What They Should Do Now

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 7.26.2017

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a lack of the written word on FoxSports.com recently. As you know Fox Sports has to go all in on video on their website. Vice recently followed suit this past week. And of course Sports Illustrated and ESPN have laid off a large portion of their writers over the not to distant past. Whether you agree or disagree with the decisions, direction of the sites, etc, one things is certain, there are a lot of quality sports writers out there wondering what to do next. Well, I have an idea.

There are a lot of reasons why a company lays off it’s employees. A lot of times the employees did nothing wrong, it’s strictly a numbers game and that includes what they are paying said employee in salary and of course the ever rising cost of health insurance.

The main reason for the layoffs is that the media landscape continues to shift beneath the feet of journalists, commentators, execs, teams, conferences, and fans. So it’s time to start executing a different plan instead of trying to jump from one media ship to the next.

What is this new plan? For arguments sake I am going to focus on college football. Several top notch college football reporters were laid off recently including ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and Fox Sports Stewart Mandel. Both have over 100k twitter followers, have great contacts in the sport, written books and are some of the go to people when it comes to breaking news and analysis in the sport. People like this need to come together and form their own sports centric wire service.

Mandel recently became the Editor-In-Chief of College Football for TheAtheletic.com which is a new website based on a yearly subscription model. McMurphy and others should take a similar approach except in their case build a web site that acts, in part, as a college football wire service. Be those boots on the ground reporter that takes advantage of all their contacts and years of experience. They can then sell these to outlets that have cut back that kind of reporting and maybe even have pieces commissioned by these former employers. Outlets like ESPN, Bleacher Report, and even places like Yahoo Sports, the New York Times and others.

This is not game recaps but something deeper. An angle on a player, coach, situation, etc. Because in the not too distant future, there should be an artificial intelligence able to create game recaps for a reasonable price that they can capitalize on.

Let’s be clear, this is a hard core hustle move but it’s a hustle that they can do. It’s a process that capitalizes on their years of experience, contacts and access that they have spent a career building. I understand that this is not comforting news to the older, married, lifers of the industry. But it’s reality. They have the toolset but that toolset is not desired by their former employers. Of so those employers think.

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Losing Record? Come On Down!

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


There are 40 bowl games not including the National Championship game. That means 80 out of the 128 FBS schools will go to a bowl game. Problem is, there may not be enough teams with a 500 or above record to go. That means that teams with losing records will go to a bowl games this year.

FootballBowl games are important and some are even coveted. The reasons why are the extra practice time with your team and the the check the school can receive. Now schools will actually lose money on some of the smaller bowl games but if you can make it to one of the big ones (think New Years 6 games) then the payout to the school can go into the eight figures.

So for a hard luck 5-7 Nebraska team, actually being allowed into a bowl games is a huge benefit. It’s a new coaching staff still implementing their way of doing things. To have an extra 10-12 practices, film meetings and a game is invaluable.

Another school with a 5-7 record, Missouri, has elected to not go to a bowl game even if asked. They are switching coaches and have other issues they need to solve.

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy wrote up an excellent article last weekend explain how the NCAA will decide which 5-7 teams go to fill those empty bowl slots.

We do still find it a bit odd that teams with losing records are now ‘bowl eligible’. What message does that send to the players and fans? Maybe there shouldn’t be so many bowl games to begin with?