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Who will remember the fans?

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All pro-hockey organizations have retired and hoisted jerseys of hockey players of significance to the rafters, for fans and media to remember what they have done for the club and for the game.

I think it is a gentle gesture by the organizations, mostly because it doesn’t have to be the one who scored most or made the most assists, as it can indeed be the one who played the most games. The one who was most loyal to the team and struggled hardest for their teammates on the ice.

However, there is a major part of this game with such importance that the game wouldn’t survive at all without it, and that’s the fans.

All over the world, not just in ice hockey, there are millions of fans who spend all their savings to follow their specific team they choose to support.

If they miss the home games for a reason we could categorize as “life,” which includes various things such as family gatherings or sudden errands that came between etc., they make sure to follow it by a stream, by radio or in worst case by a live score with the same die-hard passion as they have when they watch live in the home venues or away.

Most of the fans are you and I, in other words, normal people with normal day jobs, with other normal hobbies besides the game; only a few if we look at the fan part, in general, exaggerate the whole concept of being a fan.

Moreover, being a fan is not only about following a specific team, it is also about being a part of a community, to become – hopefully – even close friends with people who share the same interest, even with people who support another team.

Nowadays, we can all get in touch — media, players, coaches, and fans — with each other through social media such as Twitter.  Twitter is a quite popular channel among the hockey community.

It is through Twitter I’ve gotten to “know” Željko from Croatia, a very keen fan of the hockey club Medveṧčak Zagreb. But also a keen fan of the game in general.

Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to know him in other contexts but his thoughts he expressed through Twitter, and it was always spot on and sincere, also with a great sense of humor. One could always toss a joke to him, no matter how weird it was, and you would receive laughter.

Željko passed away recently, only a few days ago. I received the news from someone who knew him far better than I did, but it was certainly a great shock to hear that he wouldn’t be among us anymore.

With a deep sorrowed heart I sat down when I received the news, and I looked at the last picture of Željko when he stood and smiled with a Medveṧčak Zagreb T-shirt on.

Then and there the question crossed my mind: who will remember the fans?

Perhaps it is time for the clubs to celebrate the fans once in a while, and not always the opposite? Perhaps with a special day only for fans, with a great party with food and drink arranged by the clubs, to say big thanks for the support and most of all the words: “Without you, we would be nothing.”

Because it is true, no club would be anything without some sort of support from the fans.

I know that much – even if I didn’t know him deeper – that Željko was a diehard Medveṧčak fan, who followed them through the EBEL, then the few seasons when the club tried their fortune in the KHL and then back to the EBEL, where he only got to follow a few games before he passed away.

Željko, hopefully, you are able to enjoy as much as you can all the coming Medveṧčak games where you are now — we will always remember you in one way or another even if the time will go on of course. Thank you for all your words and shared thoughts. /Arto, Sports rants, 24th September 2017

To reminisce with my old friends, a chance to share some memories, and play our songs again.

-Ricky Nelson, Musician 1940 – 1985

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Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.

MLB

The New World of Sports Betting in the United States

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Earlier this year a monumental breakthrough was achieved when the United States Supreme Court ruled against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, known as PASPA, allowing each state in the nation to decide if it wants to allows legal sports betting or not.

That led the nation, and all of the states, on a new path, with a lot of lucrative opportunities in an industry that has operated underground for decades.

With casinos and eSports thriving, sports betting adds a brand new element to the gambling industry and presents one of the richest outlets for businesses, the government, and the nation.

There will likely be a boost in employment rates, a growth spike in business, and an influx of money that no longer has to be hidden from the eyes of the government.

As of now, a number of states have already started their journey, and another, Utah, has decided not to act on the United States Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of sports betting, opting to maintain their stance on forbidding sports betting, at least for the time being.

As the world of sports, eSports, and gambling embark on this industry shifting journey, let’s take a deeper look at what has been going down so far, and what is in store for the sports betting industry, thanks to an info graphic from NJGames.org.

The info graphic will take a look into the impact that sports betting legalization is expected to make on the nation’s economy.

The info graphic takes into account that the United States’ gambling industry already generates around $28 billion. The legalization of ports betting legalization is expected to increase tat number dramatically.

Additionally, sports betting operations will also result in a higher number of jobs, and the info graphic will provide you with an estimated number of both direct and indirect jobs that will open with the introduction of sports betting.

As the fantasy football season is ready to kick off for many of you, we should start seeing a lot of changes to the sports betting landscape and it will be interesting to see just how companies in fantasy sports navigate through the implementation of these changes.

The future of the sports betting industry seems bright, and there seems to be quite the trickle down effect that will have an immediate benefit to numerous industries.

Whether you’re ready or not, legalized sports betting is on the way, if it hasn’t arrived in your state already, and big things are on the horizon.

 

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NHL

Capitals owner Ted Leonsis Pays for 200 Employees to go to Stanley Cup Final Games

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Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis is celebrating the team’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Final for the 1st time in 20 years in a special way.

According to the Washington Post, Leonsis surprised 200 employees of Monumental Sports & Entertainment with tickets and a chartered flight to Vegas for the first leg of the Stanley Cup Final.

The employees were chosen based off how closely they work with the Capitals, as well as seniority, and they received an email last week from a senior VP that had the subject line: “Let’s go to Vegas.”

The selected employees received tickets to Games 1 & 2.

“It’s truly amazing and out of this world,” Omar Castro, a guest relations manager, said.

“I never expected an owner of the company to do this. We get to share in this with them. … He’s thinking of us as part of a family, as part of the experience. There’s no reason for him to do it. All I can say is a big thanks to Ted and his family for the opportunity, and for truly making this into something memorable for all of us here in the company.”

Not only did Leonsis provide tickets, but he also organized two chartered flights and is putting the employees up at the Excalibur.

 

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Dallas Cowboys

How Will the Dallas Cowboys do in 2018?

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How will the Dallas Cowboys do in 2018? That is tough to answer. Last season, it was a turbulent season for the Dallas Cowboys. In 2017, the Cowboys finished with a record of 9-7 which placed them second in the nFC East. However they did not make the playoffs. RB Ezekiel Elliott missed five games due to his domestic violence suspension. When he returned, he was a very productive member of the team.

Entering the 2018 NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys are looking to return to the playoffs and ultimately looking to go to the Super Bowl. To start the 2018 campaign, the Dallas Cowboys had to go through Free Agency. During the Free agency period, the Cowboys signed six players which include Joe Thomas of the Green Bay Packers and Allen Herns of the Jacksonville Jaguars. OG/C Joe Looney re-signed a 2-year contract with the Cowboys while LS L. P. Ladouceur resigned with Dallas for a 1-year deal.

For the players that have departed, a total of 15 players have left the Cowboys. Since their departure from the Dallas Cowboys, some players have either signed with other teams, looking for work, or retired from the NFL. Here is the breakdown:

QB Kellen Moore, TE James Hannah, and Jason Witten retired from the National Football League. WR Bryce Butler, OT Benson Mayowa, and CB Bene Benwikere all signed with the Arizona Cardinals. FB Keith Smith, OLB/MLB Kyle Wilber and WR Ryan Switzer all signed with the Oakland Raiders. OG Johnathan Cooper signed with the San Francisco 49ers, OLB/MLB Anthony Hitchens signed with the Kansas City Chiefs, and CB Orlando Scandrick signed with the division rival Washington Redskins.  As for players looking for work, that honor goes to RB Alfred Morris and WR Dez Bryant. 

Once Free Agency had finally concluded, it was time for the 2018 National Football League Draft. This years Draft will be held at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. It is the first draft to be done in a NFL stadium. For the Dallas Cowboys draft board, the Cowboys will have eight picks this year. During the draft, 6 out of eight players were offensive players. Also during the draft, the Cowboys traded their pick to the Los Angeles Rams for WR  Travon Austin. 

With the players the Dallas Cowboys wanted to draft now on the Dallas Cowboys roster, it’s time to take a look at the 2018 Dallas Cowboys regular season schedule. This season, the Cowboys will start the 2018 season on the road against the Carolina Panthers on September 9. The Cowboys first division test comes in the second week when the New York Giants come to AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys bye week comes during week eight. After the thanksgiving game against the Washington Redskins, the Cowboys will have another Thursday Night Football game. This time it’s at home against the New Orleans Saints. The Dallas Cowboy regular season finale will be on November 30, 2018 at MetLife Stadium against the New York Giants.

So after breaking down the 2018 offseason and upcoming schedule, I believe it will be a tough season but I believe that the Cowboys will do better in 2018.

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