Survey says?!?

Yesterday we saw the future.  At least some of us did…While some of us only heard the future with a black screen, or a frozen screen, or only saw a glimpse of the future for 15 seconds while we waited up to 45 seconds to be miraculously jumped into the future again…missing everything in between…Ugh…

On Sunday Oct. 25th, it was a seminal moment for the National Football League as it exclusively broadcast a game on (and the NFL mobile app.)  For the first time in recent memory, you could not watch a game on traditional television, their partner in crime since the early ‘s 60’s.

Yahoo paid the NFL somewhere between $17-$20 million for the right to do so.  Yahoo then turned around and according to Fortune, this game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Buffalo Bills at Wembley Stadium in London, England was being sold at $200,000 per :30 second commercial avail.  Unfortunately, even the most uninformed football fan would probably look at you and say…”Ya, those teams aren’t good”.  So why would anyone pay for something at such a premium between two lower tiered teams on a medium that had yet to be proven?  Well, they didn’t.  The cost was cut by 3/4’s for only $50,000 for said :30 second spot.

Response on the other hand was mixed.  Only speaking for myself, while walking around and using in an area with 4G LTE, it was absolutely awful to watch.  The stream was steady, for at most, 1 minute.  This was followed by no signal for over a minute.  Not the ratio you would want.  However, I went onto Twitter to see what the masses were saying.  Mike Florio, owner and writer of Pro Football Talk and contributor to Football Night In America pointed out that the stream was smooth on the NFL Mobile App.  I then downloaded said app and it was true.  No hiccups or delays.

But according again to Fortune, many viewed the game as a success:

Wow this is crystal clear. Seems like 4K on iPhone 6S. @marissamayer hope to see more in the future

Well, it looks like the jury is still out on this one.  I don’t think the NFL servers, or more importantly Yahoo servers were prepared for at least 10 million viewers.  CNN reported 15 million sampled while there was a average of 2.36 million viewers per minute.  33% being those outside of the US.

This game was viewed as a “test” for the NFL.  Here is my question, why would you conduct such a test during a regular season game?  Not to mention a game on international soil?  If you want to conduct a test, why wouldn’t it be the Hall of Fame Game?  The first preseason game of the year held at Canton, OH. the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  This game is the first pro football game since the Super Bowl and feeds the hungry masses dying for the NFL.  Instead you come across as a half-assing something that should be legitimately explored!

But what the hell do I know, I was just stuck looking at a frozen screen for more often than not.


So when did gambling become legal? Oh when the leagues could start making money off of it.

Now, since sports is my primary topic and this is only less that 48 hours since I watched my shortstop for my beloved New York Mets get his leg broken, I’m not going to do what you may think I’m going to do and just GO OFF on how Twitter should murder Chase Utley and Major League Baseball for being absolutely morons…I mean how can a player be ruled safe when he didn’t try to be safe??? Instead, I would like to talk about how much I can’t stand something that not only is ruining sports for me, but may also destroy the leagues as we know it…

Fantasy Sports.

About 10 years ago was when I was first asked to be apart of a Fantasy Football draft.  I reluctantly, but also intriguingly said yes.  I mean what sport fan not only wants to see how good of a General Manager they could be, but also beat their friends in the process. However being a lifelong New York Giants fan, I shortly realized my entire team was pretty much that years NY Giants roster.  And I sure as hell couldn’t draft anyone that was a member of: The Dallas Cowboys, NY Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, Chicago Bears, or San Francisco 49ers….So yeah, pretty much 1/4 of the league…Reason being, I could never root for a player on any other team other than my own.

But then my team would do well, so well that it made it to the championship game 3 years in a row…I would of course lose, but that was no big issue because the only thing at stake was bragging rights.

I did hear about leagues where there was an entry fee and a pay out at the end, but I had enough vices in my life that I didn’t need gambling to be added to the mix.

However, I kept seeing how Fantasy Football and then Fantasy Baseball were becoming more and more accepted, especially the former.  So much so, that television programming was being dedicated to it.  Especially on ESPN.  Then in 2013, the NFL was asked about their growth in the digital world and fantasy football was a key component to this because it allowed players of fantasy leagues to get instant data via the mobile devices.  Also the NFL fan base was EXPLODING.  No longer was the NFL for the die hard fans of each team, but people were now watching so they could monetize off of their fantasy teams.  The fan base was growing more and more rapid even with stories of domestic abuse, drugs, drinking and driving.  The NFL and fantasy sports was a drug and people couldn’t get enough.  And even better for the NFL, it was helping them achieve more and more revenue without using their traditional sources of broadcast television rights, merchandise, or ticket prices.  Now people were downloading apps and utilizing all the necessary services they could to create their perfect fantasy teams.  20 Million fantasy teams were created annually.  Player in every league were talking about their fantasy teams regularly. But there is an “issue” with being in a fantasy league, especially baseball, it is for the entire season.  And for baseball, that could feel like a job to some…oh the horror…

Enter Fan Duel and Draft Kings…

Fan Duel was created in 2009, like Draft Kings, established in 2011, are week to week and game to game fantasy sport leagues.  You can gamble from 25 cents to $1000 on a team you create given a budget where an algorithm  determines how much a specific player costs, and your roster takes on another participants roster.  All the while adhering to the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Act.

These companies have become so lucrative, that in 2012, Comcast gave $11 million to Fan Duel in a round of funding.  Giving substantial credibility to the company. Both companies are now two of the biggest advertisers on all of the major networks during this NFL season and even have partners with vested interests like Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys and Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots.

But wait a second…isn’t this gambling? Yeah, I’m paying money on a game and I can either win or lose my money…I think, yeah, that is gambling…And didn’t I mention how other athletes are playing in these leagues?  And you’re also telling me that the NFL and MLB are both major advocates of said companies?

What would Pete Rose think of this?

What is to stop a relief pitcher for lets say the Houston Astros in the middle of a blow out against the Los Angeles Angels from grooving a fastball down the middle of the plate to Mike Trout, who he just so happens to have on his fantasy team? Would that compromise the integrity of the game?

And what is to stop a defensive linemen from not making a tackle on Adrian Peterson near the end zone for the same reason?

The dumbest sports scandal that I may have ever seen with as much popularity that it had was for “Deflategate”.  Air pressure in footballs used by Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.  The argument was it influenced the outcome of the game…meanwhile this message has been brought to you by Fan Duel…because it is helping the NFL owners generate new revenue in not only broadcast funds (NFL Network) but also digital media funds…

So to summarize, air out of a football is bad because…well, I really don’t know. But allowing a player to gamble on another player is perfectly fine because it makes more money for everyone except the player…

Got it…This isn’t going to end well…