Friday, May 13, 2011

Mosley Didnt Take Any Risks

This past Saturday one of the most anticipated fights in recent memory occurred. When Shane Mosley went up against pound for pound number one in the world Manny Pacquiao, most boxing fans expected Pacquiao to win. What they didn't expect was someone as tough and decorated as Shane Mosley to not win a single round, and to not even try. Mosley said moments after the fight was over, "I wasn't going to take risks." Any boxing fan who paid the $60 to watch it on television, or worse, if you paid the hundreds of dollars to see it in person, had to have been infuriated.

So in the end it appears Mosley just wanted to take the guaranteed $5 million pay day, and he did not want to get knocked out in what could very well have been his last fight. Shane Mosley clearly wasn't thinking when he made that comment and didn't care who he upset. For someone who may make it in the Boxing hall of fame, fans expected more effort and toughness against the world's number one fighter.

I think this fight proved a couple things:

- Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather need to fight. In a sport that is dying, this is the one fight that would shatter Pay per view records, earnings, and media coverage and satisfy all the boxing enthusiaists.

- Boxing needs to seriously consider eliminating pay-per-view. I never understood why boxing and MMA make fans pay to watch their events live. It would serve the sport of boxing in particular if they eliminated the pay-per-view, and allowed fans to see the fights for free. While this will probably never happen, it would certainly broaden the fan base and leave less upset people when the fighters don't show up and they wasted $60.

I think Sugar Shane Mosley's career is done. He had a couple great moments and had some horrible experiences. I feel sorry that this may be his lasting legacy because he seems like a great guy. Athletes should never say remarks like that because it goes against the main reason athletes do what they do, compete. It forms a disconnect amongst the fan base and scars your image amongst your peers.

What do you think about Shane Mosley and the future of boxing? Feel free to comment.

Follow me on Twitter: @stevenczyrny

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Why I'm Glad the Kings Are Staying In Sacramento

Recently, it has been announced the Sacramento Kings are staying in the Capital of California. I am very happy that is the result after months of speculation that the team would be relocating to Anaheim. I remember watching the Kings when they had those great teams with Chris Webber, Vlade Divac, and Mike Bibby. I loved the atmosphere the fans provided with the cowbells and could tell that was a great market for an NBA franchise.

While the long term status of the team is in serious doubt, this is the final wake up for political leaders in Sacramento to build the quality facility the Maloof brothers are looking for. I hope they get this resolved because I think it is always a shame when a team leaves a city that has such a connection with one another (ex. Seattle).

The Southern California area has proven that they only really support the Lakers. If anything should happen, the Clippers should relocate to Seattle, or go back home to a diamond in the rough NBA town, Buffalo.

Let me know if you think Sacramento deserves to keep the Kings. and your thoughts on the long term future of the team.

Follow me on twitter: @stevenczyrny

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Another Athlete Sparks Controversy With Twitter

This week the United States and much of the world celebrated the death of Osama Bin Laden. If you were to ask people how they learned about this momentous event, many would reply "twitter." Twitter is an unbelievable tool that allows instant distribution of news, opinions, and more. It also can get you into a lot of trouble. Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall became the latest star athlete to become the target of criticism when he posted his opinions on the celebratory reaction after people learned of Bin Laden's death.

He tweeted "What kind of person celebrates death? It's amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We've only heard one side..."

He also brought more attention to himself when he posted this:"We'll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style."

Steelers President Art Rooney II issued the following statement: “I have not spoken with Rashard so it is hard to explain or even comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments. The entire Steelers’ organization is very proud of the job our military personnel have done and we can only hope this leads to our troops coming home soon.”

This is not the first time Mendenhall has gotten into trouble with twitter. In March, when star Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson compared playing in the NFL to "modern day slavery", Mendenhall tweeted "Anyone with knowledge of the slave trade and the NFL could say that these two parallel each other."

Mendenhall should have known that these tweets would upset many Americans. I also should mention the fact that he plays in a city less than two hours from where flight United 93 was crashed.

This issue brings up a number of discussions. One is the relationship between athletes and social media. There are plenty of instances where athletes have tweeted without thinking and have ruined their reputations and/or gotten in trouble with their league officials. Should the Steelers make Mendenhall deactivate his account? Should there be a limit on the amounts of divisive postings you can make while using social media before it is taken away from you, or should freedom of speech reign supreme no matter the black eye it may cause the league or your team?

Personally, I think Mendenhall has proven that he cannot be trusted using Twitter. When you compare athletes who go to college for free, often times receiving improper benefits, and those who go on to the NFL, and make millions of dollars, to the "slave trade," that shows a severe lack of judgment and perspective.

And now, for him to make these latest comments about Bin Laden, less than two months after his "slave trade" tweet, shows he lacks a certain level of restraint, and dare I say intelligence. Even though I was outraged reading his tweets (especially when he questioned whether or not the planes could have destroyed the World Trade Center), I believe freedom of speech is the most basic human right we should have, and would be even more outraged if the Steelers, or the NFL tried to take that away from him. A fine would be fine though.

Let me know what you think.

Follow me on Twitter: @stevenczyrny

Giant Marketing Move

Sports marketing requires a special kind of creativity. One organization that understands this is the New York Giants. The NFL is experiencing tension with the fans and the New York Giants are doing something, however small, that should make a big connection. They will put pictures of fans on their 2011 tickets. This is a real simple idea, but a great way to engage the fans and let them know how appreciated they really are.

According to Pro Football Talk, the team will pick 20 finalists, and fans will have a chance to vote for their favorite story via Facebook. The top 10 will appear on each of the 2011 home tickets.

“We want to recognize the greatness of Giants fans in a timeless and meaningful manner, and this program aims to achieve that mission,” Giants Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer Mike Stevens said in a release. “Ultimately, through our Facebook Page fans will democratically select other fans to be pictured on our 2011 tickets; a true first in our 86-year history. The foundation of the Giants’ rich tradition is an incredibly loyal and strong fan base, and through the power of social media this program will enable us to celebrate Giants fans and their great stories. This is going to be a lot of fun.”

This is a great example of how teams can show respect to the very people whose money everyone is fighting over. While this does not make up for what has happened thus far, if there is a season and these tickets are sold, this should help Giants fans feel more appreciated.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Should Jim Tressel Be Fired?

This week, Ohio State Buckeye fans collectively went “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!” when head football coach Jim Tressel received word from the NCAA that they believe he could have committed “potential major violations.”

In this article by Pat Forde of ESPN, he writes “In a 13-page indictment of Tressel's behavior, the NCAA alleged that Tressel had "permitted football student-athletes to participate in intercollegiate athletics while ineligible." It also said he "failed to deport himself ... [with] honesty and integrity" and said he was lying when he filled out a compliance form in September which said he had no knowledge of any NCAA violations by any of his players.” Jim Tressel has had a lot of success at Ohio State, ranking second in wins by active coaches in division 1 football, and winning the 2002 National Championship.

Given all of that, I believe he should be fired. He is the head coach of a major college football program and if he knowingly played ineligible players, that is wrong. The 2010 season should be vacated and they would then lose the big 10 and Sugar Bowl championships earned that year.

They also could lose scholarships like the University of Southern California did when they got in trouble for Reggie Bush receiving improper benefits.

Jim Tressel knew what happened because of the email he received in April from Columbus lawyer Christopher Cicero describing in vivid detail the incident regarding the Ohio State players and the selling of their jerseys, championship rings, etc. in exchange for tattoos. Tressel replied "I will get on it ASAP." He obviously didn't do anything about it and now it could cost him almost $4 million/year if fired, according to this article.

Tressel could have told the President, the Athletic Director, school lawyers, or the compliance department. If Tressel was upfront and honest about the situation, he probably would have found the NCAA to be far more forgiving, as has been shown in the past. If Dez Bryant, former wide receiver star for Oklahoma State can get suspended and miss the rest of a season because he did not disclose the full information about his meetings with former NFLer Deion Sanders, than no less than a firing should happen to Tressel?

Ohio State is one of the premier programs in the country. They should send a message that no one is above the program or the university. If they keep Tressel in spite of what he has done, they are pretty much saying he can do practically whatever he wants and lie to whomever he wants, and get away with it.

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Why You Should Join Sports Groups

Many industries have organizations their professionals can join that allow them to connect with fellow businessmen/women in their field. The sports industry is no different. I was fortunate enough to learn about such groups when I was doing my undergraduate work and am currently a member of a couple of organizations that have given me the opportunity to meet powerful people in the business, and land some rewarding internships and experiences.

Anyone who is interested in getting experience in sports knows how difficult it can be. If you join some groups that interest you, you can reap five major benefits:

1. Networking: The main reason for joining a national sports organization is to network. Pretty much every group has a forum in which you can discuss ideas, jobs, or the big game that night. The hardest part about getting into the sports industry is meeting that decision maker that will help you get that job or internship.

2. Shows you are committed: Many groups will charge you a small fee to become a member ($50-$120). Someone reading your resume will know that you are driven to reach your goals if you literally invest in yourself. Even the groups that are free show that you understand the value they have and that you want to learn as much as you can.

3. Journals/Emails: Another great benefit is the literature you will get your hands on. Most national organizations will distribute a monthly or quarterly journal on the latest studies, news, etc. that are written by experts in their area of sport management. Other will send a weekly email newsletter that will give you some knowledge so you can impress that person interviewing you.

4. Job/Internship Listings: Some groups have exclusive job listings that they are constantly updating. This is another way members of certain groups have an advantage over non-members. There will be job and internships posted that non-members simply will not even know about. There are plenty of sites that will force you to pay just for the job and internship listings but many organizations include this service with your membership fees.

5. Recognition: The fifth major reason to join a national sports membership organization is the recognition you will gain. Just by joining, your name will come up more in job searches done by employers, you can post your personal website on your profile and instantly thousands of people will be able to learn more about you. Lastly, there are organizations that give out awards to certain members who have accomplished something noteworthy. Again, this will give you instant credibility if you are fortunate enough to earn an award, and that will definitely make your resume stand out.

Here are some of the more popular groups I would recommend checking out:

North American Society for Sport Management-

Sport Marketing Association-

Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance-

National Sport Marketing Network-

Sports Networker-

National Association for Sport and Physical Education

Association for Applied Sport Psychology-

The Sports Jobs Playbook (Sports Business Executives Network)-