Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Jim Gray, To His Discredit, is Too Often 'The Story'

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Jim Gray, To His Discredit, is Too Often 'The Story'

    Click image for larger version

Name:	1jim.jpg
Views:	2
Size:	163.4 KB
ID:	13124

    By Ted Sares

    Showtime’s widely-connected Jim Gray is the ultimate networker, insider, and friend to the stars (from Jack Nicholson to Kobe Bryant to LeBron James to Tom Brady and everyone in between—or almost everyone). He has won more awards than Carter has pills, a list that includes 12 National Emmy Awards, and he even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was named as one of the 50 Greatest Sports Broadcasters of All-Time by David Halberstam and last year he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

    For an interesting read about Jim and his complex but important interconnections, see “The Zelig of Sports,” by Bryan Curtiss, dated June 24, 2016. https://www.theringer.com/2016/6/24/...ve-fc23ceb544e

    However, as noted by “Sports Media Watch” writer and editor Paulsen (no first name) and others, Gray has become The Story on too many occasions and that’s a no-no in his line of work.

    In boxing, Gray’s condescending and confrontational style was on display as far back as 2001 when he interviewed Kostya Tszyu in the ring following Tszyu’s defeat of Oktay Urkal at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut. As Gray was beginning his routine, the “Thunder From Down Under” grabbed the mic and quickly told Gray “Do not be rude to me.”

    Many years later, after Juan Manuel Lopez had just been knocked silly by Orlando “Siri” Salido, a bizarre post-fight interview ensued during which Lopez accused referee Roberto Ramirez and his son Roberto Ramirez Jr (who was the third man for the first Salido-Lopez fight) of having gambling problems.

    Lopez was arguably still on Queer Street, but that didn’t stop Gray. Eager to catch someone off guard, as is his wont, Gray managed to get “Juanma” to say more than enough to get himself suspended while Gray went on to induction into the IBHOF

    There have been many other incidents including James Toney dominating Gray in an interview after the Holyfield-Toney fight. Jim never had a chance. "Don’t come up here and try to give me no badass questions," James warned Gray before knocking the mic out of Gray’s hands..

    The fact is Gray had built up a litany of edgy if not downright embarrassing moments. His most infamous came in 1999 during game two of the World Series.

    During the game, Pete Rose, barred from baseball but still a fan favorite, was introduced as a member of the Major League All-Century Team as the crowd went wild. Then the ever-opportunistic Gray launched a series of questions regarding allegations that Rose’s had gambled on major league baseball games.

    Gray was unrelenting. Finally, Pete cut it off, saying, “This is a prosecutor's brief, not an interview, and I'm very surprised at you. I am, really.” Later on, New York Yankee outfielder Chad Curtis, who won Game 3 with a walk off homer, refused Gray’s request for an interview as a show of unity with Rose. (Jim Gray’s complete interview with Pete Rose can be found in Gray’s Wikipedia entry. Gray was somewhat vindicated in 2004 when Rose came clean and admitted that he had bet on baseball.)

    Fast Forward

    After the scintillating Wilder-Breazeale fight this past week in Brooklyn’s Barclay Center, Luis Ortiz bounded into the ring during the post-fight interviews and Gray shoved the mic in his face without so much as a hello and shouted “when do you want to fight Wilder?” Ortiz wanted to focus on what had just occurred in the ring, but he never had a chance. Gray continued to badger him about future fights and thus the fans did not get to hear what Ortiz had to say about the fight.

    But what was far worse was when Dominic Breazeale waved Gray away as the commentator walked towards the badly beaten fighter. Gray was stopped by a member of Breazeale’s camp and he quickly got the message that he was persona non grata in the Breazeale corner. Previously, and within Dominic’s earshot, Gray had said to Wilder “the public does not want to see you fight people like Breazeale, the public does not want to see Joshua fight Ruiz, the public does not want to see whoever this guy is fighting Tyson Fury.”

    There may be truth in what Jim said, but there was a better way to say it and a better place to say it. The man just got knocked senseless in front of his family and friends, Jim, show him some respect!

    Photo credit: Tom Casino / SHOWTIME

    Ted Sares is a member of Ring 8, a lifetime member of Ring 10, and a member of Ring 4 and its Boxing Hall of Fame. He also is an Auxiliary Member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA). He is an active power lifter and Strongman competitor in the Grand Master class and is competing in 2019.

    Check out more boxing news on video at The Boxing Channel
    Attached Files

  • #2
    With all due respect Ted I actually thought Jim Gray was refreshingly honest in his post-fight commentary and that his argument to Wilder about how all the past heavyweight greats got it on in the ring was spot on. Breazeale was lucky to even be considered for an interview after a stand there and get nailed performance like that. No loss there from my point of view. I don't care what he has/had to say, he got whacked out in one, he's an also-ran, a footnote, last Saturday's news. The way Wilder went after Radio Raheem and the way everybody and their mother goes after Gray, I'm actually surprised Wilder didn't bomb squad the microphone and get in Jim's face about Jim Crow. 😎
    Last edited by KO Digest; 05-22-2019, 01:23 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by KO Digest View Post
      With all due respect Ted I actually thought Jim Gray was refreshingly honest in his post-fight commentary and that his argument to Wilder about how all the past heavyweight greats got it on in the ring was spot on. Breazeale was lucky to even be considered for an interview after a stand there and get nailed performance like that. No loss there from my point of view. I don't care what he has/had to say, he got whacked out in one, he's an also-ran, a footnote, last Saturday's news. The way Wilder went after Radio Raheem and the way everybody and their mother goes after Gray, I'm actually surprised Wilder didn't bomb squad the microphone and get in Jim's face about Jim Crow. 😎
      You are not the only one to have that view. However, I think I made that point at the end, albeit perhaps softly."There may be truth in what Jim said, but there was a better way to say it and a better place to say it. The man just got knocked senseless in front of his family and friends, Jim, show him some respect!."

      In my view, Gray is like a shark who smells blood and goes after it accordingly. He has done it too often to suit my tastes. But I get you point, KO.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hmm ...

        I'll have to agree with KO Digest on this one. I was waiting for Gray to ambush someone but I was pleasantly surprised when he didn't. In my humble opinion, Breazeale was given an opportunity to speak and found he (Breazeale) short-changed himself. I doubt we'll see much more of Breazeale.

        On another note, Rose bet on baseball (he should be banned!) and former California Angel's outfielder Chad Curtis is serving hard time for sexually assaulting three underage girl students while he was a volunteer weight room strength trainer at Lakewood High School in Lake Odessa, Michigan. In retrospect, why treat those two with kid gloves?

        Comment


        • Kid Blast
          Kid Blast commented
          Editing a comment
          Holy sh--t. That was some heavy artillery coming from Oxnard. Curtis wasn't a perv back then.

      • #5
        On the other hand, I was actually kinda curious about whatever it was that Breazeale's trainer Virgil Hunter was trying to say on SHO to Gray but only in a shark smells chum kind of way. Clearly he was fixin to say something profoundly untoward about how Jim was the jerk for bloodying the airwaves with the smell of truth. I liked it. And Wilder showed me a side of him I liked also. He was so right about differences being settled by men with their fists. Nothing more to say anyway Dominic. Deontay settled it. Real heavyweight title fight soon I hope. #JoshuaWilder

        Comment


        • Kid Blast
          Kid Blast commented
          Editing a comment
          That fight won't happen anytime soon.

      • #6
        This just in: "Probably my all time favorite article you have written. Grey is too insulting to fighters.
        James Toney is too smart for him" From Dana Rosenblatt.

        Comment


        • #7
          FYI: Gray uses a similar shtick as Larry Merchant and Howard Cosell. All three, respectively, have had lengthy and distinguished careers. While in the ring, Gray owns the mic! In my opinion, Kostya Tszyu (a favorite of mine -- he fought upright with very little head movement like my son) was totally out of line to grab the mic of a veteran interviewer.

          Comment


          • Kid Blast
            Kid Blast commented
            Editing a comment
            You are going to make me say something I might regret so I won't say it. And yes, he is/was bit like Cosell and Merchant. But they were not sharks going for chum.

        • #8
          Last January I did a story here about boxers vs. the boxing media and included some speculation on why it might be happening so regularly now. Here is what I wrote about Jim Gray's altercation with James "Lights Out, Microphones Down" Toney, definitely one for the ages of assholery.

          James Toney vs. Jim Gray: After becoming one of only two men to stop Evander Holyfield, ‘Lights Out’ Toney gave Showtime’s Jim Gray a little taste of the streets. Gray, interviewing Toney in the ring after the 2003 upset in Las Vegas, asked the tough talking former middleweight champion of the world if he was just “too quick and too fast” for the aging Holyfield. It seemed like a legitimate question but Toney responded as if Gray had personally disrespected him. “Don’t come up in here trying to give me no bad asss questions, trying to degrade me.” Undeterred, Gray pressed on but to no avail. “I ain’t gotta answer nobody’s questions,” said Toney before knocking the mic out of Gray’s hand and onto the canvas; then turning his back on the announcer and starting to walk away. As Gray went to recover his fallen tool of the trade, Toney spun back around to accost Gray for “walking up” on him.

          “I don’t like you,” griped Toney.

          Comment


          • Kid Blast
            Kid Blast commented
            Editing a comment
            I can see Toney's point. I don't like him either.

        • #9
          Just want to say, CNN propagandist Jim Acosta is aptly named!

          Comment


          • JohnnyTango
            JohnnyTango commented
            Editing a comment
            Indeed he is!

        • #10
          Irish Micky Ward knows a thing or two about being trashed and/or embarrassed by boxing commentators. When I interviewed him last year in Boston I asked him about that:

          TSS: ​For most fans, it was your fight against Alfonzo Sanchez on the De La Hoya-Whitaker PPV undercard that exposed them to you for the first time. The HBO announcers were portraying you as an unprofessional palooka before you took Sanchez out with one body shot. Were ​they being unprofessional? What are your thoughts on boxing commentators in general?

          Micky Ward:​ They were a little harsh but in all due respect, I wasn’t fighting like I should have been. Did I deserve that? No. But hey that’s their job. I’m friends with Larry Merchant and Roy Jones now. Roy was the only one who was giving me a fair shake. Roy knew I was better than that and I showed it by staying in there. I could have given up. I could have folded. I could have just quit, whatever. But I said ‘Fuk it, I’ll get knocked out before I quit. ​(chuckles) I almost did!

          Comment


          • Kid Blast
            Kid Blast commented
            Editing a comment
            I'll never forge that one. He was able to shut down the entire HBO Team with one left hook to the body. WOW!

        • #11
          As a national attraction, that was my introduction to Ward. I saw that fight on PPV while on active duty at Fort Drum. I'd known him as a local journeyman from Lowell who I didn't think would ever fight his way out of local status. This Sanchez fight on HBO didn't do much to change my low opinion of Ward at that time. That would come later. It's never too late, until it is...

          Comment


          • Kid Blast
            Kid Blast commented
            Editing a comment
            The Reggie Green classic made me a Ward fan for ever. I was there in NH for that one. Teddy Atlas paid both men a super tribute and Ron Borges wrote a fantastic article about it.

        • #12
          I do think some announcers, not only Gray, do interject themselves too much into the story of the event. The fighters should be the focus of the story. They are the ones getting inside the ring. And yes certainly Gray has had some moments in the past where he interjected himself too much into the event.

          That said, I didn't think too much of what Gray said on Saturday. Personally, I think he misspoke and probably regrets his choice of words. I don't think he meant to disrespect Breazeale, just picked the wrong words to say. I don't blame Breazeale for not wanting to talk with him later.

          Comment

        Working...
        X