Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has caught a lot of flak this week for streaming a since-deleted video on Facebook Live of the team’s locker room following their win over the Chiefs Sunday. In a laudable attempt at contrarianism, a writer for the Sporting News tries to use this story as a way to put down Tom Brady. But unfortunately for her, she doesn’t have her facts straight.

On Kirk & Callahan Monday, Brady was asked about Brown’s video, which includes sound of Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin calling the Patriots “a––holes” during his postgame speech. He said something like that would never happen with the Patriots.

“Our team has a policy. We don’t show anything that should be private because he [Bill Belichick] feels when we are inside our stadium, inside the walls, there has to be a degree of privacy that we have,” Brady said. “What’s done in the locker room should stay in the locker room.”

Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger piled on Brown Tuesday. Tomlin said the wideout’s actions were “foolish,” and Roethlisberger said he was “disappointed.” But that’s not the way Sporting News scribe Sara Jane Harris sees the situation. She stumbled upon the weekly video the Patriots post on their website following each game, and calls out Brady for being hypocrite:

“No, there wasn’t any cussing, but we did get to see what happens “inside the walls” of the Patriots locker room at Gillette Stadium, something Brady said would never happen,” she writes. 

When compared to Brown’s livestream, which was shot with his smartphone camera, it’s obvious the Patriots’ clip is professionally edited and put together. If the aesthetic differences aren’t stark enough, Jane Harris also could’ve completed a Twitter or Google search, where she would’ve found out the Patriots publish a postgame video every week.

It’s sad to see a hot take so thoroughly debunked.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer

It’s five days before Christmas, but nobody on Twitter seems to be in the holiday spirit. “[Alex Reimer] just ruined my drive in,” somebody tweets at me at 6:50 a.m. “His only talent is homosexuality. Is that a talent? Nope.”

Within minutes, another stranger chimes in. “That is partially the case. Gag reflex?”

Since I started hosting on Kirk & Callahan three months ago, I’ve faced an unfathomable amount of vitriol from listeners on social media. In order to cope, I channel the sage wisdom of our next president, Donald J. Trump: “They’re just words.”

In many instances, the rules surrounding public and private citizens are different. This is true in the courts, where the threshold for committing defamation against a public person is far greater than a private person, or on the street, where it’s perfectly OK to mob strangers as long as they qualify as “celebrities.”

The same norms apply to social media. When I go on the radio and call Tom Brady a coward, I expect to experience blowback. Sometimes, unfortunately, it’s below the belt. But that’s the reality of cyberspace. Thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever for trolls to torment people online. All it takes is a couple of clicks, and suddenly they’re at the top of their targets’ mentions, invading computer and smartphone screens. It’s important to remember this is nothing more than perceived intimacy. The creators of these mean tweets are far more likely to be high school students located hundreds of miles away than reputable members of society.

Last week, SB Nation’s Charlotte Wilder published a piece about how the Patriots have a Trump problem. The premise is, many Patriots fans have abandoned their team due to Trump’s friendships with Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft. Though that’s a fascinating hook, the story only quoted one person on the record who said she could no longer watch the team. The evidence was anecdotal at best.

Over the next couple of days, Wilder received a bevy of criticism from enraged Patriots fans. Some of it, disgustingly, took a sexist turn.

“Today was exhausting but the support and kindness I received from friends and strangers restored the faith in humanity that others took away,” Wilder wrote last Thursday. “The internet as a woman can be ugly, but I’m not shutting up anytime soon. I appreciate you.”

On K&C Tuesday, Kirk Minihane said he thinks it’s shallow for Wilder to insinuate she was disparaged because of her gender.

“The predictability of writing a dumb story and then hiding behind it like she did, though, I knew this was so obviously going to happen,” he said. “She took some heat, which she deserved, and then I knew she was immediately going to play the ‘people are being mean to me because I’m a woman’ card. I knew that was coming.”

In response, Comcast SportsNet’s Trenni Kusnierek, who was sitting in as the third host, said she understands why Wilder was so distraught.

“They’re not just mean tweets,” she said. “One of these: ‘This was the worst story ever, besides BuzzFeed. I would say you get cancer, but yikes, the face on you, honey.’ Then he goes on to say, ‘I hope this mother of yours gets cancer.’ Is that really necessary?”

It’s not necessary, but unfortunately it’s a part of the job –– especially after writing a provocative piece. Take a look at Dan Shaughnessy’s mentions once in a while. There’s plenty of venom to go around.

Last year, “Just Not Sports” released a PSA that highlights the harassment women sports journalists face online. In it, actors read mean tweets directed towards ESPN’s Sarah Spain and Chicago-based broadcaster Julie DiCaro, both of whom have been outspoken about this issue.

What the video doesn’t mention, however, is the reach of the people who tweet vile and sexist comments at Spain and DiCaro. From my experience, the majority of Twitter trolls have faceless avatars and less than a dozen followers. Their irrelevance doesn’t make their actions right, but it puts it in perspective. They don’t matter.

In a recent conversation with me, Doris Burke, who’s now one of ESPN’s lead NBA analysts, echoed those sentiments. She said she’s tried to block out the noise to the best of her abilities, instead focusing on gaining respect from her peers.

“The players and coaches have been nothing but accepting of me from the very first time I broadcasted their games,” she said. “I’ve had a couple along the way, including an NBA official, who admitted to a little bit of skepticism when they first saw and heard me on the game. But this person quickly followed that with, ‘But then I listened to what you had to say.’ And I realized, ‘She knows what she’s talking about.’”

Perhaps one day, people will stop making derogatory comments online. But until they do, the best tactic is to ignore the trolls. They’re not worth the attention.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
Glenn, Lou and Christian talk about Aaron Rodgers, who has been on fire to close out the season, and how he compares to Tom Brady and the rest of the top quarterbacks of all time.
Everyone's talking about Antonio Brown live-streaming the Steelers team's post game speech after their win over the Chiefs. We hear from Edelman, Hightower, Brady and a few Steelers.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger both spoke to the media today, and each of them address Antonio Brown's Facebook Live video that called the Patriots a-holes.

[0:02:49] ... at how different this is from the west Boca effect because the Wes Welker thing was probably similar in this respect. The Belichick told those guys we're not messing around with this Rex Ryan foot fetish ...
[0:03:59] ... page to wade through like let's say what public does this is Ben Roethlisberger. Now talking about it. And it's that the unfortunate situation that we you'll right now. Because that locker over the secret place ...
[0:05:42] ... Of my worries coming up this weekend Libyan bill would concern me. Ben Roethlisberger were concerned almost go to colonial and round would concern me that honest laugh yeah they all think they should still run player yes that Thomas was a special teams amount. What do once actually play a lot of bad yeah Phillies let's I wanna to light. Put wants the fight somebody capital to get the offensive line which seems to be improved depth right now for the Pittsburgh Steelers would concern many. This is when it does Tomlin. Concern you when you look at the Pittsburgh steel as you said there's ...
[0:08:18] ... have that. You mentioned some of the comments that Thomas had about Tony Brown you know now of the wearing thin of the players you know talking formula on a little later on two incidents often ...






ESPN analyst and former Patriot Tedy Bruschi said today that Roger Goodell is better off not showing up in New England. The guys talk about Goodell avoiding Gillette and Bruschi's comments.

N.Y. PostAlex Rodriguez is “Back in the Game,” but not literally.

The former Yankees slugger will host a CNBC show by that title in which he counsels former athletes who have gone broke, it was announced Tuesday. The reality program, from SMAC Entertainment and Machete Productions, will be produced by former Giants star Michael Strahan. 

“It’s a story we hear all too often,” read the release, tweeted out by Politico’s Alex Weprin. “A pro athlete heads into retirement, only to find themselves in financial free-fall. With no more games to play or paychecks to cash, the future can often look bleak to those athletes struggling to adjust and adapt. But help may be on the way.”

The sentimental CNBC show marks the latest step in Rodriguez’s public relations turnaround. A-Rod was once one of the most hated players in the game, but spent the past two years since his season-long PED suspension in 2014 remaking himself as a clubhouse mentor. Rodriguez also got rave reviews for impressively articulating his baseball knowledge as an analyst for Fox Sports during the postseason.

I’m not a huge Alex Rodriguez fan but he’s not bad on TV. The first lesson should be not to waste money hiring people to stand outside a courthouse and hold supportive signs for you, as it was speculated he did in 2013,

Johnny Manziel should be the first guest on this show.

Blog Author: 
Lucy Burdge
The guys wrap up the show by talking about some national stories, like Pete Carroll admitting that he didn't disclose Richard Sherman's injury and LeBron James with yet another flop.
Mike Tomlin (Kirby Lee/USA Today Images)

Mike Tomlin (Kirby Lee/USA Today Images)

Imagine if a video leaked of Bill Belichick calling his upcoming opponent “a–holes.” He would probably be eviscerated for his arrogance, condemned for not respecting the league. Maybe Mark Brunell would even cry.

At the least, it would be the lead story across sports for the entire day. Belichick’s surliness makes him an easy target. There’s a lot to be said for affability, because it allows you to skate out of trouble. Just ask Mike Tomlin; he’s made a career of it.

Sunday night, Steelers wideout Antonio Brown posted a since-deleted video on Facebook Live that caught Tomlin deriding the Patriots.

“We spotted them a–holes a day-and-a-half,” he said. “They played yesterday; our game got moved to tonight. We’re gonna touch down at 4 o’clock in the [expletive] morning. So be it. We’ll be ready for their [expletive]. But you ain’t got to tell them that we’re coming.”

The rah-rah speech, by all accounts, was standard football talk. Coaches across the NFL probably call their opponents –– and especially the Patriots –– a lot worse. But that’s not the point. Tomlin was recorded saying something incendiary. And yet, every talking head on ESPN’s Around the Horn, one of the network’s signature debate shows, laughed it off Monday. It’s difficult to believe everybody would’ve been so amused if Belichick were in Tomlin’s place.

Belichick gets treated differently than every coach, but few people represent the contrast more than Tomlin. All of the proof one needs to make that claim happened on Thanksgiving night in 2013, when Tomlin tried to trip Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones on a kick return in prime time. Belichick is called a cheater because the Patriots were caught taping opponents from the wrong area of the stadium and Tom Brady’s footballs lost air pressure in cold weather. Tomlin, meanwhile, actually tripped a guy on the field. But after a $100,000 fine, it all went away.

Speaking of Deflategate, the Steelers were also caught playing with under-inflated footballs against the Giants this season. According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, one ball was measured at 11.4 PSI and another one clocked in at 11.8. Or, in other words, numbers that are nearly identical to the PSI level of the Patriots’ balls in the 2015 AFC championship game.

But unlike Deflategate I, the sequel was quelled in roughly one hour. The NFL released a statement shortly after the original report, saying all game day procedures were followed and there were no “chain of command issues.” The league masterfully avoided the PSI issue, since the science says nothing nefarious happened to the Patriots’ balls. Now it’s all about “chain of command,” because Jim McNally took some footballs into the bathroom with him before heading onto the field. Keep in mind, McNally’s pregame whereabouts weren’t known until after the league had paid millions of dollars to Ted Wells to investigate the alleged crime.

Giants owner John Mara, who admonished the Patriots during Deflategate, said the whole fuss over the Steelers’ balls was “much ado about nothing.” Pittsburgh got off, whereas the Patriots lost Brady for four games and a first-round pick. (For those keeping score at home, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger also missed four contests after being accused of sexual assault.)

As ESPN reported, the league went so hard against the Patriots, because many owners believe Roger Goodell let them off easy during Spygate (New England lost a first-round pick, but apparently that wasn’t enough). If that’s the case, then the Steelers should face even more scorn. Former head coach Bill Cowher admitted to trying to steal signals, and he was never even investigated.

There’s a double-standard when it comes to judging the Steelers and Patriots. Pittsburgh is held up on a pedestal as a model organization despite committing the same, if not worse infractions than New England. Like most instances, the strongest message the Patriots can send will be on the field Sunday. Brady is 7-2 against the Steelers with a 114.2 passer-rating. Nobody can spin that.

Blog Author: 
Alex Reimer
Hour 4. Fauria is wrong about Rodgers. Lucy ranked the wives and girlfriends of Patriots players and Trenni isn't happy about it.