TV SportsMichelle Beadle one of ESPN's most popular personalities
By Michael McCarthy, USA Today
- July 8th, 2011
Michelle Beadle and Colin Cowherd's SportsNation show on ESPN2 moves into a new 5 p.m ET time slot Sept. 12 from its current home at 4 p.m. With her show celebrating its second anniversary this week and a new and better time slot, "Beadlemania" is growing.
Outspoken, irreverent, self-deprecating, Beadle is emerging as one of ESPN's most popular on-air personalities since Erin Andrews. Her show boasts the youngest, most male demographic of any show on ESPN's various networks as well as nearly 2 million social media followers on Facebook and Twitter.
No wonder ESPN used her to play up its ability to reach the hard-to-reach young male audience during its upfront presentation to advertisers in New York.
She's not afraid to speak her mind. She called acquitted Casey Anthony a "crappy human being" on a podcast with Linda Cohn and says LeBron James "seems to crumble in the face of really big pressure." She was one of the only ESPN personalities to admit to watching Internet videos of Andrews in the book, Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN. The tattooed Texas native has no regrets.
"I could have lied … A lot of people did lie about whether or not they had, And that's fine," Beadle said before Wednesday's anniversary show . Still, she's trying to be a "little more aware of what I'm saying out loud now." But it's "a lot easier to say what you're thinking and try to keep it as honest and real as possible."
The self-described "single chick" has been open about her relationship with ESPN colleague Matthew Barnaby, who was just sentenced to 500 hours of community service after an argument with his estranged wife.
The couple checked with their bosses at ESPN and "nobody seemed to have a problem" with their relationship. "We actually recently decided to take a little break," she says about Barnaby.
Beadle, 35, bounced around various sports/entertainment gigs before joining ESPN. Her favorite sports are basketball and football and her favorite teams are the San Antonoio Spurs (who first put her behind the camera) and New York Jets.
Her favorite guest so far: Dikembe Mutumbo. The dog-lover's least favorite: Michael Vick. "I really don't have anything to say to that person and would rather they not be there."
She wants to take the show on the road more and land the Jets' Mark Sanchez and Rex Ryan as guests.
"It's always much better when they're in the studio. If nothing else, we can make fun of Colin. Somehow that will work."Brian Wilson the focus of 'The Franchise' premier:
With his beard and wacky interviews, reliever Brian Wilson is one of the most popular media personalities on the defending World Champion San Francisco Giants.
Showtime will smartly keep the focus on Wilson as it premieres The Franchise: A Season with the San Francisco Giants Wednesday night (10 p.m. ET).
Major League Baseball and Showtime hope the reality show can do for baseball what HBO's Hard Knocks did for the NFL and 24/7 did for the NHL: take TV viewers behind the scenes into the player locker rooms and homes to see to see what being a pro athlete is really like.
In Wednesday's premiere, Wilson elaborates on his new trash-talking "battle cry" for this season: "Got Heeeem." The expression works better than "Got Him" as gotcha punctuation, says Wilson.
"'3-1 pitch, piping it down the middle. Swing and a miss. 'Got Heeeem,'" he says. "Or when you talk trash to someone. 'Hey, sweet shoes bro. Um, no, actually, they're terrible. Got Heeeem.'"
In episode two, we'll see clips of his appearance dressed as a ship's captain on Lopez Tonight on TBS . When asked to relate his pitching to Chuck Norris, Wilson took a pipe out of his mouth and said: "Chuck Norris has been known to throw a 100 mph fastball. I've been known to throw Chuck Norris 100 mph."
Wilson always seems to be playing a joke on the media and fans. But he's still intense. The TV cameras recently caught him trashing the Giants dugout after blowing a save opportunity against the Detroit Tigers.
It will be interesting to see what Showtime and MLB Productions show us about the team's reaction to catcher Buster Posey's season-ending injury after getting run over at home plate by Scott Cousins of the Florida Marlins.
The Franchise premieres with a one-hour episode. Showtime will then roll out seven half-hour episodes every Wednesday through Aug. 31.HBO documents Curt Flood's challenge to MLB's reserve clause:
Curt Flood is not a household name but the former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder helped usher in player free agency with his landmark legal challenge to baseball's reserve clause.
HBO Sports gives Flood the documentary treatment usually reserved for the likes of Mickey Mantle or Ted Williams with next week's premiere of The Curious Case of Curt Flood (Wednesday, 10:30 p.m. ET).
When the 31-year old Flood was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1969 (along with former catcher and future Fox sportscaster Tim McCarver), the three-time All-Star refused to report, challenging the clause that bound MLB players to their teams in perpetuity. Flood sat out the 1970 season as his fight for free agency wound its way through the judicial system ultimately reaching the U.S. Supreme Court.
He never cashed in on the riches his lawsuit helped create. His career was over by 1971 and he died in 1996.
"I said to him, 'If the million to one shot came home and you won it, you're never gonna collect any damages," recalls former MLBPA leader Marvin Miller in the documentary. "Curt thought about that for a minute and said, 'Still, if we won, it would benefit all the other players … and the players to come … That's good enough for me.'"
Today's millionaire athletes could learn something about how Flood eventually helped overturn an unfair system. He regarded his challenge as a "civil rights" rather than an antitrust case, recalls MLBPA attorney Richard Moss.
But when Miller used to talk to players about Flood in spring training meetings, he found many either uninformed or uninterested. "Somebody would say, 'Who'd he play for?'" Miller recalls.
Says HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg: "Every player in every team sport owes a debt of gratitude to Curt Flood … He is one of the giants in the history of sports, but has largely been forgotten."http://www.usatoday.com/sports/colum...rt-Flood_n.htm