This past Sunday, November 16th, Maxx CEO Mark Lepselter joined the sports panel on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" to discuss and debate over letting high school kids play football. Watch video of the debate above.
Brian Mitchell is mad as hell, and he’s not going to take it any more.
The former Washington running back, who now works as an analyst for CSN Washington, went in on his old team last night with a classic rant that sets him up as a modern Howard Beale and expresses the frustration of those who are forced to watch the 3-7 “travesty.”
The entire commentary is worth three minutes of your time, as Mitchell gets on a bit of a roll.
“This team has sucked over the last few years,” Mitchell said at one point. “And as a former player I’m embarrassed to watch this junk over and over again. . . .
“Too many times we sit there and we kiss this team’s ass because we see a burgundy and gold person wearing it. What you got to start doing is make the team understand you mean business.”
Mitchell took careful aim at some of the players who were complaining about media coverage lately, and though he didn’t name names, it’s not hard to see what he’s getting at.
Mitchell has had his calls for change come true earlier this year, he was the one who started the bench Kirk Cousins for Colt McCoy train rolling.
If he could preach Washington out of its current malaise and into meaningful football again, he’d have more fans than ever in D.C.
Former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor thanked two Army veterans for their service by serving them drinks at Avenue nightclub in Chelsea on Veterans Day.
We’re told Taylor and Fox News anchor Shepard Smith arrived at Avenue at about 11:15 p.m. for a few rounds of drinks. An hour later, the Hall of Fame gridiron great and a male friend left the club, but as they walked outside, an onlooker tells us, “They ran into two young guys dressed in their Army full dress gear, who said, ‘Oh my God, it’s LT! We are your biggest fans.’”
Taylor happily shook hands and took pictures with them. Then, the star-struck soldiers asked LT if he could help them get into the club.
Taylor immediately told the door staff at the velvet rope, “These guys are with me!”
Our source told us: “They all went inside together, and LT went to his table — where Smith and others were still hanging out — picked up the bottle and made each of the guys a drink and thanked them for their service.Then, LT left the club for good.”
We’re also told Smith picked up the tab for the group.
Al Davis still comes to mind almost daily. Amy Trask will see something or read something and wish she could share it with the late Raiders owner. Along with her husband of nearly 29 years, Davis had one of the most profound influences on her life and career.
Now 18 months removed from her almost three-decade stint with the franchise, Trask remains a loyal fan of the Raiders team she fell in love with as a college student at California-Berkeley.
She warns her colleagues at CBS and others that when it comes to Oakland, "I often answer from my heart."
"I'm asked so often, am I still a fan of the team? Why wouldn't I be?" she said. "I worked for the team almost three decades."
These days, Trask is far removed from the daily operation in Alameda, California.
She and husband Rob, an investor, sold their home in the Oakland Hills earlier this year and moved back to Southern California and the same Venice Canals district where they lived during the Raiders' time in Los Angeles.
Her path has come full circle.
Davis died in October 2011, leaving a huge void for Trask. The Raiders' longtime chief executive officer, she resigned her position on May 11, 2013.
"I think about him all the time," Trask said in a phone interview. "I'll think of him in a variety of contexts — something funny and I'll want to tell Al; something in the world, and I'll want to discuss that with Al."
When Trask walked away from it all, she heard from former NFL greats — even some baseball Hall of Famers — and coaches who offered to guide her through how to make the transition to a new, non-football life.
"How to essentially do a paradigm shift," Trask said.
But Trask wasn't away for long. By the start of the 2013 season she had landed as an analyst for CBS, taking on the terrifying new challenge of television. No, she never imagined this, and no, she doesn't plan to return to work for a team.
She still gets her football fix every Sunday, now paying more attention to every team instead of primarily just the Silver and Black. There's an ice cream fix, too. That's a daily indulgence, and Trask is proud she had 15 pints in her freezer at once last week. A variety of brands and flavors, and — just as was her way as a top executive — she doesn't play favorites.
"Absolutely once a day, sometimes more than once a day," she said. "There is no shame whatsoever about eating ice cream on a daily basis or multiple times a day."
What does she miss most about the Bay Area? That's easy: the iconic Fentons Creamery. Next: friends and colleagues, and they understand.
She hits her home elliptical machine by 5 a.m. most days.
"I'm an early riser by nature, I love being up before anyone," she said.
All these years, Trask's life has revolved around the NFL calendar. Running all aspects of the business operation of the Raiders, from ticket sales to the search for a new stadium, she used to pop into offices at team headquarters to remind other employees the exact countdown to draft day or the first training camp practice and season opener.
Most of all, she had Davis' trust as one of the most influential women in the NFL at a time there weren't many.
"You could tell that they had a mutual respect for each other," said 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, a one-time Raiders quarterbacks coach. "I was a very low-level person, but Amy always treated everybody well. She didn't just manage up to Mr. Davis. She managed down well and I always respected that about her. She's very sharp, always very detailed, very organized. She had a good presence about her and I always respected her."
Trask, who first interned with the Raiders before later returning, became CEO in 1997 and was one of Davis' most trusted advisers. She earned a bachelor's degree from Cal in political science, then received her law degree from Southern California.
On the third anniversary of Davis' death on Oct. 8, Trask found it fitting the NFL approved the sale of the Buffalo Bills in the wake of the death of longtime owner Ralph Wilson in March. Davis and Wilson were dear friends, and "that was not lost on me."
In late September, Trask began as a panelist on a new weekly all-women sports show "We Need to Talk," which airs in prime time on CBS Sports Network. She will participate in four episodes.
Trask is working on a book. She is traveling regularly to and from New York for the CBS "That Other Pregame Show," spending as little time outside California as necessary.
Former linebacker Bart Scott has helped Trask deal with the transition, even offering a supportive hand to hold under the table during the show.
"She's a trailblazer, she's a goal setter," Scott said. "They sat us right next to each other, which was perfect. I understood what she was going through. I have tremendous respect for who she is as a person. We know she has the goods. It was all about her delivering it in a way that people could see and understand."
Those who know her encouraged Trask to try something outside her comfort zone. But for someone who for years was a public figure — even if she could stay hidden in Raiders headquarters — that idea was hard to envision.
"I enjoyed being behind the scenes, below the radar screen," she said. "I am doing something now that is very frightening, and in fact I am facing my biggest fear."
Trask has avoided starting a Twitter account, though she does "lurk" and read from colleagues' feeds from time to time.
Little did she know she would be weighing in on some of the NFL's biggest stories, from Ray Rice to Adrian Peterson.
"I would have bet every single penny that we have that I would not have ended up on television," she said. "It's the scariest thing I've ever done in my whole life."
Check out this interview with Jamie Foxx, where he's asked about which athlete he would want to play in a movie/biopic. His answer, the great Lawrence Taylor.
MAXX Client Steffi Sorensen has been named one of six women's basketball analysts for the newly launched SEC Network. The network will air more than 60 games on television this season with a doubleheader every Sunday and Thursday and a Women's Game of the Week every Monday. In addition, SEC Network will carry more than 130 games as digitally exclusive SEC Network + events available on WatchESPN and SECNetwork.com Sorensen was a former University of Florida team captain in 2010 and will provide analysis for women's basketball as a recent SEC student-athlete.
Amy Trask was named to the Top 10 list of rising stars and Bart Scott was named an honorable mention.
CBS Sports debuts WE NEED TO TALK, the first-ever nationally-televised all-female sports show, tonight at 10:00 PM, ET on CBS Sports Network.
Eleven of the 12 WE NEED TO TALK panelists join tonight’s show to discuss sports news from across the country including the latest NFL news, the handling of concussions at the collegiate level and Derek Jeter’s retirement. Lesley Visser, Amy Trask, Tracy Wolfson, Dana Jacobson, Allie LaForce, Andrea Kremer, Dara Torres, Laila Ali,Lisa Leslie, Swin Cash and Katrina Adams are all featured in tonight’s premiere episode. In the show’s first season, WE NEED TO TALK airs weekly on Tuesday evenings at 10:00 PM, ET.
WE NEED TO TALK is led by Emmy Award-winning Coordinating Producers Emilie Deutsch and Suzanne Smith. Amy Salmanson and Julie Keryc produce with Smith directing.
“NBA2K TV” is a live highlight and interview show designed to bind the NBA 2K community like no other video game has or can by delivering game news and community-driven content through a live studio television show. In many ways, the game is built around the weekly program that features as its host former Old Dominion star and sports broadcast personality Rachel A. DeMita.
You getting this? In the game’s slickly produced trailer, a mesmerized Durant mutters, “Whoa, man, that’s sick.”The real-life DeMita — not an animated replica — will greet you every time you put on the game. She’ll provide a brief update on the latest happenings in the NBA 2K community. She might be back later with highlights of your game and ask you how you did it.
The actual show will be shot at 2K’s studios and streamed into the game once a week. Planned to last about 15 minutes, it will feature fast-paced segments from highlights of actual NBA 2K games played by users who allow 2K to access their systems through the DVR function, plus highlights of NBA 2K tournaments and other large-scale events and interviews with actual game users and tournament winners and exclusive interviews with NBA players, coaches and experts.
NBA2K will be released on Oct. 7, which is also when the first live show will debut. The game will be released internationally on Oct. 10.
“There’s so many ‘wow’ moments as you play the game, as you’re experiencing things with your buddy,” Thomas said. “It may have come down to a last-second buzzer — we really do try to replicate the real NBA. You know how highlights are, how exciting that can be. Well, we really do try to replicate those moments and for our users and game players to share that with the world is what we’re really trying to capture. That’s one part of the content.”
Additional show content will include game news, behind-the-scenes looks at how NBA 2K was made, interviews with the game’s developers, plus NBA player cameos and basketball lifestyle.
“One of my favorite parts of this is I was a former Division I basketball player and to me the point of playing basketball and the point of playing video games is the same thing: to have a really amazing time competing,” DeMita said. “With the show, we always want to have a good time and show all of the culture and the entertainment value that surrounds the NBA, that surrounds NBA2K and that surrounds our gaming community. Everybody is coming there for essentially the same reason. Being able to bring these guys access to some of the things they couldn’t have access to before, for instance they wouldn’t know necessarily that someone in Maryland is at the top of the leader board, but I’ll be able to let the rest of the community know that.
“At the same time someone may not know that Kevin Durant loves to play NBA 2K, and also likes to play with other NBA players. So when I do interviews with him, the whole community will get to watch that and enjoy in those aspects of the culture.”
It is a brave new world. Game on.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenges are still pouring in and here are some MAXX clients who've stepped up and accepted the challenge:
Kevin Carter: http://vimeo.com/103958515
Melanie Collins: http://instagram.com/p/r0flRAydMp/?modal=true
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SejEGiX4dUM
Gabe Kapler: http://youtu.be/Vf1lIFGktLc
Sarah Kustok: http://t.co/J6nlWQCuxY
Lesley McCaslin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNMdpDckXwM&feature=youtu.be
Donovan McNabb: http://twitpic.com/eas4cq
Crystina Poncher: http://instagram.com/p/r2cJBxGA5y/?modal=true
Jonas Schwartz: http://instagram.com/p/r8DzXlAL2q/
Steffi Sorensen: http://instagram.com/p/r47M87OsLj/
Brandon Tierney: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_kjQXi6itHw
Benjamin Watson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZt3eSyF8lA
Jon "Stugotz" Wiener: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWtzQLtJ5ew&list=UUolQElHE1gxr6qjQpQtuu5Q
MAXX Client, Amy Trask, the first female CEO in the National Football League and a contributor for CBS Sports Network’s 'THAT OTHER PREGAME SHOW' will be a regular member of the show's weekly panel.
Each week the show will feature a group of female panelists from within the CBS Corporation and beyond, discussing all the hot topics and the latest news from across the sports landscape including the NFL, MLB, college football and basketball, NBA, NHL, golf, tennis, auto racing and much more.
CBS Sports Network returns to the gridiron for the 2014 season with its most extensive lineup ever of college football games, featuring teams from the Mountain West, The American, Conference USA, Army and Navy football, the Patriot League and NCAA Division II. The Network will air 66 games this season, showcasing some of the nation’s top teams.
MAXX Clients Melanie Collins and Courtney Fallon will both be reporting from the sidelines as newcomers to CBS Sports Network's college football coverage.
MAXX Client Ronde Barber returns for his second season as an 'NFL on FOX' Analyst, but will join Chris Myers in the booth this year, after working alongside Play-by-Play Commentator Dick Stockton last season.
Barber and Myers debut in Tampa Bay as the Buccaneers host the Carolina Panthers on September 7th at 4:25 PM ET.
BTN is welcoming Rutgers University to the conference in a B1G way, adding Rutgers experts to its on-air roster and planning a full day of programming dedicated to Rutgers Athletics.
Joining BTN’s roster are former Rutgers quarterback Ray Lucas, former Rutgers offensive lineman, Super Bowl champion and three-time NFL Pro Bowl selection Shaun O’Hara, and former Rutgers defensive lineman Eric LeGrand. Lucas and LeGrand will serve as football studio analysts, while O’Hara will be in the booth as a game analyst.
Fantasy football owners are getting their own channel as part of DirecTV’s exclusive “NFL Sunday Ticket” package for the 2014 season.
Hosting the channel will be Kay Adams, who has established herself as a fantasy sports export for NBC Sports' Rotoworld site, and former NFL linebacker Dhani Jones.
The Fantasy Zone channel will be broadcasting while games are in progress, but will focus solely on how the live action is affecting the day’s fantasy stats, with up to the minute game-to-game analysis, stats and on-screen tickers that offer projections and key player updates.
The channel is all part of the existing NFL Sunday Ticket Max package, which in addition to the standard afternoon CBS and FOX games, gives subscribers access to the Red Zone Channel and allows them to stream live games onto computers and mobile devices.
In "Under Pressure: How Playing Football Almost Cost Me Everything and Why I'd Do It All Again," Ray Lucas provides fans with a timely, uncensored look at pro football's play-at-all-costs culture. Overcoming questions about his size and skills as a quarterback, Lucas persevered and went on to play seven seasons in the NFL. His professional football career, however, came to a sudden end at age 30, when a neck injury caused him to collapse on the sideline during training camp. Instructed by NFL doctors that surgery wasn't an option, Lucas turned to painkillers for relief, but as his tolerance for medication escalated and his NFL insurance coverage expired, he began to plan his suicide. Just days before he planned to take his life, Lucas was put in touch with a group of doctors who agreed to perform neck surgery free of charge. In this tell-all, Lucas shares how—in a league without guaranteed contracts and careers that average just a few seasons long—players in the training room are perceived to lack the toughness necessary to succeed on the field. He discusses how this prevailing attitude leads to widespread abuse of painkillers and leaves many former players unable to lead a normal life once their playing career ends while also sharing details on how he overcame his drug addiction and turned his own life around.
Ray Lucas's memoir is co-authored by David Seigerman and has a foreword from Bill Parcells. The book, set to release on September 1, 2014 is published by Triumph Books.
Melanie Collins of Yahoo! Sports is covering the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Here is a video of Melanie talking with Yahoo Global Football Ambassador José Mourinho about his favorite aspects of the World Cup.