RSS

Category Archives: Campus Lantern Articles

The Great TV vs. Stadium Debate

For the last century, fans have gone to stadiums all across the country in drones to watching sporting events live, and in person. Families had bonded for years by packing up the van, going to a game, tailgating, and rooting for their favorite team with 40,000 other adoring fans.

But now, for this generation, times are changing.

With the increased comforts of the home, like recliners and comfortable loveseats, and an increase of HDTV’s being sold, many stadiums are losing money on fans that are willing to stay home instead of venturing to the game.

Now, if I could, I would be at every single Red Sox and Broncos game, cheering right along with every fan there. But with the prices of everything today, it is very hard for the average fan to attend a sports game.

Let’s break down the numbers. Say if you are going to sit in the bleachers for a Red Sox games. You have $25 for parking (not including gas, which could easily be another $20), $25 for a ticket, and easily another $25 for food and beverage. Roughly, that is $95 to spend on one night of fun.

So for the average fan, it is too expensive. While the stadiums are still filling up in the high-profile markets, attendance at the lesser teams are less than 10,000 in attendance on an average night.

And along with the increase of technology, are leading more fans to stay home. Now, you can get an HDTV for $300. Sure, in the short term it is more expensive. But in the long term, it is very cost effective. You can watch of every game in the comfort of your own home, not having to worry about the money, and getting more angles and in-depth commentary than you would at the game itself. And with the economy still on the upswing, many fans don’t have the money to spend, and find themselves staying at home.

Many fans are having to make that decision, and choosing to stay home. Many stadium owners are having to rethink their business plans, trying to make stadiums more friendly. And with HDTVs becoming more affordable, it could be a matter of time when stadium attendance will start to drop significantly, choosing to stay at home. What would you do?

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 

Trends for the NFL Draft

It has been a long month and a half for football fans. Since the lockout, the only football news we have been subjected to has been news from courtrooms across the country, as well as representatives from both sides jockeying for the upper hand in negotiation.

But even with the stalemate in negotiations, we football fans have been looking forward to one thing: the NFL Draft. On Thursday, we get our first taste of the 2011-2012 season. And while mediation between the NFL and NFLPA not looking like they are going anywhere, this might be our only taste of football for a while.

Now, I do not know what is going to happen when picks start pouring. If I did, I would have submitted my picks to ESPN, and be a very rich man. Instead of giving you my picks, like everyone on the face-of-the-earth is doing, I figure I give you my five trends to look for during the three-day draft.

1. QB-Battle: This is a quarterback-heavy draft class. From Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, down to Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick, there eight to ten quarterbacks that could be quality starters in the NFL.

Besides the debate between who the top quarterback is, either Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton, quarterbacks have been jockeying to get drafted before everyone else. Eight of the ten teams drafting first are in need of a quarterback, and many top-tiered teams need quality backups, or quarterbacks to train for the future. You will see a lot of teams drafting a lot of quarterbacks being drafted in the first round.

2. Who will be #1?: According to all the mock drafts out there, there have been at least ten different players that have been projected as the number one pick. Will one of those players actually be picked first? Will there be a sleeper? Those are the questions the Carolina Panthers will answer at around 8:10 p.m.

3. Trading down: Along with the quarterback position, it is a deep-draft as a whole. There are many quality players that can perform well at the professional level. With that being said, I predict a lot of teams will try and trade down to pick up more draft positions in the first few rounds.

4. Defensive-Heavy: What wins championships? Defense. Look at the Steelers, Saints, and Packers. All have a solid, and deep, defense. All teams will be looking to strengthen their defense, replacing key players, and adding depth in case a player falls from injury, which in inevitable in the league.

5. Filling holes: Another casualty of the lockout is that there is no free-agency. In February, teams look to bolster their roster by adding free agents, which could make an impact right away. Without this free agency period before the draft, teams will be looking to fill holes that would usually be filled by free agents. Since we don’t know when a new CBA will be signed, owners don’t know when free agency will start. The NFL Draft is a good start.

Hope this wets your appetite. I will be in front of my television Thursday, with my Broncos gear on, eagerly watching the draft. This could be a very long offseason. Might as well appreciate the little bit of football while I can.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Why I Love the NHL Playoffs

Before the NFL lockout of 2004-2005, I was an avid hockey fan, and die-hard Colorado Avalanche fan. I was able to enjoy the Avalanche all the way on the east coast, with hockey being broadcasted on ESPN, ABC, and other television channels as well.

But the lockout changed everything.

When the NHL and NHLPA re-negotiated their Collective Bargaining Agreement, television broadcasting took a major hit. Now, I can only enjoy hockey on Verses, and sometimes NBC. And since I don’t get Verses at home, I can only watch hockey during the semester.

And with the playoffs in full swing, I am able to enjoy a lot of high-quality hockey.

This has been one of the most exciting playoffs I can remember. While watching the Canucks/Blackhawks game tonight, I heard an interesting stat. Today was the sixth straight night where a game went into overtime, and the 11th of the playoffs so far. There have only been two series-sweeps, two series-wins, and four series that are coming down to the wire.

That is why I love playoff hockey.

Playoff hockey is fast-paced, hard-hitting, and gets you to the edge of your seat. You don’t get this high quality hockey during the playoffs. This is the best-of-the-best. Everyone equally matched. You have rivalries, like the Bruins/Canadians, and interstate rivals, as in the San Jose Sharks and the Sacramento Kings.

You can’t script this stuff. The playoffs are supposed to be good, but this year’s playoffs are living up to the billing. Most, if not all of the games are being televised, so the public can watch. They are close games, with a bunch of them going into extra time. You have intensity and passion from the players, which can be felt through the television.

Let’s hope the rest of the playoffs can be this exciting.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Campus Lantern Articles, NHL

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

It’s Baseball Time Once Again

The lawn mowers are being dusted off, the sprinkler systems are coming on, and baseball is back in full-swing. Even in the Northeast, where the weather has been more up-and-down more than a rollercoaster, the baseball season kicks-off in the Bronx this Thursday at 1:05 p.m. EST.

With spring training in the rear-view mirror, we will get a first glance at all of the teams at full strength, and how much the offseason arrivals and departures that will help, or hurt, teams.

After free-agency settled down, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Boston Red Sox appeared to be the real winners this offseason.

The Phillies were able to land the biggest free-agent, in Cliff Lee. Lee turned down a more lucrative offer from the New York Yankees, and signed in Philly, where he last pitched in 2009. He joins the starting rotation that already had Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Roy Oswalt, and Joe Blanton. With that pitching, and their always solid offense centered around Ryan Howard, the Phillies are, on paper, the favorites to represent the National League in the World Series.

The Boston Red Sox went the opposite route of the Phillies. They focused on their offense in the offseason. In a matter of days, they were able to sign Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. Crawford was a cornerstone of the Tampa Bay Rays in years prior, having both power and speed on the base paths. Gonzalez, who is coming off of shoulder surgery, adds even more power. And with their always strong rotation, and improved offense, the Sox look like the class of the American League, and are looking at a World Series run.

These are just predictions. Sure, they are the favorites on paper, but that doesn’t mean you are a World Series lock. Take a look at the Yankees three years ago (Sorry, had to get that jab in).

There are other teams looking to make a run. The San Francisco Giants, last year’s champs, were quiet this offseason, keeping their team intact. The Yankees always have a powerful team, and, will once again, fight with the Sox for the top spot in the AL East. The Colorado Rockies is my sleeper team this season. They have been building a solid team with a lot of talent, but not a lot of stars. They are looking to knock off the Giants in the NL West.

Now, on to my predictions.

In the World Series, I have the Philadelphia Phillies beating the Red Sox in six-games. Now, this kills me to say this, because I am a Red Sox fan, but I think the Phillies pitching will prevail over Boston’s pitching, and the Phillies offense is just slightly better. It will be a heavyweight fight, with the Phillies giving to knockout in Game 6.

Enjoy the season, and hope that the start of baseball brings spring weather along with it.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Campus Lantern Articles, MLB

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Glimmer of Hope in the NFL

Football fans, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

With the clock running out on negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Football League owners and the NFL Players Association agreed to two extensions to the CBA. First, the two sides agreed to a 24 hour extension, meaning the two sides had 24 extra hours to negotiate. On Friday, with the business day winding down,  they agreed to another extension, this time, an extra week, meaning that the old CBA now expires on Friday, March 11th, at 11:59 p.m.

Now, you may ask why they agreed to an extension.

Both sides want to get an agreement done. They last thing they want is for the old CBA to expire. If the Players Association feels like a deal won’t get done, they will decertify, meaning that the players can sue the NFL in an anti-trust lawsuit. On the flip side, if the CBA expires, the owners can lockout the players, meaning that the players wouldn’t be able communicate with management, workout at the teams and facilities, and not get health insurance.

It is a lose-lose situation of all sides. And that is what they want to avoid.

If the CBA expires, teams won’t be able to trade players, sign free-agents, and start practice for the upcoming season. And, if these negotiations go to court, it could be a while until fans see football played on the field, with the possibility of missing games.

If the NFL doesn’t have a season, the owners won’t get money from concessions and ticket prices, and players won’t get their game checks. Everyone will suffer.

That is why it is really promising that they extended the deadline of the old CBA. This shows that both sides are getting closer. Over the last couple weeks, both sides have been in Washington D.C., with federal mediators directing the negotiations. Sure, they are still far apart on the important issues, like the split of the revenue, an 18-game season, and a rookie wage scale. But with the federal mediators, it has appeared that both sides are getting closer, or are confident that both sides are working for an agreement.

As fans, these extensions mean more of a wait. But in the grand-scheme of things, these extensions give us a glimmer of hope that they will negotiate a new CBA, and we see football on the field this season.

Let’s hope that there is good news at the end of this week.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Campus Lantern Articles, NFL

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Trouble on the Horizon for the NFL

March 4th is like an iceburg in the middle of the ocean that you are sailing towards.

And for football fans, its getting bigger and bigger.

The National Football League (NFL) and the Players Association (NFLPA) are trying to hash out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which expires March 3rd. After March 4th, if a new CBA isn’t reached, the players will be ‘locked out.’ That means the players won’t be able to participate in team activities, or get the necessary money to rehab any injuries they might have.

There are a lot of things that the NFL and the NFLPA have to negotiate to create a new CBA. A rookie salary-scale, as well as a possible 18-game schedule, is minor speed bumps in the road to a new CBA.

But the big speed bump appears to be the splitting of the revenue. According to ESPN.com, the league makes $9 billion annually. When they last negotiated a CBA in 2006, the players were given 60-percent of the league’s revenue.

But since 2006, the ‘bubble has burst.’

The owners are now claiming that, in this economy, the aren’t making as much revenue as they have in the past. Tickets sales are down, and the stadiums aren’t raking in as much money as they have in the past. The owners are starting to ‘hurt’ financially. This time around, they are looking to receive a larger chunk of the money, saying that players already are getting a lot of money in their salaries.

But along of with all of the issues they have to negotiate with themselves, they also have to deal with the media.

Both the NFL and NFLPA are using the media, from ESPN, to Twitter, and every website in between, to try and tell the public what is happening in the negotiations, and what they thing of it. It has become a “He-said/she-said” type argument, with lots of mud-slinging on both sides of the table.

The federal government has stepped in, sending in George Cohen, the Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, to try and bring both sides together, to get an agreement together  in the next week, to avoid a lockout.

One thing Cohen has recommended, to both sides, is to put a gag order on all negotiating talks. That means no one is allowed to talk to the media about anything going on.

All we know, is that this past weekend, both sides met for three days straight, totaling over 20 hours. Now, I know you may not think that is a lot, but considering how heated both sides were getting, that is a lot of time.

So keep an ear out football fans. T-minus one week. Before the federal mediation, it looked like both sides weren’t going to get together. But there is a ray of hope shining on that iceberg, a glimpse that there will be a new CBA, and that there will be a 2011 season.

But even without a CBA, there will still be a draft. So even if there is a lockout, at least we have the draft right? Sort of like a small consolation prize. But if there is a lockout, the draft could be the last football we see for a while.

Positive thoughts football fans. Positive thoughts.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 18, 2011 in Campus Lantern Articles, NFL

 

Tags: , , ,

Curse of the King?

How often does a superstar, multiple MVP-type player leave a team for greener pastors? Two names come to mind: Babe Ruth, and Lebron James.

Now, being a Red Sox fan, I know all to well the pain of the Curse of the Bambino. Countless times, the Sox were close to winning, but was always struck with bad luck. But it all ended in 2004, with the epic 4-game comeback against the Yankees, then swept the Cardinals to win the World Series.

Now, there seems to be a new curse in town. The Curse of the King.

Lebron “King” James was the Cleveland Cavaliers. He took them deep into the playoffs multiple times, including 1 NBA Championship appearance, won two MVP awards, and won countless scoring titles. He has single-handedly brought his team deep into the playoffs, and almost but his entire team on his shoulder and brought them to the NBA Championships. James had the Key to the City, and the key to every fans heart.

But this past summer, at the very end of free agency, announced he was “..taking his talents to South Beach…” to be a part of the Miami Heat.

Those six words killed an entire city.

He was all Cleveland had. The Browns had bee under .500 for the last couple years, and the last time the Indians made the World Series was 1995. It was a sports ‘blackhole,’ with one shining star in Lebron. But that star exploded in the hearts and minds of Cavalier fans.

Now, they are, in other words, terrible. They have lost their last 21st game, and are 1-30 since Lebron visited Cleveland for the first time since he left. To put that into perspective, the Cavaliers lost only 21 games last year with Lebron on the team. in those games, they have lost by 15+ points, and have been humiliated.

Like Babe Ruth, he went to the better team, leaving his old team broken, and lost. It is too early to tell, but it looks like the ‘Curse of the King’ has come over the Cleveland Cavaliers, an could decimate the team for many years to come.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 1, 2011 in Campus Lantern Articles, NBA

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,