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Stunt has talk show host in hot water

Fair Game

Colin Cowherd, the former KGW (8) sports director and KFXX radio talk show host, is walking on thin ice at ESPN radio.

Cowherd, 43, has been reprimanded for calling on listeners to shut down a 'random' Web site - one that has been critical of ESPN - by flooding it with visitors beyond its capacity.

The site, Thebiglead.com, was down for more than 48 hours last week.

'We apologize - but just don't screw with us,' Cowherd told his listeners.

On Monday, Cowherd issued a real apology, surely at the behest of his superiors at ESPN.

'We talked to Colin … and all our radio talent, making it clear you cannot do this,' ESPN Senior Vice President Traug Keller said in a column written by network ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber. 'Our airwaves are a trust, and not to be used to hurt anyone's business. Such attacks are off-limits. Zero tolerance. I can't say it any stronger.'

An ESPN representative says Cowherd is under no official sanction, since such a stunt was unprecedented.

'Now that ESPN radio has such a policy, I presume such attacks will be treated as an offense that warrants suspension' in the future, Schreiber writes.

Kevin Love had a fast one pulled on him by family and friends Monday night. A pal asked him to go with him to the Benson Hotel to attend a food-tasting party for the upcoming wedding reception of his mother.

When Love arrived at a suite, he was greeted by about 30 family members, friends and Lake Oswego High teammates, who were all in on the joke - he was being feted as the Gatorade national basketball player of the year.

'I was even trying to wear something appropriate for Travis' mom,' said Love, who chose a sports coat to go with his T-shirt and jeans.

The 6-10 Love joins such greats as Alonzo Mourning, Chris Webber, Kobe Bryant and Baron Davis as past winners in the 22 years Gatorade has presented the award. The last three recipients: Greg Oden, Dwight Howard and LeBron James.

Love swept the national player of the year awards and is the first player from Oregon to win one in basketball. The Gatorade award was special because it includes citizenship and academics. 'We studied our finalists for almost a year,' Gatorade rep Heather Atkinson says.

Love and the nine Gatorade players of the year from other sports will attend the ESPY awards in Hollywood in July, where the overall Gatorade athlete of the year award will be presented.

• Sitting at a Trail Blazer game with my 18-year-old son last week, he asked, 'Dad, why are they playing music while the game is going? It's distracting.'

I couldn't provide an answer. But if youngsters can't relate to it, what's the purpose?

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