Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Walters’

America’s Pastime

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Major League Baseball has a rich tradition with fiery and passionate fans. At first ABC tried to negotiate with teams to sell television rights. At first only three teams agreed to these terms.  Major League Baseball wanted fans to come to the ball park and wanted to keep coverage of the games local and did not allow ABC’s Game of the Week to air  within 50 miles of the ball park. This made matters worse for ABC who was trying to do anything to stay afloat during this time. The MLB has grown incredibly since the 50’s and the money television networks puts up shows this. Starting off in 1984 the original contract between NBC and ABC was $126 million. ABC putting up $56 million and NBC $70 million. Those two networks started the trend more national coverage and others soon followed suit. Now the heavyweights for baseball coverage are FOX, Fox Sports 1, TBS, and ESPN. Each network shoveling at least $300 million a year towards coverage. The numbers have increased and along that the fans have increased. These huge television contracts fuel long-term salaries. According to the Detroit Tigers have a reported $568 million committed to long term contracts between Justin Verlander, Prince Fielder, and Miguel Cabrera. Local television contracts fuel this contracts by supplying money to the club. These facts lead me to believe that the contracts will only grow in order to keep up the ever-growing salaries for players. This has been foreseen ever since the early 1880’s by then Chicago White Stockings owner Albert Spalding.  “Professional baseball is on the wane. Salaries must come down or the interest of the public must be increased in some way.” – Chicago White Stockings owner Albert Spalding, 1881 (Forbes).

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ABL vs. USFL: Keeping the Game Alive

Monday, April 21st, 2014

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In America, today, the people want to see sports on tv. The growing love of watching professional started long ago. But in the early 80’s it began to grow even more with the development of television. People could watch teams from across the nation. With ESPN growing as America’s flagship for sports entertainment, people wanted more. An antiques dealer from New Orleans by the name of David Dixon wanted to start an off season football league to be played in the spring and summer. He developed the United States Football League (USFL). In 1960 Dixon envisioned a spring and summer football league. FOr the next 15 years he prepared to make this happen. He studied the likes of leagues like the NFL, AFL, and World Football League. Dixon also formed a blueprint for the prospective league’s operations, which included early television exposure, heavy promotion in home markets, and owners willing to absorb years of losses,which he felt would be inevitable until the league found its feet in the market. Dixon then signed up 12 cities that would be host to the teams. 9 of those cities already had an NFL team in their respected city. Dixon set up million dollar television contracts with ABC and ESPN. USFL also had their own version of Monday Night Football. The USFL experienced problems in early years like most pro startup leagues. The league dealt with franchise instability, relocation, and closures. Another problem was trying to grow too quickly the league increased from 12 to 18 teams in the first two years. After financial problems the league declared CHapter 11 bankruptcy. When the league folded it lost over $163 million dollars.

The American Basketball League was a women’s basketball league that developed in 1996. It was formed after the growing interest of women’s basketball after the USA’s undefeated gold medal run in the ’96 summer games. The WNBA was being introduced to the public at the same time as the ABL. This led to conflicts with exposure and showed the lack of funds from the ABL. The ABL’s biggest problem was operating as a single entity structure. This made it so all major decisions and and operations were made out of the headquarters in Palo Alto, California. This didn’t help local markets who were trying to gorw and expand. The ABL could not keep up with the financial resources that the WNBA had and the league folded after 2 and 1/4 seasons.

The National Women’s Soccer League or the NWSL can learn some key points in trying to stay afloat from the USFL and ABL. One of the main things they can learn is trying not to expand too quickly until the nation has grasped the league and can hold attention. They should not try to compete with similar markets such as MLS. The biggest thing they need to overcome is how they’ll market the league. Their main target market should be girls between the ages of 7-19. This way they can get their attention early on and keep their attention for the rest of their life. You gotta start at the bottom.

Coaching Student Athletes

Monday, April 7th, 2014

With the steadily increasing interest in college athletics, the importance of academics has decreased. Why is this? The student athlete is supposed to be student first, athlete second. But these days it seems they are athletes first and students eighth or ninth. Is this coach’s fault? Is there too much emphasis on the sport and little to none on academics? Nowadays, the elite athletes are only worried about if they’re going to make it to the league. The NCAA needs to get back to the original student athlete and get these players grades up; especially men’s basketball and football programs.

Adding incentives to coaches contracts could decrease the problem. The athlete has to want to work in the classroom also so the incentives should include them as much as possible. Also, I would suggest all teams be in some kind of study table with tutors.

  • If team gets a cumulative 2.5 GPA coach gets $5,000 bonus and players get new game shoes
  • If team has 2.75 GPA coach gets $10,000 bonus
  • If team has 3.0 GPA team gets off of study table

Obviously, it would be a very difficult task for a full football team to have a 3.0 but the schools could rearrange the contracts however they wanted to. It’s just my personal opinion that these athletes need to think realistically and that they are not going to be able to play their sport forever and need to think about real life. Their education needs to come before their sport and the person who can start that tradition HAS to be the coach and backed up by the institution.