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Two Washburn grads who chose to stay home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When he graduated from Minneapolis Washburn five years ago, RA’SHADE HAGEMAN was the state’s top football prospect and among the nation’s top tight ends. When he entered the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2009, standing at 6’-8”, he had helped the Millers’ boys’ basketball team capture the Class 3A state championship five months earlier. After switching to defensive end and adjusting to the rigor of Division I football and college academics, Hageman developed into one of the country’s top players. He earned All-Big Ten honors and is among the top 25 2014 NFL draft prospects. As a high school senior, Hageman was recruited by a host of Division I schools before choosing to stay home and play for the Gophers. Continue Reading →

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N-word flags?

 

 

 

The National Football League at times acts like glass house dwellers. The NFL brain wizards recently proposed penalizing players using racial slurs during the game. At the outset, this seems novel enough — racial slurs by anyone, even volleys between members of the same ethnicity, should not occur. But how will game officials accurately measure this, when every 45 seconds or so — every play — there’s stuff going on, especially across the line of scrimmage. Will the league install mikes in each helmet with a direct link to the referee? Continue Reading →

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NCAA shot still pending for Gophers women (updated)

 

INDIANAPOLIS — The waiting game is now underway. Minnesota (20-12) is .500 (1-1) thus far this post season. The women’s basketball team will know this Monday whether or not their proverbial “body of work” has earned them their first NCAA at-large berth since 2009. Nearly everyone who the MSR talked to here in Indianapolis last week thinks they have:

“I think Minnesota deserves to be in the NCAA Tournament,” says Nebraska Coach Connie Yori, whose league tourney champion Huskers twice defeated the Gophers this season, including a 13-point win in the Big Ten quarterfinals March 7. “With the strength of our league and their RPI (38), I think they need to be in the NCAA Tournament.”

The Gophers are 7-3 in their last 10 games, including a first-round overtime win after being down 16 points in the second half over Wisconsin. Continue Reading →

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Nielsen report reveals racial divide in sports media viewership

Blacks, Latinos and Asians on average spent more time visiting sports sites on the computer and watching sports videos on the computer last year than the U.S. average, says a new Nielsen report. Nielsen’s 2013 Year in Sports Media Report found that “television is not the only medium where sports consumption is on the rise. The average amount of time spent visiting sports sites and accessing sports content on mobile phones in April 2013 increased by double digits compared to 2012.”

It also showed a 10-year growth in sports programming from 35 billion available hours in 2003 to over 116 billion in 2013. Sports consumption by Blacks, Latinos and Asians, however, fluctuated last year in the following three categories examined last year, according to the Nielsen report.  

Visiting sports sites on a computer (hours:minutes)

• April 2013: U.S. (1:25); Blacks (2:12); Asians (1:47); Whites (1:19); Latinos (1:02)

• September 2013: U.S. (1:45); Asians (1:56); Whites (1:47); Blacks (1:45); Latinos (1:17)

 

Watching video on a sports site on a computer

• April 2013: U.S. (35 mins.); Blacks (46 mins.); Asians (43 mins.); Latinos (36 mins.)

• September 2013: U.S. (36 mins.); Asians (1:05); Blacks (47 mins.); Whites (33 mins.); Latinos (30 mins.)

 

Accessing sports content on a smart phone

April 2013: U.S. (1:08); Latinos (1:31); Whites (1:10); Asians (1:00); Blacks (44 mins.)

September 2013: U.S. (1:32); Latinos (1:45); Asians (1:42); Whites (1:35); Blacks (1:15)

 

Watching sports on TV

The Nielsen report also broke down fan viewing demographics by race/ethnicity. Continue Reading →

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Que(e)rying Michael Sam’s timing to come out

When NBA center Jason Collins came out last year, it was the moment the professional sports world had been waiting for: a gay athlete currently playing in a major league who comes out publicly. And what many may not have known is that the professional sports world had also hoped it would be an African American male. What the African American community and the professional sports world of football and basketball (which is comprised of a brotherhood of predominantly men of African descent) desperately needed was an openly gay male professional athlete, one who would bravely dispel the myth that there are no queer athletes in those sports, while assisting the NFL and NBA leagues in their attempts to denounce homophobic epithets, bullying and discrimination. With Jason Collins, the NBA got their Great Black Hope. And if Collins had any worry of what his coming out moment would do to him career-wise he didn’t say. Continue Reading →

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Richard Sherman’s post-game comments overblown by information bubbles

 

 

 

The information bubble-blowers are ever on the job. In case you forgot, an information bubble is produced oftentimes by the media, sending out information that confirms any misbeliefs fans already have about a certain person — and usually that person is Black. I watched Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman’s post-game comments. If you are among those who don’t know what the young man said, here is the gist of it:

“I’m the best cornerback in the game,” said Sherman. “When you try me with a sorry receiver like [San Francisco’s Michael] Crabtree, that’s the result you are going to get.”

Sherman afterwards has been called everything but a child of God. Continue Reading →

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Would a Robinson Rule be just another ruse?

 

The only thing I like about a proposed “Eddie Robinson Rule” for college sports hiring is that it is being named for the late Grambling football coach. Otherwise, if the proposed law is modeled after the NFL’s Rooney Rule, I’m afraid it’s a recipe for deception, false hopes and tokenism. This week’s “Another View” published in the MSR sports section briefly discusses Richard Lapchick’s latest campus leadership report, where it notes again just how White (nearly 90 percent) of the campus leadership positions are.  

Here are the latest diversity report’s “lowlights”:

Coaches of color decreased by three, from 18 in 2012 to 15 in 2013. There was a two-percent drop in Black head football coaches (now 9.6 percent) from last year even though Black football players at the same time went up nearly three percent. Continue Reading →

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Super intentions — NFL Final Four!

Here we go again — the best the NFL has to offer will put it all on the line next Sunday for a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, February 2, 2014 in MetLife Stadium, New York/New Jersey. The Seattle Seahawks (14-3) will play the San Francisco 49ers (14-4) in Seattle in the rubber game for the NFC Championship. The New England Patriots (13-4) will meet the record-setting Denver Broncos (14-3) in the AFC title game. It’s the third straight year the Patriots have reached the AFC title game. The Broncos scored 606 points during the regular season, the most ever in NFL history. Continue Reading →

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The Rooney Rule is dead

Next Vikings coach “must” be White
 

 
 

 

 

 

 

With the firing of Leslie Frazier December 30, the NFL is down to two African Americans head coaches out of the 32 teams that make up the National Football League (none were hired in the 2013 hiring cycle; Big Ten: none in the last 10 years). This is not about Affirmative Action; this is about affirmative discrimination. With 65 percent of players being African American and most coaches being former players, statistically, all things being equal, to get the best of the best you would have at least 20 Black head coaches. I’d settle now for 10. Statistically the NFL numbers reflect discrimination. Continue Reading →

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Rooney Rule still looking like ‘Rooney Ruse’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s duck season.”

“It’s rabbit season.”

“Duck season!”

“Rabbit season!”

Remember this cartoon debate? Well, both Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck are wrong — it’s football coaches firing-hiring season. Or Black coaches getting bypassed again season. Even before it became official, the media de facto “search committee” already had filled out their next coach list for the Minnesota Vikings like a precocious child’s Christmas wish list. Two such lists include only four Black “top candidates,” with former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith listed twice. Continue Reading →

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