Missed part of the show? Here’s a rewind of the program on October 2, 2013.
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Hour One on The Jay Mariotti Show: October 2, 2013:
Jay leads off with the release of excerpts from the groundbreaking book, “League of Denial,” that exposes how the NFL systematically covered up details of health dangers associated with head injuries. Jay compares the coverup, in both the Tagliabue and Goodell administrations, to that of Big Tobacco and says such revelations will lead to more lawsuits and, ultimately, an erosion of the sport as we know it now. Cover-up is not too strong a word, Jay says, and while fans continue to wear blinders on Sundays and follow their favorite teams and fantasy rosters, these stories are devastating to the league’s attempts to whitewash the concussion crisis. The public, Jay says, is now very aware that the NFL is a life-and-death sport. After a deep breath, Jay lauds this as the autumn of small-market baseball teams — three of the final eight will be low-revenue franchises — and concludes again that being smart is better than aimlessly throwing around money. Jay marveled at the scene in Pittsburgh and thinks emotion is a bigger part of the Pirates story than talent. Jay likes the audacity of Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey, who says Tampa Bay is the most dangerous team in the postseason, and doesn’t doubt the Rays could reach the World Series again based on experience, pitching supremancy, momentum and Joe Maddon. Jay wonders how many fans will attend in recession-racked, sports-cynical Cleveland, which had low attendance as the Indians made a late run under Terry Francona, who would return to Boston amid a media frenzy if his team beats Tampa Bay.
Hour Two on The Jay Mariotti Show: October 2, 2013:
Jay emphasizes the historic importance of “League of Denial” journalistic efforts, even as fans want fun from their games. Jay reiterates that ESPN ducked out of its original affiliation with the “League of Denial” documentary, on PBS later this month, because Roger Goodell reminded the network of its multi-billion-dollar business relationship with the NFL; pathetically, ESPN bowed out, and now is running these excerpts in a lame attempt to suggest it owns the story when, in truth, it only tapped into an outside project that just happened to involve two of its reporters, as did Sports Illustrated. Jay thinks it’s important that sports consumers realize how stories are disseminated and how ESPN prioritizes making money off sports over quality sports journalism. Jay scolds the Tampa Bay Bucs for dysfunction, dishonesty and sneaky behavior in the Josh Freeman case — and think it’s time the Glazers call Tony Dungy and see if he’ll run the football show, or at least provide some solutions as a consultant. Greg Schiano is a disaster and should be fired pronto, and Dungy’s good friend, Lovie Smith, would be good in mending a fractured locker room. Jay thinks it’s great that four of baseball’s top five revenue-producers — Yankees, Giants, Phillies and Cubs — are nowhere near the playoffs, and that only the Dodgers and Red Sox qualify as big-revenue teams still remaining. The TV networks may not like it, but new story lines are fun for fans. Jay still likes the Cardinals over the Pirates, who must face Adam Wainwright in Game 1, and the Dodgers over the Braves, who must face Clayton Kershaw and Zack Grienke in Games 1 and 2. Jay still wouldn’t be surprised by a Rays-A’s ALCS, where people could just stroll up to ticket windows five minutes before the first pitch.
Hour Three on The Jay Mariotti Show: October 2, 2013:
Jay says postseason baseball rarely lets us down and previews Rays-Indians. College football takes a back seat this week, but three games — Ohio State-Northwestern, Florida State-Maryland and Stanford-Washington — could have a bearing on the national title picture. Jay still doesn’t trust Ohio State and thinks the Stanford-Oregon winner will reach the BCS title game, with Alabama needing to survive LSU and Georgia to reach the title game. Clemson could be a no-loss victim, as would befit a BCS system always fraught with controversy but one mercifully going away. Jay runs through the midweek NFL picture, then resets the baseball story and expects Alex Cobb to have his way in Cleveland, setting up Matt Moore and David Price in Games 1 and 2 against a rusty Red Sox team whose beards might be ZZ Top-length by now.
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