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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Monday Night Football moves to cable TV

I grew up loving Monday Night Football like any other teenage sports enthusiast. Waiting patiently for that music to start and the highlights of the two teams about to play, and all surrounded by the pronounced voice of Howard Cosell. This was the only good thing about Mondays and was a weekly ritual in my household with my father and I. In the 70’s and 80’s television was dominated by the major networks, (NBC, ABC, CBS) and cable stations were still a few years away. MNF became synonymous with ABC and led resurgence for the fledgling station. MNF became the longest running program in the history of the network entering its 17th season in 1986 (SBD, 2005).

In 2005 ABC and the NFL announce the end of their 36-year MNF partnership (SBD, 2005) leaving the door open for ESPN to ink a MNF contract from 2006-13 for 8.8 Billion. The Walt Disney Company owns both ABC and ESPN and saw how lucrative MNF could be on cable (, 2005). ESPN has taken a bit of history with then to the cable arena and that was the nail in the coffin for standard TV, as we know it. Hour long shows and sit-coms on cable are one thing but MNF? I continue to watch like all other sports fans do, but something just isn’t the same. Where is the symphonic music during the introductions? Where are the highlights of the two teams about to play? In this day and age of in your face flash, I guess I can’t blame ESPN for flooding the screens with light flashes equipped with blips and bleeps or even terribly acted skits just before a game (see link) to amuse the masses. I just wish they would keep things authentic like their predecessors on ABC.

Link to MNF skit on ESPN:

Sunday, December 12, 2010

NFL going to an 18 game season: Is this a good or bad thing for the league?

I have recently heard a number of players, such as Hines Ward and Ray Lewis to name a couple, openly criticize the NFL’s newly proposed 18 game schedule. The two game increase may not seem like a lot but to NFL players, it’s a tremendous increase on an already grueling season. Player criticisms revolve around more player injuries due to the increase in games, thus compromising the overall product on the field. 
            The NFL owners, on the other hand, would love two more games and feel as if the extra games will benefit everyone involved. NFL owners understand that the fans want more football, on top of that, two extra games means more money for the owners, players and everyone in the organization. The current CBA went into effect for the 2006 season, and the owners exercised an opt-out clause in 2008 that makes the deal expire next March. According to the NFL, the average player salary rose from $1.5 million in 2005-the last year of the old deal-to $1.9 million in 2009 (Associated Press, 2010). This means the NFL owners must feel the players are getting more “love” than them and now they want a new CBA . It seemed to me like everyone is happy under this agreement but the owners proved otherwise by opting out (Cooper, 2010). Do the owners want more money? The head of the NFL’s negotiating team says it will be much easier to reach a new labor agreement with the players’ union if the accord includes an 18-game regular season (AP, 2010).
The question is, will an 18 game season help or hinder the league? I feel with 2 less pre-season games, the 2 extra regular season games will not be that much of a difference. Also, the league will expand rosters so teams can do more substitutions, etc. Injuries are a part of the game and will continue to happen whether it’s pre-season or other. The fans will love more football and I feel teams will have to determine whether to sit a player one week or what players to keep on an active roster. Bring on more football!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Should College Athletes have control over their Rights of Publicity?

I believe totally that college athletes should be paid for the amount of money they generate for the NCAA each year, but these athletes don’t have any control over their Rights of Publicity. The Right of Publicity is the right of every person to control the commercial use of his/her identity, often applied to an individual’s persona. A persona encompasses things such as a person’s likeness, nickname, performance style or mannerisms (Mueller, 2004).

One specific case where a former athlete, Ed O’Bannon, is fighting for his Rights of Publicity as well as the rights of other former and current NCAA athletes in a classic action lawsuit against the NCAA. Ed O’Bannon was a former UCLA forward who led them to a national championship, scoring 30 points and pulling down 17 rebounds in the win (, 2010). Today, O’Bannon coaches a high school basketball team and is a car dealer in Las Vegas, but the NCAA still profits off of his likeness. Whether it is his image, re-broad casts of games or in video game form, the NCAA still makes money through the sales of licensed merchandise. O’Bannon states in his lawsuit that the NCAA makes about 4 billion dollars annually on collegiate licensed merchandise (, 2010).

In my opinion, O’Bannon feels taken advantage of by the NCAA. The modern day college athlete has been referred to as a “slave” on the NCAA “plantation” because college athletes do not get paid but the NCAA makes an incredible amount of money from the talents of these collegiate athletes. It seems only right for the NCAA to start sharing this money with the people they exploit year in and year out. Student athletes are not allowed to get jobs or receive any money from their scholarships and should get some sort of monthly stipend. I understand that some athletes go on to make millions playing professional sports but what about the 90% of student athletes who do not make it? Just something to think about.

Drake, S. (2010). Sports Illustrated Michael Mann on the NCAA lawsuit. Legal Broadcast Network. Retrieved on 11/27/10 from: (2010). Former college athletes sue NCAA over licensing. Retrieved on 11/27/10 from:

Mueller, K. (2004). No control over their rights of publicity: College athletes left sitting the bench. LexisNexis. Retrieved on 11/27/10 from:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

What is the biggest sports story of the decade?

In my opinion, I believe the biggest story of the decade was steroids in baseball. On February 16, 2005, Jose Conseco held an interview with 60 Minutes where he discussed his much talked about book he calls “Juiced”. This book purports to tell the truth about his use of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones, and the same about other top players in Major League Baseball (Hancock, 2005).

Steroids have been a part of baseball’s banned substance list since 1991, however testing for major league players did not begin until 2003 (, 2007). Conseco’s book in 2005 caused rumblings all around the league and led to former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell’s 409 page report, identifying 86 names who admitted to using steroids. Names on the list included Barry Bonds, Miguel Tejada, Andy Petitte, Eric Gagne, Jason Giambi and Roger Clemens (who continues to deny his usage). The problem is that we don’t know how many people actually were using steroids during this era. If fingers are pointed at the few who admitted to it, what about the players who didn’t? The entire era will have an asterisk attached to it because there is no way to determine who really had the upper hand. Former N.Y. Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield, who admitted to unknowingly using a steroid-based cream in 2002, says records can’t be stripped because of “speculation.” If “somebody comes up with facts, then we can talk. Other than that, it’s a waste of time”  (Jenkins, 2005).

If it were up to me, I say let everyone use what ever they want and lets go (I jest), but the game was its most exciting during those McGwire/Sosa homerun battle years or watching Bonds take the only good pitch of an at bat deep. I thought it was the live ball era but we now know it was much more than tightly strung baseballs. This past World Series was the second lowest rated fall classic ever and baseball needs to find a way to” juice” up the game again. (2007). Mitchell report: Baseball slow to react to players’ steroid use. Retrieved on 11/12/10 from

Hancock, D. (2005). Steroid-user Canseco names names. Retrieved on 11/12/10 from

Jenkins, C. (2005). Players admit steroids changed baseball. USA TODAY. Retrieved on 11/12/10 from

CNBC video, “The Biggest Plays in Sports Business”:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

fans rule!

“No matter what steps facility management takes to increase attendance, the fans have the ultimate say when it comes to buying tickets.” Steve Fall

Facility management is very significant in any economy, but becomes even more exigent in a down economy. In the article Taking Attendance, Steve Fall talks about the challenges facilities around the country face in today’s down-trodden economy as well as how these facilities are facing these challenges.
One way facilities are keeping fans in the seats is by offering discounted tickets through social media sites. This makes sense in so many ways including the fact that social media sites are free to use and reach so many people. These sites, such as twitter and facebook, can also track how many fans are interested in a team or event as well as feedback from fans for future deals. Social media reaches so many people because everyone owns a smart phone/laptop or may have access to the Internet through work. The fact that social media sites are free to join is very cost efficient when saving money is of priority. Positive interaction between fans and the team they support can only bolster the love between the two entities (Fall, 2010).
Another way teams can increase fan support, without cutting ticket prices, is through fan give-a-ways, concession deals, and fan appreciation in general. Teams come up with creative ways to entice fans to attend games for full price by offering deals once inside the stadium/arena. One example of this is the San Diego Padres who offered a promotion for nearly all-81 home games this past season such as $5 dollars for 5 items on the menu. Richard Anderson, CFE and general manager of PETCO Park and the executive vice president of the San Diego Padres, explains that “these extraordinary economic times” are driving their promotional approach (Fall, 2010).
In conclusion, I feel the adaptation of Direct TV and satellite dishes have also hurt facilities during this economy. Sports packages offer the fan the ability to watch any team in any sport for an entire season. Before this, fans would look forward to seeing certain teams in person because you never get to see them on television. Now you can watch any team, which takes away from the facilities’ appeal. I feel fan appreciation is the way teams can continue to fill the seats. Cheap hotdogs, free t-shirts and a quality experience are ways teams can keep the seats filled and the fans coming to the games.

Steve Fall. (2010). Taking attendance. Facilities find creative ways to fill seats in a down economy. Facility manager. Retrieved on 11/7/2010 from:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Why will it be messy?

Although Derek Jeter is coming off a year with career lows in batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage, the N.Y. Yankees need to compensate him accordingly. The N.Y. Yankees have already stated that the Derek Jeter negotiations may become messy. Why is that? Derek Jeter means so much more that numbers to the Yankee organization as well as the fans all around the world. Jeter is a global icon who is on the verge of 3000 hits and he shouldn't reach this milestone in any other uniform other than the pinstripes.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

JKE Sports is up!!

The buzz on the Internet is around the anticipation of a brand new sports blog about to launch. JKE Sports is a blog about everything relevant in all the major sports. I'm JKE the Sports Dude and I'll be bringing you a unique perspective in all the major sports along with updated scores, thoughts, ideas and questions that may come about. I live in Los Angeles but I was raised on the east coast so don't mind the east coast bias.... but in all seriousness, I will deliver a fair and unbiased blog in which everyone can appreciate. I hope everyone will feel free to leave comments, questions or even ideas to make the blog better. I look forward to interacting with everyone and lets talk sports.