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World juniors: No more Buffalo, please

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Perhaps we have been spoiled through the years with venues filled to the brim during this time of the year when the World Juniors take place as one of the best hockey tournaments, if not the best.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t take away the fact that the attendance numbers in Buffalo overall have been totally disastrous for the game, for the city of Buffalo, and for the IIHF as arrangers.

Attendance has been so low that it almost took away all attention from the games.

And, the outdoor game: I am not sure what to say about that except that the cameras seemed to be handled by junior high school students and not at all designed for the rink that was built in the centre of the New Era Field, which is obviously a Football stadium.

Of course, it didn’t help much either that the American and Canadian players had to fight through a blizzard before they could settle on a winner in that game.

I am sure that I was not the only one, except those 40 000 who had, after all, attended the game in person, who turned off the stream after two periods because the lousy camera angles and the snowstorm took away all the joy and excitement of the match.

Furthermore, this is not a tournament that anyone will talk about that much afterwards, except about the outdoor game perhaps, as it will only be a page in the history of hockey books just for academic interest.

The only real upset was the Slovakian win over the home nation in the round robins, but that was it.

Not particularly exciting except for Canada and Sweden who were apparently the best teams of all among squads whose performances were very bleak.

Russia and Finland were two very big disappointments as they acted like just two alibi teams, even if Finland were defeated in the shootout stage against the Czechs.

The US team with Bellows and Yamamoto turned out to be statistics against Sweden when the Swedes with Rasmus Dahlin and Elias Pettersson as the front spears put on the big show from the second period and forward.

Switzerland, Denmark, Belarus, and Slovakia despite the shocking win over the USA, well, they probably did what they could do but not near enough to shake anyone on the ice — on the contrary, they were light years away.

The Swiss coach was refreshing with his honesty before the game against Canada, as he told it as it was, no more, no less. Something we can’t get enough of, pure honesty.

Well, the face of this tournament was somehow saved by the final game between Sweden and Canada, and what a show from both teams!

It was hard to predict all the way as it could have gone either way and somehow, it was actually one of the best finals I’ve seen myself in years.

Canada had the lucky inches on their side when Steenbergen sniped in that crucial 1-2 goal very close to the end of the game. The 3rd Canadian goal came when the Swedish net was empty but that was only academic.

That’s that and to conclude this text and the World juniors for this time, I have only one thing to say:

No more Buffalo, please.

It’ll work, if God, wind, leads, ice, snow, and all the hells of this damned frozen land are willing.

Matthew Henson, an American explorer 1866 – 1955

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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

Anthony DiMoro

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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

Anthony DiMoro

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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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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 RedskinsAs 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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