Did anyone else see the pre-season game between the Bengals and Jets? Trent was starting CB opposite Leon Hall. He made some nice plays, particularly one on the sideline where there was a high throw and he made sure to scrap the ball out of the WR's hands. Overall though the other takeaway I had was they had no idea how to read play-action and the safetys/linebackers bit everytime.
Article by LZ Granderson on ESPN.com argues Verlander should get the Cy Young and MVP. Isn't this a bit of a stretch to give a pitcher the MVP also? I do agree with him though that there's no way the Tigers have the record they do without ...
I know this won't convince the diehard skeptics, but Michigan Athletics Department Chief Marketing Officer Hunter Lochmann had this to say regarding Michigan Stadium advertising in a recent radio interview transcribed at A2.com:
Lucy Ann: Will there ever be advertising inside Michigan stadium for a football game?
Lochmann: No. I’ve learned from Dave Brandon that you ask your fans what they want. They don’t want to see a lick of advertising in Michigan Stadium. I think my resume would be updated if I ever allowed it in there on my own. It’s not going to happen; I think there are enough opportunities emerging in this digital world and other inventory to satisfy partners.
Lucy Ann: But you have over 100,000 people in there, glued to it. You have the television coverage.
Lochmann: Sure. It’s a great opportunity.
Lucy Ann: There are elementary schools which have incorporated corporate advertising in their programs. Why not Michigan Stadium?
Lochmann: You know, it’s a great opportunity and anyone who doesn’t say it is, isn’t telling the truth, but the fans don’t want it. You listen to your fans and if that’s their No. 1 issue then we can come up with a thousand other things that they do want, that we can take advantage of.
Erskine: Just think of the money that someone would pay just to have their logo on the scoreboard.
Lochmann: There are other opportunities.
Lucy Ann: What are those other opportunities?
Lochmann: Digital. We have 100,000 people who come to these games. Guess what? We now have their e-mail addresses and we can market our own internal Facebook and Twitter and reach them differently through sponsors. Not spam them, but try to figure out what do they want to hear from?
So, no. There is no plan to introduce advertisements inside Michigan Stadium, including on the scoreboards.
Alright then. Two other areas of special interest to the fanbase. First mgoblue.com:
Lucy Ann: What about the MGoBlue.com website? Any transformation of that coming up?
Lochmann: Actually, that’s a great question. We are redesigning that as we speak. Hopefully a mid to late September re-launch or redesign. It’s going to be a lot more video focus. Video is where everything’s heading with the mobile phones, iPads, and anything else, so we’re working hard on that. It’s a popular site; that’s where our fans go, but we have some work to do. That’s part of the branding of Michigan Athletics. You look at every touch point and obviously MGoBlue.com is one of the most popular ones.
Hopefully that means that the video portion of the site will be less browser crippling. It also brings to mind the comment that was made during Big Ten Media Days that the conference was working to have BTN.com and the school websites more closely integrated.
Second, stadium announcers:
Lucy Ann: Any other changes that you have coming out regarding branding of the University of Michigan?
Lochmann: Event presentation and how people experience the brand at our events is a big part of building the brand, and we are in the midst of hiring some event presentation folks to really focus on making it a wow experience for our fans who go to basketball, hockey, football, soccer. It’s not just a PA announcement.
Lucy Ann: More entertainment?
Lochmann: Exactly. We really want to make all Michigan Athletics a destination for sports fans.
Time to sharpen those pitchforks everyone. Special K might be turning into Choclatey Delight Special K.
Big game. Big series. I like the Tigers chances with Jason Kipnis out of the lineup, that guy scares me, shit the Indians scare me, they have a nice team.
Voting is open from now until September 9. People may vote once per day, and the most popular blog receives a $50 Amazon gift card. Nominations are MGoBlog, UMHoops, and a laundry list of Detroit-related sports blogs. Given the content on this blog regarding my favorite school and sports teams, it's really a no-brainer. Thanks to Jerry for finding this and posting it in the MGoShirt diary.
Now cue the Michigan bots to deliver Brian another wedding present!
Unexpectedly early Donovan Warren sightings in the Steelers-Eagles preseason game, sent in a few times with the Pittsburgh starters. Camera time included an appreciative pat on the bum from Coach Tomlin as he ran to the sidelines, and he shared a sack of Michael Vick with James Harrison. Pretty heady company for an undrafted rookie who didn't even get to play for the Jets in preseason last year due to early injury. Pittsburgh ahead 24-0, and with their depth on defense it says something about their opinion of Donovan that he was already playing in the first quarter, and kept in for much of the play afterwards. He's currently leading the defensive stats with less than 6 minutes to go in the game. (Just heard he made another play, but I missed it for obvious reasons.)
In other alumni news, Lamarr Woodley gets his requisite big play, plus a sidelines interview about his salary. He confesses that he gets teased because he's still a cheapskate. Larry Foote made a beautiful interception with the second team.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion and FOX networks has agreed to a 7 year deal that partners the # 1 MMA Promotion in the world with the # 1 television network in the Country,
UFC, the world’s leading mixed martial arts organization and No. 1 Pay-Per-View event provider in the world, finds its perfect media match in FOX, the No. 1 television network in the country. FOX Sports Media Group, the umbrella entity representing FOX Networks Group’s wide array of sports platforms, has reached a multi-year, multi-media rights agreement with Zuffa, LLC, owner of the UFC brand.
The first live event airs Saturday, Nov. 12 at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT.
Additional programming on multiple FOX networks launches January 2012 and includes live fights, pre and post shows, countdown shows, UFC Unleashed, UFC Primetime, the UFC Knockout series, Best of Pride, weigh-in specials, and much more original content from extensive Zuffa archives. The agreement also provides for developing robust mobile and authenticated online offerings to exploit a vast array of digital platform rights.
Also, the UFC's reality show Ultimate Fighter will move from Spike TV to FX in 2012.
Spike TV will definitely take huge hit with the loss of the partnership they previously held with the UFC.
It is that time of the year again, mid to late August. Kids are getting excited to go school clothes and supply shopping. Older brothers and sisters are going off to college (UM hopefully). But there are some kids that have only one thing on their minds....winning a World Series Title. A Little League World Series Title that is.
On the softball side of things, a team from Michigan, Croswell-Lexington to be exact, is in the semi-finals and will probably win. Croswell is located on Lake Huron about 30 miles north of Port Huron. Croswell is home of the "mother-in-law" bridge.
I have coached against this team and they are the real deal. http://www.littleleague.org/series/2011divisions/jlsb/series.htm
On the baseball side, Opening Day for the World Series is today. For the first time in several years, LL is adapting a modified double elimination bracket. There are 8 American teams and 8 International teams. Each division will work down to a single team and play in the final game.
If you have never watched a Little League game, I encourage you to take 30 minutes. These 12 year old boys are playing for the love of the game. They leave it all out on the field.
There is a game on ESPN now if anyone is interested.
Has anyone signed up for the B10 streaming service? If so, how has it worked out? I'm considering signing up, already have ESPN3 but don't want to miss games that are specific to the B10 Network.