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



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.


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.


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.

Boston Celtics

Celtics Talk: The Little Guys




The play of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward will not make or break this Celtics team. Everyone knows that they’ll perform. No it’s the ancillary characters, those hard-nosed guys who have been placed on the backburner, that will make the difference for Boston during the upcoming 2017-18 season.

This past summer was charged with controversy and pandemonium, following some massive moves made by Danny Ainge and his subordinates. Dishing out well-groomed fan favorites to teams manifold, Boston felt like the nexus of offseason activity in the NBA.

Many Celtics fans still harbor some reproach, regarding the unfamiliarity of this team. But I assure you that there is still exists that “Tommy Point” foundation, which the Celtics will look to for a foothold when the going gets tough. These are the individuals that will dictate the trajectory of this team’s season.    

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Fantasy Football Talk: Who is in and Who is out




It was Thursday on the eve of Thursday Night Football, and everyone was watching their Smart Phones.  No in this case I’m not talking about the Red Sox 1st Postseason Game.  No I’m not talking about the Bruins 1st Regular Season Game.  Instead, I’m talking about Fantasy Football.  I’m talking about who was playing in Thursday Night’s game.  Yes that’s right everyone wanted to see if Rob Gronkowski would start for the Patriots Game.

Sadly for Fantasy Owners the last minute News update was that no, he was sitting this one out.  Oh no, how disappointing that was!  Me and the rest of Fantasy Nation scrambled to get a new TE starter for the week. Injuries have been something of a real pain to Fantasy Owners.  Almost as bad as Thursday Night havoc for teams who have only 3 days to prepare.  Here are some players who will be out in Week 5.

Rob Gronkowski was the last major player to make the injury report.  Some other Doubtful Players are Chris Carson, C. J. Prosise, Benjamin Watson, Matt Forte, Ty Montgomery, Derek Carr, and Jordan Matthews.  These guys can pretty much be ruled out of Sunday’s Games.  There are still a few Questionable Players like Marcus Mariota, but don’t expect to see much change in status till Game Time.

The Bye Weeks have already started and they bring with them missing players from your Starting Line up.  Here are the Teams that have a Bye this week: New Orleans, Denver, Atlanta, and Washington.  Yup that’s right no Drew Brees, no Demaryius Thomas, no Tevin Coleman, and no Kirk Cousins. Sunday is just a day away and you need to find some replacements.

Here are some of my Picks for replacements for Week 5.  Deshaun Watson QB of Houston, is a solid pick up this week.  He gets better every game, last week he scored a whopping 33.7 Fantasy Points!  He is definitely a good pick up.  Eddie Lacy RB for Seattle, is an ok pick up this week.  If you’re hurting at the RB position then you might want to start him.  He is projected to have 7.5 Fantasy Points this week, last week he had 5.2 Fantasy Points.  Not great but not bad either.

Devin Funchess WR for Carolina, is a great pick up this week!  He had 2 TDs last week, as a fill in for Kelvin Benjamin, and had 19 Fantasy Points.  Expect him to have another solid outing this week.  Charles Clay TE for Buffalo.  Pick him up, I can’t stress this enough!  He is having an unbelievable year and is averaging something like 11 Fantasy Points each week.  He  looks to be still available in some Leagues, which is just crazy.  Join the bandwagon and start him this week.

For D/ST pick up the Steelers.  They had 15 Fantasy Points last week and have a solid Defensive Line.  They are looking to be the best this year, so pick them quickly before someone else does.  Jake Elliott K for Philadelphia, is a good choice for Kicker, if you need one.  He should be available in most Leagues.  His last week he scored 19 Fantasy Points, 2 XP and 4 FG.

So that about rounds it out for this Weeks Picks.  If there is anything else that I should add it ‘s this: “Play Someone”.  If you have missing players on your roster then you are probably doing something wrong.  Play Time = Points, so if you think you don’t have to start someone for your Team.  Think again!  Just play someone, anyone really, to get those Fantasy Points at that Position.  That’s pretty much all I have to say on that subject.

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New England Patriots

Patriots Win in Spectacular Fashion against the Texans 36-33



It was late in the 4th Quarter with a little more than 2 Minutes left on the clock.  The Patriots were down by 5 and needed a TD badly.  No worries this is Tom Brady territory!  Tommy had the ball and that is all you needed hope in.  He was all set for his 50th 4th Quarter comeback.  Yes that’s right, I said his 50th comeback.

TB12 is notorious for his comebacks as we can look at the Super Bowl as a clear example.  He is just automatic!  This is a guy who refuses to lose.  This is a guy who will throw the ball to the end zone for a needed TD.  And you know what it works!  I don’t know how he does it, I mean really, this guy is just incredible.  He works like magic in the 4th Quarter.  And if he has the ball with 2 Minutes left, you best be on your guard.

What happened before all this was patriots football as usual.  A TD to Rob Gronkowski, 2 TDs to Chris Hogan, and a TD to Brandon Cooks.  It looked like it would come down to the team that scored last.  And I have to tell you I had my doubts when the Houston Texans scored a late Field Goal to make it [33-28].  I mean how do you comeback from being down by 5 late in the 4th Quarter.  I know that the team’s offense looked a bit stagnated with their last possessions.  It didn’t look good.

But you know nothing looks good until the end of a comeback and TB12 was not about to lose.  He got down the field with help from Gronk, Amandola, Hogan, and Cooks.  Then near the Red Zone with 30 something left on the clock he threw it to Cooks for the TD.  It was a spectacular catch!  Cooks toe tapped his way in the end zone and controlled the ball all the way to the ground.  Wow, what a great catch!  And just when they needed it too.

The Pats weren’t done there, they wanted to make sure that they had it in the bag.  [34-33] wasn’t good enough.  What they needed was to take the Texans out of the game with 20 something seconds on the clock.  They went for a 2 point conversion and got it with a Brady-Cooks hookup on the far side of the end zone [36-33].  It was the proverbial nail in the coffin!

TB12 showed us just why he is legendary today, he is the GOAT.  Give him 2 Minutes and he’ll win the game!  He had done it 49 times before this one and I’d have to say that this one was just as memorable as the others.  It just was unbelievable.  I wasn’t sure he had, another one, in him.  But you just can’t doubt him.  He knows the 2 Minute drill inside and out.  He knows his receivers inside and out.  He knows the play calls inside and out.  This was just another reason to love Tom Brady.  His comebacks are simply timeless.  Here’s to 4th Quarter comeback number 50!

The Patriots next game will be against Carolina at Foxboro, Sunday at 1pm on Fox.  Look for them to be doing football as usually going into the week.  I’m expecting Gronk, Amandola, Hogan, and Cooks to have big games.  Hogan and Cooks had a huge game today.  Now that they have those Big Game jitters out of their system, expect them to ride high into next game.

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