Tag Archives: NFL

Prep Promise

Greetings readers,

The other night while checking a few scores on ESPN, I came across a story that I thought I would share with you. It’s about a prep program in North Carolina that promises eligibility in a NCAA Division I program. Sounds like a great causes in case someone needs that extra push, right?

From the Outside the Lines article written by Mike Fish, North Carolina Tech Preparatory Christian Academy is drawing looks from the state in terms of complaints. Without going into too much detail (there’s the article for that), the Tigers football team has 119 players, all which pay their own way (tuition is about $8,000 according to the article.) The President Tim Newman also is the Head Coach, the Athletic Director, and the headmaster. His wife is the Principal and Business/Admissions Administrator. Together, the two are the only members of the Appeals Board of NC Tech.

Parents are complaining that they were misled by Newman, saying this and promising that. Some assistant coaches were also claiming that is was always about who could pay and never about the talent level. Another one was hired to start a postgraduate women’s basketball program, but instead recruited for the football team (she never coached basketball at NC Tech, as the Tigers never played a game.)

Newman sold ideas to kids that thought they had a golden shot to jump into college football with the use of having Christian beliefs, and the parents bought it. One kid never played football and ran a 4.34 second for a 40-yd dash. He didn’t see much playing time, even though Newman called him “one of our top recruits.” This goes back to the theory that it was never about the talent, but more about who could cough up the cash.

Something else that may be of interest to anyone in Ohio, namely the Central portion of the state, is that North Carolina Tech had on their schedule to play “Ohio State JV.” However, that turned out to be Ohio State-Newark’s club team instead. Had Ohio State played North Carolina Tech, that would have presented penalties to the school for playing a postgraduate program as a NCAA Division I member. One of the Tech players said that it wasn’t Ohio State, with the red and blue jerseys and the script “Titans” on the jerseys. Also, the game was played in Newark and not in Ohio’s capital. In case you were wondering, the Tigers of NC Tech won 90-18 over Ohio State-Newark.

That also leads to an interesting point also made by the video accompanying the article, is that North Carolina Tech brags about being National Champions, but there is no governing bodies giving them said title. Technically, they can’t be National Champions just because of record or what have you. Also, going around and winning games doesn’t count as being National Champions. Newman even said that he could call them National Champions, since he got the team rings (which apparently still owns a lot of money for.)

I think this is a sad story, because the people that believe this story to be true get swindled out of money. While some do make it to Division I programs, like Pittsburgh Steelers Antonio Brown did, most do not. One thing I also found interesting was the fact that classes are not in a classroom, but online. North Carolina Tech pays a company for every class taken. Most kids don’t even take a class, some just read up on how to improve on the SATs.

I also feel a bit angry that someone would have the guts to actually take money from people that aren’t doing too hot in the tough economy. Some don’t see the field to play, leaving their dreams crushed. I probably should mention the padding of the resume when it comes to NFL experience, the playing for a team in a league that folded before the season began, most hired coaches faced a criminal charge, the abusing of religion to get something they want, and the inability to listen to critics, but I won’t. Mike Fish did an excellent job with this article, and I want you to read it and listen to the clip.

Sports can be a great thing, except when people use it to line their wallets with green. Folks, be careful out there.

Source of information from ESPN (written by Mike Fish) and Ohio State-Newark’s website.

Until next time,

-Lee

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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

Sports+ – An App Review

Greetings readers,

There’s a new app on the market for people who love sports who want to write their own story. It’s called Sports+, created by Hitpost. It’s available at the App Store, the Android Market, and online as well.

As of 10/7/11, Sports+ has an average rating of 4.0 out of 5 at the Android Market. In the App Store, it has a 4.5 out of 5 rating with about 12 ratings and one review. There has also been a few interviews done, with one coming from the Huntington Post.

I looked up sports apps for this purpose, and found this to be one of the Android Market’s featured apps. Wondering if it was anything similar to Google+, I decided to download it and give it a try. I have yet to do so, but it could always be something I do down the road if I go to a Wright State game.

While there is an option for scores, what makes Sports+ different is the option to write stories on photos and sporting events. When you boot the app up, it asks you to create an account (which involves linking up to either your Facebook or Google+ account.) Then you can pick the teams you’d like to follow, and it will trim down the stories.

With my two-hour test drive, the app ran fairly smooth but did crash three times. Your results may vary. Some reviewers did complain about the constant crashing, which crashes are minor annoyances.

I will say, I was really impressed with the lists of teams. In the NCAA section, they have teams that are not Division I, like the Urbana Blue Knights, the Wilberforce Bulldogs, and the Anderson (Indiana) Ravens. There are other smaller schools not listed, such as the Wilmington (Ohio) Quakers and the Wittenberg Tigers, but the list is still massive. To me, having the Wright State Raiders as an option is the most important thing. Most apps don’t have that as an option.

There are a few sports that aren’t available yet, like MLS. However, nobody has ever said enough to updates, so don’t be shocked to see it included in an update one day.

I did a little experiment with the sharing/story feature, and it works quite well. Granted, it was one of the last things I done, but it does work well. You might have seen a story where I shared something from Sports+, as well.

Overall, I recommend Sports+ if you love sharing sports with your friends.

Sources of information from Hitpost, the Huntington Post, the Android Market, and the Apple App Store. I am not affiliated with Hitpost.

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.) ItĀ  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

Tough Love

Greetings readers,

Fans are an important staple in sports. Basically, no fans equals no money. No revenue; no team. The fans are the ones who buy the jerseys and merchandise, who pay the cable company for Pay-Per-View, and who pay to have a seat.

So let’s ask something, what does a fan do when that team isn’t easy to follow? What if their team is consistently losing?

Today’s topic is going to be covered by two articles. We have ESPN‘s list of the best-ran professional teams and we also have Puget Sound’s Business Journal with their list of the toughest MLB teams to watch (here’s a little guide into how this list was created.)

From the ESPN list, we have a team close to the Miami Valley that is 15th overall in the nation…and one dead last. That’s right, the Reds are 15th and the Bengals are dead last (122nd, if you wondered.) The rankings are based on a few categories, such as players’ effort, ownership honesty, strength of the coaching staff, and values that effect fans. This list took the NHL, NBA, MLB, and the NFL into account.

For the Bengals, the ownership (which, if you ask the majority of the fans and Who Dey Revolution, that’s the problem) is 120th overall. Only the Maloof family of the Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Spirit of the former Thrashers scored worse. For the Reds, ownership was ranked 17th.

For a look up north near the lake, the Cleveland Indians were the top team in town, ranking 53rd. The Cavs were 65th, followed by the Browns at 91st. For one last stop, the Columbus Blue Jackets were 87th. Out of the ESPN list, the Green Bay Packers were 1st, followed by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

With the Biz Journal, the Reds are the 11th toughest team to root for, with the Indians 9th. The Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs are the top two teams in the list. The easiest teams to root for are the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

Stats aside: when a team consistently loses, it becomes difficult to continue alliances with that team. While it might become frustrating to continue seeing that team lose, it also affects the social part of lives. For example, Person A is a fan of a team that continues to lose. Person B is a fan of a team with a 24-game winning streak. Person B could rag on Person A for liking that team. That’s just part of the Circle of Sports.

From what I’ve seen, the media seems to cover teams that keep on winning. That’s why you keep seeing the same teams on national broadcasts. The more your team wins, the more you win.

I know this article has mostly been reciting stats and saying obvious things, but it does matter how much peopleĀ  invest in their team. For the fans, they feel like they’re part of the team and have become family. For the front office, the more they invest usually results in more fans. When the players/coaches invest in the team, that usually brings fans in, as well. It’s the Circle of Sports, if that exists.

One last thing: you might wonder why I used a Seattle Mariner as the picture. Well, while looking at the Puget Sound article, I got the idea to type this article. The Mariners were picked seventh, and that was originally going to be the article. However, I remembered the ESPN list and thought it would add more to the post. That wraps up the closest thing to director’s commentary you’ll see on this blog.

Sources of information from ESPN and Business Journal.

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