Link – NBA League Pass Offers Option to Purchase Live Fourth-Quarter Action

This is brilliant. How many times have you been hearing about some late game drama, or historic game being played on Twitter and wished you could somehow stream the ending so you could see it?

Heck, didn’t we just want to do this with the Oklahoma – Army football game that was on Pay Per View last weekend? Or a baseball no-hitter? I’d pay a couple of bucks to see it.

“Throughout the 2018/19 NBA season, NBA League Pass subscribers will be able to purchase the fourth quarter of single games. Viewing would start in the final quarter and last until the game’s conclusion. This new feature will cost fans $1.99 per game.”

NBA League Pass Offers Fans Option to Purchase Live Fourth-Quarter Action


Your 2018-19 New York Islanders – Into the Great Unknown

Isles Twitter was alive today.

With the news of the Islanders roster cuts, especially sending  Kiefer Bellows and Josh Ho Sang to Bridgeport and the contract offer to Lucas Sbisa, the boo birds were out in force, Seems like most Isles fans look at the current roster, and have given up on this season being successful.

They may be right.

They may be completely wrong.

Truth is, none of us have any idea how this team is going to perform this season, for one very simple reason. Most of the players on this roster have not had any discernible defensive system in place for the last one and a half seasons. That will change this season. I suspect that many fans watched the team lose their captain, bring in a bunch of “grinders”, and assume that this will be a much worse team than last season, and when you look at it on paper, it’s hard to argue with that.

On the ice, however, we don’t know how the pieces fit into the defensive scheme that Barry Trotz is going to install, and neither does Isles management. When they talk about needing to see some of these veteran players and evaluate them, that’s what they are talking about. Can they fit what Trotz is trying to do defensively. We don’t actually know that. I suspect that’s why you see so many bottom six forwards on contract, they don’t know which ones are going to really work out. I also suspect that is why many of them are on one year deals.

Here is what I do know.

  • 1. The Islanders will be tougher to play against. It’s impossible that they wouldn’t be, honestly.
  • 2. The renewed focus on a defensive system will probably mean most forwards take a step back in their offensive numbers. the team may actually struggle to score.
  • 3. A few of the guys on the opening day roster, will be injured by Thanksgiving.
  • 4. Fans will complain about the new forwards, forgetting that the ones they replaced aren’t even in the NHL any more. (You may not love Komarov, Fillipula, etc. but how quickly we forget the number of games played by Quine/Prince/Wagner/Chimera.)
  • 5. There are 8 players on this team who will be UFAs at the end of the year, and the Islanders have no 3rd or 4th round draft picks. If the Isles start out slowly, and it becomes clear that this team is not ready to compete, I suspect both of those things to change.
  • 6. It’s anyone’s guess how good the goaltending is going to be. Seriously, no one has any idea.

Here’s what I think:

  1. We’re not at Oct 4 yet. Or even into the season. Lou and Barry may not be done shaping this roster at all. Moves may still be on the horizon.
  2.  This team will be physical and compete every night.
  3. This team will not give up goals and shots in buckets like last year.
  4. They will also not score as much.
  5. They may very well no longer lose 6-4 games, but they’re going to lose a lot of 3-2 games.
  6. This isn’t a playoff team, but it may stay closer than they did last year to the playoff chase, if only because we won’t be watching a team that can’t stop anyone. They will steal some wins they didn’t get last season.

I hope I’m wrong about that, but I just don’t see it with the current roster, even if you add in some talented young players as the season progresses.

Of course, things can change.


Link – San Jose State counting on football ‘revenue games’ to increasingly fund entire department

This is part of the reason why getting rid of these blowout games is complicated, among other changes we might consider with big time college football:

“Getting eight-figures over the years is nothing to overlook at a Mountain West program and the Chronicle notes that nearly six percent of the entire athletic department budget ($1.525 million of the overall $26.5 million figure) in 2018 will come directly from SJSU playing at Oregon and Washington State this season.”

As fans we can complain about a school like SJSU going on these trips and getting blown out, but how many non-revenue sports don’t even exist there if not for these games? How many scholarship opportunities are lost? How many female students lose the opportunity to play sports without that extra 6% of the budget?

That’s also why, as much as I am not in favor of the current student athlete status in places like Ohio State and Alabama, where tens of millions of dollars are made on the backs, and risks, of kids who get little financial benefit from playing, we can’t simply take that money and start handing it out to football players either. That money is currently funding a lot of other programs and opportunities that won’t be there if we did that. It’ complicated. Though we can probably all agree the coaches and directors making millions in this system is unseemly, that’s not the only place that money goes. It also goes to help make sure there are opportunities for lots of other kids beyond the football team.

How do we dismantle the crud that comes along with big time college athletics, without creating a system where other sports simply go away?


Link – Here’s why Illinois, not Northwestern, has brutal Big Ten East crossover games in the future

This is a side-effect of conference conglomeration.

“The Big Ten on Wednesday released its football schedules for 2022-25, and not every fan base is thrilled with the division crossover games.

Take Illinois. The Illini appear to be have been dealt 2-7 against a pair of aces. They will face Penn State four times, Michigan and Michigan State twice and the following teams once: Ohio State, Maryland, Indiana and Rutgers.

Northwestern, meanwhile, gets Maryland four times, Ohio State and Indiana twice and Penn State, Rutgers, Michigan and Michigan State once.”

It’s simple. The more teams your conference has, the more each of those teams is not playing against equal competition. The Big Ten has seen this with Wisconsin over the last few years, who have a very good team, but the much easier road to winning their division than anyone in the East, assisted by not playing Ohio State, for example.

When the conference had 10 teams and 8 conference games, the team you didn’t play could have some effect on the conference championship. When it went to 11, 12 and then 14, that effect only grew. The more unbalanced the schedule becomes the more likely someone is going to win a conference championship without really having to face the toughest teams in their conference.

And unless you want to play 26 game seasons, and play everyone home and home, that’s just the way it is. It will never really be fair.


Link – The Loser Point is Hurting the NHL

I had not realized this. The current system only makes it seem like there’s parity in the NHL because most teams are not that far behind, but it also makes it harder to actually make up ground.

“Since the 2005 lockout, 88 percent of teams that are four or more points out of a playoff spot after Nov. 1 have missed the postseason. Climbing out of a four-point hole seems easy, but in reality it is not. The loser point makes it seem as if teams stand a chance once they get behind in the standings early on in a calendar year, but the feat is much more difficult due to the one-point cushion for extending the length of a game.”

The owners like the appearance of parity, because it keeps a teams fans interested longer into the season, but will fans start to pay attention to this stat, and act accordingly? That may be the only thing that forces a change.

The Loser Point is Hurting the NHL