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Archive for the 'Maury’s World' Category

A Father and Autism: When “Thanks” is Not Enough

22nd May 2012

 


Travis just after anesthetic

“Exhausted”.

That’s about the best word to describe today. But, with assistance from friends, family, and surprisingly, a host of people that we have never met, Travis had his medical/dental procedure done today. As he sleeps near me on the floor – part of the lasting effects of the medication still in him – it’s been 9 hours since we left across town for his appointment. We had to wait all this time to find an opening in the schedule that would allow us to get in first thing in the morning as Travis could not eat after midnight the day of the procedure. The worry was if it was later, he’d start whining for food and milk, and well… when you can’t reason with a child; it can be a dramatic affair. After all, all he’s wanting is something to eat. You can’t reason with him via the autism.

The picture above shows Travis about 30 seconds after the anesthesiologist administered the shot. Travis being Travis didn’t know what was going on with the shot until it happened. “Owwww!!! BAND-AID….!” A few seconds later, he was out and he was carried away out of sight of his parents.

As we sat in the waiting room, my thoughts on the fundraiser that we had to have for all of this to happen was on my mind. We have been incredibly fortunate to be blessed with assistance from so many, and I thought about how often the scene I was living out was playing out across the country and around the globe. Many are not as fortunate and I don’t know how some parents survive the challenges.

So, what was the result of the examine and work thereafter? X-rays revealed that Travis had 9 cavities which needed to be filled, a nasty side-effect of a diet that redefines “picky.” He will not eat much of anything other than starches. Bread… French fries… cookies… the best we can do is get Soy milk in him with vitamins and if we’re lucky the occasional request for apples or cheese.

Total out-of-pocket cost for the day would exceed $3,000 for approx. 2 hours of work. If not for the fundraiser that covered a fair portion of the total, we would have been in a tight spot.

This is a tale of just one thing. These types of events will occur throughout Travis’ life as it will for other children on the autism spectrum. I never understood how the cost of raising a child on the ASD scale could reach well into the millions, but I understand now. It is the unexpected. It is the thing that seems so simple in relationship to raising “neuro-typical” kids and yet becomes a huge challenge on a level you never expected to face with autism in play.

We can’t thank all those that donated, enough. There were so many, most of whom wished to remain anonymous. But, I do wish to extend a special thanks to the sports community of which I’m blessed to be a part of. Via Twitter, blog posts, and more, word of Travis’ situation spread, and the donations came pouring in, none more than through my Texas Rangers friends. No, I do not live in Texas, but Adam Morris and the good people at LoneStarball.com brought in so many donations that it reaffirmed my belief in humanity. That spread to PinstripeAlley.com where New York Yankee fans  added their voice. Along the way, members of the media – both big and small – joined in. The result is that you have made a difference in a family’s life. My wife and I thank you, and one day, I hope to hear Travis thank you, as well.

Our love,
Maury and Glenna Brown

Posted in Maury's World, Social Awareness | 2 Comments »

A Father and Autism: The Cost of Autism

1st April 2012

UPDATE: (Weds, 4/4/12) – First off, I and my wife have been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support for Travis. The compassion we’ve seen has touched us beyond words. With so much interest, I wanted to pass along this update…

I wish we had better news to report, but our trip today did not go as planned. Trying to get the sedatives into Travis required holding his mouth shut, and even then, he did not get all that was needed in his system. The comment from the pediatric dentist was, “You have three options: we can try, but by the looks of it, I would not suggest it. The other is we can strap his arms down and lock his mouth open. Or, we can go the suggested route which is putting him completely under with an anesthesiologist to administer.”

We have decided to go with the latter. One hopes and prays that over time, his ability to go to the dentist without these radical options will subside. Maybe it’s me, but “strapping down” a child – autism or not – is going to create a massive amount of anxiety. The downside is, the cost will be increasing… substantially. As I said to a friend, “Autism: the gift that keeps on giving.” Of course, it’s not “autism” it’s the insurance companies. Why will it cost so much out of pocket? The procedure that is needed for Travis is deemed “elective”. I wish whoever wrote that into the policy would have been there today to see what occurred.

Thanks again for all your support. It means more than words can say. – Maury Brown


Four years. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. And at the same time, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to see my son without it through the prism of autism.

Travis will be turning 7 in May. Many of the challenges that we faced when he was first diagnosed have gone away, only to be replaced with new and different ones. In that, autism is a dynamic, morphing, and life-altering process. It has changed me, my wife, and eldest son’s life in ways unfathomable. It has made me revaluate what is truly important. In that, Travis has taught me more than I have taught him.

But, even in our best efforts to try and understand and prepare for what may come forth from Travis as a “classic” autistic – one lower on the scale – it can be surprising. The cost of autism was not something we thought would impact us so soon.

The cost of autism is staggering, and this is just everyday life costs. We have yet to get Travis fully potty trained. Cost? As much as $60 every week.

It goes further. While it’s not uncommon for kids to be anxious about going to the dentist, for Travis, it’s a full-blown medical procedure. You can’t rationalize with him to get through getting the cavities filed (a side-effect of the autism is a diet that is almost all starches – he will not eat much of anything else, which increases the chances for cavities). Getting a drill in his mouth is an impossibility. So, to do so, we will go to a special dentist, and try sedation. Cost not covered by insurance? Between $500-$1,000. If that doesn’t work, we will have to have him go to the hospital where he will be put under complete sedation, and monitored by an anesthesiologist, just to allow the dentist to do his work. Cost? Thousands (with an inability to shoot X-rays, he may require more extensive work). And, this doesn’t include his “night terrors” which don’t always happen at night and will likely require more attention. The reason for these moments are likely a side-effect of being over stimulated by way of the autism disorder.

To that end, this year is personal. We have started a small fund-raiser for Travis to meet these needs. A PayPal link is provided below for donations.

Donate to the Travis Brown Autism Fund

Through it all, Travis is still a soon to be 7-year-old little boy. He has incredible tactile skills on the computer, often exceeding the skills of his 10-year-old brother in games. He likes Transformers, Legos, and dominoes, but not in the traditional way: he watches YouTube clips. He loves short hikes with his dad, and enjoys school. In that, he is just another little boy. A little boy that can’t speak, but can communicate in other ways.

This is why autism awareness is so important. The challenges are often daunting for parents and siblings, not to mention the children that will grow up to be adults. Please help by promoting not only awareness, but compassion.  Our main focus is to promote autism awareness and have donations made to Autism Speaks through all the Business of Sports Network websites. This personal story simply tells of one aspect and the reason why finding the root cause of autism is so important.

Thanks,
Maury Brown

See details on the 2012 Autism Awareness Challenge.

FOLLOW MAURY BROWN ON TWITTER @BizballMaury

Posted in Maury's World, Social Awareness | 2 Comments »

Confessions of an Independent Sports Writer

17th June 2011

This is not about sports. It is sports only insofar as it was the impetus to write. To provide information. And yes, in some sense, to stroke my ego.

I have pushed and prodded. Wrote for nothing. Wrote for something. Wrote to report. I wrote for the truth. Wrote to entertain. Wrote to make my head spin.

I did not begin writing to make money. I began writing as an outlet. A deep, and in some ways, sick need to get information, thoughts and feelings out of my head.

I began it all as part of a civic effort. Take some analytics around my home market, look across the baseball landscape, and see if Portland, OR could support an MLB club one day.

That was 2000. I worked with civic leaders and baseball boosters in what I call “the ultimate SABR research project” – a real, live effort with funding, press and politics.

It was eye-opening. I had a mentor in David Kahn, who is currently the President of Basketball Operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves. “Learn to be dispassionate,” was the message. Getting an MLB was more than a long shot. “The process is the reward,” said Kahn.

The process is the reward… I took that to heart.

Portland didn’t land the Expos. It was wired for Washington, DC. That didn’t mean I stopped writing. The joy of pumping out article after article had meaning. Or, it had meaning to me and a niche of others looking for something on sports outside the lines.

I was approached by The Hardball Times to write an essay for one of their annuals, and simply stuck around. I began understanding that there was a fraternity of great writers covering baseball. Whether it was Rob Neyer, Dave Studeman, Aaron Gleeman, Joe Sheehan, Will Carroll, Christina Kharl, Jayson Stark, Jerry Crasnick, or the late, great Doug Pappas and John Brattain…. more than I can mention in this space. I was jacked to be involved.

When I went to Baseball Prospectus, there was a sense that I had, in some form or another, “arrived”. I don’t know why I wound up feeling disappointed after a period of time. Writing for BP was to be lined up with the best writers and minds around sabermetrics.

Which is probably why wasn’t happy.

I was clearly not going to be the most popular there. I mentioned that ego is a part of writing (for most), and this was the case.

I called Will Carroll, someone that I knew that would be straight up with me. “This sounds stupid, and a bit pompous, but you’re not helping your brand,” said Carroll.

Will knew I had seen myself as a niche in a niche. Writing about the business of sports was one thing. Writing about the business of baseball wasn’t going to allow the visibility I ultimately hoped for; I’d be a one-trick-pony. If I was going to see growth in “brand” then writing about just baseball was not going to cut it. It was always going to be the first love, but branching out made sense. In some senses, sports business is like art: when you step back and look at the whole, there is a point where each sport intersects and lends itself to the overall picture. I focused on The Biz of Baseball, launched three more sites, and knew I would somehow live and die by the Business of Sports Network.

It’s here that I can’t help but look at the print and alternative outlets and see what is happening on both sides of the fence.

For me, I began to think that in moving to BP, it was just a short hop to writing for one of the larger outlets for pay. In a short period, I’d be at ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, the SportsBusiness Journal… a serious paying gig. That became the focus.

Ego had supplanted desire. In an industry stacked with writers, I (foolishly) thought I was good enough to climb into a contract position. I may be good enough, but only a fool would say that in an industry with more workers than positions that they’d come knocking. Do what you do because you like doing it.

I am a product of blind luck. I had always had an interest in sports. But, I had early on taken an interest to sports outside the lines. When I began writing, few were plying their wares in that area.

There are aggregators of news – those that scour the internet looking for sports stories, and blog traditionally about it. A couple of sentences here… a pulled paragraph from the source story there… some commentary. Done.

I wish I were Craig Calcaterra, a rare breed of sports writer that has been able to be a superior columnist in every right. I, stupidly, have to want to break news, or provide data that others don’t.

I feel for this former blogger from AOL (see AOL Hell: An AOL Content Slave Speaks Out). I never wanted to go to a large outlet strictly to pump out stories. Being independent (and often times, broke) was okay by me. I write for Forbes gratis and have never thought twice about it. It’s “Forbes”. It looks good on the resume. That’s allowed me to write for Variety as a freelancer — a bit of frosting on the cake.

Finally, it’s about chops. Here I am prattling on for no other reason than to prattle. Write because you have a passion for it. In that, you will find there is never writer’s block. You push through, get the story out, and move on to the next story. Not everything you write will scream, “Pulitzer”. Everything you write should scream, “I’m a writer. This is what I do.”

I’m an independent writer, and somehow have had the incredible graces to have accessibility… well, at least within Major League Baseball. The NFL despises me, but if a story is a story and the truth lies on one side far more than another, you can’t try and make an egg into a perfect sphere. Slamming hard on the opposite to be balanced will only get egg on your face.

Writing to write is a joy. It costs nothing. It’s clearly cheaper than psychiatry.

I hope to do a book one day. Something that will have me dig so deep into a subject that at the end of it, there will be the liberation that every rock has been looked under, and more ink was spilled on the topic than I could ever do in any other form than within a book. I hope to say that’s soon. Until then, I’m writing to write.

FOLLOW MAURY BROWN ON TWITTER: @BizballMaury

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To A Cast of Thousands: Happy New Year from Maury Brown

31st December 2010

Tools of the trade
Tools of the trade. You make this stuff happen

In this world, you’re only as good as those that you learn from. Heaven knows, I wouldn’t be able to be a sports writer without the incredible collective knowledge that the massive sports industry has imparted to me through a vast array of dedicated people that work within it.

As 2010 makes its way to 2011, I wanted to take time to thank a few that have assisted, promoted, and befriended me over the last year, many much longer than that.

I should add a disclaimer here… I always cringe when I try to do something like this. I invariably miss somebody, not because they’re any less than anybody else, it’s quite honestly because I did much of this list based upon my email contact list. Many have reached out across other means, and I’ve labored my tired, old noggin to remember you all. If I missed you on this list, “apologies” falls far short.

To the tireless staff of the Business of Sports Network, you all are the greatest. You deliver incredible, thought provoking work, and in incredible volumes each and every week. Each of you, regular staffers and contributors are listed below, but I need to call those that have really gone the extra mile over the years. Matthew Coller, Jordan Kobritz, Jeff Levine, Devon Teeple, Joe Tetreault, and Pete Toms “thanks” just isn’t enough.

To Lynn and Liz Lashbrook of SportsManagementWorldwide, thanks for allowing me to teach your students each week. All these years, and it’s still a joy to do.

To the seemingly countless print and alternative media publications that have referenced me, or any of the staff and sites of the Business of Sports Network, I cannot thank you enough. We’ve surpassed the 10 million page view mark since we launched under 4 years ago, and it is in large part due to you.

To the nearly 6,000 followers of mine on Twitter… I’ve said this before, but how so many have an interest in what I have to say is humbling, and honestly, something of a mystery to me. I just never thought me talking about sports would hold that much interest.

The most important people though are my family. Glenna, Tyler, and Travis have seen me heads down, away from home, or on the phone so many times as I work. My parents – both genetic and extended – have supported me, and most of all, my entire family has epitomized patience, none more than my wife.

Finally, this not something just as a New Year’s resolution, but a mantra I hope for daily: Be grateful for whatever you have. Know that whatever you do, you have to thank those that taught you how to do it. Work hard. Be balanced. And most of all, pass it on.

God bless you, and a heartfelt thanks. May 2011 be all it can be for you.

John Abbamondi, Amazin’ Ave., David Appelman, Gary Armida, Mark Armour, George Atallah , Kurt Badenhausen, Geoff Baker, Tyler Barnes, Brian Bartow, Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, Baseball Think Factory, Ken Belson, Alex Belth, Brian Berger, Larry Berger, Brian Berger, Dick Beverage, Dan Bigman, Jeff Blair, Tyler Bleszinski , James Blind, Barry Bloom, John Blundell, Brian Borawski, Boston Red Sox, Sean Boulton, Bo Bounds, Greg Bouris, Matt Bourne, Jim Bowden, J.C. Bradbury, Andrew Brandt, Brew Crew Ball, Brian Britten, Dave Brown, Carter Bryant, Craig Calcaterra, Jim Callis, Dave Cameron, Jim Caple, Cardinals Best News. Will Carroll, Blair Cash, CBS Sports, Matthew Cerrone, David Chalk, Tim Chamberlin, Ralph Cindrich, Fred Claire, Devin Clancy, CNBC, Coast to Coast Tickets, Matthew Coller, Jason Collette, Tim Collins, Victor Conte, Booby Corser, Brian Costa, Pat Courtney, Tommy Craggs, Jerry Crasnick, Mike Cristaldi, Ken Davidoff, Deadspin, Lorraine DelliCarpini, John Dever, Jacqueline Diep, Tim Dierkes, Mike Dilornzo, Mike Donnelley, Kristi Dosh, Jim Duquette, Dan Duquette, Bob Dutton, Bob Dvorchak, Gordon Edes, Entercomm, Jeff Erikson, ESPN, Jeff Euston, Bill Evans, Seth Everett, Everyone at Lonestar Ball, Ken Fang and Fang’s Bites, FanGraphs, Jim Ferguson, Mike Ferrin, Mark Fischel, Eric Fisher, Josh Fisher, Andew Fitzpatrick, F.X. Flinn, Forbes SportsMoney, Sean Foreman and Baseball-Reference, Formula One, Rod Fort, FOX Sports, Tim Franks, Freakonomics, Meyer Freeman, Jim Furtado, Carter Gaddis, Cork Gaines, Brent Gambill, Peter Gammons, Luis Garcia, Andy Giegerich, Andy Giersher, Bill Gilbert, Dennis Glasgow, Ben Goessling, Josh Goldberg, Beverly Goldstein, Tom Gorman, Bill Gould, Matthew Gould, Evan Grant, Chuck Greenberg, Jordan Greenberg, Jon Greenberg, Sean Gregory, Donna Guillaume, James Guinn , Joe Hamrahi, Bob Harkins, Jeff Heckelman, Joel Henard, John Henry, Steve Henson, Mike Herman, Jon Heyman, HKS Architecture, Shawn Hoffman, Cory Humes, Kurt Hunzeker, Rob Iracane, IRL, Chris Isidore, Jay Jaffe, Chris Jaffe, Brian Jaquet, Dwight Jaynes, Rany Jazayerli, Michael Johnson, Dennis Johnson, Jamie Junco, Richard Justice, Benjamin Kabak, Kevin Kaduk, David Kahn, Christina Kahrl, Daniel Kaplan, Ari Kaplan, Nick Kappel, Stan Kasten, King Kaufmann, Joe Kehoskie, Jonah Keri, Sky Kestein, KFXX The Fan, Brian Killingsworth, Jordan Kobritz, Mat Kovach , Dejan Kovavevic, Mark Langhill, Liz Lashbrook, Lynn Lashbrook, Dave Laurila, Matthew Leach, Rich Lederer, Katie Leighton, Tim Lemke, Gina Leo Stingley, Jeff Levine, Will Lingo, Los Angeles Dodgers, Ryan Lubner, Lynn University, Bill Magrath, Drew Mahalic, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, John Manuel, Maple Street Press, Andew Marchand, Tim Marchman, Sloan Martin, Trish Martineck, Buck Martinez, Jonathan Mayo, Brian McCarthy, McCovey Chronicles, Wayne McDonnell, Brett McGinness, Tim Mead, Chris Metz, Bernie Miklasz, Alyssa Milano, Josh Milne, Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Twins, Minor League Baseball, MLB Network, MLB Trade Rumors, MLBPA, Carmen Molina, Bo Moon, Adam Morris, Dick Moss, MSNBC, Liz Mullen, Don Muret, NASCAR, National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, NBA D-League, NBA TV, NBC Sports, NBPA, Rob Nelson, NESN, Rob Neyer, NFL Network, NFLPA, NHL Network, NHLPA, Bob Nightengale, Roger Noll, NYBaseballDigest, Oakland A’s, Pat O’Conner, Buster Olney, Jorge Ortiz, Gene Orza, Mike Ozanian, Lisa Pagano, Jeff Passan, Merritt Paulson, Joe Pawlikowski, Greg Pawson, Jason Peck, Dayn Perry, Jon Pessah, Rick Peterson, Brian Peterson, Tony Petitti, PGA, Philedelphia Phillies, David Pinto and Baseball Musings, Plan B. Branding, Bob Plapinger, Populous, Portland TrailBlazers, Noah Pransky, Ed Price, Purple Row, Jessica Quiroli, Todd Radom, Ray Ratto, Marty Ray, Blake Rhodes , John Rhodes , Rich Rice, Tracy Ringolsby, River Ave Blues, Victor Rojas, Collin Romer, Issac Ropp, Bob Rose, Jason Rosenberg and IIATMS, Dan Rosenheck, Ken Rosenthal, Darren Rovell, Gary Roy, Amanda Rykoff, Anthony Salazar, Kevin Saldana, San Francisco Giants, Chase Sbicca, Curt Schilling, Shonda Schilling, Michael Schlact, Cory Schwartz, Russell Scibetti, SeatGeek, Joel Sherman, Joe Siegler and Ranger Fans, Michael Silverman, Mark Simon, Mark Smith, Tal Smith, SMWW, Sons of Sam Horn, Sports Business Radio, SportsBusiness Journal, SportsBusness Daily, Jayson Stark, Michele Steele, Lee Street, Dave Studenmund, Amy Summers, Bart Swain, Paul Swangard, Paul Swyadan, Paul Swydan, Jason Swygard, Dan Szymborski, Sarah Talalay, Tom Tango, TBS, Devon Teeple, Michael Teevan, Joe Tetreault, Texas Rangers, The Happy Recap, The Hardball Times, The New York Times, John Thorn, Bob Timmerman, TNT, Marc Topkin, Pete Toms, Joe Touchstone, Steve Treder, Turner Sports, United Football League, Uniwatch, Matt Vasgersian, Darren Viola, Vivid Seats, Johanna Wagner , Walk off Walk, Don Walker, Jonathan Weatherdon, Jon Weinbach, Jon Weisman, Paul White, Charlie Wiegert, Chuck Wilson, Jeff Wilson, Lisa Winston, Yardbarker Network, Al Yellon, Andrew Zimbalist, Jon Zimmer

All the best,

Maury Brown

P.S. If you’re new to me, you can read me most often here:

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Got an iPhone and Use Yahoo Small Business Email? Here’s Good News

18th August 2010

Users of Apple’s iPhone that depend on Yahoo! Small Business email have been a frustrated lot since the popular mobile device launched several years ago. While you could easily add free Yahoo! email accounts, users paying extra to have a personalized email address were left with a kludgy series of steps to set up a POP account that proved to be exceptionally slow to push messages, and left users with no folder hierarchy. Nothing is more frustrating than getting a mountain of spam with the messages you want to really see, even if they are unorganized.

When Apple rolled out the much anticipated iPhone 4 and the associated OS 2.0, users that had labored through the process of setting up the POP accounts for Yahoo! Small Business suddenly found themselves unable to get messages to push through. You could send, but not receive.

But, fear not, iPhone users, you now have what free Yahoo! mail users have been getting. It’s just a matter of going through the simple addition of adding a new Yahoo! email account on your iPhone, with a twist.

1) Go to the “Settings” widget

2) Select “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”

3) Under “Accounts” add “Add Account…”

4) Select “Yahoo!” from the “Add Account…” menu

5) Add your name as you wish it to appear, but under address, add your email address that you have registered with Yahoo! Small Business (user@domainname.com). Do NOT use your Yahoo! freemail address.

6) Enter your Yahoo! password

7) Give it a description

8) Select “Next”

The system will then Verify that you have all the info correct, and add the account. All your folders that you have created on you Yahoo! Small Business email account will appear. Sending and receiving work as it should. In other words, no more messy POP account setup. No more lack of folders. And best yet, the ability to send and receive emails from your iPhone through your personal email address you’ve been paying good money for through Yahoo! Remember… this is for those who have updated to 2.0 and above of Apple’s iPhone operating system. Enjoy!

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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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“Bizball” Coming to Forbes, Weekly Column for FanGraphs

29th July 2010

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve said much here, which, when you think about it isn’t very bright of me since doing a Google search points you to here. Makes sense, right? After all, Sports Bash has the URL of MauryBrown.com.

But, there’s been more than a lot going on, and it’s about time I updated you all on it.

For one, the All-Star Game was a great success for me, and out of it, a chance meeting on the media bus back from the game with Dave Cameron has translated into a weekly column for FanGraphs. With the Texas Rangers bankruptcy case having so many twists and turns leading up to the auction on Aug 4, it seemed perfect to start with a look at Mark Cuban as a potential owner, even if he’s not yet committed to pursuing the club at auction. You can check my article archive on FanGraphs, going forward.

The other bit of news as that starting shortly I will have a dedicated blog on Forbes.com. I have been writing for them for a while as part of SportsMoney, but now, I will have “Bizball” as a place on Forbes to call my own. No, it is not a full-time paying gig (which if you are reading out there, and are looking I certainly could use), but it’s worth doing because, well… it’s Forbes. Putting that name on your resume certainly builds credibility.

That’s it, for now. With MLB’s postseason fast approaching I hope to be reporting from some of the games there. World Series? We’ll see. Also, look for me at this year’s Winter Meetings in Florida.

LATEST ON THE BIZ OF BASEBALL


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to FanGraphs and Forbes SportsMoney. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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MLB All-Star Game, Forbes, and an Update on Bloomberg TV Sports Business Pilot

6th June 2010

All things considered, media has been good for me these days. Yes, I’m still looking for a full-time writing gig. Yes, I’d take a consulting or full-time position with a club or agency, but in the meantime, it’s nice to be wanted.

In mid-May I accepted an invitation to write for Forbes’ SportsMoney (see my article archive). Being a contributor gets me in some extremely fine company. Besides  Forbes senior writers and editors Michael Ozanian , Kurt Badenhausen, Tom Van Riper, and Paul Maidment, there’s sports economist and author Andy Zimbalist; Lee Igel an assistant professor at New York University; Andrew Brandt, the former player agent and president of the Green Bay Packers who is now president of the National Football Post; Wayne McDonnell who is Clinical Associate Professor of Sports Management at New York University, and one who has offered frequent content to BizofBaseball.com, and; Kristi Dosh, an attorney, baseball blogger, and one working on a book on collective bargaining in MLB.  Like I said, good company.

The Forbes work has been a nice add, and opens some doors, but the best news I’ve gotten in a long time is that I have been approved to cover the 2010 MLB All-Star Game in Anaheim this year. Getting your foot in the door for what is considered a “jewel event” by MLB is not easy for an independent new media writer, such as myself. While I have been freelancing for Yahoo Sports, The New York Post, Baseball America, and shortly, MSNBC, MLB approved BizofBaseball.com through their media affiliation program, a sign that they view the site as a legitimate news organization reporting in an “at large” capacity. Next stop? An attempt to get credentialed for the World Series. After that? Let’s see what happens at the Winter Meetings.

Finally, I reported last month that I was part of a sports business pilot for Bloomberg Television. Well, that show has been shelved. I need to contact one of the producers, but word is that the content filmed last month might be interspersed throughout regular programming on Bloomberg Television. Hey, just getting in front of the camera is always a great learning experience. Recall doing my first piece for ESPN and I felt like Albert Brooks’ character Aaron Altman in Broadcast News when he had the sweat machine turn on. The Bloomberg filming felt easier, which shows I’m either getting more comfortable doing television, or I realize that Bob Costas and Dan Patrick really have nothing to worry about.


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Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Yo! Toyota’s “Swagger Wagon” Viral Ad Marketing Genius

28th May 2010

This has absolutely nothing to do with sports, but everything to do with business. This is a fantastic bit of  comedic viral advertisement by Toyota that I couldn’t pass up.

For one, I now own a (yes) Toyota Sienna. And, yes, I have two kids (no, not two girls, as is the case in this ad, but rather, two boys).

This, ladies and gentlemen, is pure marketing genius. Yo! Bust it watchin’ the “Swagger Wagon”


OTHER NEWS FROM THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK

(THE BIZ OF BASEBALL)


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, and is a contributor to Forbes. He is available as a freelance writer. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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The Power Of Family Is Stronger Than Autism

7th November 2009

A Note…. SPORTS BASH is about sports, but in reality, it’s about more. Since this is a personal blog, there may be intersections into other matters of interest. One of mine (and a growing legion of others around the world) is autism. I hope you will bear with me on the side roads, but as is often the case, the side roads you may not have traveled prior, lead to some interesting places.


Autism is a strange thing. I can’t describe its impact to those that are not around it, but I’m learning daily that it is all around me… you… its effects are everywhere.

A few months ago, I approached my wife about filming a short film for Autism Speaks, the autism awareness advocacy group. They were planning on doing an advertisement about how autism influences family. The requested footage was simple: film the one with autism along with family in a favorite spot where the one with autism enjoyed going. The footage would then be added with others to make the commercial with a voice over.

The location was easy enough for me to select:

CouncilCrestFountainThe location is Council Crest in Portland, OR at the top of what is called the “West Hills”. The location, which has a panoramic view of Portland, also looks west down to where our home is.

In the small park is a drinking fountain of amazing design. It is of a mother holding her child in the air.

The fact that our son, Travis, who has “classic” autism so enjoys the fountain, with the symbolism of the joy of parenthood was staggering to me. It would be perfect for the film.

But, as those that care for one with autism will tell you, your plans are never solid; often times, dismissed due to autism’s chaotic nature.

It could have been the exhaustion. It could have been getting everyone in the family together for the film. Whatever the case, we never made the film and sent it in.

So, it has been of great interest that I saw the finished product today. I found it through an article on TIME.com (see ‘I Am Autism’: Advocacy Video Sparks Protest)

In reading the article, my brow furrowed. The article details how those that are living with autism are planning on protesting the ad, outlining autism’s polarizing effect:

The latest example is the eruption over a video produced for Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest autism advocacy group. The slickly produced video, written by Grammy-nominated songwriter Billy Mann and directed by Academy Award–winning director Alfonso Cuarón, shows a series of images of children with autism, accompanied by an ominous voice-over: “I am Autism … I know where you live … I live there too … I work faster than pediatric AIDS, cancer and diabetes combined … And if you are happily married, I will make sure that your marriage fails.”

Some autistic “self advocates” are furious over the tone of the video. “We don’t want to be portrayed as burdens or objects of fear and pity,” insists Ari Ne’eman, president of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, a 15-chapter group he built while attending college at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “Apparently, should my parents divorce, it’s all my fault,” says Ne’eman, who received a diagnosis of Asperger’s syndrome, a relatively mild form of autism, at age 12.

Sure enough, the video does start that way, with the dark, sinister voice over showing those with autism standing alone. But then, the ad changes… As someone that sees autism’s effect, and yet sees the power of the human condition — the rallying of those that reach out — you see that it the power of those that wish to combat it head long are stronger than the supposed darkness that can come with it.

See for yourself… stick with it till the end. Powerful, is an understatement:


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Posted in Maury's World, Social Awareness | 1 Comment »

I Have a Case of the Twitters

8th June 2009

When it comes to running content day in and day out on sports, the biggest challenge is finding information, doing your analysis, and getting the piece(s) published in a timely manner.

As most anyone will tell you, information is power, and in authoring content across the Business of Sports Network of sites, as well as freelancing, the biggest challenge is that first part: finding solid information.

That used to be done in one exersise each and every day — the trudging through approx. 100 bookmarks, and doing a hefty bit of search engine work.

But, recently, I have added the social networking tool Twitter to the arsenal, and have found it an invaluable tool.

The thing is, I got more than that.

I’m a social creature in an often times, non-social world. Having your eyes and hands strapped to a laptop for long periods can wear one out. Twitter allows one to get info, and do a bit of social dabbling. For me, that involves my interests in music (been playing guitar for what seems like forever now), and autism awareness due to my son Travis. Twitter bridges that gap.

If you are interested in what’s happening with me on Twitter, take a peak at the widget below as it updates in realtime.



OTHER NEWS ACROSS THE BUSINESS OF SPORTS NETWORK


Maury Brown

Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer.

Brown’s full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network

TwitterFollow Maury Brown and  the Business of Sports Network on Twitter

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