Good For ESPN

Remember when it was common for streakers and others to run out on a field ?  Happened all the time. Why shouldnt it?  You run on the field. You get chased. All the while the TV cameras point at you.  As you run, you are already imaging the props you are going to get from all of your buddies. Sure you are going to get tackled by some security guard at some point. Maybe you even get clotheslined by a lineman. Then you get arrested and you pay your fine. But when you get home. Its all smiles and beers while you watch the replay over and over. It may the only chance you ever got to make SportsCenter.

Thats the price to pay for fame back in the 80s and 90s.  Getting tackled and  a fine.

Then one day the TV networks made a conscious decision to stop showing streakers and other runners that interrupted our games. They recognized it only encouraged them.

In this decade of digital media and internet everywhere, you dont have to run out on the field to get noticed.  You just sue someone or you accuse someone of doing something.

It doesn’t matter if its true.  Just put out a press release announcing the suit. This is America. You can sue anyone for anything. Maybe you have to pay for the lawyer. Maybe the lawyer does it on retainer or for the PR value. The bigger the Celeb. The more the PR. The more famous you are. Celebs should be used to this stuff.  Its just the price of fame, right ?

Of course the claims don’t have to be legitimate. In the USA the case may be tossed out of court.  It may be laughed out of court. But the minute it hits the AP, its online and its news forever. Not only is it news. it takes on a life of its own. Bloggers talk about it. Bloggers talk about the bloggers talking about it. Bloggers talk about the bloggers who are not talking about it. The bloggers who are not talking about it, talk about it by talking about why they wont talk about it.

Hats off to ESPN for not talking about the lawsuits that are out there simply because they are being filed. Its today’s version of the guy running out on the field. If the media that actually has more than 15 readers ignore it, we just might see a lot less of it.

28 thoughts on “Good For ESPN

  1. I agree chrislin,

    You don’t have to jump in the penalty box and fight Tie Domi. Just accuse him of some random crap and you’ll get plenty of attention. The lawsuits in this country are getting out of control and the things people are getting away with are just plain sad.

    Anyways, hats off to ESPN. Considering most people said they didn’t have a chance of surviving.

    Comment by performancepartsj -

  2. I agree with streets123, millions of lawsuits go unnoticed. For us regular people, we have to stick with showing off the goods and being chased by security :)

    “In this decade of digital media and internet everywhere, you dont have to run out on the field to get noticed. You just sue someone or you accuse someone of doing something.”

    Comment by chrislin23 -

  3. Pingback: To Wit « Of Popcorn and Goobers

  4. This is only true for celebrities such as yourself Mark. The media or bloggers wouldn’t care if I ever got sued. Its the price of fame.

    Comment by streets123 -

  5. Hey Mark. I noticed you have a Blog Roll going. You should check out http://www.RackBaller.com. Its off beat and funny. Think you’d dig it!!

    Best,
    J.

    Comment by rackballer -

  6. P.S.

    Not only did I receive a death threat from the stock manipulators…I was sued by them…for posting facts about their decade-long stock manipulation schemes.

    I’m a little guy. Not famous and not wealthy. But like you – a victim of lawyers.

    Comment by historylessons -

  7. Hi Mark,

    I’m a big fan of you and sharesleuth.com with Chris Carey. I met with Chris last fall – and keep in touch with him often – regarding various securities frauds that the SEC is overlooking. I was a Federal Witness in 3 separate stock scams – as a victim – and presented the SEC with more than enough evidence to lodge an enforcement action. Ironically I’m told that many of the stock manipulators that I’ve come across…also were involved with the Mamma.com insiders…the allegedly reall dirty ones.

    I’ve received a documented death threat from one of the bad guys who was a stock manipulator.

    My experience with the SEC is that they’d rather not take on a case – than to run the risk of losing one. Hopefully you and your attorneys will continue to STICK IT in their faces.

    Some of my fellow victims are working on a securities fraud movie project – also involving the lethargy at the SEC. Are you going to the The Harold Pump Foundation dinner on 8/13 in Beverly Hills? If so, our group would love to run our story idea by you…since we’re both fellow victims of the SEC’s incompetency.

    Chris Carey knows me and my experiences very well. I believe that we have a strong mutual respect.

    I’m also a fellow (original) Keystone stater like you. Keep fighting for justice!

    Comment by historylessons -

  8. I agree with one of JS’s points.

    Before we start singing praises, pointing fingers, and fabricating perspectives, lets acknowledge the truth: Big Ben has to promote a TV show for ABC, and ABC and ESPN are owned by the same entity.

    Like MC likes to choose startups that are about profitability, companies will align their morals with decisions that will improve profitability.

    -Charles

    Comment by charlesb1 -

  9. Hey Mark,

    Remember a while back when I responded to one of your posts with something to the effect of “the media is guilty of information extortion when they irresponsibly print stories with no basis, forcing you to defend yourself thus cultivating the information they are seeking?”

    The mentality “someone owes me” is disgusting. There are people like me who are a slave to our dreams, working 20 hours a day hoping the right person sees what we have created and is willing to help us. And then you have these knuckleheads who make millions of dollars pulling stunts and accusing people of things. Organizations like TMZ, People, etc. pay huge money for stories for micro spikes in bottom lines.

    It is frustrating because what I have created something special, recognized by people in my industry as unique and valid. I am missing one piece and I could overtake the entire sector.

    But you have people out there that make it so difficult for organizations/investors to give credibility to people like me. This mentality permeates more than just running on the field, it is why America’s economy is sitting on the pot with no TP in the house.

    Jerry R. Reynolds

    Comment by Jerry R. Reynolds -

  10. Sound logic, but I’m not so sure that’s the thinking in this case. I think it more has to do with ESPN not wanting to piss of a large fanbase and a quarterback that has always been good to them in the past.

    Comment by kriswd40 -

  11. And if you are wondering……….YES. The yard insident happened to ME!!!!!!!!!!!

    XOXO
    MABEL

    Comment by mabelmabel -

  12. Hi Mark.

    The reason I’m contacting you is because I’m applying to business schools, and was wondering if I could procure a letter of recommendation from you. I was recently wait listed by the school of my choice, and was told that obtaining strong letters of recommendation could greatly improve my chances of getting in. After pondering about it for a while, I thought to myself that someone with your background is precisely the sort of individual the university is likely looking for a letter of recommendation from.

    I know that this is very short notice (the university will be reviewing my application any day now), and also that you don’t know me and have no obvious reason to help me out. However, I’m confident that if you spend a few minutes talking to me that I can convince you that I’m an excellent MBA candidate.

    You can reach me at alphabet_rules@live.com (not my normal e-mail address but serves this purpose well) for more information. Presuming that this is screened before being posted, I only ask that whoever is in charge of screening these sorts of things forward this message to Mr. Cuban.

    Regardless of what you do, thanks in advance for your time and consideration.

    Comment by mba1986 -

  13. The self-proclaimed world wide leader does what’s good for them and not the right thing. Big Ben is in some of their ads and they don’t want to risk upsetting Ben, so they don’t talk about the lawsuit.

    But take a look at their NASCAR schedule. They don’t call the races by their correct sponsored name unless they’re getting paid to do it. They’re trying to squeeze every dollar they can from companies.

    Check out the TV listings on their site for this Sunday’s NASCAR race, the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. They don’t get enough money out of Allstate, so they don’t call the race by its correct name and instead sell advertising to another company. I think it’s a farce not only that they don’t call the events the proper name, but also that NASCAR let’s them get away with it.

    Shame on you ESPN.

    Comment by currytk -

  14. Mark – good luck with your most recent streaker AKA lawsuit.

    Bob Stephens
    Managing Partner
    2425MEDIA.COM

    Comment by doctv -

  15. Agree with the overall point here but has there been a policy change at ESPN? They had no problem reporting on civil cases in the past, what’s different here? Closet Steeler fans :)

    Comment by prospecttube -

  16. espn should not censor itself.

    if you’ve pursued and obtained fame then you’ve already had a sufficient opportunity to shape your own reputation. if you’re clean then that reputation will be an impregnable fortress to spurious claims. if you’re not clean then that fortress will be less impregnable. your fortress can only be built by yourself and it’s pretty lame to expect espn to do it for you.

    ianal, but curiously, our libel laws are structured along just these lines with their concept of “public figure”.

    Comment by lastps -

  17. I’m not even going to try with the witty analogy…

    I question why they start to put their foot down when it has to do with an athlete that will be helping ABC launch a new show in just days.

    I applaud the sentiment but question the timing.

    Comment by js -

  18. Jason Whitlock points out that ESPN doesn’t always take the high road: http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/9839296/Whitlock:-Who/'s-to-blame-for-Erin-Andrews-scandal?

    Comment by bentoncrane -

  19. It’s not always about the ego.

    I recall the ’96 AL Yankees vs. Rangers playoffs. Ranger took one of two in NY. In game three, in Arlington, Oliver was pitching a monster game, had the lead, and then late a guy ran onto the field.

    Oliver cooled-down, lost his stuff and the Yankees came back and won in the 9th. The guy changed the momentum of the game. The Yankees won and ended upon going up 2-1 and winning the next night to advance.

    On that evening and to this day I think he was paid to disrupt the game. I’d been a season ticket holder and seen many games and don’t recall once seeing anyone disrupt a game – excepting $0.10 beer night.

    It may not always be about seeing oneself on T.V.

    Comment by lichenstein -

  20. As long as ESPN doesn’t consider itself a news entity, I agree with Mark.

    And personally, I think ESPN’s not even close to being a news entity.

    Comment by michaelcee -

  21. As someone planning to major in Journalism at Fordham University in the Fall, I think I would lean towards reporting the story.

    The fact that a civil suit was filed, to me, automatically makes that news and something people deserve to hear. The correct way to report this would be to give all sides as much ink as possible. Get quotes from the police about the likelihood of a criminal case and get information from the accuser and accuse. The best case scenario here is to give equal air time to both sides because taking sides could be disastrous until the facts of the case come out.

    Also, if the case was thrown out of court , then I as a writer have to have faith in my readers to see that the case was without merit. I seriously doubt Big Ben’s reputation will go down the drain if this case is tossed out. Sure there will be the fringe group that always sides with the accuser, but they are such a minority group that it won’t change anything.

    In cases like this the news needs to function like an open mic night at a comedy club, let everyone involved in the case get their piece of air time and don’t take sides until the evidence warrants it.

    Comment by mjafordham -

  22. Mark, Too bad they (ESPN, or any other outlet) didn’t heed that protocol when the Feds decided to take a Billionaire, and try to put him in jail over $400,000 ? I remember when it came out, and it’s definitely “guilty until proven innocent” when you are the lead story. I am sure they did everything to convict you, including lying every chance they got. Not to mention, take any action (phone call, email, conversations, lifestyle, etc.), and try to build a back story to make you look as bad as possible. Thing that stinks, I am sure you would have written a check for whatever amount to make them go away, but they have unlimited resources, and they really want to see you hurt. Like you did it to them personally. Sucks that you will be audited to the penny the rest of your life for beating them. Starting to sound angry aren’t I? Anyway, do not let ESPN off the hook, they made you the lead story more than once making you look like a potential Felon.
    Mark, I want to give you the concept InvestCast, it will create instant revenues for all content across the web. I can’t build it, I am not a code writer, but you can, and after reading all of your Blogs, I know how much you hate free, and how much you would love to beat Google. I know you get pitches all the time. I am not looking for money, you can have it. It encompasses everything you are doing. I am a stock speculator, not a code writer…

    Comment by apple10lucia -

  23. The saddest part of any false accusation (including this) is that the “ALLEGED” part of the story is always on page 1 or the lead story on Sportscenter. The “INNOCENT” or “EXONERATED” part of the story ends up on page 17 or on espn.com.

    Comment by coryben -

  24. But here’s the problem in the “don’t say anything about the lawsuits, innocent until proven guilty” approach: it involves the fundamental assumption that the obscure accuser is guilty and the famous celebrity/athlete is the real victim.

    Let’s say Wanda Streaker sues QB Studly for sexual assault, ESPN is made aware of the story. They face a decision. Do they report the story at the risk of sullying QB Studly’s good name while enabling Ms. Streaker and other reckless, lying, money-grubbing publicity copycats? Or do they keep it quiet at the risk of empowering rapists while oppressing rape victims?

    I think you have to walk the line of reporting responsibly. Haphazardly throwing out allegations with no investigation would be exploitation of celebrities. But total silence is censorship. There has to be a middle ground between tabloid journalism and communist China.

    Ironically, a quick search on the topic yielded two wildly different results. The first was a blog by Brian Cuban about a woman who falsely cried rape, causing her husband to murder her lover. She went to prison. The husband was found not guilty.

    The second article was about the laws in Pakistan, where a woman who accuses a man of rape is sent to prison unless she can produce four upstanding male eyewitnesses to the act or a confession from her attacker. It’s essentially impossible to convict of rape.

    Given the extremes, I can understand why this is a tricky issue, especially for journalists in the information age. I get it. But news outlets have as much responsibility to protect the public as they do to protect the athletes . . . and maybe just a little bit more.

    Comment by adambuckled -

  25. Great post Mark. In today’s world, it’s guilty until proven innocent. Sadly, giving people the benefit of the doubt is not human nature.

    Comment by n1vlac -

  26. I think the point, Adam, is the streaker shouldn’t be on the field in the first place. :) The game is not about “them”…

    Comment by Deb -

  27. I totally agree. One of the many problems with throwing info out there, true or not, is once it’s out there you can’t take it back. Unfortunately, some people care more about the drama than they do about the people they are hurting in the process of doing “business”.

    Comment by Deb -

  28. But what if the streaker was just . . . running away from the quarterback? I’d want ESPN to talk about that.

    Comment by adambuckled -

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