The Sunday – Goodbyes and Celebrations

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 10.1.2017

Goodbyes

Matt Cain announced that he will retire this week. It’s odd to talk about ‘retiring’ when they are only 33 years old but Cain did pitch 13 years with the San Francisco Giants, win three World Series, and throw a perfect game. Cain didn’t finish his career with a winning record but he was incredibly important to the Giants organization. He was the rock they relied on as they built themselves into a three time world champion. He will always be a Giant and he will be missed.

We lost a coach this weekend. Former Purdue and Wyoming head coach Joe Tiller passed away at the tender age of 74.

Barkley v Love

Let’s face it, the Heisman Trophy is coming down to two people; Penn State’s Saqoun Barkley and Stanford’s Bryce Love. Below is a little taste as to why.

Celebrations & Analysis

While much gets made about the celebrations in football, you have to tip your hat to the Yankees for this one.

No one will ever question Addison Russell’s heart. He knocked over a St Louis Cardinals fan nachos….and then brought him a replacement.

And possibly the best description ever….

 

 

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The Sunday – Games

Compiled By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 9.24.2017

The Games

The NFL games on Sunday are being overshadowed by the reactions of players, teams and owners to President Trump’s comments. Some players kneeled, other locked arms and some didn’t come out for the national anthem at all. All this can be discussed other places besides this blog.

What’d I’d like to focus on are games. The last second wins, the amazing catches and horrifically bad officiating that everyone can agree on were just bad.

Tom Brady: The Old Guy Who Can Through Dimes.

This is a 15 yard penalty…..really?

Oh just a little chip shot for the win…

How bout this for your first NFL catch?

Least we forget about Pierre Garcon’s catch from Thursday.

But still, OBJ will do OBJ things.

Then the Bears do Bears things.

 

Save And Fail

MLS is coming down the home stretch and still give us some amazing moments week in and week out.

Mr Rimando…..Sir!

Dude

But nothing may beat DC United’s Patrick Mullins scoring 4 goals…..in 31 minutes.

 

Giveth and Taketh

And the squirrel.

 

Yep

‘All of Nothing’ Drives Home Ruthlessness of NFL

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 7.8.2017

The second season of Amazon’s ‘All of Nothing’ series starts off with Los Angeles Rams head coach Jeff Fisher informing the team that he was fired.  From here the show takes you through the ins and outs of the Rams 2016 season and finishing off with the hiring of a new coach and the 2017 NFL Draft. It’s a long journey and one that NFL Films tells very well.

The Rams 2016 season was teed up pretty well for the producers of ‘All or Nothing’. You had the move from St. Louis, the trade to get quarterback Jared Goff with the #1 overall pick in the 2016 draft, young stars like running back Todd Gurley and defensive tackle Aaron Donald and a schedule that saw them log more miles than anyone during the 2016 season. Add in the unexpected firing of the head coach and you have enough material to fully flesh out 8 hour long episodes.

This series is not HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’. In fact ‘All or Nothing’ doesn’t even touch on training camp. It dives right into the season and does a pretty good job of avoiding the typical NFL game camera angles while it’s at it. There are solid shots from the sidelines and great sound from the coaches throughout the season. From their homes, to the meeting rooms to the sidelines.

One aspect of this show that was very interesting goes back to something that former Notre Dame head coach and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz once pointed out and that is when a coach is fired it’s not just him who is effected. It’s the assistants and their families too. ‘All or Nothing’ does a great job of driving that home. How the families deal with the never ending moves from city to city. For example, offensive coordinator Rob Boras ended up as the tight ends coach for the Buffalo Bills shortly after being let go by the Rams following the season. So in under a year he had moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles to Buffalo while his family was still in St. Louis. It gives you a great look at how much of grind an NFL season can be not just for the players but on the coaches.

This season of ‘All or Nothing’ is compelling and could be compelling for someone who isn’t the biggest football fan. It shows how difficult and ruthless this game can be on the players, the coaches and the families and how everything can change in an instant. It’s story telling at high level and worth checking out.

22 It

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 6.25.2017


The Canadian Football League (CFL) kicked off its 2017 season with a game between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Montreal Alouettes this past Thursday. Unless you are a football fanatic like myself or a Canadian with a vested interest in the two teams on the field, you probably didn’t ever know the game was going on. My hope is that someone at the NFL office or at one of the NFL TV partners was watching so that they could be reminded about an angle that they are missing during their broadcasts. The wide angle or as they call it in America, the ’22’ angle.

Roughriders at Al’s CFL 2017 Opener.

For the uninitiated, the CFL has 3 downs, 12 men aside and unlimited motion. Which means that at least three of the receivers get a head start on their routes before the ball is ever snapped. This requires the TV cameramen to get a wider shot of the field because you don’t know where these guys are going. It’s not a genuine ’22’ angle but you have a better view of what the receivers are doing and how the defense is lined up to defend them.

Why would the NFL or college football widen out the camera shot and show more of the field? Well it could be a source of revenue. Most of us, believe it or not, don’t care about the close up of Tom Brady or the coach on the sideline. We care about how the formation and who is on the field.

The down side is that you may reveal a bunch of empty seats at the stadium caused in no small part by a teams performance and high ticket prices. The upside is that nerdy football fans like myself would pay a fee to get just this angle.

ESPN Megacast during the 2014 National Championship game

The reason why a portion of us would pay for this is that we want to see for ourselves how the defense is lining up, who is coming in and out of the game and have a visual representation of where our team is on the field which let’s guess what our team should or should not do. We don’t want an analyst telling us after the fact or being burden by replays when a team goes without a huddle and we miss the beginning of the next play.

Eventually, having graphics overlay that one could turn on and off would be nice as well. I don’t mean your stats of total yards, etc but a marker on a player so that while viewing the ’22’ angle, a mark or flag can pop up over a player as they come on and off the field which is turned on and off automatically by when they cross the sidelines into the field of play.

While there is a lot of talk about how to improve the in-game experience for fans (none of this talk includes lowering ticket prices or beer mind you), very little is talked about improving the home viewing experience. These are two things could improve the viewing experience immediately. While the graphics overlay may take some doing, it’s hard to believe that having a camera zoom out would be much of a technological feat. Extra costs, I think I pointed out earlier that there are plenty of us who would give you money for this.

The Sunday – Legacy

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 6.11.2017


The Series

There were people out there who thought that a Pittsburgh v Nashville Stanley Cup Final would be a ratings downer. Wrong. Apparently ratings are up and pretty substantially.

The Final has not been without it’s controversy. The fact is that even if the Pittsburgh wins this series which is likely, will it tarnish Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin? Nashville’s P.K. Subban has clearly gotten under the skin of his Team Canada teammate and also that of Malkin.

Crosby is one of the few NHL players that transcends the sport. Is it good for hockey if he is doing what he did above? Yes Subban can get under your skin. That’s part of his game as one of the better defensemen in the league but Crosby and Malkin need to rise above. Not only for themselves but also for their team and for the league.

Bye Bye Big Game Bob

Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops stepped down abruptly this week at the ripe old age of 56. He over course will stay on at OU as ‘special assistant to the Athletic Director’ meaning he gets paid to go do some fund raising.

He has 190 wins (most in Oklahoma history) and one national title (2000). He was nicknamed ‘Big Game Bob’ for his ability to win big games early in his 18 year career as head coach at Oklahoma. It was a nickname that some mocked later on going 0-3 in National Title games after winning his first and only title. Oklahoma did have 4 Heisman Trophy winners during his time as head coach and nine former assistants have gone on to become head coaches.

 

What?

LeBron showing why he is The King.

This is just mean…

…and so is this.

Moment of the Week

Let’s face it, the only thing missing from this picture is Gisele.

 

Beat The Freeze

Not sure when or why the Atlanta Braves started this but it’s amazing….

The Sunday – Right Back At Ya

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 5.21.2017

Ouch

Some days you think, ‘man, that guy doesn’t deserve all that money to be a pitcher.’ Then other days you see the hazards of being on.

 

Well Done

And now it’s time to take a look at the best of MLS this past Saturday.

 

 

 

Goals

It turned out to be the game winner for the Nashville Predators. And all it took was a dive from a kid.

While this was impressive, it may not have been as impressive as the Tennessee Titans slamming tallboys during a previous game in Nashville.

 

Respect

Soundgarden and Audioslave frontman Chris Cornell died this past week from an apparent suicide. The Seattle Mariners honored the Seattle native during their game Thursday night with a moment of silence and a playlist featuring Cornell’s music.

 

The Sunday – Hops, Breaks and Trolls

Compile by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 4.30.2017

Baseball….It’s More Than You Think

Craziest Double Play Ever?

 

Ouch

Nashville predators winger Kevin Fiala went crashing into the boards in game 1 of their second round matchup against the St Louis Blues. Other than the broken left femur he is otherwise in good shape.

 

The Draft

Every spring NFL gather around the television to not watch an NFL game. It’s an event in and of itself with usually some memorable moments.

The Ultimate Trolling Moment

The WTF Moment

Neat

The Sunday – From Scary To Celebration

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 4.16.2017

The Scary

We live in a world with scary moments. Borussia Dortmund had an explosions near their bus that put one player in the hospital. It happened on the way to their Champions League match against Monaco on Tuesday.

In a moment that made SF Giants fans and the MLB brass gasp in horror was when Giants catcher Buster Posey took a 94 mph fastball to the head. He’s on the concussion DL and will hopefully be back behind the plate soon.

The Good

Despite bombs and getting hit in the head with a 90+ mph fastball, there is some good in the world and it was reflected in two different spring games on Saturday. First at Ohio State.

And then at Nebraska.

 

 

Why We Love Baseball

Cat Climbs A Wall.

Snarfing the Phanatics wheels.

 

WOW

 

Legend

UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson cemented his place in the record books as he tied Anderson Silva for the most title defenses in a row with 10. He is a bad man and the nicest guy you’ll ever want to meet.

 

Change In Reverse

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 3.4.2017

There has been an unspoken movement for years at all levels of sports. The movement is how to appeal to younger fans. They are trying everything from new technology to changing the rules of the game and yet they are no closer closer to solving their dilema. But they can in one swift move, lower ticket prices.

Taking less money seems like, on the surface at least, counter intuitive, but it isn’t. It may be the only way live sporting events can help reverse the tide of fans choosing to stay home and watch the game on TV vs shlepping their way to the stadium.

When you look at the costs of going to a live sporting event, it can get out of hand pretty quickly. From the tickets to the transportation to the food and drink. And for what? A chance to see your local team get faded by a superior team and then fight the traffic to get home?

If teams lower ticket prices they will increase demand even if it is artificial. The fact is that since 2008 people have become more aware of the financial relevance in the world. Spending hard earned money on something like a Tuesday night baseball game isn’t going to cut it. Now if the ticket price was a ‘reasonable’ level then that might be enough to sway the marginal fan. Once there, they will spend the money on food, booze, and merchandise. The teams will make up the revenue on the lower ticket price very, very quickly.

Look at it  this way, its about volume and not about financial level. Sports teams and organizations have this mentality that lowering the price for admission is somehow diminishing the product somehow. It’s not and never has been.

Lowering the cost of admission does one thing, puts butts in seats and to be completely honest, it’s a safe bet that the margins on alcohol sales are a heck of a lot better than that of a seat at the game.

Make no mistake, while all of this talk and execution of virtual reality, target digital marketing, etc is important it in the end is not going to turn the tide. Economics will turn the tide. Economics state that if demand falls then the price of the goood or service cannot sustain current levels. Let’s also not pretend that the owners of these teams and organizations are hurting for money either.

 

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.