Daily Archives: June 12, 2019

“lol, holy crap, south carolina”

18th best team in the country struggling to reach bowl eligibility?  So sayeth Bill Connelly.

Boom’s gotta be hoping (praying?) for a favorable uptick in turnover margin this season.

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10 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Stats Geek!

Wide open

This is what passes for competitive balance these days.

And that’s with a bigger playoff field now.  Gosh, one can only imagine what’ll happen if they start paying players.

21 Comments

Filed under College Football

Your 6.12.19 Playpen

Thought this would be a fun exercise.

Here are mine, with bonus commentary.

  1. The Beatles, A Hard Days Night.  The record and movie that launched thousands of bands.  Seriously, if you weren’t around when it shipped, it’s hard to understand the impact of this album at the time.  It was the first Beatles album comprised of entirely original material.  It’s also still the most youthfully exuberant album I’ve ever listened to.  Even the sad songs are full of energy.
  2. Big Star, Radio City.  I’ve written about this record before.  Really hit me emotionally as an eighteen-year old and still does.  These guys were the victims of some of the worst promotional/distribution work of all time.  I didn’t learn of the record until I read a Steve Simels’ review shortly after its release and by the time I went in search of it, it had already been relegated to cut-out bins — assuming you could even find it.
  3. Elvis Costello, This Year’s Model.  This came out back in the day when I ordered a bunch of music imported from England.  I liked Costello’s first album, so I managed to get a hold of TYM before I read any reviews.  I don’t know if I’ve ever been more surprised by a record when I dropped the needle.  Fierce, brilliant word play and musicianship to match.
  4. The Rolling Stones, Brussels Affair.  The Stones at the height of their considerable powers.  Mick Taylor rules!  (But you knew that.)  I’m pleased to say that I actually managed to tape the original, King Biscuit version when it aired in 1974, but the official 2011 release is much better sounding.
  5. Derek and the Dominos, Layla.  All I can say is that it’s a real shame Eric Clapton didn’t pine after a few other men’s wives.  He was never better than this.

Go ahead, take a shot in the comments.

164 Comments

Filed under GTP Stuff

What “the premium experience” hath wrought

I’ve posted about Florida’s plans to shrink seating capacity and Alabama’s similar plans.  These aren’t isolated incidents.  They’re part of a larger trend, the general gentrification of live sports.

As sports have become more about efficiently maximizing profit in every way necessary both on and off the field, the idea of an “exclusive” fan experience has become central to every team’s business plan … one that’s more important than selling tickets. After all, in a world where most teams are making most of their money off television and licensing deals, the money you get from those diehards in the nosebleed seats is but a mere drop in the bucket, not worth much investment in the first place. (As anyone who has sat in the upper tier of any stadium in the past few years and been unable to get a beer without missing two full innings can attest.) Those Fan Experience surveys that rate stadiums on how well they cater to the average fan are missing the point: Nobody cares about the average fan. Industry estimates show that 70 to 80 percent of ticket revenue comes from the first 15 to 20 rows, and the industry trend is to limit capacity in order to maximize the money from the premium spots.The rich dudes (and they’re almost always dudes, of course) down low are where the real money is made.

The new Los Angeles football stadium is selling its most exclusive stadium-seat licenses for $100,000 a seat, which gives you access to your own clubhouse that no one else in the stadium can even see inside. The University of Georgia just announced that it will sell alcohol at its football games … but only to fans who give the university $25,000. (Even with that, you can only drink the booze in a specific section that does not have views of the field.) Yankee Stadium was constructed with a concrete moat built in to separate the fat cats from the outer-borough riffraff; the only way to get from the upper deck to those lower-level seats is to jump. The industry term is “social gathering space.” Perhaps inevitably, one team in Australia actually offers the ability to look into a team’s locker room pregame. As Ed Zitron, who sat in the Warriors’ “Mezzanine Club” for Game Four of the finals, a place that costs $22,000 a year just to enter, put it in Deadspin: “It was a sterile, gated-community way to watch a game — a way to be a ‘real fan’ without having to sit next to the proles. It was, to be fair, also a notably nice, relaxed experience; prime rib is delicious. But it was unmistakably a corporate setting. These seats cost about the same as those in the Sideline Club, which made buying these instead akin to saying that you want to be at the NBA Finals, and to say that you were there, without any of the troublesome basketball shit.”

This is inevitably what comes of following the money.  Or, as Leitch puts it,

This is to say, sports stadiums are beginning to look like the rest of American culture: The rich get all the good stuff, and the rest of us get to pay to watch them enjoy it.

Because that’s where the money is.  At some point — and for some, that realization has come faster than for others — the game plan isn’t going to be focusing on finding the next generation of fans to replace the old guard seat for seat as they fade away over time.  It’s going to be to find the sweet spot that maximizes revenues.  If that means shrinking seating capacity by a quarter or more, so be it, as long as it can be more than made up for by (1) raising ticket prices due to a manufactured supply crunch; (2) increasing premium seating; and (3) continuing to ratchet up broadcast revenues.

The math will work as long as we continue to value entertainment as we do.  Them what can afford it will show up for the live event, ever more pampered.  The rest of us will take comfort in our home viewing experience, ironically proclaiming its superiority.  The people selling the product will be just fine with that.

39 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

No beer for you

You’ve probably already heard (and are far from shocked about learning) that Georgia’s alcohol policy isn’t changing in the wake of the SEC’s decision to leave it up to its individual member schools to set rules for in-stadium sales.

“After consideration of the many facets involved with the Southeastern Conference’s revised alcohol policy, the Athletic Association has made the decision to maintain, at this time, the current UGA policy which prohibits the sale of alcoholic beverages in non-premium seating areas of our athletics facilities,” McGarity said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon. “However, we will conduct an annual review of this policy to determine if any modifications may be needed in the future.”

As previously reported, Georgia is opening up sales in the premium areas to those higher-end donors this season at Sanford, something it could have done before the SEC changed its alcohol rules.

About 900 fans in the SkyClub and Champions Club ($1,200 and $2,250 per seat donation) and another 400 in a lounge area for Magill Society members who contribute at least $100,000 will be able to buy beer and wine.

Suiteholders and those in the East End Zone field suites launched last season already had access to alcohol during games.

Like I said, no surprise there.  I do think the decision was driven as much by practicality as by throwing the big money contributors a bone, as indicated by this quote:

As for selling alcohol stadium-wide this fall, Morehead said at the league meetings in Destin he had “particular concerns about our students and how we would manage that in Sanford Stadium,” and said the school already had to try to manage long lines at concession stands.”

Ain’t that the truth, Jere.  The logistics for beer sales are daunting, especially considering that management believes that having volunteers manning concession stands is a state of the art approach to service.  Give Butts-Mehre credit for not making a bad situation worse — I know that’s a low bar, but still.

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, I'll Drink To That

Getting to know you

So, I’ve got some questions about Bob Bowlsby’s transfer proposal.

Amid growing discussion about the transfer portal, waiver process and debates over whether all transfers should gain immediate eligibility at their new schools, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said Tuesday he believes all student-athletes who want to transfer should sit out one year, with no exceptions…

“There’s a rule that treats different sports different ways and we should have had a rule that treated all the sports the same way,” Bowlsby told ESPN after the panel ended. “We would have been much better off if there was always a transfer residence requirement in all sports. Everyone sits out and gets acclimated and then have a chance to get a year back by graduating.”

What is the big deal about getting acclimated?  Nobody talks about a student on full (non-athletic) scholarship transferring and needing a year to get settled, so what exactly is it about a student-athlete that requires a mandatory vacation?  He provides no explanation, just a bare assertion.  (Of course, if by “we” he simply means “schools”, then no explanation is needed.)

Does Bowlsby truly believe that every student-athlete who received a waiver to play immediately is doomed to failure because he/she won’t have enough time to transition successfully?  If so, then this season should provide for an interesting controlled experiment.

Look, I get it.  This is little more than irrelevant posturing on Bowlsby’s part, which he seems to realize.  The “chance to get a year back by graduating” reference is just typical lip service for The Academic Mission fig leaf for NCAA control.  The reason there’s a rule treating different sports different ways is… well, follow the money for that answer.  And that ain’t changing.

19 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

Ranking ‘dem SEC QBs

From And The Valley Shook!:

Let’s start with the quarterbacks, which you know means it’s time for my favorite ATVS tool: ATVSQBPI. The big thing to remember is that essentially ATVSQBPI is how many yards a QB is worth each time he calls his own number, whether running or passing.

ATVSQBPI = (passing yards + rushing yards – (30*interceptions) – (30*lost fumbles) + (20*passing touchdowns) + (20*rushing touchdowns))/(pass attempts + rush attempts)

No real surprises at the top, not that you were expecting any.

1. Alabama. Tua was absurdly great last season, and his numbers simply crushed everyone else in the conference. Yeah, Jalen Hurts is off to Oklahoma, but this is still the best quarterback in the SEC, and I don’t think it is especially close.

2. Georgia. The only guy you could put in Tua’s class is Jake Fromm, though I think there’s a pretty large gap. Fromm was in the pack of next best guys in the SEC, but everyone else in that group has graduated. He’s alone now in the pursuit group of Tua. It’s possible he could take another step and catch him, but that’s a lot of ground to make up.

The rest is quite interesting, though, mainly because there are so many candidates in the muddled middle, which is basically the three through eight spots.  Poseur sees LSU’s Joe Burrow as the best of that bunch, based on how he finished last season and him being a senior, and there’s certainly some validity to that argument, but for some reason the quarterback I’m keeping an eye on to step up this year — and don’t laugh! — is Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano.

As Poseur notes, Guarantano’s stats last season are pretty damned decent.  He’s got some skill position players to work with and he’s got an upgrade at offensive coordinator/position coach directing him.  His big problem is that he is going to be working behind a weak offensive line, but that’s something that will be limiting plenty of other peers of his.  In fact, I’d probably say that out of the middle bunch, it’ll be the guy who gets the best protection who winds up at the top of the pack.  (Deep, I know.)

Your thoughts on this year’s The Year of the Quarterback?

13 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!