Thursday, July 10, 2014

Jets Quarterback Mike Vick: God Was Punishing Me To Get Me Back On The Right Track

(For the Full 14 minute interview: click here.)

New York Jets quarterback Mike Vick joined us for a few minutes on the show this morning, a couple of days in advance of the "Michael Vick Comedy Explosion Tour," premiering in Shreveport's Strand Theater Saturday evening.

We were told in advance we had ten minutes--which isn't a lot of time, especially considering Vick's past and present.  We opened the interview with questions about the seemingly odd combination of Mike Vick + Comedy Tour and he explained it stemmed from a prank phone call  in which he was the victim of Nephew Tommy of The Steve Harvey Show

Vick will spend some time Friday evening speaking to the participants in a quickly-put together football camp at Independence Stadium.  Shreveport mayor, Cedric Glover and other city officials put the camp together to take advantage of Vick's appearance in town. 

When the former first overall pick in the 2001 draft rolls up to The Strand Saturday evening, he will see protesters on one side of the street and those rallying for him on the other side.  

Courtesy: Lockerdome
Convicted for running an illegal dog-fighting operation in 2007 at the peak of his career (and in the middle of a $100 million contract with the Falcons), Vick spent 21 months locked up and waited out a year suspension by the NFL to restart his football career in Philadelphia.  

Those protesting against his appearance in Shreveport find the crimes committed against dogs too abhorrent to forget.

Those rallying by his side feel the time in prison coupled with the loss of money, fame and status is punishment enough.

When asked what he would tell the protesters, Vick said he would let them know he has made amends for his mistakes. He also said he has since, "helped more animals than I've hurt."

For those standing up in his corner, Vick would like to let them know he appreciates their support.  "People like me continue to appreciate people like them."

Callers checked in afterward to register their thoughts.  ABC said in the black community, forgiveness comes easier for those who have paid their debt to society. 

When asked what the current Mike Vick would say to the 2007 edition embroiled in the dog-fighting ring, he said, "The 2014 Mike Vick would say to the 2007 Mike Vick, not too much of a difference, just understanding of my position and what I had at stake, what I had to risk and what I had to lose. Just not, pretty-much, paying attention to life and what life had to offer and taking it seriously. That was, everything that happened to me was just God punishing me and helping me get back on the right track and doing the things that I think He put me on this earth to do."

Ralph, who had a dog stolen from his property and used in a dog-fighting ring, has no forgiveness in his heart.  "I personally would like Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt would light him up if they got the chance."

Vick chose Shreveport to make his debut as a comedy show promoter based largely on the city's cultural diversity.  Plus, the "318" is fresh territory for Vick with this being his first trip to the area. 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Game Four; Guess Who's Rocking the U.S. Open?; World Cup; Excitement.

Billy: I want to talk a little U.S. Open with y'all. What is the overall take on this course? Is it a regular course or what?
Fletch: No, they've done pine straw and little nubs of grass instead of divets.
Billy: Can one golfer go out and shoot 10 under on this course? We've seen people blow a 72 and then get a 63.
Fletch: The target for this U.S. Open is "even."
Billy: When I watch the Masters or the British Open, I'm looking for mounds or divets. In the U.S. Open, I want to grind out even par. I want a guy to start with a full head of hair and end up bald.

Teams that take a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals has happened 31 times. Out of the 31 times this has happened, that team has won how many of the 31? Every. Time. Give it to the Spurs if they win Game Four tonight. You heard it here. Yep. Yes.

Sylvia: This is probably very minor. For nearly a year now, I've been trying to get the Times to change the channel listing from the SPEED Channel to Fox Sports 1.

Its 11 weeks until college football starts. At first that starts to sound like a long time, but just 11 weeks ago, the Sweet 16 was getting ready to start. See? Time flies when you're having fun.

Fletch wants to cal the United States Men's National Team "the Eagles."

U.S. Open update with David Toms:
David Toms parred the 12th hole. David Toms just got a birdie, now -1 over all!

The Arkansas Razorbacks have the second best running back tandem in the SEC, Alex Collins and Jonathan Williams don't take a backseat to too many guys. You've got an awesome tight end in Hunter Henry, but remember he had a concussion last year so you've got to be concerned about that. Arkansas needs to run the ball and give it to Hunter Henry and move the chains when possible.

Fletch's hero, Lettermen threw out a joke and then said "That was my nickname in college." Fletch freaked out. "I'M THE NICKNAME IN HIGH SCHOOL, NICKNAME IN COLLEGE GUY!"

David Toms UPDATE: 
David just walked off the green on Hole 14, DT carded his 2nd birdie! Your leader of the U.S. Open!!! He's tied with Snedeker, Kuchar, Simpson, and Fitzpatrick.

World Cup gets underway today, Brazil vs. Croatia. NBA Finals Game Four tonight! If the Spurs take a 3-1 lead, then it's over.

Griffin Fan: I'm telling you, you guys have gone from World Cup to U.S. Open to NBA Finals. Man! Juice Box is probably freaking out. I got a tweet this morning from someone, I won't say who it is, but the tweet said:
 : OMG!!!! !!!! So many women!!!”my bedroom is like a circle k, women running through 24-7"

Griffin Fan: I want to say welcome home to Jared West, he's a very good kid. I'm glad he got away from Houston.  We have a new Shreveport-Bossier Marathon now. It will start in 2015.
Fletch: Wait, wait, wait. Is this legit?
GF: Yes! I saw it on Facebook and I liked the page. I think they must have heard y'all talking about it a few weeks ago.

Tricky Par 3 on the 15th Hole. He took our advice, walked off the green with a Par! Snedeker birdied so now David is tied for 2nd. 16th hole is 528 yards, resort play would make this a Par 5 but during the U.S. Open, its a Par 4.

Ralph: Watching this first round of the Open. Toms almost birdied 15. CWS, who you like Fletch?
Fletch: Virginia and Vanderbilt for the title to me.
Ralph: Eh, I'm looking at Virginia but also Ole Miss.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Greg Howard from DEADSPIN.COM Talks Jason Whitlock Article; BREAKING NEWS ABOUT ARREST FOR LSU

When the NFL was trying to determine who would get the Super Bowl for 2018, New Orleans was going to get it until Minneapolis got it because of their brand new, beautiful stadium (eye roll). It's like what FIFA does to get World Cup hosts.

Here's what the NFL wanted:

  • Free police escort for team owners
  • 35,000 FREE parking spaces
  • Presidential suites at no cost at high end hotels
  • Free billboards in the city
  • A guarantee to receive all revenue from ticket sales  
  • A requirement to allow the Super Bowl's ATM's at the stadium 

When the Minneapolis newspaper got in touch with the Super Bowl committee, the bank man said "we've got this." The committee has refused to answer anything about the private fundraising. The Mayor says "This is wrong...The game will be played at a new BILLION dollar stadium."

Billy: First thing is, on the NBA playoffs, that first half of the spurs heat game, that just put in the cape with how you beat superstars with all of the cutting, I  haven't seen basketball like that in I don't know how long. Pretty good with a 24 second shot clock too!
Fletch: The ball came in, it was whipped over to the baseline and that set up a screen then another screen, and all of that was set up by Greg Popovich. That's the difference with NBA.

Billy: Jason Whitlock, if I had to encompass his articles it would be like "if all of you rich white guys would get out of the way, then we'd all be able to do better!" Every time I read it , I really do read it like "if there were less white people in the world, it would be better" and I hate to be so blunt about it, but really!
Fletch: He'll play it up from different angles though. What he said about the Rutgers women's basketball team, and he used a derogatory term to refer to the girls basketball team. He didn't side with the guy but he didn't chastise him for it.

Fletch: Whitlock has an entire different taste. There are times when I see him making race a part of his issues, but sometimes he'll take it from a different point of view which has gotten him chastised in the black community. Whitlock just wants to be the kid who pokes the stick. He has the magnifying glass and doesn't care if the ants are black ants or white ants. He's just one of those guys who likes to poke a stick and then watch the chaos ensue.

From DEADSPIN.COM, Greg Howard:

Fletch: I am a DEADSPIN devotee and check it 7-10 times a day, you've been working for them for how long?
Howard: Four and a half months, I believe.
Fletch: You've had some very interesting articles, "The Big Book of Black Quarterbacks" was very educating. Yesterday, I'm looking at DEADPSIN and see the sketch of Jason Whitlock and then I read the story.
Howard: The emphasis was that I was still very much interested and we at DEADSPIN were very much interested in Jason Whitlock's website. I think because we all kind of understand how important it would be for minority men and women to have a place like that to write on. The more I researched that, the more I realized why the site wasn't actually on.

Howard: It was a little before my time, but I dove into old columns. I feel pretty confident saying, I'm not sure if there would have ever been a DEADSPIN without a "Page Two".
Fletch: Without Bill Simmons, I think we could also say we would have a DEADSPIN, or an AWFUL ANNOUNCING, or THE BIG LEAD. It just grew and it grew and it grew. "Page Two" eventually became Bill Simmons baby. They came up with the idea of Grantland to have new writers go chase investigative pieces that the ESPN's would never write. It would be heavily funded.
Howard: I think you've got it all, I think you said it beautifully! Why this was really important was that it takes a lot of money because money buys time and it takes time to write these long pieces. That also is intertwined with the fact that the only site, you know there aren't really any black sports websites for investigative journalists to go to. If you want to be profitable you have to write about gossip. You know, us at DEADSPIN putting up Brett Favre's penis picture wasn't our proudest moment in history. Many of the writers have to start their own blog because they can't get on any website like Grantland or Deadspins. There are very few people of color who can start their own website and blog for money. Usually they are writing for free and they have to get another job.

Howard: Whitlock spent a lot of his career despairingly writing for the black community. If you are 30 or below then you grew up watching him denigrate African-Americans and what he called "Hip-Hop Culture." Because of that he was given this site and because this is the first black sports site that has almost unlimited funds. As soon as I realized people could search him as a "race trader" because of this reason is why a lot of blacks are refusing to work for him.
Fletch: I say provocative and I don't know if you meant to write it this way, but it is provocative because while reading it you get some pretty powerful emotions! For a guy who chastises hip-hop and rap music, he sure does love "The Wire" and I've always thought how does someone who hates that genre of music love a tv show about inner city?
Howard: I don't think it's too weird, "The Wire" is a scarily accurate depiction of racial America through the lives of Baltimore drug deals and Baltimore cops.
Fletch: Isn't that the same thing?
Howard: No, I don't really think "The Wire" is hip-hop. I think that's a whole very different conversation and another thing I really learned is a lot of rappers and legendary rappers weren't you know gang-banging gang-bangers. Many of them were students of music like a beautiful guitarist would be a student of music. What's really interesting is if you look at the critique of rap music, it's not seen as an art of expression in it's own right.

Fletch: Your final paragraph that you wrote, how long did you think before you wrote that? I don't want to give it away but basically you come up with Jason Whitlock isn't good for journalists.
Howard: It was pretty automatic. I guess. I mean, there was something, I had personal history with Jason Whitlock and I talked about how there are rules to being a black sports writer and you don't bash black athletes in public because there's already so few of us as sports writers in general. I thought as a newspaper writer in Dallas and New York, I've talked to some pretty bad people who's words have led to their deaths or others and personal injury. It was very hard for me to convince myself that Jason Whitlock was worth writing 10,000 words about. I had to think about our relationship and I saw that he is a product of the system in the land and a product of what sports writing was and is. If you're black or a woman, the only way you're going to get a chance at doing this job is if you stand out and if you stand out in a very particular way. Jason Whitlock did that and he flourished in that roll but he shouldn't have had to.

Fletch: What's been your reaction to the article?
Howard: I have not heard from Jason and it's really frustrating because we had a pretty bad falling out and I reached out to him what seems like every day for a month sending him e-mails to try and get him to defend himself and he chose not to. The support has been overwhelmingly, eerily maybe, positive. It's a good feeling because it means that people think we got it right and that DEADSPIN got it right and that we didn't have some liberal and anti-Whitlock point of view. I'm still kind of ducking waiting for a blowback to hit me because it's the first time I've done this and probably the last time to write a national piece like this. I'm going to stay down in the bunker. It makes me happy because it makes me feel like my team got it right.

World Cup 
Fletch: Who are the back four going to be and how will the attack be on them? (From Jacob and Adam Hester)
Howard: The back four, DeMarcus Beasley has been a midfielder his whole life but has recently been converted to a left back and he's actually great. He's fast, he's really really strong in the challenge and he's now really old and he's been around since Landon Donavan. Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron, he's one of my favorite players in the league, he can play anywhere. He's been backing up Omar Gonzales for a long time though. When you're playing against teams like Germany, Ghana, and Portugal, you really really can't give them any opportunity to score because all three teams are really good.

Howard: I was the most cynical and prideful person until I started writing about the World Cup and then I was like we can do this, we are American! With my head, 2 out of 10 chance but with my heart, we can make it through. People think we can beat Ghana because they are the weakest of our opponents. It's hard to a beat team professionally there times in a row.


LSU's starting DB Jalen Mills arrested for second degree battery. Arrested at two o'clock this morning and sits in jail awaiting a bond hearing. Mills reportedly punched a female victim in the mouth at his apartment complex.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Think You Know The Top QB's In The First QTR? How About The Worst? Check it! Matt Yoder Joins Us!

Billy: I love that last subject, about all of these geeks and running down the stats. I believe the best that you could hope for is an 80% effort in every play from an NFL player! I don't think it comes that high for every college player. I really believe that the perfect offensive executed play is geared for a touchdown. If your offense knows exactly what is supposed to be doing and your defense doesn't, then you have to break down the play because the play is designed to be a touchdown overall. I would love if some of these guys would analyze the play that deep into it.

Fletch: Oh they do, but I believe it was that had Zach Strief as a Top 10 executioner. I'm in agreement with you to a certain extent. If a coach could get his players to go 100% max effort every play then you'd have the perfect football players and basically the perfect team. That would overcome the top team. You always hear about "scrappy teams" look at the Astros. "There's no way the Astro's should be two games behind the Rangers, they don't have that kind of talent!" Well, maybe not the same amount of talent but they are maximizing their efforts. There are segments during the radio show where I coast off because I know a caller will call in and be exciting and be able to carry the conversation long enough to where I can get a sip of coffee.

Four Worst Quarterback's in the First Quarter (from worst to best):

  • Joe Flacco
  • Russel Wilson
  • Ben Roethlesberger
  • Carson Palmer

Russell Wilson in the first quarter, his average drop back was 7 yards. Second quarter, 7 1/2 yards. Tony Romo was one of the top quarterbacks in the first quarter, but in the second quarter he's one of the negatives.


Russell Wilson has very bad first quarter stats, but heats it up in the second quarter. Drew Brees is on fire in the first quarter and cools off in the second. Tony Romo is, ehh, through both.

Third Quarter Top Quarterbacks:

  • Peyton Manning
  • Phillip Rivers
  • Andrew Luck
  • Nick Foles 
  • Collin Kaepernick
  • Matthew Stafford
  • Joe Flacco

It's a little eyeopening for us, but in the third quarter, Drew Brees drops it low with drop back yards going deeper, he's completing a lower percentage, he's throwing the ball shorter distances, and it's not getting into the end zone as often as the first two quarters.

Fourth Quarter Top Quarterbacks:

  • Tom Brady
  • Jay Cutler (almost 10% of his completed passes in the end zone are touchdowns)
  • Peyton Manning (8.7 yards per attempt)
  • Drew Brees (stumbles in the third quarter but if you're a Saints fan, how many times have the Saints gone in at the half up, then drop back underneath during the third, and then rise form the ashes in the fourth)
  • Andy Dalton
  • Russell Wilson (averages 8.5 yards per pass attempt)
  • Aaron Rodgers (10.6 yards per pass attempts in the fourth quarter; and he's 81% accurate in the fourth quarter)

Worst Fourth Quarter Quarterbacks: 

  • Matt Schaub
  • Terrell Pryor
  • Christian Ponder
  • Chad Henny
  • Eli Manning
  • Absolute worst? Josh Freeman 


Give me three quarterbacks who you think are good in the first quarter and ineffective in the first quarterback:
Yoder: Quarterbacks that would do well in the first quarter...Aaron Rodgers?
Fletch: You are correct!
Yoder: Brandon Wheaton?
Fletch: BUZZER!!! No!
Yoder: Russell Wilson?
Fletch: Now this will surprise you, but he's one of the top ineffective quarterbacks in the first quarter.
Yoder: Great. Now I'm 1-for-3.
Fletch: Most effective quarterback in the fourth quarter, you won't be able to guess this. I'll give you the division, he's from NFC North.
Yoder: Jay Cutler?
Fletch: Yes!

Yoder: Here's why I think this is going to be interesting this season, I was on a podcast the other day with a guy who is a Saints fan in Buffalo. So, if you think it's weird that I'm a Saints fan  it came up the Saints season this past year and how the offense struggled to complete plays. Overall, could have changed their spot in the Super Bowl. A couple of downs could have changed the course of the entire season. This specific phenomenon in the third quarter could really change the outcome for the Saints season this coming up year.
Fletch: I think you are right, the Sproles' and the Moore's are gone, will Brees have to do more to help replace these guys? Football is numbers.

Yoder: CBS has finally pulled the trigger and boosted Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts to the No. 2 slot. First for the NFL and CBS have seen a lot of turnover. Their lineup is pretty well set and stone but they're going to lose one guy, we have the exclusive details on Jim Nantz and friends will still call Thursday night games but not Sunday games.
Fletch: Why is it such a big deal?
Yoder: It's a brilliant idea from Roger Goodell and team to make more money than God. Once they got a half season on . Now what the NFL has done with this Thursday night package, they can do why not take half of these games and sell them to the highest bidder? That's where CBS stepped in. They're going to simulcast the first 8 games of the deal on NFL Network and CBS and the last 8 games will be only on NFL Network.
Fletch: It seems ikea they're cutting they're nose off to spite their face. It's like the league is saying "Eh, whatever, let's just make the money."
Yoder: That's exactly what's happening, they can get the 100's and 100's of millions of dollars.

The World Cup Thursday:

How successful do you think the World Cup will be as far as a "viewed product"
Yoder: Way up, you're going to the see a lot of these matches in time-time. 2010 was the most watched television event. I think we're going to look back
Fletch: The U.S. first game is against Gana. That could be the highest rated soccer game in the history of televised soccer games.
Yoder: Especially for that revenge factor. I think we've reached the point where the World Cup is really like the Olympics, it doesn't matter what team is playing, people will be watching.

George Whitfield Story: 

Fletch: I felt vindicated. This is the second time a national journalist has taken advantage. First with one of them not giving me credit for my story that I had first and second Bruce Feldman. It seems like we've had a couple of instances where the big national guys try to squash the little local guys. Is that a trend?
Yoder: As I spoke to you Friday, there's always going to be that struggle between the local and national guys. The local ones are going to be going to every game and every day getting work but then the national guys are the ones you see. They have the relationships with the viewers. Now with social media, it's leveled the playing field so much. It's magnified maybe a struggle that was there in past years and past times but it's brought it more to light because we are all on the same playing field now. I think it might take a while for the industry to come to terms and get a grip on the fact you that don't have to go to journalism school to break the news.

Rafe: I'm curious as to why your investigation, not that you necessarily meant to expose him, but why that is such a tender spot and why do you think you got the reaction that you did? I don't know why he kind of wants to protect this thing, this aspect of his resume. Whether he can help quarterbacks or not, and get hype.
Fletch: That's one of my biggest arguments in the first place. I'll give him Manziel. Because we don't know what the factors were before he was with George. For all we know, Whitfield had a hand in helping Manziel. He worked with three other guys who were already very, very accomplished and continue to be successful. When I was doing my research, the columns on him

Friday, June 6, 2014

Some A-Holes Said I Whiffed It. I Didn't, So Kiss It.

I had no plan to pursue anything else related to George Whitfield, Jr. until today, when The Big Lead website carried a link to Bruce Feldman's story, with a rather ominous headline, especially from my point of view. 

Actually, guys. I, nor the "Louisiana paper" whiffed at all. Not only has there been nothing presented to counteract my article, Mr. Whitfield himself has cemented the facts with his comments to Jason Whitlock in Whitlock's podcast from Thursday.

Let's lay cards on the table.  While researching George Whitfield, Jr. for an article I was working on, I stumbled upon the fact that an Arena team George Whitfield, Jr. claims he played for never employed him and had no idea who he was.

I report that and other discrepancies. 

Over the next 5 days:

  • Whitfield's Biography/Resume' features more flip flops than Hangout 2014
  • Whitfield texts me at 4:57 am on Sunday morning to complain about the article. Texting at 4:57 in the morning? Did the Call of Duty tournament get over early?
  • We talk for over thirty minutes Sunday. Whitfield actually asks me:
    • Say you trained all year and got a tryout with the Kansas City Chiefs and you make it to mini-camp and they release you. You're fired up because you made it that far, so you train harder and get a call the next year from the Saints for a tryout. Do you put that on your resume'?
    • Me: No.
    • George: Why not?
    • Me: Because it's not employment. I put what paid me a wage on my resume.  I had a role in "Leaves of Grass," with Ed Norton. I tried out for another movie.  Didn't get the part. I tried out though! Can i put that other movie on my resume'
  • Bruce Feldman writes an article for Fox Sports Website, or was it ESPN, or maybe CBS. With Bruce, it's hard to keep track.  Any-who, Feldman's article throws a few things against the cupboard, but none stick. 
    • First, it's interesting the two people Bruce was able to track down just happened to have distinct recollections of Whitfield from over ten years ago! How did Bruce find these guys? 
    • then Chicago Rush head coach Mike Hohensee, a highly respected 28 year veteran of the Arena Football League tells Feldman this... yeah we had Whitfield in training camp but he didn't make the team.
      • FYI Bruce: That's what I said in my article. HE DIDN'T PLAY FOR CHICAGO!
    • Feldman then turns to another highly respected Arena League figure, Matt Sauk, who played and now coaches Arena ball. Sauk tells Bruce that heck yeah, he remembers George from their days in Louisville! 
      • GREAT!! He MUST have been on the Louisville team! Sauk remembers him!! 
        • And this is where the story is so good, my toes actually just tingled a bit. George Whitfield did indeed play in one game for the Louisville Fire (Quick caveat: I used as one of my sources for the original article. It is a database for any player who logged a regular season game in AFL or af2). As Bruce snidely remarks in his article on "There is actually a story on that site mentioning Whitfield playing quarterback for the Louisville Fire in a 2004 exhibition game and throwing two touchdowns."
          • Boom! I just got served! A load of crap. First, it was an exhibition game! NOT A REGULAR SEASON GAME. WHITFIELD DIDN'T GET PAID TO PLAY. Second... oh boy. The game was against "The All-Japan Samurai Warriors".  A Japanese football team that had practiced 8 times together and was playing Arena Football for the first time.  The Whitfield led charges handled the eastern invaders 36-26.
            • Bruce...I hit my only three-pointer in a game against the Harlem Globetrotters at then-CenturyTel Center in Bossier City as a guest-member of the Washington Generals. Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker had one rebound but was scoreless.  If you want to include that in your next article feel free.
          • Uh Oh. Bruce contacted one of my sources, Shreveport's own, Raymond Philyaw who starred in the Arena League, including a two-year stint in Chicago. I like Ray a lot. He's a solid dude, living in San Antonio now. When I interviewed Ray, he said he had never even heard of George Whitfield, who had listed Chicago (Coach Hohensee) as one of his playing sites. A few minutes after I talked to Ray, he called back to tell me he googled George Whitfield and recognized the dude. "He did try out in Chicago. I remember him. He didn't make the team."  Bruce makes it sound a little more dastardly with his dramatic quote from Philyaw. "I told him I remembered who George was and remembered him being in Chicago. He (me) had time to correct it."
            • SERVED AGAIN!!!
            • wait. Here is what Ray texted me after I asked him about Feldman quoting him in his story.

  • Jason Whitlock features George Whitfield on Whitlock's podcast that was published Thursday. (approximately 6:30 into the interview):
    • I made it on the Chicago Rush practice squad. An Arena team, three-four weeks later, they let you know, ‘The Ride is up.’ But there’s an opportunity In Louisville. I get down to Louisville, an arena 2 team. They’re only making 3-400/week. You try to pursue it, you go after it. THAT WAS THE ONLY TIME I GOT INTO AN ARENA GAME in four different cities. We played a Japanese all-star team 
      • Thanks to Whitlock's interview with Whitfield, the proof that the biography/resume' was not truthful and my article is correct has been substantiated.  SWEET!
      • Whitfield then Whitlock: From then on, I had maybe a cup of coffee in Memphis, then a little preseason deal in Shreveport. Didn’t make it onto those teams and didn’t get paid.
        • Straight from Whitfield's mouth to my perky ears! 
          • George Whitfield, who admitted to me in our conversation Sunday that he did NOT get paid and did NOT play in a regular season Arena League game now had stated publicly that he indeed never played an official Arena League game.
  • oh... about that. Why is Bruce rallying to Whitfield's rescue?

    • Whitfield is one of the subjects of Feldman's book coming out in November. A coincidence.

There have been discrepancies aplenty with Whitfield's Bio/Resume before my article ran on Sunday and since then.  Oh, Look! Here's one now!

Whitfield's bio isn't the only interesting piece of fiction. 

Several articles, by various reporters over the last few years state that Whitfield played in the Arena League, listing 4 different teams. Bruce Feldman (Hey Bruce!!) when he was employed by CBS Sports wrote this:

After graduation, he joined Kirk Ferentz's staff at Iowa as a graduate assistant, but left the Hawkeyes program after one year to resume his playing career. Whitfield bounced around Arena Football for three seasons, playing for the Chicago Rush, Shreveport Battle Wings, Louisville Fire and Memphis Xplorers.  

Another reporter describes the meteoric rise of Whitfield to QB Guru status on and mentions him taking the field for four Arena League teams:

The arena league called in 2003 and his inner quarterback yearned for another chance to play. He pin-balled from the Chicago Rush to the Louisville Fire to the Memphis Xplorers. He toiled for a team -- the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings -- that had almost as many letters in its name as players on its roster.

Toiled for a team? Worked "long and hard" for a team that no one remembers him participating with? The owner, coach, general manager... nobody rememebers him in Bossier-Shreveport. Where did the reporter get the idea Whitfield "toiled" for the Battle Wings?

As part of "The Week That Was," I received a call from a major college coach with strong NFL ties on Tuesday.  This coach, who knows Whitfield, was curious why I wrote the article. We had a 26-minute conversation that included these nuggets of info: 

  • Coaches knew, even back in the day, that Whitfield never played in a real game. Every quarterback has stats, wins and losses attached to him. George had no stats. None.
  • When I presented the facts to Coach---and asked, what he would have done if he had discovered the falsities on Whitfield's resume'/bio, ignore it or report it. He said he understood why I reported it.
  • He also asked if it was possible to do a follow-up. George is a good guy and it would be nice to let him clear his name.
  • i explained that i offered George a chance to let me do a follow up.  He did not accept my offer.
  • By the end of the conversation, the Coach asked if we could let this fade away. I agreed, saying it would be best for everybody, especially since Whitfield had altered his resume' to better represent what actually transpired since the article ran Sunday.
That's exactly what I planned to do, even after Mr. Feldman's article appeared on Fox Sports website Tuesday and we had an exchange via Direct Message. 

But then... the Big Lead had to say I "Whiffed" on the story.

This isn't a home run story.  This isn't a game-changing story. But... this sure as hell isn't a "whiff".  I made contact. Solid, sweet, charge-through-my-arms-as-the-ball-gets-smaller-disappearing-into-the-gap type contact.

While I'm thinking about it... there are still a few clouds on Whitfield's horizon. I'm sure Bruce will clear these up.

We know Whitfield coached at Iowa in 2001.  

If Whitfield bounced around the AFL for three years, as Feldman wrote, Whitfield's pinballing would have ended no later than 2005, and as early as 2004. 

The Cleveland.Com article indicates Whitifield's Arena career started in 2003.  

Which is it? Did Whitfield start his tryouts in 2001, 2002 or 2003? 

I've stated many times that I hope George Whitfield, Jr. has a long, prosperous career working with quarterbacks.  My reporting has nothing to do with Whitfield's ability to tutor, cultivate and guide quarterbacks. 

Work experience that includes names: Roethlisberger, Newton, Luck and Manziel doesn't need a trumped up bio/resume'.  The work speaks for itself. 

Hopefully George Whitfield learns that very soon. 

This local reporter, who had the facts straight from the jump, would like to remind those on a "higher tier".  Reporting is reporting. Shilling is shilling. 

I'm a reporter. 

What are you?

Dehydration; Fletcher Defends Himself Against National Attack (FYI NOT ALIENS)

Fletch: Dehydration does not cause muscle cramps...that was a study a few years ago.
Killer Dawg: I've got it twice in my life and I've been running for more than 20 years. It is the most excruciating pain I've ever experienced. I don't know what happens. One time it was on Clyde Fant Parkway and I couldn't move. Two people had to drive onto the actual parkway and pick me up. It was so painful, my calves were rippling and you could see it! I run with a lot of preparation and a lot of hydration and it still happened. Both times it happened it wasn't on an excruciating hot day.
Fletch: It happened to me in an air conditioned gym! It wasn't because the air conditioning ran out. Well, it could've been. I have no idea!

G$: If you had a heart problem, would you go to the mechanic? If you had a personal plumbing problem, would you go to a plumbing-ologist? I'm going to stop there.
Fletch: I think this has to do with my rapping skills...
G$: You've got to learn how to be more airy. But look I'm not sure I'm on board with the LSU recruit, Mac Marshall.
Fletch: Thursday night there was an article that said "It's a waiting game, we'll see." Let's play devil's advocate. This may be a ploy from his advisors to scare off some other teams or something.

Going Crazy: I feel bad for Syd having to listen to all of that rapping.
Syd: Thank you.
Fletch: She enjoyed it, she was dancing!
Syd: I was not dancing.
GC: I don't know if running-in-pain qualifies as dancing.

12th Man: I just got out of CVS and saw Syd walking out with some bars of soap! Is the bumper music themed for the basketball game from last night?

EH: Dude, I'm about as pissed off as you are. How long have you been in the media?
Fletch: 20 years.
EH: How serious do you take your career?
Fletch: Very seriously.
EH: I have been in my profession for a long time as well and I take it seriously too. Someone discredits my work or talks falsely about my name? I'm going to fight like a dog until I get my name correct. You are doing what any other man would do to protect his name. You are doing the right thing. You have done nothing wrong.

EH: I don't care if you're a local yokel or a national headliner. As far as this goes, you can't ruin a man's credibility. You tried numerous times to get in touch with him, it was a story about Brandon Harris for Pete's sake! Then you see he played for the Battle Wings? Of course you're going to follow up on that.

Lucky Jack: Continue to fight the fight man. If you let this go and let them smear you, you won't be able to sleep at night. There's one person that has their pulse on a whole lot of things, Josh Booty knows so much about everything.
Fletch: Ha! We were talking about him yesterday

Terry: Listen, one thing I've always been told. Do you have a screen shot of the resume before it was changed? I know you have two young people working for you that are probably much more tech savvy than you and me, but everyone knows that once it's on the internet, it can never go away.

Griffin Fan: I was between my work truck and my personal truck and turned off my radio pup and all the sudden when I started listening again this Whitfield thing again! You're getting everyone P.O'ed at you man! I kind of wondered about Whitfield and Feldman and then that Juice Box kid. They probably are in it together. We all have your back dude. You have a lot of followers here and we will always have your back.

ABC: Here's my problem with this fool. If you lie on your resume, the people that are defending him are probably going to get paid by him and they don't want to lose THEIR credibility. I think he gets a cut, there is something fishy about these people defending him.
Fletch:  I appreciate it ABC, you've always had all of our backs and always supported us.

Phil: I played basketball with Robert Parrish years ago! Am I a Celtic?