Category Archives: Fantasy Sports

This is the category about the fantasy side of sports. Fantasy Football and video games are good examples.

When Fantasy Meets Reality

Greetings readers,

Most football fans engage in playing Fantasy Football. It’s a fun way to watch the season and claim bragging rights with each victory.

If you’re not in the know, Fantasy Football is based on you owning a team of players. You pick the quarterback, some running backs, some wide receivers, a few kickers, a couple of tight ends, and a defense or two (at least, that’s how the league works that I’m in.) Points are then given out based on yardage, touchdowns, fumbles, and length of kicks. I’m pretty sure the bulk of you know how to play this, but it was just a brief introduction to those that haven’t.

What about when players are unable to play due to injuries, trades, emergencies, or suspensions? While it’s annoying to have to either kick them off the fantasy team or bench them for someone you hope will get you just as many points, but do Fantasy Football players think about the player themselves?

Look, I know some critics think that paying millions of dollars for one athlete is too much (I might or might not be in the same boat.) Remember though, athletes are humans, too. Just because you need them to score your made-up points doesn’t mean they will. If they’re hurt, don’t tweet them asking them to just tough it out so you can beat your boss in a game that bears no real reward other than nudging rights. No, that’s not how life works.

To wrap up this post, don’t be insensitive to athletes being injured or taking a quick leave because there’s been a family emergency. Getting cut or released is also a bit saddening to deal with too. In short: things happen to people, athletes included.

Until next time,

-Lee

ScoreMobile vs. ESPN ScoreCenter – An App Comparison

Greetings readers,

Today I have another app review for you. Actually, two. Today, I’m comparing the ESPN ScoreCenter application with the ScoreMobile app.

If you have a smart phone, you might not want to have two applications that are designed to do the same thing. Both are designed to give you scores around the nation. Both give you options to pick your favorite teams so you can see those scores first.

Before we begin, let’s get to the basics. ScoreCenter is created by ESPN, and you can find their webpage here. ScoreMobile is created by Score Media, and you can find their website here.

On the Android Market, the ESPN ScoreCenter has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 (as of 10-6-11.) Recent comments talk about how slow the app runs and how unstable it has become. Recently, users have been complaining about having “No Internet Connection” when in a Wi-Fi or a 3G zone. At Apple’s App Store, ScoreCenter has a 3.5 stars, where the main complaint is the ads.

ScoreMobile ranks in the Android Market with a 4.4 out of 5. The recent comments describe how they like it, but one does say it’s slowed down as of late because of the Gingerbread upgrade. In the App Store, it has three stars and two user comments liking it better than ScoreCenter because of the vast selection of options.

From personal experience, I have used ScoreMobile on my phone and ScoreCenter twice; on my iPod and my phone. I loved using ScoreCenter on my iPod, since it was smooth to use and the sliding from league to league was well designed.

When I got my phone, I downloaded it first and was disappointed with the lack of sliding to get to the next league, as well as the slow loading times (it took about a minute to load the NFL scores.) It  ran a lot slower than the iPod counterpart. It took me awhile to decide to download ScoreMobile, but I was glad I did. It runs so much smoother on Android than the ScoreCenter app. This one has options for standings, stats for games, and more leagues available.

I also emailed the makers of ScoreMobile to suggest adding a sport, and I got an email the next day. They were quick about replying, and very kind as well. (By the way, I requested College Baseball scores, which neither app has.)

As of recently, you can slide on ScoreCenter. It takes a few seconds to load, but the sliding animation is a bit jerky. With ScoreMobile, you have to pick the league from a button. Both have options to pick your favorite teams, both show scores, both have previews. Both have tons of sports to follow.

With ScoreCenter, you have the ESPN signature scrolling news bar below, as well as news in the league, and full standings. There’s also a page just dedicated for your teams, as well. With ScoreMobile, there are injury reports, options to looking at entire schedules, stats, standings, video, and news underneath the option button.

In other words, both are very similar. The main difference: performance. ScoreMobile wins in this regard, with its smooth operation and fast load times whereas ScoreCenter is still a bit jerky and does take a bit to finish.

To wrap it up: both are terrific apps. If you’re a fan of news and ESPN’s coverage, check out ESPN ScoreCenter. If you want the same features but a quicker app, download ScoreMobile.

Sources of information from the Android Market and the Apple App Store, as well as ESPN.com and thescore.com. All ratings and comments are recent as of October 6th, 2011 at 9:21AM. I am not affiliated with either company.

Until next time,

-Lee

SportCaster – An App Review

Greetings readers,

Today I’m here to put in a quick review of the app called “SportCaster.” Created by OneLouder, the same company that has FriendCaster and TweetCaster available.

The application is currently free, but there is a pro version available that is ad-free. As of 9/23/11 in the Android Market, it has an average rating of 4.4 out of 5.

Currently, only NCAA Football and NFL Football are the only sports available, but there will be plans to increase the coverage of sports as those seasons progress.

Upon starting the app, you have a few options to pick from. You can see what people on Twitter are saying about the game, without actually owning a Twitter account. You can also keep up with schedules, standings, and scores. Another nice feature is the ability to track players for your Fantasy Football team.

You can fine-tune what you see by selecting what teams you want to see, as well as filtering players, media, and others out of the feed.

When you check on scores, you have a preview awaiting you as well as the conversation as it happens.

The actual app runs smoothly, there isn’t any bugs (from what I can tell, anyways), and it’s really handy for football season.

One downfall is the lack of sports, which should be fixed as we head closer to the seasons. So if you aren’t a fan of American Football, you should skip this one for now. Also, it seems like mid-major football programs are forgotten, so count on every single team making it to the list.

Otherwise, I highly recommend this app for your smart phone. This app is available through Apple’s App Store and the Android Market.

Picture, information from SportCaster’s official website and OneLouder’s website. I am not affiliated with OneLouder.

Until next time,

-Lee

100 Posts of Sports in the Mowen Years

Greetings readers,

One hundred posts! I have wasted WordPress space exactly 100 times. Hopefully people have enjoyed what I offered throughout the posts.

So I’ve spent a lot of time deciding what I wanted to do. Then it hit me, as now I turn 23 today. Why not make it about stuff I could wish for and explain why? I can provide a few things that I’d like to see happen in sports. I can also give a thank you to all the readers, but not right now. You’ll have to read that for later.

1. I want the new NHL team to be named the Winnipeg Jets. I think the city deserves to have their team come back, even though it’s run number two. While there’s been a few articles saying how the term “Whiteout” has been copyrighted by True North, it could mean a few things. One: the team could be called the Winnipeg Whiteout(s). Two: that could be a phrase copyrighted for certain nights, or possibly all of them. Whatever the case may be, I still hope to the return of the Jets. Bringing back the Hartford Whalers and the Quebec Nordiques would be nice too, but one thing at a time (and different issues, while we’re at it.)

2. I want to be assured that we’ll never have an event like “Turn Ahead the Clock” again. I have to give props to Uni Watch for reminding me of these jerseys existed at one point, with their article on the Batting Practice jerseys for the All Star Game in 2011. I understand that seeing into the future is an exciting adventure (that’s why Back to the Future II is my favorite movie out of the trilogy.) However, how can you tell that those style of jerseys will be the norm? How do we know that the franchises will exist into those years? (The Mariners were celebrating their 50th, in 2026, I think. It’s floating somewhere on the internet.) Since it’s baseball, stick to the classics.

3. I want to get a full-time broadcasting job very soon. It’s a night and day difference being out of college and not broadcasting at least one game a week. While I do have a broadcasting job with the Dayton Air Strikers, it’s only for seven or eight games. I can’t tell you how much I love broadcasting, but I just want a full-time job where I can prove I belong in the field.

4. I’m going to end this list quietly, as I’d like to see a store (not online, but an actual physical store) somewhere near me in Southwestern Ohio that sells sports stuff from other teams that are no longer with us and some historical merchandise. To sum it all up, merchandise from all around the sports frame. I’d like to pick up a shirt to show my support of Winnipeg coming back, followed by a shirt with an old Reds logo. Does one such place exist? Probably, and I’m probably going to have a ton of suggestions later on.

To wrap up the list, I will say I recently bought a Reds jersey for $5 in Miamisburg. It’s a Chris Sabo jersey, around the 1988-1990 season. There was a few dirt spots, but they were no match for my awesome laundry skills.

To wrap this whole post up, I want to say thank you to all the readers. I know my posting schedule has gone out of whack, but that’s mainly because I have three jobs taking 96% of my time. I still try to write something, though. It’s been a nice 100 post ride.

Next special post will be in July, as I will have crossed the 1-year line. Look for that next month.

Thank you again, readers. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m celebrating 23 years being alive.

Until next time,

-Lee

Concussed Out II – Madden and Co.

Greetings readers,

It’s no secret how popular the Madden series is to the sports video game world. Year after year, it’s the football game most people buy to play as their favorite team. Whatever your opinion is on video games based on sports, you can’t deny that Madden is the king of the NFL games.

There’s been some additions to the series, such as the quarterback sights, making custom teams and players, and many more features. Concussions could be another feature to the series.

From ESPN, that move is supported by John Madden himself. This feature would teach people about the effects of concussions. The President of EA Sports Peter Moore said that it wasn’t fair to have concussed players return after one quarter.

One of my favorite parts of the article is Madden telling the New York Times that it’ll be an osmosis effect, teaching others the effects of concussions.

Along with the concussion effects, helmet-to-helmet tackles are excluded from Madden ’12. “…if we show players playing through concussions, then kids won’t understand.”

I like the changes planned, as it shows an effort to stay in touch with the game today. Luckily there is no Lockout Mode in the game. Like I previously mentioned, you could be a person that questions why sports games are constantly remade or you could be a die-hard that picks up every single game possible, these changes are actually important. According to the article, you can expect this new game in August, even if the teams are still locked out.

Source of information from ESPN.

Until next time,

-Lee

Keepers of the Final Score

Greetings readers,

It’s been a while. Over two weeks to be exact. Where have I been? Working. Lots of working, including a new sportscasting project in Miami County. The other is a retail job to brush up on my selling skills. Anyways, I’ve been busy and I do feel bad for not updating like I normally do. Anyways, it’s time for a brand new post!

To introduce you to this topic, I started keeping score for baseball broadcasts during my first year as the WWSU Sports Director. At the station, we had a NCAA scorebook, which was used once before. I gave it a whirl and thought about how it improved my broadcast.

Late into that Wright State Baseball season, the SID at the time gave me a Bob Carpenter scorebook worth $40. That was when I really took it seriously and vowed to use it at every single game that I could. There I noticed that I livened up completely on my baseball broadcasts. I got the job again the next year and I improved each and every time in the book.

As I look to begin broadcasting baseball and softball, I found that old Carpenter book and looked back on how much I filled it out as time went by. There’s still things I can work on, but I think it’s some solid work.

Recently, I was asked by a friend on how to keep score in baseball. I figure this is a nice little way on explaining how to.

I’m going to say right now, you don’t need the expensive scorebook. There are cheaper ones out there, close to $6 if you look closely enough. Find one that will fit what you need it for. If you like to fill everything out, get one that gives you plenty of space to do so. I like to recommend that you find one that gives you more than nine innings to keep, because extra inning games can be common. Remember this though: the only person that matters in buying a book is YOU. What are you going to use it for? How much do you want to spend? What do you want to fill out?

How do you ACTUALLY fill out a scorebook? Well, you have your area for stats which you should fill out (but if you don’t want to, that’s your choice.) Next is actually filling it out during the game. Usually, you will find an example page in the scorebook itself. What I do is very basic, I just say “Hit” or “Walk” and draw a line with a dot on where that at-bat landed the batter (first base would be single or walk, second base double and so on…) If they advance, draw from that dot to the next base (but don’t dot it.) Runners crossing the plate receive a circle around their at-bat, but make sure to put a RBI somewhere for the batter that drove in the run.

For strikeouts, you could use the K and Backwards K, but I don’t do that. I write “SoL” (strikeout looking) or “SoS” (strikeout swinging) along with the count. For walks I use both BB and Walk. Stealing bases is a little tricky, since you don’t have that much space to write “Stolen Base” or “Caught Stealing.” I write the initials and put a little circle around it in the box. Passed Balls and Wild Pitches are the same story. If the runner is erased by being caught, I put an X near that base to simulate that event.

I’ll be honest, I have never seen a balk before. I have seen Batter’s Interference and Catcher’s Interference before, but I write that at the top of that player’s at-bat because those are rare to see.

For other outs, I will write “Line #”, “Pop #”, “Fly #”, “GO (groundout) #-#”, and “Foul #.” The numbers represent the defensive numberings on the field (1-9.) Errors are about the same setup, minus the whole base-runner.

For pitching changes, batting changes, and end of innings, I draw lines. For the changes, they are wavy lines.

This is a way that works for me. It’s clear, it’s precise, and it helps me keep track of every at-bat. You might follow along closer to the books tell you to do, instead of writing hit and whatnot. The point is, you need to keep score in a way that helps you.

Until next time (hopefully it isn’t another two week wait),

-Lee

This Track’s for the Horses!

Greetings readers,

What hasn’t been in Dayton since 1959 and might be coming to the Gem City? Why, it’s a horse racing track! (article can be read here)

Pending approval of installing video slot machines, Penn National Gambling will close down the Beulah Racecourse in Grove City and build a new track in Dayton, if they invest about $200 million. The company has already picked the old Delphi plant on Needmore Road, which is in the North Dayton district.

This is a good thing for the Miami Valley with all the possibilities of income (unless you are highly opposed to gambling), but what about the Capital area?

Beulah Park was opened in 1923. According to their site, it was the first thoroughbred track in the state of Ohio. This was also one year after the horseshoe was built at Ohio State for football. It was also the first track to offer telephone betting in 1993. If Beulah Park was to move, the only track left in Central Ohio would be Scioto Downs, which is located on US Route 23, just south of I-270 and north of the village of Shadyville (according to Google Maps.) If there is one left, what would happen to the area?

Like I previously mentioned, this would create much-needed revenue for the area. Once a strong city with plenty of automobile jobs to go around, the area has several abandoned factories. From the GM plant in Moraine (which was made into a movie made by Wright State students) to the old Delphi plant on US Route 35, the city has plenty of areas to build.

The new track would be build on 125 acres, which is more than enough according to the article. However, there’s still one track that could say something about the decision to move to Dayton, and that is from the Lebanon Raceway. The question is, if the track were to built in Dayton, just how much business would be lost in Warren County?

Time will tell if Dayton will get a track or if Columbus will get to keep two tracks.

Source of information from the horseracing.com (the original article from the Dayton Daily News was deleted off their site.) Picture from Beulah Park’s website.

Until next time,

-Lee