The Blitz on Colin Kaepernick

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is feeling an onslaught like any other he’s faced in a game. If it was on the field, he could just tuck it, throw a couple of stiff-arms, and gallop past the first down marker. It’s an instinctual reaction that Kaepernick absolutely needs to heed when facing an equally sticky situation off the field. At the first sign of trouble, get out. We still don’t know the extent to what happened in a Miami apartment earlier this month. Kaepernick claims that things are being made up about him that never happened.


In the coming days and weeks, we should be getting more drips and drabs of information that may or may not prove the young signal-caller’s assertion. Fact is, Kaepernick needs to understand that as an NFL quarterback, fair or unfair, he’s held to a completely different standard than everybody else. It’s just that simple. Not only that, he so happens to be part of an organization that has a deep and storied lineage of legendary quarterbacks. Some 49ers fans openly opine that Joe Montana and Steve Young would never put themselves in a situation that puts their reputations in doubt.

While that’s likely true, it might be a little unfair to Kaepernick who is touted as a millenial quarterback for this period of time in the NFL. Besides, he has his own distinct personality and by all accounts, he’s a thoughtful young man. Still, in a time of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, he needs to be that much more vigilant about what he does, who he chooses to associate with and exercise good judgement. Even if this all blows over, the stench may be lingering for awhile. It’s not like Ben Roethlisberger is getting a ton of endorsements and he’s won two Super Bowls.The other loose thread is his contract situation. This certainly won’t help. Kaepernick wants Joe Flacco money, between $18 and $20 million a year and based on what he’s done in his brief career, he’s likely in line for it. However, we nary hear a peep about Flacco’s off season activities. It should be that way. Kaepernick needs to aim for this kind of tranquility just like he aims for a first down.



Putting Miguel Cabrera’s Contract Into Perspective

As the public hand-wringing continues over the Detroit Tigers wisdom behind Miguel Cabrera’s 10 year, $292 million dollar contract, there is a thin slice of the Western Hemisphere reveling in the richest deal in American sports history. That would be in Cabrera’s home of baseball-crazed Venezuela. A nation known for pumping out a steady stream of All-Stars and Hall of Famers too numerous to name, but include Luis Aparicio, Omar Vizquel and Ozzie Guillen.


Cabrera’s lucrative windfall is a slight distraction to the real problems plaguing this country. Inflation is skyrocketing to near 60 percent, the murder rate is zooming to one of the highest on the planet and it’s all occurring in what many deem as a politically suppressed environment. Just over the past few weeks, there have been scores of showdowns between protesters and pro-government militias that highlight the daily upheaval for its occupants. So yes, Cabrera’s enormous contract provides a fleeting respite, especially in Maracay, where he is viewed as a conquering hero when he visits.

That’s right, he still visits, but with a police escort and bodyguards surrounding him because kidnapping is very much a possibility there, now more than ever with news of his contract. Cabrera is viewed as a symbol of hope for the youth toiling under more bleak conditions than the 2-time American League MVP ever experienced growing up. To give you an idea of how Cabrera’s financial numbers compare to say, a typical Venezulan earning minimum wage in this charged climate, the AP estimated that one would have to work 46,885 years! A staggering number that is wildly and comically out of reach, but well within the grasp of those Venezuelans willing to allow themselves a chance to indulge in a dream of being the next Miguel Cabrera.


Robinson Cano Walks Away From The Yankees For The Mariners

Yankees play-by-play announcer John Sterling will have to create a new home run call for a different player at second base this season. “Robbie Cano, don’cha know?” has to be crumpled up and tossed into the radio waste bin. Now if the call had to be modified, perhaps this would be more apt: “Robbie Cano, don’cha know?.. ya made a mistake.” Robinson Cano decided to stick with a franchise bathed in a rich tradition of winning, a singular vessel known for creating legacies, a commercial vehicle ripe with endless marketing opportunities.. The.. Mariners? Um, yeah, the M’s, who backed up the truck and dropped 240 million big ones on his lap.


Robbie Cano walks away from the Yankees for the Mariners in recent news.

Had Cano stayed with the Yankees, sure he would’ve made less money, but the chance to go down as a legend from one of the most recognized franchises in all sports was well within reach. Commercial opportunities would likely cascade from 5th Avenue with every mounting accolade. As is always the case, it’s all about the money. One can’t blame him for chasing the dollars. Cano is a singular talent no doubt, but the Mariners overpayed for him. That mere fact may not dawn on them until they reach the backend of his 10 year megadeal, say around 2020, when it will feel like a gigantic elephant standing on their chest.

Seattle may very well get seven highly productive years out of him and even reach the ultimate pinnacle of the sport, the World Series, but those who’ve gained entry into the ultra exclusive 200 mill club know that it doesn’t guarantee sustained excellence. Just look at the likes of Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder or even Alex Rodriguez. For the Mariners, the Cano signing successfully registered on the sports richter scale. They managed to be a permanent trending fixture for much of the day on Twitter. They’ve had a hard enough time doing that as it is in a city now gripped with the scourge that is Seahawks Fever. Keep in mind the M’s haven’t been to the postseason since 2001 and still have numerous holes to fill.

There’s reports that they’re trying to lure pitcher David Price to a staff featuring King Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, so it’s possible they really are serious about contending. While the M’s are exhibiting their relevancy this winter, they’ll need to pry open the wallet much further to keep up with the Rangers, Angels and A’s in a highly competitive American League West. Depending on what the Mariners do, maybe we will say at some point down the line, Robbie Cano did know, but I doubt it.      

Will Selva: San Francisco 49ers 2011-2012 Season Preview

Coming off a disappointing 6-10 season in 2010, the San Francisco 49ers are looking to take advantage of the lackluster competition in the NFC West to turn things around this year. The 49ers have a solid foundation to build upon with first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh, who most recently rejuvenated the struggling program at Stanford University. One of the few bright spots for the 49ers last season was their run defense, which gave up less than 100 yards per game and was ranked 6th in the NFL thanks in large part to linebacker phenomenon Patrick Willis. This should once again prove to be a cornerstone for the team despite the loss of veteran leaders such as linebacker Takeo Spikes, defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin, and cornerback Nate Clements. The two big offseason acquisitions, seasoned kicker David Akers and dynamic wide receiver Braylon Edwards, should help the team put more points on the board in 2011.

Veteran quarterback Alex Smith, who has experienced his ups and downs in San Francisco, will be the starter under center for the season opener on Sunday, September 11 against division rival Seattle. As mentioned earlier, the 49ers automatically get six matchups with teams that had losing records in 2010 (two games each against Seattle, Arizona, and St. Louis) thanks to their placement in the NFC West. However, the 49ers will face some worthy adversaries in the non-division schedule, including Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and the New York Giants. Most of these games come in the early or middle part of the season, which means that San Francisco will have a relatively easy schedule down the stretch. With a new head coach, some growing pains are expected early in the season but the 49ers can be contenders if they make it through November.

About the Author: Will Selva grew up in the San Francisco region and returned to the area later in his career as the Sports Director at Sacramento’s ABC affiliate, providing coverage of all of the local professional and high school teams. Recognized as a leading bilingual sports anchor, Selva has hosted some of the most popular programs on ESPN since joining the network in 2007.

The History of Sportscasting – Presented by Will Selva

Currently serving as an anchor at ESPN, Will Selva hosts some of the network’s most prominent shows, including NBA Tonight, First Take, SportsCenter, and College Football Live. Mr. Selva holds a degree in Broadcast Journalism from ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He has served as a sportscaster with a number of networks and stations prior to accepting his current position.


Sportscasting originally began on the radio with a number of famous radio announcers. Radio sportscasters focused on the excitement of the game, conveying the atmosphere of a sporting event as well as the score and other vital information. During the early days of radio, sportscasters often worked from studios away from the action, recreating the game from basic wire service reports.


Sports programming helped make television popular soon after it began gaining appeal with the mass market. During the late 1940s, as much as 30 percent of the television schedule during primetime was composed of sports programming. Sportscasters became the voice of sports for many viewers, as fans identified the announcers with a given sport or team.


In 1960, instant replay technology debuted, allowing television viewers to closely examine plays, making chaotic sports like football much more accessible via television. Soon after the development of instant replay, CBS paid a then unheard-of $28 million for the rights to broadcast National Football League games and established two major sponsorship contracts.


In 1979, ESPN debuted, establishing a new era for television sportscasting and becoming the first profitable network on basic cable. Currently, viewers in more than 59 million American households receive ESPN. Today, many sportscasters are prominent figures in their own right, having established strong relationships with viewers and the sports they announce.

Will Selva on the History of SportsCenter

Throughout his career as a broadcast journalist, Will Selva has had opportunities to work with a wide variety of sports programs, including College Football Live, NBA Tonight, and SportsCenter. Far and away the most popular sports news show in the United States, SportsCenter is a daily show that serves as the flagship program of ESPN.

SportsCenter traces its roots to the late 1970s, when Executive Editor John A. Walsh developed an idea for an all-inclusive daily sports news program. SportsCenter made its official debut on ESPN in 1979, anchored by George Grande and established New York broadcaster Lee Leonard. Grande served as the anchor of SportsCenter for more than a decade before retiring from the show in 1989. Another notable figure during the early years of the show was Chris Berman, who quickly rose to popularity during the 1980s and continues to contribute to SportsCenter today.

First Sportscenter Broadcast (1979) posted by

In the late 1980s, the show changed its format from a “sport-by-sport” structure to a news-style broadcast, which reported on the most important stories of the day regardless of the sport. The show also began to garner attention for its unique presentation, which included a fast-paced electronic audio track and animated sports balls flying toward the screen. By the mid-1990s, the show had begun to adopt its trademark three-count musical theme. The 1990s also saw the rise of anchor pair Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann, who hosted the show until Olbermann’s departure in 1997, at which point Rich Eisen and Stuart Scott took over the top anchor spots.

The show continued to build on its successes throughout the end of the 1990s and, in 2004, made the switch to high-definition broadcasts. That year also coincided with the 25th anniversary of ESPN, which SportsCenter honored by replaying the top 100 sports moments of the past 25 years. Over the past 7 years, SportsCenter has significantly expanded its programming, launching segments such as 50 States in 50 Days and Baseball Tonight Extra, which contains highlights from Major League Baseball games currently in progress.

ESPN Baseball Tonight theme posted by ESPN

Will Selva Covered Barbaro’s Victory at the 2006 Kentucky Derby

By Will Selva

The Kentucky Derby took an exciting turn in 2006 when 6:1 favorite Barbaro stumbled at the beginning of the race, but charged his way to the lead on the last turn of the track to win by more than six lengths. While working as a Sports Anchor for CNN, Will Selva covered the history-making event in which Barbaro won by the largest margin of victory witnessed at the Kentucky Derby in some 60 years. Will Selva offers an overview of Barbaro.

In 2006, the Kentucky Derby featured the largest crowd ever in attendance. The second pre-race betting favorite to thoroughbred Brother Derek, Barbaro went into the competition without having competed for five weeks prior. However, up to that point he remained undefeated in five previous races over the past six months. With jockey Edgar Prado, Barbaro faltered at the start of the one-and-a-quarter mile race but came back strong to win in 2:01.36, becoming only the sixth undefeated horse to win the Kentucky Derby.

The horse’s first place prize of $1.45 million boosted his career winnings to $2.3 million. Unfortunately the success would be short lived. Just two weeks after his momentous win at Churchill Downs, Barbaro broke his right hind leg in more than 20 places on the first straightaway at the Preakness Stakes race in Baltimore, Maryland. In the following months, Barbaro would undergo extensive surgery and a slow recovery process. A nationwide public outpouring for the horse began as veterinarians gave Barbaro a 50-50 chance of survival.

For the first several months after the initial surgery, he appeared to make a solid recovery. However, complications that surfaced four to five months following the injury required that Barbaro undergo euthanasia, as he could not survive with just three legs. Today, a number of tributes and memorials to Barbaro exist, including a bronze sculpture of the horse at the entrance to Churchill Downs.

Will Selva on Will Ferrell and Semi-Pro

by Will Selva

Several years ago, I interviewed television and movie star Will Ferrell. The former Saturday Night Live cast member came to our ESPN studios to promote his 2008 basketball comedy Semi-Pro.

Written by Scot Armstrong and directed by Kent Alterman, Semi-Pro is set in the 1970s and tells the story of Jackie Moon, a former singer (played by Ferrell) who buys the (fictitious) Flint Tropics, the worst team in the now-defunct American Basketball Association (ABA). The ABA only existed from 1967 to 1976, when it merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA). Only four of its teams made it to the NBA: the Indiana Pacers, the Denver Nuggets, the New York (now New Jersey) Nets, and the San Antonio Spurs. This merger serves as an important plot point in the movie, as Moon learns that the ABA Commissioner plans to allow the four best teams in the league to join the NBA. As the team’s owner, head coach, and power forward, Moon brings the Tropics to the top of the league by introducing the alley-oop shot. The film co-stars André Benjamin (also known as Andre 3000) of Outkast, Woody Harrelson, and Andy Richter, along with regular Ferrell collaborators Rob Corddry, Tim Meadows, Ed Helms, and David Koechner.

In 2008, Semi-Pro won Best Sports Movie at ESPN’s ESPY Awards. Also in 2008, Will Ferrell released Step Brothers, in which he played a “man-child” along with the Academy Award-nominated actor John C. Reilly. In 2010, he starred in the dramedy Everything Must Go, which is about a man who conducts a garage sale of all his possessions after losing his job and his wife on the same day. Ferrell also temporarily replaced the departing Steve Carrell for four episodes on NBC’s The Office.