FollowupFilter - After a two year hiatus (read: punishment ban), Gregg Easterbrook (founder of Beliefnet, Brookings scholar, ex of Slate & NFL.com) one of ESPN's most popular football writers returns, with no acknoledgment of where he went or why. Hopefully he'll keep his mouth shut about ABC and/or Disney related projects this time. As a side note, his two seasons worth of back articles are apparently not available, as they were purged (permanently?) when he was fired.
Several people here are fans of Gregg Easterbrook's excellent column Tuesday Morning Quarterback, available (until this week) at ESPN.com. Unfortunately, in his side gig as a writer for the New Republic, in a blog entry savaging the movie Kill Bill, Easterbrook made comments that came across as perpetuating ugly stereotypes about Jewish people. He immediately claimed 100% responsibility for the ugliness, and apologized completely and without reservation. Within a week, he was fired by ESPN, all his archived columns (nearly two years worth) removed, and the search engine rigged such that searches for his name, the name of his former column, or the nickname for his column all return only the front page of ESPN, as though the search itself had never taken place. Many are beginning to suspect, however, that this isn't a case of political correctness, as much as corporate punishment, as ESPN is owned by Disney, which produced Kill Bill.
In the 1980's, Mark "Gator" Rogowski was on par with Tony Hawk at the top of the nascent world of professional skateboarding. Contrasting the path Hawk took in the 90's (video games, ESPN tie-ins), things did not go so well for Gator. After surviving a hideous accident in 1989, Mark turned to Jesus, and then shortly thereafter he brutally raped & murdered a female friend of his ex-girlfriend's. The documentary of his rise & amazing fall appears today in limited release.
There Ultimate Standings. ESPN has done a ranking of the relative value of each major U.S. sports franchise not in terms of mere victories, or championships, or even felony convictions, but in terms of how much value (as calculated here) each franchise is providing its fans. Stunned to see perrennial winners such as the Yankees & Lakers pushed down to the 20s, while small market teams like Green Bay, San Antonio & Sacramento dominate. Clearly life IS better in the small towns, at least for sports fans. Here's a more in depth explanation of what it all means.