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.