Friday, August 08, 2014

8/8 Weekend Quickie

First: Sign up for my new email newsletter!

*Last summer, NBC Sports' "Ted Lasso" campaign was the single-best promo spot of the year in sports. This year's edition is even better:

*Kevin Durant drops out of USA Basketball's World Cup team. As always, it's his prerogative. But for a hoops-obsessive like Durant, it is a fascinating development (almost as fascinating as his reported $300M deal with Under Armour).

*NFL Preseason: Washington RB Lache Seastrunk showed just enough to make him an intriguing late-round fantasy flier. Same with Chiefs TE Travis Kelce. Hard to get too excited. However: Michael Sam's debut tonight is worthy of national news.

*Jon Lester: 3-hit complete game? Yeah, that's why Oakland paid big.

*"Power Five": This was inevitable -- hard to begrudge the Power Five their... um... power. The lower-end D1 schools will go along, because without the Power Five, the lower-end D1 schools might as well shut down football and save the money. It'll be interesting to see what the Power Five do with their newfound... power.

Sign up for the newsletter! It takes about 10 seconds. I'd love to have you be a part of it.

-- D.S.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

8/7 Newletter Quickie

So many things have my attention this morning...

*Announcing a new newsletter: For starters, before I promote it on Twitter, I wanted to let you know that I'm launching an email newsletter -- nothing fancy or formal. Just a place to meander, and hopefully a lot more convenient for you than having to come to this site. Sign up is super-simple. Do it here:

I'll probably start next week -- perhaps a little later in the month. Give it a try. (I certainly will!)

*Love to Cavs: You can go right ahead and pencil in the Cavs as Eastern Conference champs. It remains to be seen how Love will perform in the playoffs, but he'll have plenty of chances now. (BTW: The T'wolves did just about as well as they could -- Wiggins has superstar upside and, in the short-term, will be so fun to watch catching lobs from Ricky Rubio. Anthony Bennett has very solid upside -- and probably will benefit from a new environment. The future 1st-round pick is a bonus. Minnesota is a swingman away from fielding a very competitive starting five.)

*NFL Now: The NFL launched its new quick-hit video app. The free version is good, but they offer quite a bit for the $2/month upcharge -- if you pay it from September through December ($8 total), you'll get Red Zone (with ability to Airplay it to your TV via Apple TV) and real-time in-game highlights, which feels like a bargain.

*Tilt partners with ESPN: I love this deal. When Venmo first launched, the very first thing I thought of was: "Wow, you could build an entire business on top of Venmo just on friends paying each other fantasy league dues." Naturally, ESPN's brilliant product honcho Ryan Spoon made this happen. Mobile payments were already taking over everything -- you probably paid your dues through PayPal already. This kind of deep integration with ESPN and its huge base of fantasy players/leagues is massive.

*Casper Sleep FTW: Last week, I asked if anyone had any experience with Casper Sleep, the start-up trying to disrupt the mattress industry, sort of the way Warby Parker did with glasses. I liked what I had heard about the company, so we ordered the mattress -- frankly, the biggest move was that after 10 years of marriage, we were finally going from a Queen to a King. It came yesterday and we slept on it last night -- really happy with it. And the price point ($950 for a King) is incredible. I have no relationship with the company -- I'm just a fan. If you want to check it out, feel free to use this link, and if you end up buying, you get a discount and I get a referral. Anyway, then I wake up to a news story that the company just raised $13 million. Excited to watch them grow.

OK, so please sign up for the newsletter if you're interested -- I cannot promise you anything except, as always, I'll try to make it worth your time investment.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

8/6 Wednesday Hammon Quickie

*The Spurs adding Becky Hammon as a coach is the best sports story of the summer.

#HotSportsTip: She will eventually become the first woman head coach in the NBA.

*NFL Preseason: MMQB has a great profile on the next great NFL head coach, Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

#HotSportsTip: This time next year, he will be head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

*Adam Dunn pitched last night, which is amazing.

#HotSportsTip: Follow @70MPHFastball on Twitter, the best way to follow those glorious moments of "position players pitching."

*New MLB commish next week?

#HotSportsTip: Hard not to see it being current MLB COO Rob Manfred.

*I love a good bracket.'s "Best Individual College Football Season Ever" bracket is amazing.

#HotSportsTip: I'm partial to Tebow '07, of course, but I'll accept Cam Newton '10 and Barry Sanders '88. (Tebow didn't make it out of the first round, after a rough match-up with Herschel Walker '80.)

-- D.S.

Monday, August 04, 2014

8/4 Monday Quickie

*Took my 2-year-old daughter Lucy to her first-ever MLB game on Saturday night, Nats vs. Phillies at Nats Park. A few notes:

(1) We lucked into seats in the first row behind first base; she became the section mascot.

(2) Phillies 1B coach Juan Samuel threw Gabe a foul ball, which was nice (one of the T-shirt spirit folks also threw him a T-shirt -- sitting in the front is absurd.)

(3) Lucy loved the walk-up songs - early on, she perked up when they played a song she recognized ("Problem") for Ryan Howard.

(4) First in a lifetime of games attended in person for her, I hope.

*Paul George: Just awful. I'm in the "could happen anywhere/anytime" camp, although there is something to be said about USA Basketball's negligence in using a basket stanchion two feet closer to the baseline than typical NBA stanchions (at least in the context of elite NBA players using it).

I think the Pacers have a combination of zero chance of contending and a sympathetic, rabid fan base that allows them to follow a strategy of tanking for a high draft pick, who can combine with George and Hibbert in 2016 and beyond to return the Pacers to "East elite" status.

*Football HOF: To the point I was making about Derrick Brooks on Friday, Spencer Hall does it better.

*Looking ahead to next year's HOF: I personally think Kurt Warner should be a lock 1st-ballot Hall member, but the initial read is that he'll have to wait. Fits his narrative, certainly.

*Brett Favre: Did you think the Packers wouldn't retire his No. 4? Even with his exile at the end, it's one of the most iconic, franchise-defining NFL jerseys of the past 20 years.

*Tiger's back: Getting old sucks.

*Andrew Wiggins: He's going to be so much better off in Minnesota, where the fans will love him and Ricky Rubio will be throwing him lobs.

*Mattress mania: Friday, I tweeted out that I was in the market for a new king-size mattress (heading into our 10-year wedding anniversary, time to finally upgrade from a queen) and was intrigued by Casper, a start-up that wants to do for mattresses what Warby Parker did for glasses (Warby is probably my favorite start-up ever). I ended up making a purchase; it arrives this week. Will keep you updated, but the ordering and customer service so far have been fantastic.

-- D.S.