Saturday, June 30, 2012

Quick Hits

Terrell Owens might not be back in the NFL, but that didn’t stop him from doing his best Brett Favre impression.

Welcome to the 21st century of sports-gimmicks....the Detroit Pistons are giving season ticket holders microchip-embedded team jackets.

Saudi Arabia makes a step forward in equal opportunity and will allow women to participate in the Olympics for the first time.

With a title that says it all, The BCS Funeral, Bryan Curtis of Grantland discusses the Bowl Championship Series’ impact on college football and says goodbye.

Does Bryce Harper have his own special-brew Canadian Lager? That’s a clown question, bro.

The NFL’s Jets and Giants have filed a lawsuit to block a project to develop the “American Dream” megamall in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The NFL Rookie Symposium was this week... And CTE was not a topic of discussion.

Because it is such a big occasion, here is Gene Wojciechowski’s take on the death of the BCS.

For those of you who don’t know what a puck slut is...one was spotted (well, she was more than spotted) at the NHL Draft.

Joel Zae, a BYU student, sculpted Lebron James out of balloons.

Minnesota Vikings’ Chris Kluwe is taking a stand publicly to support same-sex marriages and gay players in the NFL.

Wimbledon is happening RIGHT NOW, if you didn’t know. Grantland examines.

“Yoooouuuukkkk!” chants have moved to Chicago. Michael Schur of Grantland. Joe Posnanski also weighs in.

Friday, June 29, 2012

ESPN Bias


ESPN has a well-documented history of biased coverage, most notably on their signature show SportsCenter.  In 2012 thus far, ESPN’s bias has seemingly reared its ugly head more often than ever before.  The topic was discussed extensively in the sports business class that I took over spring term at Drexel with NBC Universal/Comcast Sports Group Senior Vice President of Sports Content, Mike Sheehey.  Whenever the topic of bias was brought up, Mr. Sheehey constantly harped on the “BooYah’s” and the “Back Back Back’s”.  Personally, I believe ESPN’s bias runs much deeper than that. 
We will get to you on Monday in Dollars & Sense, Mr. Berman.
I don’t want to get into nostalgia and dashed future expectations, but as an avid (maybe fanatic) sports fan I have literally watched this ESPN bias unfold before my eyes.  Growing up, I was that kid who would wake up and immediately watch SportsCenter.  I would watch rerun after rerun if I had the time.  The highlights and surface analysis never got old to me.  Maybe I was simply young and na├»ve. 

ESPN has changed since the good ole days of the 90s (yes 90s kids, I know you’re all with me on that one).  As I’ve gotten older and (hopefully) gotten wiser, I have begun to notice what ESPN truly is.   SportsCenter isn’t about sports highlights and it sure as hell isn’t about sports news.  SportsCenter epitomizes the entire ESPN business, a business that's out there solely to service their partners. 

The proof is in the numbers.  I want to thank Deadspin for doing the leg work here in their BristolMetrics section.  Let's crunch the numbers from last week.

Understandably, the NBA received the most coverage out of any league.  However, is over 100 minutes more coverage than the next closest league really justifiable?  Major League Baseball is in full swing of their season, yet the NBA deserves 100 more minutes (NBA - 178.75 minutes vs. MLB – 75.5 minutes).  I don’t see that as being impartial.  The bias runs deeper more when you check out the most covered teams by sport.  The Miami Heat got 143.25 minutes of coverage.  A whopping 132.75 minutes more than the next closest team, which not surprisingly was the New York Yankees. 
Winning a championship is great, but does it warrant that  much coverage.
ESPN’s bias is even more relevant when looking at the breakdown by player.  Six of the top fifteen players based on mentions were Miami Heat players.  Four more were Oklahoma City Thunder players, making ten of the top fifteen players mentioned coming from the NBA.  To make matters worse, LeBron James was mentioned 280 times in one week.  The next closest you ask?  Kevin Durant… with 113 mentions.  ESPN lovin’ LeBron James much?

It is one thing if ESPN simply loves the NBA more than every other league.  However, the reason is that they are solely out to protect their television interests.  Take a look at the week of June 8 to June14.  Both the NBA Finals were occurring and the NHL Stanley Cup Finals were wrapping up.  This is the perfect comparison because both leagues were in their championship finals and the NBA has a television deal with ESPN while the NHL does not.  Let’s rattle off the numbers.  Time by league: NBA – 190.5 minutes vs. NHL – 31 minutes.  Most covered teams by sport: Miami Heat (again) – 144 minutes vs. Los Angeles Kings – 29 minutes.  Top fifteen most mentioned athletes: NBA - 10 out of 15 vs. NHL – 1 out of 15.  Even if ESPN is biased, the numbers ain’t. 

The scary part about all of the clear numbers to support ESPN’s bias is their coverage (in this case lack thereof) of the Jerry Sandusky trial.  I don’t need to remind you of gory details and the magnitude of the case.  It does seem like ESPN needed to be reminded.  From June 8 to June 14, ESPN covered the Sandusky trial (the first week of the trial), for an unsatisfactory 45 seconds.  Yes, I am aware that I have typed seconds instead of minutes.  The NBA got 254 times more coverage on SportsCenter than the biggest tragedy to rock the sports world possibly ever. 
Biggest tragedy possibly in the history of sports, goes relatively uncovered by the Worldwide Leader.
Still believe that ESPN is a company of integrity?  Check this one out.  Last week, from June 15 to June 21 (the day before the Sandusky verdict was reached), the Sandusky trial was covered for 1 minute.  In comparison, the Roger Clemens trial received 6 minutes of coverage.  I know, I’ll give you a minute to let that all sink in… If you’ve been catching what I’ve been throwing throughout, then I think it goes without saying that ESPN has a television deal with the Big 10 conference.  Oh yea, and Penn State is one of the marquee teams in the conference.  As for Clemens, I think it is safe to assume that he has been irrelevant long enough for his trial not to impact ESPN’s television deal with MLB. 
Maybe I’m stuck in a childlike state of innocence that still believes the world is pure and good.  Maybe I’m some jaded sports fanatic that wants to bring back the good times.  Regardless of what I may be, you can’t argue with the numbers.  SportsCenter should be for sports highlights and sports news, not servicing the suits.  

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Ok... Leave Stern Alone

Last night when I turned on the NBA draft, I heard the fans in attendance 'boo' commissioner David Stern every time he came on stage. To be honest, I do not understand it. The only reasonable assumption I have for the fans displeasure with Stern are the conspiracy theories of a 'rigged' draft order and playoff officiating. To clarify, there are no conspiracies in the NBA that have any truth (please feel free to argue). In fact, Stern has done a good job since taking over the NBA in 1984.




Creation of the WNBA


In April 1996 David Stern oversaw the creation of the WNBA to start play in June of 1997. Although many complain about the WNBA today, this was a great move to help promote the NBA and reach out to a larger target market. In the first season of the WNBA they obtained broadcast partnerships with NBC, ESPN and Lifetime. In that initial season over the three networks the WNBA saw over 50 million viewers turn on the games. 2001 was a big year for the WNBA, they saw ESPN2 jump on board to televise games and for the first time ESPN televised the draft. The games in 2001 were televised to 60 million people in 167 countries in 23 different languages. The WNBA has seen a drastic rise in viewership since they first played a game. Helping to form the WNBA was a gr




Globalization


When Stern's run as commissioner of the NBA is ended he should be most remembered for his desire and success in expanding the NBA through America and globally. In America, it is key to reach into younger markets, this is exactly what Stern has done. In 2012, TNT saw its highest rated regular season in its 28 year relationship with the NBA. The audience of young adults between 18-34 increased 13 percent on TNT this year. The increase in young fans may be from successful social media campaigns. The NBA expansion throughout the globe is exemplified by the 2012 NBA finals. The NBA finals were viewed from 215 countries in 47 different languages. Of the 90 international outlets that air the NBA finals, 14 of them did it this year for the first time. The large scale globalization will continue next season. Stern has planned for the Mavericks and Celtics to play preseason games in early October throughout Europe. Some of the cities include Milan, Istanbul, and Berlin. 




Also notable was Stern's impact in helping to create the salary cap. This helped smaller market teams compete for championships. 


Final Thought


The way David Stern laughed off the criticism he received last night was fitting. I can only hope that once Stern leaves the NBA that fans will realize all that he has done for the league, I have. 






@dmrosen7




Statistics from WNBA.com, ESPN.com, Forbes.com

@DarrenRovell Moves To ESPN


Sweet derby hat, bro.
After six years with CNBC, sports business reporter and twitter extraordinaire Darren Rovell is heading back to Bristol (after originally making this switch in reverse in 2006).

Last week, news that Rovell was going back to ESPN emerged unexpectedly. It seemed to be mostly rumors, until Rovell later confirmed via his twitter account that he indeed signed a contract to join the Worldwide Leader In Sports. His contract is reported to guarantee him appearances on several ESPN shows, including SportsCenter, but it is unknown whether he will be hosting his own show (like he did at CNBC). Rovell will also be writing for ESPN.com and continuing his omnipresent tweeting (why does his twitter seem to work even when twitter is down!?…meanwhile I can’t sign on and get damn close to suffering a mental breakdown). 

In what was one of, if not the most, impressive “free agent” transactions among sports media (sorry Michelle Beadle, you'll be great on NBC though!), it’s odd that such a high-profile move was kept so secret. Then again, maybe it isn’t so surprising…because the best sports business reporter wasn’t reporting on the matter. To Rovell’s credit, he’s been among the top sports business reporters for several years. Not only via Sports Biz on CNBC, but via his infamous twitter account as well. Rovell has built an empire of followers, and seems to never miss a single bit of sports news (frankly, I don’t think the guy ever sleeps…seriously).

For ESPN and Darren Rovell, this is a great move. ESPN brings on one of the best in the business, and Darren Rovell gets to report on a variety of the most-viewed sports-news platforms. There is seemingly no match for Rovell’s innate ability to report on sports business, and there is no bigger sports platform that he could have joined. The move is simply a no-brainer. Well Done ESPN. Congratulations Darren.

Furthermore, Rovell and ABC News also struck up a new deal last week (I told you this guy never sleeps…I think he just plugs in at the same time he charges his phone). This contract is reported to include appearances on Nightline and Good Morning America...giving Rovell even more primetime slots to talk sports (and even more reasons to stay awake…dude has to have a V.I.P. Starbucks card).


For ABC News this deal makes a lot of sense. Like ESPN, ABC will get input from one of the best in the business and attract the correlating followers. For Rovell, it’s just another piece of his ever growing empire…a very lucrative empire.

So, I hope you love Darren Rovell! Because like him or not, you’re going to be seeing him an awful lot. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

After the Brow, Take a Bow

Welcome to the Route 30 Detour! US Route 30 intersects at I-95 in Philadelphia and goes from coast to coast, including passing through Pittsburgh and the home of Drexel University SMT student and blog contributor, Bryan Fyalkowski (@fyalkowski)...




During the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday, 30 teams will try to nab franchise players and role players, while trying to avoid becoming the 1984 Portland Trail Blazers. However, this year's draft class seems to be lacking a true second star behind Kentucky's Anthony Davis, so it might be pretty difficult for there to be a Sam Bowie-type situation that unfolds.

Am I better than MJ yet?

Although the NBA Draft is only two rounds, it might be the most important in all of the four major sports. In basketball, one player can affect a team more than in any other sport and a good draft pick can single-handedly make a team a contender. With the small rosters and low number of impact players, most teams only need a few additions to their team each season, and the draft goes a long way towards that.

See: LeBron James on the Cavs.

Most importantly, as you may expect, the first round is the most vital to acquiring an impact player in the NBA. In the 2011-12 season, 27 of the top 28 scorers (Monta Ellis), 12 of the top 13 assisters (Jose Calderon) and 16 of the 17 top rebounders (Paul Millsap) were first round picks.

Haters gonna hate.

In the NFL, the only position that is consistently chosen in the first round is the quarterback. Other than that position, a starter in any other position could come from basically any other round. Of course high-round picks are more likely to become stars, which is why people make a big deal about players like Marques Colston, Tom Brady and other successful late-round picks.

For the MLB draft, it will be a few years after until you find out whether or not it has been successful. Because of the difference in sport philosophy, and the multiple tiers of minor league teams, each franchise is usually very protective of its young talent. In the meantime of that talent developing, teams will sign middle-tier free agents to hold starting spots until the young guns show up.

Or just DFA him in five years...

The NHL is the league most similar to the NBA in drafting philosophy and worth. There are usually a few players in each draft that are impact players and can improve the team immediately, but not as many immediate role players that can go on the big league roster. Plus, in hockey it is hard to compete without a goaltender and they are found throughout the draft, not just the first round.

Will the talent in the 2012 NBA Draft be abundant like it was in 2003, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony? Or will it be more like the disappointing draft of 2001, with Kwame Brown, Tyson Chandler and Eddy Curry among the top four picks?

Here was the third overall pick in 2001. Close one.

Anthony Davis seems to be in a class of his own, a consensus top pick. But following the number one pick, there still seems to be a large second tier of great talent.

Thomas Robinson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are gritty players who work hard on the defensive end with offensive upside.

Bradley Beal, Dion Waiters and Jeremy Lamb are all underclassmen two-guards who have room to improve to round out their games.

Kendall Marshall and upstart Damian Lillard of Weber State are the top point guards available and Austin Rivers has the ability to play either guard spot.

Two big guys, Andre Drummond and Meyers Leonard are young and raw, but could be capable tall trees in the near future.

Harrison Barnes and Tyler Zeller are can't-miss picks, while Perry Jones III, John Henson and Terrence Jones have had inconsistency issues, but hold greater upside.

And we cannot forget about Jared Sullinger, who might fall due to health issues, but could become the steal of the draft if he lives up to his potential.

Also, look for key role players such as Draymond Green, Royce White, Jeff Taylor and Tyshawn Taylor to come off late in the first round to contenders. Meanwhile, Marquette stars Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder, among others, will serve as great value picks in the second round.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, in the second round we go!

Oh, and get used to hearing the word POTENTIAL, because draft "experts" love that word.

Enjoy your trip back to I-95 and I'll see you next week!

Monday, June 25, 2012

2012 NBA Champions- The Heat

On June 21st the Miami Heat won the 2012 NBA Championship, just in case you haven't tuned into ESPN in the last few days...




What Did It Cost Them?

It is no secret that the Miami Heat won the championship thanks to premier talent. Miami's "big three" got paid for it too. Chris Bosh and LeBron James made $16,022,500 in salary for the year and Dwyane Wade made $15,691,000. Although these salaries will not make anyone feel compelled to start a charity for the big three, they did give up significant money to make this team happen. Had LeBron James signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers or any other team without an established superstar two years ago, he would have set himself up to be the highest paid player in the league. James potentially could have made up to $10 million more this past season had he chose to. LeBron realized that his chances of winning an NBA championship would drastically increase by joining the Heat. No one can argue that giving up millions of dollars for an NBA championship proves that LeBron truly cares about winning. The source of LeBron's desire for winning is up for debate, it could come from competitive spirit, his lasting legacy, or the need to "shut the haters up." Although we may never find out where the desire comes from, we do know now that LeBron has the monkey off his back, yet he still has a lot to live up to thanks to the big three's coming out party

Bright Future?

Now that the big three have won a championship, many will question what the potential for this team is in future years. The big three are still rather youthful with a 28 year old Chris Bosh, a 27 year old LeBron James and a 30 year old Dwyane Wade. There are no signs of the big three breaking up anytime soon. Another contributing factors to the championship this year was the role players stepping up. In game four of the NBA finals, Mario Chalmers stepped up with a big 25 point performance. In the closing game five, Mike Miller scored 23 points that helped the Heat win their first championship in the "big three era." With rumors of the Heat looking to acquire a veteran point guard and Miller's injuries making his playing future uncertain, the team could have a different look when it comes to role players. Even with a few potential changes, the big three will keep the Heat in prime position to win it all again next year. Early odds for the 2013 NBA championship puts the Miami Heat as favorites at 11/4 odds

Final Thought

When LeBron James made his decision to "take his talents to South Beach" he was ridiculed greatly. He did not help his image when he failed to step up in the 2011 NBA Finals. After a dominating performance in the 2012 NBA Finals, James may have helped to better his image among fans league-wide. At the end of the day though, it really does not matter what anyone thinks about LeBron James or the Miami Heat. The Heat are 2012 NBA Champions, and fans all around the NBA can only hope for their team to have a parade. (Check out the right hand side of the video at the 18 second mark)







Statistics from espn.com, cbssports.com

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dollars & Sense - PED Trials



Today we are not putting the alleged users of performance enhancing drugs on trial.  We are putting the government itself, the federal prosecutors of these alleged monsters, on trial.  Yes, the same prosecutors that attempted to throw Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, and Roger Clemens in prison.  Between the three men there were three major investigations.  There were also three trials between the three, one for Bonds and two for Clemens (first ended in a mistrial). 

Experts estimate that the Barry Bonds investigation and trial totaled somewhere between $55 and $75 million.  Excuse me, how much?  Yes, upwards of $75 million.  Bonds stood trial for perjury and obstruction of justice.  After years of investigation and the long awaited trial, Bonds walked away guilty on only one count of obstruction of justice.  Perjury was the main charge that the prosecution was seeking and he walked away with a divided decision and no conviction on it. 
Lance Armstrong was under federal investigation for years for his alleged drug use.  Armstrong represents an interesting case in terms of the court of public opinion.  We all know about his fight with cancer, perhaps the most famous single testicle in the world, and the 7 Tour de France victories.  His campaigns, such as “Livestrong”, to raise money for cancer research are among the most successful in history.  Because of his past and his charitable work, the public seems to turn a blind eye to his alleged doping.   The federal investigation ended up getting dropped without ever getting to the trial stage.
Roger Clemens, similar to Barry Bonds, was on trial for perjury.  In the Bonds case, his personal trainer, Greg Anderson, refused to talk.  In the Clemens case, his former trainer Brian McNamee was the man against him from the beginning.  Sounds like a slam dunk case and conviction for the prosecution if you ask me.  The first time Clemens went to trial, a mistrial was quickly ruled after the prosecution introduced unpermitted evidence.  It was a stupid mistake that should have signaled how poorly the prosecution’s case was put together.  Nevertheless, the prosecution got another chance and last week Clemens was ruled not guilty on all charges. 
Jeff Novitzky was the federal investigator behind the cases on Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong.  With the lack of convictions against the two men, could it have been a personal vendetta of Novitzky’s against these guys that led to sloppy cases?  The public knows they did it!  They know they did it!  How could the prosecution not convince the 12 jurors in the Bonds case?  How could there not be enough evidence against Armstrong?

The investigation against Lance Armstrong always interested me because I always wondered why the feds were so interested in it.  Before I tell you my stance, think about this: What really was the point of investigating and possibly convicting Lance Armstrong?  He donned the logo of the struggling United States Postal Service for years during his Tour de France runs, which could have further hurt the federally run business.  Most importantly, he was the face of cancer research charity efforts.  Wouldn’t a federal conviction hurt the massive fundraising dollars pouring in because of him?  One would have to think so. 

The Roger Clemens trial had some promise at the start.  Clemens’s personal trainer Brian McNamee was not only testifying against Clemens, but there was supposedly physical evidence as well.  The prosecution was so prepared on this one that they let McNamee’s estranged wife steal away every ounce of credibility that McNamee had in the case.  If that isn’t enough for you they let the defense make McNamee look like babbling idiot during cross examination.  They even made Rusty Hardin, the personal injury lawyer, look like Johnny Cochran!  In my best Seth Meyers voice, “Really?”


Court of Public Opinion– Dopes vs. Dopers

The problem with these trials is that people usually internalize them as trials of whether or not the athlete used performance enhancing drugs which that they are not.  They are cases looking to find if these athletes lied under oath, which apparently they did not.  The court of public opinion doesn’t need a federal conviction to prove what they already know.  In the court of public opinion, these guys are all guilty.

Armstrong competed in one of the dirtiest sports in the world when it comes to drug use.  It’s to the point that the goal of a Tour de France cyclist may or may not be to try to come in second place because within a year or two the winner is sure to be stripped of the title and second place will then be crowned champion.  In a sport where many of the top athletes have a history with using, it is hard to believe that Armstrong was just that much better than all of them.  The court of public opinion rules guilty of being a doper.

Bonds was an above average player before he was even accused of using performance enhancers, which makes his use very perplexing.  However, when you look at the circumstances under the era he played in (the “Steroid Era” for those of you who may be lost) and the sheer mass that he gained over the years, it is tough to say that he did it all naturally.  The alleged use of the now infamous cream called "the clear" was most likely a large factor in extending Bonds’s career to a point that he was able to break the most famed record in all of baseball, Hank Aaron’s home run record.  I say we take away his home run record, give it back to the rightful owner, and in an act of gratitude and graciousness trademark the phrase “I didn’t knowingly use steroids” under his name.  Just kidding.  But seriously, the court of public opinion knowingly rules guilty of being a doper.

Clemens’s situation is very similar to Bonds’s.  Clemens just happened to play in the steroid era.  Clemens just happened to get bigger as his career went on.  Clemens just happened to stay great suspiciously past the typical prime age of a major league pitcher.  There was testimony from his former trainer and physical evidence to boot.  The evidence may not fly in a formal court setting, but in the court of public opinion it works perfectly fine.  Just because the jury said not guilty on counts of perjury doesn’t mean that he isn’t guilty of using.  Clemens seems to think that it does, but that may be a product of the delusional world he has been living in.  The court of public opinion rules guilty of being a doper. 

Jeff Novitzky seemed to be under the impression that he had the end-all-be-all of cases when he was handed both Bonds and Armstrong.  The court of public opinion was 100% against Bonds mostly because of his arrogance and big head (literally and figuratively).  Armstrong was a bit tougher simply because some people in the public had a tough time seeing past the vast charity work that he had done.  Nonetheless, the evidence is still against Armstrong.  Neither case resulted in the goal conviction.  Was the investigative work poorly done?  Did a poor investigation lead to sloppy cases?  If so, the court of public opinion rules Novitzky guilty of being a dope.

The Dollars and Sense

These federal investigations into athletes and their drug use are downright expensive.  As mentioned earlier, the investigation and trial against Bonds cost an estimated $55 to $75 million dollars.  It is safe to assume that the investigations against Armstrong and Clemens were around the same figures.  If so, the most conservative estimate of the total cost of the three investigations is $165 million! All for one conviction on a single obstruction of justice charge against Bonds that carries very little consequence.  Next time you wonder where your federal tax dollars are going, just picture a toilet because federal cases against athletes’ drug use are only good for flushing money away. 
If there is one good thing to come of these trials, it has to be that we’ve learned a lesson to never try this again.  In the times of such economic crisis, there is no room to be wasting precious cash money.  These trials are a waste of money, a waste of man power, and a waste of time.  There are bigger problems that the federal government has to deal with first, so hopefully the Clemens trial was the last. 

No matter how hard I try, these dollars just don’t make sense.  Case Closed.



Let's Make A Change

because saying eighty-seven years just isn't as fun
A decade ago, sports news did not require us to have a Ph. D, a J.D., a Masters, or a field-experts' summarization to comprehend some of the diction media outlets use in reporting as often as we do now (or maybe just the need to search a term on Google).

A fascination developed within sports reporting sometime in the last 10-15 years that induced a movement towards the desire to be as precise and as well informed as one possibly could. A trend towards exactness, towards the use of technical, legal, scientific, and medical terminology ensued (this is why Eli Manning had a Lisfranc injury, not a “fracture in his foot”…and why Peyton Manning “underwent a neck-fusion procedure”, instead of simply “had surgery on his neck”)

Most of the explanation for this trend is a testament to the knowledge and intellect that today’s fans and sport industry professionals possess, which is wonderful (I appreciate and applaud you my fellow nerds!). People have become ever more educated in regards to sport (not just the product on the field), thus we wish to hear the exact details and specific terminology. We’ve all become more cognizant of the complexities of sport and all its different facets. It’s quite pleasing actually (well done us!), and this growth of understanding should only continue. Sports became more than simple entertainment, it is big business. Meaning (to me at least), it has become more interesting to follow in many more ways (this is why we could write here at I-95 SportsBiz for days upon days about sports and not once report scores, play-by-play, injury reports, division standings, etc).

On the other hand, some of the reason for this trend is due to negligent and inappropriate decision-making of the young-to-middle-to-senior-aged adults that staff our professional sports leagues. In these instances, we’ve all developed some level of acquaintance with legalese because we are forced to, because to many athletes seem to be incapable of staying out trouble, because sport has developed into big business that requires negotiations and contracts (the shorthand symbol for contract is “K”…just so we stay familiar with the legalese, of course). Now, we’re all guilty of mistakes, I know…in some cases, I stupidly know. And negotiations and contracts are exactly that…that’s just big business. But the positive trend towards a better understanding and knowledge of sport is simply not mirrored by the trend towards exercising better judgment.

Every year, every season, there are more cases of violations, failed tests, suspensions, arrests, fines, you name it…all occurring repeatedly as if we’ve learned nothing from such mistakes. Stories of DUI’s, drug charges, bar fights, assaults, lawsuits, all flood the sports news sections of every media platform. This type of garbage explodes on the likes of Twitter and overshadows other sports stories on blogs, in newspapers, on SportsCenter… Such instances ruin sports and occur all to often. These type of actions diminish the faith people have in sports and undermine the integrity of sports increasingly more with each occurrence. It’s a damn shame and I hate it.

Is it too much to hold ourselves accountable for our own actions? Does it not make sense to hold ourselves accountable for doing our best to make the right choices? When we can rid the leagues of such problems in this manner, then we truly fix the issues. Because, if there’s a necessity for tactics like a “safe-ride program”, even though this might help, it will still make sports feel like a little bit of a joke. I mean, are we really a group of individuals that need to have a sober driver at our beckoning call free-of-charge so that we can make the choice to not operate a vehicle while intoxicated? Come on…No, we’re not. We can do that on our own.

So let’s make some changes to halt the surge of ridiculousness in today’s sports. Let’s make sure that we’re knowledgeable in the studies and terminology of business, marketing, law, mathematics, science and medicine as they pertain to sports because we have a desire to understand its complexities and uniqueness...not because we are trying to following along with the latest scandal.

Sports offer many benefits that range from teaching our youth to opportunities for a free education to providing fertile grounds for medical advances. I’d like to see such things continue, the majority of us do, but a small number can drag sports down.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Quick Hits

Each and every Saturday morning! Must reads and interesting tidbits that you might’ve missed this week!

Mark Cuban says what many of us have always wanted to say to Skip Bayless’s face.

Jerry Sandusky is found guilty on 45 out of 48 charges against him. He faces 442 years in prison.

Eagles WR Mardy Gilyard has overcome great odds in his journey to the NFL, including a six month period in which he was homeless.

San Francisco 49ers fans purchasing seat licenses for the new Santa Clara Stadium are either making a great investment or a terrible one.

Connie Carberg, the first female scout in NFL history (Jets, 1976), has launched a new website “to create and share women-focused football content.”

The LA Kings are looking for the game six-ending puck and they think they know who took it...if you have any additional information, they’re asking that you send it their way!

Roger Clemens walks away legally not guilty, but the truth is out there.

Could social media and the instantaneous information of today stopped Sandusky before lives were ruined? The New Yorker weighs in.

Dan Wetzel continues his unparalleled coverage of the Sandusky trial.

Not content with small-school football offers, Holley Mangold (sister of Jets’ center Nick Mangold) opted for weightlifting...and now she’s participating in the Olympics.

James Varney of the Times-Picayune details the ongoings at the NFLs headquarters this week on the Saints bounty appeals.

“Frog juice” is the latest performance-enhancing drug being used in sports...horse racing.

Rick Reilly drops the legalese in a passionate post for ESPN regarding Jerry Sandusky, labeling him as the indecent coward that he is.

Steve Gleason, former Saints player and current ALS fighter, sends an inspirational message to the New Orleans Times-Picayune employees who are facing staff reductions this fall.

The Eagles plan a major refurbishment plan for the Linc.