Thursday, May 1, 2008

In-Action Jackson

Someone needs to explain to me how Mark Jackson is the leader in the Knicks' vacant clubhouse. I wrote a column about it in The Record on Thursday, stating that Jackson shouldn't even be among the top five candidates to replace Isiah Thomas.

I understand Jackson's an impressive guy to talk to, and I understand he's been smart enough to cultivate relationships in the media. But giving the most difficult job in the NBA to a complete novice just doesn't make any sense.....

Nor does the position Erik Spoelstra finds himself in with the Heat. If Spoelstra loses, Pat Riley fires him. If Spoelstra wins, Pat Riley replaces him. The kid's only chance to hold on to his job is to go 41-41....

Kentucky Derby week coming up, of course, and I can hardly wait. Never been to Churchill Downs, and the extent of my knowledge about horses can be captured by these two thoughts:

Secretariat, very fast.

Mr. Ed, very funny.

9 comments:

JDMiller71 said...

Ian, I host a sports talk radio show and would like to have you on to talk about the book. Email me at jonmiller@kxno.com

Thanks

Benjamin Giddings said...

Great minds think alike, but I beat you to the punch. This printed on Feb. 21st in the FSView (FSU's newspaper). If you have the time, I would love to know what a writer of your stature thinks. My name is Benjamin Giddings, and I can be reached at rpznt@yahoo.com.

The disappointment of Danica
The 2008 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue hit the magazine rack last week. The lovely ladies of the issue fulfilled their usual duty of making Spring swimsuits look enticing in many ways to many people. This is bestowed upon us as a blessing of the land of the free, and boy, are we lucky. Danica Patrick, IndyCar racer, poses for another sexy spread, like she did some time in the past for FHM magazine.
I’m all for women’s lib. I think a woman should be able to do anything and everything that she wants. She should be able to be free without fear of ridicule. However, choices one makes begin to affect how seriously one is taken. Does Danica want to be known as a sexual object or a serious racecar driver? Can she be both? As of right now, she fulfills both pretty well. She finished fourth at the Indy 500 recently and won the Rookie of the Year Award in the IndyCar racing league in 2005. She is a talented and determined driver. Ultimately, posing in a swimsuit is not a big deal whatsoever. My gripe isn’t really with her pictures in Sports Illustrated.
I lost respect for her when she did the FHM spread. One picture shows her covering the front of an antique car. Her arms are spread out on the grill of the car. No biggy. However, her legs are spread as well. The clothes (or lack thereof) she wears in the picture coupled with her spread-eagle pose go beyond what can be considered tasteful sexiness. Also, in the same spread she bends over the car wearing a tiny bikini bottom. In doing so, she displays the crack of her butt. She even has the obligatory “tramp stamp” (tattoo in the small of the back). This is all fine and dandy for women that have no real talent. But you’re better than this, Danica. As someone who respects women and their cause, this is disappointing. If I were to see women in the light that many men see them, I would laugh and just enjoy the pictures. Don’t get me wrong. She is a beautiful young woman, but now, in my mind, she is just another woman that I don’t respect.
Would I feel differently if it were a guy? What if Dario Franchitti (another racer) posed for a picture wearing one of those European thongs, licking his lips or something? I would think less of him as well. It would lead me to believe that he doubts his racing ability so, he had to turn to something else to keep himself relevant. In my eyes, if he hadn’t accomplished much in his profession and made his biggest splash with his good looks alone, he would be a “pretty boy,” nothing more, nothing less.
I witnessed this phenomenon with the rise of Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. Britney proved eventually that she didn’t really have supreme talent. So, the turn she eventually took towards unapologetic sex symbol when she became an adult was a good move for her. In the end, she’s an okay singer, above average dancer, and very pretty woman. So, playing the sex card was smart.
On the other hand, Aguilera is a supremely talented singer. It amazes me over and over how such deep and touching sounds come from such a small woman. She has been truly blessed. Like Britney, when she first hit the musical mainstream, she was a teenager and had to hold back on being overtly sexy. Then came the Dirty album and her appearances in videos and music shows in next-to-nothing. Once again, this was disappointing. Again, if I were a man who viewed women as essentially sexual objects, this new Christina would be music to my ears. Sure, I like what I see, but I can go anywhere and everywhere if that’s what I want to see. Women wearing next-to-nothing are pretty easy to find on the television, internet, in movies and even everyday life on the town. You don’t have to fulfill that role, Christina!
Sure, Britney, Christina, and Danica were young and still are. I’m sure it is only natural, in a sense, for a newly independent woman to want to be free and do and be all the things she was not allowed to as a teenager. It is hard to hold that against them. Ultimately, I don’t. It is just disappointing.
Where are the Audrey Hepburn’s? Where are the Natalie Wood’s of today? Sexy and classy or sexy and serious are such powerful combinations. I’m sure they are here somewhere. People like Nicole Kidman and Lauren Jackson come to mind. Lauren Jackson, the WNBA’s best-looking player, has repeatedly denied requests to pose for Playboy. Even a quick search of her name informs me that she posed nude for an Australian publication. Where are the female athletes, singers, and actresses that demand to only be seen as the thing that they are serious about? Where is the unmistakable demand for respect?
I haven’t seen enough of Miley Cyrus’s cookie-cutter Disney acting and singing performances to determine whether she has real timeless talent or is just a cute face in the right place at the right time. One way or the other, I hope we don’t see her spreading her legs in a Danica pose or bending over in bikini bottoms to show off her butt crack. I’m beginning to expect disappointment, but I still hold out the hope that classy women will come along in greater numbers to, at least, equal out the damage done by women like Danica Patrick.

3rdStoneFromTheSun said...

Just read your FOX rant on Al Davis.

I do not see what you are really saying.

It reminds me of the grumblings directed at George Halas in his later years.

A fine comparison, considering those two are on the NFL's Mt. Rushmore.

Al not only saved the Raider, and the AFL, but he brought every AFL team to the NFL. The AAFC, WFL, USFL, nor XFL can NOT state this.

Kiffin was not ready, and obviously is a dishonest person. His backdoor attempt at hiring his daddy proves this.

STEINBRENNER? GET REAL!

Not only did that jerk disrespect Torre on the last night of Yankee Stadium by not even mentioning him, but he is the cancer tearing down the House That Ruth Built instead of reburshing it.

Al is way above that peice of....work.

LOUSY COMPARISON!

It is unfortunate that "media people" like you disparage the past, and have zero memory of what made the sport in the first place. Al may not be what he once was, but it is his team. A team that would not be without him, and you may not have your job without Al.

REMEMBER THAT!

You may be better served to stick to writing about hobbies like golf.

agonzalez1 said...

The editors of your site are despicable. How is it than any honest person can open up your site and see the filth from Ian O'Connor calling one of the biggest contributors to the NFL a "Coward" and "Gutless". What has this man done that warrants these personal attacks? In my opinion, his attitudes are a reflection of your company's as you decide whether a man full of contempt will be published. I find this shocking and disgusting.

agonzalez1 said...

You are a very despicable man. What have you done that has the slightest amount of comparison to what Jerry Jones has done for the NFL, for his team and for charity? To call a man a coward and gutless is beneath any decent thinking man. You are horrendous.

agonzalez1 said...

You are a very despicable man. What have you done that has the slightest amount of comparison to what Jerry Jones has done for the NFL, for his team and for charity? To call a man a coward and gutless is beneath any decent thinking man. You are horrendous.

PS No one reads your blogs

Casual said...

Ian,

I'm sure you consider yourself a noteworthy journalist, and are no doubt proud of the accomplishments you display in your "about the author" section of your website. For someone who seems to be doing well in his field, I'm surprised to see you reduce yourself to a shock artist who throws out professionalism and replaces it with slander that is meant to grab attention, regardless of its integrity. Will you soon begin writing articles for the National Inquirer? Or maybe you can create advertisements for a mud-slinging political campaign.

When I saw your headline calling Jerry Jones gutless, I was disappointed with Fox Sports for publishing such a low brow article. I'll be sure to let them know, just as I'm letting you know now, that I plan on not wasting my time reading any article that has your name on it.

Jerry Jones is man who takes risks, which by the way, is something cowards don't do. Jerry Jones wouldn't be the most innovative owner in the NFL if he was a coward. Nor is he gutless, which is a title I would reserve for someone who spreads slander from behind a keyboard in an attempt to draw attention.

My visiting your site is proof that your plan to draw attention to yourself worked, I only hope you prove yourself not gutless, by issuing a public apology to Jerry Jones for your lack of journalist integrity.


~PM

mjtneff said...

Ian, with regards to your McNabb article on MSN...speaking on behalf of Philly fans everywhere, you are an IGNORAMUS.

JoshUngar said...

Hello Mr. O'Connor,
My name is Josh Ungar and I am a huge sports fan, as well as an avid reader of your articles on FOXSports.com. I am currently a second year journalism student at the University of Toronto and am enrolled in a critical journalism and diversity course. For this course we have been assigned to do an interview with a journalist about their career as well as diversity, gender and racial representation in modern journalism. Knowing that you constantly tackle and face issues of race and diversity in sports journalism I thought you would make a perfect candidate. If you have the time, I have provided some questions along with this e-mail, any response or feedback would be greatly appreciated.
1) When did you decide to become a journalist? Was there anything specific that influenced or pushed you towards journalism?
2) What experiences in journalism or your life have created your unique viewpoint and compelled you to share it as a journalist?
3) Do you feel it is important to reflect your community and represent your audience through your journalism?
4) How do you ensure that your stories are diverse and representative?
5) Have you ever had to tackle any ethical issues in telling a story, and if so how did you go about it?
6) Do you think modern journalism is representative and balanced? Can it be improved?
7) How has the internet and on-line journalism changed the business?
8) Any advice or further comments?
Once again, any response would be a huge help. I can be e-mailed at j.ung07@hotmail.com