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Thank you, Alex Flanagan

Apr 20, 2015 -- 4:58pm
 
Thank you, Alex Flanagan
=====================
 
This Britt McHenry story is gross.  I don't like it when people talk disrespectfully to one another.  
Don't care who it is. 
Tow truck employee or President of the United States.  
Everyone deserves respect. 
 
NBC Sports Reporter Alex Flanagan wrote the most extraordinary blog about Shelly Smith, I had to share! :
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The ESPN Reporter That Should Be Getting The Attention
 
ShelleySPeople have been asking me my take on the female reporter who was caught on tape insulting a tow company employee. I’ve kept my mouth shut for the most part, because I know in my 22-year career I’ve made a lot of mistakes, said things I wish I could take back and haven’t always treated people the way I should have.
 
I met ESPN reporter Britt McHenry on the sidelines of a football game this past season, but I don’t know her. I certainly don’t wish her any ill will. My “mother of two daughters voice” hopes she’ll learn that while she was hired, maybe in part, because she’s in shape, has nice teeth and is well educated, those things don’t make her a better person…neither does having a job on TV. In fact, a tow truck employee who endures the rage of angry rule breakers, pissed their car got towed and whose job requires them to keep their cool even when insults are being hurled at them, probably deserves more accolades and respect than someone like me who attends sporting events for free and regurgitates coach speak.
 
But here is where I really have a problem with this whole situation. The 28-year-old ESPN reporter went from being relatively unknown to being a household name this past week after that video of her degrading the tow company employee went viral. “No publicity is bad publicity” seems truer today than ever before. In our oversaturated TV market, executives want people who stand out, ones that can move the needle. It seems like more often than not, they don’t care what’s behind what’s making the needle move. The outcome of McHenry’s insensitive behavior is a higher Q-rating, an increase in Twitter followers and an explosion of Google hits when you search her name on the internet. In the long run, it will probably lead to her climbing the corporate ladder even quicker.
 
Since the incident, her face has been all over the place. Her story has been discussed on The Today Show, Fox News, in The New York Post and US Weekly, just to name a few. I think that’s unfair. Here is why. There are so many hard-working women in my line of work deserving of that kind of airtime who likely will never get it because they won’t have their own bad girl scandal.
 
Monday ESPN reporter Andy Katz will run in the Boston Marathon with the name of his colleague Shelley Smith written on his bib. Shelley has been a reporter for ESPN for more than 20 years. Like Britt, Shelley got into a nasty fight with an enemy. But you might not have heard about it. Shelly is battling breast cancer. She recently finished chemotherapy and before she starts a series of 25 radiation treatments in May, she’ll report for ESPN during the NFL Draft from Hawaii on quarterback Marcus Mariota. (#ESPNhookinmeup She writes on her twitter account twitter.com/@ShelleyESPN.)
 
I first met Shelley when I worked at ESPN some 15 years ago. I’ve admired her since.  Back then she was a working mom who focused on providing the best future she could for her little girl Dylann. Shelley’s love of sports rubbed off on her daughter, who grew up to be the captain of her college soccer team at the University of Oregon. I’ve never heard words like “diva” or “entitled” associated with Shelly’s name. She’s respected for being an excellent writer, a hard worker, a great reporter and a good teammate.  At 56 years old, and battling cancer, I would imagine being beautiful is the least of this baby girl’s worries. Her hair doesn’t look so good these days. Because of chemo, she doesn’t have any. But instead of being angry and irate, she’s treated her enemy with grace and poise and has become an inspiration for others on how to behave when you have been totally screwed for no good reason at all. I would absolutely have her back if after a bad day she wanted to “go off” and give cancer a piece of her mind. But I doubt she ever will. If you ask me, that’s the kind of story and TV personality who deserves some air time.
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Pam Oliver's back... and she should be!

Mar 10, 2015 -- 1:53pm
PAM OLIVER'S BACK....AND SHE SHOULD BE
 
 
Pam is one of my great friends.  I really think the world of her. Worked beside her at Fox Sports South for the Southern Sports Report, and have been in awe of her ever since. 
 
She treats people right. She works hard. She does her homework.
And football players, coaches, staff members, &  tv executives will brag on her . 
 
So , this mornings' headlines thrilled me!
 
PAM OLIVER SIGNS A NEW DEAL WITH FOX SPORTS THROUGH 2017.
HER QUOTE< I never saw it coming.
 
You'll remember that Pam Oliver , the 19 year  veteran of NFL reporting was replaced by Erin Andrews on the 'A" team.  Pam got pushed out to the B team, with Jon Lynch and Kevin Burkhardt.  
 
I called Pam after her first game of 2014, and told her that I thought she never looked happier. There was a real sense of relief , in my opinion. 
 
She did the 'exit tour' with grace and dignity. 
Well, of course she did. That's because she's professional.
 
So when the phone rang in mid January , asking her to consider a couple more years, she was stunned. 
 
She shouldn't have been stunned. Pam is what is right about reporting on the National Football League. 
And Fox knew it.
 
Good for the suits for finally realizing it.  Albeit with Public Relations Egg  on their collective faces.
 
Again, in my opinion! 
Congrats Pam! You're Fantastic !
 
 
** here's the link to the whole article from Sports Illustrated.
http://www.si.com/nfl/2015/03/09/pam-oliver-fox-sports-nfl-sideline-reporters-erin-andrews
 
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Glad Cofar is ok!

Feb 16, 2015 -- 5:21pm
 
That was a phone call I never thought I would get.....
 
Jason Cofar is a 38 yr old friend.  I mentioned friend first, because that's what he was, before he became my producer 5 years ago.  
 
My phone rang a week ago, Jason Cofar was on the phone.  He was in the hospital. He suffered a heart attack . 
Yes, I said he was 38.
 
I was on the phone with him for about 40 minutes.  I always made fun of Cofar for being a hypochondriac.  If it was a stomach bug, he immediately thought a stomach tumor.
Thank  goodness  Jason listened to his body. 
He drove himself to hospital .  Very scary.
 
I am writing this, because it's always a sobering moment , when you almost lose a friend.    I called my dad/mom more this week.  I encouraged my boyfriend to get a physical, and even scheduled one for myself. 
 
OUr health is the most important.  
And realizing how much you care for your crazy sports producer is another a-ha moment! 
Thank you God for saving my friend, Jason Cofar. 
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Mom, here's your hat~!

Feb 05, 2015 -- 4:53pm
 
LET'S HEAR IT FOR MOM AND DAD
 
 
I've been covering signing day in ATL for a dozen years, before that, In Panama City & Tallahasee, & West Palm Beach ... This dates back to  1994.
 
It's a stressful, beautiful day.
 
Let's me explain.
 
In 1993, it was a trip to two , maybe three high schools.  Mom and Dad were alongside their son, he would sign, put on a hat , done. 
 
Fast Forward to 2015.
 
My goodness.
 
Signing day 2015 at the College football hall of fame was a spectacle.  In a good way.
All that was missing was the Jets fans booing.
 
680, Fox 5, and the CFB hall of fame did an extraordinary job of 1]making the PARENTS feel welcome!!!!!  
2} the student athlete, future cfb player feel special
and 3} making the media happy to be there. 
 
over 200 young men came through.  Each with their respective college hats. So proud.  
And they should be.
 
AND 
off to the side,
Most with their iphones and ipads front and center to record the moment, were mom and dad.
or just mom...
or just dad.
 
I've learned that the greatest gift on signing day, is watching the parents. 
Watching the family.
 
Mom and Dad have sat through the pee wee football, the midget, the middle school, the broken bones, the headaches, the high school.
The recruiting process, the coaches calling, the girls calling.... the pressure.
 
And , after all is said and done, do you know that most young men will side with .........
their moms.
Mom is ALWAYS THERE.  Moms are the biggest presence at signing day. 
Moms have the Ipads up recording the day.
Moms cry.
Moms are proud.
 
I love watching.   These kids have no idea what they're about to  embark on.
The moms do.
Here's to you , moms.
You should grab a hat on the table that reads MVP~ 
Here's a kleenex.  
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She wants me to wear what?

Dec 15, 2014 -- 9:58pm
CHRISTMAS CARDS
 
 
I know, I know.... as guys you hate the whole process.... Wife says we're wearing white shirts..... we're beaching, or going to Phipps. 
They cost what??????? 
 
I have a tradition.  I save Christmas cards from year to year.  I put them all in a ziploc from year to year.  It's the top of the bin.  On top of all the Decorations, bows, paper, ornaments. 
 
Each Year!   I love looking back at your Christmas Cards.  Your pics. 
 
I don't have kids.  I had a cat,  I had a husband.  One I had to put down, the other... well I should move on... hahahah.. ( insert your own joke. )
 
but each day during the holidays, a highlight of the day is going to the mailbox. 
I LOVE GETTING CHRISTMAS CARDS! 
 
Your pictures, no matter how much you thought it was a pain in the neck and expensive.  I love looking.
I love putting up in my card holder. 
 
I love opening in 2015
 
Merry Christmas.
My friends. 
I love you guys! 
 
xoxoxo 
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Praying for you, Steve Byrnes

Oct 15, 2014 -- 5:58pm
Steve Byrnes is a great guy!
 
WHEN I FIRST MOVED TO ATLANTA BACK IN 1997, I WAS HIRED TO HOST A SHOW CALLED 'acc live" AT FOX SPORTS SOUTH.
 
IT WAS A SHOW THAT HAD A GREAT DEAL OF SOCCER, FIELD HOCKEY, LACROSSE.....
I'LL STOP THERE. 
 
I WAS OUT OF MY LEAGUE.  I KNEW IT, EVERYONE KNEW IT.  I'M SURPRISED I WASN'T FIRED ON THE SPOT. 
 
THEN I MET STEVE BYRNES.  HE WAS A SOCCER FANATIC. HIS PASSION AND KNOWLEDGE FOR THE SPORT BLEW ME AWAY.  HE WAS SO KIND AND PATIENT WITH MY LACK OF SKILLS.  WE LAUGH ABOUT IT NOW. 
 
STEVE HAS CANCER.  
HE WAS IN REMISSION.
IT HAS COME BACK, STAGE 4 NECK,THROAT, AND HAS SPREAD TO HIS LUNGS. 
 
Y'all know Steve from Nascar.  I know him from way back, on the pitch. 
 
THIS ARTICLE IS A GREAT TRIBUTE. THX MARTY SMITH.
http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/cup/story/_/id/11703859/nascar-being-present-steve-byrnes-many-others-fighting-cancer
 
Praying for you , Byrnsie! 
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