I’m not prepared to go all doom and gloom like some people and say it’s all over for Netflix, but unless they take corrective action now, they’re likely to lose a great deal of significance in the coming years. Disney announced yesterday on its earnings call that company is accelerating its purchase plan of BAMTech, and launching a paid streaming service for the Mouse and for ESPN. ESPN’s service will launch in 2018 and Disney’s streaming will launch in 2019. Disney will then remove its content from Netflix, and I have to assume ESPN will want to reduce access or completely remove WatchESPN access to cable subscribers.
What Was Media Madness?
More importantly, the question might need to be why. There really isn’t a profound answer to the question; it was just something to do while brackets were all the rage. Besides, we thought it would be fun to turn the tables on the mainstream types that evaluate the independents. However, it was mostly just an interactive way for our readers to do something interactive. While we received some mixed responses from the actual participants, Anthony Lima from 92.3 The Fan had the best commentary on the entire subject.
@Dave_CTOWN @MTAFCleveland @andy_baskin I heard I'm crushing Les Levine in the NIT bracket
— Anthony Lima (@SportsBoyTony) March 12, 2014
Though, no NIT was staged, we’re going to declare Lima our NIT Champion anyways. We won’t hum “One Shining Moment” in Anthony’s honor, but he’d certainly be worthy of a mention during one of the 20/20 updates. Speaking of “One Shining Moment”…
The ball is tipped
and there you are
you’re running for your life
you’re a shooting star
And all the years
no one knows
just how hard you worked
but now it shows…
(in) ONE SHINING MOMENT, IT’S ALL ON THE LINE
ONE SHINING MOMENT, THERE FROZEN IN TIME
The early rounds were a lot of fun, for Glenn Moore of the Northeast Ohio Media Group (Cleveland.com), who outlasted Chuck Booms of “Kiley and Booms” fame, and for Ken Carman, who narrowly edged out Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian had some fun with his Round 1 adversary, and Bruce Hooley was just happy to not have to win a “play-in” game.
Tom Hamilton had little trouble with Dennis Manoloff, to the point where Josh apologized, and Zac Jackson pulled off a minor upset, taking down Jim Ingram of the News-Herald. Sam Amico of Fox Sports Ohio noticed he was losing to Jeff Phelps, despite the fact that Phelps didn’t even know what a Twitter was, per Amico on Twitter. For the most part, chalk held up, but what even defines chalk in a thing like this?
But time is short
and the road is long
in the blinking of an eye
ah that moment’s gone
And when it’s done
win or lose
you always did your best
cuz inside you knew…
(that) ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU REACHED DEEP INSIDE
ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU KNEW YOU WERE ALIVE
As the field narrowed to 16, we knew we’d be losing some big names in the Cleveland Sports Media. Pat McManamon and Adam The Bull were no match for the radio voices of our favorite teams, Terry Pluto outlasted his former Plain Dealer colleague in Paul Hoynes from the Northeast Ohio Media Group (granted, the distinction of Hoynsie being formerly of the Plain Dealer is mostly a technicality from our point of view), Will Burge bested Jordan Bastian in a battle of the .com writers, and we lost a few of our TV sports directors. As we approached our Elite 8, The Fan was well represented, ironically not in the Radio Region.
Feel the beat of your heart
feel the wind in your face
it’s more than a contest
it’s more than a race…
Cleveland might very well be a Browns Town, but our readers said the Indians rule the radio dial, sending Tom Hamilton to the Final Four. Legendary Cleveland sportswriter Terry Pluto was no match for the relative newcomer Ken Carman in the Print Region, where the night-time radio host took down three writers on his path to the Final Four. Jeff Phelps of “Baskin & Phelps” may not have much of a presence on social media, but he must be a pillar of the actual media to have earned the advantage in the popular vote over Tony Grossi and Will Burge. Andy Baskin, who used his resources at Newschannel 5 and his platform on the radio to take down Ohio Football and drive-time radio favorite Dustin Fox, punched his ticket to the Final Four as well.
And when it’s done
win or lose
you always did your best
cuz inside you knew…
(that) ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU REACHED FOR THE SKY
ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU KNEW
ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU WERE WILLING TO TRY
ONE SHINING MOMENT….
36 entered the arena, but we were down to 4 as this contest hit the home stretch. In what may have been an upset few expected, Ken Carman slayed the dragon of the Indians Radio booth by the narrowest of margins. On the other side, Baskin took down his mid-day co-host in a slightly more convincing fashion, setting up an all-CBS Radio Championship. The voting for this final round was only open for a short period of time, but like many classic sporting events that this field has covered, we needed more time to settle this one.
The voting was supposed to end the conclusion of the NCAA tournament, the inspiration for this and all of the parody brackets out there, but unlike Connecticut and Kentucky, we did not have a winner at the buzzer. Ken Carman and Andy Baskin were dead-locked, so the voting was extended into the late hours of Tuesday.
By a matter of percentage points, it’s our pleasure to announce that Andy Baskin, Sports Director at Newschannel 5 and mid-day radio host on 92.3 The Fan, is our Media Madness Champion. Andy is well-received by the demographic he serves, and isn’t shy about engaging the listeners and viewers. He spoke and cyber-spoke candidly about this bracket, and while we at MTAF remained impartial throughout to maintain the integrity of the vote, we are happy to declare Andy Baskin a winner.
We’d also like to thank Megan Shaw at WEWS for spreading the word about the contest itself; we believe their campaign for Baskin and Mike Cairns influenced the turnout. Thanks to everyone involved, especially the field for having a sense of humor about everything. And of course, we’d like to thank everyone who voted; we did this for them.
The F1 2014 season calendar was released this week. 19 down from the provisional 22 set to feature. The three dropped were Mexico, South Korea and New Jersey. I am particularly annoyed about the New Jersey race being dropped as it showed so much promise, and gave the F1 fans located in the east of America a more accessible grand prix.
This year at Austin was a great race as usual. 80 000 fans pack out the grandstands, drivers talk about the incredible first sector and the atmosphere the US fans add as much as the Italian or British fans in Monza or Silverstone. Despite the stereotypes of the US and racing in circles, there’s a huge following of very intelligent and dedicated fans. Unfortunately the fans have no home driver to cheer on at the moment. It’s quite disappointing. Compared to the biggest sporting events in the US like the Super Bowl or Indy 500, the Formula 1 is just a drop in the ocean it seems. Indianapolis motor speedway seats 300 000 spectators and over 100 million people watch the Super Bowl on their TV’s.
F1 needs to be promoted in the US, and this is looking like a difficult prospect, especially now as the New Jersey race plan loses momentum as it gets dropped from the 2014 calendar. To increase the popularity America needs F1 drivers just like in the early days of the sport. The US has its fair share of Formula 1 racing legends: Mario Andretti and Phil Hill both champions of the world. Alexander Rossi, currently a GP2 driver looks the most likely to make it into F1 of any American driver in the near future, he drove for Caterham in free-practice 1 in Austin and looked pretty comfortable from the TV shots. But why would the young American karting champion seek to race in F1 nowadays when there is ten times the amount of publicity and financial backing in NASCAR or Indycar from US sponsors. There was a rumour before the 2009 season that a new team dubbed “USF1” would enter the season. The proposed funding for the team came from YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley and one of the drivers would be Danica Patrick, the world’s most famous female racecar driver right now.
F1 popularity has been somewhat tainted since that unique race in 2005 where Michelin advised that a chicane be run on the track, so that the tyres wouldn’t cut so much. This was just a year after Ralf Schumachers 190mph crash during the oval section of track which hospitalised him for several races. They couldn’t ensure the safety of the drivers but F1’s ringmaster Bernie Eccelestone remained a stubborn rock as usual, resulting in his darkest hour. All cars but 6 running the Bridgestone tyres pitted at the end of the formation lap; to the disappointment of all the fans at Indianapolis that day. You could feel F1’s welcome becoming more unwelcome as the cars pulled into the pitlane. The crowd booed and many left.
Whilst Indianapolis had its bad days, it also produced some good memories too. In 2002, Michael Schumacher was beaten to the finishing line by Rubens Barrichello who beat his Ferrari team-mate by 0.011 seconds, even NASCAR struggles to get closer than that! My favourite race at indy has to be 2007 where rookie Lewis Hamilton held off the reigning double world champion team-mate Alonso to win whilst Sebastien Vettel made his debut.
I hope that the New Jersey track will feature on the 2015 calendar; I really like watching street circuit races as they’re punishing and require more precision, dexterity and technique from drivers. The genuinely fast drivers tend to emerge as the tyre wear is low due to the corners being slow, making for cooler tyres in general. This is brilliant for the drivers who attack the track, exploiting the extraordinary capabilities of the car beneath them. I recommend going onto YouTube and watching one of Ayrton Senna’s qualifying laps at Monaco. Does he drive smoothly? No, he’s counter steering all the time, but he was considered the best driver of that era. If a driver counter-steers as much as Ayton next year, you’ll get your local commentators saying “OH, IT LOOKS LIKE HE’S HAVING REAL TROUBLE WITH THE INCREASED TORQUE THIS YEAR!!” Maybe, but he’s having more fun and it is much more entertaining than watching the others. I want the US to feel the passion of a reverberating F1 2015 V6 Turbo engine (It actually sounds pretty good!), as if a small part of Monaco arrived in New Jersey.