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Deitsch Asks Writers About Worst Team They Covered



Richard Deutsch has an interesting and fun piece series going up at The Athletic today. He has asked 39 different sports writers to recap tales from the very worst team they covered. The answers span all four major US leagues plus the WNBA and college sports. They also vary in reasons about what made each team the worst.

The series begins with NFL beat reporters talking about their season(s) in hell. The NHL will be in the spotlight on Tuesday. It’s Major League Baseball on Wednesday. The NBA and WNBA stories come Thursday. College teams are highlighted on Friday. Here is the full schedule:

NFL (Monday)

  • 1990 Denver Broncos (Adam Schefter)
  • 1994 Dallas Cowboys (Dale Hansen)
  • 2000 & 2001 San Diego Chargers (Jim Trotter)
  • 2003 New York Giants (Tara Sullivan)
  • 2008 Detroit Lions (Nick Cotsonika)
  • 2010 Denver Broncos (Lindsay Jones)
  • 2012 New York Jets (Kimberley A. Martin)
  • 2012 Philadelphia Eagles (Les Bowen)
  • 2016 Jacksonville Jaguars (Ryan O’Halloran)
  • 2017 Indianapolis Colts (Stephen Holder)

NHL (Tuesday)

  • 2003-04 Pittsburgh Penguins (Trenni Kusnierek)
  • 2005-06 St. Louis Blues (Jeremy Rutherford)
  • 2007-08 Atlanta Thrashers (Craig Custance)
  • 2009-10 Toronto Maple Leafs (James Mirtle)
  • 2010-11 New York Islanders (Katie Strang)
  • 2011-12 Columbus Blue Jackets (Aaron Portzline)
  • 2013-14 Vancouver Canucks (Jason Botchford)
  • 2014-15 Buffalo Sabres (John Vogl)

MLB (Wednesday)

  • 1983 California Angels (Gene Wojciechowski)
  • 1988 Baltimore Orioles (Richard Justice)
  • 1993 New York Mets (Frank Isola)
  • 1995 Oakland A’s (Pedro Gomez)
  • 1998 Florida Marlins (Dave O’Brien)
  • 2002 Chicago Cubs (Teddy Greenstein)
  • 2011-16 New York Yankees (Marly Rivera)

NBA/WNBA (Thursday)

  • 1998-99 Cleveland Cavaliers (Jason Lloyd)
  • 2005-06 Portland Trail Blazers (John Canzano)
  • 2005-06 New York Knicks (Howard Beck)
  • 2008-09 Los Angeles Clippers (Lisa Dillman)
  • 2011 Tulsa Shock (Kelly Hines)
  • 2013-14 Los Angeles Lakers (Dave McMenamin)
  • 2014-15 Brooklyn Nets (Tim Bontemps)
  • 2015-16 Philadelphia 76ers (Derek Bodner)

Colleges (Friday)

  • 1994 Kentucky Football (Pat Forde)
  • 1997 Maryland Football (Seth Emerson)
  • 2002 Stanford Football (Jon Wilner)
  • 2002-03 Villanova Basketball (Dana O’Neil)
  • 2014 Michigan Football (Angelique Chengelis)
  • 2015 Idaho Football (Michael Shawn-Dugar)

As for the first piece, the highlights include Dale Hanson of WFAA-TV in Dallas talking about the 1994 Dallas Cowboys, who were a good team according to their record. Hanson says that the hiring of Barry Switzer to replace Jimmy Johnson changed everything about the team’s culture. “But with Switzer’s ‘leadership,’ players were out of control. And there was no one to rein ‘em in. As one player said to me late at night near closing time in an Austin bar, ‘we have a curfew but Switzer’s coaching so who really cares.'”

Jim Trotter of NFL Media said one player ruined his experience with the 2001 San Diego Chargers. “That was the first time I saw up close how a team could splinter if one of its purported leaders was more concerned about himself than the club. That player was quarterback Doug Flutie, North America’s beloved underdog.”

The real gem though is from Nick Cotsonika, who now writes for, but in 2008 was a beat reporter covering the Detroit Lions. He writes about the first NFL team to ever go 0-16 with some real fondness for just how terrible they were. “As the losses piled up, each game became more important, not less. It was like covering a team chasing history, only this team was trying to run from it and tripping over its own feet. No NFL team had gone 0-16 before. Kicker Jason Hanson said the Lions were so bad they had something to play for now. It says something the kicker was the one with the cred and the guts to tell it like it was.”

You can read the full piece here if you are a subscriber to The Athletic.


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Draymond Green, JJ Redick Sell Out Live Podcast Show

The show will collaborate for the first time and it will mark an interesting time in the thrusting of new media onto the public consciousness.



Old Man Draymond

The two new and most visible faces of the new media influx have teamed up for a live show that will take place in New York City. Draymond Green and JJ Redick are bringing their respective podcasts to the stage for a live experience.

On Monday (June 27), Draymond Green’s The Draymond Green Show and JJ Redick’s The Old Man and the Three will seek to entertain an already sold out audience at The City Winery in New York City.

The show will collaborate for the first time and it will mark an interesting time in the thrusting of new media onto the public consciousness. JJ Redick has earned universal praise for how he has handled his career post-retirement from the NBA, including appear often opposite Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take as well as the network’s myriad of other programming.

Draymond Green has been very public with his podcast that has very publicly recorded episodes minutes after Warriors games. He has recently invoked his mantra that he isn’t a part of the media (despite signing a contract with Turner Sports and Colin Cowherd’s The Volume). Instead he insists he is a part of the aforementioned new media.

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Scott Van Pelt Not Hurt By Draymond Green’s “New Media” Comment

“He’s the one that said it. Isn’t he the one who said he’s new media? I was just trying to give him credit in saying, ‘Look, you now have control of your narrative and you can go do your podcast now.’”



Scott Van Pelt

We have heard an awful lot in the fast month about “new media” with a large section of that discussion coming in regards to athletes in or formerly in the NBA. One such interaction was between a member of that new media and Scott Van Pelt.

After Game 5 of the NBA Finals, a victorious Draymond Green was interviewed on SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt. In the interview, Van Pelt asked Green about dealing with the outside “noise” around the Finals. After Green gave a to-be-expected type answer, Van Pelt followed-up with the initial comment that start a wave.

Van Pelt: You’re part of the media now and you get to control the conversation from your perspective and I know you’ll-

Green: New media.

He then corrected Van Pelt’s assertion that Green had stated Stephen A. Smith was new media by saying:

Green: And by the way go watch The Draymond Green Show. I said Stephen A. sometimes acts like the new media. Sometimes he doesn’t. That’s on you, but nonetheless, don’t just lump me in with media, baby. It’s the new media.

Scott Van Pelt appeared on the SI Media Podcast and was asked about this exchange.

“I didn’t get that,” Van Pelt said of Green’s resistance in being associated with the word “media.”

“He’s the one that said it. Isn’t he the one who said he’s new media? I was just trying to give him credit in saying, ‘Look, you now have control of your narrative and you can go do your podcast now.’”

Van Pelt went on about Green’s categorizing of Smith and other media as a separate column of media.

“I guess what Draymond actually said was sometimes he’s new media. I don’t give a shit who’s what…I think now as it relates to media, there’s no new and old because people that are in the old media are doing the new media and people that are in new media are cutting through in ways that people in old media didn’t think they ever would many years ago. I guess all I’m saying is whatever Stephen A. is, he exists in both lanes and Draymond, clearly his content cuts through on his podcast or with me.

I wasn’t hurt by it. I didn’t take it like he was mad at me. I was just correcting the semantics. It didn’t trouble me. Whatever. However Draymond frames what Stephen A. Smith is or what any of us are, it doesn’t feel important. I think it’s important he has that place where he wants to do his thing. And I think people are interested in hearing from the guy that was just out there not long after saying what he has to say.”

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Big Cat Asks For Listeners’ Help Booking Kevin Durant on Pardon My Take

“On a recent edition of the podcast, Big Cat talked about how the Brooklyn Nets star has continued to snub requests to come on the show.”

Jordan Bondurant



Barstool’s Big Cat has been trying to book NBA star Kevin Durant on Pardon My Take for five years, but the former MVP just won’t say yes.

On a recent edition of the podcast, Big Cat talked about how the Brooklyn Nets star has continued to snub requests to come on the show.

“We want Kevin Durant on this show, and he has just alpha-ed me so hard at this point,” Big Cat said. “I need people to start replying to his tweets saying just go on Pardon My Take.”

It’s not like KD has given Big Cat the cold shoulder. Big Cat said Durant has responded to his DMs on Twitter before, even wishing him Happy Thanksgiving one year. But so far all attempts to get Durant on PMT have been futile.

“Maybe if we start getting some rings, then he’ll be like, ‘Yeah they’re an elite team, and I want to join up with them. And maybe I can help them win something,'” PFT Commenter said, referencing the fact that PMT is yet to be recognized with any podcasting awards.

Durant did more or less tell the podcast on Twitter he wasn’t interested on Wednesday.

Durant’s response probably still won’t deter Big Cat from trying to get Durant on the show, but at least they know where KD stands.

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