Post-lockout thoughts: Labor strife as marketing tool

A few football thoughts post-lockout. My usual reminder that I don’t really know a whole lot about the sport, though I did meet LT once.

A few football thoughts post-lockout. My usual reminder that I don’t really know a whole lot about the sport, though I did meet LT once.

While building itself into probably the most lucrative, powerful and popular major sports league, the NFL has accomplished a great deal. But I think its greatest achievement is finding a way to take the most loathed concept among American sports fans – the lockout – and turn it into an enormously successful marketing campaign.

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‘Believe’ the word of the day at 52 Fest


A couple of factors were working against Saturday’s 52 Fest, an event benefiting the recovery efforts of Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed from the neck down during a game against Army last year.

For one, the venue was sort of hard to find. I drove around Woodbridge, N.J., for about 45 minutes before I stopped at a bar and was directed to a park on a peninsula next to a PSE&G plant. Though honestly, that could have been more about my admittedly horrible sense of direction than anything else.

And the fact that it was roughly 1,000 degrees outside with a chance of thunderstorms likely kept some people away who might have ordinarily shown up.

But if there was a theme to the afternoon, it’s that it’s not worth getting caught up in such trivialities.

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The incomparable Carlos Beltran

Moment of clarity There are going to be plenty of tributes to personal favorite Carlos Beltran once he’s no longer a member of the Mets, which looks like it’s going to be any day now, but I figure I’d get a slight head start. I’ve never met Beltran, but I have a few anecdotes to share.

And as Kanye West said, people never get the flowers when they can still smell ‘em.


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Holy grail: LeBron-branded Ohio State jersey, Version 1.0


I have what one might consider to be an extensive sports jersey collection, one I continue to cultivate despite the fact that I don’t have nearly as much occasion to wear them as I used to when I was a few years younger.

Though I work at a sports website, I’ve attempted in recent years to clean up my act a bit. Inspired by Jay-Z eschewing jerseys, I made a begrudging stop at the Jackson, N.J., Polo outlet the day after my 30th birthday. And even when not at work, I’ve taken to wearing shirts with buttons, but minus some other guy’s name emblazoned on the back.

Yet still, wearing a fresh, hard-to-find jersey has never lost that high school cool factor to me, especially during the summer.

I brought with me from my younger years the thrill of the chase for the almighty holy grail. I’m speaking of that moment I stumble across a Mark McGwire 1999 Home Run Derby jersey on eBay, something like that, where I never knew it existed but now have to have it. (I did get the McGwire jersey, though I’m unsure if I’ve ever worn it.)

My most recent grail? an Ohio State jersey with the LeBron James logo on the chest in place of the Nike swoosh.

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Moneyball: STAT staying with the Swoosh not a surprise

Amar’e Stoudemire caused a minor stir recently when he tweeted that his shoe contact was apparently about to expire, and that he was considering jumping ship from Nike:


But Amar’e leaving Nike never seemed realistic, at least not to me.

And sure enough, Stoudemire tweeted a video today that showed him re-signing a new contract with Nike, said to be a multiyear deal worth $5 million. (Video after the jump)

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Love match: Sony’s combo of 3D and Wimbledon a winner

Thrill of victory 

Tennis isn’t really my thing anymore, but it used to be. I played in high school and was actually pretty good, going 13-1 in doubles my senior year, the one loss coming in an untimely fashion in the State Finals. Basketball and running, each requiring less advance preparation, took tennis’ place in college, but I never lost my affinity for the sport.

So when I was invited by Sony to check out their presentation of the Wimbledon Finals in 3D at one of 53 movie theaters showing it nationwide, I jumped at the opportunity. I looked forward to watching some high-level tennis, but primarily, I was intrigued to evaluate how a medium I’d only experienced with Avatar would vibe with live sports in a theater setting.

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