1. Last week, Traina Thoughts highlighted the shortsighted comments by new ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro, who likes to say, "it's not our job to cover politics" in all his interviews.
Well, we'd love to know how Pitaro felt watching Max Kellerman and Stephen A. Smith blast Tiger Woods (and Donald Trump) on First Take for more than six minuteson Monday over Woods's feckless, "We all must respect the office" comment about Trump.
Kudos to Kellerman for explaining in detail why Woods's comment was pathetic. Hopefully he doesn't get in trouble with the ESPN higher ups.
And memo to Pitaro: You can keep saying ESPN isn't a political organization in hopes of appeasing a small group of people who use that narrative to get attention for themselves, but it's never going to work. No one who is objective thinks ESPN covers "politics." ESPN covers sports. Sometimes politics crosses into sports (like Woods talking about Trump) and you have to cover it because that's what you do. By constantly repeating your "we don't cover politics" line, it makes the instances such as Kellerman and Smith analyzing Tiger's take on Trump, stand out even more, which in reality there's nothing out of the norm with that segment.
Pitaro should also understand that this president cleary likes to use sports as a weapon and a way to rally his base. Combine that with Trump not caring in any way, shape or form about facts or the truth and you should realize your network is alway going to have to cover sports stories that involve politics for as long as he's in office.
2. On the opposite end of the Tiger Woods "I just want to protect my brand and don't want to anger any Trump supporters" spectrum, we have LeBron James. His new HBO show The Shop debuts Tuesday at 11 p.m. ET, following Hard Knocks. Scheduled guests for the series premeire tonight include Snoop Dogg, Odell Beckham Jr., Draymond Green, Jon Stewart, and others.
3. And speaking of Beckham, this is what happens when you come into $95 million.
4. I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Astros' "Staredown" is the best celebration in baseball and Alex Bregman took things up a notch last night.
5. Regular SI Media Podcast guest Andrew Marchand has broken another big story. It seems Bob Costas and NBC are set to part ways.
6. The latest SI Media Podcast features an interview with Dallas sportscaster and viral video star Dale Hansen. The 70-year-old Hansen, who works for WFAA, discusses his monologues on Jerry Jones, the national anthem controversy, the Cowboys signing of Greg Hardy, Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend during the NFL draft, and more. In addition, Hansen talks about how his liberal views are received by a Dallas audience and the higher ups at his television station. He also shares personal stories about how life experiences have changed and shaped his current world views. You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes.
7. RANDOM COLLEGE FOOTBALL VIDEO OF THE DAY: The Desmond Howard Heisman pose with Keith Jackson calling the action = legendary.
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IN CLOSING: Ryen Russillo will be the guest on the SI Media Podcast later this week, so make sure you click the link above to subscribe.