After a week of interesting topics here at the SportsRantz Blog I thought it would be a good time to put some positive sports stuff out there to lighten the mood. With 2011 coming to a close, it’s also time for a year in review. But as most of you readers know, we do things a little different at SportsRantz.
Before proceeding please excuse the temporary appearance of the blog, which is going to become SportsRantz Magazine. In the meantime we are in progress for updating a new design. So thanks for ignoring anything that looks a bit “out of whack“, this doesn’t have any bells and whistles yet. But take my word for it, SportsRantz Magazine is going to be an incredible new experience for all of you. In the meantime, don’t forget we have a social networking community for you all to share your rants (sports related), just hit “Home” or “Rantivity” and jump on in, the water is fine!
So without further adieu let’s pop the cork on the awards that will surely introduce some very prestigious awards that don’t exist anywhere but on this blog. I am confident each and every winner will be proud to receive these awards. So proud in fact that they may screenshot their announcement, frame it in a plaque and put it right next to their championship trophies.
The Kimmy Award – The Buffalo Bills
Early in the 2011 season the Buffalo Bills stormed out of the gates with an impressive start to the NFL season. They displayed an explosive offense that threatened the record books almost as much (or not even close) as Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are threatening Dan Marino’s single-season passing record.
But unfortunately the Buffalo Bills’ success and the happiness of Bills fans that are bundling up for trips to Ralph Wilson Stadium lasted as long as Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humphries.
Also, Bills fans are now as bitter about the 7 game skid as they were in Kardashian’s actions during and after the divorce. This award was an easy one to give, as the Bills’ gave their fans promise, hope and for the first in years, a reason to gloat. Only to make an ass out of them in the end with a 7 game skid, no pun intended.
Runner Up – Oakland Raiders
The Foot-in-Mouth Award – Rex Ryan
How appropriate, an award named after New York Jets’ coach Rex Ryan goes to Rex Ryan. But really, the awards committee assures me that this award went through a rigorous evaluation process and was no winner was determined until that process was executed.
Rex Ryan, yet again, proclaimed Super Bowl rings for the Jets leaving havoc in his path by aiming his big mouth proclamations towards other teams like the New York Giants. But this time, Ryan didn’t only fail to deliver, he failed almost miserably.
Not only do the New York Jets fall well short of being a Super Bowl caliber team, they may even fall short of being a Playoff team (if my Dolphins can knock them off in Week 17) making Ryan have to place his own foot in his mouth yet again. He must enjoy it now. And to think this whole time I thought he had a fetish for his wife’s feet.
Runner Up – Lebron James
The Demi Award – Peyton Manning
While his trophy case is stoked with MVP trophies and a Super Bowl Championship, Peyton is going to have to make room for his “Demi”.
We are all aware of Demi Moore’s marriage to Ashton Kutcher coming to a rather tragic end. Many magazines and blogs have reported it was mainly due to Kutcher’s affair with a younger woman and Peyton can relate.
Up until this year Peyton was the apple of Colts’ fans eyes. Whenever speaking of their precious Peyton their eyes would get big and little hearts would flutter high above their heads. But a rather serious injury to Peyton that has sidelined him for the entire season has had many fans calling for a change of guard in Indianapolis.
And just like Kutcher, Colts’ fans flirted with fell in love with college prospect and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
But look on the bright side Peyton, maybe this won’t end so badly for you a it did for Demi.
Runner Up – Carmelo Anthony, Lebron James, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Albert Pujols, Cliff Lee
The Leaf Award –
This award goes to 2011’s biggest bust. Most of us recall one of the most famous busts in sports, San Diego Chargers’ quarterback Ryan Leaf, and we appropriately named this award in Leaf’s honor. Just don’t tell him or he may scream at us “to knock it off”
This award goes to Portland Trailblazer’s Greg Oden who for the past few seasons has proven that Portland is doomed when it comes to drafting. You would think that they would have learned their lesson after picking Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan in the 1984 NBA Draft, but they didn’t. A few years back they picked Greg Oden over Kevin Durant. We all know how both scenarios played out.
But here is a look at Oden’s career:
On September 14, 2007, Oden had microfracture surgery on his ailing right knee. He missed the entire season.
On February 13, 2009, he injured his left knee in a game against the Golden State Warriors, by bumping knees with opponent Corey Maggette, and missed three weeks due to a chipped knee cap.
On December 5, 2009, Oden injured his left knee in the first quarter of a game. He was taken off the court on a stretcher. Later, he underwent surgery for a fractured left patella and missed the rest of the season.
On November 17, 2010, the team announced that Oden would have microfracture surgery on his left knee, ending his 2010–2011 season. The injury marked Oden’s third NBA season cut short due to a knee injury.
On December 9, 2011, the Trail Blazers announced that Oden had suffered an unspecified “setback” that left them less optimistic about his ability to play in the 2011-2012 season.
Runner Up – Aj Burnett
The Life Call Award – Boston Red Sox
We all know the commercial, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”. Well this award goes to the biggest collapse of the season courtesy of the lovable Boston Red Sox.
Heading into September with a commanding Wild Card lead over the Tampa Bay Rays and a chance to take the AL East crown from the New York Yankees. After leading the Tampa Bay Rays by nine games in the AL wild card race on September 3—when their odds of reaching the playoffs peaked at 99.6%—the Red Sox lost 18 of their final 24 games and fell out of the playoffs on the final day of the season.
The collapse cost manager Terry Francona his job and also spearheaded general manager Theo Epstein’s move to Chicago to help the Cubs.
Runner Up – Philadelphia Phillies
The Mutombo Award – David Stern
You remember Dikembe Mutombo right? The NBA player known for his shot blocking ability, yes him! Well this award highlight the biggest denial of 2011. That goes to NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Stern vetoed a deal the Los Angeles Lakers had in agreement with the New Orleans Hornets that had superstar point guard Chris Paul heading to Los Angeles. Although Paul eventually landed in L.A he didn’t suit up for the Lakers, but rather is sporting a Clippers jersey.
Stern wagged his finger back and forth much like Mutombo did after a blocked shot in one of his games. “No, No, No”
Runner Up – Albert Pujols
Pipe Bomb Award – CM Punk
Most of you may not be wrestling fans, but I am, go ahead and poke fun and I will threaten to beat you up in a scripted match on tv.
Wrestling has gone the route of ridiculousness in recent years. What used to be an edgy, entertaining product that appealed to the 18+ male demographic now is geared towards little kids and a PG environment. Not that entertaining the kids is bad, but the WWE has done so by alienating it’s devoted older audience.
CM Punk, who’s contract was ending in WWE over the summer apparently had enough and on the live Monday Night Raw, a few days before he was supposed to leave, Punk grabbed the mic on live tv and delivered a promo that called out every flaw in the WWE. They eventually cut his mic in this epic monologue.
Rant of the Year – Coastal Carolina coach David Bennett
What kind of award ceremony would this be without a Rant of the Year? Not a very good one!
So this Rant speaks for itself. Coastal Carolina coach David Bennett is the clear winner in this. No runner up needed.
It speaks for itself
So this concludes our 1st annual Ranty Awards. Maybe we will do this next year, maybe not. All depends how much of this I actually remember int he next 365 days. But hey, if you remind me, i may actually remember this.
Thanks for reading!
Olympic Cyclist Kelly Catlin Dead at 23
Olympic track cyclist Kelly Catlin, who competed in the 2016 Rio Janeiro Games, was found dead in her California home this past Friday due to an apparent suicide, according to an announcement from her father, according to Reuters.
“There isn’t a minute that goes by that we don’t think of her and think of the wonderful life she could have lived,” her father, Mark Catlin said, according to VeloNews. “There isn’t a second in which we wouldn’t freely give our lives in exchange for hers. The hurt is unbelievable.”
Catlin, 23, took the silver medal in Rio and was part of the teams who took home the gold in 2016, 2017, and 2018 World Championships.
Catlin had reportedly struggled with mental health in the past and her sister, Christine Catlin, said that Catlin was “a really special person – kind, funny, empathetic, and talented at literally everything she did, per the Washington Post. She just felt like she couldn’t say no to everything that was asked of her and this was her only escape.”
Tom Brady And Pats Play Record 8th AFC Championship Game, Seek 6th Superbowl
A season that most organizations would be happy with, was one of challenge for the Patriots. Usually a top tier team, they suffered bad losses to the Jaguars, Titans and Dolphins. However, in Patriot fashion along a weak AFC East, the Patriots finished 11-5, won a 10th straight conference title and secured a first round bye.
Kansas City will host New England in the AFC Championship game in what is a rematch from week six. That game featured an offensive clinic , As reported by CBS Boston, Brady went 24-35 passing for 340 yards and touchdown in that game; Mahomes went 23-36 passing for 352 yards and four touchdowns. The AFC Championship could very well play out the same way.
The Chiefs will be a tough out, They won their first home playoff game in 25 years last week against the Colts and are riding one of the most prolific offenses in history behind quarterback whisperer Andy Reid and phenome Patrick Mahomes who is arguably the NFLs best young QB.
In what is a David and Goliath matchup, Brady seems to imply they are the underdog. As he told CBS’s Tracy Wolfson, “I know everyone thinks we suck and, you know, cant win games,”. Will the dynasty continue? Or will Reid and Mahomes hoist the Lombardi?
I’m leaning towards the game plan of Bill Belichick and veteran experience of Tom Brady in this one. I think a Patriot/Saints matchup is in order. Either way, it will undoubtedly be one for the ages.
Game Time: Sunday January 20th at 6:40ET/5:40CT on CBS.
An Agency Changing the Sponsorship Game for Athletes
The following is an official press release from Eight Seven Media
Sponsorships and endorsements have changed significantly over the past few years. Historically, we know them as mainstream commercials and endorsements by top apparel and shoe brands with professional athletes and celebrities at the forefront. Until recently, the huge rise of influencer marketing has changed brands perspective and they have gravitated towards using social media stars as their advocates. Influencers are compensated with hundreds of thousands of dollars and brands have turned away from the traditional celebrity or professional athlete. Eight Seven Media is looking to turn that model on its head and bring sponsorship dollars back to professional athletes.
Founded by Dylan Scance and Derek Flodmand, Eight Seven Media creates social media content for professional athletes. Working on the talent buying side, they noticed that brands were only picking talent based on either their audience or their content. When they would pitch athletes to certain brands, they knew they were a perfect fit for the brand from a personality and lifestyle perspective, but the athletes had a tough time getting deals from brands. Aside from the lack of resources these agencies provided, the number one reason was their lack of content. Most athletes understand that having a social media presence is crucial in today’s market, but they don’t necessarily understand exactly how to leverage their channels to their maximum potential.
We’ve outlined Eight Seven’s process below:
Step 1: Identification
Along with a data-backed strategy, their team works hand-in-hand with both the athlete and agent to understand what types of brands they are interested in partnering with.
Step 2: Content Creation
Their team then works directly with the athlete to create rich, bespoke lifestyle social media content, specific to the verticals they have identified. They will meet directly with the athlete to bring this content to life.
Step 3: Amplification
As the athlete pushes out bespoke content via their social channels, their team leverages a specialized software called Social Ads to amplify top-performing content to target audience(s) based on the verticals we have identified. This provides the athlete with increased reach and exposure within the right audience segments- thus increasing their potential value to identified brands.
Step 4: Reporting
Via the Social Ads software, their team provides intuitive reporting on content performance, inclusive of demographic and geographic data which highlights the extended audience that has been exposed to the athlete’s content.
Athletes are a perfect fit for brands for many reasons. They have a highly engaged audience that’s not filled with bot accounts (something that’s been plaguing the influencer industry for years). They are inspirational, motivational, and have overcome many challenges and hardships in life that inspire generations of fans. They are the perfect example of a true “influencer”, but they are still getting overlooked for sponsorship deals.
Eight Seven Media also offers their “Athlete Incubator”, a service where they work with newly signed athletes that are being developed by agents and teams and completely rebrand their social channels out of college. These athletes go through a 12-month process with Eight Seven where they advise them on best practices for their social channels, how to create and leverage high-quality content on their own, what brands look for from a social media perspective, and how to engage with their audience. Along with content creation, Eight Seven Media provides its clients with an analysis of how well their athletes social channels are performing.
The content being created is leveraged by agents when they’re pitching an athlete for sponsorships or endorsements. With the huge rise in lifestyle and fashion brands, non-traditional endorsements are something that’s taking the industry by storm. Kyle Kuzma signing with the GOAT app is a perfect example of how optimizing your content to fit the brands you want to work with pays off in the long-term. Brands not only want to partner with athletes that they can trust to produce high-quality content, but they want to ensure that this can be pushed out to their brands owned and operated social channels by repurposing these assets.
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