Tag Archives: NBA

NASCAR continues to drive in reverse

To off topic of the usual Baseball/Basketball/Football/Soccer discussion, I want to take today’s post and discuss NASCAR racing. And based on the recent TV ratings and attendance numbers this might be a post that is not viewed by many. I caught a little bit of the race on Sunday and noticed the large empty sections of the bleachers of the rain postponed race. It got me thinking that this seems quiet common of all NASCAR races in recent years, and with article recently on low TV ratings, it makes me think how this could have happened to a sport that was considered a top tier sport a mere 20 years ago.

In my thoughts, there are could of reasons NASCAR has fell on hard times:

  1. Single TV Contact – This in my opinion is the biggest miscalculation and gaff for NASCAR, possibly greater than the next five combined. For the 2001 season, NASCAR signed a single network contact with FOX in the hopes people would know which network would have the race each week. Later on, FOX sub-contracted with NBC for the second half of the season. This model/idea had one major flaw, there was no incentive for other network to provide any coverage like it did for the previous 30 year. If you looks at the other major sports, they all have multiple network contacts: NFL (CBS, NBC, FOX, ESPN), MLB (Regional, FOX, TBS, ESPN), NBA (ESPN, ABC, TNT, Regional) and NHL (Regional, NBC, NBCSN). NASCAR previously had contracts at the track level with ESPN, TBS, TNT, NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, TNN…. That is seven network that did not care to promote NASCAR or provide coverage, that is seven networks that might be promoting the sport during another sport telecast for an upcoming broadcast.
  2. Inconsistent sponsorship – Back when I use to follow NASCAR closer, you knew which driver was in which car because of the sponsorship/color scheme, but this no more. Sponsorship’s change way too much to have any consistence to follow a driver. Though this might be one that really be fixed.
  3. Race for the championship – Back in 2003, NASCAR thought (incorrectly) they had a major crises on their hands…… a driver won with only one win. This championship for Matt Kenneth led to the “Race for the Championship” which would be a playoff system. The problem is, why should other drivers really try (and sponsors pay for cars outside the championship) when will not receive equal focus?
  4. Not everybody can win – When you have 40 (or 43 previously) cars on the track in the 90’s and before, you knew on any given week (and with a little luck) that a driver could win. Those days are gone because the technical gap is too great, there is only 10-15 drivers that can really win each week. It is now too costly to get into the sport, the cars are too different to the fans to relate too and wins too hard (without a 5 car team).
  5. Inconsistent race dates – If you compare the 2015 to the 1996 season, you see that there was 0 Saturday races in 1996 (5 in ’15) and only two races at night (9 in ’15). This not knowing when the sport if on, coupled with issue number one leaves the fans confused when the sport is on.
  6. Same tracks – The tracks are too similar to each other. If you use the 2015 season as reference, you only have a couple  different track types, notice the issue that there are too many of the semi-oval tracks. People want to see a variety and not the same race week after week.
    1. Semi Oval – Atlanta, Las Vegas, Fontana, Texas, Charlotte, Kansas, Michigan, Kentucky, Richmond and Chicagoland.
    2. True Oval – Dover, Loudon, Indy, Darlington, Homestead.
    3. Short Track – Martinsville, Bristol
    4. Super Speedway – Daytona and Talladega
    5. Odd ball/Road Course – Phoenix, Pocono, Watkins Glen

Now I’m not one just to leave the issues on the table and not provide recommended solutions. Below is how I would fix NASCAR.

  1. Bid the races out on the track by track basis, spread the wealth…. get NASCAR’s name out there on multiple networks all the time all year long.
  2. Continue the race to the championship, but also include minor trophies. You could have a season long point trophy, an FA Cup style races where certain races drivers are paired off with the one finishing better moving on until the final two face off, a race for the rest for the drivers outside the top 16. All of these can run concurrently with the Chase, this might give the fans and drivers an extra inventive to race.
  3. Make the cars more like traditional cars since nobody wants to watch racing cars they can not relate too.
  4. Make all races (except 1st Bristol and 1st Charlotte) a day time race on Sunday (no Saturdays). I know the reason the Saturday races were added, but it just does not work. All Sunday races start at 12pm or 3pm CST depending if is a west coast race.
  5. There needs to be a effort into mixing up the tracks, NASCAR needs to add tracks that race different, have different strategy, add some more road courses. Drop some of these semi-ovals races from 2 per track to 1.


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Thinking once again….

It’s been over two years and I’m once again going to give this blog thing a try. I’m going to try to post a little less often to avoid burnout(Once every 7-9 days), hopefully on Sunday’s for the most part. Looking back at my last posts, this is what I see that has happened since the last time I posted:

  • Bret is still the coach as Arkansas and it did not turn out to be the disaster I predicted [can’t get them all right I guess :)]
  • Gary Andersen is gone from Wisconsin (Thank God!) and Paul Chryst is the coach. Hey, we are off to a very good start….better than Bret 🙂
  • Bo is gone a Wisconsin for basketball and Gard is in. He seemed to over achieve last year with mid-level players.
  • The Brewers ended up taking since the last post thanks to the incompetence of Doug Melvin and we had to blow the whole thing up. Amazing that the Cardinals never have to go into a rebuilding mode (and it is not because of that larger fan base.
  • Bench clearing brawls still happening in MLB even though the solution is SIMPLE. New GM, same idiotic policy (See prior post)
  • The Bucks got new owners and getting a new stadium.
  • Listening to the Dan Patrick show the other day and they mentioned that the NBA will make it a point of emphasis to enforce traveling. I laughed too.
  • A point that is close to me…. The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters of the Northwood’s League won the championship this year. As a 9-pack holder and was at all the playoff games it was truly great following the team including the walk off home run in game 1 of the championship.
  • The Pro Bowl is still as boring is bad as always….. If they would only change it to a future stars with rookies and second year players
  • Now onto soccer, I have really have started following Sacramento Republic FC
  • Carlisle FC having a good season
  • Big Brother has really gone into the toilet. It basically has become repeat comp after repeat comp. It really lacks in game play in recent seasons, as alliances don’t matter and skating through is the new norm
  • What is this with CBS delaying Amazing Race?
  • I bought a drone to fly in the park. Videos are here.
  • Countdown to Battlefield 1 has started
  • House of Cards was great and the following season was good
  • Other Netflix shows I have been watching:
    • Last Man Standing
    • Poirot
    • Family Guy
    • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 2 is stupid IMO)
    • Narcos
    • Chopped
    • Cutthroat Kitchen (Is awesome!)

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Filed under Baseball, Basketball, Football, Other, Soccer

The NBA All Star Game is a Joke

What if you went to a basketball game and nobody played, but you still had to pay for your ticket? That is what you get with the NBA all star game, the NBA is in trouble, Stern just does not see the slump coming. Given how the game is played today, if I had paid as much as I did, I would ask for a refund.

The All Star game has become a joke, it is like walking into Subway, order a foot long roast beef, and only get one inch, but still pay the 12 inch price. The game is just a bunch of players goofing around for 3 1/2 quarters and then turns into a six or seven minute real game. What is the point of the game? Who would want to watch or pay to a game that nobody takes seriously or professionally? If there is no incentive, the players will not take the chance the size of the contracts today.

The All Star game is a hint of another possible issue in the NBA today, the seriousness of how the game is played in the regular season. The regular season games are starting to become only 8-10 minute games. Players are starting to not take the first three quarters seriously because they know if the score reasonably close, either team can win in the end.

This is starting to be recognized by the fans, nobody gets into the game for the first third quarters. For ticket holders, it is more about the other entertainment around the stadium than the game itself. For people watching on TV, you can turn the game on about two and a half hours after the tipoff just in time for the players to kick it up a notch and watch the ending of a close game. To sum it up, the first three quarters do not counter for anything. If you are only getting 1/4 the product you are expecting, then why go? The regular season game is too long today, four 12 minute quarters is too longer along with the TV and normal timeouts.

The college game excels for three reasons. 1) Two 20 minute half’s, less is more. There is less time to not have your head in the game. 2) Plays that occur in the beginning of the game can affect the end of the game. You can not skip most of the game in college and expect to understand how the game ended up the way it did. 3) Players care about playing from start to finish. Players know if you do not try in the start of the game, you will not be close in the final 5 minutes of the game.

The NBA game has become too different and confusing from the college game. Too many rules that seem to be changing everyday and they seem to favor the “Chosen” teams. Some the rules that are tainting the watch ability of the NBA game are:

  • Mid-Level cap exception, just set a salary cap and the teams can not go over that number
  • Defensive Three Seconds
  • Backcourt Foul Exceptions
  • Clear Path Fouls
  • Lack of Traveling enforcement
  • Too many timeouts
  • No five second guarding rule – This has stopped all kind of passing

In summary, the All Star game is pushing the issues of the league to the front, nobody is taking the NBA game seriously, people rather watch a whole college game rather than a quarter of a NBA game and it will be a matter of time before fans notice and spend their money elsewhere.

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Some NBA players need a reality check

Another set of Christmas games done for another years but not without players complaining that they should not have to play so they can spend time with their families. Now I’m not against people being with the ones they love for the holiday’s but I’m getting tired of NBA players wanting their cake and eating it too.

Ron Artest (Metta World Peace) decides to let everybody know his discontent for playing on Christmas as many other players have said in the past. The thing NBA players forget is playing on Christmas is where the money is for the TV networks, teams, players and sponsors. Without that money, they can not get paid as much as they want to get paid.

TV networks are able to put their premier games on Christmas with the maximum audience which generates the most sponsorship money, teams can fill their seating on this day and sell their merchandise, players get maximum exposure to sponsors or possible sponsorship opportunity. Sometimes based on your profession, you need to suck it up and do things that your not quite fond of or want to do. My father always had to work during the Forth of July for while the machines were shut down. That meant that we never got to go to any fireworks shows, but that was the fact I had to accept growing up.

It is time for the NBA players to stop acting like they have no common sense do what they do best, play basketball. I know today this is a shorter post, but the items in life that should be common sense should not take many words to state.

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Big Fine for Spurs; What a Joke

Friday, the master and commander of the NBA David Stern has decided if you don’t play the lineup he wants when she says so, you pay the consequences. A $250,000 fine for not playing the right players in a game the Spurs almost won against the Heat.

In general, I have agreed with the way Stern has run the NBA making it one of the largest commercialized sports leagues. I have agreed with how he has expanded the number of teams, cleaning up the image with the Dress Code and the policies in cleaning up flopping. The fine set by Mr. Stern sets a different tone for the league, sit the wrong player the wrong night and pay the price.

His logic is it was not in the best interest of the league, the people paid to see the top players and this was the only time the Spurs were visiting Miami. It makes you wonder what will be next for fines? Don’t play Lebron or Kobe at least 40 minutes and get fined? Don’t play Kobe at the Shooting Guard but at Power Forward and incur another fine since the people were paying to see him play Shooting Guard?

Additional reasoning for fining the Spurs, whether Stern wants to say it or not, was due to the game being on “National Television”. In today’s televise everything climate in sports today, there is no such thing as National Television. People now only follow their local team because they can with most to all games on some local TV station. Going back 30 to 40 years ago, in order to get your fix of basketball, you had to rely on the National TV game, but those rules do not apply today. While I don’t have numbers to back this up, I bet the only people that were watching that game were mostly fans of the Spurs or Heat.

Teams in other sports sit players all the time without the fear of their commissioner. Bud Selig should be fining the heck out of MLB teams when they traditionally play their backup players on Sunday day game or do not call on a bench player/bullpen pitcher on any given night. Same concept, would not the fan have purchased the tickets with the understanding that their favorite player(s) might not be playing that day. In the NFL, teams that have cinched playoff positions have rested players in front of the playoff with no penalty.

I’m sure on the tickets the Heat fans brought it did not say “Tim Duncan vs. LeBron James”, it stated “San Antonio Spurs vs, Miami Heat”. When you purchase a ticket to any sport you are purchasing to see a sporting contest, not a player. If you want to ensure you see a player in person you buy a ticket to any personal appearance he might make in public outside the sporting world. Because you are purchasing a ticket to the appearance with the understanding he will be there.

I have traditionally agreed with the choices Stern has made, but this one leaves me a little shaky on the NBA and what the future holds. Lets hope this is only a blip on the radar and not a trend to a possible downfall in NBA.

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