Okay I may be leaving Columbia, MO, but the new tailgate concert series news today has me all kinds of excited!! If you don't know what I'm talking about read the article Mizzou released today here! - Basically, after Tiger Walk, two and a half hours before the game, there will be a concert held on the east side of Faurot Field. The concerts are free to the public and will be an hour long so fans have plenty of time to get in the stadium and watch all the pre-game. When I first saw it I was kind of expecting there to be no name performers.. I was wrong. And now I suddenly have an even stronger desire to return home for some football games..
The lineup is all across the board in terms of genres, and there are some I've never heard of. However, David Nail and Josh Abbott Band are going to be there! (I'm a big Josh Abbott Band fan, as you can tell from my last Roadtrip Playlist, & they are playing the Florida game so yeah, I need to come back..) Gin Blossoms and Lauren Jenkins are also in the lineup, plus a few others. For the first time doing something like this concert series, having a variety is probably the best idea, see what works.
I'm writing a blog post about this because I think it is genius! Not only as a fan am I excited about this, but as a person going into the sports industry, this seems like a great idea! People love live events, maybe the concert will draw them to the football game or the football game will draw them to the concert. Either way, I think the crowds will be large and this unique experience is something people will be looking forward to.
As a Mizzou alum, I can tell you that tailgating is no joke here in CoMo. I know a lot of schools have incredible tailgates and I'm not saying ours is better or worse, but this new aspect is something that I think will go over really well. People start claiming their parking spots before the end of the work day on Friday and are at their tailgate sometimes as early as 7am.. not kidding. You combine live music with that? Um touchdown! (Yeah I used a cheesy football reference, judge me)
The concerts lasting an hour from the end of Tiger Walk is a perfect amount of time because between Tiger Walk and Kickoff there is always the dilemma of "when do we go in?" and "should we even go to Tiger Walk or just stay at the tailgate?" - Not to mention, you can't drink in the stadium so many people (especially students) don't want to get inside 2 hours before kickoff, they want to stay out. Why not head to the concert with a few drinks and head inside Faurot once they're gone?
I think this is another way for Mizzou to showcase their game days and what the campus has to offer to potential students too. We're in the SEC now and football is obviously a huge deal, but the more unique you can make the game day experience, the more Mizzou will appeal to those potential students. Sorry for any of you sports skeptics, but there is no denying that sports play a large role in drawing new students to schools. If you don't believe me look at enrollment numbers after a university has won a national championship in football, basketball, or baseball. Coastal Carolina (Baseball College World Series) and Florida Gulf Coast (March Madness run) are examples of jumps in enrollment.
At a time when the University of Missouri's budget and enrollment are down far past a comfortable number, these are the kinds of things that are not only going to help Mizzou Athletics, but it has the potential to help enrollment, revenue generation for the school and city, and game day attendance in general. Even if money and enrollment weren't an issue, the Tailgate Concert Series would be an exciting announcement. At a time when Mizzou needs to attract new students and raise revenue, I think it's even more exciting!
What are y'alls thoughts on this? Does your school offer any kind of concert pregame? What type of genres or artists would you like to see if you school did this?
Hey, hey! I'm getting super close to my move down south and naturally one of the things I am uncontrollably excited for is the new sports and venues in the area! I've already checked the football schedules for a few (ok, or maybe a lot) of SEC teams in the area! Sure, I had to check South Carolina's for my job.. but the rest were just to see who and when I could catch some games at stadiums I've been dreaming of seeing!
With that being said, I decided to modify my bucket list series for this post! I have two years of grad school and I hope to visit some college football stadiums while I'm there! I'm going to be a grad student though so I won't be breaking the bank on any tickets..
1. Clemson - Memorial Stadium -- I mean I'm going to be 2 hours away and I don't know if you remember or not, but they've been kind of good the last few years.. Plus, I kind of love Dabo! Going to have to keep that hidden while I'm at USC though!
2. Georgia - Sanford Stadium -- Athens is about the closest SEC school to University of South Carolina and, if I'm lucky, I can catch the Mizzou game when they come to Athens this fall! Hopefully it doesn't end in heartbreak like last years did.. No, I'm still not over that..
3. Alabama - Bryant-Denny Stadium -- There is so much history and success at this stadium that almost any football fan would want their chance to walk through those gates! Unless they're playing Mizzou or the Gamecocks, I'll even rock some houndstooth ;)
4. Florida - Ben Hill Griffin Stadium -- It's Great To Be A Florida Gator.. or so they say.. I've been told once you watch a game here you'll realize why it's unlike any other college football stadium. I need to see if it lives up to the hype.
5. LSU - Tiger Stadium -- Okay, why they don't just name this stadium Death Valley instead of just a nickname is beyond me.. Anyways, Baton Rouge isn't exactly close to Columbia, SC, but I just really want to catch a game here! The tailgating is supposedly unreal, which means I must go right?!
Outside of these five, I would say the opportunity to watch a Bama vs Auburn game is obviously something I want to see. I don't care where it's at! -- I also hate to admit it, but if Tennessee can find their way to a successful season, watching a game at Rocky Top might be worth the price of admittance.. maybe.. I'd eye roll my way through that entire song though..
I can't wait to see how many of these I can check off over the next few years! :)
My nerdy and emotionally attached, sports loving self is going to come out in this post. You've been warned! - Thursday I found myself frequently refreshing my Twitter feed and reading tweets and articles about the NFL Draft. Long before it started at 7pm. Now, that may not come as a shock to you all, but trust me when I say that prior to this year the only reason I followed the Draft at all was to see where Mizzou guys would go. (MIZ!) My attention to college football definitely increased this year, as did my interest in the stories surrounding these guys. You might've read in some of my other posts that the NFL isn't my favorite to watch, but this past year I paid more attention to it as well. We can all thank Dak and Zeke for that, and Travis Kelce can be added to that list as well ;) - Watching a lot of games, highlights, and stories, both in the NFL and College Football, definitely made my interest in the Draft grow. I'm not a completely crazy Draft follower because I didn't pay attention to all the mock drafts or how each player did at Pro Days or the Combine, but Twitter is a great place to keep up on the important stuff! So when I sat down at 7pm the other night and got frustrated with the Cardinals, my tv flipped to the Draft. Let the madness and fascination begin!
First of all the setting for the Draft is always massive and has so much going on that I'd probably get lost trying to navigate it all! The stages are beautiful and the boos for Roger Goodell are a staple of any NFL Draft these days. Not to mention the die hard fans in their face paint, cheese heads, and custom jerseys never disappoint. I definitely did not have an NFL Draft on my Sport Event Bucket List, but I am definitely thinking I should add it! I just think it is a site to see for any football fan. In addition to the location of the actual Draft, some of the parties looked crazy! The Star in Frisco would definitely be a fun place to be, I mean Jerry Jones was even there with all the fans! Possibly better yet, NFL Draft parties in Vegas when the Oakland Raiders become the Las Vegas Raiders..
Ya know what else is fascinating? The mock drafts and the time and effort people put into them. I'd say that these people are crazy because the NFL Draft is amazingly unpredictable (most of the time), but I spent over an hour filling out March Madness brackets that completely bombed so I have no room to talk. These people that do the mock drafts though spend hours and days and months on these things, making adjustments every time a team or coach makes a comment that shifts their thinking, only to have it all torn apart when a team unexpectedly trades up for a draft spot. That's dedication. Not only is the amount of time and dedication fascinating, but so is how different one "expert" prediction can be from another "expert" prediction.
Lastly, the stories associated with the draftees kept me glued to the tv, Twitter, and wherever else they were popping up! Follow my Instagram, Facebook, and/or Twitter and you'll quickly know that Deshaun Watson is a player I love to watch succeed, but it wasn't just his story. I mean, I will admit that watching him with his family and his interview saying he was going to take care of his mom after ESPN ran the Habitat for Humanity story about his family did bring a tear to my eye(s).. but there's so many others!
- You have the story of Garrett Bolles and his rough younger years transpiring into being drafted in the first round with his young son in his arms.
- Then there's Takkarist McKinley who made a promise to his grandmother that he'd be drafted and make it to the NFL just hours before she died, and making that promise happen. (Followed by dropping the F bomb and saying they can fine him later, convincing me he'll be added to my list of entertaining player interviews to watch with Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch..)
- Charles Harris, my Mizzou guy, was a 2 star recruit coming out of high school. Mizzou offered him a scholarship after another kid decided to go to Nebraska instead. This 2 star recruit was the 22nd draft pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Talk about exceeding expectations and giving all of the kids with low recruiting ratings something to strive for!
- Christian McCaffrey doesn't have that hard knock story, but to hear the athletic accomplishments his family members have been a part of and know that he is carrying on that tradition in a big way. Wow. - Not to mention that shortly after being selected he looked like a small child in an interview stating that he's so excited to be a Panther because Cam Newton is the best QB in the League. Just a reminder that these guys are young and look up to their, very soon-to-be, teammates a lot.
- The last mention I'll make is of Jabrill Peppers and Rueben Foster. Now don't get me wrong, these guys were still selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, that's nothing to be disappointed about, but they went later than most anticipated even with their crazy talent. They both had some issues outside of athleticism in the past few months and those character issues could have easily affected their draft stock. I think seeing these guys slide is an important reminder to all the kids who dream of being in the NFL one day to make good decisions. Another disclaimer, injuries and team needs also contributed to where they were drafted.
Between the current players tweeting out good lucks, congratulations, and saying that it doesn't matter what number you're drafted (Dak!) and thinking about the conversations and utter chaos in the "war rooms" for Draft Day there is no better word to describe my thoughts than fascinating. I don't want to ever be a part of actually drafting guys, too much pressure and those people know WAY more about football than me, but I would LOVE to sit in one of the "war rooms" and just watch it all play out. How cool right?!
These are just my thoughts after the first round! I could go on and on about the other rounds! Not to mention the best part about the NFL Draft.. A sure sign that College Football is even closer!! :D
What are y'all's thoughts on the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft?! How did your team do and what was your favorite story?! I got high hopes for Watson with the Texans and hope to see another DLine ZOU guy be a standout in the NFL with Miami! Bring on football season!!
When a team moves it affects their fan bases differently, but watching the interviews and reading the tweets has made it clear that Oakland fans are not happy with this move. I understand why, but I also understand that their stadium sucks and, well Vegas is Vegas! They'll have some fans that carry over, but not all. What I'm more interested in is do they try to build a fan base from the Las Vegas residents, or do they rely on tourists to buy all their tickets?
I don't have the answer and I don't necessarily think one way will work better than the other, it is just interesting to think about. With Las Vegas being such a tourist heavy location, there are always out of town visitors there who are looking for things to do. Of course when you're in Vegas finding something to do usually isn't a problem, but now they have a new option! Do the Raiders focus on making ticket packages for tourists and try and sell out their stadium that way? I know personally I think going to a Raiders game in Vegas sounds a hell of a lot more appealing than going to a Raiders game in Oakland! I'm actually excited thinking about the potential to see an NFL game in Vegas, I can only imagine how unique that venue will be as well (or it should be at least!) - If you focus on tourists though you don't have that "home field advantage", and with a team like the Raiders who are used to that hostile environment for visitors the "Las Vegas Raiders are a tourist stop" approach might not be what they're interested in. Not to mention the fact that none of us have any idea if Vegas tourists will spend a chunk of their time at a football game. There are so many things to do there, you can't guarantee that a Raiders game is going to be #1 on everyone's list.
When you uproot a team, you are going to lose some of your fan base. Strike 1. Then when you move to a city like Vegas where, typically, the locals don't go to the Strip that often and you propose that your venue is going to essentially be an extension of the Strip, it doesn't exactly cater to the permanent residents. Strike 2.
What I'm getting at is there is already two marks against them when you think about relying heavily on a permanent fan base. I'm not saying it is impossible, because I do think that they'll be successful and popular in Vegas, but I think they will have to be strategic. They'll have to listen to what the permanent residents and surrounding area residents are saying it will take to get them to the games. Maybe it will be easier than I'm predicting, or maybe there are some hurdles they'll have to jump through. I don't have those answers.
I think another interesting piece is that they'll be playing in Oakland for at least one more season, probably two, with a fan base that knows they are leaving them. Will Oakland rally around the team and enjoy the last few seasons, or will they turn their backs immediately? It's not like they have a sell out crowd the way it is, but is it going to decrease more? Or finally fill up as people say goodbye to their team? Living near St. Louis I think if the Rams stayed another season a lot of people would have said bye and not spent their money to watch another game. They're still bitter, and Kroenke is not exactly their favorite person.. - The situation Oakland is in is unique though and I'm looking forward to seeing how their fans react in these last few years in Oakland followed by what approach they take with selling out their new stadium and fan base. I loved what Derek Carr had to say in his tweet yesterday addressing the current fan base and the future fan base, it was well very well said. Read it here!
Congrats Vegas, you're killing the game and i'm excited to see what you can do for the NFL and the NHL in the upcoming years! Zero professional sports teams to two in a short amount of time, can't wait to see how this all plays out!
What thoughts do y'all have on the move? Anybody planning on attending the first NFL game in Las Vegas?! :)
*smiles while thinking about sports with no commercials in a complete and utter dreamland*
Those wants sound fine and dandy, but it isn't realistic. Not entirely at least. We aren't talking about shortening visits to the pitcher's mound, which the MLB CAN set a timer on and CAN enforce rules on (even though I think baseball's pace of play is fine! Different time and place, I digress..), we are talking about one of the largest ways the NFL, or any sport for that matter, makes money, TV contracts and advertisements. Maybe if they cut the amount of breaks, but make them longer, which is something Goodell mentioned in his radio interview, the money generated from commercials won't decrease, but cutting the amount of times Fox can promote the new 24 or CBS can promote 60 Minutes during a game, I just don't think is going to sit well. Not when they are paying this huge amount just for the right to air a game.
There is a reason why athletes make so much money and college campuses always have construction going on with athletic facilities, sports bring in the big bucks people. Now you can be on the "it's just a game, it's crazy that sports are one of the largest industries in the US" side of it, or you can be on the "I love sports and there is nothing wrong with the amount of money being spent or paid out" side of it, either way you can recognize that it is big business. Where does the money come from to make it a big business? Well you have your fans and the "butts in seats" aspect of it, but the largest portion is from advertising/naming rights and TV contracts. If you doubt how much money is coming to the NFL, MLB, NBA, NCAA (SEC specifically) just Google whichever one and TV contract money. It's incredible.
If we could put this in a "follow the leader" turn of events it would look something like this:
1. People love sports and want to watch, from their home.
2. TV contracts are signed (LARGE ones) so that networks such as Fox with MLB rights, ESPN with SEC rights, and NFL rights, split across the board, can all be broadcast for the people that want to see them from their homes.
3. Networks pay this large amount because they make a lot of money by airing the events. This revenue either comes from companies paying for commercials or increased ratings from promoting their shows and network with in-game promotions.
4. The higher the network's ratings, or the more a product being advertised sells, the more companies are willing to pay for their ads to be on the networks and the more the networks are willing to pay sport organizations in order to gain the rights to broadcast the games.
5. The more the contracts are worth, the more money the NFL makes.
So, it starts with fans wanting to watch the game and ends with the NFL making money... To tie it full circle shouldn't the NFL, with all their money, be trying to make the fans happy and encourage them to continue watching the NFL..? Well, yes. Which is what Goodell is trying to do with this new proposal of less commercial and advertising breaks during football games. Sounds great! Oh, but if networks can't advertise their shows as much and not as many companies can buy commercial slots, are the TV networks going to spend as much money on contracts to air the NFL? The NFL is putting this in place to make fans happy, keep them watching, ultimately increasing revenue. When the largest portion of your revenue is coming from TV contracts though are you really going to risk losing that money in hopes of increasing viewers and fans? - Maybe I'm out of line and TV networks and the NFL make more money from strictly viewers and fans than I think.. but I'm pretty confident that the potential decrease in revenue from TV contracts is significantly larger than the potential increase in revenue from more viewers and happier fans.
Here's an idea Goodell, try to make fans happy by removing this "No Fun League" persona that the NFL seems to have taken on. (Head here to read my post, Dear NFL, Stop Being the No Fun League!) The fact that there is a video being created on what is and is not okay in terms of celebrating during games is beyond infuriating to me. I know that the NFL has said fans biggest complaints are the number of breaks and distractions from the game, but there are A LOT of people who wish personality and celebration could be shown more without players being penalized for it.. Why not focus on bringing more fun to the game than focusing on something that could really affect your main revenue stream? - All in all, I think less breaks from the game is a good thing, but from the financial point of view the amount of opportunities to advertise and promote needs to remain close to the same as now. This is one of the less frustrating things Goodell has done or said, but his interview today seemed so casual and like cutting the number of commercial breaks and in-game ads is a done deal with no ramifications. I don't think it's that simple. I'm going to keep my eye on this and be on the lookout for upset TV networks over the next year. In the end, the NFL will most likely pick money over fan happiness, so I won't be surprised if this plan doesn't last long or if there are adjustments to his original proposal.
What do you think? Will the NFL stick with this and actually decrease the number of breaks during a game? I'd love to hear your thoughts below!
Okay, before we get into the book let me give a few quick facts about why I wanted to read this book, total honesty.
A. I love Tim Tebow. There are a few reasons, but leading those are his dedication, drive, and personality. He is a great guy, plain and simple, and argue if you want, but he is an amazing athlete. I don't care if his NFL career didn't go as planned, or if he may never see the MLB, he is still a tremendous athlete to even be competing for a spot. - Ok, I'm off my Tim Tebow as an athlete soap box now. But last reason, he's real cute..
B. He, and his family, do a lot for others & I wanted to learn more about it.
C. I follow his social media, and saw a lot of his posts and quotes from Shaken. It drew me toward the book.
What I expected from Shaken vs. what I got:
1. Expected: I expected stories and experiences. I wasn't sure what style they would be written in, but I thought there would be stories related to his playing days and to his charity and missionary work. Like I said, I think Tim Tebow is great so I don't mean this in any disrespect, but I assumed they would be the highlight reel type of stories.
What I Got: In a sense it was a highlight reel, but in a totally different way. Yes, he referenced playing at Florida, playing with the Broncos, and some of his mission trips, but it was in absolutely no way a "Look how amazing I am" kind of way. Former athletes could easily capture, and keep, people's attention by talking about their high points, but the lows were also mentioned in this book. If he wasn't explaining how he got through lows, he was tying a success story to hospital patients or children with his foundation. He wouldn't be Tim Tebow without mentioning Florida, his Night to Shine events, or days in the NFL, but he definitely didn't use those experiences to promote himself, he used them as encouragement, and to relate to other people.
2. Expected: Another thing I expected, and I hope this doesn't come across in a terrible light, was religious connections that were either deeper than my understanding or very direct. We all know that Tebow is strong in his faith and has probably lost fans, contracts, and opportunities because of it. I see nothing wrong with his faith and the messages he tries to get across, but I expected the book to be more direct than it was. Keep reading, I'll explain..
What I Got: This book had a lot of important messages about pressure, expectations, life plans, family and friends, and being a better person. All of which I found incredibly encouraging. At no point was I uncomfortable with the message and faith showing through in Shaken. The way it is written is very easy to relate to and so simply discussed that I instantly wanted to practice these methods and learn more. The theme of God's plan and seeing the things He puts in front of you instead of having to see them for yourself, really stuck out to me.
Circle of Trust - Not every person wants to see you succeed. As much as any of us wish this weren't true, it is. Then there are also some times people might have the best of intentions, but don't understand what you're trying to do or what you need to do to get there. Both of these situations can cause issues and negativity. In Shaken, Tebow references his Circle of Trust frequently and states that they are his immediate conference call when something good or bad happens in his life. I think this is important, and something that I've definitely thought about recently.
John 3:16 - In Chapter 8 of Shaken, the section title "What God Can Do" will really makes you stop and say "wow". I'm sure we all remember Tebow wearing Bible versus on his eye black through college. In this section he references wearing John 3:16 during the National Championship game in 2009 and the 94 million people that Googled that verse during the game. What stuck out to me though was that three years, to the day, after the National Championship he was playing for the Broncos, threw for 316 yards, 31.6 yards per completion, time of possession was 31:06, ratings were 31.6 million, and during the game 90 million people Googled John 3:16. Amazing.
God's Plan - A big message throughout Shaken, included realizing that your plan may not always be the best plan, or the one meant for you. It may be obvious if you're trying to become an NFL quarterback and get cut from a team, but if you're applying for jobs or taking an entrance exam, it may be more unclear and frustrating. From Shaken I really want to keep the idea that God's plan may not be the same as my own plan, but it is what's meant to be.
Quotes & Verses:
"'Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.' Trophies don't last. Awards come and go. Impressive titles move form one person to the next. But how we live can make an eternal impact."
"If we open our eyes, each day presents us with opportunities to do something kind or nice for someone else." - Tim Tebow, Shaken
"Oftentimes we don't dream big enough and oftentimes we don't start small enough.
So, I've decided to do my own twist on the popular bucket list, sports edition! Throughout the series there will be different topics. For example this edition features Sporting Events. - What can I say, I was inspired by the Super Bowl ;) - Still brainstorming other topics, but I can tell you to be on the lookout for a few others:
Sporting Venues (Read MLB Here!)
& More to come!
For now, I hope y'all enjoy my bucket list of sporting events!
Let's start with the obvious
1. Super Bowl
By now you all probably know that I prefer college football over the NFL, but every year for the past three or four years I've paid more and more attention to the NFL. The Super Bowl is just one of those unique events that, I think, most sports fans would agree is a dream event to attend. I guess the only down fall is that you miss Super Bowl commercials if you're actually in the stadium.. I think I could live with that though.
2. World Series
Hello, if you don't know by now, I have an obsession with baseball and have been known to watch MLB playoff games during class, work, family dinners, or to skip stuff all together and watch the game instead.. Yeah, don't count on me being anywhere in October if my team is in the playoffs..
Anyways, the World Series, what a dream come true to be sitting in the stadium, game 7, bottom of the 9th, down a run, two outs. Sure you could see your team win or lose, but it would be LIVE! The environment inside a sporting venue cannot be topped by a family home, local bar, or following along on Twitter. To be in the seats for the World Series would just make the excitement of the MLB Playoffs that much sweeter.
Side Note: If I could rewind time I'd spend all of my college tuition money on a ticket to Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. #Amazing #DavidFreeseIsStillMyHero
3. College Football Championship
There are few things in this world I enjoy more than watching a college football game in a stadium. Add tailgating to that and it's REALLY hard for me to think of things that top it. - I've been a Mizzou fan through good and bad. Heck just the years I was a student at Mizzou were a roller coaster!
2012 = bad,
2013 & 2014 = SEC East Champs,
2015 = Painful,
2016 = Better? But still painful.
With all things considered, I've been there to rush the field after beating A&M in 2013 and I've been there when we lost a heartbreaker to Georgia this year and an embarrassing loss to Middle Tennessee. Ya know what? I was right back at Faurot for the next home game either way! If that next game were a National Championship I can't even imagine the experience that would be! -- Now, I'm a realist and even though I have high hopes for my alma mater, I don't expect to be heading to the Natty to watch them in the next couple years. - As long as the National Championship I'm watching isn't Kansas vs Baylor or Tennessee vs Florida State, I'd still be ecstatic about being there!
Now, the not so obvious.. (I think..)
4. Summer Olympics
Because they aren't a yearly occurrence, I think a lot of people want to attend the Olympics, but that's not my reason. The Olympics are so special because most of these athletes aren't going back to play one of the major American sports and most aren't coming back to million dollar yearly salaries. They've trained, sometimes, their entire lives for this one chance that may or may not ever happen again. Gymnasts are the ones that really stick out in my mind. One bad routine could ruin their Olympic hopes that they've trained 15+ years for. That's insane! - It's also telling to hear people like Keri Walsh-Jennings talk about her Olympic runs and what the Olympics mean to her. The passion and love for their sport is amazing. It's not just Team USA's stories that make me want to attend an Olympics, all countries have these stories and this passion. It would be really cool to see that live.
5. College GameDay
Okay, okay y'all probably can tell how much I like College GameDay (and Sam Ponder), so it might not be that surprising.. but watch College GameDay and tell me that doesn't look like one of the most fun environments you've ever seen! I want to attend so bad! Unfortunately it never made it to Columbia, MO while I was here, but here's to hoping they'll make it to my graduate school during my two years with them!
I used to think the ESPYs were just a night for elite athletes to continue to get praised (& hey I'm not dissing that because I praise athletes, no shame), so I didn't pay much attention to them. I could just watch SportsCenter every now and then and hear the same stuff right? Wrong. - There are athlete and team awards, yes, but the people they honor and award who have faced adversity and difficult times are what have drawn me to watch the ESPYs the last couple years. Sure it's a great place to see your favorite stars, but it would be really inspiring to see and hear the speeches after they honor people like Leah and Devon Stills, Stuart Scott, Craig Sager, and many more.
7. College World Series - Baseball
We all know my love for baseball and when I remember it, I watch college baseball as much as I can. It's not the big names, but if you watch some of those names in college will be in the Big Leagues shortly (hey, hey Dansby Swanson!). Plus, it's another chance for that Cinderella to show up and win it all. What Coastal Carolina did last year was fun to watch! That left fielder became my favorite human for a couple days.. - I've heard Omaha is a great place to be during the CWS, so I'd like to experience it at least once!
8. College World Series - Softball
As for softball, well I played softball for 12 years, it had, has, and will always have a special place in my heart. As much as I love baseball, I like watching college softball more. It's so fast paced, amazing defense, dominate pitching. Ah, I'm getting excited for the season to start just talking about it! The CWS has the best of the best and it seems like every May, every game played at the CWS is a good game. I watch as much as I can on tv, but I'd love to just head down to Ofor the week. Maybe some day!
9. Either Olympic Gymnastics Trials or College Gymnastics Championships
Gymnasts are amazing, end of story. The athleticism and strength they have is unreal. I can just watch an entire meet and be in awe. Some may not agree, but I think watching a full day of championship gymnastics is something I want to do (at least) once in my life.
10. MLB All-Star Game.. & Home-Run Derby.. & Celebrity All-Star Game..
The MLB has a good thing going with the All-Star Game, and I pray it stays good with the, now non-existing, home field advantage rule. People actually get excited for All-Star Weekend, fans and players! The events are a great chance to see the best against the best and to see players take the game a little less seriously than they do during the regular season. I love watching the Homerun Derby and see all the players with their kids hanging out, it's a side of those guys you don't see a lot. Unfortunately I didn't make it to All-Star Festivities in St. Louis OR Kansas City so I guess I'll be traveling to a new part of the country to partake in these events!
Is your bucket list of sporting events the same? What ones would you add?
Leave the comments below, I'd love to hear from y'all!
1. There will be no Gronk even though the Patriots made it. Why even watch a Pats game without Gronk? Okay, I'm being ridiculous.. but he's entertaining! -- (Silly reason #1)
2. Tom Brady.. The guy is a living legend, I'm not going to argue that. I'm just over it. Sure, if I were a huge Patriots fan I would most likely have no problem with him being back in the Super Bowl, but I'm not and I think it is awesome to see a new guy like Matt Ryan in there. Congrats to Brady and all of his accomplishments, but new blood would be refreshing..
3. The political statements might just be too much. Even if this hadn't been an election year with a new President now in office, having Lady Gaga as your halftime show just sounds like a recipe for disaster. But since it was an election year, we get to have Lady Gaga as the halftime performer, who, I'm pretty sure, has already said that she will be addressing issues or taking a political stance during her show. Greeeeeeat. I don't care what side your own or what your beliefs are, but is the Super Bowl really the place statements have to be made?
4. I wanted the Cowboys to be there.. Dak and Zeke kind of stole my heart this season.. sooooo I was pretty upset when they lost (especially since they lost to Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers.. haaaard eye roll..). - The season that those two put together as rookies was more than impressive and they were having fun doing it! Football is all of these players and coaches jobs, but it is also a game, and I like to see them have fun while they're working.
5. If (when) the Patriots win, the trophy presentation is not going to be awkward enough or funny enough for me. - I think we all have this picture of Goodell handing over a trophy to Belichick or Brady and how humorous that would be after all of the "Deflate-gate" drama, right? But let's be realistic, unless Belichick or Brady want more trouble and punishment they'll be on their best behavior and it's likely that Goodell is too stuck in his own little world to realize why such a situation would be awkward.. (I'm not a Goodell fan FYI!). It's just going to be a let down, and I am not looking forward to that.
6. I have to work the next day. Seriously, when will the day after the Super Bowl be a national holiday?!?!
Disclaimer: This isn't the only day I think we should be given! We should package it as 1. day after Super Bowl, 2. opening rounds of March Madness, and 3. would it be too much to ask for the whole MLB Playoffs to be included? Eh, go big or go home right?!
What are your Pre-Super Bowl thoughts? Leave them below, I'd love to carry on the conversation with y'all!
Oh, and I'd love for the Falcons to win, but I think the Patriots will walk away with it. They may not have Gronk, but they still have #TB12 so I'm sure they'll be fine.
Basic question, we watch sports for entertainment right? So if the answer to that question is yes (which I 100% think it is) then why would you take the fun out of a sport? Let them play the sport and have fun while doing it! Oh, and watch yourself rake in the money while doing so!
What do we hear ALL about when it comes to sports lately? I'm talking NFL, MLB, NHL, Collegiate Sports, the whole works. Safety is a buzzword for sure, but I'm talking on the financial side... TV ratings and contracts. Just from my own experiences I can tell you that sports organizations/schools are making their money from tv. As a sport management major, a student at a university that rakes in cash from the SEC Network, and as a sports fan in general, it's blantantly obvious how important tv is in the sports world. What does this have to do with the NFL being no fun? A lot actually.
Sports are entertaining. Sure you can watch sports to become educated about that specific sport, or maybe even a culture (Olympics), but sports are watched for entertainment mostly. Trust me, an amazing play, walk off home run, hail mary pass, half court shot, or hard hit, grab my attention just as much as they do the next sports lover, but I also love seeing personalities, team bonds, inside jokes, celebrations, even some trash talk! That stuff is entertaining!
"That's funny there's no fine for that. i could only imagine if I was the one to do it. Just bein honest."
What has been behind the most talked about moments in the NFL this season? Winning.. unpredictable success.. superstars shining.. yes all of those are true, but the other things that have been frequently talked about are the entertaining acts. OBJ's multiple episodes with the kicking net, Travis Kelce's celebrations (and pouting quite frankly), Marquette King's punting dances (yes, punting. I don't get it either.), and some player's lack of celebration. - Score a touchdown and celebrate.....? Nope! Lay the ball down nicely and don't get a flag or a fine, but be dramatic about it! - The combination of the celebrations and personalities make the highlight reels, the ESPN video tickers, and the social media posts. I think it's fair to say viewers LIKE these things! They find them entertaining! And now we're back to the start.. sports are supposed to be entertaining! Don't take that entertainment away! Don't limit it!
often credited for a large part in this), but the NFL taking out the fun and personality is a big factor. Take a look at how many views Travis Kelce throwing the flag at the ref got, or how many people tweeted about OBJ's kicking net proposal. There is a reason why CBS played the clip of Zeke jumping in and coming out of the Salvation Army bucket last night more than any other play of that game. It's entertaining and people enjoy it. If people are entertained, they'll watch. So why, NFL, do you insist on taking this fun and entertainment out of the game? You want viewers and ratings? You want to keep your TV contracts and make big money that way? Want to keep fans and keep them happy?
Don't take the fun out of the game! Let the players show their personalities and celebrate. Stop being the No Fun League for fans, for players, and for yourself! No one wants you to be the No Fun League, you're doing it to yourself.
Four teams, that's it. I know it's only the second year and starting small is usually a good idea, but there needs to be more teams in. I mean if Clemson or Washington would have lost this weekend there could have been a scenario where three Big 10 teams were in and one SEC team. I'm not saying "Oh every conference deserves a team so it's fair!", nope, I'm just saying that it would be nice to have more than four teams.. more games.. more opportunities..
So I have some thoughts & ideas, here they are:
1. an 8 team playoff would be the best fit. I mean don't get me wrong, a 10, 12, 20 team playoff would be great but with time constraints it just isn't realistic.
2. Give an automatic bid to each of the Power 5 conferences. SEC, Big 12, Big 10, ACC & Pac 12 automatically get someone in. Their conference champion would seem like the obvious choice, but then you have the situation like the Big 10 this year and, well it doesn't seem like just being the conference champ is always the best answer. So, do you give it to the conference champion or do you let the selection committee pick the team from each conference? Most of the time it'll be the champ, but at least having the selection committee pick the team would give them some wiggle room if an instance like the current Big 10 or even if they needed to think a little more about a team if, for instance, Washington would have lost to Colorado Friday.
3. Two "wild card" spots. Whatever conference, it could even be two from the same conference. The trick is how to rank them and decide? There is no way to play everyone so it's back to the strength of schedule and records. Unlike the MLB, NFL, NHL, etc. there is no way to play everyone or play people multiple times so these wild card teams would have to be selected similar to the current system. Yeah there is going to be room for error and doubt, but this current system has A LOT of doubt so it can't be worse right?
4. The name for this hasn't come to me yet, so for now we'll call it the ultimate wild card. There will almost always be that Cinderella team that is undefeated with a weaker scheduled or has a strong schedule but isn't in a Power 5 conference. Let's give them a chance to get in. Now I know that Western Michigan is undefeated this year and I know that their shot of beating a Bama or an Ohio State is really small, so even though their record is great they shouldn't be in the playoff. This spot is more geared toward a school like Houston (if they would have performed like they were expected to pre-season). Or what about a Notre Dame/BYU? There has to be a way for these teams to get in if the correct situation presented itself. If it is a year like this year, then this spot just rolls into the third wild card spot, or give Western Michigan a chance if you want! Look at what Cinderella's do in March Madness, heck Coastal Carolina won NCAA Baseball this past year. It can be done.
Each of these games would be a "bowl game" that way your bowls still get their money. I don't know everything about the bowl set-up, but I know there is money there that the bowls don't want to lose and the NCAA/CFP doesn't want to lose, so they'll make it work I'm sure.
There ya have it. My proposal for expanding the College Football Playoff. After this year and the selection committee clearly having no clear way of selecting, I think it is obvious it needs to be expanded and there need to be some rules.
Let the complaining about who is in and bowl game placement begin!