A Portland television station has decided that one of its sportscasters must stop wearing Nike Inc. clothing on the air.
Steve Bartelstein claims he simply likes Nike apparel - and that KGW-TV gave him much of the clothing he’s worn on the air. Nike didn’t kick in either clothing or cash, he insisted.
“I’ve got a lot of faults, but I can’t be bought,” said Bartelstein, who had worn Nike clothes on the air since the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
News director Mike Rausch said Bartelstein’s clothing didn’t pose a conflict for him or the station.
“Nike gets no special coverage from us,” Rausch said. “But there might be some perception out there. And we want to eliminate that perception.”
Duh, said Tim Gleason, associate dean for the University of Oregon school of journalism and communications.
“The issue is that a journalist would even consider such an arrangement, let alone accept it,” he said.
Ah, but we’re confusing journalism with television.
After New York football writers criticized Giants coach Dan Reeves for staying with backup quarterback Tommy Maddox despite a poor performance against the Baltimore Ravens, Reeves shot back.
“Personally, I think you guys write great articles during the week, but your stuff on Sundays is bad,” said Reeves. “But you don’t lose your jobs.”
Nonetheless, Maddox was released a short time later. But it couldn’t be because the writers were right. Nah.
Reeves’ view of newspapering is apparently shared by French soccer player Eric Cantona, who recently said, “I would rather receive two words of praise from a great manager than 10 years of compliments from journalists.”
Two words: Eric who?
And it’s one, two balls you’re out…
Mets broadcaster Ralph Kiner is at it again. In a recent game, Mets catcher Brent Mayne came to the plate and took one pitch for a ball - and our man Ralph announced, “And he has struck out.”
Huh? All Mayne did was head back to the on-deck circle to grab the pine-tar rag. He came back to take yet another ball before Ralph the mathematician reported: “Beg your pardon. He has not struck out. The count is 2 and 0.”
Join the M’s, become a trivia answer
Three teams in one year - all that traveling is finally paying off for Mark Whiten. The Mariners’ outfielder has done something baseball statisticians believe has never been done - hit home runs in back-to-back at-bats, as a pinch-hitter, in two leagues.
He homered Aug. 13 for the Braves, then again Aug. 16 in his first at-bat for the Mariners. David Vincent, of the Society for American Baseball Research, found three men in history who homered in each league within a five-day span: Ken Griffey Sr. in 1986, Cliff Johnson in 1980 and Jim Northrup in 1974. But the Elias Sports Bureau says none of those three did what Whiten did.
The last word . . .
“After Atlanta, I am still not sure what the Olympic movement is, but I bet it requires eating bran.”
- Chicago Tribune columnist Bernie Lincicome
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo