As you’ve probably heard, Comcast is in heavy negotiations to acquire NBC for roughly eleventy kerjillion dollars, give or take a kerjillion or threeve. What effect that would have on NBC’s sports programming seemed to be of minimal concern… until you realize that Comcast also owns the Versus Network, and boy would they like to have some good content on that channel, seeing as how DirecTV reportedly called it “a glorified infomercial”. You probably already know where this one’s going.
(An Irish fan’s dream come true!)
According to the SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, if NBC gets swallowed up by the cable giant, Notre Dame’s probably one of the first big sports programs headed to Versus. And the school and its fans can complain until they’re hoarse, but Notre Dame’s the first to blame; after all, a move to cable is already in their contract.
Briefly yesterday, the sports world was aflitter and atwitter, abuzz and agog at the word coming from Tampa that the Buccaneers’ owners, still reeling from the Bernie Madoff scheme, were going to have to sell the team before next season. The rumor seems to have originated from former Buc Dan Sileo on WDAE 620 AM, though according to JOE BUCS FAN, it quickly spread to other relevant media organizations.
(Uh oh, Jasper’s here. And he’s got his paddle. Guys, that’s not a good sign.)
Slight problem: Sileo apparently didn’t check that rumor with the actual team; they’d have quickly shot the rumor down. We know they’d have done that because that’s precisely what co-chairman Joel Glazer did with ESPN’s Adam Schefter later that day, calling the rumors “100 percent false” and “baseless, irresponsible and slanderous.” Whoops. Well, that’s one way to earn a quick vacation.
Yes, we say it often, but times is tough, especially in a world on a bubble (like, say, the sports world). The golf world doesn’t appear to be in deep trouble, especially not with money-printing machine Tiger Woods commanding everybody’s attention, but now’s definitely not the time to be picky about sponsors. Even if they happen to be SWEET MAMA ALCOHOL.
(This is TOTALLY NOT PHOTOSHOPPED AT ALL.)
The SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL is reporting that hard alcohol sponsorships are being looked at by the PGA to increase revenue over the coming years. They can sponsor things like VIP areas at events, but not, say, tournament titles. And yes, somewhere, John Daly’s ears just perked up. Read more…
The next time somebody complains about the obscene amounts of money put into a large Division I athletic program amid these tough economic times, remember, citizens, that it is your duty as a fan to encourage them to kindly take such a complaint and forcefully insert it into a bodily orifice of your choosing. Choose creatively, though; people remember the first time they’re told to f*** themselves in the ear. The reality is that at these institutions, the athletic department is a self-supporting, highly profitable wing of the university that routinely pours money back into the school on a net basis, not the other way around. It’s delightful fun to tell an English T.A. that the athletic department pays its own bills, and their department might want to try that sometime. It’d be best if you don’t like them in the first place, otherwise the room gets chilly. But I digress.
(Tebow also plans to raise money by selling this baby.)
The University of Florida, like everything on the entire planet, is facing a dramatic economic shortfall right now, and one of the plans involves cutting well over 700 jobs and shutting down several academic problems. But over there in the athletic wing, the Gators are swimming in their own Scrooge McDuck money pit, delirious with joy over the attention and revenue that accompanies a national title and a returning Heisman Trophy winner in Tim Tebow (maybe you’ve heard of him). One half of the school’s bleeding money, the other half’s printing it. Hmmm…
Times is tough. We all know it. And when the recession is hitting the economy so hard that the most famous amusement park chain in the country might go into bankruptcy proceedings, it’s a dark day. We can’t even sell fun, people! Sad faces everywhere.
(Snyder quickly offered the roller coaster $40 million over 6 years.)
And so with a stock price well under a quarter, Six Flags is suspended from trading at the New York Stock Exchange, according to the LA TIMES. Incidentally, the Chairman of the Board at Six Flags is one Daniel Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins. Should bankruptcy be the call, Snyder’s stake in the company will probably be wiped out, which can’t be good news for the ‘Skins - how good do you think Clinton Portis is feeling about that deferred compensation now?
But there’s a deeper sports connection here, one that’s far more unsettling and unfair. Because according to BLOOMBERG, while shareholders are getting taken to the cleaners, the CEO - a former sports figure - is set to collect a handsome sum of money from the proceedings under an apparently unironically-named “success bonus”: Read more…
We’ve written extensively about the financial difficulties facing the professional sports landscape, but it’s always seemed that the NFL has stayed largely immune to the worst rumblings (moving, contraction, etc). But it appears now that even the nation’s most popular sport is going to be radically altering the personnel process, and it’s all about the economy.
(If Pro Days go away, though, when will we get to see Andre Smith’s wonderful mammaries?)
As PRO FOOTBALL WEEKLY notes, the NFL’s owners will be convening later this week, and, basically, the entire offseason schedule is up for review. The biggest no-brainer - moving the Senior Bowl and Shrine Bowl to Tampa to join the Combine, saving unholy amounts of money - will probably only upset Mobile, Alabama, the current home of the Senior Bowl.
But the old standard of the league’s offseason - the mid-spring draft - is probably toast. Read more…
Mixed Martial Arts is quickly becoming one of the world’s fastest sports, and different disciplines are taking the forefront across America, catering to customers as individual markets evolve. Well, niche businesses like clothing companies aren’t far behind, and Philadelphia-based MMA outfitter Jesus Didn’t Tap is targeting a very specific group: Bible thumpers … or bible beaters … or holy warriors. Oh, whatever. Pick your own religious pun.
Jesus Didn’t Tap markets a full crop of some 20-odd t-shirts (they do both performance and loose wear) for men and a few odd items like shorts, hats and sweatshirts. All of them are adorned with brash biblical messages, ranging from the mundane — “Blood, Sweat and Prayers” — to the overt — “How Do You Train,” with a picture of Jesus hauling his own cross.
Regardless of the religious fervor incorporated in the message all of the shirts transmit a cruel undercurrent of sincere irony: How can a company revolving around the popularity of the world’s most gruesome fighting sport base in message in the symbolism and idolatry of history’s greatest pacifist?
The betting windows presumably closed about 20 minutes ago. Up until then, however, you could have put some action on a multitude of things related to the Pro Bowl. Yes, the Pro Bowl. If you did that? This is you:
I’m not here to judge you. I’m just saying that the question of whether the NFC or AFC enters the red zone first is not even a question of good taste.
It is surely not something to throw a Franklin at.
We’re not sure how sad a day it is in Cleveland just yet, as the CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER reports that Jacobs Field has been renamed to “Progressive Field”.
Excerpt: “The Indians have reached an agreement with Progressive Insurance for the naming rights of the 40,000-seat facility on the corner of Ontario Street and Carnegie Avenue, a source close to the Indians said Thursday. Progressive Insurance, a Cleveland-based company, is owned by millionaire/philanthropist Peter Lewis.”
We say we’re unsure how upset Clevelanders really are because the ballpark was previously named after the Jacobs family, who owned the team during the Tribe’s glory years in the ’90s when the ballpark first opened. We were working in Ohio at the time, but never really got the feeling the Jacobs were beloved. You would think so, but we don’t know what the reaction will be. More than anything, the name was tradition, so there has to be some sadness settling over Lake Erie today. Especially since the ballpark is now monikered after one of those low-rate car insurance outfits (even if the owner is from Cleveland).
We’ll have to tune into Mike Trivisonno today, the unofficial mayor of Cleveland, to find out. And also get the scoop on that photo.
Great post today from RUMORS AND RANTS about Brady Quinn. They first remind us that the Cleveland Browns are set to extend head coach Romeo Crennel and will now likely re-sign restricted free agent quarterback Derek Anderson to a long term deal.
Now just what are you thinking if you’re Brady Quinn, who is parked firmly behind Anderson as the Browns’ backup? You’re probably plotting the demise of your agent, Tom Condon, who had you hold out of training camp for what turned out to be around $500K. While we’re not discounting that kind of jack, consider that as Quinn held out, Anderson put himself ahead of BQ on the depth chart and eventually claimed the full season startership.
After a fantastical first season as starter, Anderson is now set to be made by Romeo & Co.
(Great Job™, Tom!)