012


     It’s a period of transition for me and the Journal of Sports Media which I edit. I’m leaving as editor and will turn over the duties soon.
     I need to thank everyone who helped me get through reams of research each edition for two years. And the capable guys at UNL Press. A special thanks to Brad Schultz.
     I’m a sports writer, not a Ph.D., so I like to think I brought a different perspective to the journal. I’m a risk-taker, but with a dose of practicality. Maybe I published a paper or two others might not have. And maybe I didn’t.
     I like new frontiers. I like pioneering them. I like fellow risk-takers. Blazing new paths is fun. It’s not always fun for the guys at UNL, but it’s fun.
     I’ve learned a lot because I've read so much. So much great research. So many great discussions. So many groundbreaking survey results. So many people who we helped, I hope, earn their doctorates and tenure as well. Credentials aren’t everything in sports or academia. They’re the only thing.
     I got into a debate, on these pages and in my blog, over the value of sports reporting and teaching it (I won). Sports competes for the entertainment dollar, for the movie-theater dollar, for the recreational dollar, for the leisure-time dollar. When Disney owns and is essentially running and overseeing the largest, most-influential sports media outlet worldwide, you know that the ‘E’ in ESPN, which stands for “Entertainment,” is the most-important letter in those initials.
     Chris Berman gets that. SportsCenter anchors get that. ESPN producers, directors and writers get that.
     It’s why I subscribe to and read Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal right alongside my ESPN the Magazine and Sports Illustrated.
     It’s why my students in my Sports Reporting and Advanced Sports Reporting classes at Columbia College Chicago must display knowledge of sports as an entertainment business entity in their weekly media reviews, blogs and feature stories. And in their game-coverage assignments, when they accompany me on my professional trips into the field.
     For those of you who will edit this journal someday, don’t lose sight of that. Same goes for the many of you who will submit papers for publication consideration here. I don’t want Framing How the Weather Impacts Sports Writers Perceptions in their respective coverages of major events. I do want, Framing Perceptions of How Disney Promotes Itself When it Places its Movie Stars on ESPN Talk Shows.
     I can only imagine what the ESPN true-grit, on-air, sports-talkers think when Brandy, Kevin James, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and others of their ilk show up on set, ostensibly to talk sports but really to promote their next Disney-produced CD or movie. Then again, I’d love to see research on how real pro football and golf analysts feel when Chris "Boomer" Berman goes on one of his nickname, pop-culture rants while the real insiders wait to make their insightful contributions.
     Still waiting for research on that. Still waiting for research on how the media gave a pass to $640 million worth of “remodeled” Soldier Field in Chicago and how its exterior wound up looking like a UFO landed on Lake Shore Drive. It’s so out of place with anything else along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront.
     And ever notice how on games televised from there, you always get the camera angle of the stands that doesn’t show the side with all the glass of the suites to avoid the perception to the audience that the stadium is a super-suite money mecca. No, wait, that’s exactly what it is. Which is exactly why we never see that perspective on TV. And our media never discuss that either. Hello academicians, where are you?
     Anyway, I’m still waiting on research about the media going unscathed for its love affair with Notre Dame football. The next time someone writes anything bad or critical about coach Brian Kelly will be the first time, despite two student deaths attached to the program the last two years.
     Where are you media? And where are you in academia to call out the media?
     It’s time to transition back to what the media is supposed to do and it’s time for those of us in academia to hold them accountable.
     Thanks for reading. Keep those submissions coming to the journal too.
     As long as I'm not doing that professional editorship thing anymore, I'm gonna' go get a Snoop Dogg tattoo.

     Howard Schlossberg
     Columbia College Chicago,

Howard Schlossberg is editor of the Journal of Sports Media. He's an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago, where creativity and learning are embraced hand-in-hand. And he still writes sports for the award-recognized Daily Herald in Chicago's northwest suburbs.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I Love Football But...

I love football but...

It doesn't take replacement refs to lose 1 minute, 12 seconds in a game does it? We have incompetent, full-time, regular refs who can do that.

Six weeks ago, the Bears were 4-1 and Packers were 2-3. Now, if the Bears lose at San Francisco tomorrow night (excuse me, when they lose), the Packers will be tied with them for first place in the NFC North. Oh yeah, go Bears! And take your arrogant fans with you.

Baseball pitchers get "dead" arms that sideline them. Looks like NFL quarterbacks get "tired" arms, a la Eli Manning. No, Eli,  it's called hitting your receivers, even against Cincinnati. Especially against Cincinnati, you dork.

Did you know that in bars now outside Chicago, you can play video poker? That ought to generate enough tax revenue to wipe out all state-wide deficits. Uh, not. And the mob has to take its share, don't forget. And that's just the state legislature and Cook County board. After that, the mafia too. States and municipalities that rely on tax revenue generated from people's gambling losses to erase their mountainous deficits are states and municipalities that will always have mountainous deficits.

Jay Cutler can't play this week for the Bears because he hasn't cleared concussion standards, according to the league. Pardon me, but didn't he play concussed against Houston? Green Bay? Detroit? And Carolina for that matter? Amazingly, he embarrasses tackle J'Marcus Webb on national TV with that little nudge of disapproval, and then he gets sacked like a potato against Carolina and concussed against Houston. Hmmm...anyone see a connection? You embarrass your offensive line and your offensive line pays you back. By not protecting you.

I still can't tell the difference between NFL games and the violent video games that advertise during them.

Did a Texas high school really ban Bible banners at its football games? Separation of church and state still exists after all. How about that! Now all we need to do is separate Texas from the rest of the states.

Ryan Lochte says he believes competitive swimming can become as mainstream as football, basketball, baseball and hockey. Well, maybe hockey.

Better late than never: Kudos and thanks to Sports Illustrated for its Sept. 24 football sidebar on Homer Jones, one of the NFL's all-time great and original speedsters. Growing up in NY, we always would repeat on the street what then-Giant quarterback Fran Tarkenton would say about Jones: can't overthrow him.

Or his memory. Thanks, S.I.

I want to retire: No, really, and move to Tempe. Or Knoxville. Sports towns. College towns. Year-round weather. Teach a little, Write a little. Golf a little. Get my body back totally healthy. Can't do it yet though. Not enough of my students can spell/write/punctuate or use grammar adequately enough for me to even think about it.

Come to think of it, some of my colleagues can't either. Think about it, that is.

And I have one more issue of Journal of Sports Media to put out.

Howard Schlossberg is editor of the Journal of Sports Media. He's an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago, where creativity and learning are embraced hand-in-hand. And he still writes sports for the award-recognized Daily Herald in Chicago's northwest suburbs.

Sports Business Boston: Developments May Come Soon About Breakers' New U.S...

Once the city of champions, now the city of loozahs! Sorry, Boston, don't feel sorry for you. Your arrogance showed when you had a few winners. How about those Red Sawx!

Sports Business Boston: Developments May Come Soon About Breakers' New U.S...: By Zachary Baru Promising news came earlier this evening about the status of a new U.S. women's soccer league.  The Boston Breakers alread...

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Shame and Blame The Name of the Game

For every mistake
There is a reason

But all we ever get
  Are excuses.

For instance...

BYE BYE STEPHEN STRASBURG: The Washington Nationals say they're gonna' shut down Stephen Strasburg. Protect that "Tommy John'd," surgically repaired arm. They're also preparing the press release that says even though they didn't make it to the World Series this year without him, they're confident they can also miss the World Series in years to come with him.

HOCKEY LOCKOUT: The National Hockey League is no doubt bracing for yet another work stoppage when it fails to reach a collective bargaining agreement with its players. The official deadline is Sept. 15. As if you cared, right? Will you really miss those goons making believe they're playing hockey? And look at it this way: Patrick Kane is available for party appearances.

MINOR LEAGUE BLUES: The independent, Class A Schaumburg Boomers in suburban Chicago issued a press release in mid-August announcing they'd won as many games this season as the Cubs. Yeah, sure, but call me about that again in 108 years.

DEAR ESPN: Is it really smart to use Mark Schlereth to analyze the Denver Broncos and Matt Millen to comment on Penn State's situation? What's next? How about using Mike Golic to comment about Notre Dame being the only school without a conference membership to be unfairly seated at the BCS table?

No, wait...

MY CUB RUNNETH OVER: So the Chicago Tribune reported that Cubs' baseball head Theo Epstein has spent $49 million so far trying to clean up the Cubs mess. In less than a year.

Who does he think he is, Magic Johnson?

THE PRINCE IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE PRINCE: Which came first, the hot-tub hazing or the high ankle sprain for NY Giants defensive back and former No. 1 draft pick Prince Amukamara? Or were they simultaneous?

Grown men, still hazing. It's a harmless prank. But when high school and college kids do it, it's a suspension, a penalty, a dismissal, an expulsion, a bootlegged You Tube video and a branding for life.

Seems fair.

BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? for Bears fans who still blame last year's collapse on backup quarterback Caleb Hanie, think again. Obviously, he was going to have problems running an offense he rarely got to run in games, especially one designed by Mike Martz. So what did the Bears do to help him out?

Did they simplify things? Didn't appear so. Did they shorten the playbook? Didn't appear so. Did they have a respectable running back to go with him after Matt Forte went down? Not.

What they could've done was charge up the defense. A few more blitzes. A few more gambles. A few more turnovers would've made life easier for Hanie and an offense that suffered, expectedly so, after its No. 1 QB went down. Nope, the Bears did nothing above and beyond with the defense to help make up for the many offensive shortcomings caused by the injuries.

The old Tampa 2 became the Chicago 5 - 5-game losing streak, that is. Anyone looking to Hanie to imitate Jay Cutler was sadly disappointed and overly expectant to begin with.

So this year, the two words Bears fans should fear most are: Jason Campbell.

JUVENILE INTEREST: Congratulations to Dane Claussen, editor of the Journalism and Mass Communication Educator publication of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication ( He published an article in his latest edition about sports, which by his own words in an essay in the previous edition is a "juvenile interest" for those who write about it and still call themselves journalists.

Hypocrisy is a beautiful thing.


Howard Schlossberg is editor of the 
Journal of Sports Media. He's an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago, where creativity and learning are embraced hand-in-hand. And he still writes sports for the award-recognized Daily Herald in Chicago's northwest suburbs.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lochte and Loaded


EXCESSIVE CELEBRATION: I am tired of watching guys get shaving-cream pies in the face during every postgame MLB interview. I'm tired of basketball players celebrating every basket like it was their last (I wish it was). I'm tired of every football player celebrating every sack - when they're down 14.

Just high-five it and go home, assholes.


TAKE THAT, JONATHAN VILMA: An Italian soccer player, Emanuele Pesoli, makes any other so-called passionate players trying to clear their names look like amateurs. He actually chained himself to his home-country's league office doors to protest his banning from the league in a match-fixing scandal.

Are you listening, Jonathan Vilma? If you were really serious, you'd do something more dramatic than try to make the NFL trot out whoever ratted you out, along with your bounty-hunting co-conspirators.


Zac Stewart. Brett Lillibridge. Kevin Youkilis. A resurrected Adam Dunn. A resurrected Alex Rios. Jake Peavy. Chris Sale. Addison Reed. Brett Myers. Francisco Liriano.

Ian Stewart. David DeJesus. Tony Rizzo. Ryan Dempster (Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks). Paul Maholm. Travis Wood. Sean Marshall. Chris Volstad.

You tell me, Cubs and Sox fans, which team has a savvier GM?


Religious zealot Jerry Newcombe's brother Rick, a syndicated columnist, says his brother was mistreated by the Huffington Post in an editorial commentary.

Rick, if you really think so, write your brother a check and then go home and and shut up, asshole.


In political news, former Salt Lake Organizing Committee Chair Mitt Romney (you may have heard of him) is getting ink for proclaiming that we Americans should be "living within [our] means," according to esteemed political conservative hack Kathleen Parker.

Mitt Romney? Living within means? Good one! Now, if only the rest of us had the means to live within.


Did I just call political columnist Kathleen Parker a "hack?" I'm sorry. That was a compliment. I meant something much worse.


So I read where someone proclaimed Mitt Romney's business experience at Bain Capital would be a national asset.

If that was true, Ross Perot would be serving his fifth term in the White House about now.


At a time when Penn State is being bashed and sanctioned all over, Matt Anderson (men's volleyball) and Tim Benedict (Stihl Timbersports) shined in athletics, giving the school something to be proud of.

At last.


So just when Associated Press syndicated columnist Tim Dahlberg was declaring there should be an end to the Dream Team concept in Olympic basketball because of all the blowouts, the Dream Team should've lost to Lithuania and might've lost to Spain.

Good call there, Tim.


Some journalists covering the London Olympics called British food great and U.S. Boxing awful. I'd call British food garbage (why oh why weren't the games in Paris?) and I'd call boxing judges biased or incompetent. Or both. Take your pick. Their work reminded me of the figure-skating judges in the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games.

Where Mitt Romney presided, right? And he wants to be president? What, screwing up an already screwed-up SLOG wasn't enough?


Yo, International Olympic Committee, it was a disgrace that you did not commemorate the Munich disaster's 40th anniversary with a moment of silence for the Israeli athletes slain in that incident with terrorists.

But you didn't want to "offend" the 21 Arab countries in the games, did you?


Thank you, Bob Costas, for carrying out your own moment of silence during the Opening Ceremonies when the Israeli delegation marched in. You are officially invited over to break the fast on Yom Kippur.

No, really!


Howard Schlossberg is editor of the Journal of Sports Media. He's an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago, where creativity and learning are embraced hand-in-hand. And he still writes sports for the award-recognized Daily Herald in Chicago's northwest suburbs.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sour Pickles and Serious Losses

THE PICK-IT FENCE: There are people who have worked both sides of the journalism fence: reporting on; or reported on. You'd think, therefore, they'd be alert to the sensitivities of people on both sides of that fence.

Apparently, not Bobby Valentine. The Red Sox manager came freshly packaged off the ESPN set of its game-of-the-week and its Baseball Tonight telecasts, from where it seemed no one wanted him back in the Major League ranks whenever a position opened. This despite his vigorous lobbying for such.

Maybe it was his brash manner. Maybe it was his arrogance in practically declaring his availability and using the ESPN pulpit to do it.

But now that he's finally back where he thinks he belongs, he told Sports Illustrated that having managed in both New York and now Boston, he had no "preference" for either town's media.

He'd prefer, rather, to " in a nice little vacuum and play the game and not to have deal with people who have to either describe what happened or make up something about what they wish they saw."

What in the world would they have to "make up" without the Bobby Valentines of the world? Careful Bobby - you'll need someplace to park your car after the Red Sox gig. But, on second thought, ESPN needs people like you so they can continue to report things they "make up." They likely haven't leased out your parking spot yet to someone else who can "...make up something about what they wish they saw."

Like you would.


THE SOUREST PICKLE: I don't usually say I don't like people I've never met. But I'm beginning to think I can definitely say that people who call sports journalism a "juvenile interest" could be people I don't like.

Such a person is Dane Claussen, a sour pickle who did just that and much more in the Summer 2012 edition of Journalism & Mass Communication Educatora publication which he edits for its publisher, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). (By way of full disclosure, I'm a member of said organization.)

When I wrote to Claussen though, in disagreement, he replied to this career sports journalist that I have a temper problem (apparently anyone does who disagrees with him).

Yo, Dane, don't you get it? Your vicious attack on sports journalism is an attack on journalism. You claim to have encountered sports journalists in various newsrooms throughout that thing you call a career who "...were primarily having a good time" and that the "...more serious-acting journalists on staff later covered political news for USA Today, [the] Seattle Times, [the] Portland Oregonian, [the] Detroit News and other major dailies."

Good for them. And when did it become a crime to enjoy your job? By the way, I'm still waiting for political writers to tell me anything about this year's presidential campaign beyond the personal insults Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have been swapping. Maybe that's why insults are your first fallback in personal communication, Dane.

If anyone else wants to read the discouraging outlook Claussen has about (sports) journalism, go ahead. I won't reduce myself to repeat any more of it here other than to note that along his academic stops he found it personally disgusting that among "...students seriously planning to go into journalism...a far disproportionate number of them focused on sports journalism."

I guess Bryant Gumbel, Mary Carillo, Frank Deford, Bernard Goldberg, Jon Frankel, Andrea Kremer, Armen Keteyian and the Emmy Award-winning crew at HBO's Real Sports are pursuing a "juvenile interest." So is Bob Costas at NBC and so are Bob Ley and his Outside the Lines team at ESPN.

Stands to reason then that so is Christine Brennan at USA Today (ask your political reporter friends there what they think of her, Dane). So are the outstanding colleagues with whom I so proudly serve at the Journal of Sports Media, and especially founding editor Brad Schultz, whose chair I will never be distinguished enough to fill. So are the talented, award-recognized sports reporters alongside whose bylines I proudly plant this contributor's at The Daily Herald in suburban Chicago.

While we're at it, Dane, what do you think of your "colleagues" in the university ranks who teach sports journalism? Are we just instructing students on "...primarily having a good time?" Please explain that one to them at the AEJMC National Convention two weeks from this writing in Chicago (look forward to seeing you - no I don't).

Bottom line, your published words, Dane, are an insult to the entire journalism profession, if not the journalism-education profession as well. I'm stunned AEJMC allows you to use its publication to insult everyone who is attending its national convention. I would call upon the organization board to sanction you at the very least, although expelling you would be more appropriate.

By the way, I don't think unkindly of political writers, business writers, or any others, which is the way you obviously feel about all of us sports reporters of "juvenile interest." I was a business writer and author for a long time, concurrent to my sports reporting. I count among those business-journalism ranks some of my best friends and most-cherished relationships.

And I would never use my editorship of the Journal of Sports Media as a bully pulpit as you have, Dane, in conjunction with your editorial responsibility at Journalism & Mass Communication Educator.

No, wait ...I just used your name and the word "responsibility" in the same sentence.

I guess I do owe you an apology after all.

Nah. That wouldn't serve any purpose. It would just be of "juvenile interest."


A GREAT LOSS: Paul McGrath was not a sports writer. He wasn't one of my closest friends.

But his recent passing removes a connection to Chicago's great eras of political reporting and communications in general. Plus, he was a friend of journalism education, including at my beloved Columbia College Chicago.

To his beloved Bonnie, also a great friend of journalism education at Columbia, my sincerest, most-heartfelt condolences.

Eventually, you replace good writers. But not great writing and Paul was a great writer.


Howard Schlossberg is editor of the Journal of Sports Media. He's an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago, where creativity and learning are embraced hand-in-hand. And he still writes sports for the award-recognized Daily Herald in Chicago's northwest suburbs.

Friday, July 13, 2012

If We're Lion, We're Dyin'

I keep reading where pundits are debating what Joe Paterno's legacy will be.

This presumes he still has one.


Dane Claussen, editor of the Journalism & Mass Communication Educator journal, thinks that the "...disproportionate interest in sports journalism was a juvenile interest that would give way to something more important..." in commenting on the surprising number of college students he finds interested in sports reporting as a career.

If that's a "juvenile interest," as you would seem to think Dane, please don't forget to congratulate: 

  • the business press on breaking the Enron story before all the shareholders got burned; 
  • the business press again on the real estate market collapse before all those mortgages went underwater; 
  • the foreign correspondents who warned us that all those WMDs weren't there before so many guys got killed and wounded in Iraq; 
  • the crime reporters who smelled out the Jerry Sandusky story; 
  • and whoever appointed you editor of anything.


If you've been reading me, you know I harp on pitchers who make lots of money and burn out quickly, have Tommy John surgery, disappear with loads of money in the bank, etc.

Congratulations to John Danks, the newest member of the club. The now highest-paid White Sox pitcher ever (John Danks! Yes, John Danks!) got a 5-year, $65-million contract and has responded with a 3-4 record, 5.70 ERA and a trip to a rich pitcher's favorite initials - the DL (ooooh, my arm's a little sore - can't pitch today).

Will he be back this year? Who knows. Will the White Sox miss him? They say so (politically correct but they pay him a lot of f**kin' money, as Ozzie Guillen would say).

They're also in first place in a division full of under-achievers. Unless you're talking about them (over-achievers, which is OK).

All I want is for pitching coaches to do their jobs and not only teach these guys how to pitch but how not to get hurt, because these days, there are too many John Danks in the world.


What do pitchers who've had Tommy John surgery [], athletes who've been suspected of using steroids and colleges that have been placed on probation all have in common?

They're all recipients of their respective sports' badge of honor.



The guys suspended in the NFL Bounty-Gate [] investigation have done nothing but complain, file suits, appeal and complain some more.

Shut up, boys. Take your medicine and see you later this year.

Or next.

People always talk about putting your money where your mouth is. Somehow, that didn't quite work out for these guys, did it?


Who the f**k is Savannah Guthrie and what is she doing in Katie Couric's chair? ... Will the White Sox continue their push when Kevin Youkilis comes back to Earth, because Adam Dunn is already on the way (hello, Mendoza BA line)? ... It's a good thing all those A.L. pitches were only going one inning to preserve their arms for the regular season in a game in which they threw away home-field advantage for their league's World Series representative. How'd that work out last year? Oh yeah, the team with the worst record in the playoffs had home-field advantage and used it well. Brilliant, Bud Selig. Brilliant.


Howard Schlossberg is editor of the Journal of Sports Media[,673232.aspx]. He's an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago [], where creativity and learning are embraced hand-in-hand. And he still writes sports for the Daily Herald [] in Chicago's northwest suburbs.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Just Horsing Around ... And Other Oddities

Is it just me, or does it seem kind of odd that I'll Have Another scratched from the Belmont Stakes with a chance to win the Triple Crown?

Trainer Doug O'Neill [] has a long history of doping suspensions and fines in California and something tells me the racing industry would rather not have a Triple Crown winner for a 35th straight year than have one under a prospective cloud of drugging.

So, horse comes up hurt. Scratches. Goes out to stud. No wonder racetracks want slut - uh, slot machines to offset competition from riverboat casinos in many states. They're saying They Want Another way to make money in an industry with an image along the lines and level of - oh, boxing.


Been hearing a lot of scuttlebutt that Penn State should get the death penalty or at least strong sanctions from the NCAA in the wake of the Sandusky scandal.

Problem is, did Penn State violate NCAA regulations over the term of the long history of this scandal?

Probably not, but don't tell that to victims Nos. 1-8. Or is that 10?


Is this for real? The NFL is pushing back starting times of late games on Sunday afternoons by 15 minutes because of all those Tim Tebow-led comebacks that otherwise were missed in some markets because networks were contractually obligated to cut away from the early games?

Next thing you know, Tebow will finish ahead of - oh, say, Jay Cutler [] - in voting by players for players with the most impact in 2011. No, wait...


This just in: Michael Jordan's son Marcus arrested in Omaha, Neb., on charges of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after a scuffle with a woman at a hotel.

I won't repeat the cliches here verbatim, but... Apples/trees. Leopards/spots.


Is there any question how much the Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose [] won't be playing after the Bulls drafted Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague.

He's pretty good. Apparently, he'll need to be.


Out of the thousands and thousands of hours of coverage of Olympic events that will be available, perhaps the ones you don't want to miss are from Mark McLusky at, where he'll be breaking down athlete performance like you've never seen it broken down before.

Never. Thank you, WIRED. That's an up-close-and-personal-coverage angle I can live with.


Howard Schlossberg is editor of the Journal of Sports Media[,673232.aspx]. He's an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago [], where creativity and learning are embraced hand-in-hand. And he still writes sports for the Daily Herald [] in Chicago's northwest suburbs.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Lost Luster and Sand (dusky) Traps

Major League Baseball can say what it wants, but inter-league play has clearly lost its luster.

Even the Cubs and Sox didn't sell out all six of their games at Wrigley Field and U.S. Cellular, respectively (just two, in fact). There was a time you would've had to kill to get a ticket to one of those games at either park.

And I'm telling ya', those series between Minnesota and Cincinnati, San Diego and Seattle, Toronto and Miami and, of course, Cleveland and Houston - not to be missed. Compelling doesn't begin to describe them.

No, really, it doesn't.

And the White Sox would likely not want to see the National League again after getting kicked around the way they did all through inter-league action. Even the Cubs beat the crap out of them.

It's time to re-examine the value of inter-league play, declare it the promotional ploy that it always was to get fans back after the '94 strike []. And stop giving us Padres-Mariners.

Please, stop! Please. Padres-Mariners? Please!


Quick, how many people believe Roger Clemens when he says he didn't lie about using steroids?

Raise your arms, please. Without a steroid-injection assist, that is. Or without being blinded by his celebrity.

I believe him - that he lied, that is. They all lied. All the users. Regardless of what a court of law said. Regardless of what any commission came up with. Regardless of what anyone says or doesn't say. Regardless of what any lawyer says.

Baseball does, indeed, keep what happens in the clubhouse in the clubhouse. These guys don't rat each other out. So, whatever it says in the Mitchell Report, it doesn't matter.

Andy Pettitte used []. He confessed. And apologized. Jason Giambi used []. And apologized. Alex Rodriguez used []. And finally confessed. And Apologized. Mark McGwire too []. Even Barry Bonds did []. Up to a point. Don't recall his apology though.

Sammy Sosa? No speak English...

Roger Clemens? No speak truth.

That 21-3 year did help me win my fantasy league that season though. Thanks, Roger.


The Jerry Sandusky story is disgusting, disheartening and dispels all the notions you have of the goodwill coaches have for players and kids as their role models and teachers. It will linger for as long as all the lawsuits and appeals linger.

And well it should...


I keep watching MLB pitchers miss starts and appearances or go on the Disabled List with what teams describe as "soreness."

Football players play through anything. They strap up, saddle up and get out there. Hockey players too. Basketball players try, at least.

Even amputees compete in para-Olympic-like events.

But pitchers? "Aww, my awm huwts. I can't thwo too day. Gwive me a wollypop and lwet me go home."

Soreness is part of life. Deal with it. I'm sore when I come home from the gym. After I vigorously wash my car. Have sex.

Your muscles get sore.

Get used to it, wusses.


Do you think The Wisconsin-Green Bay "Fighting Phoenix" get upset every time they see a University of Phoenix commercial in which the grad in focus says, "I'm a Phoenix," in regard to his or her success in life and career?

I think they should sue and then, after they win, we'll have a "University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Fighting Phoenix" Stadium in Glendale, Ariz.

Wouldn't that be too cool?


This is usually the part where I say I'm going on vacation soon for the summer and my blog will be disappearing so I can spend more time with my family.

Yeah, right.

I'm not going. And my blog's not disappearing.


Howard Schlossberg is editor of the Journal of Sports Media [,673232.aspx]. He's an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago [], where creativity and learning are embraced hand-in-hand. And he still writes sports for the Daily Herald [] in Chicago's northwest suburbs. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Post-Steroids Hall of Fame

I'm getting tired of hearing about guys who should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame [].

But aren't.

The "Steroids Era," as it's known, in combination with the DH, has left these guys in HoF purgatory.

The June 10 Chicago Tribune [] made my case for me. In a fascinating little non-debate between its Hall of Fame-eligible sports reporters, they battle (not very much, really) over whether White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko [] is Hall material.

He's 36 years old. Has hit 407 homers. Has 2,093 hits, 1,294 RBI, has scored 1,072 times and has a .284 BA.

If he plays 4 more years and averages 25 homers (through age 40), he looks to be a shoe-in, right? The magic 500-homer mark, right? Will the White Sox, to whom he's been so loyal, taking less money in free agency to remain a "South-Sider," reward his loyalty a year-and-a-half from now when he's a 37-year-old free agent and pay him what he's been worth or what he'll be worth as his talents--and numbers--tail off? Tell that to the LA Angels of Anaheim and Albert Pujols. So far, at least.

Before steroids though, it wasn't necessarily 500 homers  that made you a lock (hello Fred "Crime Dog" McGriff []  at 493 homers - that season with the Cubs is gonna' jinx ya').

What got you into the Hall before steroids was how you played the game, not how you "hit."

But steroids have raised the bar. The 500-homer level is the standard, as is the 300-win total for pitchers. So, as in the Tribune piece, a player the likes of Jeff Bagwell [],  who likely never used steroids, is stuck at 449 homers and is likely not getting into the Hall.

He'll best be remembered though for things like not helping his Houston Astros team in the 2005 World Series by trying to play through an injury and hurting their chances to win. He put up abysmal stats (.125 BA in 4 games) against the White Sox and allowed Ozzie Guillen to out-manage Phil Garner in what would be the first World Series involving a team from the state of Texas.

Maybe steroids would've helped him hit 500 homers. Maybe steroids would've extended his career. Maybe steroids would've helped him heal faster and would have made him more effective in that World Series.

And maybe Paul Konerko has a chance to be in the Hall of Fame.


All of this goes to show that sports writers, the ones with Hall voting privileges, are brainwashed easily, their votes compromised that much more easily, by banned substances they don't even use.

I hope...


So I'm reading and reading about how Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has a chance to sign a bill and put slot machines in race tracks and put them on a level playing field with casinos which are sucking the life out of them by taking their customers.

If you believe that, then please know that you also believe, whether you believe it or not, that horse racing is nothing more than a gambling activity and every bit less a sport, every day.

Slot machines. At race tracks. Equals gambling. Not sports.

It's that simple.

And it creates funds that states want to use to alleviate their budget shortfalls via the taxes generated from gambling losses by people who gamble the most and can likely afford it the least.


Howard Schlossberg is editor of the Journal of Sports Media, with his first edition out this year. He's an associate professor of journalism at Columbia College Chicago, where creativity and learning are embraced hand-in-hand. And he still writes sports for the Daily Herald in Chicago's northwest suburbs.; www.colum.edu   Journal of Sports Media, University of Nebraska PressColumbia College Chicago, Department of JournalismHoward Schlossberg, Sports Correspondent, Daily Herald (