Posts from Sports

Fun Friday: Cubs Fever

My friend Dave sent me this hat a few days ago:


I hope to be wearing it for the next week and a half.

The Cubs have not won the World Series in 108 years.

Unless you are a Dodgers or Indians fan, I think you have to get on this bandwagon.

Do you all agree?


All I have to say this morning is go Cubs.

Man I loved how they came back last night.

Well done.

I’m rooting for the Cubs to go all the way this year.

Fun Friday: October Baseball

I wrote in early September that I thought the Mets could make it into October. Well I was sort of right. The Mets were a shambles for most of the year but in September they called up their Triple A Las Vegas team and those scrappy kids got them into the wild card game in which our last standing young arm, Thor, went head to head with arguably the best post season pitcher in the game right now and held his own for seven innings. We all know that the Mets’ season ended with a three run homer in the top of the ninth. I am thankful to the Mets for giving us more of a season than we thought was possible at the all star break:

But now that the Mets are out, I have thrown myself 100% behind the Cubs. As I explained on Twitter yesterday, I can relate to them:

So as we do on Fun Friday, let’s get into the comments and talk. Who are you rooting for in the postseason?

Video Of The Week: Allen Iverson’s Hall Of Fame Speech

My two favorite basketball players, Patrick Ewing and Allen Iverson, are both products of John Thompson Jr’s Georgetown program of the 80s and 90s. Both went on to have hall of fame careers in the NBA and both were franchise players on teams that got close but never won an NBA championship. The thing Patrick and Allen have, more than anything else, is heart.

And Allen’s heart is on display in this rambling 30min acceptance speech he gave at the Basketball Hall Of Fame yesterday.

It’s about 25mins of him thanking people (his family, the people who shaped him as a child, his friends, his coaches, his teammates, his competitors, etc) and about 5mins of speech making. But in all of that are a few gems.

  • the feeling of stepping on the court against Michael Jordan for the first time
  • his relationship with the Philly fans
  • his relationship with the media
  • John Thompson Jr’s decision to recruit him to Georgetown and “save his life”
  • how he learned the crossover

Allen is far from perfect, as a player and as a person (who is?), but what you see in this speech is how he managed to hold it all together throughout a chaotic career and life. His reputation is now “solidified” as he says at the end of the speech. I am very happy for AI.

Let’s Go Mets

Last year the Mets woke up on the last night of July. I called it here on AVC. They went all the way to the Series, losing badly to the Royals.

This year it took longer, but anyone who follows baseball knows that the Mets are the hottest team in baseball right now. They’ve won eight of their last ten and something like fourteen of their past eighteen games.

I started watching closely a few weeks ago when they started to put back to back wins together. And I’ve tried to watch as many games as I can since then.

They took a lot of hits in the first half of the season, most notably the loss of their ace Matt Harvey, but they have hung in there. If Cespedes does what he did last year and Curtis stays hot after a lousy year at the plate, then we’ve got a chance to make the playoffs and then anything can happen.

The Cubs and Nationals look like the better NL teams this year but the if the Mets stay hot we could be playing baseball in October in NYC. And although I’m a Yankee hater, they also might pull off a late charge. There is nothing quite like the cool fall nights in NYC with postseason baseball in the air.

Streaming, Ads, and Subscriptions

Yesterday’s post on streaming the Olympics vs watching them on TV produced some great comments. 

A lot of them were about the crappy video quality and heavy ad load on the stream. I am not sure what to take from that but it is clear that NBC has not yet made their streaming experience as high of a priority in terms of user experience as they could and should.

But the more interesting conversation to me was about the business model for streaming the Olympics on phones, tablets, and smart TVs. A number of readers pointed out that the streams use the same business model (advertising) as broadcast TV and so the ad loads will be the same and just as annoying.

But I think the broadcasters like NBC have an opportunity to take a page out of the playbook of the streaming music companies like Spotify and SoundCloud and offer both free ad supported streams and subscription streams that are ad free and offer offline sync (record and playback later).

Would you pay for a $19.99 in-app upgrade on your NBC Sports app to remove ads and get offline sync for the entire 17 days of the Summer Olympics? I know I would but I also know that I am less price conscious than most AVC readers. Please weigh in on that in the comments.

The broadcast television companies have been advertising supported businesses for the most part. In recent years they have been able to get retransmission fees and start getting paid for their programming from the cable operators but I think the subscription opportunity in the streaming world is significant for them, particularly when it comes to big events like the Olympics.

I looked around for a subscription based app for NBC Sports and found something called NBC Sports Gold but that looks like an experiment that doesn’t support the main events like the Olympics. I hope we will see the main events make it onto something like that in the coming years. I think it would be great for viewers and for the broadcasters as well.

Olympics: Streaming vs TV

My friend Patrick told me yesterday that I should check out Team Handball. He said its a lot of fun to watch. I immediately thought “I should find out when they are streaming a Team Handball match.”

My daughter posted on social media that she can’t deal with the non stop advertising that NBC is running on their main channel. I can’t either.

The combination of being able to watch when you want and how you want with the incredibly annoying experience of the main NBC broadcast tells me that this may be the Olympics that streaming starts to beat TV.

So when I saw this Variety headline this morning, NBC Universal’s Olympic Upset: Streaming Trumps TV, I clicked on it and read it.

There isn’t enough data in that article to conclude that streaming has, in fact, passed TV as the dominant way we watch the Olympics.

But I can tell you that the streaming experience definitively has.

Fun Friday: What’s Your Favorite Summer Olympic Sport?

It’s fun friday. Time for more talking and less reading.

The opening ceremony is tonight. We have a fortnight (ish) of sport to watch. This is one of the very few gatherings of the entire world in one place. It’s a celebration of what brings us together. The opening ceremony is such a beautiful thing. The flags, the garb, the pomp and ceremony. The torch. I have to say that I love the Olympics, warts and all.

So for fun today, let’s discuss what our favorite sports are to watch at the summer olympics.

For me, it is swimming. I particularly love the relays.

How about you?

Fighting The Fight

I watched the second half of the Warriors Cavs game with my son Josh last night.

I woke up thinking about this play:

The Cavs have an uphill battle. The Warriors sure feel like a dynasty right now. But LeBron and his teammates, notably Kyrie and JR, showed up last night and put up a fight. That was missing in the first two games in Oakland.

There is something about this photo and that play. It shows that LeBron is not going to take this sitting down. He’s is fighting the fight. I said I thought the Cavs would defend home court throughout this series. They sure did that last night.

Fun Friday: NBA Finals

It’s easy to say this series is going to be a blowout after watching last night’s game.

But I’m not ready to do that.

I think the Cavs will defend their home court and this will go seven games.

What do all of you think?