The NFL turns it back on Ohio fans!

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Ohio in general and Central Ohio in particular are being cheated by the NFL schedulers. Only 4 states have 2 teams in the same conference. But the other 3 are separated by customs, distance and interests.

Oakland area NFL fans only see the Chargers as that team way down south that is a division rival.

And nobody really cares about scheduling conflicts of Buffalo (vs. the Jets) or Jacksonville (vs. the Dolphins). Both of those teams are likely to be moving soon due to lack of attendance.

But the Browns and the Bengals share a history that is unique in the league. The Browns and the Bengals were both started by Paul Brown. That has caused mixed loyalties all over the state. But the NFL does very little to use the schedule to allow fans of each team to see their clubs games.

This year for example 8 weeks of the 15 (17 weeks less the two games against each other) have direct conflicts. The league could easily have avoided 5 of the 8 by scheduling Fox games (those played at home against NFC teams) on separate weeks. Instead the league scheduled both teams to play on Fox at the same start time in week 5 and missed a chance to get one fewer conflict by scheduling the Browns to play on CBS in week 12 rather than wasting the Bengals appearance on the NFL Channel!

While the rest of the fan base may be fine with the pinheads in the scheduling department, there are a lot of people in Ohio that are ticked. Those that are with Direct TV can order the NFL game plan but frankly, I don’t want any more holes in my new roof. One dish up there is enough.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on

and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Schedule,Browns,Bengals,Bills,Dolphins,Jets,Chargers,Raiders,Jaguars,Direct TV,Dish NETWORK

UFC 112 Ends with a Fizzle

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Anderson Silva

UFC 112 Ends with a Fizzle

Thousands of MMA fans tuned in to watch UFC 112 Saturday, April 10, 2010. The fight card boasted ten fights, half of which were preliminary fights. Since many missed the preliminary fights, here’s a quick rundown: Jon Madsen defeated Mostapha Al-Turk via unanimous decision; Paul Kelly defeated Matt Veach via submission, using a guillotine choke, in the second round; DaMarques Johnson, who earned a $75,000 “best knockout of the night” bonus, defeated Brad Blackburn via TKO in Round 3; Rick Story defeated Nick Osipczak via split decision; and Phil Davis defeated Alexander Gustafsson via submission, with an anaconda choke, in the first round.

The main fights started with Mark Munoz and Kendall Grove. Both men fought hard, and both earned $75,000 bonuses for their efforts. Munoz beat Grove via TKO in the second round. Next up were Terry Etim and Rafael Dos Anjos; Dos Anjos won via submission, using an arm bar, in the second round, and earned a $75,000 bonus as well. Matt Hughes faced Renzo Gracie in the next fight, which exhibited surprisingly little Jiu Jitsu, considering a Gracie was in the mix. Hughes won via TKO in Round 3. B.J. Penn defended his lightweight champion title against Frankie Edgar in the next fight. The fight went five rounds and ended with Edgar winning via unanimous decision, becoming the new lightweight champion. The main event was Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia. Silva, who has been criticized in his recent fights, continued showing bizarre behavior and a disappointing lack of consistency and focus. The fight went all five rounds; however, UFC president Dana White left after the fourth, obviously disgusted. Silva won via unanimous decision, keeping his middleweight title, but that may have been his last UFC fight. Dana White later apologized to fans for Silva’s behavior, saying he was embarrassed that fans had to pay to see such a disappointing main event fight.

If you missed UFC 112, be sure to catch the next series of UFC fights on DISH Network pay-per-view. DISH Network offers great deals on satellite television.

TO: Owners of the NFL and NBA This is not the time to strike or lockout!

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Fryingpan Sports

TO: Owners of the NFL and NBA

This is not the time to strike or lockout!

By Bill Smith

There is a famous saying that those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That is not correct in all cases. In the case of the NFL and the NBA that face expiration of player master contracts in the next couple of years, let me restate it.

“Those that fail to learn from history are just doomed!” Smith, 2009

Both the leagues must learn from the examples of the NHL and MLB how devastating strikes or lockouts can be to their survival.

The case of MLB in 1994

In 1993, MLB had a total attendance of 70,257,938 a 26 percent increase over 92 and the best in league history. In the 5 years from 83-88 the league had averaged an increase of 3.3 percent per year. From 89-93 the league enjoyed an average increase of 5.5 percent per year. Teams like Montreal that had struggled for years were starting to show improvement. The game seemed fine but according to both the players association and the owners the economics were not.

The owners had forced then MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent to resign in September 1992. They replaced him with an owner, Bud Selig.

The owners stated publicly the case for a salary cap similar to the one in the NFL. They claimed that small market teams would go bankrupt unless a salary cap and revenue sharing was implemented. The players distrusted the owners with good reason. The league had been found guilty of collusion and was forced to pay $280 million in reparations.

Despite President Clinton trying to intervene to prevent a strike, the two sides threw unrelated proposals back and forth doing more negotiating in the press than face to face. The players voted to strike and on Aug. 12, 1994 walked out. The rest of the season was lost including the World Series.

Attendance in 1995 which was 144 games instead of 162 was down 28% from 93. The total attendance did not recover to 1993 levels until 1998. The growth rate of 5.5 percent per year was not seen again. In fact the total growth between 1995 and 2005 was 6.6%.

We now know that the era of the live ball was being replace by the era of “juiced” ballplayer. After all that, the owners folded before they got a salary cap or any meaningful revenue sharing. Somehow the luxury tax does not replace either of those principles.

The case of the NHL

You may remember fondly the ESPN coverage of the NHL. Real hockey fans may remember less fondly the Fox coverage with glowing pucks and battling hockey robots. But at least that was coverage most people could see.

The agreement that ended the 94-95 lockout of players expired on Sept. 15, 2004. The owners led by Commissioner Gary Bettman wanted an agreement including salary structure linking player salaries to league revenues to provide cost certainty. From 2002, the league and the players association (NHLPA) negotiated. But failing to reach agreement, the owners locked out the players on Sept. 16, 2004.

To the surprise of no one, the NHLPA and executive director Bob Goodenow didn’t believe the league numbers and refused to budge on the “cost certainty” issue. Both sides tried to negotiate in the press but according to a poll of Canadian fans conducted by Ipsos-Reid, the owners were more successful than the players at getting their point across to the public. 52 percent of the fans blamed the players while only 21% blamed the owners. 17 percent said a pox on both of your houses.

The league lost the entire 2004-05 season but the agreement finally reached did not solve any of the problems and caused several others. Attendance, the life blood of the league went down following the second strike in 10 years and is still recovering in some markets. The biggest blow was the loss of the ESPN TV contract. Following the stoppage, ABC/ESPN passed on the opportunity to bid on covering the league.

The NHL had their 2008-09 all star weekend broadcast by their new network—Verses. I pay 80 dollars a month for Dish and Verses is not part of my package. Enough said.

My Advice:

If you are going to risk the future of the league with a strike or a lockout, make sure it is worth it. Stick it out as long as it takes to get what you need to survive.

The owners in the NFL can not survive with guaranteed player contracts. They must prevent that to make a lockout worth while. If the owners are not willing to stick together to get that done, forget the lockout, play 2 extra regular season games and do the deal with the players.

The NBA needs to either eliminate guaranteed contacts (not likely) or get a hard salary cap based on a % of total revenues of the league. If you’re not willing to do what it takes to get that from the players, forget the lockout.

While the players make great salaries, they will not stick together for an extended period. They need the income to support their life styles. The owners are lacking backbone as well. We will see who blinks first.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]


Introducing the United Football League

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Fryingpan Sports

Introducing the United Football League


By Bill Smith

No professional football in Los Angeles? There will be soon—maybe. The United Professional Football league may be coming to a town near you. Right now there are franchises being organized in LA and Los Vegas with other promised soon.

Commissioner Michael Huyghue has NFL experience when he served as the Vice-President for personnel for the Jacksonville. He has been joined by former USFL Oakland Invaders minority partner William Hambrecht, a Wall Street investor. Tim Armstrong, a senior executive at Google is also reportedly involved.

The league plans to play on Thursday and Friday nights in late summer and fall with a championship game in late November. UFLAccess contributor Fran Stuchbury reported that Jim Fassel will be the first coach of the Las Vegas entry into the United Football League. Fassel, the former New York Giants head coach, lends credibility to the new league which is something that any new effort needs.

The league is looking to start small with only 6 franchises in its first season. Among the cities under consideration are Hartford (CT), Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Monterrey (Mexico), New York, Orlando, Salt Lake City and San Francisco according to The league expects to announce the final list of teams next month.

According to an interview with Commissioner Huyghue on the league is expecting to have a television network deal and has lined up investors for the six planned franchises. The current plan is to price tickets at less than half of an NFL one. They are planning on using existing stadiums and Huyghue also said he has identified a pool of 300 players.

I think the UFL would be good for pro football. There are a lot of players that have potential but are not ready for the NFL. With NFL Europe folding there is a need for a developmental league. The USFL proved that football can be successful in smaller markets like Birmingham and Orlando. Where the USFL went wrong was to try to outspend the NFL for top talent. There was insufficient revenue to support that level of salary expense.

It looks like the UFL is starting small which is smart. There is a market. There are players that come from small colleges, Arena Football, or were never able to become eligible for college. The key is local support in paid attendance and a decent national TV contract. If Huyghue can pull those rabbits out of his UFL helmet, he has a chance. I know I will watch if it is on Dish Network.

That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.

Technorati Tags: Los Angeles,United Professional Football league,UFL,Huyghue,Commissioner,USFL,Oakland,Invaders,Hambrecht,Jacksonville,Armstrong,Google,UFLAccess,Fassel,Giants,New York,Las Vegas,Hartford,Monterrey,Orlando,Salt Lake City,San Francisco,,NFL Europe,Birmingham,Dish Network

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for and edits He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]

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