Jennifer Gish, the Buffalo Bills beat reporter for the Albany Times Union, wrote after the team's 2-0 start that it's still way too early for Bills fans to think about the Super Bowl -- or even about beating the New England Patriots. After the Bills did beat the Patriots, her readers flooded her with email and phone messages calling out the fact that she was wrong. Considering Gish covers the team for a living, such a courtesy was not needed.

If they would have stopped at simply pointing out her underestimation of the team, though, it would not be a big deal. But not everyone did that. Instead, several readers attacked Gish not for being a football writer who'd made an error in evaluation -- if it was even that -- but for being a woman. She was told to go back to the kitchen, that women know nothing about football, that she was ugly, and several disparaging comments that had nothing to do with her ability to cover a football game.

There is an unfortunate tendency among sports fans to attack female sports writers not for their ideas, but for their sex.

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Last weekend, I attended a sports media convention called BwB. Jemele Hill and Jane McManus from ESPN spoke about how often they are told they know nothing about sports because of their anatomy. McManus said that she wrote in a column that the New York Jets were going to focus on running backs in the 2010 draft, and until draft day was told that she knew nothing about football because she's a woman. She was vindicated when the Jets picked halfback Joe McKnight and fullback John Conner. Hill said readers commented on not only her sex, but her race.

I'd like to say my readers are more enlightened, but in the comment sections of my posts at Cagewriter (where I cover mixed martial arts) or Shutdown Corner (where I cover the NFL), you will see the same things written about me as were written about Gish. I've had shirts printed disparaging my name, and UFC color analyst Joe Rogan once took to a message board to call me the C-word. Attacks in the comment section, disparaging emails and Twitter and Facebook messages are part of the job, but there is a difference between the you-don't-know-anything insults slung at my male colleagues and the you-don't-know-anything-because-you're-a-woman barbs aimed at me. Personal, misogynistic comments are too often the norm.

Women like Gish, Hill and McManus have built up a thick skin to put up with the mean comments. I've been forced to do the same, and often dismiss what is said about me with an eye roll. We can do this because we know that we walked into a field where the ability to let negative comments roll off our backs is just as much a job skill as breaking down a loss or interviewing the star player.

But our ability to put up with idiocy does not mean that this is not an issue for sports fans. The problem does not lie with us, but in the hearts of the many people who feel the need to tear down women for nothing more than being women.

Is this truly who we are?

-- Maggie Hendricks writes for Yahoo! Sports and NBC Chicago. Follow her at

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In his first preseason game as an NFL player, Cam Newton's very first pass was a seam route. Pros will tell you that's the most important throw a quarterback can make. It's when a receiver runs up field with a linebacker running underneath him and a bloodthirsty safety closing in on him, just dying to get a kill shot. It's not quite cutting a diamond, but the throw calls for a steady hand. And on this particular seam route, the safety never had a chance to break on the ball. Newton nailed it.

I was impressed. Most people weren't. "It's just preseason," they said.

Fair enough.

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In his first real game, Newton did pretty well. He threw for 400 yards and a pair of touchdowns. But hey, it was against the Arizona Cardinals.

Okay, fair enough.

In Week 2, Newton threw for more than 400 yards against the Green Bay Packers, who, as the defending world champions, are considered the best football team in the world.

In that game, Newton made some mistakes. This is to be expected. I mean, this is expected of anyone who plays in the league, especially the quarterback position. But it was how he made those mistakes that most impressed me. See, Newton's interceptions didn't come as a result of him being a rookie and not knowing what to do. No, two of his picks were the result of him being greedy.

For instance, on one play the Panthers ran a two-level pattern. Both receiver Brandon Lafell and tight end Jeremy Shockey ran corner routes toward the sideline. Lafell ran his at twenty yards, and Shockey at ten yards. Shockey was open and could have been reached with an easy throw. But Newton went for the bigger prize, even though LaFell was bracketed by two defenders. Newton, in the spirit of Brett Favre, simply believed that despite the odds and despite the coverage, that he could fit the ball into a porthole-sized window. He was wrong.

But that didn't stop him because he did it again a few minutes later.

Normally I hear how great the numbers are. That's what it's all about these days, right? I was expecting to hear all the fantasy enthusiasts proclaiming him the Second Coming. I was expecting the chorus to go something like this: "I'm not a Panthers fan, but Cam Newton is putting up crazy stats!"

I heard some of that, but what I mostly read from all the sites is a grumbling from fans saying that until he won a game the young man hadn’t accomplished anything. That's fine, but why not take a moment to acknowledge that against the Green Bay Packers, Newton had proven one thing. He had proven he belongs in the National Football League. And he certainly did it more quickly than, say, Troy Aikman, who was 0-11 in his rookie season with nine touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

So why does it seem that both fans and analysts -- some of them in really angry fashion -- are reluctant to acknowledge this?

Terry Bradshaw most clearly reflects the current anti-Newton sentiment. Bradshaw made his feeling clear before Newton ever took a snap. Bradshaw said simply, "I never liked him. I didn't like him college." He also added that Newton was behind where Michael Vick was coming out of college. I find that an odd statement. Bradshaw could have said Newton was behind where Ben Roethlisberger was coming out of school. In terms of his physicality and overall skill set, Newton is much more similar to Roethlisberger than he is to Vick.

Bradshaw went on to say he preferred some other rookie quarterbacks.

"I actually like Jake Locker down in Tennessee," Bradshaw said. "Christian Ponder in Minnesota and Blaine Gabbert down in Jacksonville. These young kids, as far as I'm concerned, are far ahead of Newton as far as being an NFL quarterback."


But Bradshaw's most acute criticism is of the technical nature. And he has a point. Newton is far from fundamentally sound. He doesn't step into his throws. Sometimes he stands on his back foot and simply flicks the ball. (Oddly, that flick of the wrist describes how Terry Bradshaw used to throw the deep ball, which may or may not have significance here) Nonetheless, for Newton, this mechanical flaw leads to wildly errant throws past wide open receivers.

But I'm pretty sure this reluctance to give Newton his due is greatly influenced by the way the young man carries himself. He still has the air of the big man on campus. He nonchalantly chomps gum in between plays. And regardless of the circumstance, it seems that panic is not part of his genetic material.

There's also the matter of those pesky sound bites. Yesterday, the Panthers got the ball with 6:44 left. They were trailing the Jaguars 10-8. And as he got under center, Newton's words from early in the week hung over the stadium like an added cloud cover. Newton told reporters that "Tom Brady is good, but he plays in the same league that I do."

Surely Cam Newton knows that invoking football royalty -- unless it's followed by an immediate and prolonged genuflection -- is grounds for a public beheading. After all, part of the game -- for any of us, really -- is saying all the right things. Forced humility is essential when attempting to sell oneself in a hater's market. Sure, some folks are gonna despise you just the same, but at least you're making an effort to be ... likable. Newton seems to have little use for this. He seems more concerned with playing quarterback.

So on first down, Newton hit Jonathan Stewart for 18 yards. Then he hit Steve Smith for another 13. Then three plays later, Newton hit tight end Olsen for the touchdown and again for the two-point conversion.

It was his first NFL win. It came against Gabbert, who Bradshaw likes better. You don't have to be Nostradamus to predict the angry postscript: "So what? He beat the Jaguars and the Jaguars are terrible."

Maybe they're right.

But at this rate, it's going to be a long time before they're proven so.

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The caption on the email -- "Eight-year-old kids cage fighting" -- was stomach-turning in itself and it didn't get any better from there.

The video enclosed, lamentably, was exactly what it suggested, footage of a pair of tiny British boys scrapping with each other in an organized and public MMA show.

It came from the Greenlands Labour Club in Preston, England, as was part of an event known as Reps Retribution. As the eight-year-olds tried to inflict painful submission holds and grappling moves on each other, a sizable crowd cheered its approval while announcers analyzed the action.

Given that the video has now been largely banished from the Web, it is fair to assume I wasn't the only one who found it sickening to see.

Let's get one thing straight: I am an avowed fan of the martial arts, including MMA. I appreciate the skill, athleticism and courage required to perform those sports at a high level.

I am also a believer in the value of combat sport training as a valid and valuable method of self-defense, and confidence-boosting in children. My son is three years old and will be enrolled in the judo and ju-jitsu clubs near where he lives before his seventh birthday.

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But to have children of such a young age performing in front of a crowd in a sport such as MMA is just not right on any level.

Youth sports are a wonderful thing and learning how to compete and strive for victory is one of their most positive elements. MMA though, is not tennis, or baseball or soccer. The price of defeat is potentially much greater than wounded pride and a spoonful of tears. The loser of an MMA fight has been defeated, physically, by another child, and in this case, while a crowd voiced its approval. Apart from any physical damage, the psychological aspect of such an outcome is far more severe than a bunch of Little League strikeouts or a missed penalty kick.

The defense offered by club owner Michelle Anderson was as ludicrous as it was unconvincing. "The kids were there to fight," Anderson told the Daily Telegraph. "The parents were there. Would people rather these kids were out on the streets with guns and knives?"

Now maybe this is a naïve view from someone who has been away from England for several years, but is a public MMA bout really the only way to keep these eight-year-olds away from violent crime? Please.

"It is not one bit dangerous," was the extraordinary view of Nick Hartley, one of the boys' parents. "It is a controlled sport. Until he gets a bit older and he starts doing physical contact like punching and kicking then maybe, but at his age it's wrestling, like grappling."

To claim that MMA is not dangerous is not only irresponsible, but it also undermines the bravery and talent of those who partake in it. It is that danger which makes it exciting, and which makes experts such as those in the Ultimate Fighting Championship sportsmen of a high standing.

Sure, the amateur rules which regulate the actions in the octagon and forbid strikes and elbows make this somewhat less appalling than otherwise, but there are only two ways in which this could be anything other than grotesque.

Give the kids padding and headgear, like the sort used in youth MMA bouts in the United States.

And get them away from the crowd, off the Web. This is not something we need to see, and not something they should be exposed to.

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The food hasn't been delivered to the Green Room and Roger Goodell isn't quite at the podium, but barring injury, it's a foregone conclusion that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck will walk on stage as the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Luck spent part of his childhood in Europe while his father Oliver coached there, which means that Luck should be the best thing to come out of the World League womb since spicy brats and Kurt Warner.

Thus, after two weeks of the 2011 NFL season, the flag is up, and the race for Andrew Luck has begun. Drivers, please shift into reverse, and gun it.

Getting Luck's Locker Ready
1: Indianapolis Colts (0-2)
Yup, I don't care what anyone says about Peyton Manning's contract and future. Put your butt in the owner's seat. Peyton's been great, but he's Kobe Bryant with a career-threatening neck injury. Do you want Kobe in that state or the next 15 years of Kevin Durant, given the choice? Best part is, if Peyton heals up enough to come back and play, Luck can watch for a season. Manning's mega-contract can be worked out. Sentimentality is one thing, but the organization knows that if Luck falls into their laps, he can carry this team through 2025. Peyton will wrap up his career calling signals for someone else, a la Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, etc. Remaining winnable games? One. The Andrew Luck Bowl will take place Oct. 9 in Indy, when what's left of the Kansas City Chiefs make their way into Lucas Oil Stadium. On the 8th, the Colts and Chiefs will jointly hold a viewing party for the Stanford-Colorado game.

There is one interesting caveat to this. The Colts may want to place Peyton on injured reserve and end his season now, because if he hangs around and receives clearance to play, he'll push the Colts to let him. Manning's one of the smartest guys around, and even he is aware of what drafting Luck would do for the organization. A few wins, maybe even one or two under Manning, could take the Colts out of the Derby. That's a win for Peyton. He gets to stay a few more years, and gets the second or third overall pick in the draft. This side of the story will heat up as the next eight weeks progress.

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1 (tie). Kansas City Chiefs (0-2)
The only thing that hasn't happened to Kansas City yet is a meat recall. Charlie Weis went to the University of Florida to call plays. Tony Moeaki tore up his knee in the preseason, and now Eric Berry and Jamaal Charles have too, sidelining arguably their three most valuable players for the season. Right now the Royals would have a better chance if they threw on shoulder pads. A Philip Rivers-Andrew Luck AFC West rivalry would be fun to watch for years. Over-unders of 55 would be commonplace. Remaining winnable games? You already know.

3. Seattle Seahawks (0-2)
This team is baaaaaad. Tarvaris Jackson may look more comfortable once his former Viking teammate Sidney Rice makes his Seahawk debut, but that would be saying you may sleep better on the floor than a bed of nails. Pete Carroll deserves this season. It's his penalty for all things USC. But as much as I hate to admit it, I think he's a smart guy, and signing TJ was Pete's Ploy to enter the Luck sweepstakes. This is a 2-to-4 win team, which may be too good to keep Luck in the Pac-12. Make that the NFC West.

Serious Contenders
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (0-2) One of those Looney Tunes characters is striking the match, and lighting the end of a long fuse that looks like it may only take another few games until detonation. Cutting David Garrard accomplished a few things. One, it saved the Jags some coin. Two, it puts Jack Del Rio on the market for a long vacation from head coaching (see Mike Tice). And three: It keeps the Jags in the hunt for Luck. Blaine Gabbert, Jimmy Clausen is texting you. He needs someone to play catch.

5. Miami Dolphins (0-2)
The Dolphins are not truly horrible enough to be getting a locker ready for Luck, and they have played two AFC teams likely to win their divisions. But there are only three games on the schedule where I would bet on the 'Phins to win outright, which makes them a Serious Contender: Home to Denver (10/23), @Kansas City (11/6), and home to Washington (11/13).

6. Minnesota Vikings (0-2)
Fortunately for Viking Nation, there are six division games which look promising for the Luck Derby. Unfortunately for Viking Nation, Adrian Peterson is good enough for four wins by himself, so this will move the Vikings down to the fifth-eighth pick. A schedule that brings an early Christmas in Week 4 against Kansas City, and games against Arizona, Carolina, Denver, Oakland and Washington should give the Vikes enough wins to lose. Christian Ponder, like Luck, is said to be a very smart kid, but it won't be known whether he has any of Luck's talent until he gets his shot, which may come sooner than Vikings management would have hoped (see Week 4 @ KC).

7. Denver Broncos (1-1)> The Broncos may deserve a higher spot. They only have three eminently winnable games left (10/23 @ Miami, 11/13 @K.C., and New Year's Day home to K.C.). Getting two of those three, while catching someone else sleeping would yield four Bad Luck wins, and probably take the Broncos out of contention.

Not In The Luck Derby ... Yet
8. Cincinnati Bengals (1-1)
Logic here tells me that there are too many winnable games, and the Bengals already beat themselves by upsetting Cleveland in a road opener. Cincy even has a shot at a Luck-killing three game winning streak @Jacksonville (10/9), v. Indy (10/16), a bye and then @Seattle (10/30). Not to mention a couple other bad wins at home v. Cleveland (11/27) and Arizona (12/24).

9. Cleveland Browns (1-1)
Taking the Colts down was huge Sunday. It's early, maybe even before the proverbial breakfast point of the 2011 season, but if the Chiefs find a way to win a few, we may look back at this game as the Luck Bowl. Cleveland tried to hang in there and lose, but the Browns made the mistake of giving the ball to Peyton Hillis a few too many times, and he found the end zone twice. This is a seven-win team, and has some work to do to gain Serious Contention status. Check back if they lose at home to Miami this week and at home to Seattle (10/23) but it's not likely to happen.

Not In The Luck Derby At All
Carolina Panthers (0-2)
Maybe Mississippi State should have paid Cam Newton's dad. This guy's start is like having five of the sox lottery numbers before they set the Pingpong balls flying. The Panthers are a 5-6 win team at least, and look like last year's version of the Buffalo Bills- a team who will finish with an unimpressive record, but on the verge of a return to exciting, winning football. Jimmy Clausen is calling a press conference to announce that's he's returning to Notre Dame.

-- Rick Schwartz is a television and content producer living in Los Angeles without an NFL team.

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They used to make movies about baseball. It was Hollywood's sport as much as it was America's. Filmmakers saw in baseball what they did in their own work: a tempered build, a sweeping narrative, a rumbling denouement and a resolution that tugged at emotion, good, bad, sometimes both.

It was how, within a 10-month span between 1988 and 1989, the industry saw fit to release three movies that built their characters around a dusty diamond. "Bull Durham" came first in June 1988, and it is the film version of a funambulist, somehow maintaining credibility among fans and ballplayers alike while appealing to women. The same went for "Major League," which arrived April 7, 1989, and made us laugh, and "Field of Dreams," which bowed two weeks later and made us cry.

The impossibility of it all -- Hollywood can't even shove three vampire movies down audiences' throats within a year -- makes this week all the more sad. "Moneyball" hits theaters Friday. It's the first original, wide-release baseball movie since 2005's "Fever Pitch", which actually was a Nick Hornby book about soccer adapted to baseball for an American audience. It may not have killed the baseball movie for half a decade, but it did spend 103 minutes consummating a Lucifer-approved marriage of Jimmy Fallon and the Boston Red Sox.

"Moneyball" offers no such horrors. It fancies itself a baseball story because however engrossing the book upon which it's based -- author Michael Lewis manages to turn Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane into a hero, makes the game's sabermetric revolution interesting and intertwines them among grander themes (reticence to change, technological fright, the pain of obsolescence, the triumph of sport) -- the subtlety simply cannot translate to film.

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"I didn't think it was a movie," says Ron Shelton, the director of "Bull Durham," nor did plenty of others. "Moneyball" bounced around in development for years. Sony poured more than $10 million into it, only to cancel the film days before production in 2009 because director Steven Soderbergh's script, in which he planned on including an animated Bill James popping in as a narrator, was desperately boring. More realistic, yes, but realism must take a backseat when translating a business book to a feature.

Once Soderbergh left, "Moneyball" looked dead. Already it was half a decade after the A's revolution, which had beget as much losing recently as it did winning then. More than that, it was a baseball movie, and it's not the '80s anymore. Not only is football king now, sports movies almost never get made because films cash in on the international market, and pretty much every movie-watching country outside the United States couldn't give a whit about baseball. "Moneyball" needed a savior.

"Two words: Brad Pitt," said Bennett Miller, who took over as director once Pitt committed to the project. "He willed it to happen. He really, really wanted to make this thing. It was his passion project and labor of love. I was oblivious to it for years of development. It was storied by the time I got a phone call asking if I would read everything and be interested in talking to Brad about it. When I sat down with him, we spoke for a few hours. It became clear it was personal and it was going to happen."

The original script went to Aaron Sorkin, writer of "The Social Network." The dialogue in "Moneyball" doesn't dance like in the Facebook movie, nor are the conflicts anywhere near as apparent. Miller admitted Lewis' book "does not lend itself that naturally to a cinematic experience," and that is the inherent flaw of "Moneyball" the movie: the tension and excitement that courses through the book never translates to the film, and we're left with a character study of Billy Beane.

Pitt plays Beane with vigor, maybe a little too much, though that could be the fault of the script. More and more, sports movies that want to be taken seriously demand realism. It's disingenuous to show how cheap the A's were by suggesting players had to pay for soda -- and, even worse, having Beane negotiate a supply of carbonated beverages into a player trade. It's misleading to villainize A's manager Art Howe as an abject insubordinate to make Beane look smarter. It's terribly Hollywood to turn Paul DePodesta -- Beane's assistant GM and a former baseball and football player at Harvard -- into Peter Brand, the fat, socially inept, nerd-foil played by Jonah Hill.

"Certain things," former first baseman Scott Hatteberg says, "got a little hot sauce put on 'em."

All to service a story that needed such embellishment because the focus trained itself so heavily on Beane. Brand, Howe, Hatteberg, David Justice, scouting director Grady Fuson -- each exist in the movie world to make Beane look smart. He grows into this four-dimensional being, a larger-than-life force who can do no wrong even when he does wrong; everyone else languishes in his singular, stilted dimension.

Perhaps this would work if there were something at stake. The central conflict involves Beane fearing he's going to lose his job because he took a risk by bringing in Hatteberg as a first baseman and Chad Bradford as a reliever. The A's had won 102 games the previous season and 91 with an AL West title the year before that. Oakland could've gone 62-100 and Beane wouldn't have been fired.

For a sports movie to succeed, Miller says, "there's always something more to it than the game and the sport. What is compelling is the dynamic of the personal stories involved." The chasm between the real story of Billy Beane and the manufactured one in the "Moneyball" movie keep it from reaching the plateaus of its forbearers, no matter how slick the production, interesting the dialogue or arresting the cinematography.

"Bull Durham" resonates today because, as Hatteberg says, "It was real." Demanding that realism is a difficult proposition. Lewis' last book-to-movie project was "The Blind Side." It was a book about left tackles weaved around the story of Michael Oher, just as "Moneyball" is a business principles-Billy Beane corn dog. The producers turned "The Blind Side" into a Sandra Bullock treatise on the power of motherhood. It flipped the archetypal sports movie on its head. No longer was it about including enough emotion or laughter for the girlfriends and wives to offset the testosterone; it was imperative to have enough football to prevent the boyfriends and husbands from drowning in the tsunami of estrogen.

"Moneyball" could have been a million different things: the film-festival darling Soderbergh envisioned; the faithful adaptation that would've recreated the scenes like in the actual movie when Pitt wheeled and dealt and somehow made talking into the phone interesting; or even a version with female friendliness beyond the sly grin and perfect hair of the star. It never could be great, though, because the material wouldn't allow so with modern filmmaking standards that make "Field of Dreams" and "Major League" and "Bull Durham" so dearly missed.

"We humanized these people," Shelton says. "We saw the world a bit through their eyes. It was nothing like we saw watching on TV. They were more like us. They were frightened and had bigger dreams and were coming to terms with them. I had a wonderful cast, which helped. Nobody paid attention to the minor leagues until that movie, and nobody paid attention to what they were talking about on the mound. So we were able to create this world."

Just as "The Bad News Bears" and "The Natural" and "Bang the Drum Slowly" and "Pride of the Yankees" and "A League of Their Own" and "Eight Men Out" and even "The Sandlot" did. Baseball offered them a canvas, some fictitious, others very real, and they left on us an impression, a feeling, one espoused by Beane in the movie.

"It's hard not to be romantic about baseball," he says, and he's right. "Field of Dreams" made us want to hug our fathers, and "Major League" made us root for the underdog, and "Bull Durham" made us believe in the hanging curveball and long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses simultaneously.

"Moneyball" tries to make us care that Beane's master plan -- the one that in reality started years earlier -- climaxed as the A's won their 20th consecutive game in dramatic fashion. And some might. Movie critics seem to enjoy it. Pitt's presence dominates the screen. It's just not a very good baseball movie.

They don't make those anymore.

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The man they lovingly called Beast took a gamble on himself. It was the kind of decision all of us ponder at one point in our lives but very few of us have the guts to carry out. Brad McCrimmon wanted to be an NHL head coach, and he would leave the bench of the Detroit Red Wings for one of the coldest parts of the planet to do it. He was known as a stay-at-home defenseman during an 18-year career that spanned more than 1,200 games, but that's the kind of lazy label that belied the willingness of the man to venture to a new place to make himself better.

Brad McCrimmon never got to find out if his big chance would come. He was among the dead in Wednesday's plane crash near Yaroslavl, Russia. His new team, Lokomotiv of the KHL, nearly all lost their lives. He died with them. He never coached a single regular-season game.

But don't think McCrimmon's legacy is wanting. It's already written not only in the careers of the few he got to coach as an NHL assistant, but in the many he got to mentor as a teammate. It's appropriate that one of the first to speak about McCrimmon was someone who met him at a very vulnerable time in his career. That someone turned out to be one of the best defensemen ever to play the game.

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"Beast I've known for a long time," said Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom Wednesday morning in a quickly arranged press meeting in Detroit. "He was my (defensive) partner my first year in the league over here and he was my roommate too so I got to know him real well. He helped me out a lot my first year over here."

It's hard to imagine Lidstrom as anything but a giant in hockey. But he was nothing of the sort when he was drafted by Detroit in 1989. He was skinny, almost frail, to the point that Red Wings brass had serious concerns about his durability. It was no coincidence that he got paired with McCrimmon, the tough-nosed 200-pounder from Saskatchewan who helped the Calgary Flames win their only Stanley Cup the year Lidstrom was drafted. On the ice, the two were complete opposites, almost comically so.

"He was more of a stay-at-home defenseman so that gave me the opportunity to jump up in the play and be a part of the offense," Lidstrom said Wednesday morning. "He was my partner every game in my rookie year and he was a stable, steady defenseman. He also protected me in certain situations when things got a little heated so he was a great partner to have."

Imagine the relief Lidstrom felt knowing he could make rookie mistakes and Beast would be back there every single time to bail him out. Lidstrom learned to excel on all parts of the ice in part because McCrimmon allowed him to roam. It wasn't just Lidstrom, either. Throughout his career in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, Calgary and Detroit, McCrimmon was paired with the likes of Ray Bourque, Paul Coffey and Chris Pronger. All of those guys, like Lidstrom, mastered the art of creating time and space on the ice.

But that time and space was earned because of the stability and sweat of McCrimmon, whose plus-minus was positive from 1980-81 to 1992-93 and an incredible plus-83 in Philadelphia in 1985-86. He is still owns the eighth-best career plus-minus in league history, a staggering fact considering he rarely scored a point of his own. But in a way, that was how McCrimmon lived and died -- trying to help younger players make plays, take chances, and grow.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock visited McCrimmon's home Wednesday morning when he heard the horrible news. No one was there. It's heartbreaking to imagine what it will be like for McCrimmon's wife and two kids to return there. But if there's any solace for them, it’s this: The stay-at-home defenseman left home to do what he loved -- teach and coach. He's not coming back. But considering the way he lived his life and forged his career, Brad McCrimmon's daughter, Carlin, and son, Liam, already have what they need to go far out into the world, chase after their dreams, and build a future for those who will come after them.

(Photos by Getty Images)

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On the campus of USC, where Asian students make up a fifth of the undergraduate student body and more than 11 percent come from other countries, Fox Sports' Bob Oschack thought it would be amusing to ask several members of those groups to welcome Utah and Colorado to the Pac 12. The result is disturbing to say the least:

(Thanks to TheBigLead and Media Matters for flagging this.)

It's funny when Jay Leno asks Americans from all walks of life about topics they probably should know -- like what the debt ceiling is. This isn't that. Oschack asks only Asian college students about a topic few students on campus really need to understand -- conference realignment. That's bad enough. But he didn't just interview any Asian he saw. He filmed Asians who are probably not born in this country and struggle at times with English as a second language. The intended joke is on them, and they don't even understand it.

If this appalling spoof took aim at another racial or ethnic minority, the outcry would be enormous. In this case, FOX took it down and now the video is disappearing from the Web. Too little, too late.

[Ed. note: Per Deadspin, Fox has apologized.]

Related Story:
Video: Rice Owls Introduce International Students To Football

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