Van Sickle; Fantasy Fantasy; Lanny H Golf Pushes ESPN into Layoffs

A Tale of Two Sports Reporting Outlets

In one corner we have endless stupidstics, nonstop scrolls, useless graphics, ear-shattering sound effects, fantasy sports advertisers, daily Plays Dunks of the Day, an annual budget of $6 billion, and Britt McHenry.  In the other corner we have a band of misfits with an annual budget of $0.

It wasn’t a fair fight.  Honesty and the truth always win in the end.

As you’ve probably heard, ESPN is set to announce a huge wave of layoffs due to financial problems stemming from a loss of viewers and readers.  (They’ve begun!)

Let me assure both readers and employees that Lanny H Golf is not going to suffer that same fate.  No, quite the contrary.  Lanny H Golf is growing by leaps and bounds.  Take a look at the following chart.  You’ll see where some of those erstwhile ESPN readers and viewers have landed:


(To get ESPN’s graph, read the one above from right to left.  Ouch!)  These results show sports fans value depth and truth and simplicity.  They are tired of emptiness and lies dressed up in glitz.  The public has reached the tipping point.

Sports fans want steak, not sizzle.  And Lanny H Golf is the best steakhouse in the world!

Van Sickle Mailbag: I’m hoping Van Sickle will address my question about the Players page at in the Van Cynical Mailbag due out today.  In any case, if you have a Twitter account, it is darn easy to submit questions, and Van Sickle is not afraid to respond to questions a Chamblee would run from.  No guarantees he’ll answer, but he won’t automatically dismiss “inconvenient” questions.  And now — non-prime time for golf — is a good time to send them.

Fantasy Fantasy:  This topic is captivating.  There is a carveout in the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act making fantasy sports betting legal.  However, there is a school of thought that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 would have made fantasy sports betting illegal and that they 2006 legislation would not have overridden it.

That might come up in a court case, but it’s interesting in that we know there are a lot of Big Wheels investing in fantasy sports betting: Comcast/NBC Sports, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, the owner of the New England Patriots, professional sports leagues — those are just a few that spring immediately to mind.  Now, we’re talking billions.   I read yesterday that the total revenue for the NFL is $10 billion a year and that revenue for fantasy betting on the NFL is $11 billion.  Fantasy sports had more revenue from the NFL than the NFL did!

Those investors did not jump in without a lot of thought and legal scrutiny.  They knew about the 1992 law, and they knew about the 2006 with its special provision covering fantasy sports.  They would have known too that legal challenges were probably coming in the future.  So were they counting on a Too Big To Fail defense?

Will lawmakers step in and make the law consistent?  Will they revoke the special treatment fantasy football (illogically) gets?  If they do so, it will hit the pocketbooks of several corporations (and NFL owners).  It will also hit sports radio and television who are raking in the advertising dollars of FanDuel and DraftKings.  It’s obvious what the right and logical thing to do is, but will they upset the apple cart to do it?

One other thing: As I’ve researched this, I answered some questions I’ve had in the past.  Why is sports event legal in Las Vegas, but nowhere else?  Well, Nevada got their own special carveout.  New Jersey can’t offer sports event betting, so they currently have a court case seeking to remedy that matter.  This is the same type thing as the fantasy sports issue, in that arbitrary special treatment is involved.  You can bet on fantasy sports games of chance, but not on poker games of chance.  You can bet on sporting events in Nevada, but not in New Jersey.

There is so much corruption and deception in this world.

Just gimme some truth.


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16 Responses to Van Sickle; Fantasy Fantasy; Lanny H Golf Pushes ESPN into Layoffs

  1. JosieWales says:

    latest from Geoff Shackelford: “”Long And Tedious”: Tiger Talks About Another Recovery”
    Shackelford is good for a useless Tiger post on a regular basis…he has officially joined the ranks of the golf media underbelly.

  2. JosieWales says:

    “ESPN’s reported layoffs are set to begin tomorrow, a source told The Big Lead. The layoffs will cut around 350 jobs, focusing on upper level employees. (Bloomberg reported the same figure.)

    Every job with a six-figure salary or more was reviewed as part of the process. The company is flying in extra HR people from Burbank to handle it. Per the source, “it’s gonna be ugly.”

    We reported in September that ESPN was ordered to trim $100 million from its 2016 budget and $250 million from its 2017 budget.”

    • lannyh says:

      Flying in extra HR people. That CAN’T be a good sign. 🙂

      Hey, I sure hope Brit McHenry is one of those jettisoned. Maybe she can get a job at the tow truck company.

      • JosieWales says:

        Brit McHenry is absolutely worthless.

      • lannyh says:

        No way they keep her. Absolutely no way. Assuming she is still there, which I don’t really know.

        I’ve been around some mass layoffs over the years, and there is always an undeniable electricity throughout the organization. I wish I could be a fly on the wall in Bristol today.

  3. JosieWales says:

    Geoff Shackleford has been pimping himself as the “minimalist” of golf….railing against the long ball and ridiculing the golf equipment mfgs….so here is his latest post for Golf (Payola) Digest.

    “It’s time for the real athletes to take center stage again.

    With all due respect to the PGA Tour’s jocks, the world’s most athletic looking and performing golfers have gathered at Oklahoma’s WinStar World Casino and Resort for another edition of the World Long Drive Championship.

    This is the final edition under the full control of long drive founder, nurturer and all-out believer Art Sellinger. He has sold full control to Golf Channel, which plans to invest and build out from the annual finals seen live the last few years. Rumors of an exotic international venue, a true world championship qualifying model and other grand plans bode well for what as become an annual rush of physical prowess, emotion and testosterone.”

    Geoff Shackelford is one of the worst phony hypocrites in the golf media.

  4. JosieWales says:

    To me, this is most revealing: “He has sold full control to Golf Channel, which plans to invest and build out from the annual finals seen live the last few years.”
    The Golf Channel is investing in the future of televised golf which to them means long drive contests, trick shot videos, more fluff, more fluff, more fluff.

    • lannyh says:

      I must admit I watched more of the long drive contest last night than I did all their reality golf shows combined in the many years they put them on.

      • JosieWales says:

        If you watched Long Drive then you are just what they want…another eyeball. But there is something more going on here. With the “Tiger Era” over, Golf Channel is in full panic mode. Their younger audience is weak. They see the Long Drive thingy and the endless trick shot videos, Instagram pics, puff pieces, cleavage shots, etc. as a way to grab the younger audience. They are becoming almost a cartoon network. I have no idea what their bottom line looks like but I wouldn’t be surprised if they also layoff some folks this year or next. I mean, they have 8 or 10 different people basically all talking or writing about the same stuff. They are becoming redundant.

      • lannyh says:

        Good point. Why do they need ten people to express the same editorial points?

        I like live TV. If I come across something like MMA, I’ll watch if it’s live. If it’s a replay, I won’t. I was really happy when GC decided to show Euro Golf live even though it meant shuffling Morning Drive around.

        Did you see the layoffs at ESPN are underway?

  5. JosieWales says:

    I checked…no mention of layoffs…lol.

  6. Sports-realist. says:

    No one needs ESPN like they used too….With ALOT of other sports outlets all competing now for the games ect, ESPN is just another sports network…..Yeah the scroll bar will actually ‘shadow spot’ your tv’s over time too……

    • JosieWales says:

      The bigger picture is the panic setting in at ESPN and other outlets over the decline in cable TV subscribers. Everyone knows cable TV is a rip-off. It will catch up to the “ripper-offers” sooner or later.

  7. JosieWales says:

    more cable tv gloom:
    “The Universal Sports TV channel is shutting down next month after nearly a decade in operation. NBC execs told the channel’s approximately 75 employees during an early morning meeting in L.A. today.”

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