CBS Evening News Has Fine Reversal of Field on Jamal Speaks

By all accounts, Ballou (D.C.) High running back Jamal Speaks can stop on the dime and reverse field with the best of them.

Thanks to a similar reversal of field by a CBS Evening News producer named Tamara Fine, the Temple-bound Speaks had his story told on a bigger stage than even Action News with a piece to end the CBS Evening News on Thursday (above).


The routine for me this summer and recently until darkness crept in earlier than I wanted was to head to the local park for a jog after work, put the headphones on and listen to the last half-hour of the Mike Francesa Show (660 AM) and the half-hour of the CBS Evening News with Jeff Glor (simulcast on KYW, 1060 AM).

The last story on the show–usually by either Steve Hartman or Jim Alexrod–is an uplifting piece designed to put a smile on the viewer’s face before the news signs off. The Sept. 19th story was on a football player who was “legally” blind but scored a touchdown. The next day, I typed this email off to the CBS Evening News with a suggestion about using Jamal Speaks’ compelling story:

Tamara Fine, the producer in charge of such stories, sent back this response
At this point, I could have swallowed hard and forgotten about the whole thing but I thought, no, this is exactly the type of story that would make a good one to end the show:

fineresponseFortunately, after that, Fine had a reversal of field of her own and set the wheels in motion for this story to get the wider audience it deserves.

I particularly liked the last line of the story by reporter Axelrod: “Temple University did, giving him a football scholarship, and the rest of us a running back to root for in the seasons to come.”

Thursday: Navy Preview

12 thoughts on “CBS Evening News Has Fine Reversal of Field on Jamal Speaks

  1. Thanks Mike for pushing the envelope.

    • I echo Bill’s sentiments. I haven’t watched the Evening News (any network) since Dan Rather and Peter Jennings so I would have not seen this if you had not posted it. Mike, you are a great Temple fan and Temple needs more fans of every kind. You should be proud of yourself.

  2. Good story. Try Joe Satriani on a jog. You’ll end up running sprints.

    • Thanks, Bill and Apollo. Dave, I don’t know who Joe Satriani is but I’m a lot closer to turning that jog into the walk than I am into turning it into a sprint. I am proud not of myself but standing up for the kids to get the best coaching they deserve even if that offends some of the Stepfords who believe you should blindly support the coaching staff and consider them 100 percent right even if you lose to Villanova with an ill-advised offense that doesn’t suit the personnel.

      • Keep up the good job Mike on these coaches I get on them all the time also because I’m really pissed off this team should be five and one possibly six and 0 with any kind of coaching I saw Villanova lost to that power team maine

      • Electric Joe. His guitar riffs can be heard at the Linc along with Eric Johnson’s jams after the game. Graybeards like us need audio stimulation whilst exercising.

      • Wow. Will have to look him up on YouTube because I hear all the music at the Linc (and generally like it) but could not name a single tune associated with Electric Joe.

  3. Just saw your article, you should be very proud of yourself for bringing this to national news.

  4. Imagine that story running with a 6-0 record. It might’ve sounded like: “Temple University (a Top 25 team) did giving him a football scholarship”.

  5. bonehead decisions…, Temple has good talent but not enough talent to overcome bonehead decisions by the coaching staff.., leaving your #1 RB in the game long after the game was determined was a bonehead decision..,

    look for Navy to come out angry and punch TUFB in the mouth early and often.., the TU coaching staff is still a work in progress…,

    biggest post game surprise? TU’s DC was shocked by how many times Navy ran the ball on 3rd and long….,

    and, here comes the nationally ranked team I told you about two weeks ago – Cincy

  6. Nice work, Mike. Power of the press. Let’s hope Jamal gets good coaching and his talents are assessed correctly and used as they should.

  7. Kid’s a winner and he’ll make Owl Nation proud.

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