Category Archives: ESPN Is The Devil

ESPN’s one-track mind

Jesus H. Christ on a bicycle, Mickey, couldn’t you at least wait until the first weekend was completely in the books before hammering that nail?

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11 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil

ESPN’s biggest wish for the 2018 season

Sure, Mickey, there may be 14 teams with a chance to make the CFP, but that’s not what the betting public believes.

The top-ranked Crimson Tide enter the season as the consensus favorites for a third consecutive year. Alabama is +175 to win the national championship at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas. According to Sportsoddshistory.com, those are the best odds for a preseason favorite since USC was listed at +160 before the the 2005 season.

Alabama has won two of the past three national championships and has been favored in 110 of its past 111 games.

Yeah, Clemson’s getting its share of early love.

No. 2 Clemson, at 4-1, is the clear-cut second favorite and has attracted significant interest from bettors in Las Vegas and New Jersey. More money has been bet on the Tigers to win the national title than has been wagered on any other team, including Alabama, at several sportsbooks.

At William Hill’s books in Nevada and New Jersey, 22 percent of the money bet on the national championship odds is on Clemson, substantially more than how much has been wagered on Alabama (14 percent) and three times more than has been bet on any other team.

But, ‘Bama.

More than half of the money bet on the national championship odds at DraftKings’ new sportsbook in New Jersey is on the Tigers and Tide, with 30 percent of it on Clemson, the company said.

Just think what one regular season upset would do for the talking heads at the WWL.

9 Comments

Filed under Alabama, BCS/Playoffs, Bet On It, ESPN Is The Devil

Herbie is bored.

Kirk Herbstreit has bracket fever.  As we all know, there’s only one way to cure that malady.

“If you asked collectively around the nation to people who follow the sport and told them to put their biases aside, then almost everybody is going to have Alabama and Clemson in the championship game,” Herbstreit said. “It’s a done deal, and I don’t know if that’s healthy for the sport. I just think it would be great to get a couple teams that would be a little bit different each year. I think with six, you could create that.”

And when you get tired of six (which, eventually, you will), you can always add more!

It would be a real shame to have jaded talking heads on GameDay.  That should be reason enough to load up the postseason, amirite?

27 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, ESPN Is The Devil

The resurrection of Hugh Freeze

Look who’s back, ladies and gentlemen.

That may not seem like much to you, but it sure beats coaching football in Italy.

I wonder what Greg Sankey will do if they start to use Hugh on the SEC Network for analysis.

26 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Freeze!

Man, Nick Saban’s got his work cut out for him.

You’ve got to respect the serious cognitive dissonance of an ESPN piece that lays out the proposition that Alabama is the SEC team with the most to prove right next to a chart showing six ‘Bama players on their preseason All-SEC team.  (No other school has more than two.)

One can only hope Nick’s up to the challenge.

9 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Nick Saban Rules, SEC Football

Georgia and the latest FPI rankings

  • Up to number three (technically, it looks like the Dawgs are tied for second with… wait for it… Alabama).
  • Favored in every game, with the closest call against Auburn at home (66.7% chance of winning against the team with the number seven ranking in FPI).
  • 50th in strength of schedule.  (For all the crap Saban gets, the Tide sits at 28th.)

8 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Politics and the art of broadcast consolidation

81Dog emailed me about this Wall Street Journal article, provocatively titled “How a weakened ESPN became consumed by politics”.  It begins with this:

John Skipper was furious.

One of his star anchors, Jemele Hill, had sent a tweet calling President Donald Trump a “white supremacist.” Mr. Trump’s supporters called for her to be fired. Prominent black athletes defended the anchor, who is African-American.

Sitting in his office last September, Mr. Skipper, then ESPN’s president, lit into Ms. Hill, according to people familiar with the meeting. If I punish you, he told her, I’d open us up to protests and come off as racist. If I do nothing, that will fuel a narrative among conservatives—and a faction within ESPN—that the network had become too liberal.

Mr. Skipper chose to spare Ms. Hill. Mr. Trump weighed in on Twitter: “ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers.”

The president’s tweet was hyperbolic, but it tapped into real anxiety at ESPN. What was the way forward for a company shaken to its foundations by the cord-cutting revolution?

Ooh, Mickey’s doomed!  Is there anything Disney can do?

Before some of you snowflakes get too carried away with the narrative here, it’s worth remembering that the WSJ is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who’s not exactly anti-politics himself.  Murdoch, I doubt you need to be reminded, owns Fox.  And Fox just so happens to be a significant competitor in the sports broadcasting world to ESPN.  Let Andy Staples give you an example of that:

This all seems to suggest that broadcast networks NBC, CBS and Fox may be even more interested in college sports than they already were. Meanwhile, ESPN will continue to attempt to dominate the sport. (And games purchased by ESPN are actually being purchased by Disney, which also runs games on ABC using ESPN personnel and branding.) The Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC could use their own cable networks as leverage as well by threatening to put the best games on those networks and demanding a higher subscription fee. (The ACC, which will launch its own network next year, won’t have this option because all its rights are owned by Disney/ESPN until 2036.) If even one streaming service such as Amazon Prime or YouTube Red decided to jump into the fray, the bidding could be frenzied. Dean Jordan, who has helped the ACC launch its channel with ESPN and who has worked with the Big Ten and College Football Playoff on media rights deals, believes the competition for rights could be fairly diverse in the next round.

I only see one entity referred to there as dominating.  As the Journal piece grudgingly admits about the WWL, “They have some enormous challenges but they have by far the best brand in sports…”  So what’s a little snotty political questioning between two rivals?

It’s even better than that.  The Murdoch empire is looking to sell a piece of Fox Sports and the front-runner for the purchase is Comcast.  However, there is another interested party.  Who might that be?  You guessed it.

The alternative to a Comcast/Fox deal is Disney buying the Fox properties, which would also boost the size of a TV sports empire by joining Fox’s sports properties with Disney’s national sports channels. The Disney-owned ESPN and ABC have TV contracts for the NFL, college football and basketball, MLB, the NBA, various soccer leagues, and other sports.

ESPN and the Fox regional sports networks “together would account for 30 percent of all affiliate fees for basic cable networks and RSNs and a massive 58 percent of affiliate fees for basic cable sports networks and RSNs,” S&P Global Market Intelligence said in a recent report that Comcast pointed out to Ars.

Either way, a Fox deal would produce a bigger programming giant that could demand higher fees from cable and satellite TV providers that buy access to sports channels.

Wrinkles, wrinkles everywhere.

The only politics any of these assholes are consumed with are the ones that make them the most money.  Buy into the nonsense narratives pushed by the likes of Clay Travis if you want, but realize you’re being played.

101 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, Political Wankery