Enterprise Journalism — April 22, 1010
Outside the Lines (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, ESPN)
Now that two-time Super Bowl champion Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended six games for violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy, the Steelers quarterback begins a new stage of his career. But even before the allegations of the last 10 months, there were questions about Roethlisberger’s off-the-field conduct and team leadership. Outside the Lines‘ conducted numerous on and off-camera interviews with current and former teammates and people in Pittsburgh about Roethlisberger. Kelly Naqi reports on an incident which influenced Roethlisberger to hire bodyguards and on a team meeting in which a then-Steeler called him out in front of the whole team. Bob Ley hosts.
“This latest accusation against Ben has really been damaging for him because I know some diehard Steelers fans who say they won’t continue to support the black and gold if he’s the leader, if he’s the QB of this team.” — Mike Logan, Roethlisberger’s Steelers teammate for three seasons and now a Pittsburgh sports-talk show host
“It’s like, OK, who is the real Ben? The Ben I know is a cool dude and is always laughing, joking around. And then this new Ben is totally different. Because of these allegations, the Ben I knew is gone, he’s always going to be this new Ben, two-time Super Bowl Champion, two-time allegation for sexual assault. It’s there. No matter how much good stuff he do, it’s there.” — Najeh Davenport, former NFL RB who played for Pittsburgh from 2006 to 2008
Kermit Alexander: Out of the Rubble
SportsCenter (Sunday, 11 a.m., 6 p.m., 11 p.m., ESPN)
When Kermit Alexander, a hard-hitting defensive back for the 49ers and Rams, was at the tail end of his pro career in the 1970s, he coached and mentored Pop Warner football players in the Watts section of Los Angeles. One player he encountered slipped through the cracks. A decade later that player — in a random gang-related act — murdered Alexander’s mother and three of his family members. Racked with guilt, Alexander spent much of the next 20 years drifting. But after taking a trip to Haiti in 2004 with his girlfriend, Tami Clark, he met another young child who changed his life. It was Alexander’s second chance to help a youngster, and he and Clark began a six-year odyssey to adopt this emaciated Haitian orphan and his four brothers and sisters. The odyssey somehow came to a gratifying conclusion following the tragic 7.0 earthquake in January in Port au Prince. ESPN’s Tom Friend reports this story.
State of the Game – Alarming Rise in Horse Racing Deaths
E:60 (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ESPN)
Three Horses, all owned by Michael Gill, one of the country’s most winning and controversial racehorse owners, were euthanized after three different races in eight days at the same track. Gill’s story is part of a problem that has sent shockwaves through the sport. A recently released report shows that racehorses are dying in North America at twice the rate of other countries. In an E:60 exclusive, Rachel Nichols sat down with Gill, one of the most hated men in racing, to talk about why jockeys refuse to ride his horses and why animal rights activists are demanding answers from him. A firestorm of accusations is running Gill out of the sport, but the outspoken owner isn’t going quietly.
Haitian Women’s Soccer
E:60 (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ESPN)
The heartbreaking and emotional story of the Haitian Women’s U17 soccer team is also a tale of courage and resolve. After their country was devastated by an earthquake that killed thousands, including their coach, team members regrouped to train and prepare for a tournament in Costa Rica that would qualify them for the U17 FIFA World Cup. E:60 reporter Lisa Salters followed the team’s courageous effort that fell short when they were eliminated from contention, and the story continued with their return to their devastated homeland.
Joe Mauer — There’s No Place like Home
E:60 (Tuesday, 7 p.m. ESPN)
The reigning American League MVP, Joe Mauer recently signed a long-term contract to keep him with the Minnesota Twins, his hometown team and the only MLB team for which he has played. Jeremy Schaap, with exclusive access, tours the Twin Cities area with Mauer, visiting Mauer’s childhood neighborhood and favorite hangouts. Mauer invited E:60 into his parents’ home, and into the family garage where his father worked to develop Joe’s batting skills. Mauer also opens the video vault, providing a glimpse of rarely-seen images of a young Joe terrorizing a neighborhood T-ball league. E:60 also speaks with Twins teammate Justin Morneau, former Twins GM Terry Ryan and baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr.
Merrill: Bradford Vowed Early to ‘Never Quit’
The St. Louis Rams have a need to draft a quarterback, and the No. 1 prospect is Sam Bradford, a 22-year-old from Oklahoma City who threw out of a spread offense and missed most of the 2009 season with a shoulder injury. Elizabeth Merrill reports.
NASCAR Countdown (Saturday, 2:30 p.m., ABC)
While drivers battle one another on the track, their real enemy is air. In a strategy found in nature as well as in other sports, drivers have learned how to use “the draft”. Fighting through it at 200 mph takes a lot out of the tank and to do it right, drivers must “see” the air. If not done correctly, a wreck can result simply by disturbing the flow around a car.
MLS Star Battling to Make U.S. National Team
ESPN Deportes SportsCenter (Sunday, 11 p.m.)
ESPNDeportes.com (Reportajes Especiales piece)
DC United’s Santino Quaranta was a promising MLS star until he began heavy drug use that included pain killers and cocaine. After three months in rehab he claims to have been clean since “10-23-07,” which he has tattooed on his arm as a reminder. Quaranta fought his way back into DC United’s starting lineup and earned a spot with the US National Team during last year’s Gold Cup. An injury last September sidelined him until the beginning of the MLS season. He must now wait for one last chance to earn a place on the 23-man roster to participate in this summer’s FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
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