The Sunday – Bets and Shots from Beyond

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 2.26.2017

This Guy

He stole our hearts and possibly a meat pie. He hits the pub, eats a pie and somehow his club loses to Arsenal.

Anniversaries

This week marked the 37th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice. Kind of ironic nowadays.

And it was the 32nd anniversary of Bobby Knight trying to give someone a chair from across the basketball court.

February Madness

https://twitter.com/FanSportsClips/status/834621879864287232

Former Colorado State guard John Gillon making Duke fans cry.

Meanwhile back in Fort Collins, the game winning 3 from the unlikeliest of people…

Cmon Bill!

Steph Curry Moment of the Week

How about 17 points in the third quarter

But Steph had some competition courtesy of Indiana’s Devonte Green.

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The Sunday – The Love Of Life And Flying

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 2.19.2017

Flying

It appears that players in the NBA are about a second away from growing wings and actually flying. While Glen Robinson III won the 2017 Slam Dunk crown, damn if Derrick Jones Jr didn’t put on a show.

Why We Love….

NHL referee Wes McCauley…

And Buzz Williams.

Grabbing and Slashing

Look, DeMarcus Cousins may not be the most liked individual but there is no reason to go and grab his junk.

What?

Get Ready

You have to have an appreciation for Oklahoma State head football coach Mike Gundy. Not just because of his ‘I’M A MAN!…’ rant several years ago, or his stylish mullet, but because he will go this far to help get people out to the Pokes wrestling match against Penn State.

The Next Big Thing Started Big

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 2.14.2017

Due to my day job, I had the opportunity to spend some time at RIOT Games recently. I knew that e-sports was popular but I didn’t know how popular it was until I spent some time with the RIOT Games folks. Afterwards I began to dig into the sport a little bit more and found some interesting parallels between e-sports the UFC and some of the bigger, established sports like the NBA.

The last ‘big thing’ was the UFC and you could argue that it still is. While the UFC was turned around by the near bottomless checkbook from the Fertiitta brothers and the vision of Dana White, it couldn’t have made it without the rapid adoption of the Internet in the mid to late 90’s. From bulletin boards to chat rooms to user groups, it was this medium that helped keep mixed martial arts alive while White and the Fertitta’s fought to get back the UFC back onto pay-per-view in the early 2000’s.

Full disclosure, I was a UFC employee from 2006-2013. 

Fast forward a decade and a half or so and e-sports is the now the next big thing. While the ‘athletes’ in e-sports wouldn’t last 30 seconds in the Octagon with a UFC fighter, most UFC fighters wouldn’t do well against any of these gamers either. But the Internet and global distribution are what both have thrived on.

It was a long, hard slog for the UFC to build up its global network. They built the brand up in America first and then slowly but surely locked in TV deal after TV deal in various countries around the world while also expanding their online distribution footprint to the point where they launched UFC Fight Pass in 2014.

E-sports on the other hand started globally because it was born online. From Asia to the Americas to Europe, it has been a global sport since day one. It is a sport that is thriving on over-the-top (OTT) networks like Amazon’s Twitch and Google’s YouTube.

lol

While networked gaming goes back two decades (LAN Party in the dorm anyone?) it has flourished in recent years drawing in several big name investors and sports organizations along the way to the point where the NBA is seeing this as a new vertical for the league and it’s teams.

Recently the NBA announced a partnership with Take-Two Interactive to launch a professional e-sports league with teams managed by current NBA franchises.

While other mixed martial arts organizations existed, the UFC was the premiere player. E-sports on the other hand have several big name players from the start like RIOT Games and Activision | Blizzard to name a few. Now with addition of the NBA and major soccer clubs like Ajax and Manchester City, there are multiple behemoths battling it out in the space.

The NBA wasn’t the first to see the benefit of e-sports or sign a major deal. RIOT Games, maker of League of Legends, signed a deal with the Big10 not too long ago to broadcast games between school sponsored teams. So Rutgers may not have a chance against Ohio State on the football field, but in League of Legends, only time will tell.

The investments by the NBA, soccer clubs, and the Big10 makes a lot of sense. Live sports have been under fire for a couple of years now. While previously seen as ‘DVR proof’, the recent decline in TV ratings for the NFL and the decline in attendance at sporting events has sent the leagues, conferences and even teams scrambling to find avenues of growth. While starting an e-sports team does not in anyway correlate to increased TV ratings or more butts in seats at a Denver Nuggets or a Purdue football game, it does provide the leagues, conferences and teams a chance to not fade into irrelevancy and leverage existing advertising and marketing partners by providing them a young desired demo.

This is good news for consumers and players in the e-sports realm. There is choice, diversity and no one entity running the show. It also means that e-sports will succeed by whatever revenue standard you put up against it. Wall Street and the NBA have a tendency to not bet on things that are doomed to fail and anytime you get college kids involved, there is no telling the innovation and growth e-sports could really have.

The NBA partnership with Take-Two and the RIOT Games deal with the Big10 can be a blueprint for other leagues and conferences to follow. If these can show short term success and projected long term growth, others will quickly jump on the bandwagon.

E-sports has an opportunity to be the biggest “sport” in the world due to it’s immediate global reach and massive backers. It is doing it differently by not having a concentrated center of power, an individualized rule set for each game and it’s reach across every existing sport and continent. Drop in the explosion in OTT providers from Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Live and you have the makings of something that can, over time, do something that UFC set out to do, eclipse soccer as the world’s dominate sport.

Further Reading

SF Chronicle

Venture Beat

The Sunday – Super Things

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 2.12.2017

Super Bowl

Well if you were an Atlanta Falcons fan you were loving the first half. And if you were a New England Patriots fan you were loving the last 10 minutes. Ok loving might be the wrong word, having a mild heart attack might be more appropriate. And Somewhere in the middle Lady Gaga showed up and did a lot of jumping.

21-3 Falcons at Halftime.

So it must have been Lady Gaga’s halftime performance because the Patriots would rattle off 31 unanswered points to win their fifth Super Bowl. Mean tweets and Facebook posts about the Patriots and Tom Brady ceased after that this and this catch by Julian Edleman.

Sorry Julian but it was Julio Jones who had the catch of the night.

In the end, revenge is a dish best served cold.

Now after seeing this and the College Football National Title game, the fact is that something has to be done about the amount of press on the field. Players, coaches, etc can’t even get to each other to embrace because of the amount of cameras shoved in their face.

 

Being Who You Are

We’ll start with Lebron being Lebron.

Then Blake being Blake

Why is there talk of Chicharito getting a ‘Beckham-like’ deal with MLS? Because he does things like this…..

 

The Record Breaking

Yes the New England Patriots broke a record with the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history but that wasn’t the only record broken this week. The Golden State Warriors Draymond Green became the first player in NBA history to record a triple double without scoring in double figures.

 

New York Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist became the 12th goalie in NHL history to hit 400 wins. He did it Saturday night in front of his home town crowd in New York.

 

4 OT

We had our first, and usually only, four overtime game in college basketball last weekend. Alabama topped South Carolina 90-86. Then a few days later Wyoming topped Fresno State in a four overtime classic 102-100. And if that wasn’t enough, Wafford outlasted Samford 131-127. Here’s to a good night sleep.

 

New York State Of Chaos

If the New York Knicks weren’t in the world’s largest media market these things might not get this level of attention. But they did.

It’s a long a sordid story with multiple points of view and opinions. Essentially you probably need the NYPD to come in and get the whole story. That being said, the results are the results. Charles Oakley will not be attending anymore Knicks games, the head of security is in the unemployment line and Carmelo Anthony and Phil Jackson are still having a twitter war.

Chip’s Revenge

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 2.9.2017

Arguably the best coach in NFL history, Bill Belichick, may have inadvertently pulled a page out of his friend Chip Kelly’s book to win Super Bowl 51. Belichick’s team didn’t run a no-huddle, up tempo style however the amount of plays they ran and dominate time of possession had to of put a smile on Kelly’s face as the New England Patriots went on to win their fifth NFL title.

 

KELLYKelly may have been fired from two NFL head coaching jobs in under a year but some of his philosophies are grounded in truth. If your team has the ball then the other teams offensive isn’t on the field. If you run more plays than your opponent then odds are that in the 4th quarter that defense will be tired. Both proved true during the Patriots win over the Atlanta Falcons.

The Patriots ran 93 offensive plays to the high powered Falcons 42 and dominated the time of possession. They had the football for over 40 minutes while the Falcons had it for just a little over 23. While Kelly’s teams would normally reflect the the Falcons time of possession, the Patriots were able to adapt Kelly’s philosophy on their way to victory.

Super Bowl 51 TOPAt one point Fox play-by-play announcer Joe Buck pointed out that the Falcons offense had not been on the field in over an hour (that included the extended halftime). You add that up and it’s no wonder the Falcons defense seemed powerless to stop the Patriots offense in the last quarter plus of the game.

While you can point to several factors as to why the Patriots defeated the Falcons for their fifth title, you cannot deny that time of possession and the amount of offensive plays that the Patriots ran was a major factor in the outcome. It’s one that Kelly would be right to be proud of.

The Sunday – Hype

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 2.4.2017

Kiffin Being Kiffin

Mr Excitement, AKA Lane Kiffin, is back running a football program. To fire up the FAU Owls fanbase, they did a video….it was bad.

It was later taken down by the FAU twitter account and then it was later revealed that the whole video was meant to be a joke and done so poorly so as to generate buzz. Ok?

Just Showing Off

https://twitter.com/CauldronICYMI/status/825858945247961088

 

https://twitter.com/CauldronICYMI/status/825828856569278464

https://twitter.com/CauldronICYMI/status/825819311361060865

https://twitter.com/CauldronICYMI/status/826269865346338816

KO’s

Martin is there to protect the young stars and sometimes that means taking a mean right hand.

And the Korean Zombie returns.

HI Tom!

Steph Curry Moment of the Week