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Update: ESPN The World Wide Leader Decides To Layoff 100 Workers And Essentially Ending Hockey Coverage

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ESPN The World Wide Leader Decides To Layoff 100 Workers And Essentially Ending Hockey Coverage

ESPN will fire 100 staffers, most of them on-air talent, as the network works to make as much money as possible after seeing subscription numbers fall to an all-time low paired with right fees going to an all-time high. The focus for the company is now going towards digital content according to the network and that was the reasoning behind the layoffs.

ESPN president John Skipper made the announcement on Wednesday (April 26), noting that “changes” in the talent lineup will be implemented this week.

“A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions,” wrote Skipper in a note to employees posted on the network’s web site. “Dynamic change demands an increased focus on versatility and value, and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent—anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play—necessary to meet those demands.”

“These decisions impact talented people who have done great work for our company,” Skipper continued. “I would like to thank all of them for their efforts and their many contributions to ESPN.”

Skipper did not specifically identify staffers or the number of employees that will be let go. But longtime ESPN NFL reporter Ed Werder tweeted this morning that he has been layed off.

“After 17 years reporting on #NFL, I’ve been informed that I’m being laid off by ESPN effective immediately,” Werder Tweeted. “I have no plans to retire.”

So did college basketball reporter Dana O’Neil; “Add me to the list. Just got the ‘call.’ I’ve been informed my contract will not be renewed at ESPN.” SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross, whose contract is up this summer, also will be let go, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Other ESPN personalities are seeing their roles “significantly reduced,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. They include Baseball Tonight‘s Karl Ravitch, ESPN Radio’s Ryen Russillo and Hannah Storm. Kaylee Hartung, who covered college sports for the network for the past several years, will shift to CNN.

The biggest news out of all of this is their concerted effort to let go their “hockey” guys. Of the 100 layoffs Buccigross, Pierre LeBrun, Scott Burnside, and Joe McDonald, all four have been part of the networks hockey personality and reporter brigade. Now the only hockey reporter that seems to be left is Barry Melrose who admittedly is not a fan favorite.

ESPN messed up with rising expenses and not predicting their subscription numbers to take a hit. When they saw their numbers go down they scrambled and made an abundant of programming moves that essentially alienated their main viewership. If you tuned into a SportsCenter broadcast you could easily see why things have gone south with their centerpiece product no longer being recognizable.

Having part of your NFL right package including several NFL shows with little interest is also another way to go downhill quickly. Ultimately it was their rising rights deals that cooked this duck, goes to show that maybe one network shouldn’t have all of the rights to sports due to the fact that it is incredibly expensive.

In regards to their new digital content focus, I believe they have already been doing this for awhile, mostly a smoke and mirrors type of comment from Skipper. You could see an increase of that, but in reality, it will not help ESPN get into the black, laying off 100 staffers did that.

Update:

New names have come out in terms of firings and the list of good journalists grow. As of right now the names being added to the firing line are Trent Dilfer (NFL), Jayson Stark (MLB), and Jim Bowden (MLB). The later two are a big part of ESPN’s online article content and are considered to be some of the best baseball writers in the entire league.

Update:

Entire List Of Those Fired Or Non-Renewal (Might Have Missed A Few, Will Update As It Progresses):

Tanner founded Trifecta Network in Spring of 2016 and has been the Chief of Content for the Network since that time. Currently Tanner covers all the sports teams in Boston and has contacts in many of the teams in the city. Before starting Trifecta, Tanner was a Site Expert for the FanSided site Chowder and Champions before leaving to cover Boston teams on the ground as a member of the media for Trifecta.

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Patriots Football Talk: Pats Squish The Fish

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Patriots

It was a cool November Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.  The crowd was pumped and who could blame them for the big rivalry game that we saw.  It was New England vs Miami.  It was Patriots vs Dolphins.  And boy was it a game!

The Patriots got the ball first off of opening kickoff.  They went 3 and Out but went with a fake Punt on 4th Down.  Wow did they fool Miami on that one!  Nate Ebner got the ball for the Patriots Special Teams and ran it for the 1st Down.  It was a gutsy call but the Patriots followed through with it.  Rex Burkhead would get the first points on the board with a 1 Yard TD Rush, on the very first drive of the game.  Yes folks the Patriots would go on to put the game to bed early once again!

On their next Drive of the game Tom Brady would hook up to Rob Gronkowski for 20 Yards down the field.  He would eventually score on a 5 Yard TD Pass from Brady.  Making the game [14-0] Pats.  It was just a good hook up.  Brady played unbelievably well, same with Gronk.  By Half Time it was [21-10] Patriots.  The Patriots gave up a Fumble to the Miami Defense to give them the score.  Brady just wasn’t expecting the snap from the Center at the time and the ball bounced off of him into the backfield.  It was recovered and ran into the End Zone.  Nothing you could do about that one.  Miami would get a Field Goal to make it a closer game than it actually was.

Then after Half Time Brady connected again with Gronkowski, to make it [28-10] Patriots.  It was a great connection in the End Zone and you know that Gronk was hungry for another one.  He tapped his toes and held on to the ball.  Awesome!  After that it was pretty much in the bag for the Patriots.  Yeah they would give up a Touchdown to Kenyan Drake but they weren’t seriously in trouble of losing the game.  A big play by Dion Lewis to get to the 4 Yard Line, then a flip pass to Bradin Cooks would seal the deal for a TD and the Game.  It would end with a score of [35-17] Patriots.

Some real notable stats were: 18/28 for 227 Yards with 4 TDs for Tom Brady, 15 Carries for 112 Yards for Dion Lewis, 5 Catches for 82 Yards with 2 TDs for Rob Gronkowski, 6 Catches for 83 Yards with a TD to Cooks, and 13 Carries with 1 Rushing and 1 Passing TD for Rex Burkhead.  It was another all around complete game for the Patriots.  Brady spread the ball around to 8 different receivers.  The Defense played well with several sacks, with 2 INTs, and a Fumble Recovery.  Jonathan Jones‘ had a memorable and important sack in the 4th Quarter to end a Drive by Miami.  All in all it was another outstanding performance by the reigning Super Bowl Champs.

With this Win the Patriots now go to 9-2 on the year.  Tops in the AFC.  Leader of the AFC East.  Yep this was a Division game and they mean the most.  The Fish got Squished and who is up next?  Well that would be Buffalo.  Yikes!  Good luck trying to contain this Offensive nightmare.  Except for Pittsburgh it’s all Divisional games from here on out.  Which looks great for the Pats!  Next Sunday, December 3 it’s New England at Buffalo at 1 pm on CBS.  Better bring your Popcorn for these festivities!  And what was up with Burkhead on Gronk’s back, that was an interesting TD celebration.  Gronk wouldn’t comment on it but I bet it would have been a funny story!  Go Pats!

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How the NBA has Posterized the Modern Age

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Nobody watches sports on TV anymore, right? The instant gratification, that technology offers us, overpowers our interest to consume sporting events in their entirety.

It’s like choosing a home-cooked meal over astronaut food – consuming highlights on Twitter is SO much more efficient than watching the whole game.

Analysts have deduced, from declining NFL TV Ratings, that the audience for sports is dwindling. Excuses manifold have been made in an attempt to explain this seemingly inexplicable phenomenon.

You hear things like social media, those darn video games and even Reefer Madness. Others point to rule changes and a degrading “on the field” product. Some have even conjectured that recent political controversies have dissuaded a large portion of the NFL audience from watching telecasts of the game.

There are no days like the good ol’ days!

But the NFL is not the only sports league to be afflicted with declining ratings.

In fact, America’s favorite pastime, baseball, has all but lost the viewership of the younger demographics. This is the part of the population that will buy merchandise. They actually care about who’s “in”.

The average MLB fan is now 100 years old.

I joke, but this is not a huge exaggeration. The average MLB fan is now 53 years old, while the NFL’s average fan is not much younger – at 47 years old.

Two of the major sports leagues have hopelessly seen their popularity diminish, over the past few decades. So one would presume that this trend has spread across the rest of the Sports World. But the NBA has actually prospered during this window of media volatility.

The NBA’s season-opener has increased, in Nielsen TV Ratings, by about 63% since 2015. And the average basketball fan is only 37 years old. 

Somehow basketball has managed to appeal to the younger audience that is umbilically attached to electronic distractions. Yes, the very same distractions that have syphoned away the attention of these fans from the other sports leagues.

This must suggest that the NBA is communing with some wizard who is giving Adam Silver and his subordinates total clairvoyance, right? Well, the NFL and the MLB should stop searching for their Magic 8-Ball. It’s not out there.   

The NBA’s continued success is easy to explain: It is the league of Pop Culture. Therefore the NBA is both the cure and the symptom. And it is the only institution that is impervious to the ever-changing winds of digital time.

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NFL Week 12 Thanksgiving Picks

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NFL Week 12 Thanksgiving Picks

 

Hello and Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you are enjoying your turkey stuffing as we will have football to keep you all entertained. Much of the 2017 NFL season will be over soon but we still have the final stretch left to see where we figure out the playoffs spots for the 2018 Playoffs. This week’s are going to be full of good and WHOLE lot of bad. I made a couple of miss steps as I went 10-4 for Week 11, which puts me at 105-55 for the year. There isn’t a lot of time this week with making the full list of predictions but I will make the predictions for today as we have our annual tradition of Cowboys, Lions and Giants games this Thanksgiving.

 

Minnesota Vikings @ Detroit Lions: Winner – Vikings

 

This is a tough match-up. Going to ford Field and trying to beat the Detroit Lions at home is a tough one. But the Vikings are playing really well and are the front runners to win the NFC North. The Lions are a team that is starting to wind down on the steam. I legitimately considered Matthew Stafford was going to be the player to take this team further and establish himself being the #1 pick in the 2009 NFL draft. Sadly, their team is straight up ot performing well and the Vikings are making the smart choice by sticking with Case Keenum at QB. The Vikings defense is one of the best in the NFL and Matthew Stafford should have struggles all game. I have the Vikings winning on the road 24-21.

 

Los Angeles Chargers @ Dallas Cowboys: Winner – Chargers

 

Oh boy Cowboys fans really won’t like me this week. But even with Tyron Smith back in the huddle today, I just can’t see Dak surviving that pass rush of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram who are arguably the most dangerous in the NFL right now. With Zeke out now, their running game will suffer and it was clear as day during the last two weeks against the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles.

 

The sad reality is that Prescott is not a player that can carry this team yet. He showed strong flashes during his rookie season, but has yet to take the next step like Carson Wentz or Jared Goff have in their sophomore years. And going against a Chargers team that is still in the running for the AFC West after the Raiders, Broncos and Chiefs all fell off these last few weeks.

 

The Chargers had the best game of their season last Sunday when the Bills made the dumbest mistake possible putting int Nate Peterman for a good 5 picks (during the FIRST HALF!) of the game last week. Overall, the Chargers are looking much more optimistic about their season and Philip Rivers will be a guy to watch out for today as his running back Melvin Gordon is looking to potentially to be more utilized. I am going with the Los Angeles Chargers to upset the Cowboys at home 27-24.

 

New York Giants @ Washington Redskins: Winner – Redskins

 

The Redskins are a team that has a lot of good but also tons of bad. The Good: The Redskins are a team that have won some very close games this season with their last 3 games being decided by less then 8 points. The Giants had a huge upset coming last week against the Kansas City Chiefs.

 

I would honestly rule the chiefs game down to bad luck but I think that this being a NFC East rival game, the Giants will play to a much higher level but I really doubt that the Giants can do much to help Eli out in this game as Sterling Shepard is recovering from his Illness for the past several days. Kirk Cousins vs Eli Manning will be the key factor here as Eli has really no running game and his defense has fallen off hard this season.

 

The only way the Redskins can lose this is by allowing Eli to have more than a few seconds in the pocket. Although Ben McAdoo has been considered on the hot seat, John Mara and the Giants organization have not decided to let him go. It’s a traditionalist this for the Giants to want to keep their head coach through the season but it’s evident that even with last week’s win, this Giants team is better off tanking. I have the Redskins pulling off a win here 24-17.

 

The rest of my list up by the weekend. I hope all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving day weekend!

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