American tennis has fallen on hard times since Andy Roddick left the game in 2012. Since then, there’s been a huge void of talent and production on the men’s side of the tennis world.
But, as the first major of 2018 continues to go on, there’s a really nice story emerging for American tennis. His name is Tennys Sandgren and he’s in to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.
That alone is a huge story, because American male tennis players have struggled since the glory days of the 1990’s and early 2000’s. Sam Querrey’s berth in last year’s Wimbledon semi-final’s was the first in any major for an American player since Andy Roddick last got there in 2009.
Sandgren has a chance to make that a second player to get there in consecutive years. Considering the lows of American men’s tennis since Roddick’s retirement, this is a potentially huge story.
But, Sandgren’s improbable run at the Aussie Open and the great tennis he’s been playing wasn’t worthy of talk in his post-match interview following his fourth round win.
Apparently for one Australian sports reporter, Sandgren’s Twitter habits were the real story, and shame on him for the things he’s said and whom he’s followed on Twitter.
The reporter badgered Sandgren on supposed links to the “alt-right” and some teenage white nationalist because of discussions seen on his Twitter feed and some re-tweets. Yes folks, re-tweets always equal endorsement of said idea.
But, the real story is the fact that this is a story at all. Sandgren has been on Twitter for ages, but only now that he’s on a bigger stage does his Twitter habits matter?
All of it because the reporter hoped to smear Sandgren as a racist or member of a political ideology he didn’t like.
Let’s also take some time to ask about the reporter in question. Seriously, how did he even know about Sandgren’s habits on Twitter? Was he looking for a story and stumbled across some tweets or was he digging for dirt?
Personally, I’d love to know what he was there originally hoping to find in the first place.
I find it more than a bit creepy that some reporter no one outside of the tennis world in Australia has likely ever heard of took precious time out of his day to sift through a single men’s tennis players Twitter account looking for a nugget to glom on to.
There’s a difference between noting a Tweet in the time it happens and reporting on it and spending hours sifting through a man’s (or woman’s) Twitter feed.
It all led to the reporter likely looking for that precious political gotcha moment to hang around the neck of the person he was berating on the stage. You know, shame on Sandgren for having a curious mind or not thinking like the reporter would like him to think or explore on Twitter.
But, Sandgren took it all in stride, even laughing at the start of the interview because he likely knew what was coming.
He held back some of the fire he likely was feeling inside and had one hell of an answer in as calm a manner as possible instead:
“No, I’m not concerned about it….who you follow on Twitter I feel like, doesn’t matter even a little bit. What information you see doesn’t dictate what you think or believe and I think it’s crazy to think that and I think it’s crazy to assume that. To say that he’s following X person so he believes all the things that this person believes. I think that’s ridiculous. That’s not how information works. If you watch a news channel you wouldn’t then say that that person who watches that news channel thinks everything that news channel puts out…No, I’m not concerned about it and I don’t think any kind of engagement in that way dictates that you are then right in there with that particular person. I don’t think it works that way and I don’t see it as working that way. I mean, you can ask me about my beliefs on things and that’s cool, but I think to lump in and say, well you follow so then wow, who are you?”
Can you say sit down moment? (btw, you can catch his whole interview here)
Sandgren has gone on to delete all of his tweets as of Tuesday morning.
But, let’s take a step back here folks. We’re literally talking about Twitter as if it’s the end all, be all of what you think, say and believe in today’s society. The reality is, Twitter has many different uses for many different people.
For some it’s a brand extension, for others it’s their political voice or a way to express comedy or outrage or to market themselves or the company they work for. Heck, there’s even a corner of the usually hate-filled and gotcha mob that tries to bring positivity to the world. But, here we are debating the meaning of someone’s Twitter account and a never-known before now sports figure’s Twitter account at that.
We’re not debating something he actually said or did in real life. Instead, Sandgren is being publicly flogged by some Australian reporter because of Twitter retweets folks. This is the rabbit hole that journalism in sports has gone down.
He spoke with ESPN on Tuesday about the issue, which you can see in its entirety here:
I know freedom of thought is a fleeting thing in a place like Australia, but Sandgren is an American and certainly entitled to believe, follow and share things on social media in any manner he would like. To that end, Sandgren offered up anyone to discuss with him what he believes.
“I’m more than happy to talk with people and let people know how I feel about things,” he said. “I’ve had to put the social media aside for now, I’ll take a look at it and I’ll take the criticism and I’ll take the good with the bad and keep learning and growing as a person and try to move forward.”
But, the larger story here is that not only has American sports media become a bastion of liberalism, so too has the rest of the world apparently. It’s no longer about what took place on the court, one has to also agree with everything a sports writer believes or it’s time for public shaming.
At least one person in the room had the bravery to stand up and try to shut down the ridiculous line of questioning. This should be a tipping point, but it likely will take something far greater to happen before the monolith that is sports media today to realize just how far down the rabbit hole they’ve gone.
Clay Travis continues to use hearsay to troll Greg Schiano
Clay Travis isn’t afraid to say what is on his mind, and often times he’s one of the few in national sports media not afraid to speak truth to the prevailing narrative.
However, he isn’t above being wrong and on Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano he is exactly that – wrong.
Travis’ obsession with Schiano started about this time last year as his beloved Tennessee Volunteers (he wrote a book about them if you didn’t already know) were about to hire him as their next head coach. It continued on Tuesday morning as Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer’s retirement and Ryan Day’s appointment as head coach were announced.
The claim by Travis and others was and is that Schiano knew about incidents of child rape involving then Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky back in the early 90’s and did nothing about it.
Travis presents the scenario as if it is established fact and therefore should disqualify him from ever being a head coach of a major college football program again.
But, what was really said in the now unsealed deposition? Well, it paints a vastly different picture than what Travis and his campaign to get Schiano out of the Vols head coaching search painted.
It’s something that Fox Sports college football analyst Joel Klatt pointed out to Travis after he tried to defend his take earlier today.
Here is what the deposition actually says according to StateCollege.com:
In his deposition in the civil case, which was unsealed with hundreds of pages of documents in July 2016, McQueary said that in the mid-2000s, years after he reported it to Penn State officials, he told defensive coordinator Tom Bradley about the 2001 incident in which he says he saw Sandusky abusing a boy in a locker room shower. Bradley, McQueary said, told him he had heard a few similar reports, including one from Schiano in the early 90s.
McQueary claimed that he briefly discussed what he witnessed with Bradley, who had been on the Penn State staff since 1979 and succeeded Sandusky as defensive coordinator after the 1999 season.
“He said he knew of some things,” McQueary testified. “He said another assistant coach had come to him in the early 90s about a very similar situation to mine, and he said that he had — someone had come back to him as far back as the early 80s about seeing Jerry doing something with a boy.”
That’s certainly a different story than what Travis and his ilk would have you believe. If you listen to Travis on this subject you would be led to believe that what he is saying about Schiano is 100 percent fact…end of story.
Instead, the actual truth is that Schiano may have known something at one point in time way back in 1991 or anytime during his tenure in State College, but no one has been able to verify the claim made by McQueary — not even Tom Bradley himself verifies these claims.
In fact, Bradley has denied all knowledge of any acts by Sandusky from the very start. He released a statement through his attorney after the testimony became unsealed.
“At no time did Tom Bradley ever witness any inappropriate behavior. Nor did he have any knowledge of alleged incidents in the 80’s and 90’s. He has consistently testified as such,” the statement read. “Any assertions to the contrary are false. When he became aware of the 2001 incident it had already been reported to the University administration years earlier.”
So, Travis is willing to take the third party hearsay in a civil deposition as the gospel truth? He wasn’t about to back down this morning that’s for sure.
Call me confused, because this is also the same man who will scream to the heavens that a person is innocent until proven guilty.
Where is the proof that Schiano knew and did nothing? There literally is none in existence that we or Travis or anyone else can dig up. The only people that really know are Bradley and Schiano themselves.
Travis is also in danger of being a massive hypocrite. Let’s remember this is also literally the same situation as current Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh went through just a few months ago.
You know who went to bat for Kavanaugh?
You got it…Clay Travis.
If there’s one thing I can’t stand it is someone who has a standard and doesn’t apply it equally.
Why would Travis not believe the Kavanaugh accusers, but believe McQueary? Both sets of people were under threat of either felony or perjury charges. Yet, only one set of these people were labeled a liar by Travis.
Oh, that’s right, Travis had an agenda to make sure the team he loves most doesn’t make a bad football hire. He would go to any lengths to make sure that happens and in this case it is continuing to smear a man with a case of third party hearsay.
He also owes Schiano and his family an apology for dragging his name through the mud based of of unsubstantiated claims. He’s wholly bent on wrecking a man’s life and reputation because he didn’t want his favorite team.
Even worse is that people wholly believe what Travis is selling has 100 percent fact and will repeat it ad nauseam. It’s how tall tales replace real facts across our culture and is very dangerous indeed.
Sports Illustrated uses Tim Green story to push CTE-ALS link as fact
Tim Green was once the backbone of an ever-underachieving Atlanta Falcons team in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. He then went on to become a massive success as a broadcaster, author of children’s books and as a businessman.
But, on Sunday night he also revealed a drastic change to his life, as he announced on CBS’ “60 Minutes” program that he was suffering from ALS — otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
Sports Illustrated had a piece on this segment and how ALS and head-trauma from football players are linked.
It’s truly sad to see anyone suffer through this debilitating and eventually fatal disease. Yet, Green remains upbeat and considers what he’s been able to accomplish in his life as a blessing. That much he made clear in his interview with 60 Minutes.
But, for SI.com writer Jack Dickey, Green’s situation seemed a good time to remind everyone that CTE leads to ALS and there’s no question about it.
“Green, 54, is not the first ex-NFLer to develop the disease; the link between the violent game and the degenerative and fatal neurological condition, which causes sufferers to lose most control of their muscles and is diagnosed in two to three out of every 100,000 people annually, has grown somewhat clearer with time,” Dickey points out in his article.
The key words here are “somewhat clearer with time.”
The problem is, studies about CTE and ALS being linked haven’t actually made things any more clear. What has become clear is that people with CTE are seemingly more likely to get ALS than the general population as a whole.
That doesn’t mean the two are actually linked though. Commonality doesn’t equal causation necessarily and a basic biology class or science class in general has taught all of us that.
At least one would think that is the case.
The reality of the research on the issue is vastly different than the conclusion SI.com draws.
In reality, the link is a possibility at best. There simply isn’t enough available data or understanding of CTE or the link to ALS to make a definitive statement.
As raredr.com points out, the study clearly makes a potential link in the fact that about 5 percent of studied CTE cases have also demonstrated symptoms of ALS. But, most importantly, it emphasizes that the two may not actually be linked.
“Approximately 5% of CTE cases result in patients demonstrating the clinical or pathological characteristics of ALS, however, whether the 2 conditions are related has remained a mystery.”
It’s a number that is certainly higher than the average population as a whole. In fact, the study also points out that CTE has also been found in military veterans, who are twice as likely as non-veterans to be diagnosed with ALS.
Yet, Sports Illustrated has taken it a step further in not bothering to point out the actual conclusions of the study to date. Instead, they make that blanket statement made above and then continue on as if that statement is fact.
In fact, the rest of the article doesn’t even bother to mention the study in any factual way. There is no quoting of the study or any further discussion of the link that has been shown to date.
But, SI would have you believe this one paragraph and its conclusions are the only thing that could be possible.
It’s the exact opposite of what the study concludes:
Due to the high complexity of both diseases, more long-term studies are necessary for a full understanding of the connection. The recent analysis warrants a larger study of more people with CTE and CTE-ALS to confirm results, but continued studies could potentially uncover viable CTE-ALS biomarkers and therapeutic options.
Shame on Sports Illustrated for using Tim Green and his situation to promote half-truths and outright falsehoods within an article.
This is exactly how speculation and falsehoods become truth in the popular culture. After all, outlets like SI have become trusted sources of information and if they print it, it must be true.
It is on outlets like SI to give us the honest and unvarnished truth. Anything less than that is malfeasance.
What the Quod? A new era in sports media coverage
First off, for those of you that have come to grow with us at Beat The Coverage — a hearty thank you.
When I started this project my goal was to expose the truth of liberal and social justice bias in sports media and give a different voice on the biggest topics and stories coming out of the sports world.
It’s been a fun journey to date, but as the saying goes “if you aren’t changing, you’re dying.”
So today, we bring you a brand new name — The Quod.
What is The Quod? Well, for those of you that love dead languages, it’s Latin for because, which and fact. What better way to hammer home the point that facts are missing from the sports media world of today, than to put it right in the name?
It also brings up the idea of “The Quad” on your favorite college campus…also known as the area where protest, speech and gathering takes place.
Why the Change?
Well, as some of you likely know, there’s this website called Outkick The Coverage out there. What Clay Travis is doing there is amazing work, and it’s some of the stuff I am doing here on our little corner of the interwebs.
Frankly, considering the messaging, content and ideas behind our sites, it just felt too close to stand out on its own. Beat The Coverage was meant to stand on its own two feet…and today The Quod does just that!
There were months spent trying to come up with sports-driven names. White boards and brainstorming sessions with scribbled names. There were heated discussions and confused looks, not to mention great ideas that were blocked by domain ownership and social media concerns.
Seriously, you won’t believe how difficult it is to come up with a name that no one owns for a domain, let alone via social media.
All of it took place inside my home, as I ran things by my partner in life, my wife Lexi, and a few trusted friends in this business (believe it or not they can and do exist).
So, I want to take some time to thank Lexi for her endless support, her patience (even if she doesn’t think she has it) and most importantly for those rambling talk-through sessions as I wanted to make this change.
I may be the writing and speaking force behind this site, but she’s the one that makes life work at our house and that allows me to take time to do this project.
Thank you dear!
Back to the change at hand though…here at The Quod we continue to evolve our coverage of the Social Justice Sports Writer ( #SJSW) and bias within sports media in general. As we’ve established, the two kind of go hand in hand these days.
Our biggest weapon in the fight to keep sports honest? It’s always been facts. That won’t be changing any time soon. I am promising to double down the efforts to come at you with facts, whether that be laying out what they are on a topic or using them as an argument against a biased article or writer.
Facts, not political ideology or the prevailing mob of opinion will be our driving force. It always has been, but with this name change that’s even more clear.
So, welcome to The Quod — Where Sports Media bias meets fact.
I appreciate your support for what I’m doing here and thank you sincerely for spreading the word as we ramp up our growth! Keep on spreading the good word and giving me the feedback…it’s appreciated more than you know.