"My plan was to call the play and shut up," Anderson said by phone last week. "I wanted the audience to be able to feel that moment as opposed to feeling me covering up the moment. I was happy that I didn't have the ego to want to talk through it. And it's one thing to say it philosophically; it's another thing to actually believe you can hold it back. You want to scream and yell and talk and filibuster and have all these poetic sayings, but it doesn't need it on television. All it requires is to step back."
"I'd never consider it abandoning Cleveland," Windhorst continued. "The circumstances for this job are challenging and it presents a certain image that I'm not thrilled with. But I will not apologize for wanting to leave a comfort zone to challenge myself. And I stand by my coverage of the Cavs and LeBron for the last seven years. I've always attempted to be balanced and fair and plan to continue that."
What does Windhorst (who will provide periodic features on LeBron for the
"It's a risk to be sure," he said. "But all of ESPN.com was a risk at one point. ... We expect them [the Heat] to be part of the national conversation regularly for the next seven months, and so we're going to attempt to give strong analysis and perspective along the way to respond to that. We're even seeing this in Cleveland. The comments are all negative below the stories, but anything about LeBron continues to get strong traffic on Cleveland.com and stories generate conversation on local radio. As a big fan of
"I realize Brian had a huge amount of personal followers -- as well he should -- so I'm not going to take it personally if some choose to unfollow me," Boyer said. "I've found that whereas I used to lean over and make a comment to a colleague, now I post that comment."
I asked Boyer, who has worked for a
"People seem to forget that the Cavs had a following before LeBron, especially during the years of
As for Dec. 2., the day James returns to Cleveland, Boyer said: "I would bring ear plugs and a rain poncho. However, there is an interesting move afoot urging fans to be silent instead of boo. I don't know if that will happen, but fans here are well aware how LBJ responds to egging on by opponents, so we'll see."
"It's an important story because it raises the specter of influence and corruption in college sports," Robinson said. "On one side you have the NCAA, which wants to sustain the amateur talent base as long as possible. On the other, you have agents who earn their livelihood by dipping into it. To potentially have a coach working for both sides in that situation, it's like having a double agent in the intelligence community. ... It raises a fundamental question about trust. If a coach can't be trusted to keep agents at bay, then who can be trusted to do it?"
"The natural alignment we feel with NBC makes it highly unlikely that I'd be critical of anything NBC does," Florio said via e-mail. "But it's nice to have the contractual ability to do so, if I so choose. As a practical matter, this has caused PFT to gradually shy away from offering criticism of most other networks' NFL game coverage, with the exception of
As for whether PFT has gone softer since joining forces with NBC 15 months ago, Florio said he did not believe the site had changed much.
"We have evolved more into the mainstream while still incorporating humor where appropriate and tackling issues in a manner that is critical of the league generally, or specific teams, coaches, owners and players," Florio said. "We have tried to be more responsible in our reporting, which of course has prompted some readers (and media outlets that shall remain nameless) to complain that we are no longer as edgy or raw as we used to be. We aspire at all times to provide comprehensive information regarding all NFL issues and controversies and developments that the writers find to be interesting to them as NFL fans, regardless of whether the story is broken by PFT or someone else. The ongoing growth in traffic suggests that the audience is responding favorably to the service we provide."
Networks normally allow sports staffers to donate money to political campaigns, and there are no official restrictions at ESPN. The question is how viewers react if on-air personalities such as Holtz make known their political preferences. Historically, at least with print journalists and broadcasters who cover politics, public neutrality is a job requirement. But this
ESPN executive vice president of production
As for a more general policy on its staffers being active in politics, the spokesperson said, "We had a policy that we put out at the time of the presidential election to outline things, and our editorial board is undertaking the task of creating a standards and practices book."
Said ESPN spokesperson