What To Watch Fri. 1/30- Sun. 2/1

All times are Pacific

Friday January 30th

Portland TrailBlazers at Atlanta Hawks – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: The Hawks have been unreal but the Blazers are no joke themselves.

Chicago Blackhawks at Anaheim Ducks – 7pm NHL GameCenter: The Blackhawks head west to take on the best team in the NHL as far as points are concerned.


Saturday January 31st

Chelsea vs Manchester City – 8:30am NBC: Five points separate Chelsea and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. Yeah, it’s a big game.

Washington Capitals at Montreal Canadiens – 10am NHL Network: Two quality teams in one of the best venues in all of hockey.

North Carolina at Louisville – 1pm ESPN: It was fun when they played a few weeks ago. This should be too.

Los Angeles Kings at Boston Bruins – 4pm NHL Network: An east coast vs west coast showdown.

Duke at Virginia – 4pm ESPN: Duke is ranked in the top 5 but have to have this game is they want any shot of winning the ACC regular season title. UVA looks to keep their unbeaten season alive.

LA Clippers at San Antonio Spurs – 6pm ESPN: Lob City heads deep into the heart of Texas to take on the defending champs.

UFC 183: Silva vs Diaz – 7pm PPV: As long as Nick Diaz shows up we should have a fun fight. Even a 39 year old Anderson Silva coming off an extended layoff is something to marvel at.



Sunday February 1st

St Louis Blues at Washington Capitals – 10am NBCSN: The Blues have to be the most underrated team in the NHL. See how good they really are. Tough back to back stretch for the Caps too.

Nashville Predators at Pittsburgh Penguins – 11am NHL GameCenter: Predators have been one of the best teams in the NHL this season. Pittsburgh is a tough place to steal three points though.

Super Bowl XLIX – Seattle Seahawks vs New England Patriots – 3:30pm NBC: This should be an amazing game. We did think that last year too.


GoPro’s Big Weekend

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The New Angle

Let’s face it, GoPro has cornered the market on cameras. They are the brand name like Coca-Cola is for soda and Starbucks is for coffee. This past weekend was a big one for GoPro as they showed that their devices can be used for more than just a replay or a cool video on YouTube. They showed that you can use them during a live event and give the viewer an angle that they have been looking for.

The X Games is all about creativity. From the competitors to the advertising to the production. At this years Winter X Games, we saw how creative the production team can be. The were able to get a live shot from a GoPro strapped to a competitors helmet and with it, take a logical step forward in sportscasting.

For anyone who has ever used or seen a video from a GoPro has wondered how long it would be before we’d see a live shot from one during an event. Well that moment came during the snowmobiling event this past Thursday evening at the X Games Aspen. Levi LaVallee had a GoPro Hero 4 on one side of his helmet and a transmitter on the other.

GoPro-HERO-4-ms-final    Levi shows off the rigging


While they didn’t jump to the shot all that much, when they did the announcers were beside themselves. The shots provided us just what we’d thought we’d see, a first person view of the event.

This may not seem all that extraordinary since we have become accustom to the angle/view in video games and in replays. However, the technological advancement to make a broadcast quality shot available from a device that is available to the general public at a very reasonable price is pretty amazing.

Not to be outdone, the NHL just announced a deal with GoPro and their devices were in play during the All-Star skills competition. St Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott was showing us what is possible with a GoPro when he took a selfie.

Brian Elliott Selfie


Elliott Selfie

While widespread adoption of GoPro’s during games or events is still in it’s infancy, it is exciting to see that organizations like the NHL are seeing the possibilities. It is only a matter of time before GoPro’s become smaller and more than just a camera. (Can you imaging a camera embedded into Shaun White’s helmet during a competition or paying for just a live stream of that angle?) The key for everyone is the continued improvement in the technology and the falling price point for consumers.


The Sunday: Here Come The New Kids

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The weekend before the Super Bowl is usually pretty sparse on good sports storylines despite the NHL All-Star Game and the Winter X Games.  This weekend provided us some highlights including a big upset in the MMA world and the rise of a new star.


New Star Rising

Chloe Kim

14 year old Chloe Kim won the Women’s SuperPipe at X Games Aspen. Yes, 14 years old which makes her the youngest in X Games history to win a gold medal. What makes it even more impressive is that she had to rebound from a crash on an earlier run where she smacked her face against the ice and snow, chipping a tooth. That left her with one final run which she nailed with flying colors.


The Upset

The UFC pulled off another massive arena show, this time in Stockholm, Sweden. However the native son, and headliner, Alexander Gustafsson got knocked out by Anthony Johnson leaving most of the 30,000 in attendance in shock.

While it was a massive win for Johnson who will now face UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, it was a disaster for Gustafsson. Visibly emotional, one can only imagine the disappointment he felt in front of 30,000 fans, most from his homeland.

As for Johnson, who once competed at 170 lbs, a massive opportunity has opened up for him, Once booted from the UFC for repeatedly not making weight, he now sits on the cusp of MMA glory.


What to Watch: Friday 1/23 – Sunday 1/25

All times are Pacific

Friday January 23rd

Oklahoma City at Atlanta Hawks – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: Can anyone stop the Hawks this year? Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will give it a shot.

X Games Aspen – 7:30pm ESPN: Snowboarding Big Air Final. That means the Flying Tomato! Shaun White is in the house.

Curling – 8pm NBCSN: Dude, it’s curling on a Friday night. It’s also what you watch when the NHL is at the All Star Break.


Saturday January 24th

X Games Aspen – 10am ABC: People doing things in the snow that generally defies gravity. Goodtimes.

Kansas at Texas – 11am CBS: Nice match up for a Saturday afternoon.

UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs Johnson – 5pm FOX: Alexander Gustafsson is the only man in the 205lbs division to give current champ Jon Jones a run for his money. He has a very tough test against the heavy handed Anthony Johnson. Oh yeah, fight in is Stockholm, Sweden which is Gustafsson’s hometown.

Washington Wizards at Portland TrailBlazers – 7pm NBA TV: A nice night camp to the evening.


Sunday January 25th

X Games Aspen – 10am ESPN: Final day for the X Games. Give it a look, it’s kind of fun.

Indiana at Ohio State – 10:30am CBS: This could be a tipping game that puts the winner in the tourney come March. It’s also a nice kick off to a big sports day in Columbus.

Duke at St John’s – 11am FOX: Who did Duke’s schedule anyway? This is just a mean run road schedule they’ve been on.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Cleveland Cavaliers – 12:30pm ABC: Stars galore for a Sunday morning.

NHL All Star Game – 2pm NBCSN: It’s an All Star game so it could be good but we now know that Sidney Crosby won’t be playing due to an injury. Is there a mumps outbreak to follow?

A Breakthrough For Streaming Live Sports?

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The fact is that sports have been live streamed online for a long time now. So is DISH Network recent announcement that it will live streaming ESPN and ESPN2 via Sling TV for $20 really that big of a deal? Yes and no.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Currently there are a few legal ways to live stream ESPN platforms. All of them come down to having your subscription authenticated at some point and if you are a DirecTV subscriber you are SOL until later this year. 

With Sling TV you won’t need to have a cable or satellite subscription. Your experience won’t be the same either but at least you can spend a mere $20 a month vs $100 plus for a bunch of cable channels you’ll never watch.

Live streaming of the F1 race in Bahrain on NBCSPORTS.COM


The fact of the matter is that the cable or satellite companies are going to get their money somehow. That ‘somehow’ is going to be with the data-usage fees. The country’s biggest cable provider, Comcast, currently gives you 300 GB a month with a $10 charge for every 50 GB over that. Seems like a lot until you add in the multiple devices per user and services like Netflix and Xbox One. Add Sling TV to the mix and you’ll be over the limit after the first weekend of College Football.

Live streaming has also been hindered by the experience itself. Bandwidth is not unlimited. If your neighbor is streaming a movie, your kids streaming music or playing online video games then your basketball games streaming quality will go in the toilet. With a cable or satellite subscription, everyone can watch without a signal downgrade. It also isn’t as reliable as your traditional connection. Just ask those trying to stream the Rose Bowl on the Watch ESPN app. 

While $20 is cheaper than $100, when you add that to the Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and future HBO App subscription, your spending close if not more a year.


The fact is that this is a long time coming. While a lot people were hacking their way towards this solution for years it will be nice to get it without the hassle. This application for only $20 a month is a good first step but it’s not the solution. Others will follow and  this service, along with it’s consequences, will make people more aware of issues like net neutrality. Eventually we’ll see more applications like Sling TV but it may be a ways off.

What To Watch Fri. 1/16 – Sun. 1/18

All times are Pacific

Friday January 16

Pittsburgh Penguins at NY Islanders – 4pm NHL GameCenter: The two top teams in the Metropolitan division square off.

Atlanta Hawks at Toronto Raptors – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: It’s the top two teams in the East. Yes! Really!

Washington Capitals at Nashville Predators – 5pm NHLN: Capitals coach Barry Trotz makes his first visit back to Smashville after 17 years at the helm of the Predators. A warm welcome off the ice is expected.

Portland Trailblazers at San Antonio Spurs – 5:30pm NBA League Pass: It’s a playoff preview, let’s be honest.

Saturday January 17th

Duke at Louisville – 9am ESPN: So Duke can’t win a game all of a sudden. Not a good place to try and stop a losing streak but if anybody can do it, it’s them.

Utah at Arizona – 4pm PAC 12 Network: Big game out West between top 10 teams.

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets – 5pm NBA-TV: It’s a tough match up for the Warriors especially since they had to battle OKC the night before.

Portland Trailblazers at Memphis Grizzlies – 6pm NBA League Pass: Another potential playoff match up.

Kansas at Iowa State – 6pm ESPN: Big game in the Big 12 and never an easy place to play. Jayhawks better bring their ‘A’ game and take care of the basketball.

Anaheim Ducks at LA Kings – 7pm NHL GameCenter: It’s two teams that have been very good over the last few years and they don’t like each other very much.

Sunday January 18th

Manchester City vs Arsenal – 8am NBCSN: Yep, this is happening.

NY Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins – 9:30am NBC: A little Sunday morning hockey for ya. Couldn’t hurt.

Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks – Noon FOX: It’s probably what most of us thought would happen in the NFC.

Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots – 3:40pm CBS: Not what most of us thought would happen but hey, maybe Andrew Luck can will the Colts to a win?

UFC Fight Night – 7pm FS1: Most people are talking about Conor McGregor and that’s fine. Let us not forget about Benson Henderson taking on Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Cowboy fought two weeks ago in Las Vegas and now gets a chance to redeem two losses on his record.

One Of The Best Is Starting Over

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Hall of Famer and longtime Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau is looking for work at the age of 77. He and Steelers parted ways this weekend and believe it or not, he may not be unemployed long.

Dick LeBeau

LeBeau is one of the greatest defensive coordinators that has ever coached at any level of football. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame back in 2010, played 13 years in the NFL as a defensive back and has two Super Bowl rings.

One of the things he is most known for is his refinement of the ‘zone blitz’. The ‘zone blitz’ wasn’t a ground breaking scheme until LeBeau got a hold of it. It has since become a standard part of any defensive scheme and has given quarterbacks nightmares since it’s implementation.

The best part about all this is that he is not done, even at the age of 77. Current speculation has him becoming the Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator if their current coordinator Todd Bowles ends up becoming a head coach somewhere. Most people with his accomplishments would probably call it a career. But LeBeau isn’t done and he’s showing the AARP crowd that you can still innovate and be effective well into your late 70’s.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens but here at Sideline Signals, we hope LeBeau coaches for a long, long time.

The Sunday: Twas The Eve Before…

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The NFL Playoffs are in full swing and the first ever playoff in major college football will culminate on Monday. But did you see the finish in the FCS title game on Saturday?!

The Finish:

While the college football we spend hours and hours talking about is going to wrap up it’s first ever playoff Monday night, the FCS (formerly known as 1-AA) had it’s National Championship game on Saturday. North Dakota State (NDSU) won their fourth straight National Title. Not an easy feat especially when you consider that they have a 24 team playoff to get through.

Up 23-13 in the fourth quarter NDSU proceeded to give up two scores to Illinois State and go down 27-23 with about 1:30 left. NDSU drove the field and QB Carson Wertz ran in the winning score from 5 yards out.

Be Aware:


ESPN is going all in on the National Title game with their ‘Megacast’. Do yourself a favor and don’t watch the main broadcast. Watch ESPN2 where they will be doing a live version of their Film Room.

They did it last year and it was innovative, informative and downright entertaining. It’s for the football nerd and even then you will learn a lot. One of the coaches will be Pitt’s new head man Pat Narduzzi who until about a week ago was the defensive coordinator at Michigan State. His insight should prove indispensable because he had to coach against both Oregon and Ohio State this season. The other coaches will be Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen and Nebraska’s Mike Riley who was Oregon State’s head coach for a over a decade.

So That Happened:

The MLS had an interesting week. From the Frank Lampard fiasco to Steven Gerrard (aka ‘Captain Fantastic) agreeing to sign with the LA Galaxy to New York Red Bulls firing the winningest manager in franchise history to the 2015 schedule being released. The guys at Extratime Radio brought on Taylor Twellman on Thursday to discuss the firing or Red Bulls manager Mike Petke. Needless to say, it was some interesting insight.





What To Watch Sat. 1/10- Sun. 1/11

All times are Pacific

Saturday January 9th

FCS National Title Game: North Dakota State vs Illinois St – 10am ESPN: North Dakota State is going for their fourth straight National Title. Wow! Too bad ESPN has done a horrible job of promoting this game.

Louisville at North Carolina – 11am ESPN: Thank goodness for conference realignment or else this would be a one off game.

Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots – 1:35pm NBC: Old playoff foes meet once again.

Virginia at Notre Dame – 3pm ESPN2: Still awkward to call this an ACC matchup but it is. UVA had the daylights scared out of them the other night while Notre Dame rolled out of North Carolina with a win.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Montreal Canadiens – 4pm NHLN: It’s the Pens at the Habs on a Saturday night at the Bell Centre. Did you want some poutine with that?

Iowa State at West Virginia – 5pm ESPN2: West Virginia is off to their best start like ever. Iowa State is still ranked above them but not by much. Both teams have a great chance of walking away with the Big 12 title.

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks – 5:15pm FOX: If Carolina pulls off this upset it will be more historic than the Jets winning Super Bowl 3.


Sunday January 10th

Manchester United vs Southampton – 8am NBCSN: The surprising match up of teams in the top four of the Premier League.

Dallas Cowboys at Green Bay Packers – 10am FOX: Can Dallas’s run game keep a one legged Aaron Rodgers off the field enough to get out of Green Bay with a win?

Indianapolis Colts at Denver Broncos – 1:40pm CBS: Remember when Peyton Manning left Indy for Denver? Well the guy that replaced him, Andrew Luck, comes calling. Is this a passing of the torch or does Peyton have one more Super Bowl run left in him?


Unexpected Big Days In MLS

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The MLS season ended a little over a month ago and the last few days saw some major events. Big news was that it wasn’t just player signings.


The 24 hour sports channels make an over hyped event of most professional schedules when they are released.  The MLS released their’s today without the hype. Just the schedule please.

It starts March 6th and ends somewhere in early December. MLSsoccer.com’s Andrew Wiebe has a quick breakdown of some of the can’t miss games. It features two new clubs and an expanded playoff bracket.


Steven Gerrard revealed last week that he was leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. Now we know he is going to step into the midfield in LA for the Galaxy. It’s a reuniting of Gerrard and Robbie Keane since Keane’s failed move to Liverpool back in 2008.

The New York Red Bulls are apparently zeroing in on two US Internationals, Jozy Altidore and Sacha Kljestan. While there is still a lot of maneuvering to be done but this could be a major reload for NYRB.

Roger Espinoza is back from England to help out in the Sporting KC midfield along side Graham Zusi. This move makes a solid SKC team all that much better.

The Shock


New York Red Bulls most successful manager Mike Petke is out. His replacement is Jesse Marsch. While no one is really surprised that Marsch is getting another shot in the managers chair but it is fairly shocking that Petke would be ousted after such a successful run.

Petke is Red Bull/Metrostars through and through and is even a native of the area. Marsch is going to have his hands full in replacing him. If the Red Bulls do not win an MLS Cup next year the fan base will have something to really cry about.