What To Watch – Fri. 10/30 – Sun. 11/1

All times are Pacific.

The best time of year because we have NFL, College Football, NBA, NHL, MLS Playoffs and World Series not to mention Nascar and F1.

Friday October 30

Dartmouth at Harvard – 4:30pm NBCSN: Both are 6-0 and tied for first place a top the Ivy League.

KC Royals at NY Mets – 5pm FOX: Game 3 with the Royals up 2-0. This one is in NY though and that can make a huge difference.

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets – 6:30pm ESPN: Defending champs go on the road to a team that is one of their main challengers this season.

 

Saturday October 31st

Chelsea vs Liverpool -5:45am NBCSN: Liverpool looks for it’s first win under the leadership of Jurgen Klopp. Chelsea looks to turn the season around.

2015 Rugby World Cup Final – 9am NBC: It’s Australia vs New Zealand.

Florida vs Georgia – 12:30pm CBS: We don’t care, it’s still ‘The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party.’

Oklahoma State at Texas Tech – 12:30pm ESPN: Plenty of points and a tough place for the Pokes to get a win.

Nashville Predators at LA Kings – 1pm NHL Gamecenter: The Preds are the best in the West and LA isn’t far behind.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Toronto Maple Leafs – 4pm NHLN: Sidney Crosby heads to the heart of the hockey world.

Michigan at Minnesota – 4pm ESPN: Michigan is a hard nosed football team and Minnesota will be playing with a heavy heart as their head coach retired due to health reasons.

Notre Dame at Temple – 5pm ABC: Huge game for the undefeated Temple Owls. First visit by ESPN Gameday, they’ve never been undefeated this late in the season. The question becomes, can they handle it all?

KC Royals at NY Mets – 5pm FOX: Game 4.

Stanford at Washington State – 7:30pm ESPN: For the lead in the PAC-12 North believe it or not.

 

Sunday November 1st

Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers – 10am CBS: Boy these two teams are good this year and the Steelers look like they might get Big Ben back under center.

goalDC United vs NY Red Bulls – Noon ESPN: One of the longest standing rivalries in MLS. NYRB took home the Supporters Shield again this year but will Jesse Marsch be able to lead them to an MLS Cup?

NY Jets at Oakland Raiders – 1pm CBS: No seriously, this game should be really good.

Portland Timbers vs Vancouver Whitecaps – 2pm ESPN: If you didn’t watch arguably the most exciting MLS Playoff game ever the other night then…well you missed out. Portland was able to survive and now they host Cascadia Cup foes Vancouver.

Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos – 5:30pm NBC: Two undefeated teams square off in the Mile High City. Can the Broncos find their offense?

Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas – 6:30pm FS1: FC Dallas has arguably the toughest road to MLS Cup. Why? Your first playoff game is going to be in front of the largest crowd in typical Seattle wet and cold conditions.

 

If none of these do it for ya, Twitch is running a marathon of ‘The Joy of Painting.’

Advertisements

NFL Game via Yahoo = Success?

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Yahoo Screen GrabThe Buffalo Bills vs Jacksonville Jaguars was the first ever NFL game distributed mainly via the web. In this case Yahoo! handled the streaming duties. While it is being spun as a success, it wasn’t as big of a success as the powers that be would like for us to believe.

Peter King on MMQB pointed out that the live stream on Yahoo may not have been as awesome as Yahoo and the NFL are making it out to be. For example, King points out that Yahoo is counting a “stream” as anyone who watched for me than three seconds. The stream was on autoplay on Yahoo’s homepage. Not exactly an accurate portrait.

While the stream worked well it was great for everyone. As Business Insider pointed out, some people experienced a less than ideal viewing experience. It was still free and available on a global basis though.

nfl on yahoo

What this game really did, besides being a pretty damn good one, was show why the Internet has not take over TV when it comes to our main viewing source.

While ad space on the Internet is infinite (want more space, create a new page) the bandwidth is not. Unlike TV, bandwidth is finite. There is only so much of it at any given time in a given place. It is, after all, a series of tubes. For example, if you are at a Starbucks trying to stream the game and there are 10 other people there on their various devices doing various bandwidth sucking things then your stream is going to suck at some points. If you are at home in your house in the suburbs and everyone else is i your neighborhood is at home streaming the new season of ‘House of Cards’ on various Netflix connected devices then odds are you may not be getting the speeds you are paying for from your ISP.

So, while the game may not have been as successful viewing wise as some people would like for us to believe, it was a success. Why? People could watch a football via a new distribution channel without borders or boundaries. In Vietnam? No Problem. In Denver? We got you. Normally to get that kind of access you had to fork over an absurd amount of money and in this case, you’d be forking over money for two teams in some of the smallest markets in the NFL.

This is hopefully will not be a one off event. Live streaming is a good thing. It gets back to the fundamental possibilities of the Internet: any content, any where on any device. Remember that? Kind of funny that the NFL is the one trying to get us back to that idea. But hey, as long as we get there do we really care who leads the way?

And now, your Internet moment of Zen.

The Sunday: It Happens Again

Well….It Happened Again

In case last weeks incredible finish between Michigan State and Michigan wasn’t enough, well something similar happened at the end of the Georgia Tech vs Florida State game.

A last second field goal attempt by Florida State was blocked and returned for a game winning touchdown. This ended Florida State’s 30 game regular season win streak and probably ended their chances of getting into the College Football Playoff.

 

‘Who We Are’

Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney kept his team on the field at halftime to delivery a fiery speech to his team. He was upset at his teams apparent lack of class. They we’re up 42-0 at the half and went on to deliver Miami it’s worse loss in program history (58-0).

 

Tee Retriever 

For those of you on the East Coast who didn’t care to stay awake for a 5-2 Boise State vs a 1-6 Wyoming you didn’t miss much…..except for the tee retrieving dog! 

good_dog.0

 

Undefeated

It may be early but the Montreal Canadiens look unbeatable. Literally. They have yet to lose a game this season and set the new NHL mark of starting a season 9-0-0.

While that is impressive, so is Philadelphia Flyers Claude Giroux. He did this to the NY Rangers Henrik Lundqvist for a Flyers win on Saturday. 

What to Watch Fri. 10/23 – Sun. 10/25

All times are Pacific.

Friday October 23rd

Montreal Canadiens at Buffalo Sabers – 4pm NLHN: Habs are off to a 7-0-0 start but Buffalo has rookie sensation Jack Eichel.

Memphis at Tulsa – 5pm ESPN: Memphis is coming off a huge win against Ole Miss. Tulsa is the nations 6th ranked offense while Memphis is 10th. Shootout Possibility Factor: High.

Toronto Blue Jays at KC Royals – 5pm FS1: Game 6 and the Jays send David Price to the mound who has lost his last seven post season starts.

 

Saturday October 24th

Deshaun Watson Clemson

Clemson at Miami – 9am ABC: Clemson is just about a lock for the College Football Playoff unless they stumble here which is entirely possible. Miami is a tough place to play. You also get to watch the two best QB’s in the ACC in Clemson’s Deshaun Watson and Miami’s Brad Kaaya.

Tennessee at Alabama – 12:30pm CBS: Third Saturday in October means one thing, Tennessee vs Bama. Can the Vols finally put four quarters of football together against the Tide? Are the Tide on let down alert?

Texas A&M at Ole Miss – 4pm ESPN: Both teams have a conference loss. Both are coming off of tough, embarrassing loss. Both need this game.

Utah at USC – 4:30pm FOX: Some people consider Utah the best team in the country but USC has enough talent to beat anybody in the country.

Tampa Bay Lightning at Chicago Blackhawks – 5:30pm NHLN: A rematch of last years Stanley Cup Final.

Toronto Blue Jays at KC Royals – 5pm FS1 (If Necessary): Game 7 if it’s needed.

 

Sunday October 25th

Buffalo Bills vs Jacksonville Jaguars – 6:30am Yahoo: First ever NFL regular season game streamed live on Yahoo. Should be a decent game and you can watch on your tablet as you lay in bed.

Manchester United vs Manchester City – 7am NBCSN: It’s a Manchester Derby on a Sunday morning.

NY Jets at NE Patriots – 10am CBS: Undefeated Pats take on a solid Jets team.

United States Grand Prix – Noon NBC: F1 in Austin, Texas.

MLS Decision Day – 2pm/4pm: First ever “Decision Day” in MLS. The real action is out west where Portland, Sporting KC, Seattle and San Jose are all competing for three playoff spots.

Philadelphia Eagles at Carolina Panthers – 5:30pm NBC: Undefeated Panthers welcome the Eagles who seem to be putting it together.

The Sunday: The Flip, The Catch, The Death, The End

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The Flip

Jose Bautista’s three run homer in the bottom of the seventh in game five of the ALDS was the cap to one of the most unique innings in baseball. So unique that FOX gave it is’t own special on Friday night. Even with that, the coolest thing ever may have been Bautista’s bat flip. It’s being recreated in pumpkin carvings and tattoos.

 

The Catch

Stanford wide receiver Francis Owusu made one of the most amazing catches you will ever see. Better yet, it was on a reverse – flea flicker play where the quarterback, Kevin Hogan, lined up at wide receiver.

 

The Death

bevoUniversity of Texas mascot Bevo XIV passed away with this week due to a bovine leukemia. Bevo won seven bowl games during his tenure including the 2005 National Championship. He missed Texas upset win over Oklahoma two weeks ago but he was clearly there in spirit. Rest well our friend.

 

 

 

The End

There are no words for what happened in Ann Arbor last evening. It may be, in fact, the greatest end to college football game in the history of the sport.

Some still don’t believe it happened, like this TV reporter from WZZM. 

Trojan War Fails To Deliver

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The ESPN 30 for 30 series has brought us many great stories. From the ‘Guru of Go’ to ‘Small Potatoes’ to ‘Pony Express’ to ‘The Two Escobars’. The series has continued to knock one documentary after another out of the park. They have also struck out a few times and they struck out looking on ‘Trojan War’.

Trojan War ‘Trojan War’ is the first film in Volume 3 and was directed by Aaron Rahsaan Thomas. Thomas is an accomplished TV Producer but in this his Directorial debut, he fell short. ‘Trojan War’ showed a massive lack of creativity and professionalism with it’s poor VO (done by Thomas) and its script direction graphics wiped on the screen with cliched typing sound effects. After about 15 minutes it felt like nails down a chalkboard.

If you could get over that and know anything about the era then you would know how much they left out. The loss to Cal in 2003 was huge. It cost them a berth in the National Title game and they ended up having to split the National Title with LSU. Zero mention of that. Instead they filled the 90 minute documentary with a lot of interviews with people who didn’t really matter (a backup quarterback who threw two touchdown passes? Really?)

The fact is (and through no fault of Thomas) that this story has been done by NFL Network’s ‘A Football Life’ last year and it’s too soon for people to really open up about the era. One for the main pillars of the story, Reggie Bush, didn’t even do an interview. It was partially because of decisions he made that USC’s “era” ended. This story would have been better served being done 10 years from now when the dust truly settled.

CarrollOne good takeaway from the film was Pete Carroll. How he changed his style and the culture he developed at USC were the solid takeaways from the film. In all honesty, ESPN just should have done a 30 for 30 on him and dived deeper into how he changed his coaching style and became successful on the collegiate and professional level after being a below average head coach as his two previous NFL stops.

ESPN 30 for 30 is a solid film series. The vast majority of the stories they have told to this point have been compelling and well done. One of 30 for 30’s creators was Bill Simmons who was unceremoniously removed from ESPN earlier this year. You can’t help but wonder if ‘Trojan War’ would have been better if Simmons was still in ESPN’s good graces. It might have been better if it wasn’t made at all. A very disappointing start to Volume 3.

 

What to Watch Fri. 10/16 – Sun. 10/18

All times are Pacific.

Friday October 16th

Toronto Blue Jays at KC Royals – 4:30pm FOX: Let the ALCS begin!

Cincinnati at BYU – 5pm ESPN: Cincy games are never boring and BYU’s rarely are.

San Jose Earthquakes vs Sporting KC – 8pm UniMas: SKC is currently in the playoffs if the season ended today and San Jose is on the outside looking in but not by much.

 

REMOTE-contrast

Saturday October 17th

Tottenham vs Liverpool – 4:45am NBCSN: The Jurgen Klopp era begins for Liverpool.

Everton vs Manchester United – 7am NBCSN: Everton is only three points back of United.

Ole Miss at Memphis – 9am ABC/ESPN: Memphis is the team no one wants to talk about. Head Coach Justin Fuente will become the hottest coach in American after Memphis upsets the Rebels.

Michigan State at Michigan – 12:30pm ABC: Well, let’s see who is really a contender in the Big Ten.

Alabama at Texas A&M – 12:30pm CBS: Last time these two met in College Station, the final score was 49-42.

Detroit Red Wings at Montreal Canadiens – 4pm NHLN: It’s never too early to enjoy and Original 6 matchup.

Florida at LSU – 5pm ESPN: Baton Rouge at night against a Florida team that just lost it’s starting quarterback.

Arizona State at Utah – 7pm ESPN: A little late night PAC-12 action. Shootout possibility = high.

 

Sunday October 18th

Arizona Cardinals at Pittsburgh Steelers – 10am FOX: Arizona head man and former Steelers OC Bruce Arians returns to town with an impressive Cardinals team. Steelers may still have one of the most exciting backs in the NFL in Le’veon Bell.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Montreal Alouettes – 10am ESPN2: A little CFL for your Sunday. This one could decide the Eastern Conference.

Carolina Panthers at Seattle Seahawks – 1pm FOX: Panthers are 4-0 but this is probably the toughest place to play in the NFL.

LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers – 4pm  FS1: LA is in the playoffs but Portland is still fighting to make it.

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts – 5:30pm NBC: Andrew Luck returns for the Colts but it may not matter against Gronk and company.

Early Week Exits

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

It’s been a crazy, crazy early week in college football. When the smoke cleared on Tuesday evening, four head coaches were out along with one athletic director and one Heisman Trophy contender.

‘Somehow we slid. I’m responsible. I’m the Head Coach.’ It’s rare that you hear that from people nowadays in this country. People want to blame everything else and not take responsibility. Well Steve Spurrier (aka the Head Ball Coach) takes responsibility. He took South Carolina from a perennial lower rung collegiate football program and into an SEC contender. He did the same at Florida and even had a winning record at Duke. He was loved, hated and always quotable.

The Head Ball Coach wasn’t the only coach to move on from his duties of leading a college football team but he is the only one with a National Title to his name and the only one going to the College Football Hall of Fame.

The others who were asked to step aside in the last few days include Maryland’s Randy Edsall, North Texas’s Dan McCarney, and USC’s Steve Sarkisian.

Sarkisian may be the saddest removal. He reportedly checked himself into a rehab facility on Monday, the same day he was fired from USC. He was apparently intoxicated at a team meeting and is being accused of being intoxicated during USC’s win against Arizona State a few weeks ago. These are just the latest incidents he’s had with alcohol, rumors of which date back to his days as the Head Coach at Washington.

The Athletic Director who stepped down is also the Head Coach of an 0-6 team. That would be George O’Leary at Central Florida. While O’Leary’s title was technically ‘Interim Athletics Director’, it still doesn’t bode well for his prospects as Head Coach.

Finally, Georgia running back Nick Chubb blew out his knee on the first play from scrimmage against Tennessee. Chubb was arguably one his way to a possible spot in New York for the Heisman Trophy. He had already run for over 700 yards and seven touchdowns in only five games.

Yes, it’s been a busy couple of days off the field in college football. Luckily there is a top 25 match up on Thursday between UCLA and Stanford to get our mind back on the gridiron.

The Sunday: The Reckoning

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Comings & Goings

There were a lot of comings and goings this week. The Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners got rid of their managers, the Miami Dolphins fired their head coach and Maryland let their head coach go, mid-season, after a 2-4 start. Maryland’s Randy Edsall did have some parting words for a reporter when asked ‘why he shakes the hands of his players before the game’? Essentially, we’re you doing that because you knew you were going to get fired?

Liverpool found their man in 48-year old Jurgen Klopp. To add insult to injury, Klopp is renting the apartment of the manager he is replacing.

klopp gfx

In other news, UCLA’s Mr Everything Myles Jack decided to declare himself for the NFL Draft a week after blowing out his knee in a practice. His reasoning,

“When you see people making money off of your likeness and your name…nobody else wears No. 30 at UCLA. That jersey is mine,”

 

Sliding

Chase Utley made a hard slide into second base to break up a double play in game 2 of the NLDS. While successful, he also ended up breaking the leg of NY Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada. 

Video is below if you haven’t seen it. He has since apologized to Tejada.

 

Catching and Failing and Saving

Chad Owens is one of those players that you always have to keep an eye on. Why? Because he makes catches like this to win a game.

Rutgers Athletics are the collegiate equivalent of an oil spill. A few years ago their former basketball coach was shown on video pretty much being a dick to his players then this year their football coach was suspended for not knowing the rules and now their interim coach and quarterback don’t know what down it is and spike the ball on 4th down. Really?

Rutger is almost as bad as Georgia WR Reggie Davis dropping the game tying touchdown against Tennessee.

https://twitter.com/Ria_Martin/status/652984684142456832

NY Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist made what could turn out to be the save of the year….in the first weekend of hockey. What will this guy do for an encore?

 

Scary

Daniel FellsNY Giants TE Daniel Fells is fighting to save his foot after a MRSA infection. He has undergone five surgeries this past week and has nurse dedicated to his care. It’s a very scary thing and not the first time an NFL team has had to battle MRSA. We can only hope that doctors are able to save Fells foot and he can make a full recovery.

What To Watch – Thurs. 10/8 -Sun. 10/11

All times are Pacific.

Thursday October 8th

SMU at Houston – 5pm ESPN2: Two offensive head coaches in their first collegiate head coaching jobs. Lots and lots of offense. Texas Shootout Alert!

Washington at USC – 6pm ESPN: Big game on the Pac-12 as the Huskies look to upset a USC team that gave up 41 to Stanford in their last home game.

 

Friday October 9th

jays

Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays – 9:30am MLBN: Game two and one that the Jays have to win if they really want to keep Toronto in playoff heaven and themselves in the best of 5 series.

Chicago Cubs at St Louis Cardinals – 3:30pm TBS: Not only is this one of the best rivalries in baseball but it’s a battle of two former Boston Red Sox pitchers (Lester vs Lackey).

Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings – 4:30pm NHL Gamecenter: Leafs head man Mike Babcock heads back to the city led to a Stanley Cup victory back in 2008.

NC State at Virginia Tech – 5pm ESPN: Yeah Va Tech needs better quarterback play but it’s still Blacksburg at night. Always fun to watch.

 

Saturday October 10th

Indiana at Penn State – 9am ESPN: Indiana nearly beat #1 Ohio State last weekend. Could they upset the Nitty Lions in Happy Valley?

Northwestern at Michigan – 12:30pm BTN: Only loss between these two teams was by Michigan at Utah.

Oklahoma State at West Virginia – 4pm ESPN2: Oklahoma State pulled one out of the fire last weekend. They will need all the help they can get as they travel to Morgantown.

Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins – 4pm NHLN: Hockey is back and what a matchup for its first Saturday night.

TCU at Kansas State – 4:30pm FOX: TCU may be a National Title contender but this is one doozy of a game. On the road in Manhattan….good luck boys.

USA vs Mexico – 5pm FS1: Winner goes to 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

https://twitter.com/FOXSoccer/status/652500478970867717

California at Utah – 7pm ESPN: Both are undefeated. College Gameday is there. It’s a night game at Rice – Eccles Stadium. Consider the mic officially dropped.

 

Sunday October 11th

Seattle Seahawks at Cincinnati Bengals – 10am FOX: Bengals have just been awesome so far this season. Now they welcome a full loaded Seahawks team. This should be fun.

St Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers – 10am CBS: The Rams lose to the teams they should beat and beat the teams that they should lose to. They should lose to the Packers.

KC Royals at Houston Astros – 1pm MLBN: Game 3 from Houston.

Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders – 1:25pm CBS: Been a long time since the Raiders had a shot agains the Broncos. They’ll have one Sunday if they can keep QB Derek Carr upright.

Montreal Canadiens at Ottawa Senators – 4pm NLH Network: An all Canadian affair for your Sunday night.