Tuesday, July 22, 2014

7/22 Tuesday Quickie

*"Cheating pays": Does that count institutions like the Big 12 cheating players out of fair value for their service?

*Tim Tebow's comeback: You know how I feel about this -- he deserves a shot on a team, hysteria be damned. The best fit? Honestly? Cleveland, where the hysteria can't get much more nuts.

*The Orioles affirm that they are for real: Adam Jones.

-- D.S.

Monday, July 21, 2014

7/21 Monday Quickie

*Rory McIlroy: The best detail about his win is that 10 years ago, his dad put down a bet that he'd win a (British) Open title within 10 years.

*Jameis Winston: Does a disservice to every college football player who isn't destined to be a Top 5 NFL pick by insisting that the college scholarship is enough.

*Dota 2: Don't overlook e-sports' entry into the mainstream, with the Dota 2 finals being broadcast on ESPN3/WatchESPN at noon today. Huge potential for ESPN.

*NBA Summer League: As a Wizards fan, I couldn't be happier with the outcome. Beating the Spurs in the playoffs (in triple OT), putting two players on the 1st-team all-Summer (Otto Porter and Glen Rice Jr) and having GRJR win Summer League MVP is as good as it gets for a Wiz fan.

*Carmelo Anthony is a VC: When I founded Quickish in 2010, I was obsessed with the idea of having Steve Nash's VC firm (co-led by the fantastic Mike Duda) invest.

(FWIW: Quickish wasn't the right fit for Nash/Duda's investment thesis, one that I admire, but getting to know the firm was a highlight of the Quickish experience.)

*13 years ago today: First date with Mrs. Quickie. Also recognized as the date my Florida fandom began. So: Not insubstantial, on two fronts!

-- D.S.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday 7/18 Weekend Quickie

The Slowest Week of the Sports Year is nearly over...

*Love for Wiggins? Yes, for both sides.

*NFL Draft anywhere but NY? Chicago, please.

*Weekend read: The legend of Tom Emanski.

*Must-see: Kershaw on Sunday night at 8 on ESPN.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wednesday 7/16 All-Star Hangover Quickie

*The "Pipe-Shot" Scandal/Non-scandal: Did Adam Wainwright groove that pitch to Derek Jeter in Jeter's 1st All-Star at-bat that he smacked for a satisfying double?

The correct answer is: So what if he did?

Let's give the last word to Jeter: "If he grooved it, thank you.  You still have to hit it.  I appreciate if that's what he did, thank you."

*NBA Summer League Playoffs: Did you enter your bracket into the office pool yet?

*ESPYs: Auburn's "Kick-Six" should win everything.

-- D.S.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesday 7/15 All-Star Lull Quickie

*MLB All-Star: I'll tune in for Jeter's lead-off at-bat, but that's about it. Maybe that's enough.

*Home Run Derby: Similarly, I watched Stanton's jaw-dropping first round, then dropped out. (Yoenis Cespedes is clearly great, but I'll take Jose Abreu, People's Champ.)

*Emmanuel Mudiay skipping college: More power to him. He'll be a Top 3 pick next June whether he spends next year at SMU, in Slovakia or training with Tim Grover.

*Jimmy Graham returns to the Saints: The league's most exciting tight end where he should be.

*SEC Media Day, Day 2: It's the annual highlight -- Steve Spurrier at the podium.

*Chandler Parsons was "offended" by the Rockets: For what? Pursuing Carmelo or Chris Bosh as an upgrade to him, no matter how talented he might be? Faux-outrage.

*World Cup hangover: Would it surprise you to know the Brazil coach is out? I'm surprised it took this long.

*NBA Summer League: If there was a re-draft of the entire league and you were starting a franchise today, the Greek Freak would be a Top 20 pick -- maybe Top 10.

*"Men In Blazers" watch: Not only are they starting a new newsletter, but it has a sponsor, which is a unicorn for newsletters. (The most notable one I know with a sponsor is Mike Allen's Playbook.)

*Last night I took the kids to see our local high school hoops team in a summer league tournament, and Gheorge Muresan was hanging out there. He's the best.

-- D.S.

Monday, July 14, 2014

7/14 Post-World Cup Quickie

*Germany is a worthy World Cup champ. That winner by Gotze was superb.

Don't miss this awesome "One Shining Moment"-style kicker from ESPN:




*Looking ahead to 2018: Gedion Zelalem.

*The unexpected hangover from LeBron's decision to return to Cleveland is that he has almost entirely stayed off the radar, with the SI message being his only thing.

*NBA Summer League: The blueprint for Doug McDermott in the NBA was on display last night -- a bevy of 3s, plus 100% shooting on a dozen FTs.

*Still processing that my Wiz picked up Paul Pierce. The rest of the league really seems to like it, and -- more importantly -- it takes "KD to DC in '16" to the mainstream.

*Home Run Derby pick: Yasiel Puig.

-- D.S.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Extra! Extra! LeBron Returning to Cleveland

*This essay from LeBron -- breaking the news, mind you -- was wonderful. "Pitch perfect" comes to mind.

*"I’m not promising a championship." Thank you. It's not a guarantee, but he'll try. To wit...

*"My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio."

Think about that for a second, because it's absolutely spot-on: In LeBron's case, the legacy isn't "more rings than Jordan." It's "rings where they haven't been in forever." Good for him.

*Aside from the fact that the Cavs stand in the way of my Wizards winning the East, it is very easy to root for LeBron and root for a fascinating way this challenge plays itself out.

*And if it inspires Kevin Durant to return to his own hometown in two years to try to bring home a championship, all the better.

*Still: 

-- D.S.

7/11 Friday LeBron World Cup Quickie

*I think LeBron SHOULD return to Cleveland (many/most agree), but it sure looks like he's going to go back to Miami. That'll go over well.

*Then Bosh goes back to Miami (spurning Houston) and Carmelo goes back to New York and whydidweevenbother. Regardless, can NBA Free Agency finally start now?

*NBA Summer League: Tonight's Wiggins-vs-Parker match-up to tip off the Vegas summer league is as good of a Friday night sports-TV option in mid-July as you'll get.

*Actually, it gets better: Start with Wiggins-Parker at 8, then fire up your MLB TV package to watch the A's lineup face King Felix at 10-ish, ducking over to ESPNU at 10:45 or so to watch a replay of the end of the Auburn-Alabama game. That's a VERY solid mid-July Friday night of sports.

*Let's get to it: Germany over Argentina on Sunday in the World Cup final. Netherlands over Brazil on Saturday in the 3rd-place game. Wow, has the past month been a lot of fun. See you in '18.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

7/9 Wednesday 7-1 Hangover Quickie

*Germany 7, Brazil 1: There has not been a more fascinating blowout in the history of sports.

*Ian Darke and Steve McManaman were brilliant -- it's a lot harder to keep up sincere disdain during a throttling than keep up sincere enthusiasm during a taut match.

*Netherlands over Argentina in PKs.

*Cavs free up money to make max deal for LeBron: He's gotta go to Cleveland.

*I'm dabbling with a new feature -- it's a guide to what's worth watching in sports today. Check it out.

(No, this isn't a prelude to the newsletter -- that'll be separate... and more like this.)

-- D.S.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

7/8 Tuesday World Cup Semi Quickie

*Brazil-Germany (4 ET today) should be phenomenal. Brazil (playing without Neymar) is in "win-or-fail" territory; the Germans aren't too far off.

Put simply: Losing to Brazil in Brazil wouldn't be as bad for Germany as losing to Germany in Brazil would be for Brazil. But Germany should rightfully be considered the favorite.

*NBA Free Agency: Really enjoyed this piece on the NBA's Trade Rumor Era from Grantland's Bryan Curtis. He downplays two things I think about a lot:

(1) The commodification of the actual news scoop itself (which is why the rumor and the post-scoop analysis is so valuable), and (2) the overarching power of Twitter in all this -- Woj, Stein, Broussard, Amick and the rest are all really working for Twitter, not Yahoo or ESPN or USA TODAY Sports.

(Now, the commodification of the scoop means that putting it on Twitter is OK, as long as you have some sort of native context ready to go; everyone else will, off the scoop. But be clear that the news outlet reaping the most benefit here is Twitter -- more power to 'em.)

Otherwise, I'd like to see Chris Bosh take the power back and make the first move here, signing with the Rockets. (Don't know why he wasn't the Rockets' first move anyway.)

That would force LeBron to seriously reconsider any notion of wanting to re-sign with Miami, instead heading to, say, Cleveland. Dwyane Wade is left with Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger.

(The other option, as has been speculated, is that if Chris Bosh leaves Miami for Houston, then Carmelo vaults from "NY or LA?" to joining LeBron in Miami.)

*Missed this yesterday: Love DirecTV's idea of creating a "Fantasy Football Red Zone." I had always considered Red Zone pretty fantasy-football-oriented as it was, but it has a lot of potential.

(It'll be interesting to see if the NFL's cable version of Red Zone Channel -- hosted by the incomparable Scott Hanson and my preferred Red Zone -- ups its fantasy quotient.)

Monday, July 07, 2014

7/7 Monday 4th Hangover Quickie

*The whole "LeBron back to Cleveland" thing is enticing/amusing only because it represents the ideal ending to his free-agency situation.

*It would also trigger the dissolution of the Big Three -- Chris Bosh would realistically relocate to another contender, like Houston.

*Carmelo to LA is just sort of... well, OK. (It's more intriguing than him staying in New York.) A team with Kobe and Carmelo would be fun to watch, at least.

*MLB All-Stars: It's hard to fathom that Chris Sale wasn't picked and must rely on the "Final Vote" (a gimmick I have always loved, btw) -- he'll win the AL slot easily.

Otherwise, it's really hard to begrudge the fans their picks. (The reserves? OK, folks seem to have a quibble or few, but as long as Jose Abreu is on the roster, I'm fine.)

*World Cup: Germany-Brazil-Netherlands-Argentina might represent a dream final foursome, but it would have been more fun had Costa Rica crashed the semifinals. As it stands, no fan base (aside from the champ's) will be more satisfied with how the tournament played out than Costa Rica fans.

*Not much to say about the NBA's Orlando Summer League, except Nerlens Noel's debut was awesome enough for me to go back to lamenting m Wiz passing him up to draft Otto Porter.

*Josh Gordon is your new No. 1-ranked "best athlete to really screw things up." Hope he gets help.

-- D.S.

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

7/2 Wednesday USMNT Hangover Quickie

*It was fun while it lasted. I think most people are bummed more because the ride is over, not because we actually lost. And that's totally OK. In fact, that was the inevitable feeling.

*Can't say enough about Tim Howard. (And can't lament enough that missed shot by Wondo with just minutes to play in regulation.)

*The big question: What changes? I think our expectations for 2018 change -- we're now in the "quarterfinals or bust" tier, which is not necessarily ideal (see Spain, Italy, England).

*I'm not sure we see a surge in popularity of soccer in the US -- more people caring about MLS, more people caring about Premiership. Maybe more interest in USMNT games like the Gold Cup.

*This wasn't about soccer, per se. This was about socialization. Not in a "social media" sense -- in the sense that this had so many unique conditions that made this work as an "Everyone Cares" event:

(1) Total dominance of the sport -- no other sports on the radar... (2) uber coverage/access from ESPN... (3) it lent itself to social viewing: midday games... (4) soccer is super-easy to comprehend.

*The thing that made it so amazing -- the Togetherness -- is also what makes it unlikely to be either sustainable or something that advances the sport, itself, by a step function in the U.S.

*That doesn't diminish how amazing the past few weeks have been. Soccer snobs ("real" fans) might not like to hear it, but the non-fan Bandwagon is precisely why this was as huge as it was.

*The nation of bandwagoneers are the team to be celebrated, even if they don't pay attention for another four years.

-- D.S.

Monday, June 30, 2014

6/30 Monday Quickie

*I'm a huge fan and avid consumer of email newsletters. For most of this year, I've been thinking around the idea of starting one, largely to replace writing here (I'd republish everything here anyway).

*The reason it's on my mind is because the NYT's David Carr is a similar newsletter fan and wrote about it today. If you aren't familiar, you should give it a read.

*FWIW, here are a few on my list:

Daily
*Jason Hirschhorn's MediaREDEF (media + tech + pop culture)
*Quartz (media, technology, business)
*NiemanLab (media and news)
*Alexis Madrigal's "5 Things" (serendipity)
*SB Nation's "Good Morning, Let's Basketball" (NBA)
*The Wire (news-feature discovery)
*Product Hunt (start-up discovery)
*American Press Institute (media and news)
*StrictlyVC (venture capital deals)
*Dan Primack's Term Sheet (VC news)
*The Skimm (clever news digest)
*Skift (Not even for its news on the travel-industry but as a model for how email newsletters can work.)

The ones I open most frequently/reliably are the ones where I'm not already getting their links on Twitter. For example, I love REDEF and NiemanLab, but some days, I don't need to open them because they are two of the Twitter feeds I pay most close attention to. Madrigal's "5 Things" probably gets my most reliable daily open, because he doesn't necessarily tweet out those links.

Weekly
*Benedict Evans (mobile industry)
*Monday Note (media)
*TheWirecutter and TheSweetHome

Paid
*Joe Sheehan's Baseball Newsletter

(That last one should be interesting to anyone who aspires to turn an email newsletter into a paid-subscriber-based business, as Jason Hirschhorn does.)

*I wish very much that 10 years ago I had focused more on turning the Daily Quickie into a daily newsletter -- to be honest, the technology to do it has been less-than-easy. That includes MailChimp, which I looked into when Quickish launched. TinyLetter feels like the closest thing to frictionless.(It's worth noting that TinyLetter is a product of MailChimp -- a very smart little productization.)

*I know Hirschhorn's basic business model is to develop a couple of high-audience vertical newsletters, then sell subscriptions to get them, but I think his ultimate upside is opening REDEF's platform to let anyone create a paid-subscriber newsletter, then taking a percentage of that revenue.

*I know it'll seem derivative and herd-following, but don't be surprised if I spark up a daily email newsletter in the weeks after the July 4th weekend.

-- D.S.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

6/29 Sunday Quickie

*Impossible not to feel for fans of Chile. That was as loaded of a sports event as you'll ever watch.

*If Jason Kidd is a fool (and he is), then what does that make the Bucks for wanting to hire him?

*Guess Miami's Big Three is sticking together at a discount. More power to 'em.

-- D.S.

Friday, June 27, 2014

6/27 Friday Draft Hangover Quickie

*It doesn't matter how the US advanced at the World Cup -- only that it advanced, period. There is no such thing as "backing in" or "too close for comfort." Just ask Spain or Italy or England.

*NBA Draft picks I liked:
- Nurkic and Harris to the Nuggets
- Embiid to the Sixers
- Vonleh and Hairston to the Hornets
- McGary to the Thunder
- Kyle Anderson to the Spurs
- McDermott to the Bulls

*NBA Draft picks I didn't like:
- Gordon to the Magic
- LaVine to the T'wolves
- Caboclo to the Raptors
- The Wizards selling their pick
- That no one drafted Patric Young

Fun weekend of World Cup knock-out games ahead.

-- D.S.