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NFL.com Fantasy League Offering SB Tickets to Winner, only $2250 to Enter

A familiar complaint about the Super Bowl is that the neutral-site venue and exorbitant ticket prices assure that average diehard fans are priced out of the market, while fat-cat casual fans and corporate suits fill the seats. Doing their part to further this dynamic is NFL.com, which is giving away a four-day, three-night deluxe package for two including Super Bowl tickets, $500 cash and free travel accommodations to the winner of their “Ultimate Experience” fantasy game. The big catch? You need to pony up $2250 to enter the 10-person league.

Personally, I can’t quite afford it. But even if I could, why would I want to? Why would I spend that much cash just for the chance to win Super Bowl tickets, some cash, some tickets to some clinics, and a few gift bags — all of which has a retail value of $9500? If I had $2250, I think I’d take the safer bet and just buy the tickets outright beforehand (as long as they’re not from Jerry Jones and the seats actually exist).

NFL.com has a series of different fantasy games you can enter, all with varying fees and prizes. In one league, you pay $5 and win — wait for it — an official on-field flag. In another, pay $20 for the chance to win an authentic autographed football. I guess it’s better than nothing. Still, it’d have been nice to see a random drawing or something that allowed average people to enter leagues that rewarded them with Super Bowl tickets — instead of hoping some rich guys are going to fork over $2250 for the chance to win $9500 after a 16-week fantasy season.

So far the league has one entrant.

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Flames Fire Play-by-Play Announcer Loubardias

Calgary Flames play-by-play announcer Peter Loubardias, whose style seemed to grate on certain fans, has been fired by Rogers Sportsnet after three years, a move that left the 45-year-old “devastated,” “heartbroken” and “hurt.”

Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald spoke to Loubardias as he traveled from Calgary to Saskatchewan.

“There’s probably not going to be any answers waiting for me in the Queen City,” Loubardias said. “But I need to get away from Calgary to clear my head.

“I’m devastated. Heartbroken. Hurt.”

Rogers Sportsnet has not announced a reason for the termination of Loubardias, who was also the voice of the Memorial Cup.

“We work in a business that is unbelievably subjective,” Loubardias said. “I have great respect for people in business and the people in the top positions. It’s a business, and they have to make the decisions they feel are going to make their network better going forward.”

“I have treasured the opportunity to cover eight Memorial Cups,” he said. “That’s hard for me to even talk about. I have been so lucky to be involved with the national broadcast of that tournament. To think next year in Shawinigan that’s going to be somebody else, that one really hurts. That one really stings.”

Radio Host Sues L.A. Angels For Alleged Racism

Radio host David Smith filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Angels, claiming he was fired allegedly for racial reasons, according to Reuters:

“In a complaint filed in California Superior Court earlier this month, David Smith alleged that the Angels Baseball Foundation rigged a singles promotion to ensure a black woman did not win and that Angels employees regularly made racist remarks.

Smith claimed that the Angels did not allow another employee on a radio show because he sounded “too black” and “too ghetto” for an Orange County audience. His complaint also stated that co-workers said negative results were to be “expected when a Jew is hired as baseball’s commissioner.” Read more

HBO's 24/7 Returning For 2012 Winter Classic

NHL chief operation officer John Collins confirmed to The Globe and Mail that HBO’s 24/7 series would follow the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers prior to their Jan. 2 matchup in the Winter Classic.

24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic won a Sports Emmy Award for “Outstanding Edited Sports Special” and was also nominated in the “Outstanding Post Produced Audio/Sound” and “The Dick Schaap Writing Award” categories.

Something tells me that Rangers coach John Tortorella won’t be as charismatic as Pittsburgh Penguins coach “Disco” Dan Bylsma.

 

 

President Obama Has Kansas Over Ohio State In NCAA Tournament

We hinted yesterday that President Obama was leaning towards Pittsburgh in his NCAA bracket.

Well, he’s done filling out his bracket, and there’s no wonder he likes the Panthers – - Obama has each of the four No. 1 seeds advancing to the Final Four.

Booooring.

In the national championship, he has Kansas defeating Ohio State.

“Kansas has more firepower,” Obama told Andy Katz of ESPN. Read more

It's ESPN's World. We're All Just Living in it.

In what’s otherwise another ranty, raving column, Phil Mushnick makes a nice catch:

Can’t make this stuff up, continued: ESPN’s website last week, in a lead paragraph, gave ESPN full credit for breaking the story that the Yankees have extended Cliff Lee an extra seventh year on their offer. In the third paragraph, this appeared: “SI.com first reported that the Yankees added a seventh year to their offer.”

In a sense, at least the Worldwide Leader bothered to give another outlet credit instead of just stealing it outright. Given the focus on the story – and the importance of SI.com – they probably couldn’t get away with snagging the credit for themselves. On the other hand, ESPN seems to get worse and worse as they gain more power. Maybe that book will change something?

Minor Change To Week 13 NFL Schedule

The NFL announced only one change to their Week 13 schedule, moving the Atlanta-Tampa Bay game from 1:00 PM ET to 4:15 PM ET.

The league decided to stick with Pittsburgh and Baltimore as the Sunday Night Football game for Dec. 5.

Looking ahead, the first time we might see flex scheduling coming into play is Week 14 when Philadelphia travels to Dallas.

The Cowboys always draw great ratings but Kansas City-San Diego could decide who has a leg up to win the AFC West.

Let's All Just Calm Down About Donovan McNabb's New Contract

Word slipped out yesterday that Donovan McNabb signed a new contract with the Washington Redskins and the Internet burst into flames condemning the deal.

$78 million for a quarterback who was benched two weeks ago? What?!?!? Anger. Confusion. Derision.

Commentators commented. Pundits pundicized. The masses moaned, especially as the McNabb and the Redskins proceeded to go out and get thrashed by Michael Vick‘s Philadelphia Eagles.

The negativity was fine, except no one knew exactly what was in the contract. Read more

Has The ESPN Book Already Cost An Anchor His Job?

We are still six months away from Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World of ESPN by Jim Miller and Tom Shales hits stores, but the impact is already being felt at the Bristol headquarters reportedly.

According to The Big Lead, the latest rumor is ESPN has decided not to renew one anchor’s contract because of the amount of damaging information in the book:

Granted, this anchor has something of a checkered background in Bristol – he’s already been suspended once, and he’s been pilloried by blogs for alleged transgressions – but the book’s contents allegedly made it an easy decision for ESPN. We won’t name the anchor – yet – but we can say that he’s definitely not an “A-lister.”

Let the speculation begin.

The Great Boston Sports Radio Battle

The Boston sports radio market is undergoing some serious change. Namely, the upstarts from 98.5 Sports Hub are killing WEEI’s The Big Show, the long-time drive-time leader.

Felger and Massarotti, the FM station’s signature show, saw its share in the 25-54 year old male category – so the dudes who listen to sports radio – jump 24 percent from September to October while its competitor stayed static.

George Cain, a guest contributor on Boston Sports Media Watch, offers four reasons why he believe this happened.

One item specifically caught our eye. Read more

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