Archive for June, 2012

Erin Andrews May Leave ESPN For Fox

Posted by    |    June 30th, 2012 at 5:30 am

Photo

And I just realized I don’t really care.

Over on SI.com they are reporting Andrews is being actively pursued by Fox.

SI.com has learned that Fox Sports is aggressively pursuing ESPN sportscaster Erin Andrews for a role at its network. The network’s executives recently met with Andrews regarding a major role in Fox’s college football coverage.

Andrews’ contract with ESPN concludes at the end of June. Her last on-air assignment for ESPN came in mid-March with its ACC college basketball tournament.

Contacted by SI.com. Lewis Kay, a representative for Andrews, said, “Erin remains under contract with ESPN.”

Whoops!

Erin Andrews leaving ESPN. She did great work for us & we made an aggressive offer to keep her. We wish her the best on her next chapter.

— Mike Soltys (@espnmikes) June 29, 2012

These things move at SEC speed.

I have nothing against Erin Andrews, who seems like bright and nice person, but she’s really sort of a creation of ESPN. Does she add a whit of value to any ballgame I am watching? Nope.

Now, teaming her with Dave Lapham… Hey now! That could be interesting.

Anyway, curious if you all even care.

NBA Draft Winners And Losers

Posted by    |    June 29th, 2012 at 5:05 am

June 28, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Harrison Barnes (North Carolina), right, is introduced as the number seven overall pick to the Golden State Warriors by NBA commissioner David Stern during the 2012 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center.  Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

A lot of interesting stuff happened last night. A lot of foolish stuff too.

The combination of the lockout keeping players in school and a strong freshman class made this year’s draft easily the deepest since 2008, which featured Derrick Rose, Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook and Eric Gordon and had contributors deep into the first round (Serge Ibaka, George Hill, Darrell Arthur).

In my mind, there were maybe 4-5 guys (Kyrie Irving and a few international big men) with elite talent in last year’s draft. This year, I thought there were probably 15-20.

And while the plentiful amount of talent available should have made the jobs of NBA GM’s easier, it also magnified the costs of their (many, many) mistakes. There are quite a few which don’t seem to take the draft very seriously, which is pretty crazy since it’s such an affordable way to upgrade a team’s overall talent level. Some years, you’re leaving $5 dollar bills on the ground; other years, $100.

At the same time, there’s no point in doling out grades to 30 GM’s taking different tests. You can divide them into three categories: rebuilding teams trying to add core players, reloading players try to upgrade around an existing core and contending teams trying to tweak minor roles around a successful core.

Rebuilding Teams:

1) Detroit Pistons: In 2010, Greg Monroe fell into their laps. In 2012, Andre Drummond did. The Pistons got the most skilled big man in one draft and the most athletic big man in another. That’s a pretty good formula for success.

No team with complete confidence in their player development and the strength of their system would pass on Drummond in favor of any player in this class beyond Anthony Davis. — RealGM

Drummond is 6’11 280, moves like a guard and jumps like Blake Griffin. He’s a 19-year old with unlimited potential; those kind of players don’t come around very often. There’s no reason to think he won’t develop; this isn’t a DeMarcus Cousins situation. It’s just that teams are afraid he won’t, even though they are as responsible as the player they draft for his ultimate development.

Monroe and Drummond has a chance to be a Twin Towers type team. If you have two athletic 6’10+ dudes who can play, you’re going to have a pretty nice team. Kim English could a great fit here too: a spot-up shooter who can defend multiple positions.

2) New Orleans Hornets: David Stern did all the hard work here — he got them Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon. Unfortunately, they already fumbled their first real decision at No. 10. If you’ve already got a 2 and a 4/5 and needs at the other three positions, why take a pure 2 (Austin Rivers) who dominates the ball and doesn’t play any defense?

3) Toronto Raptors: They are slowly building a fairly interesting team. In the World U-19 Championships in Lithuania last year, Jeremy Lamb and Jonas Valanciunas were the two best players. Toronto has a skilled, athletic and versatile young player in their front-court and their back-court to build around.

4) Cleveland Cavaliers: With Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson around Kyrie Irving, they’ve got 4/5 of a pretty good starting line-up. But is pretty good going to be enough in a superteam era? Five years from now, they’re going to look back at the past two drafts and realize they left a lot of runs on the board.

5) Washington Wizards: They got a super-talented back-court of the future with John Wall and Bradley Beal, but for some reason, they’ve also invested most of their payroll into the aging front-line of Nene, Emeka Okafor and Trevor Ariza. There’s not a lot of shooting in that line-up, so they’ll probably play a lot of uptempo basketball, but a good team will be able to keep them in the half-court and clog the paint.

6) Charlotte Bobcats: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Jeff Taylor are two of the best perimeter defenders in the draft, but combine them with Bismack Biyombo and you have a core that’s going to struggle to score a lot of points. Kemba Walker isn’t exactly capable of carrying an NBA offense.

7) Sacramento Kings: Thomas Robinson is one of the most NBA-ready players in the draft, but that’s not that big a deal on a franchise that’s still pretty far from being NBA-ready. He’s most comfortable playing near the rim, which isn’t a great fit with a low-post scorer like DeMarcus Cousins. They also sold their No. 36 overall pick for straight cash, which is a pretty shameful thing for an organization to do when they have so many needs on their team.

8) Phoenix Suns: Kendall Marshall is pretty effective if he’s going to be the fifth best starter on his team like he was at UNC, but he’s not going to do much with a punch-less outfit like Phoenix.

Reloading Teams:

1) Houston Rockets: In terms of maximizing the talent on hand, Morey made three pretty good selections in Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones. I’m probably beating a dead horse here, but that’s a pretty good trio of players to tear it down and rebuild around. Those three + one top 5 pick could be a deadly team, but the only way they’re getting that top 5 pick is “earning” it by losing a lot of games.

2) Portland Trail Blazers: Damian Lillard was the best PG in the draft and Meyers Leonard was the second best C. With those two, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nic Batum and Wesley Matthews, Portland has a well-rounded long-term starting five that should develop into a top-tier playoff team. They hit a double they could turn into a triple, but they may have needed a home run to get past Oklahoma City.

3) Golden State Warriors: Everything in Golden State now revolves around the health of Andrew Bogut. If he can dominate action at both ends of the floor, the rest of their core (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, David Lee) complements him pretty well, but if he’s hurt, they don’t have enough athleticism to be a good defensive team or the dominant scorer to be a good offensive team.

4) Denver Nuggets: Evan Fournier could be an interesting player down the road, but they may have gotten the steal of the draft in Quincy Miller. I’m a big fan, even if no one else is; at the very least, he’s a pretty good gamble at No. 38 overall.

5) Boston Celtics: Danny Ainge has one of the best track records in the draft of anyone in the NBA. I’m not a big fan of Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger, but if any team is going to figure out how to maximize their value, it’s the Celtics.

6) Minnesota Timberwolves: Trading the No. 18 pick for Chase Budinger is a pretty good example of overpaying for a known commodity. You could have done a lot worse than Budinger at that spot, but you could have done a lot better.

7) Milwaukee Bucks: Not sure what the plan is in Milwaukee: John Henson, Ekpe Udoh and Larry Sanders have the same general strengths and weaknesses. A somewhat talented team that’s fairly poorly constructed.

8) Philadelphia 76ers: Moe Harkless has the potential to be an interesting player, but they’ve already got plenty of athletic wings who can’t shoot. A puzzling pick given the make-up of the rest of their roster.

Teams Who Tweak:

1) Oklahoma City Thunder: The rich keep on getting richer. Did the second best team in the NBA need a versatile and athletic 6’11+ player who can defend three different positions and fit into a lot of different roles offensively? The Thunder continue playing chess while a lot of teams are struggling to master how to play checkers.

2) Memphis Grizzlies: No. 25 overall is a pretty good place to roll the dice on a guard like Tony Wroten. He can’t shoot and he’s reluctant to pass the ball, but he’s a huge 6’5 205 PG with the ball-handling ability to take over a game off the bench.

3) Dallas Mavericks: Jared Cunnigham, an athletic slasher, and Bernard James, a shot-blocking small-ball center, are good fits next to Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas could have swung for the fences, but as long as they get Deron Williams, it won’t matter. If they don’t though, the talent level on this roster is slipping pretty fast.

4) Chicago Bulls: I’m not a big Marquise Teague fan, but I don’t really have a strong opinion about it. The Bulls might be able to turn him into a pretty good player.

5) Orlando Magic: Andrew Nicholson, if he can develop a three-point shot, could be a more well-rounded version of Ryan Anderson. That’s not going to mean much to Dwight Howard though.

6) Atlanta Hawks: John Jenkins is an excellent shooter but there’s not much else he can do. You can find undrafted free agents who can do that. Not a great use of the No. 23 pick.

7) Indiana Pacers: Miles Plumlee is big and athletic but he has no real idea how to use any of it. Duke got brutalized in the paint most of the year, not sure why you would draft one of their centers to be a defensive specialist.

NA:

Utah, the Lakers, Clippers, San Antonio, New York, Miami and New Jersey pretty much sat this draft out.

College Football Playoff Sundry

Posted by    |    June 28th, 2012 at 5:30 am

Photo

With the recent announcement BCS “evolving” into a four team playoff with competing teams chosen from a committee formed from some combination of the Nizari and Ordo Templi Orientis, much has been written and said by various friends of the Carnival.

Here’s some of that.

Our buddy Jason Kirk from SB Nation College Football and SBN Studios lays it all down for you.

Not surprisingly, the author of Death To The BCS, Dan Wetzel, penned a really good piece on just what happened, what has changed and possibly more importantly what hasn’t changed. The BCS finally has a stake driven through its heart, but the bowls and the big bucks still reign.

In 2010, Rick Baker, president of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, said, “A playoff system would ruin the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.” Tuesday, Rick Baker, president of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, said, “It’s a great day for college football. We congratulate the conference commissioners and presidents for their diligent work to enhance the postseason.”

Andy Staples at SI.com says the sports has crossed The Rubicon and will never be the same, at least not for the always sincere master of face control Jim Delany.

“We weren’t asking for the BCS to be replaced,” Delany said. “But we understood the public was, and a lot of other people wanted to change. Once we realized that’s what people wanted, we agreed to listen, participate and explore. And we did that.”

The actual statement from the BCS is here.

Bryan Fischer takes a stab at what the games will look like here.

Anyway, let’s all work together to get through July.

It’s Official: We Have a College Football Playoff

Posted by    |    June 27th, 2012 at 5:30 am

Photo

The BCS Presidential Oversight Committee announced late Tuesday that they have adopted the playoff format that was forwarded by the commissioners of the 11 BCS conferences and it will start New Year’s Eve, 2014.

The Presidents accepted the proposal that incorporates six bowls into a rotating system for the semifinals, which will be held on Dec. 31st and Jan.1st every year beginning after the 2014 regular season. The playoff will also use a selection committee patterned after the NCAA basketball selection process.

The committee supposedly will take into account win-loss record, strength of schedule, head-to-head record, and if a team is a conference champion when looking for the Final Four participants.

The Championship game will be bid out to cities, much like the Super Bowl. The playoff will rotate the semis between the current BCS bowls (Fiesta, Orange, Sugar and Rose) and add two more.

Hello BCS Oversight Committee? Jerry Jones on line 1.

Definitely For Mature Audiences: KSWISS Commercial

Posted by    |    June 26th, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Do not watch this if you are easily offended.

As content marketers, we push the creative boundaries to make content that will tell our client’s stories well enough that audiences will watch the video to completion.  In the case of KSwiss, creative freedom clashes with taste as this “commercial” uses the F-word multiple times in order to sell a new line of shoes called K-Swiss Tubes.

What some call “advertising gold”, others might call vulgar.  So here we have an exceptionally controversial commercial that is going to work because men 18-54 are going to watch the character in the advertisement – Kenny Powers.  Did they cross the line?  What do you think?

This information was taken directly from Wired.  “The show is about a delusional, egomaniac ex-baseball player who is forced into retirement but thinks he can make a comeback. He’s rude, he’s oblivious to those around him and their feelings and he’s just a giant doofus when it comes down to it. Kenny Powers might have made a good spokesperson when he was younger – but now? To enlist Kenny Powers now would be taking a huge risk. Unless of course it’s all scripted and the character is fictional.

In the video  Kenny Powers purchases 51% of K-Swiss stock and takes over the company, running it his way. This is a follow-up to the campaign started last year over at Funny or Die, when K-Swiss originally hired Kenny Powers as spokesperson. It’s profane, it’s aggressive and in your face. That’s what’s the most surprising about this ad campaign. Even with most viral ad campaigns, they still strive to keep the content to a rating that would pass on most commercial television. This one however quickly scraps that ideal, by Kenny Powers naming himself the “Mother F-cking CEO.” The concept is just SMART, taking a character and not making any changes to it. Instead of wondering if the character is too risque, or too not safe for work, the brains behind this ad campaign just said to themselves, “this character is awesome, so let’s let him be himself.” This could be the paradigm shift in advertising we didn’t know we were waiting for. The gloves are off.”