Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Just watched Costas Now

I just watched the entire program (Costas Now) on sports media. I was clearly most interested in this particular show because my job encompasses almost all of the subjects that they explored. Let me start by saying that I thought the program was really good.

A few thoughts...
I am continually baffled by the level of misunderstanding and/or ignorance that many older media members have concerning blogs. There is such an incredible amount of insecurity and fear regarding the changes in sports media from an older generation of media members. I wish that Buzz Bissinger (who I am a fan of by the way) was the exception, but I know better. Bissinger's vitriol for the changes in the way sports are being covered is unfortunately extremely common amongst his peers.

In the end, we are talking about covering sports. Sports. Many in the sports media would like to believe that they are more important than they really are. I enjoy reading "real journalists" and I also enjoy reading opinions from just the average guy. Blogs are great because they have given that average guy a voice and I can decide if I care about his opinion or not.

I do believe that insecurity is far worse amongst sports media members than it is with the average media member. You do get the feeling that the opinion of many older sports media members is that everyone should not have a voice. I understand that point to some degree. They went to school for it, or they have a editor that monitors what they do, or they are better at communicating, so why is some loser in a basement got more people paying attention to what they say rather than what they have to say?

In the end, if you are good at what you do people will listen to, or read, what you have to say, no matter the format (radio, tv, blog). This idea that everyone should have credentials to have a respected opinion seemed totally silly and insecure.

I thought the best part of the Costas Now program was the open discussion of the coverage of race issues in the sports media. I do wish they would have had a white media member on the panel, except for Costas (who played the role), so that they could discuss the fear of dealing with the race issue from the white journalists perspective. Costas did a good job presenting some of the challenges, but I think it is something to really be discussed in greater length. White media members are typically so terrified of being called a racist that they avoid the subject, and being that most media members are white it becomes extremely difficult to really tackle a tough subject like race in sports.

Anyway, the show was really good and thought provoking. If you did not see it, I would recommend trying to catch a repeat showing.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Free subscription to

send in your email question to and if it is used during the Will Carroll segment, you win the subscription. Wednesday, Will is on in the 3:40 segment, Gary in the 4oclock hour with Haters segment, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace segment at 5.

Monday, April 28, 2008

2008 NFL Draft Recap, and the first Verno NFL playoff picks (get out the chisel)

If you listen to the show, you know how I feel about running backs and how they fit into team building. With that being said, three of the teams that screwed up in the first round did so by taking a RB. How can Mel Kiper give every team a B or a C? (Except KC who he gave an A) Some of these teams should fire people today.

These teams get an F- on my draft grades

Oakland took Darren McFadden 4th. I will never understand how a crappy team takes a RB and sinks an insane amount of money into such an overrated position. I don't care how "dynamic" a back is, you never sink crazy money into that position. Teams are not crappy because they don't have a good enough back. This is just an outrageous pick for a team that has no clue.

Speaking of no clue... Carolina took Jonathan Stewart at 13, and then traded what amounts to three top 100 picks to get the 19th pick. Thank goodness another team has those picks, because Carolina should not even be able to draft they are so out of it.

The Titans are the last team with a horrendous grade. Chris Johnson? I guess they looped the Memphis game and the bowl game and watched it over and over. This is dumb anyway, but compound it with them taking a RB with a top 50 pick the last three years and it is downright brain dead.

On to other matters...

The Ravens taking Delaware QB Joe Flacco was hilarious. I love when the analysts are breaking down the tape and they talked about he struggled with the zone blitz of Villanova (to which everyone in America said, "Villanova has a football team?" This pick has trendy bust all over it.

Andre Woodson lasting until the 6th round is criminal. This guy had 40 td's and 11 picks in the SEC and elevated an entire program. He had 71 tds and 18 picks over his last 2 years. He didn't do that because of some gimmick system. I don't care about a hitch in his throw, or how he looks down recievers, or whatever. The guy is awesome. Colt Brenan is total trash and went before him. 12 QB's went before him. This was the biggest joke of the entire draft. I also like the picks of Thomas Brown to Atlanta and Mike Hart to Indy in the 6th. Both are underrated.

Matt Forte (RB Tulane) was the Bears pick in the second round. How do you take Forte when Kevin Smith from UCF is on the board? I saw both, and Smith is better. Bad Pick.

I hate the Eagles, but I love the pick of DeSean Jackson with the 49th. This guy looks like something from playstation when he gets going.

I like the 2 Arkansas guys picked in the 7th Rd. Peyton Hillis and Marcus Monk. Both were fantastic picks at that point in the draft.

Ali Highsmith (LB LSU) is the favorite undrafted player. I think Dorien Bryant from Purdue could get a job and stick too, and nobody took him either.

What you start to realize is that there is more a case of bad franchises than just bad drafts. Some teams have no clue, and the teams that are smart continue to thrive by understanding what it takes to win in the league and how to spend their money to do so.

After the draft and from what I have seen from free agency, here are my playoff teams for next year...
AFC-- Indy, Pats, Jax, Cleveland, San Diego, Jets (the surprise team this year)
NFC-- Cowboys, Giants, Minn, New Orleans, Seattle, Tampa

Disappointing team will be Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Mic Check segment tonight...

check it. the tv bit will be on UPN 30 tonight at 9:45.

UPDATE: Here is MIC CHECK from this week if you missed it and want to check it out.

The Wednesday Show...

Today we will be joined by Charley Rosen from, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace, and of course Gary Parrish and the Haters. Also, we will have our weekly segment with Will Carroll from baseball prospectus. Send in your baseball questions to and if we use the question during the segment, you will win a subscription to Thank you and have a nice day. Will somebody please guard Pau tonight?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Week in Review (The Guests)

I am going to try to post a week in review on the weekends. If you missed any of the guests from the week, here they are...

Author and radio host Michael Holley on his new book about Terry Francona and the Red Sox. I could care less about the Red Sox, and I thought the book was great.

Sonny Vaccaro and Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace were in studio for the entire 5 oclock hour on Wednesday. Sonny was speaking at the Universtity of Memphis the next morning. He talked about what he is fighting for, summer basketball, the story of signing Michael Jordan to his first shoe deal, how he and Wallace became close, the new movie coming out on HBO about him, etc.

Scott Ferrall from Sirius Sattellite Channel Howard 101 joined us to break down this weekends UFC Pay-Per-View, his move to Sirius, his website, fighting an Asian guy in Toronto, and his wife punching him. If you missed this, check it out. Ferrall is intant offense.

Bert Sugar was on the show Friday live from Vegas to talk about the Hopkins/ Calzaghe fight this weekend. Bert Sugar on The Chris Vernon Show

Kevin Frazier from Entertainment Tonight talked about the NBA Playoffs, what is going on in entertainment, if Fergie is hot in person, etc. Kevin Frazier on The Chris Vernon Show.

David Thorpe from IMG and evaluated the young players on the Grizzlies roster and talked about the upcoming draft. He talks about a ton of the prospects and who should be picked #1 if the Grizzlies get the pick. David Thorpe on The Chris Vernon Show.

Friday, April 18, 2008

One more loss for the Grizzlies...

I have just been informed that the Grizzlies lost the coin flip to Minnesota and will have the 4th most ping pong balls in the lottery. Loss #63. The Knicks won the flip for the 5th most chances (over the Clippers).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mike Kahn does not do his research

Mike Kahn from has an article up today with the best/worst of the NBA season. It is well known that Chris Wallace is a regular guest on the show, so it might be my nature to defend him on things, but that would not even matter with the following article. If you wanna call Chris Wallace the worst GM, maybe you could make that argument, but this is not the way to do it...

Worst executive: Chris Wallace, Memphis Grizzlies
He obviously didn't make a great choice with his pick of the flavor of the year assistant coach, Marc Iavaroni, to coach the team this season, nor was it worthwhile to hand out that $21 million contract to 7-foot bust Darko Milicic. Topping it off was dealing Gasol to the Lakers for little more than a couple of doughnuts and bad coffee.

This is priceless. How lazy can you be to make the first reason for Chris Wallace being the worst GM that he hired Iavaroni, when the coach was hired before the GM? If you hate the Darko deal and think it was a bad signing, I can see that, but it is not horrific. The last reason he gives is that he traded Pau for nothing. No problem with that, except the owner himself said that he was the one that made the decision to trade Pau to the Lakers. In fact, this is an exact quote from Heisley that ran in the CA... "I'm the guy who is making the decisions," Heisley said Saturday. "If people want to (complain) don't get on (general manager) Chris Wallace about the trade -- get on me."

Just do a little research Mike Kahn. Is that too much to ask? The argument might be able to be made, but this was quite the horrible attempt.

Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus

Today is the day that Will joins us on the show. Email your baseball question in and if it is used, you will win a subscription to email your question to Will is on the show at 3:40. Gary Parrish and the Haters segment in the 4 hour, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace in studio in the 5oclock hour.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

She's poor, she can't sue me

I found the old clip of Andy Kaufman wrestling a woman to intimidate Jerry Lawler. I never knew it was up on youtube, but I have mentioned it many times. Hysterical.
I wish I would have lived in Memphis then.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Made my day

I have no idea who this kid is, or who the parents are, but somebody posted a video of a kid learning "Colonel Reb is Crying." How flattering. Made my day.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Biggest Loser and the website that has consumed me

Tomorrow on the show we will be joined by Roger Schultz. Roger is the former Alabama player that is in the finals on the show "The Biggest Loser." You are gonna love this guy. Roger will talk about his days at Bama, being on the reality show with a chance to win, and everything else funny. This guy is hilarious. We have to vote for him to win this thing. The guy he is going up against has lost so much weight that he looks diseased. It is ridiculous. Roger will be on at 3:40.

Today I mentioned a website that I came across that consumed most of my morning. The website was and it features songs and their lyrics, followed by a discussion of what the song is talking about. I am fanatical about this kind of stuff and if you are a huge music fan, I apologize in advance, this will take up way too much of your time.

Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus and free stuff...

Last week we hegan our weekly baseball segment with Will Carroll from Baseball Prospectus. Every week we will give one of our listeners a free subscription to The way to get a free subscription is for us to use your question on the show. Email your baseball question to Listen at 3:40 every Wednesday to see if your question is used.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Up 3 with 10 seconds to go..

You foul. What an incredibly frustrating way to lose a national championship. Coach Cal said that they were trying to foul. All you have to do is watch it back. Cal is not yelling anything, for once. Rose could have just run up and fouled as soon as the kid caught the ball. Cal said he knocked the kid down and they did not call it. Nope. Rose had no idea he was supposed to foul, and nobody that watches that back will see any differently. More tomorrow, I have to go puke.

When a possibility becomes a reality...

Note: Today's show will be live from Buffalo Wild Wings (Wolfchase, on 64)

Tonight a possibility becomes a reality. The Tigers are playing for the National Championship. There have been a ton of great teams in the history of college basketball that never had this chance, that never created this chance for themselves.

John Calipari has always talked about "the city." The players have talked about "the city." Coach Cal always talked about how much this team can mean to the city, and he was absolutely right. It is impossible to not feel a sense of pride for our city when you see this team, and the Memphis on their chest.

It is a bit strange, but this has turned into much more than a basketball game. This has turned into an event symbolic of the pride that this city can have, and should have. It means something different to everyone that will watch it. When I go to big events or meet people from other markets, I am always asked why I am in Memphis. My dad went to Memphis and my family was all from West Tennessee, but I grew up in New York and St. Louis. After college I decided to move to Memphis and get a job, and I have never wanted to leave. I always feel like I constantly have to defend Memphis and talk it up to people that do not understand.

And then something strange happened while I was in San Antonio...
I met an insane number of coaches and media members from all over the nation, and I was never once asked why I was in Memphis. The fact that I live in Memphis and work in Memphis was looked at in a completely different light than it had been in the past. To others, living in Memphis was a great place to be. It always has been.

I think Memphis is going to win the National Championship tonight. If they do, it would be the greatest sports moment in the history of the city. If they don't, nothing can be taken away from what they have accomplished.

Of all of the things that this team has accomplished, the one that will stand out to me is that they changed the perception of this city, at least for a while.

Living in Memphis is a great place to be... a possibility has become a reality.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Heisley Email Exchange, Vecsey audio

Below is the email exchange that we read yesterday on the show. One of our listeners, Chris, is a big grizzlies fan that decided to rip off an email to the Grizzlies owner regarding the stories of Marc Iavaroni being fired. He then received a return email from the owner of the Grizzlies which gave us some interesting insight. Thanks to Chris for sending me the exchange.


Mr. Heisley,
I'm sitting here at my desk, not believing what I'm hearing. It
is being reported in Memphis that you are going to fire Coach Iavaroni,
and hire Larry Brown. Tell me it isn't so. You had a chance to hire
him last summer and you chose not to. I'm afraid you are going to set
yourself up as having a reputation that coaches can't succeed here. I
don't know if Coach Iavaroni is good or not, but considering everything
that has happened this year, most of which came from YOU, it is not fair
to him. Let him finish what he started. If you want to fire him
after next year, then so be it, but firing someone with this roster
after what happened this year, after just one year is just wrong. And
me being a Grizzlies fan, and there are not many of us, I don't want to
see you make yet another mistake. Coach Brown is a great coach, but he
would be HORRIBLE for this team. Coach Brown takes teams that are good
and makes them great. He doesn't make horrible teams better. He likes
veterans, and we don't have any. He doesn't like young players and
that's all we have. If you hire him, we will be right back here again
in 2 to 3 years hiring another coach, when he quits. I had hoped you
would have learned that this city will not support a coach that
micromanages his team. Coach Fratello proved that, so why hire another
guy like that. Plus every move you have made points to us cutting cost,
so why fire a coach you still have to pay and then hire a high priced
guy. It just makes no sense. If you don't enjoy this, then PLEASE,
sell the team and sell it quickly because after you are gone, I'll still
be here and will have to deal with your mistakes. I would love to hear
from YOU, not your assistant. I know you are busy man, but you are not
too busy to take my money, so if Mark Cuban can return emails, then so
can you. I appreciate what you have done here. I have been hard on you
and if none of this is true, I'm sorry for bothering you, but I CARE Mr.
Heisley and I don't want to take any more steps back. Hopefully you can
appreciate that. Thank you for your time.


Dear Chris:

First, let me say thanks for your support of the Grizzlies. I know that when a team is losing, it is a difficult time for fans to support their sports team.

Let me assure you that I have not made a decision on Mark Iavaroni as coach, but will make a decision at the end of the year. I have not interviewed any other coaching candidate. Since Jerry West joined the team, he hired Hubie Brown, who won 50 games and Coach of the Year honors. Hubie retired and we hired a coach similar to Hubie, Mike Fratello, who won over 45 games both years he coached.

Jerry West decided the fans wanted an up-tempo coach, so we let Fratello go and made Tony Barone interim coach.

Jerry then recommended Mark Iavaroni from Phoenix, who took over at the beginning of the season. The team was expected to win 30+ games by most professionals including Jerry West. Before we traded Gasol, the team's performance was very poor, and is not the reason for our poor record this year.

You are so right that I do not normally answer e-mails, because I am responsible for over 15,000 employees and 45 companies with sales of about $2.5 billion.

I agree with you that Mark Cuban is a much better owner than me, and I hope the next owner is similar to Mark.

I hope you can appreciate that the Grizzlies have lost over $140 million dollars since I moved the team to Memphis, and during that 7-year period we made the Playoffs 3 times (a much better record over the last 7 years than a significant number of NBA teams).

I assure that I intend to do my best to make the right decisions. I also agree that we have made some bad decisions. I can only hope you choose to stay a fan until I or my successor is able to meet your expectations.

Thanks for your e-mail.


Mike Heisley

Peter Vecsey from the New York Post was on the show yesterday to talk about the coaching situation in Memphis. VECSEY INTERVIEW Did you read the whole column? Ha!