Feeling Used, Abused and Confused: My B/R, cbs, NFL Saga

Daniel ShanksAnalyst IJuly 15, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 9:  Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns acts as a correspondent for CBS's 'Late Show with David Letterman' at Game Three of the 2009 NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic on June 9, 2009 at Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida. The Magic won 108-104. NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Disclaimer: I don't give a, hold on.

What's that?

(Muffled talking from B/R suit)

Wait a minute folks.


I can't use the word cr@p?

Why not?

(more commentary from the suit)

Oh, I see. You're fascists? I get it.

(Angry commentary from said suit)

Hey, man, relax. I'm just a squirrel trying to get a nut. It's your world baby.


Thanks for the advice, Mr. Big.

Sorry folks, but I've been informed by B/R's own Mr. Big (as in, I'm gonna git you sucka) said I can't type the word c-r-a-p without it getting edited because no one ever uses profanity on this site (*snicker, snort*)

Where was I?

Oh yeah, the disclaimer. Let's start over shall we?

Disclaimer: I don't give a hootnanny (my substitute for the word cr@p) if this article gets deleted. It wouldn't be the first time. Might not be the last.

I'm just proud that I wrote something that could elicit such strong feelings.

So TC, no hard feelings, but if you feel like you've got to flag it for deletion, do what you've got to do my brother.

Chances are I won't even be allowed to continue writing for this site anyway.

When I saw the listing on journalismjobs.com, I applied immediately.

For a sports writer who has ALWAYS wanted to be a professional beat writer for an NFL team, it was almost too good to be true.

And in the end, I guess it was.

But at that point, on that May evening, I couldn't see the setup. All I could see was a golden opportunity to do what I've always wanted to do and ditch the dying newspaper industry at the same time.

For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, cbssports.com (from this point until forever, I will never capitalize those three letters. It's always going to be lowercase cbs in my book) was looking for 32 NFL correspondents for the upcoming football season.

While the commitment was only through the 2009 football campaign, it sounded like if you did a good enough job, there might be a permanent position available.

For the next two months, I busted my a**. I poured my heart and soul into getting this position. I was writing an average of two articles a day.

I'll put it to you like this: For a while, it wasn't uncommon for me to have written three stories in a day while only getting two hours of sleep.

I would get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, get back in bed, and find that I couldn't shut my brain off. The ideas were raising and, eventually, I'd get out of bed at some ungodly hour and start writing.

I'm sure my West Coast B/R fans have noticed this. They'll send something to me at 12 a.m. or 1 a.m. their time, and I'll respond.

Only problem is I live in Florida. So it's actually like 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. my time, and I have to work in the morning.

Come to think of it, it's 3:15 a.m. right now.

Anyway, as time wore on, it felt like B/R was messing with me. I kept getting notifications about "an influx of applications" and "being bombarded with quality work."

Originally, the decision was supposed to be announced no later than the end of June.

On Jul. 1, Assignment Editor Rory Brown e-mailed me (and everyone else I'm sure) and informed me the deadline had been extended.

Well, I finally heard the news yesterday. Much to my chagrin, I didn't get the job.

Then I got an e-mail from the CEO of B/R and I about hit the ceiling.

It read, in part: "Additionally, as word spread about this new initiative, many veteran sports writers—most with past experience covering the NFL—submitted their resumes and writing samples directly to (cbssports.com). The backgrounds and credentials of these writers were such that it made sense for (cbssports.com) to consider them in the mix as well.

"Today we are pleased to announce 16 Bleacher Report finalists have been offered Correspondent positions. Unfortunately, two had to bow out for personal reasons, but 14 will begin work soon as official (cbssports.com) Pro Football Correspondents. We look forward to following their progress and reporting over the course of the season.

"It was our goal for all 32 Correspondents to come from Bleacher Report. In fact, the quality of the contributors was so exceptional that if it were possible we wish we could have found a way for all of the Bleacher Report finalists to have received offers. At the end of the day, with so many veteran journalists available and only 32 jobs to fill, (cbssports.com) assembled their team by combining some of the best talent from Bleacher Report with experienced journalists from the sports media world..."

It felt like I had been stabbed in the heart.

I don't know if B/R knew this was happening the whole time, or if cbs (ATTENTION EDITORS: If you capitalize "cbs" at any point in this article, I will hunt you down and castrate you. If you're a woman, well, I guess I'll just be really upset.) just made B/R its little puppet @*%*h.

Kind of the way they did to us.

To the people who won, congratulations. Make B/R proud.

To the other guys who didn't win but were deserving, guys like Nick and Andy, keep your head up. You're too talented not to get another chance down the road.

In one of my Rush Limbaugh articles (you know, one of the two that were deleted), I quoted a line from The Who song, "Won't Get Fooled Again."

Well, I definitely got fooled. Actually, it feels more like I got bent over a table, but you get the idea.

I'll be d****d if I get fooled again.


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