Bissinger defends LeBron

Buzz Bissinger (author, blog-hater) is not happy to learn that LeBron James is the most disliked athlete in the country.

Why is he hated more than Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was accused of sexual assault and is considered a stone-cold jerk by most players in the National Football League? Why is he hated more than recently resigned Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, who under the cloak of being a good Christian did nothing about his players breaking rules as long as his team won? Why is he hated more than Chris Webber, who pleaded guilty to criminal contempt amid a payoff scandal at the University of Michigan and whose conduct was instrumental in the Wolverines forfeiting 112 basketball games in the 1990s? (Ironically Webber, doing commentary for NBA TV, joyfully nailed James during the finals.)

Yes, we all know that James left Cleveland without grace or class. Yes, we know that the Heat, in some ridiculous version of a Las Vegas floor show, had the big three of James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh greeting Miami fans in a raucous pep rally as if they had already won the championship before the season had even started.

Yes, millions of fans, including myself, were upset by the arrogance and self-centeredness with which James handled it all. On the other hand, James wanted to go to the place where he thought he had the best chance of winning. Where should he have gone? The Golden State Warriors? Why stay in Cleveland?

Read the rest of the piece at The Daily Beast.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Buzz Bissinger no likey the Brett Favre

Remember blog-hater Buzz Bissinger, the “Friday Night Lights” scribe who lit into Will Leitch on “Costas Now”?

Well, his most recent target is none other than Brett Favre, whom he calls a “hubristic fool” for playing through an ankle injury in the NFC Championship Game.

Brett Favre wasn’t heroic. He was a hubristic fool. He wasn’t a warrior. He was an arrogant braggart who, whatever the homespun hokum of his Mississippi roots, perversely reveled in his pain to the point where his agent publicly disseminated pictures of his injuries like cheesecake photos–a deep-purple ankle lumpish and swollen, an equally deep-purple hamstring. The pictures did what Favre hoped they would: further reinforce his image as The Gladiator, The Samurai, The White Knight for whom guts in football, however stupid and wanton, is what counts.

Later, Bissinger says that Favre’s admission to his pain killer addiction and his playing the Monday night (against the Raiders) after his father died were contrived and carefully planned.

He has always been clinically grandiose beneath the “aw-shucks” country boy cover. He knows what sportswriters crave, not just the junk food of the noble warrior but the soul-aching confessional, which largely accounts for why he admitted to being a Vicodin addict in 1996. He knew that, when he decided to play a football game the night after his father died in 2003, it would not be perceived for the act of self-absorption it was, but as an act of courage after he carefully spun it as that’s what pappy would have wanted.

Self-absorption…really?

While we all know that Favre has a huge ego and a flair for the dramatic, I don’t think his deciding to play soon after his father died was an “act of self-absorption.” I think any athlete that had a supportive father would choose to mourn on the football field, the basketball court or the baseball diamond rather than wallow in pity and depression in some dark room somewhere. An athlete (and likely his father) would see not playing as a form of self-absorption. No father would want his death to hurt the chances of his son’s team getting a win in a crucial game.

And as for the chances of Favre, or any tough QB for that matter, taking himself out of the NFC Championship Game because of an ankle injury — well, it’s just unrealistic to think that would ever happen. I saw the game, and while Favre limped off after the play in question, he was moving around all right on it for the rest of the game. Do you think Minnesota fans wanted to see Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson in that situation? Hell no.

Bissinger’s official website describes him as “highly acclaimed” and “one of the nation’s most distinguished writers.” But this piece isn’t distinguished at all. It just seems like he has an ax to grind with Favre (ever since the pain killer admission) and he took this opportunity to kick a man while he’s down.

Blogging the Bloggers: A day in the life of Mitch Kupchak, Buzz Bissinger and more

LAKE SHOW LIFE got to take a peek at Laker GM Mitch Kupchak’s secret diary.

SPARTY AND FRIENDS names its All-Busted Gridiron Pen Team, quarterbacked by none other than Mike Vick.

DEADSPIN‘s podcast…err…”Deadcast” features none other than blog-hater Buzz Bissinger.

– SI writer Joe Posnanski tears apart a Harold Reynold’s post on his blog, appropriately titled JOEBLOG.

THE LOVE OF SPORTS details why they love interleague play.

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