Limits To Rights

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


I’ve written a lot about cord-cutting and the sports fan on this site. I see it as an inevitability that at some point, probably during the re-upping of rights for the major sports leagues, that we will a significant change in how fans can access the games they want to see. The Wall Street Journal article on the YES Network’s negotiations with Comcast only magnify this point.

This past week Joe Flint and Matthew Futterman put together an outstanding article on the cost of sports rights with the regional sports networks. It’s a microcosm of the overall issue. What it really comes down to is different parts of major corporations trying to extract a whole bunch of money from one another.

Sports Rights RSNThis is a very high profile case because it involves the preeminent brand name in all of sports, the New York Yankees. Right now, if you live in the Yankees media footprint and have Comcast, you are not getting Yankees games next week.

Rut Roh.

The writers take it even further by point to this as a case of ‘how much further can this go?’ The consensus seems to be that people are not willing to pay anymore of their cable or satellite bundles even if it means missing the games they want to see. With costs rising and incomes staying flat, people have officially cut back.

This is a very interesting story with the public reaction right around the corner. Flint and Futterman did a great job and this is an article worth reading.

Cost Of Sports TV Raises Stakes in Yankees – Comcast Fight

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The Sunday: Quiet Time and Going Overboard

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Quiet Time

Conor McGregor had to eat his humble pie. He was choked out by the fast talking Nate Diaz at UFC 196. His voice is now lower, bravado toned down and lessons learned.

 

First Base

Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has been just about everywhere….even first base.

It will almost be a disappointment when the off-season is over and he actually has to coach football and not climb trees, hang out at the State of the Union or just Netflix and Chill.

 

Angry Lundqvist

Henrik Lundqvist is one of, if not the best goalie in the NHL. And just like you and I, he can have a bad day and want to flip something over that is near him. For Lundqvist that was a net.

 

Capsized

Team Oracle capsized their catamaran. There is really nothing more to be said. It’s a boat flipping over.

 

Blades of a Remake

Yep. This actually happened. 

 

Steph Curry Moment of the Week

Brought to you this week by Damian Lillard.

BAM

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


A few weeks ago I wrote a post about concurrent streams and MLB Advanced Media’s Bob Bowman. Bowman is a major player if not the major player in live streaming. So when he speaks, it’s important to listen.

Bowman touches on a lot of subjects related to live streaming but he also touches on social media, hiring and narratives.

Later 2015

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


2015 is in the rearview mirror and 2016 is upon us. What will it bring? Who will win the big events? These questions and others will only take a matter of time to answer. Since we have data about the past and only theories about the future, let us take one last look back at some of the better moments of 2015.

The Interception

 

Show Stealer

 

Oops

 

It Would Be A Pharaoh

 

Best Flip Ever

 

Another Smashing Of The Glass Ceiling

 

Amazing Catch 

 

Not a bad year. Below are links to some other great recaps from 2015.

Sports Illustrated

Women In Sports

 

 

‘The QB’

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Update: The paperback version of this book is out. While a good part of this book focuses on Johnny Manziel it also focuses on a lot of players who are now starting at the collegiate level. QB’s such as UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Auburn’s Sean White and Purdue’s David Blough. 

We highly recommend this book.


Bruce Feldman did it again. This time with his latest book, ‘The QB: The Making of Modern Quarterbacks’. It’s an in depth and interesting read about all of the things being done to identify the next Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Russell Wilson.

The QB

‘The QB’ is a football fans book. If you are a casual fan, you may not enjoy it as much as a major football fan would. However, Feldman did a great job of reminding you who is who as he weaves between QB guru’s, high school prospects and Super Bowl winning QB’s. Feldman is able to pull all this together to give the reader a great understanding of the new process in which QB’s are being measured.

In some ways you could compare this book to Michael Lewis’ ‘Moneyball’. While the Oakland A’s had found a set of metrics that worked for them, people are still trying to find those to predict if a QB is going to be an NFL Hall of Famer or a National Championship team. The book dives into psychological angle of being a quarterback at the highest levels. One of the books major subjects Trent Dillfer believes that it is ‘nurture over nature’. Others rely on the metrics that they have always used like height and weight.

Feldman has written some good stuff in the past like his profile on current Washington State head coach Mike Leach. ‘The QB’ may be his best work yet. If you want to really understand why Tom Brady and Russell Wilson are leading their teams to yet another Super Bowl, read this book.

The Sunday: The End, The Beginning & Why We Keep Watching

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The Best Hangs’em Up

Abby Wambach was the best. We say ‘was’ because she announced this week that she will retire from the game after the USWNT December 16th game against China. Currently she has had 252 appearances on the international stage and 184 goals. Hats off to the best.

Power Outage

PLEASE STAND BYGame one of the World Series is kind of a big deal….and then the power goes out to the TV trucks. That’s essentially what happened to FOX during game one. Luckily it was just FOX (along with Televisa and NHK) and not the stadium itself.

FOX did rally well and was tapped into the MLB feed a few minutes later so the game could continue.

Yes they did delay the game.

 

Shootout To Ends All Shootouts 

If you didn’t watch the shootout in the MLS Cup Playoff knockout match between Portland and Sporting KC then stop what you are doing and click on the video below. It was unbelievable, un….everything. That includes breaking the laws of physics.

 

Yeah, That Shouldn’t Have Counted

Miami Lateral GraphicPlease see image to the right. Looks amazing right? Ok, now go watch the video below. We count a knee down of a Miami player before he pitched the ball, three blocks in the back (only one drew a referee’s flag & was reviewed which isn’t reviewable but officials didn’t enforce it anyway), a Miami player running onto the field towards the end of the play from the sidelines with his helmet off (too many men on the field and a player with helmet off are both penalties) and the replay officials are like, ‘yeah looks fine. Want to go to the Halloween party?’ To be fair….no there really isn’t fair here. Duke got screwed.

 

The End Of The Project

GrantlandESPN shuttered Grantland. The long format mix of sports and entertainment started by now ex – ESPN employee Bill Simmons had a lot of twists and turns. It, ironically enough, deserves its own ESPN 30 for 30. The sight did prove two important things: One person is not more powerful than a Disney subsidiary & long format content can work in the era of 140 character limits.

 

The Shorts From Saturday

It’s called elevation holmes.

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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.’

What To Watch Thurs. 9/17 – Sun. 9/20

All times are Pacific.

Thursday September 17th

Clemson at Louisville – 4:30pm ESPN: Your chance to watch Clemson QB Deshaun Watson in person. He is something to see.

ManningDenver Broncos at KC Chiefs – 5:25pm CBS: Denver is not the same offense it was a year ago but man was that defense impressive in week one. KC looks to finally get a touchdown pass into the hands of a wide receiver.

 

 

Friday September 18th

Florida State at Boston College -5pm ESPN: BC always seems to give people trouble when they play at home and at night. Well this game is at home and at night.

LA Angles at Minnesota Twins – 5pm MLB.TV: Both teams are chasing that final wild card slot in the American League. This is the second game of a four game set.

Pittsburgh Pirates at LA Dodgers – 7pm MLB.TV: Playoff preview and a decent pitching match up to boot.

 

Saturday September 19th

Chelsea vs Arsenal – 4:40am NBCSN: Two of the better teams year in and year out in the Premier League. Chelsea desperately needs to right the ship.

Air Force at Michigan State – 9am ABC: Michigan State is coming off of a high profile win against Oregon. Now they have to settle down and play assignment football against a disciplined Air Force squad. Michigan State wins but it’s close for a half.

Nebraska at Miami – 12:30 ABC: Remember when these two teams use to play for the National Title every year?

Georgia Tech at Notre Dame – 12:30 NBC: Notre Dame has had more injuries than you can shake a stick at and Georgia Tech is a pretty good bet to win the ACC this year. Notre Dame has to be like Michigan State, very disciplined on defense if they want to win against a triple option attack.

Auburn at LSU -12:30pm CBS: Auburn has been the most overrated team to start 2015. Can they put it together in Death Valley and knock off the LSU?

Western Kentucky at Indiana – 1pm ESPNEWS: Western Kentucky can put up points and so can IU. This could be WKU’s second win against a Power 5 conference school.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Seattle Sounders  4pm MLS LIVE: Cascadia Cup matchup with big time playoff implications.

Colorado vs Colorado State – 4pm CBSSN: The Rocky Mountain Shootout may not garner national attention but it’s usually a heck of a game.

California at Texas – 4:30pm FOX: Cal has one of the better QB’s in the country in Jared Goff. Odds are he will light up the Longhorns secondary.

Ole Miss at Alabama – 6:15pm ESPN: Ole Miss got the better of Bama last year. Bama has trouble with the Rebels style of offense too.

BYU at UCLA – 7:30pm FS1: Awesome matchup with two highly touted freshman QB’s. BYU’s Tanner Magnum and UCLA’s Josh Rosen. BYU pulls this out like they have their first two games and they could be looking at a big 6 bowl berth.

 

Sunday September 20th

Southampton vs Manchester United – 8am NBCSN: Southampton are only four points behind the Red Devils in the Premier League table.

San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals – 10am CBS: Bengals ran over the Chargers AFC West cohorts (Oakland Raiders) last week. Chargers are a whole different proposition though.

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills – 10am CBS: Well it’s Rex Ryan vs Bill Belichick again except this time Ryan heads up the Bills.

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles – 1pm FOX: Cowboys pulled one out of the fire last weekend while the Eagles fell short trying to do the exact same thing. Chip Kelly will hear the boos if his team starts off 0-2 after the offseason they had.

Portland Timbers vs NY Red Bulls -2pm ESPN: Timbers and NYRB are both in the thick of the playoff hunt.

NY Yankees at NY Mets – 5pm ESPN: See why TV and MLB execs are wetting themselves over the possibility of another Subway World Series.

Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers – 5:25pm NBC: Rematch of the wildly entertaining NFC Championship game from a year ago.

What To Watch – Thurs. 9/10 – Sun. 9/13

All times are Pacific.

Thursday September 10th

Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees – 4pm MLB.TV: It’s the first of a four game set for the lead in the AL East.

Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots – 5:30pm NBC: Well Tom Brady is playing and we can only hope that NBC Sports doesn’t pull some nonsense with Ryan Seacrest again.

 

Friday September 11th

Utah State at Utah – 6pm ESPN2: The battle for the Beehive Boot. A tough, hard nosed football game.

Houston Astros at LA Angels – 7pm MLB.TV: The Angels look to keep their playoff hopes alive as the division leading Astros come to SoCal.

 

Saturday September 12th

Everton vs Chelsea – 4:40am NBCSN: The Premier League season has yet to settle down which means there is a chance of an upset in this match.

Liverpool vs Manchester United – 9:30am NBC: Yes it’s a College Football Saturday but this is a classic match-up.

Oklahoma at Tennessee – 3pm ESPN: A power 5 matchup, two Top 25 schools with a lot of history and an orange and white checkerboard stadium. Oh yeah.

Oregon at Michigan State – 5pm ABC: Sparty shut down the Ducks for three quarters last year in Eugene. Then Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota took over and led the Ducks to victory. Mariota is now in the NFL and Sparty wants revenge.

LSU at Mississippi State – 6:15pm ESPN: LSU’s game was cancelled last week and Miss State got in a preseason game against Southern Miss. How big of a factor will that play?

Boise State at BYU – 7:15pm ESPN2: BYU pulled one out of the fire last week with a backup QB fresh off his two year mission and Boise almost blew it against Washington. Should make things interesting.

LA Galaxy vs Montreal Impact – 7:30pm MLS LIVE: Didier Drogba hits LA to take on Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane. Drogba had a hat trick in his first start for the Impact. What will he do for an encore?

 

 

Sunday September 13th

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears – 10am FOX: One of the games best QB’s in Aaron Rodgers against one of the games most overrated in Jay Cutler. Can Rodgers still air out the ball without Jordy Nelson and a one shouldered Reggie Cobb?

New Orleans Saints at Arizona Cardinals – 1pm FOX: Can Drew Brees find someone in the redzone now that Jimmy Graham is in Seattle?

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos – 1:25pm CBS: Could be Peyton Manning’s last go round. And with a new offense no less.

NY Giants at Dallas Cowboys – 5:30pm NBC: It should be a fantastic game but man, Cris Collinsworth twice in one week?

The Sunday: The Ups & Downs of Our Labor

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Cheap Shots

Football is full of cheap shots. We saw them this weekend during the first full week of college football. We also saw them in a High School game in San Antonio and during a halftime show.

Two players from John Jay High School blind sided a referee during a game on Friday. Both has been suspended from school, football and could have criminal charges on the docket.

No matter how bad a referee messed up they don’t deserve this. They are working out of a passion for the game and for very little money. There job is dangerous enough without having to get a cheap shot from a safety.

On a less criminal note, the Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky levels a kid during a halftime show and then stands over him like Ali standing over Liston back in the day. Criminal charges are not pending here.

 

Fastest Weiner

They use to say that you should never work with kids or animals. Well if you are a minor league baseball team in El Paso, TX you just kind of do your own thing. Minor league baseball teams are known for their promotions to get people out to the ballpark but sometimes those promotions can be hard to wrangle.

 

Fruits of Your Labor

Wilfork's Inner CowbouWhen you have won multiple Super Bowls and you are a five time All Pro, you get to have some fun every now and then. Vince Wilfork had some during training camp with the Houston Texans. He channeled his inner Texan when he showed up for a walkthrough.

 

Respected

There are very few coaches in College Football considered to be a nicer guy than Washington’s Chris Pederson. Pederson showed why he is so well respected on Friday night after his Washington Huskies lost to his former team Boise State.

After missing a field goal that would have tied the game and sent it into overtime, Pederson shook hands and hugged just about every single one of his former players. He was then given a standing ovation as he left the field. Being the nicest guy doesn’t always equal wins but it sure does command respect.