Tuesday, May 24, 2016

In much more important sports news: An NFL GM admits the truth...

Someone is about to get fired with gravest prejudice...

Doug Whaley is about to no longer be the GM of the Buffalo Bills -- either that or the NFL has even less conscience than we thought AND that he has none.

ESPN reports that Whaley, today on WGR Radio:
"This is the game of football," he told WGR 550 radio. "Injuries are part of it. It's a violent game that I personally don't think humans are supposed to play."

E-Sports Update: The Phoenix Rises, But Whose? And College E-Sports??

Couple of stories today as the summer seasons go into full swing in the Eastern Hemisphere...
  • As I reported last night, the tenth team to the North American LCS, the former slot of Team Impulse, was announced as "Phoenix1".  There is, however, no roster, no coach, no apparent owner as of this point.  Until otherwise found, I will assume this is a Riot Games "contingency plan" to ensure "The Show Must Go On" -- something Riot has shown to be very good at, to the detriment of e-sports (which see three different situations which coalesced with the May 8 rulings.)
  • UPDATE 6:15 PDT:  There is an apparent roster circulating Reddit, but it has not been confirmed on Riot's LCS website as of yet. At least one slot appears to be a former member of Team Impulse.
  • And now word from the Pac-12:  The Pac-12 will become the first college conference to sanction e-sports, and will broadcast them on their conference network.  No word on which or how many games may be involved.  A number of companies, including Riot and others, hold collegiate championships for their games.

And in other "water is wet" news: NFL rewards new stadiums with Super Bowls...

So, let's see here...
  • Super Bowl 50/Up R Bowel/Oops:  Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA.  NFL Seasons at time of game:  2
  • Super Bowl LI:  Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX.  NFL Seasons at time of game:  15.  It will be the second Super Bowl hosted here, and a rarity on this list.
  • Super Bowl LII:  US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN, the new stadium for the Vikings scheduled to open this year.  If it does, NFL Seasons at the time of the game:  2.
  • Super Bowl LIII:  Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA, the Space Station new stadium that is rumored to have rumble seats which will shake at the press of a button to simulate the hits.  Scheduled to open in 2017.  If it does, NFL Seasons at the time of the game:  2.
  • Super Bowl LIV:  Miami, formerly Sun Life Stadium.  This would be the sixth Super Bowl held there, and the stadium will have hosted 33 NFL seasons at the time of the 2020 contest.  HOWEVER:  The NFL, after the stadium's last Super Bowl in 2010, threatened never to consider the stadium again without significant renovations, including canopies to protect the fans from the Florida rains.  That renovation is to complete (and a new stadium naming-rights deal announced) before this season, a half-billion dollars in renovations was part of the package to get the Super Bowl back to Miami, awarded today along with Atlanta and...
  • Super Bowl LV:  ... in the least surprising move in the history of the National Football League, less than three months after the relocation of the Los Angeles Rams and a year or so before either San Diego or Oakland probably joins them, the new Los Angeles stadium (provisionally named at the moment, according to Wikipedia, "City of Champions" Stadium).  Scheduled to open in 2019.  If it does, notice a pattern here!  NFL Seasons at the time of the game:  2.
This means that, of Super Bowls 50-55, four new stadiums ending their second year of usage, one "old" stadium, and one "very old" stadium which the NFL jawboned a half-billion dollars (at least it is reported that it was privately funded) for renovations.

Gee, you don't think that's being used as another stick against potential cities like Oakland?  So should we pencil Super Bowl LVI at MGM Grand Stadium in Las Vegas, NV?

This is a name I haven't heard in a while...

But why the Hell would I be surprised that he's mixed up in THIS...

Ken Starr, who was the "prosecutor" of Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky case, has been fired, per reports, as President of Baylor University as a sex scandal of football players at Baylor threatens to swamp the University.

Baylor has denied the reports, per The Washington Post, but two college sports sites and a reporter from KCEN, the NBC affiliate in Killeen, TX have reported Baylor has fired Starr.

The University, in a statement, has said that they expect an announcement by June 3.

The scandal involves at least six female students and rapes or sexual assaults the University refused to deal with over the last seven years.  At least eight Baylor football players have been accused of such acts and similar over the last eight years, and the inaction, according to the reports, has been blamed more on the University than the football program.

One victim, whose Baylor football rapist was convicted and is serving 20 years, had her parents told, according to a lawsuit she filed that "even if a plane falls on your daughter, there's nothing we can do to help you".

Football Nation America strikes again.

And, OH THAT'S RIGHT:  Same Ken Starr that wanted to nullify legal gay marriages in California when the illegal proposition passed.  What's that, Ken?  You afraid your football players might have competition, because both that attitude and the one you have in Baylor come from the same fucking place, shithead.

Yet Another In The Continuing List...

Another NFL Legend whose life was made better by football...

Bubba Smith died with CTE.


Monday, May 23, 2016

NFL: And You Ain't Gonna Do Shit... So Don't Bother.


In it's continuing effort to kill players on the field through repeated blows to the head and to mollify a populace who wants to see this happen, the National Football League, it has been ruled by Congressional investigators, attempted to influence a National Institutes of Health study that, when the NIH would not kowtow to Emperor Goodell, Goodell promptly yanked $16 million of funding from the study.

The ruling sides with reports from ESPN's Outside the Lines...  They stated this last December (the link is to their report of today's ruling).

And no one is going to do fucking shit about it.

Let's be blunt:  Most fans hate the players as overpaid criminals who deserve to die.  So they would have no problem watching players die weekly and on the field -- and there is no secret this is the NFL's eventual goal.  The NFL has NEGATIVE interest (less than zero!) in protecting head injuries -- it would have to shut down the sport otherwise.

So you ain't gonna do shit, so don't even waste the time....

E-SportsPN: League of Legends to ESPN for $500 million? (UPDATE 6 PM: ESPN says no.)

Knew this day was coming, just was wondering when it might happen and under what circumstances...

Almost ironic that, two weeks after the largest sanctions ever thrown against an ownership group in the history of League of Legends (and sanctions from which the sport has not yet recovered - one LCS spot lays vacant a scant 12 days from the start of the summer season), PvP Live, an e-sports news website, reports that ESPN is preparing a bid for $500 million to broadcast League of Legends matches.

This almost certainly would include the World Championships and the North American LCS, but the unnamed sources do not indicate whether Europe (or maybe even Korea) might be involved.  Nor do they mention the current platforms Riot Games uses and how they would be affected (my guess is they would move to strictly Challenger and lesser-league programming).

I have two thoughts:

First, I always thought the avenue they would go, especially given the harder and harder stance some video game companies have taken against content, would be to plop a billion and a half or so down to Amazon to buy out Twitch and squeeze out the low- and mid-level streamers entirely.

Second, after the May 8 expulsions of three ownership groups (and a larger look at the situation for the summer split), it is clear that, by the end of this World Championship series, there will have to be MAJOR alterations (people at Riot are going to get fired, and major changes to the ownership rules are going to have to be made).

As of the expulsions, there are 14 spots in professional League of Legends going to teams which would be returning from the spring split.  Of those 14, FIVE will feature new management (this does NOT count the team promoted from Challenger to LCS -- that team has correctly won promotion):
  • the demoted Dignitas team sold their Challenger slot to Team Apex
  • Disqualified Renegades sold their LCS slot to Team Envy
  • Disqualified Dragon Knights sold their LCS slot to a co-owner of VexX Gaming
  • Disqualified Team Impulse, 4 1/2 days after the deadline and only 12 days before whatever succeeds them plays in the North American LCS, has no confirmed owner
  • LATE UPDATE:  6 PM 5/23:  According to the schedule, the slot has finally sold, maybe.  A team named Phoenix1 will be the tenth team in the North American LCS.  According to SB Nation's Rift Herald, as of this update, there is no word as to exactly who has purchased the team.  It is POSSIBLE, and I will look at it, that Riot will run the team themselves until someone buys the slot.
  • Team Ember disbanded after the spring split, looking to sell their Challenger slot, no owner.
Riot Games is going to have to buy out all of the owners at the LCS and Challenger levels and take full ownership of the actual franchise slots.  The current situation is not healthy, not good for e-sports, and invites shysters and con artists like Chris Badawi to involve themselves.

One hopes that, should this report be true, this is one of the first things done with the $500 million.

LATE UPDATE #2:  Riot and ESPN both deny the report.  Take that with a grain of salt.