Just an Average Joe
Cubs manager Joe Maddon isn’t afraid to be different. With his distinct style, Maddon is rebuilding the franchise – trying to bring Chicago its first World Series title since 1908 – and rejuvenating his beloved hometown of Hazleton, Penn. Gene Wojciechowski reports for this SC Featured all-access look at the manager and hometown hero, who’s just your average Joe.
“If you’re not a little bit crazy, you’re never gonna take the necessary risks to be great. Whether it’s some guy in the clubhouse doing something nuts, or whether it’s bringing a python in there, penguins in there, bringing a salsa band or a DJ, something that loosens the moment up.” — Joe Maddon
“A lot of people pay lip service to supporting their community, and then they get on a plane and kind of fly away, either literally or metaphorically. But Joe never flew away from this community.” — Bob Curry, president of Hazleton Integration Project (founded by Maddon to unite people of different cultures)
LLWS Scandal: One Year Later
One year ago, Jackie Robinson West, the first entirely African-American team to win the U.S. Little League title, was the feel-good story of the summer. John Barr examines
how it was discovered that multiple Jackie Robinson West starters had parents or guardians who lived outside the League’s approved boundaries, eventually leading to the team being stripped of its U.S. title.
“They didn’t just cheat us, they cheated the teams that they played in the district, the state. Maybe one of those teams could have made it to the regionals and got the chance to make it and to play on TV. But they cheated them away from that too.” — Drew Fifer, New Albany Little League player whose team lost to Jackie Robinson West in the Great Lakes Regional championship
“It is amazing to me, that whenever African Americans exceed the expectations, that there is always going to be fault that is going to be found in what it is that we do. Little League says that they teach character and courage. Well this isn’t an act of courage and this sure isn’t an act of character.” — Vanessa Green, parent of a Jackie Robinson West player
“I was hoping that it was just a mistake. But then when the facts were revealed, I’m like, ‘This is a little bit more than just a mistake.’”— Victor Alexander, former Little League District Administrator who drew the map the leagues in Jackie Robinson West’s district should have used when selecting eligible players
Jim Harbaugh & Urban Meyer: More in Common Than Even They Knew
ESPN The Magazine (College Football Preview Issue, on newsstands)
Jim Harbaugh and Urban Meyer have long been destined to lead the game’s most storied rivalry. But even they’re surprised to learn of their remarkable shared history, including being born in the same Toledo, Ohio hospital. Brett Forrest reports.
Aeneas Williams uses Faith in Efforts to Help Ferguson Heal
A year after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, NFL Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams has used faith to try to mend relations in Ferguson, Missouri. Josh Weinfuss reports.
Ferguson: The Power in Our People
When St. Louis Rams Jared Cook, Kenny Britt, Stedman Bailey, Chris Givens and Tavon Austin echoed the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” protests that had wracked Ferguson, Mo., a few miles from their stadium, they did more than channel the sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising black-gloved fists skyward at the 1968 Olympics. They demonstrated that the nation can no longer ignore police violence against African-Americans; that black athletes are no longer content to cash checks while their brothers catch bullets. TheUndefeated.com Senior Writer Jesse Washington reports.
Donte Stallworth, Once an NFL Problem, Forges a New Path
Donte Stallworth was a player critics would point to when talking about what’s wrong with the NFL. Now, he’s forging a career in journalism and is an anti-DUI advocate. Jane McManus reports.
ESPN Receives Five Awards at NABJ Convention
ESPN won five ”Salute to Excellence Awards” at the National Association of Black Journalists’ 40th annual convention, which were announced in Minneapolis Aug. 8. The winners included two for ESPN television, two for ESPN The Magazine and one for ESPN Radio.
This week’s Panel* (Sunday, 9:30 a.m., ESPN; 10:30 a.m., ESPN2)
John Saunders, Mitch Albom, Mike Lupica, Bob Ryan
*Subject to change