Make-Me-Pay Update

My new 2018 Make Me Pay commitments are up.  (The link is in the blogroll section to the right.)  I added Rickie Fowler to the majors list and dropped Rory from the over-4-wins list.  2017 was the first winless year for Rory, sad to say, so it just didn’t seem right to keep him there.  Payoff for 2017 was just $100 (for Jordan’s Brit Open win).  I say “just,” but $100 certainly beats 2016’s $0.

Here’s hoping Jordan, Rory, and Rickie will Make Me Pay bigtime in 2018!

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And The Beat Goes On

Dallas’ win, which peaked with 17.3 million viewers from 9:30-9:45 PM ET, was the lowest rated Cowboys game ever on primetime over-the-air television. The previous low was a 9.9 for an October 2001 matchup with Washington in which both teams were 0-4.

Sports Media Watch

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Nicklaus Saves Thanksgiving!

I don’t remember ever missing the Lions and Cowboys games on Thanksgiving.  But that’s just what’s going to happen tomorrow, as the NFL is now far in my rearview mirror.  There’s Mississippi-Mississippi State in the evening, but that’s well after turkey time.

Well, well, well, I see Golf Channel is running the three installments of their Jack Nicklaus biography tomorrow at noon.  That’s what will be on at the Lanny H homestead.  If the guests don’t like it, they can try to figure out where I hid the remote.

ALERT!  The American media is deceiving in an attempt to save the NFL.  Deadline.com had this headline on Tuesday: “‘Monday Night Football’ Ratings Up As Falcons Beat Seahawks In Close Game,” saying “last’s night’s MNF was up 16%.”

Problem is… well… this from Sports Media Watch on Wednesday: “A good game between two recent Super Bowl teams could not save ESPN’s Monday Night Football ratings.”  The numbers?  “Falcons-Seahawks scored a 6.4 rating and 10.8 million viewers on ESPN Monday night, down 7% in ratings and 12% in viewership from Texans-Broncos last year (6.9, 12.2M).”

So how did Deadline come up with their numbers?  They used week-over-week instead of year-over-year.  Comparing to last week’s season-low (tying) game.  In other words: awful topped horrible.  Sure, that warrants a big “Ratings Up” headline, right?

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WOODS SLAMS CHAMBLEE’S FAKE NEWS!!!

ALERT!!!

Tiger Woods has unequivocally corroborated Lanny H’s statements to Brandel Chamblee about Chamblee’s nonsense commentary regarding Woods “returning to his old swing.”

Remember when Brandel Chamblee blocked ol’ Lanny’s Twitter account for pointing out Woods was physically unable to “return to his Butch swing.”  It was information everyone should have known, as Woods commented on it numerous times.  Nevertheless, Chamblee insisted the only thing holding Woods back was his bull-headedness in refusing to “return to his old swing.”

Chamblee lost all contact with reality.  I even drew a cartoon about it.

Anyone remember when Chamblee responded to me on Twitter, back in June 2015? No, you don’t?  Does this remind you?

brandel2

“The Harmon swing did not put undue stress on his knee, that’s a myth, up there with the Easter Bunny.”  Hmmmm.

Let’s look at the recent New York Post article, to see what Woods says:

“People ask me, ‘Why don’t you go back to your 2000 swing?’ I can’t, because my knee is trashed from all those years of playing that way,” Woods said on a podcast with Geno Auriemma.

Brandel Chamblee: Just another pawn in the NBC Fake News Empire.

 

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The Times They Are A-Changed

Tiger Woods returns to action in two weeks.  A few thoughts:

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Just saw a recent Golf Channel article on Woods with this line: “While compiling the greatest career record of his generation, Tiger Woods has…”  What do you know, the hyperbole is winding down?

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Just looked at OWGR rankings.  Woods has one counting event with points.  You guessed it, last year’s Hero Challenge.  Otherwise, he wouldn’t even have a world ranking.  If he makes it through all four rounds this year, he’ll get some more points, as even the last place finisher gets points.  Woods, who comes nowhere meeting the requirements for these end-of-year point grabs, is given an exemption for being the host.  At this point, it hardly matters, but the exemption serves as a reminder of how the PGA Tour has always had a different set of rules for Tiger Woods.

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Is this Woods’s first event since parking his car on the side of the highway?  Probably good for him the event is, I believe, in Bermuda.  I would think the time for heckling Woods has passed, but the American public is consistently late to the party and unceasingly crude.  The same people who screamed “In the hole!” after every shot Woods hit in the 00’s will now be screaming “Don’t fall asleep!”

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I forgot to mention that last Sunday while watching Fowler fall short in a late charge, Rickie’s grandfather was in attendance.  I’ve written several times about his role in Rickie taking up the game.  Here’s a good USA Today piece from early this year, with this nice bit in it:

Tanaka was walking with Fowler again last year during the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale. With him most every step of the way were friends and other members of Fowler’s family, including his father, Rod, who used to haul sand and gravel from his business to the Murrieta Valley Golf Range east of Los Angeles and swap it out for range balls for his son to hit.

Don’t think I’d heard that before.

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I noticed something of interest on NPR yesterday.  There is now, as I’ve written about, an effort by all media to rehabilitate the image of the NFL.  It’s been deemed: Anti-NFL is a conservative position; Pro-NFL, pro-protest is a liberal position.  NPR, being decidedly left-wing, one morning this week informed me that it was the 28th birthday of some player for the Indianapolis Colts I’d never heard of in my entire life.  NPR, which generally has as much use for sports as a fish for a sandbox, chose him to be their birthday announcement person of the day.  Very odd, but predictable, I suppose.

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Tuesday Thoughts

  • In past years, I would have been watching Dallas play their NFL game on Sunday afternoon.  This year, I turned on my television and saw that the PGA had some live golf.  Rickie Fowler kindly birdied the 17th hole to pull within one shot of leader Kizzire.  Kizzire recovered from a faulty tee shot to end the drama, but it was not bad theater.  Glad I saw it.
  • I’m already back in “offseason mode” for NFL.  Meaning, I don’t miss the games or even much think about them.  I admit to checking “protest stats” and photos of empty stadium seats, but I’ve quickly gone from love to hate to something approaching indifference.  You know the nugget about indifference being the opposite of love, right?  For the record, the last time I loved the NFL was two or three decades ago, and my hate has been pretty mild.  Nevertheless, I am rapidly approaching indifference, which can’t be good news for the NFL.  If I feel that way, many others do as well.
  • The media is freaking out over the NFL.  Ten minutes after last Sunday’s kickoffs, there must have been 100 headline stories saying, “No NFL Players Protest During Anthem on Veterans Day.”  But there were, what, five or six early games?  There were protests in the afternoon games, and, possibly, that night and Monday night.  The media is really, really struggling to make people forget about the protests.
  • Notice, too, that the media focuses on during the anthem.  They want to pretend actions just prior or after the anthem are not protests.  They are really in a panic.
  • Another trick — if such obvious blather can even be termed a trick — is to headline something like, “Fox Early Game Up 17 percent.”  When you read the article, however, you find that means up 17 percent from the prior week.  Compared to last year, it was down 20 percent, compared to year before, down 26 percent.
  • There was a poll out yesterday from Rasmussen detailing how people are not only not watching the NFL, but say they are unlikely to return to watching it when the protests end.
  • I just saw the numbers for last week’s games.  They are ugly.  I believe every single year-over-year comparison was down, some upwards of 20 percent.  Take a look.  “Lowest for the Cowboys on the FOX Game of the Week since 2008.”  “The 14.6 is the lowest for the Week 10 national window since 2003.”
  • Check this out, then contrast to headlines we saw yesterday: “Later in the day, Patriots-Broncos scored an 11.5 overnight on NBC’s Sunday Night Football — down 20% from Patriots-Seahawks last year (14.3) and down 9% from Cardinals-Seahawks in 2015 (12.6).  The 11.5 is tied as the lowest for a Patriots game on NBC since 2008 against San Diego (9.4).”  Yesterday’s headlines: “Sunday Night Football Ratings Rise As Patriots Crush Broncos” and “Primetime Ratings: ‘SNF’ Is Up and NBC Wins.”  Anyway, lots of happy-talk stuff.  Their hope is that when the numbers are actually released in full, people won’t be paying attention.
  • The goal of everyone in America if they don’t really have a goal — you know, an honest goal like breaking par, or learning to play piano, or reading all Shakespeare’s plays — is “to get rich.”  Or “succeed” or some other win at capitalism.  I don’t find anything wrong with that, particularly, but as usual, things run to excess.  What we have with the media and entertainment — and what isn’t considered entertainment these days? — is, let’s face it, a competition to suck blood out of suckers.  So you had NBC/MSNBC (let’s just focus on them, though all NFL nets are the same) pushing the idea that “racist” cops were attacking innocent blacks minding their own business due to “white supremacy,” etc.  This was a big hit for their news divisions.  The NFL players, perhaps not realizing NBC was exaggerating in order to pump up ratings — cha-ching! — started protesting during the anthem.  At first, NBC loved this, as the controversy pushed up ratings for their news divisions.  But their joy was short-lived.  Then they realized they had permanently damaged the NFL, a real cash cow, in order to temporarily pump up their political show ratings.  Now they are trying to unscramble the egg.
  • This stuff snowballs, too.  If you don’t watch an NFL game, you miss the NBC ads for their television dramas and comedies and reality shows.  If you don’t even know those shows exist, you are less likely to watch them.  Also, there is the matter of NFL “lead-ins.”  Fewer viewers mean a small lead-in.  It’s a big mess, and one the media and NFL totally deserve.  They were stirring up national strife to make more money — and it backfired on them.

Addendum:  Forbes article out with: “League-wide attendance is down almost 2% year over year.”  That contradicts what they NFL and media have been telling us.  What a surprise…

Also from the same article: “My opinion? The number of people that are all-in for the NFL has fallen more than the aforementioned numbers. Viewership is being propped up by fantasy sports enthusiasts, which suggests to me attendance will be even lower next season.”

Now, where have you heard that before, that fantasy bettors were propping up NFL ratings?  Gee, I wonder where…

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Sports (?) Illustrated

You can’t help but laugh at the state of today’s media.  Check this out from Sports Illustrated, from an article supposedly relating to the NFL protests.  My comments are interjected in red:

These questions came to mind last week when the Washington Capitals and the National Hockey League eluded major opprobrium despite a superstar’s expression of truly ugly political views. [SI labels this hockey player’s differing views as “truly ugly.”] Alexander Ovechkin, the Caps’ captain and three-time Hart Trophy winner, announced on Instagram on Nov. 2 that he was creating a social movement in support of Russian president Vladimir Putin, who will likely stand for reelection to his office in March. He called it the Putin Team. [The player’s sin is supporting Putin for re-election. Putin is one of the cogs in the Russia-Elected-Trump conspiracy theory, so anyone supporting him is, ipso facto, “truly ugly.”]

According to a translation published in the Washington Post, Ovechkin wrote: “I’m certain that there are many of us that support Vladimir Putin. Let’s unite and show everyone a strong and united Russia. Today, I want to announce a social movement in the name of Putin Team. Be a part of this team—to me it’s a privilege, it’s like the feeling of when you put on the jersey of the Russian team, knowing that the whole country is rooting for you.”

There are indeed many that support Putin: Such are the spoils of a country where the state media circumscribes political discourse [As if our state media — think CNN, NPR (funded by taxpayers), MSNBC, ABC-CBS-NBC, New York Times, Washington Post — don’t push an agenda], and the sitting government determines who can and cannot stand for election [Which, we now know is exactly what the DNC, our “sitting party” at the time, did regarding Hillary Clinton]. Alexei Navalny, a prominent leader of the Russian opposition who has vowed to run against Putin in 2018, has been jailed three times this year already [And here in the U.S., there is a a push to arrest anyone associated with Trump]. Under Putin’s rule, Russia has cracked down on the free press [just like the suppression of information U.S. tech media companies decide hurts their narrative], ethnic minorities, and gay rights. [I don’t know enough about Russia to comment here, but those are typical oh-the-humanity buttons the U.S. media pushes.  I guess I’m hearing a boy crying “Wolf!”] And throughout 2016 Russia pursued a program of cyber warfare to destabilize American democracy. [Okay.  First off, they bought a handful of Facebook ads.  Maybe.  Who knows what they really did, if anything.  In any event, does anyone claim the U.S. doesn’t do far more destabilizing around the globe?  If you doubt that, you can start your education by reading about Mossadegh in 1953.]

Anyway, whatever your views, I think you’ll agree with me that such writing marks an astounding departure — a devolution, really — from the Sports Illustrated so many of us anxiously anticipated reading each week as kids back in the day.

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