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Brooks Melchior Appears on Schefter’s Podcast

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Brooks Melchior, best known as the creator of the website Sports By Brooks, was the toast of online sports fans in the early part of this century. His blog was one of the first to experience success mixing sports and pop culture content. The website launched in 2001 and lasted till 2011, when Sports By Brooks became only a Twitter feed. A little over a year later, Brooks Melchior disappeared from public life.

Back in September we posted about the frenzy the @SPORTSbyBROOKS Twitter account’s first Tweet in five years set off. It rehashed stories and theories about what happened to Melchior and why he went underground. Yesterday Melchior reappeared for a conversation The Adam Schefter Podcast.

According to Melchior, it was an obsession with college football and Jackie Robinson that led to the end of the site and his long hiatus.

If you look at my Twitterfeed today, you really have a sense of what I’ve been doing. What started me down this rabbit hole…getting away from the website for this hiatus…because I am gonna bring the website back in the first quarter of 2019, is learning about football history and specifically discovering Jackie Robinson.

The first thing I remembered in this process developing a documentary series, which is what I’ve been doing over the last three and a half/four years, is that I discovered a piece of football of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field playing against the college all-stars in 1941 and Jackie Robinson was scoring a touchdown against the Chicago Bears. 98,00 fans. George Halas is on the sidelines. And I saw this…I couldn’t believe. I knew that Jackie Robinson had played football at UCLA but I didn’t know that he was this big of a star. And I didn’t know football was that big, period. And so I started to look back at Jackie Robinson’s football career and I’m actually getting more footage in today from his games against Washington State when he played for UCLA.

But that’s what started me down this road of learning about what a superstar football player he was in 1941. And then come to find out he never would have played for the Brooklyn Dodgers had it not been for his football career.

Sean Keeley of Awful Announcing is among the many not buying the simple explanation of an obsession with research leading to the end of Sports by Brooks.

On paper, all of that sounds interesting enough. But the interview itself ends up taking some strange turns. Brooks spends a lot of time hyping up the Jackie Robinson vs. Chicago Bears footage, at least three different times throughout the interview, as if he’s discovered the Dead Sea Scrolls. And sure, it’s neat and all. Sounds like a solid 30 for 30 documentary. But it’s not as if there isn’t footage of Robinson playing football on YouTubealready.

Jeff Pearlman wrote a story about Melchior’s disappearance in 2016 for Bleacher Report that was never published. Pearlman told Chris Mannix, of NBC Sports Radio at the time, that as best he could tell, it was mental health issues that led to Melchior leaving the public eye. Adam Schefter brought this up with Melchior. Melchior responded by talking more about Jackie Robinson.

Melchior did promise that the website Sports By Brooks will relaunch in 2019. He claims that currently he is “retooling” the site to prepare for “another dimension” of Sports By Brooks.

Sports Online

Dan Le Batard: It Enrages Me That There’s a Craig Carton Show on TV

“The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Jordan Bondurant

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The news of Tom Brady announcing his retirement on Wednesday came as Dan Le Batard and company were on the air, and in the midst of the initial reaction to Brady’s announcement, Le Batard offered a quick shot at WFAN and FS1 host Craig Carton.

Carton has been hosting a morning show on FS1 since last September. Craig added the TV show to co-hosting his successful afternoon drive program on WFAN alongside Evan Roberts.

But as Le Batard and the rest of the show were looking at the TV trying to figure out what was going on with the Brady story, Dan said he thought it was crazy Carton was on television.

“It enrages me that there’s a Carton show,” Le Batard said. “The man went to jail. The man defrauded the people and got right back into sports entertainment television!”

Carton went to prison for a year after facing a charge of securities and wire fraud. In the fall of 2020, after being released from jail earlier in the year, Carton made his return to WFAN.

It’s possible that Le Batard, who is busy running his own independent media operation, wasn’t aware Carton had a TV show. So it’s likely seeing Craig’s face probably was a bit of a shock. But it was clear Dan wasn’t expecting to learn the news from Carton’s show.

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Sports Online

ESPN Hands Out 6 New Contracts To Investigative Journalists

Jordan Bondurant

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ESPN is solidifying its lineup of investigative journalists. The network announced on Wednesday the hiring of two newcomers as well as contract extensions for four others.

Xuan Thai and Sara Coello are the two newcomers to The Worldwide Leader, starting their jobs in January.

Thai previously worked at NBC News and MSNBC. Most recently, she was the deputy bureau chief of the south region at NBC.

Coello has made her way to ESPN after stops at The Charlotte Observer, The Dallas Morning News and The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.

Alyssa Roenigk, Tisha Thompson, Sam Borden and Tom Junod are the four others who received contract extensions.

Roenigk is the most senior of the group, with 2023 being her 21st year at ESPN. She’s been an editor, sideline reporter, studio host and writer in that stretch of two decades.

Thompson and Borden both started at ESPN in 2017. Thompson has covered stories including the ongoing government investigation of Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder and investigated sexual assault allegations within the U.S. Snowboard team.

Borden has appeared regularly on various ESPN platforms like the ESPN Daily podcast and Outside the Lines. He’s a 2021 Edward R. Murrow Award winner for an NFL Countdown piece called “This Big Mo Show.”

Junod has been at ESPN since 2019. His previous stops include GQ, Esquire, Life and Sports Illustrated.

Additionally, a contract extension for veteran feature producer Scott Harves was announced by the network.

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Sports Online

Sports Media Reacts To Tom Brady Retiring

“Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.”

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Things seem a little more final this time. Tom Brady says he will not return to the field. The GOAT announced his retirement Wednesday morning in a video posted to social media.

While it is still unclear what happens next, plenty of people in the sports media had opinions to share. Plenty of the biggest names in the business rushed to Twitter to pay tribute to Brady’s career on the football field.

There were other reactions as well. It is well-known that Tom Brady has a ten-year contract worth $375 million waiting for him at FOX. That means plenty of people in the sports media have questions about what today’s announcement means for Greg Olsen.

Olsen has won plenty of acclaim as the analyst in the network’s top NFL booth. Brady’s deal includes him taking over that spot, so several personalities and writers used the day to publicly question the logic in that decision.

There was a third reaction too. Twitter was made for two things: reacting to breaking news and making jokes. Tom Brady announcing his retirement gave some members of the sports media the chance to do both.

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