Enterprise Journalism Weekly Features Across ESPN Platforms
July 30, 2009
A Team of their Own in Cleveland Outside the Lines piece debuts on SportsCenter (Sunday, 10 a.m., 11 p.m. ET ESPN) Companion piece by Tom Rinaldi and OTL video will be posted on ESPN.com (Monday morning)
While the old adage is that you can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends, sometimes the best of friends form a family of their own. Such is the case in Cleveland, Ohio for Lincoln West High School senior wrestlers Leroy Sutton and Dartanyon Crockett, one with no legs being carried to and from every match, on and off every bus, into and out of every gym this past season by the other, his teammate who cannot see. Tom Rinaldi reports.
Welcome to the new age of baseball, an age in which complete games are rare, an era that has brought a new magic number of pitches by a starting pitcher: 100. At that point everyone worries about his either getting hurt or getting rocked.
Before they’ve played a single game, the top NFL rookies are already cashing in with large contracts based entirely on their college careers and their potential to play on Sundays. Matthew Stafford, this year’s first overall draft pick, received a six-year, $78 million contract from the Detroit Lions, while Mark Sanchez, the fifth overall pick by the Jets, received a five-year deal worth $60 million. The top 10 NFL draft picks in 2008 earned an average of $4.89 million last season, while the league average was $1.1 million. OTL’s Kelly Naqi examines the rising cost of contracts given to highly drafted, first-year NFL players before they step onto the field.
“The majority of the population over here, we’re sweating, we’re clawing, we’ve been doing this for awhile over here. Let the new guys earn it. Let the new guys join our group, earn their right of passage, and just don’t crown them ‘King’ with a big check.” — Jared Allen, Minnesota Vikings DE and 2004 fourth-round draft pick, who earned the league minimum his first three years before making the Pro Bowl and cashing in last year with a six year, $74 million dollar contract.
“When people get upset about that (rookie contracts), I feel like this is the system we are in. I did everything I could to put myself in the best situation possible. This is what happened to happen to me, and you live with it.” — Mark Sanchez, 2009 fifth overall pick and the highest paid rookie in Jets franchise history
Broncos’ McDaniels: Mile High Expectations Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ESPN; noon ESPNEWS)
Denver Broncos’ 33-year old, first-year head coach Josh McDaniels has yet to coach a game, but in just a few months has already endured the controversial trade of quarterback Jay Cutler. If McDaniels wasn’t born to be a coach, he was at least raised to be one. The son of a coach, he attended two-a-day practices with his father from the age of four. He landed his first NFL coaching job with Bill Belichick, helped develop Matt Cassel into a star last season and became a legitimate head-coaching candidate. Ed Werder speaks with McDaniels and Denver’s President and CEO Pat Bowlen to find out what he sees in this unproven young coach.
“We’re all under pressure. If there’s a head coach or an organization right now that says there’s not pressure to win, I think they’re probably living in a fantasy world.” — Josh McDaniels, on trading Jay Cutler to the Bears and starting Kyle Orton, the QB they obtained in the deal
“The biggest threat that we could give him, if he didn’t clean his plate at supper table or make his bed, is that, ‘If you don’t, you’re not going to two-a-days tomorrow.’ Pretty quickly, the food got eaten, the bed got made.” — Thom McDaniels, Josh’s father, a high school coach who let Josh attend practices starting at age four
“Josh is smart, and he’s one of those people that can handle a lot of tasks at once. You can give him 10 things to do and he seems like he’s right on top of all of them, and then you throw a couple of more on there and it doesn’t faze him.” — Bill Belichick, Patriots head coach under whom Josh McDaniels served as an assistant
Rookie Anna Rawson on Course for LPGA Stardom Companion piece, video and chat package to E:60 piece is on ESPN.com
With the LPGA facing a challenging future — the number of tournaments has decreased, prize money is down, and Commissioner Carolyn Bivens resigned – rookie Anna Rawson has thrived, using sex appeal and her ability to pick up high-profile sponsorships despite a current ranking of 104th on the prize money list.
For ESPN.com, ESPN correspondent Tom Farrey asked Rawson what she would do to revive the LPGA Tour:
“We aren’t saving lives here on the tour, so to make a living we need to entertain.
Rock the Tee: “Every player should tee off to her favorite song at the beginning of the tournament and have it played again when she approaches the 18th green. Bring on the Men: “Some LPGA tournaments should be played in conjunction with PGA tournaments. Both tours would play on the same course during the same week — and at the same time — while still competing for separate titles. Fashion to the Fairways: “Have a fashion designer create a piece of clothing or accessory for the trophy ceremony — a jacket specially made by Donna Karan, a gown designed by Vera Wang, CoverGirl could give the winner a makeover before the presentation.”
Reportaje Especial: Luis Tiant, The Lost Son of Havana ESPN Deportes SportsCenter (Sunday, 11 p.m.) Reportajes Especiales on ESPNdeportes.com
Cuba’s Luis Tiant made his Major League debut 45 years ago with two goals: enshrinement into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and a return to his homeland.
Thus far, the three-time All-Star, who went 229-172 with a 3.30 ERA and 187 complete games in 19 MLB seasons, has been shut out of the Hall, appearing the maximum 15 years on the Baseball Writers Association of America’s ballot, and now hoping to be voted in by the Veterans Committee. He had been unable to achieve his second goal because of political reasons until an emotional return home in 2007 when he was able to visit long-lost relatives. Tiant’s travels were recorded for the documentary The Lost Son of Havana, airing on ESPN Deportes next Sunday, August 9, and on ESPN on August 10.
“It was completely different, where I lived. The houses, the buildings, the streets needed a lot of work. It’s hard to understand why that happened, why those people are living that way.” – Luis Tiant, seeing his native Cuba nearly 50 years after leaving