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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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By Times Staff Writer
Published March 12, 2006
The first thing Brooks Melchior wants you to know about his sports commentary Web site, sportsbybrooks.com, is that it's not a blog. "It's a commercial Web site," he says matter-of-factly.
And a success.
Melchior, a former University of Georgia student who spent several years in sports radio (he has broadcast everything from Kansas City Royals baseball to minor-league hockey), started the site as a part-time gig five years ago in May. Today, running sportsbybrooks.com is a full-time job and Melchior, who operates it from California, claims to have about 100,000 unique visitors each day.
Melchior, 38, isn't a reporter and doesn't want to be. Rather, his site is filled with comedic takes (updated five days a week) about items and events from throughout the world (yes, Barry Bonds got slammed last week). Sports content drives the site, Melchior says, but the sportsbybrooks models are another draw.
"We're not trying to be a poor man's ESPN," he says. "We point out the hypocrisy of sports ... what everyone is thinking but doesn't say."
BY THE NUMBERS
6 pounds, 4 ounces: birth weight of a child born to a New Mexico teen last month ... two hours after she played a high school basketball game. The girl says she didn't know she was pregnant.
$870,000: Approximate salary of NCAA president Myles Brand last year.
"With a dose of anger and perhaps some denial, the Giants are closing ranks. Their mission is different now. Once bonded by more conventional means, they now act in defense of Barry Bonds - and that apparently goes for the front office, too. The hell with everyone else, they're saying, even if they don't really mean it. They've got a pennant to win, and Barry Bonds is their man.
"If you're feeling a wave of nausea, try jumping into another man's wingtips. Principal owner Peter Magowan isn't about to unload Bonds, not after shamelessly catering to his every whim for 13 years. Have the Bonds revelations brought disgrace upon the organization? Of course they have. Is there a little part of Magowan, vice president Larry Baer and general manager Brian Sabean that craves a life without Bonds? Without question.
"Do they have any choice in the matter? No. Bonds is the face of the franchise, even as he wears the figurative sign, "Living a Lie.' Negotiating a series of land mines that could explode at any moment (Perjury? Tax evasion? Investigations? Injuries?), he will have to disintegrate on his own. The Giants will not be the executioners."
- Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle
- Compiled by Times staff writer Keith Niebuhr, using information from other news organizations.