Traina Thoughts: Samantha Ponder Vs. Barstool Shows ESPN’s Lack Of Consistency – Sports Illustrated

1. Let me be perfectly clear about something right up front. I do not for one second think Samantha Ponder should be disciplined in any way for using Twitter Monday to (mistakenly) call out Barstool Sports’ Big Cat, whose new show debuts on ESPN2 tonight, for a blog post that appeared on Barstool in 2014.

Having said that, I find it curious that ESPN fully supported Ponder’s actions, while suspending Jemele Hill for two weeks after she tweeted that people should boycott Jerry Jones’s sponsors. Here’s what an ESPN spokesperson told USA Today’s “For The Win” about Ponder vs. Barstool:

“The comments about Sam Ponder were offensive and inappropriate, and we understand her reaction. She is a valued colleague and doing a great job for us. As stated previously, we do not control the content of Barstool Sports. We are doing a show with Big Cat and PFT, and we do have final say on the content of that show.”

OK, so if you’re doing a show with Big Cat and she went after him (24 hours before the debut of said show, no less), wouldn’t that be colleague on colleague crime? Wouldn’t that violate some sort of social media policy? Wouldn’t that at least warrant some sort of warning? Why is Ponder’s reaction to what Barstool said understandable, but Hill’s feelings about Jerry Jones’ actions and statements not understable?

Hill, you’ll recall, is in the middle of serving a suspension for this.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, but in ESPN’s world, it’s better to publicly go after a colleague than the NFL or an NFL owner. Again, I don’t think Ponder, nor Hill should’ve been suspended. I’m just confused about  the disciplinary weirdness from the World Wide Leader.

2. We told you yesterday that LeBron James refuses to pay for apps, including the commercial-free version of Pandora. It seems that going public with this info has worked out, because now the man who is making $31 million this season is getting the $36 per year service for free.

3. Before you read this next item, stop what you’re doing and go to YouTube or iTunes or whatever music service you use and fire up Alanis Morisette’s Ironic. Hurry up and and do it now.

Go ahead.

Do it.

I’ll wait.

Take your time.

OK, now, as you listen to the song, let this photo sink in.

4. It’s not shocking that the Browns are awful, but sometimes you see a stat that really takes you aback.

5. Forgive me for retweeting myself, but I still can’t believe Todd Frazier wasn’t even looking at the (juiced) baseball when he hit his three-run home run last night.

6. After Gregg Popovich unleashed a seven-sentence summation of Donald Trump yesterday, many people are dreaming of a ticket featuring the Spurs coach and a cast of others for 2020.

8. RANDOM WRESTLING VIDEO OF THE DAY: Old-school Rock was the best.

The best of the Internet, plus musings by SI.com writer, Jimmy Traina. Get the link to a new Traina’s Thoughts each day by following on Twitter and liking on Facebook. Catch up on previous editions of Traina Thoughts. And check Jimmy Traina’s weekly podcast, “Off The Board,” on iTunes, SoundCloud and Stitcher.

BONUS ITEM: Thoughts and prayers to anyone who had the Colts +7.5 last night and lost on Derrick Henry’s 72-yard touchdown run with less than a minute left. 

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