Shanda Sounds Off: Athlete investments and ball girls

Published On March 14, 2013 | By Shanda Foster

Debate of the week: First Take: Richard Sherman vs. Skip Bayless

This debate between ESPN “First Take’s” Skip Bayless and Seattle CB Richard Sherman has taken the Internet by storm this week. Skip Bayless, one of the co-hosts of “First Take”, has been known for being somewhat of a “hater” and having what some call a biased opinion when it comes to athletes. Add second-year trash talker Richard Sherman to the mix and you’ve got an explosive combination.  The purpose of Sherman being a guest on FT was to talk about his charitable efforts in LA and touch on his trash-talking ways and overconfidence, but the episode took an uncomfortable turn when Sherman and Bayless got into a heated personal debate, leaving Stephen A. Smith to referee.

When this story first broke, a lot of people didn’t see the actual show and went online to check it out but the online episodes were all edited, ironically. I took the liberty of pulling an unedited version of the segment so you can see the FULL debate from beginning to end (please excuse the quality).

Who do you think was out of line? Sound off!

Who do you think was out of line? Sound off!

ESPN’s Bill Simmons disapproves of Sherman/Bayless debate…does the rest of ESPN?

Apparently, FT didn’t just ruffle the feathers of viewers and fans but it also caught the attention of other ESPN staff, like Bill Simmons, who displayed his distaste for the segment via Twitter.

Is he out of line for speaking against programming on his home station? I’m not sure about anyone else but I find something a little disheartening about a person that would discourage viewers from watching a station that you yourself are on. There will always be debates, whether about sports, religion or politics. Debating is purely part of the entertainment that keeps ratings high and gives an opportunity for different sides to be expressed. I do agree that the Sherman/Bayless “event” did go a little too far. It got to a point where there was an uneasy presence but the great thing about programming is, if you don’t like it, then you can just change the channel.

NFL players duped out of millions by investment scheme

The NFL athletes have taken a beating the last few years and I don’t mean on the field. It is no surprise that more than half of NFL athletes are broke when they retire. Their constant lavish spending and massive partying has been streaked across news outlets and gossip television shows like TMZ, but it would seem there is a new threat to the modern day athlete – The Financial Advisor.

Now, to the average person, a financial advisor means nothing, but to an athlete, this is the person who you put your trust in to make sure your funds are secure. The financial advisor helps athletes manage money, pay bills and plan financially for the future. What happens when that person you trust with all of your money causes you to lose millions?

One week ago, Jeff Rubin, a financial advisor for many athletes, was officially disbanded from the securities industry for luring a slew of former and current NFL players into high-risk investments that ended in over $40 million in losses. According to Yahoo Sports, Rubin owned and operated Pro Sports, a “concierge service” which offered bill payment services and advice on financial investments for a year’s fee of $40,000.

Rubin is said to have used his relationship with popular sports agent Drew Rosenhaus to gain 18 sports clients to invest in an illegal gambling casino in Alabama, urging them to dump millions of dollars into the ill-fated investment. Other reports say Rubin courted players by flying them in on private jets and selling them a vision when the whole time Rubin was reportedly given ownership in the project and was paid $500,000 for the provided referrals. Alabama authorities raided the casino after finding the establishment possessed illegal gambling machines. Among the list of current and former NFL clientele is Jevon Kearse, Clinton Portis, Terrell Owens, Fred Taylor, Frank Gore, Plaxico Burress and Santana Moss.

Carl Crawford says media in Boston were just too much

If you’re familiar with Carl Crawford and you’re from Boston then you probably remember two major things:

  1. His over the top contract from the Red Sox of $142 million
  2. Crawford’s batting average was a low .137 through his first 12 games in Boston

It was speculated that the new LA Dodger succumbed to all of the pressures of the Boston media during his stint with the organization. This week, Crawford criticized his time with the Sox when he opened up to CBS Sports’ Daniel Knobler.

According to Crawford, Red Sox writers “love it when you’re miserable.” He also added, “I took so much of a beating in Boston, I don’t think anything could bother me anymore. They can say what they want—that I’m the worst free agent ever—and it won’t get to me. But it bothered me the whole time there.”

Now on the one hand, Crawford took on an amazing load by accepting the terms of the $142 million contract back in 2010 and should have been prepared for the expectations that were bestowed upon him. Boston is not a small no-name town; it is a city of sports history and championships and the undying craving to win. So are we our athletes’ biggest critics?

In 2010, I read reports that the Red Sox organization had Crawford followed prior to signing him to a contract because in Tampa, he had been known as a party guy. I thought to myself, really? Since when is it that serious that we need to launch a FBI investigation in order to get a great signee? It led me to the conclusion that yes, we are too critical of our athletes. We love them when they’re breaking records but we turn our backs on them for ball dropping and false starts. We become personally disapproving and look for reasons to criticize them.

Being overly critical creates a stigma upon the city of Boston that makes future stars shy away from building a career here. If we want to continue our success in sports and carry on our era, do we need to loosen the reigns?

Weigh in in the comments below.

Video of the Week

The first Hooters Restaurant originated in Clearwater, Fla. two decades ago, so why not make it an attraction at Clearwater’s Bright House Baseball Field. The field has a Hooters restaurant on the premises but it also showcases Hooters “ball girls” that are dressed head to toe in the Hooters ensemble.

Apparently, what they didn’t communicate to the girls were the rules of baseball. This week during a Spring Training game, a Hooters ball girl (fully decked out in orange short shorts and Hooters tank), illegally picked up a live ball and gave it to a young fan to be nice. It was evident she realized what she did two seconds too late. I have a feeling this happens all of the time.


Comments are closed.

About The Author

Shanda Foster is a media personality who got her start as a journalist. She began her career writing press releases and bios for clients at a public relations company. She then decided to pursue her passion of journalism and started contributing to fashion and entertainment online publications. Foster went on to contribute for other publications and began writing an entertainment column for In 2009, Shanda entered the broadcast media world as the third member of Playaction Sports Radio. Her entertainment reporting, sports knowledge and humorous personality gained her attention locally. So sit back and enjoy the ride!