Daily Archives: January 29, 2019

Roll ‘dem electronic bones.

This New York Times piece on sports betting and how it will affect viewing has an air of inevitability about it, for one obvious reason:  there’s too much money at stake.

Not just on the obvious level of what states and casinos can pull…

“I was talking to some economic development people from Alabama,” says Jack Evans, a District of Columbia council member who introduced a sports gambling bill there that is expected to become law in March. “They were asking how they could raise money. I told them: ‘Put in sports gambling and you can pay off all your debts on the Alabama-Auburn football game alone. One game, Alabama and Auburn. You’d make billions.’ ”

… but also in how creative broadcasters could get in monetizing the product.  Here’s one example.

But gambling’s greatest impact, at least proportionally, could come in the new professional leagues it spawns and the moribund ones it helps to resurrect. The Arena Football League once included 19 teams spread across the continent; last year there were four. Leonsis owns the Washington and Baltimore franchises, which makes him not only the most powerful owner in the league but the only person preventing its demise. He has positioned it as an ideal entertainment vehicle for the next generation. That includes gambling, of course. Arena Football averages a touchdown every six plays, Leonsis notes, as well as 98 points a game. “Lots of data generated,” he says — and a multitude of possible bets.

Greater than $30 billion has been bet legally on football since 1992, according to the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. That’s about 50 percent more than on basketball, and double the amount bet on baseball. Leonsis wants to expand the A.F.L. to six franchises, and eventually to 12. But his vision mandates a network partner that will market the game as the anti-N.F.L.: informal, expressive and gambling-friendly. It doesn’t matter that the league, as currently constituted, has almost no history, he says. Your favorite team will be the one you have money on at the moment.

On a private flight to New York last fall, Leonsis ran through a pitch he planned to show Sean McManus, who runs the sports department at CBS. He envisioned fast-paced telecasts of A.F.L. games on an affiliated sports channel. But as the plane landed in Teterboro, N.J., he confided that he doesn’t believe CBS will end up investing. Its executives are leery of jeopardizing their relationship with the N.F.L., he said, and that’s probably wise. The N.F.L. most likely wouldn’t look kindly on one of its primary partners’ televising another football league’s games. As usual, though, Leonsis was looking further ahead.

“If the N.F.L. is smart, they should want CBS to do this,” he said. “See how far they can take it. Let the A.F.L. be the canary in the coal mine. See what works and what doesn’t work, and then they can pull back from there on their own telecasts.”

Umm… (and I know I’m getting ahead of myself here) doesn’t CBS hold the broadcast rights to SEC football?

It’s coming.  Okay, maybe not in that precise format.  But it’s coming.  (And somebody will sell it as being good for the kids.)  It’s coming because we want it.

5 Comments

Filed under Bet On It, College Football

Gurley, man.

Hines Ward has been my favorite Dawg, but I’ve got to admit Todd Gurley’s giving him a run for the money.

You could tell he cared about UGA when he played and he still does.  The epitome of a damned good Dawg.

***************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Also, this.

19 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

My favorite year

Like Bill Connelly, I am a firm believer that college football’s 2007 season is the greatest of my lifetime.  So, enjoy his reboot, in words and pictures.

It was an amazing year from the get go, starting with Appy State’s immortal upset of Michigan.  LSU’s season was full of plot twists from start to finish.  Then, there was West Virginia simply needing to get by “the s*****est f***ing team in the f***ing world” and they were in.  But they di’int.

Also, Darren McFadden.

This, too.

October 27: No. 20 Georgia 42, No. 9 Florida 30

And just like that, Georgia became the best team in the country (a few weeks too late for it to matter).

That early season loss to South Carolina was a killer.

Really, there were a number of teams that could have staked a claim to being the best after the regular season.  It’s the one time an eight-team playoff would have been a worthy experience.

What a season.

41 Comments

Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Show them the money.

Another recruiting pitch for Kirby:

Blue-chip football prospects weigh a variety of factors when choosing where to spend their college careers.

The opportunity to win championships. Distance from home. Academic degree programs. Family ties. Positional needs. All of these are common considerations for the athletes and points of emphasis for the coaches vying for their services.

However, one factor may stand out above all the rest – and it helps explain how Alabama seems to maintain its spot atop the recruiting rankings on a near-annual basis.

Almost to a man, football prospects want to someday cash NFL paychecks…

In one very important way, Georgia’s sales pitch to the absolute top talent can be more compelling than anybody’s – even Alabama’s. No school is better represented among the NFL’s highest earners than UGA, with the Bulldogs producing four of the league’s top 50 salaries in 2018: No. 2 Matthew Stafford (his $26.5 million payday trails only that of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s $37 million among the biggest cap hits this season); No. 15 Justin Houston, the highest-paid non-quarterback on the list ($20.6 million); No. 33 Geno Atkins ($15.1 million); and No. 45 A.J. Green ($13.75 million).

He just needs to play that back to back with Belichick’s praise.  Five minutes tops and he’s on to the next five-star.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, The NFL Is Your Friend.

Today, in Stacey Osburn has no comment.

Holy mother of crap, this ain’t good.

More than 200 concussion lawsuits are in the process of being filed against the NCAA, a plaintiff’s lawyer told Law360.

Several suits were filed in the Southern District of Indiana — which houses NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis — while more than 200 will eventually be filed, targeting schools up and down the NCAA’s membership, according to plaintiff attorney Jeff Raizner.

The suits will allege that the NCAA and its member schools were aware of the long-term damage concussive and sub-concussive hits native to the game of football would inflict upon players but did not warn players of such dangers.

More than 200.  There aren’t enough targeting penalties in the world to make up for that, I’m afraid.

(As a side thought, I wonder if Georgia will be a targeted school.)

53 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The Body Is A Temple, The NCAA

Today, in overreactions

WARNING:  Hyperventilation alert!

A kid jumps ship because the coach he signed for skips for a better job in the NFL after less than a month in LA (happens all the time, right?) and we’re ready to toss out a setup that seems to suit hundreds of recruits who signed last month without a hitch?  Sure, Barrett, whatevs.

The correct takeaway from the McCoy situation is that the NLI could stand amending to reflect a change in coaching status between signing day and the start of spring practice.  Or simply that a kid with leverage like McCoy chooses to follow in Roquan Smith’s footsteps and doesn’t sign one in the first place.

21 Comments

Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting

Bigger fish to fry

Contract provisions good for a chuckle“Winning a national championship was worth $250,000 in [Paul] Johnson’s contract.”

Yeah, I’m sure the thought of paying that led to many a sleepless night for a Tech AD.

14 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, It's Just Bidness