Briana Scurry, Sports Talk Radio, Ashe And Connors
This message comes from only a game sponsor Samuel items. Sam Adams, Boston lager offers distinctive balance of spicy hops, sweet roasted malts and smooth. Finish Boston beer company, Boston mass saver responsibly. I'm Howard Bryant, and this is only game growing up in Boston. Every sports loving kid wanted to be Bobby, your the legendary defenseman for the Boston Bruins. It didn't matter what neighborhood you were from or what color you were. And probably if you were a boy or girl, he was that big. So it didn't surprise me at all. That has a little girl, the legendary US soccer goaltender Briana, scurry idolized Jim, Craig, the hero of the nineteen eighty US Olympic hockey team. Here's reporter. Olivia, Christian. I didn't grow up a huge soccer fan. I played basketball and tennis sports at had their starts faces on Wheaties boxes and on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The Porsche. Everyone has been asking lately, why has America becomes so enthralled with this women's World Cup when in one thousand nine hundred nine like millions of others around the world, I became a fan that was a year. The US women's national soccer team won their first World Cup. Ridout star was brandy Chastain alumnus of Santa Clara university. The school that I was attending at the time, the school that's celebrated its star by blanketing the campus with t shirts and signs with her name and likeness. Randy scored the last penalty king and after doing so, took off her jersey dropped to her knees and pumped her fists and jubilation while the country was celebrating her as our new national treasure. I wanted Briana scurry a goalkeeper. The one who made these save that gave us the five for victory over China to be as exalted for years. I've wondered if brianna, where a blonde white woman that showed us her sports bra when she made that save what her career her life have been different. A few weeks ago. I finally had the chance to ask Briana scurry what she thought of that moment that was vintage for Andy, her taking off her shirt truly was like the the deserving image of what we achieved in accomplished and it was it was. It was just as it should be. This was not the answer. I was expecting. To really understand Brown has perspective on this. We need to go back to one of her earliest sports memories. The one that made her think, oh, this is awesome. I want to do that when I was eight years old. I remember sitting on the couch with my mom and dad watching the miracle on ice unfold before our eyes. And when the USA beat the Soviet Union in that semifinal and Jim, Craig, the goalkeeper at the time was just absolutely amazing that team won that game Greeley because of him. And that's what I wanted. I wanted to be a gold medalist. Well, thinking about it now, do you find it curious that eight year old Briana was looking at an older white man in hockey and thinking, I want to be like him. You know, it didn't occur to me that it was odd. Brianna grip playing lots of different sports, including tackle football at twelve years old. She found the game of soccer from the beginning. She was a goalkeeper when front of very small rural town in Minnesota in. So they didn't have a girls team at the time and the coach thought it was a good idea that the girl playing goal. They thought it would be the safe place or the only girl on the team to play. As we all know, it's the most dangerous position and there is, but I loved it after a successful collegiate career at the university of Massachusetts, brianna received an invite to join the US national team. This was the team, the one that broke women's soccer wide open in this country. I remember my first training camp as absolutely brutal. I mean, Michelle Akers was there Karen Gabeira, Julie Foudy, Mia, Hamm all these players that were absolutely elite, the best of the best and not just in this country, but in the world. And so it was a very humbling experience for me. Digging the ball out of the back of the net and no less than two thousand times. I'm sure. Well, looking back at that early team, thinking about your teammates, how do you think they would describe you. They would say I am intense. I think intense fearless. Kasur finally very demanding. Think over time they, they grew to love me and I hope I hope that's true that team played for the gold medal at the nineteen Ninety-six Olympics in Atlanta in front of tens of thousands of people in the stadium, rooting for the home team and millions watching around the world. This was the moment. Brianna had been dreaming of since she was eight. It was magical. You know, millions of things had to occur in order for me to get in that exact spot at that exact time and I was there. So I just knew we were going to win. It was just a matter of time. I just needed to focus it and do my job, and I had complete faith that everybody else will do theirs and they did, and that moment, brianna. And the other women who now own gold medals became heroes for the next generation of soccer players over the next year. The nation watch. Thanks to television commercials as brianna brandy, Mia, Tiffany and tissue went to great lengths to stick together, whether it was third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, willing it on a date. Call you guys. Or taking a team trip to the dentist, drill to fillings the team did everything together, at least on TV, then I will have to fillings. I just examined your teeth. They're perfect. Hi will have to fillings no longer did eight year old girls have to look to men as their role models. And I think that was one of the things that was so appealing about our team. You could find someone that looks a little bit like you who runs a little bit like you who seems that they could be your big sister. It was truly amazing just watching soccer explode in this country, but it wasn't just soccer that exploded in my opinion. I think it was powerful women in general. And that brings us back to that nineteen ninety nine World Cup the tie the penalty kicks and Briana save. I'm not much older than brianna. Most of my sports role models growing up renewed. So when she made that amazing, say and stomped her feet through her head back ward in that nine hundred ninety nine World Cup, I thought finally an African American woman on the world stage literally saving us for me. That was the image that should have been celebrated by a grateful nation, but not for Briana for me. If brandy doesn't take that last kick, I think women's soccer is still super popular, but not anywhere near the way ended up rolling out because which her image showed is a literal transformation. Of an opinion of women from one way to another way that it was cool to have muscles and to be fit and to be strong. So in that regard, for the greater good of the game, her image would go a lot further for a lot longer than mine would have gone. Brianna did receive a few endorsement deals. She made it on that weeds box and she sat on the couches of Jay Leno. Rosie, O'Donnell and Regis. And Kathy Lee after several more years as part of the US national team Riano went on to play professionally and twenty ten as a member of the Washington freedom. Things changed. I got hit in the side of my head on making a low ball, save. For the few weeks and months after that, it just wasn't getting better. It was getting worse and it was a very tumultuous time for me. I was thirty eight years old and I was considering retiring anyway soon, but not as roughly as that, obviously. And part of the reason why I think that I didn't pursue a lot of opportunities back then is because in my mind, I wasn't capable for years. I assume the lack of Briana on my television calling games and giving commentary was because she was black. I thought it wasn't enough that she made that incredible save. Her look wasn't a look. That America was ready to celebrate in reality. It was the sport that gave her so much that was now responsible for taking so much away. I just couldn't keep my thoughts together. I suffered, you know, intense headaches every day I had, you know, vision issues I had. I honestly felt like I couldn't learn anything new for awhile because. I couldn't make it stick in the night. Couldn't recall it. You know, then the emotional stuff started to happen like anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, and things like that. And so basically, everything that I had planned on doing just went into a whole that year after twenty eleven. I was actually doing ESPN broadcasting for that twenty eleven World Cup and struggled every single day. We were in Germany for thirty days and every evening I would go to my hotel room and cry and cry and cry every day because I couldn't make anything stick my performance on screen and on air wasn't very good. In my opinion. I mean, I couldn't remember the things I had said, and you know, all these kinds of things that you deal with when you have concussion symptoms long-term. And you know, after that time I just basically disappeared. Brianna disappeared into a studio apartment in New Jersey. And into the chaos of trying to receive treatment for the side effects of her career ending concussion. But I was surprised when she told me that she wouldn't change a thing. I met my current wife. I would never have met chrissa without it. And you know, now I think back on it. It was actually something that changed the path of my life in a good way. I mean, I'm as happy as I've heard. In my life. And this is going to last until I'm ninety or whatever. I hope and it's, it's, it's something that at the time I couldn't have seen, you know, but it was just the path I was meant to walk these days. Brianna walks the sideline as an assistant coach for the Washington spirit and the hallways of colleges and conferences, talking with audiences of all ages about diversity, perseverance, and the dangers and symptoms related to concussions. I'm forty six years old and it's been twenty years since I first started playing in the national team and everything and now seeing the team that plays for the USA. Now, all of those girls saw us do what we did. So many people go through their lives and they affect in a positive way, you know, a handful of people, and I, I know that my life and what I've done in it has positively impacted millions and I know that I mean the ripple effect of that how we were able to impact in entire world by showing strength join power by showing that it's okay to be strong. It's okay to sweat. I mean, I love my medals. I love you know, my accolades. Don't get me wrong, but I tell you what when I have little kids come up to me, who were, you know, my mom thinks you great. You know what? I think that's pretty cool. I mean, how many people can say that. I'm a little embarrassed about the story I made up my mind about what happened to Briana scurry after the nineteen ninety nine World Cup my own experience as a young black athlete playing on teams and in clubs that were majority white for coaches that seemed to hate my being. There led me to fill in the gaps of her story coupled with that embarrassment, though, is a sense of relief. I'm relieved to know that I was wrong. Brianna is an even bigger hero than I thought she should have been. That was reporter. Olivia, Christian. Women like sports, so doesn't sports. Talk, radio do more to attract female listeners. They have the audience, they have, they know they're engaged. They know they buy things and they seem ok with that that story's coming up on only a game from NPR. This message comes from only game sponsor Samuel Adams of all the beers. Sam Adams has ever brewed Boston lager is their all time favorite with its distinctive balance of spicy hops. Sweet. Roasted Maltin smooth finish. It stood the test of time and helped launch the whole craft beer revolution. Sam Adams, Boston lager, full flavored, rich and complex. There's nothing quite like the taste of an original Boston beer company, Boston mass saver responsibly. I'm Howard Bryant. It's time for three stories. You should know this week. We're going to start with football, you know soccer, the sport of kings and then move onto the NFL. I'm joined by SP nations Tyler times whose work featured in the twentieth eighteen best American sports writing in bookstores this week. Welcome back and congratulations Tyler. Thank you. And by what of my very favorite investigative journalists, you do not want her on your trail, the terrific, Jessica Luther, Jessica. Hi, you are up first this week, Jessica. What do we need. To know. Yeah. So Cristiano Renaldo, the soccer superstar from Portugal who plays for you. Ventas and Italy is the third highest paid athlete in the world. And possibly the most famous. He is now also under investigation by the Las Vegas police department in regard to a two thousand nine reported sexual assault, a woman by the name of Catherine may. Orga has come forward in a long piece in the German magazine Spiegel. She waited until now because back in two thousand ten Rinaldo settled with her out of court and payer, three hundred seventy five thousand dollars with the stipulation that she never talk about the reported assault again. But she has a new lawyer who is trying to void the settlement on multiple legal grounds. There's a police investigation because she filed a police report and did a rape kit back in two thousand nine the day after she says he raped her. Rinaldo has denied these allegations. But in the reporting Spiegel says, there was an internal document between Rinaldo lawyers, which Rinaldo admits she said, no, there may not be a bigger athlete on this planet. Do you all see this getting any traction that it should be getting. Traction, but given the week that we've had and also not just the week, but the year you're looking at Ohio State. And Jessica, of course, the work you've done Baylor and Cavanaugh mean you wonder how you're going to keep your enthusiasm level high. At least it'd be paid closer attention. I'm going to try to be optimistic and say that this is going to get the sort of traction that it needs and it's going to that. People are gonna pay attention to it. I wish I were more optimistic than I am Tyler. What do you think? I definitely don't have the optimism mostly because we live in a system here where the powerful as always uplifted, where the powerless or not is woman has every piece of evidence possible you have sponsors who are Kana back away. From Renaldo, you have teams who are suspending him, giving him a break, but it should go much further than that to the point that a woman's Fuhrer must be respected. And so should her pain yet. And you've got Nike, that's got a billion dollar endorsement deal with him by the way. That's one billion for one player. And of course, EA sports has also said that they're monitoring the situation very closely, Jessica. This is the area that you traffic and. When you saw Addison Russell get forty games where major league baseball after his domestic violence situation, is this needle moving at all in your opinion? Yeah. I mean, it's moving. It's a, you know, I always describe this as like a giant cruise ship. Teeny tiny rudder and turning this at all is very difficult. But you know, for someone like me who studies college football and sexual violence in particular wasn't much urban Meyer. He got a little bit of punishment, but it's gonna take a long time and a lot of work to get the kind of change that we're hoping for Tyler up. So in the last few weeks, one of the major dissenters in this athletic moment of protests outside of Colin Kaepernick his former teammate, Eric Reed was recently signed by the Carolina Panthers read is an all pro level almost all world level safety at this point and was one of the main people who kneeled next to Colin Kaepernick back in August twenty. Sixteen after Jerry Richardson's reign of misogyny and also sexism and also racism, and also everything bad in the world that could be around. One owner hem leaving the Panthers last year has opened. Up a new leadership where owner, David Tepper has said that he sides with the protests that being said, it doesn't feel as if the Panthers have done anything monumental by hiring dissenter, hiring a protester who was ousted from the league has collusion case with the NFL they've done nothing but hire the right person for the job. But at the same time it almost feels as if protesters during the cabinet era are finding their way back into the league, what you guys think. Yeah, I think that number one, do you get a medal for doing the right thing to you? Is that what we do here? Just my question for you on this. I'm thinking, is this cynicism in that you finally got a player that you needed when you're the Panthers, or is it the fact that now that you hire Eric, read that collusion lawsuit that he's got currently against the NFL now goes away question. I mean, it doesn't matter that they hired him because he's a good football player. Going back to the discussion we just had and Tyler brought this up. If we wanna talk about the impact of me to on sports. The fact that Richardson's not there is because of sports Illustrated's reporting about. His misogyny and racism that's tied into me to right so we can see a direct impact here. It is hard. You don't want to give them cookies for doing the thing that they should do. I don't know. It's so complicated. I'm really happy though that read is back. I think we can mix a piece of actually being happy that somebody who deserves a job got one and also having skepticism that it took this long for it to happen the entire NFC south needed never happened in the first place. Why? Why are we waiting until October? Exactly. Eric was not on a preseason roster. Every training camp roster took multiple men to fall Negret iron for Eric retu-, even get proposed that he should have a job of the general manager. Marty Harney said strictly football decision. That's when this starts to fill, deploys it, but we need to actually speak about it and he's not being silent. I just want to point out that it has presser which was great. Which was great. Yeah. I mean his unpacking of US history and oppression in this country should be used in classrooms, and he's being very clear in his messaging as he has always been Eric. And I talked about this at length during the twenty seventeen season all year with the forty Niners last year. And I remember saying to him, listen, you can't beat the flag. So you're going to have to go head first on shaping your message on what this is all about. Stay on target. If you don't stay on target and they're going to shape it for you and you're going to lose. So what he did to me was fantastic. I'm going to finish things up with football as well, and people hate it when I say, but sports are filtered through the following lens, white owners, white coaches, white season ticket buyers, white media, and black players through this lens players perform a service for the owners, and they entertain the fan base. They have no other rights or concerned. They're paid a ton and they're expected to be grateful. But Earl, Thomas safety for the Seattle Seahawks. He held out earlier this season for a better contract in everyone knows the dangers of football, the injury risks, the short window of opportunity in the fans called himself. And he came back and what happened. He broke his leg and while being carted off the field, he flipped the middle finger to his own sideline and some fans burned his jersey. My reaction wasn't burnish jersey. It was to buy one, Jessica who got your z. money though. That's the problem. Is there some way to support and also to make sure that the right people are being hurt by this? Yeah, I think that's a great point. And it made me think a lot about this story with JR Smith that came up recently an NBA and he put a tattoo on his league discussion about covering it up and and sort of discussion of who owns putting that in quotes like who owns. They sometimes refer to them as owners right yet? Yeah. Talk about him as owners. The language of sports is very specific, right? I think the anger that that comes at hearing, some of these decisions is the fact that over the understand the metrics of how capitalism can work, right. You belong to the people who pay your paychecks and that's wrong at the basis of it. Right. So the NBA says, JR Smith, actually, we do own your skin. He has one of two choices either says fatty, no, you don't. I want a brand on my leg or he says the money is more important to my kids, which he did say, I'm just going to keep pushing. And so I think it's powerful that people like Earl Thomas and JR Smith or standing up to these corporations that are telling them they're not worth that much when the reality is if there's no Levy on bell on the field, as we've seen the Steelers offense, offense and go, the team is bad losses. Accrue people get fired in that just because you wouldn't pay somebody. They're worth my guess for this week's edition of three stories, you should know have been investigative journalist, Jessica Luther. Thank you. Jessica. Thank you and SP nations tile at times. Thank you Tyler. Thank you. Here's something you already know depending on the market as much as ninety percent of sports talk radio listeners or men. Here's something else. You also probably know women like sports too. So why don't more women listen to sports talk radio. It's not just because a lot of sports talk radio hosts are jerks. Here's only a games, Karen, given it's true. I'm a woman and I don't listen to sports talk radio. I try sometimes once I tuned in to find the hosts talking about Fox Sports, caster, Joe buck's wife. She used to be a stripper. One of them said, no, no, no. She was a prostitute. The other laughed for the record and buck was once an Indianapolis Colts cheerleader. But that doesn't really matter her prior profession has nothing to do with our husbands failings as play by play guy. You can't blame me for not tuning into sports, talk radio. If I did have to listen to what these guys in Boston. Think about women like sideline reporter, Erin, Andrews. I hate her cutlass seriously, go away from Trump dead. Over the years. I've developed this impression sports talk, radio must not want me must not won't win, and it turns out I was right. Welcome back. You know, there's no doubt a lot of sports is lost its way, and I'm gonna tell you part of the reason is because we've got women giving us directions from the station in San Francisco for some of you this is going to come across as very misogynistic protect. No good can ever come from that disclaimer. So here's the thing I'm willing to share my sandbox. As long as you remember your in my box, I didn't get into yours. Did he really just say that. Not so long ago, finance reporter named Jason Nadi was driving down route twenty six heading into Portland, Oregon, when he tuned his radio to sports talk after about the second strip club a men's to stop strong clinic Ed and ad for a male focus attorney, you know, they're, they seem to be targeting somebody here. There is certainly a specific audience they're going after. Is it me? Okay. This might seem like it's a no brainer. And Jason was pretty sure he knew the answer to. He talked to radio executives and industry watchers, and he found yes, as it turns out males above the age of thirty five or right in the sweet spot of sports radio. Unfortunately, that's me. I fall into that demographic. Jason wanted to talk to advertisers too, but the low testosterone clinics did not wanna talk to us at all about this. He found one advertiser more. More than willing to talk. This is Rick Jones of Goldberg Jones rate Jones is the managing partner of a law firm that specializes in divorce for men. The firm was founded twenty three years ago in Seattle back then most attorneys advertised in the yellow pages, but Rick was looking for a more affordable option. And how long did it take you to find sports talk radio. We actually ran our ads, I believe for the first time on Sunday before opening our doors on Monday, please tell me it was like football season or something. Absolutely. It was. It was mid January. Rick says he advertises on some other radio stations, classic rock, that sort of thing. But nothing beats sports talk. We're looking at the things with advertisers need to look at which is the target demographic, the cost per year at cetera, and the ratings, it just really made sense to spend money in sports radio station that has listenership of inexcessive. Ninety percent male. So you're reaching more men, which I guess means that your cost per potential customers lower. Right, correct. Direct. In many markets, sports talk. Radio doesn't even break the top ten when it comes to ratings, but their listeners are loyal and they're engaged from Hillsborough is been calling in for like the last fifteen years, and they know Dave's tastes they know what steakhouse Dave likes to eat at. It's interesting to see the lengths. They will go to keep both. Dave and guys like Jones comfortable just to be crystal clear. It's not the misogyny that keeps advertisers like Rick Jones comfortable. He's not a fan of that kind of thing. This is kind of a weird question, but if suddenly fifty percent of sports talk listeners were women, would that make it less attractive as an advertising place for you? The answer is probably yes, but let me explain why which is if they now had twice as many listeners as they do now, you can fully expect the amount to advertise. At the same level we do seem reach and frequency would double. Cost. And so the the only thing that would gain just the cost with double. Jason, the naughty talk to executives at ESPN radio, and he was surprised by their response. They seem very cognizant of the fact that this is kind of a antiquated approach, but it works. I fig terrestrial radio are basically assuring entire generation along in a velvet coffin. They have the audience, they have, they know they're engaged. They know they buy things and they seem ok with that. But there's good news if you're a woman who likes sports because in some ways, terrestrial radio is being replaced by other things, podcasts and YouTube channels in Instagram and Facebook. And in those spaces, women aren't just allowed their welcomed. ESPN is investing in podcasts with women behind the mic. I can now watch my friend Andrea Creamer and Hannah storm culling Thursday night in fell games on Amazon prime. And this ad play during last winter's college. Ball, playoff. Yes, but if you have set, I. Okay. So the basic gist of this commercial is that the protagonist, Anna is an architect. Her boss ignores her ideas and leaves her to explain his mistakes to clients into one day really wanted to do. Big architects is Anna Baker. I'm sure this ad would inspire anyone who's ever had a bad boss. But with that soundtrack, nine to five is practically an anthem of second wave feminism that ad is targeting me. And it makes sense because on the TV side of things is more and more people cut, the cord sports are pretty much the only thing anyone still watches live. This so many stations paying exorbitant fees just for rights to broadcast games. You know, that's the only way you're going to get that many eyeballs at one place. So yes, they have to be nicer because they're not just trying to sell a trip to a steakhouse or something like that. They're trying to sell cards. They're trying to sell home loans. They're trying to sell a bigger ticket items that more people than has Dave from Hillsborough need. And this is where the strategy of keeping the advertisers happy gets turned on its head. I talked to Jennifer storms. She's the chief marketing officer at NBC sports group, and she says her main focus isn't to attract advertisers. We wanna make sure that we are always serving our consumers. But when NBC sports looked at their audience, their consumers, they discovered that women already made up forty six percent of NFL fans car. Again, another forty to fifty percent of the NASCAR fans. They are women, so we're not just wearing pink hats. You know, we're really into it. Women were already enjoying NBC sports products, but we took a look at it and we said there's a real opportunity here to serve women even better and even more authentically and they are such large fans of her sports properties. How do we give them more avenues, more opportunities to express their fandom and engage with us last winter during the Olympics NBC launched an initiative called on her turf. It's a podcast, Instagram and YouTube campaign, and it's not designed to attract women to sports. It's designed to reach the women who already enjoy sports and inspire them to take. Take on the world and in that spirit, I have something to say to this guy, willing to share my sandbox as long as you remember urine my box that sandbox of yours, it's getting smaller and smaller this one over here. The one that I'm playing in its got room for everybody. That's only a games, Karen, given Jason naughty wrote about sports, talk radio advertising for the New York Times. We'll have linked to his story at only a game dot org. When Arthur Ashe Jimmy Connors in the nineteen seventy five Wimbledon finals. It was much more at stake in just a trophy. For many years. It was considered the greatest upset in women history. I think it's one of the great milestones in modern tennis. That's just ahead on only game and remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter at only game and. I'm Howard Brian. It's been such a long week. I've got things to say Charlie Pierce always has things to say, and he's here with me now how you Charlie? Hey, Howard, how you doing? I'm good. But you know, I got problems. The American League division series is underway at Fenway park is we know we've got Red Sox. We've got Yankees, but to me, there's already been to losers the as and their fans because baseball's perennially stupid one game playoff you gotta team that won ninety seven games already home, and I just don't like this. I've been complaining about this for years. I think that after one hundred sixty two games you deserve a playoff series at least what do you think about this? Actually, I I hate to say it, but I love I love one even after one sixty two. Yeah, even after 162 loved one and done. I mean if I had a rooting interest in it, then maybe I wouldn't like it very much, but in terms of being, you know, just a fan of the game. I love the pressure at one and done. I really do. I understand that baseball's different because of the length of the season and so forth. But winner go home is just the. Greatest thing in all sports. So I'm a fan of them to be honest with, I've got two issues with at one. This is not the NCAA tournament. That's one of the things about me. The other thing that bothers me about this is we don't penalize any other sport. We don't penalize teams for not coming in first place in baseball. If you don't win the division, they make you play one game, it's it would be as if in basketball, if you didn't win the Atlantic Division, you've got to play a plane game for the right to play the eight seat. I just think it's weird and baseball. I understand why they're doing it, but I just think it it really robs you, especially if you're the as you had a great great season and now you're done after one after noon in Yankee Stadium. Well, yeah, but you know what? I don't care. I enjoy. I my sympathies to Oakland and its fans, but I don't care. How about how about two in done Charlie, we get the postscript on the Chicago Cubs. You've got. You've got a tiebreaker against the brewers, which I'm sure you loved watching it. Wrigley in the brewers win that then the cubs have to play the next day. The one game playoff which I hate against the Rockies. They lose that in thirteen innings weird season on Sunday. They started the day with the best record in the National League forty-eight hours later after two games at home, they're finished. Yeah. Mean when when a home game though, you know, I mean, you know, we're gonna. We're gonna run exactly right date. Weird team all year, though. They went through these spells of what looked like apathy to me yet. Unfortunately, one of those hit at the wrong time. Absolutely. They scored one run or fewer forty times this year and still one ninety five game. So I guess they should get a medal for that. Yeah, outside the Red Sox winning hundred games with that Bolton that stat on the cubs, the most inexplicable of the year, it's incredible. The only team to score one runner fewer more times than the cubs was the Orioles, and they left one hundred fifteen games winning winning ninety five with that sort of anemic. Offense is doing. Something. There is news this week in a novel move tennis jail will begin showing wait for it tennis more specifically, the women's tennis tour which went out on its own and the disastrous venture with in sports for the last two years, women's tennis outside of the grand slams has been virtually invisible. Meanwhile, for the past five years, many Los Angeles Dodgers fans haven't been able to watch the games their market because some cable networks won't carry sports l. a. with the combination of cord cutting and contempt, you think people are realizing that life goes on or if you're just a die, hard sports fan. Do you just wait forever until these corporations figure it out? Yeah, I think both are true. I also think there's another phenomenon going on that is the phenomenon of finding a way to be a fan without attending games without necessarily watching on television. I mean, we always could be a fan through bedding, but now you could be a fan through fantasy sports. You can be a fan through memorabilia. They're all kinds of ways to do. You could be a fan through media. Nostalgia. Yep. What this thing with the women's tennis thing reminds me. Most of is the phenomenally stature decision that the NHL made years ago to get off ESPN and onto sports throat when they went to spike TV for the playoffs. Remember that went to the players before that they went to sports channel. They would ESPN's only professional league at the time and he did. You know they did it them up ESPN they did what he is being does, which is the hype them from the moon and then they moved onto sports. You know, that's what this reminds me of know. They made a big mistake and I think the good news is at least if you're a fan of tennis and I am because I watched the women as much as I watched the man. I'm happy that they're back can actually watch them for the season. And you know, finally, Charlie no-show, it'd be complete without at least some discussion of the Cleveland Browns. But here's a story about a different team, a barn. Iowa has a locked cooler full of Budweiser, Bud Light, but Budweiser that it will open when the Cornhuskers when its first football game of the season. Great idea, right? Yeah, I don't understand why barn. I always doing this, but. Okay. Just making fun of the. Husker's that cooler is likely going to stay closed for at least another week. But here's my question. What happened in Nebraska football? If you are of a certain generation, my late mother-in-law was from Nebraska, her brother and her father and her grandfather all played football for Nebraska. I think they've been crippled, I think by conference realignment and by the fact that the whole nature of college football's changed. The thing about those Nebraska teams was outside of people like Johnny Rodgers and Tommie Frazier, they were big goons. They would beat you to death over the up and down the field. The games changed to very big people who are really fast, and I don't think Nebraska's ever really caught up on that. We've come a long way since Tom rathman, Roger, Craig, there you go. You could find the sports writing of Charlie Pearson Sports Illustrated from time to time any joins us each week on only a game. Thank you Charlie. Thanks art. You know the saying, game recognize game, whether it's Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady LeBron James and Kevin Durant greatness knows it when it sees it, it's like a spider sense. The same goes for the only game podcast. We think you're great, and we're pretty good too. So recognize arguing by subscribing on apple, podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to podcasts and while you're there, leave us a review, you're helping listeners find our show and helping us raise our game. Jimmy Connors may be America's greatest tennis player. Arthur ash may be its most influential. They couldn't stand each other Ashra really disliked anyone who had a kind of braggadocio anyone who preened himself in the way that Connors did. That's university of south Florida professor and historian Raymond Arsenault. He just wasn't one to attack anyway, always gave everybody the benefit out. But as a member of his family told me once the only person that he really didn't like on the tour was Jimmy Connors was brilliant, but craven the other quiet revolutionary with a powerful sense of patriotism. Here's only games Gary Wallich on Arthur Ashe's clash with his greatest nemesis when that unfolded on and off the court. The quarrel between Jimmy Connors and Arthur Ashe probably began with the Davis Cup the annual international team tennis event that dates back to nineteen hundred. According to Raymond Arsenault their attitudes towards playing on the US team were diametrically opposed, I think, asked the minute tremendous amount to him because it affirmed his notion of self worth that he was a citizen, a proud citizen, and they was respected enough to represent his nation as was the first African American to represent the US in Davis Cup competition. He had played on the US team in eight different years. By the time, Jimmy Connors was dominating men's tennis in the mid seventies, but Connors refuse to join the team. This irradiated. Ash could never understand why Connors didn't share any of that sentiment that it didn't mean anything to him. If he didn't make money out of it, he didn't seem to want to do it in June of nineteen. Seventy four. Arthur Ashe was elected president of the association of Tennis Professionals. A new governing body created to represent the interests of male tennis players. Well. They're never been anything remotely like a tennis players union and the national federations around the world and tennis promoters. We're really making all of decisions and the players felt that they were left out that they needed a voice Connors refused to join the ATP. Instead, he kept playing a member of world team tennis or WTT. In nineteen seventy four WTT filed a ten million dollar lawsuit against ATP executives and a major sponsor of the European Grand slam events for barring WTT players just hours before ashes, election as president of the ATP Connors and his agent joined that lawsuit, ash was infuriated. So we wrote a letter to the members of the ATP in which he described Connors as brash arrogant and unpatriotic, but letter became public on June twenty first nineteen, seventy five. Just two days before Wimbledon's. First round began Connors and his agent filed. Another lawsuit, this time it was for libel and it named ash and his letter, specifically Connors and his agents sought three million dollars in damages ashes, fighting in and on more than one court. Wimbledon was really special to him. The thirty two. Zero dash had dreamed of winning Wimbledon since he was a young kid, and I think he pretty much knew this was his last chance but ask also knew that might be wishful thinking, Jimmy Connors, nine years. His junior had won the nineteen seventy-four Australian and US opens and was the reigning Wimbledon champ. He started the nineteen seventy five season by winning nine of the tournaments he entered. He dominated in a way that few players have ever dominated. He was thought to be unbeatable invincible, really avenue. There'd be a good chance he'd have to go through Connors to capture a Wimbledon title. In mid June of nineteen seventy five ashen Connors competed at the Nottingham open a pre Wimbledon warm-up tournament both lost in the quarter-finals in a post tournament press conference. Connor said that he had been just a little bit off his game, but in the future of he would just crush his opponents. And to be honest, almost all of the journalists covering Wimbledon thought he was correct, but that statement just stuck in Arthur's craw ash, kept his anger to himself for a little while anyway, he filed it away when play at Wimbledon got underway. Arthur Ashe Jimmy Connors were in opposite brackets. They breezed by their opponents Connors, didn't lose a single set at dispatch, Tony, Roach in the semis on July third and sat in the stands to watch Connors, play, Roscoe, Tanner Roscoe. Tanner had the fastest serve in tennis and every time he would hit the scorching serves or ground strokes. Conners would hit back ten miles an hour faster. When Arthur's saw this, he thought, oh, wow, Roscoe. Can't out hit him. Then really, no one could Connors defeated Tanner in straight-sets, but while watching them Ascott and what if he didn't try to out hid Connors, don't give him any pace. Just constantly take it off ship and lob just drive him crazy, hit loaded, his forehand volley. And that might conceivably work. On the morning of July fifth nineteen seventy-five. Jimmy Connors was the overwhelming favorite to defeat Arthur ash when they took center court Connors, gamesmanship was obvious. He had an Italian designers outfit on, but Ashmead a fashion statement of his own Arthur's wearing the Davis Cup sweatshirt blue with red letters thing USA, but it was a reminder that Connors had led his country down and let his fellow players down. I mean, that wasn't like Arthur to play those kind of mind games. But this may be been one of the times when he did it was also unlike ash to play a strictly chip in lob game. He killed him with kindness with the slow ball with the spins. Love. I wonder if Cuomo's lost head of it there. I think they asked bowl would floated out. Don't give him any pace. You'll drive him crazy. And he won the first set six one kind of wasn't even in it and hardly one point in the second-set. The crowd is just stunned no one thought this was a remotely possible down two sets to none Connors came back to win the third. Well, here goes founders is gonna come back and he's going to win three straight sets. The fantasy of ashes is going to be over in the fourth set. It looked like Connors would even the match at two sets of peace, but Asha abandoned the ship in lob and reverted to his usual array of topspin backhands and well-placed forehands to build a five, four lead in the fourth set. Two points for authorized. Turn to the ground before faking founders hand, he raised his right arm and made a fist some interpreters thought, but he was doing a black power salute. He said, no, that they had no intention of that. But this was a moment. I think it would've been so much to him that he impulsively raised his arm head full, filled his lifelong dream in doing so. He had become the first black man to win a Wimbledon singles title after the match ash still angry at Conner's. Lawsuits stepped out of character again and suggested that his opponent had choked that just drove Connors crazy when he heard that, Billie Jean King, no, she won Wimbledon and seventy five and by tradition, the two singles, winners dance, the first dance at the Wimbledon ball, Jimmy Connors. He said he'd come only if he could have the first dance meaning he could be treated like the winner. You. When he knew he couldn't be, he didn't show up. Two days after the Wimbledon final Ashra verdict to his usual sportsmanlike self. He described Connors as nice guy and the best tennis player in the world a few days after that Connors drop the suit against ask. And so I think it's probably a credit to Jimmy Connors that he did have enough common sense and decency to drop the suit. A lot was riding on the nineteen seventy five Wimbledon men's final, the clash of personalities, the right of players to represent themselves the right of governing bodies to determine who can play in what turn amounts, but Arthur Ashe raised his game accordingly. I think that he relies he was on the biggest stage in tennis, he felt he was representing the ATP and that Connors was a threat to them. He wanted to make a moral statement as well as win the tournament. For many years. It was considered the greatest upset in Wimbledon history. I think it's one of the great milestones in modern tennis. Arthur ash is still the only black Wimbledon men's singles champion. That's only games. Gary Wallich, Raymond. Arsenault is new book is Arthur ash. They life. Only a game is produced by Martin Kessler and Gary while with help from few stock. Our technical director is Mark Neil. We had helped this week from max Liebman. Our senior producer is Karen given. Our final word comes from Arthur biographer Raymond Arsenault who says that people were surprised when she said that his nineteen seventy five Wimbledon triumph was not his greatest win. He didn't see it as important as winning the Davis Cup in nineteen sixty eight. I'm Howard Bryant only a game returns next week. Thank you for listening.