It has been awhile since my last post. I apologize for that, but I have "life issues" that have hindered my usual routine and I hope to stop them from interfering with expressing my thoughts in blog form, so let's get to it.
We're redesigning our Web page -- espnmilwaukee.com -- to give us a sense of uniformity with other ESPN radio affiliates around the country. That is a good thing. It will take time to adjust to it. I don't know if I like it or not, maybe that is just me ... we'll see.
I watch our company and radio station grow stronger by the day and see how my radio family protects and provides for you as listeners, and for me as an employee. It is fun to watch it happen right in front of me. That being said, I hope you really enjoy the product that we our putting out as much as I do.
I should feel like saying "(Bleep) Jason Whitlock," but I can't. Here is why: I reached out to Jason to do my show because he is a national columnist, author and man of color who takes controversial stands on a number of topics including race, ethics and general behavior in the world of sports.
I called Jason and in a terse, dismissive tone he told me how to set up an interview. I was a little offended at the tone, and I let him know that in an e-mail. He responded in kind, explaining that he would have no life if he spent his working day accommodating producers, requests, etc.
I respect that and understand his time his very valuable, but, at the same time, there is a way to handle that situation in terms of general respect. There are not a lot of black national columnists or sports radio talk show hosts. We usually at least listen to each other, especially someone like me who can leave an impression with whoever I interact with. Trust me, I leave an impression.
That being said, a mentor of mine who is a high-powered figure in the national media told me not to take it personally, because Whitlock is gruff with anyone who can't help him. Contrary to what some may believe, it's not as if we help each other in black media. Though I was dissed, I still respect and agree with some of Whitlock's opinions, and disagree with some of his columns and find that my personal interaction with him will not influence my opinion of his columns.
If you saw the "CostasNow" town hall meeting on HBO, there were a number of topics broached that I feel are worthy of comment. The one that stuck out for me was the relationship between athletes and the media. Contrary to what perceptions are out there, most athletes are accepting of criticism, if is deemed fair and not based on personal agendas.
The funny thing is as a member of the media, I have a general rule that works for me: it is not who you are, it is what you do that influences my opinion of you. A lot of my colleagues don't carry that thought process and allow it to impact their coverage of athletes, teams etc. I'm not saying I am not flawed or biased on certain things. Lord knows I'm opinionated!
I really try to find that balance in what I do. I feel that is fair to you as a reporter, a sports-talk show host or blogger (a topic I will address in a later blog: wearing all those hats). The day I can't differentiate the three different duties / jobs is the day I should not represent you in that locker room, at that game, on the radio or in the blog.
I close knowing I have quite a bit to talk about with the Brewers, Bucks, Favre, NBA Playoffs and other major events in the world of sports. Stay tuned I will pick-up the pace.
It's about time I got a laptop ... stay tuned!
Steve Haywood is the host of That Being Said, which airs weeknights at 6 p.m. on Milwaukees ESPN Radio 1510 Days / 1290 Nights. A lifelong Milwaukee resident, Steve has been working on the radio since 1996 and also is executive producer of Sports Perspectives on MATA Community Media.
After graduating from Milwaukee Tech High School in 1985, Haywood attended college at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he graduated in 1991.
He has covered a number of major events, including the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 2002 and the NBA All-Star Game in 2003.
Haywood, 39, is married with two kids, a dumb cat and a dog described as a real curmudgeon.