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February 14 2014


Week In The News: Snowy South, Debt Ceiling, Michael Sam

Sochi medals. A debt-ceiling deal. Monsieur Hollande in Washington. Snowmageddon  in the South. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Cars are left abandoned along Franklin Street after a winter storm left poor conditions in Chapel Hill, N.C., Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning lasting into Thursday covering 95 of the state's 100 counties. (AP)

Cars are left abandoned along Franklin Street after a winter storm left poor conditions in Chapel Hill, N.C., Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning lasting into Thursday covering 95 of the state’s 100 counties. (AP)


Major Garrett, chief White House correspondent for CBS News. Correspondent-at-Large for National Journal. (@MajorCBS)

Laure Mandeville, U.S. bureau chief and chief White House correspondent for Le Figaro. (@lauremandeville)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post: The Four Most Notable Nuggets From ‘The Hillary Papers’ – “Republicans are seizing Monday on a report published Sunday titled “The Hillary Papers.” The lengthy piece from the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news Web site, details personal documents from one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s closest friends, Diane Blair, a political science professor who died in 2000.”

CNN: The Southern snow was round one; here comes ice, the heavyweight –” The snow was here, two weeks ago. With just a smattering of white, it wreaked havoc on the South. But it may have been just an opening round. Now, an ice storm is hitting. And matched with snow, it’s the heavyweight of the two. Weather mavens expect up to an inch of ice will give broad swaths of the South a good shellacking. An inch doesn’t sound impressive? A foot of snow may look big and bad, but it’s a bunch of fluff compared to a solid inch of ice.”

Politico: Obamacare finally clears the tower – ”The new report is good enough that it might reset Washington’s expectations: maybe Obamacare isn’t going to be a train wreck after all. Maybe it’ll be more like one of those Metro trains that runs kind of slowly, and sometimes stops in the middle of the tracks for no apparent reason, but eventually gets you where you need to go.”

January 31 2014


Four Hundred Years Of American Football

The deep history of American Football. Ahead of Superbowl XLVIII, 400 years of pain and glory.

Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker (83) catches a pass during practice Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. The Broncos are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP)

Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker (83) catches a pass during practice Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. The Broncos are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP)


Susan Reyburn, writer and editor for the Library of Congress. Author of “Football Nation: Four Hundred Years of America’s Game.” Also co-author of “Baseball Americana,” “The Library of Congress World War II Companion” and author of “Women Who Dare: Amelia Earthart.”

Greg Easterbrook, contributing editor at The Atlantic Monthly and The Washington Monthly, author of the Tuesday Morning Quarterback column for ESPN.com. Author of “The King Of Sports: Football’s Impact on America” and “Tuesday Morning Quarterback.” (@easterbrookg)

Armen Keteyian, CBS News correspondent and lead correspondent for Showtime’s “60 Minutes Sports.” Co-author of ”The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football.” (@armenketeyian)

From Tom’s Reading List

ESPN: Unionization may fail but not a failure — “To succeed in the formation of a union, the players must convince the National Labor Relations Board that they are employees. It will not be easy. In addition to the numerous courts that have ruled that injured athletes are not eligible for medical benefits automatically available to employees, the players will face assertions from Northwestern and the NCAA that they are ‘student-athletes,’ a category invented to avoid any suggestion of employment.”

Wall Street Journal: 11 Minutes Of Action — “In other words, if you tally up everything that happens between the time the ball is snapped and the play is whistled dead by the officials, there’s barely enough time to prepare a hard-boiled egg. In fact, the average telecast devotes 56% more time to showing replays. ”

International Business Times: Bonuses, Trademark Rights And Brand Value: What’s Really At Stake For The Players And The NFL?  – “The Super Bowl is nothing if not a game of superlatives. It’s often the most-watched television broadcast in any given year. It generates more tweets and it commands higher ad revenue than any other sporting event in the world. Calculating the average revenue from sponsorships, tickets and licensed merchandise, Forbes magazine in 2012 estimated the Super Bowl brand to be worth $470 million; no other game comes close.”

Read An Excerpt From “Football Nation: Four Hundred Years of America’s Game” by Susan Reyburn

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January 01 2014


Big Lead Podcast: Tim Graham of the Buffalo News, NFL Team Writer of 2013 | The Big Lead

Today's year end podcast features an interview with Tim Graham of the Buffalo News. Graham is my pick for the NFL team writer of the year for his work on a variety of pieces, many of which looked at deeper issues and went beyond the local scene in Buffalo. http://thebiglead.com/2013/12/31/big-lead-podcast-tim-graham-of-the-buffalo-news-nfl-team-writer-of-2013/

November 08 2013


What Does ‘Bullying’ Mean, Anyway?

Our Nov. 7 hour on the Miami Dolphins’ bullying case and the culture of bullying in sports and professional life raised a lot of questions among our commenters and listeners  — what is bullying, really? And what does that term even really mean? We asked our guest, Amanda Nickerson of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University at Buffalo, for deeper insight into the term. She offered us this thoughtful read below.

Bullying – now a buzzword in our society – has been brought to the forefront again in a different context with the spotlight on the Miami Dolphins. Bullying is a repeated pattern of intentionally aggressive behavior intended to cause physical and/or psychological harm toward a target where there is an imbalance of power (due to age, physical size, race, social status). Most of what we know about bullying comes from research with children and adolescents, although the problem is not confined to K-12 schools. Bullying can occur as young as preschool and can continue into adulthood. Workplace bullying is systematic aggression targeted toward one or more individuals by an individual or group that can have a negative impact on the target and the organizational climate.

What does bullying look like? It can take several forms: verbal (threats, derogatory comment, racial slurs), social (exclusion, spreading rumors, public embarrassment), physical (hitting, tripping, pushing), and cyberbullying (bullying through electronic means like text messaging, e-mail, social media). Being targeted by bullying can result in depression, anxiety, isolation and rejection, physical complaints, and avoidance of school, work, or social situations where the bullying occurs. There are many factors that contribute to the likelihood that someone will bully others, including individual characteristics such as aggressive or hostile attitude, need for power or control, lack of empathy, and contextual influences (family, school, peer group, work, societal) that model and/or tolerate this type of abuse.

This form of abuse, in addition to related issues of harassment, hazing, racial bias, and the climates that condone these behaviors, are being discussed across the nation. Issues being debated include whether it is even possible for a strong, grown adult to be a “victim” of bullying and how the average person is unable to understand the culture of professional football, where aggression, competition, and being tough are part of the job. The role of leadership and bystanders also come into play, as they are powerful contributors in shaping these behaviors.

The attention to this issue provides an opportunity for each of us to commit to treating others with dignity and respect. We must embrace our collective responsibility for recognizing that brotherly jibing, horseplay, and ribbing are certainly part of sports and our culture. However, using aggression repeatedly to harm someone in a position of vulnerability (even if it is not a person who fits a stereotypical view of a victim) is not acceptable. Professional athletes are extremely powerful and influential in many respects, perhaps most notably as role models for our youth. This could be a pivotal time to change language, attitudes, and behaviors to create the kind of culture and society where each individual can live and work without being subject to any behavior that creates a hostile environment.

What do you make of the bullying allegations in Miami? Are you concerned about the way this case has played out? How does it resonante in your own life and experiences? Leave us your thoughts in the comments below, or let us know on Facebook, Tumblr and @OnPointRadio.

November 07 2013


The NFL And Adult Bullies

A bullying case rocks the NFL. We look at adult bullying in sports and more.


Andrew Abramson, NFL reporter at the Palm Beach Post. Writes the Daily Dolphin Blog. (@AbramsonPBP)

Kevin Blackistone, sports journalist and college professor. Frequent panelist for ESPN’s Around The Horn. (@ProfBlackistone)

Amanda Nickerson, associate professor in the department of counseling, school, and educational psychology at The University at Buffalo and the director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention.

From The Reading List

New York Times: In Bullying Case, Questions On N.F.L. Culture — “Martin, a classics major who attended Stanford and is the son of two Harvard graduates, left the Dolphins last week after an episode in the cafeteria in which teammates stood as Martin sat, the last in a string of perceived slights. Incognito, a 30-year-old veteran with a reputation for dirty play and a history of rough behavior, was suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins late Sunday while the team and the league investigated the matter.”

Palm Beach Post: Source: Coaches told Incognito to ‘toughen up’ teammate Martin – “Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, now suspended by the club for tormenting teammate Jonathan Martin, had been told by at least one coach to help “toughen him up,” a source close to the organization told The Palm Beach Post this morning. The source said there was a general understanding among coaches, including head coach Joe Philbin, that Martin, a second-year player from Stanford, was ‘too soft.’”

Grantland: The Tumultuous Timeline of Richie Incognito — “Since arriving in Miami, Incognito has been involved in several incidents with opposing players, but he has a history of off-field issues that date back to his time at the University of Nebraska. As new details about the case with Martin and the Dolphins emerge, here is a collection of Incognito’s past transgressions that probably warrant mentioning, considering the news from this past week.”

July 25 2013


Jul 25, 2013 — Michael Brendan Dougherty & Travis Waldron

September 02 2012


5by5 | The Nickel #26: Half A Year

5by5 - The Nickel #26: Half A Year http://5by5.tv/nickel/26

March 17 2012


The Visser of Ozcast Episode Fourteen

Long time no see, friends/listeners/lovers! The boys at Visser of Ozcast are back once again with a super special St. Paddy's Day blowout episode. So set down your potatoes and stop balancing that green beverage on your stupid head, 'cuz it's time to feast your ears on a variety of topical sports and culture talking points. We at the Visser of Ozcast would like to believe that we offer a little something for everyone, so if any of the following nuggets don't even remotely pique your curiosity, then you probably don't have a pulse: - March Madness is back and better than ever! We discuss all the upsets. Do not miss this segment, folks! () - NFL Free Agency is heating up and now that the Colts sucked for Luck, a trio of teams are now panning for Manning. We break the news on which team's are cravin' for Peyton. Don't miss this exclusive, guys! () - The NBA trade deadline passed on Thursday and a handful of significant players swapped teams. We'll let you know the massive implications of the moves, including the birth of the Javale McGee renaissance in Denver. You won't want to miss us talking about all of the text messages Ms. McGee sent us after the trade! () - Finally, we take a break from sports talk, to dish on high culture: the Guggenheim's newest performance art exhibit, Justified's third season, the return of Mad Men, and the best comedy show on TV right now, Key & Peele. We rank 'em, spank 'em, and flank 'em. Don't get caught out in the cold on this one, guys! () Wow, almost impossible NOT to listen to this episode with all of those bombshells being dropped. I feel like you guys would be LOSING money on this free podcast if you didn't give it a spin. Can't imagine a better way to spend St. Patty's Day than with the boys at the Visser of Ozcast, so throw it on the 'old vinyl and smash a few Irish Car Bombs. It's time to celebrate!

March 09 2012


5by5 | The Nickel #2: Sports Everywhere

5by5 - The Nickel #2: Sports Everywhere http://5by5.tv/nickel/2

January 28 2012


Freakonomics: The Hidden Side of the Super Bowl

One for our American friends across the pond. An (American) football cheat sheet to help you sound like the smartest person at the party. http://podcast.co.uk/freakonomics-the-hidden-side-of-the-super-bowl/

March 29 2011


Boom, Outta Here #9: Republicans with tats - 5by5

Boom, Outta Here #9: Republicans with tats - 5by5 http://5by5.tv/boom/9

August 25 2010


Mary Tillman talks about new film on Pat's role in war

Mary Tillman joined the show to talk about the documentary The Tillman Story, which is about her son Pat's involvement in the war in Afghanistan. Tillman liked the movie very much. "It presents Pat in a much more human light," Tillman said. "He was sort of a caricature before that." Tillman also liked the film because to her it tells a bigger truth. "It points to the horrible deception that was played out to the American public and to us," Tillman said. Tillman maintains the military lied to her and covered up the circumstances of Pat's death. And she says Pat isn't alone there. Tillman said that the military decided to spin it as a glorious death as a propaganda tool. And to do that, the military destroyed evidence. "We really don't know exactly what happened to him," Tillman said. Tillman said we have to hear this story, because these type of things happen all the time. "I think it's really important for people to realize that organizations are always going to have people who are going to do things that aren't above the board," Tillman said. On a side note, Mary also said that Pat wanted to go back to the NFL at some point.
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