- Louisville Saved Their Asses – http://t.co/W7R3lNf6km #Espn #Experts #FinalFour #Predictions via http://t.co/vUsSrozmjg 2013-04-11
- SU G MCW – if I go to pre-draft camp and kill it, can work way to #1 pick. Showing up vs UM in Final 4 woulda helped http://t.co/SbjVA4wLAs 2013-04-11
- Not concerned. SU will be fine. –> Syracuse guard MCW declares for the NBA Draft. http://t.co/yhTlZODhyY 2013-04-10
- I use @hover to register my domains and I think you should too! Try them out: https://t.co/uWhdXpFqb8 #hoverlove 2013-04-10
- Great video of @anildash 's speech at Harvard as a follow on to his article How We Lost the Web http://t.co/g8j3iWF06N 2013-04-08
- Merry Christmas, bitch 2013-04-06
- RT @MBorkowski: I'm going to find other programming during halftime or I may hurl. 2013-04-06
- Whatever happens tonight, I'm s till proud if the Orange 2013-04-06
- Orange in the house. Lets go Orange!! #finalfour 2013-04-06
- RT @MatthewBerryTMR: LET'S GO OR-ANGE! LET'S GO OR-ANGE! #CUSE 2013-04-06
- RT @kristalberg: The uniform differences between a Nike school & an adidas school. THAT'S the Shocker in this game. WIchita State fo … 2013-04-06
- RT @parislemon: Refs absolutely just gave the game to Louisville. 2013-04-06
- RT @rjsauter44: Whoa 3rd foul on Russ Smith. HUGE for Wichita State. 2013-04-06
- Shock the world. #shockers #wsu 2013-04-06
- Lets go Shockers!! 2013-04-06
- This Week's Tweets – http://t.co/9LrKJw9twI #Social #Twitter #WeeklyTweets via http://t.co/vUsSrozmjg 2013-04-05
- - http://t.co/rPQivOYAZ0 #CurseSiCoverJinx #FinalFour #Gonzaga #Louisville #Michigan #SiCoverCurse #Sportsillustrated #Syracuse … 2013-04-05
I love how all these talking heads at ESPN or “insert network sports department here” fashion themselves as experts on who is going to cut down the nets every year at the NCAA tournament. Let’s take a look at this graphic from ESPN that detailed all the picks from 13 of their “experts” who cover College Basketball regularly. And we’re talking big name College Hoops names – Dick Vitale, Digger Phelps, Jay Bilas, and on and on.
A total of 13 “experts” each selected their picks for the Final Four – so that’s 52 total slots (13 x 4) across all of them. Eleven of the 13 picked Louisville to make the Final Four, which really didn’t take much hoops knowledge to pick. However, if we removed that pretty obvious Louisville region/pick from the equation, a grand total of one Final Four slot across the remaining 39 was accurately predicted by these ‘experts’ – Dickie V picking Michigan. That’s a 2.5% accuracy rate for those of your scoring at home (or for those of you who are alone).
Yeah, yeah…it’s parody in college basketball. The talent is distributed to all the different teams out there. I know, I know…that’s the cover. But really, these guys are supposed to be experts and cover this sport daily so I would expect them to have a better take on who is really going to go deep into the Tournament and make the Final Four. But the reality is that I could have showed up in Bristol and sat in front of a camera and predicted the Final Four just as well as they could.
Wait, I did…I had Syracuse AND Louisville in my Final Four bracket.
- @google can't b happy about FB hijacking Android. RT Facebook’s New “Home” Puts Focus On Messaging http://t.co/u8ZilkhtWr via @techcrunch 2013-04-04
- Ebbets Field Should Be 100 Today – http://t.co/zQsq3ZrRzB #Baseball #Birthday #Brooklyn #Dodgers #EbettsField via http://t.co/vUsSrozmjg 2013-04-04
- Surprise and Delight – http://t.co/aohJlRNgRG #Bmw #Free #HarmanKardon #Headphones #NyCarShow via http://t.co/vUsSrozmjg 2013-04-01
- Awesome! RT “@jimmyfallon: Congrats to @R_Xmas25 and Syracuse!! #AprilMadness #FinalFour” #cuse #FINALFOUR 2013-03-31
- #Syracuse Final Four #Desktop #Background – http://t.co/NPXkSRR9Bp #FinalFour #Orange via http://t.co/vUsSrozmjg 2013-03-31
- #Syracuse Is Final Four Bound – http://t.co/E2TLZtddDs #Basketball #FinalFour #Ncaa…via http://t.co/vUsSrozmjg 2013-03-30
- RT @Cuse: How's this for a starting five — Derrick Coleman, Billy Owens, John Wallace, Leo Rautins and Sherman Douglas. All in the hous … 2013-03-30
- Suck it Gottleib. How you like them Oranges? @gottleibshow #eliteeight 2013-03-29
Through the course of the sports year, and ahead of big sports events like the Super Bowl or the World Series or the NCAA Tournament, I sometimes take a cursory glance at the recent covers of Sports Illustrated and specifically those that feature said upcoming sporting event, mostly to see if the “SI Cover Jinx” still has it’s mojo intact. This is made exceedingly easier via their iPad app since there is a library of past issues that go back a few years to when they started offering digital versions of the magazine.
For those of you who don’t know, the “SI Cover Curse” is an urban legend where those athletes or teams featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated are cursed and/or jinxed to suffer loss, injury or both within a reasonable time frame after the cover story/feature. As you will see in examples listed at the above linked Wikipedia page, this is not a passing fad and it goes back years.
With Final Four weekend upon us, I thought it would be interesting to look at the SI covers and see if the “SI Cover Curse” could be a pseudo predictor of who may cut down the nets this weekend at the Final Four down in Atlanta.
And I want to be crystal clear here. I am the biggest Syracuse homer that you will find. My support and belief that my Orange(men) will win it all this year (and every year) is, and will forever be, unquestioned. That is, until the finality of a game’s result sets in. And to that end, sometimes you realize that there are forces (or Coaching ineptitude) at play that are beyond your or my control.
To start, let’s go to the SI College Hoops Preview back in November. Cody Zeller and Indiana are on the cover. As we know, they were sent home in the Sweet 16 round by my Syracuse Orange. And wow, did Zeller look really really bad in that loss.
Next, let’s look at the SI issue from March 25. They had a regional split of covers that included Indiana (Victor Oladipo), Gonzaga (Kelly Olynyk), Kansas (Ben McLemore) and Syracuse (Michael Carter-Williams). Indiana fell in the Round of 16. Gonzaga lost to Wichita State in the round of 32. Kansas
choked lost to Michigan in the Elite 8. Only Syracuse is still standing.
And this week, SI has another regional cover split that includes Wichita State and Louisville (along with Tiger Woods and we won’t get into his, ahem, transgressions).
So if we cross reference all of these recent College Basketball focused covers this against the Final Four teams of Syracuse, Michigan, Wichita State, and Louisville, we see that the only team which has not been featured on the cover is Michigan.
And in this case, I fear that the Michigan Wolverines may have the advantage of the “SI Cover Curse” in their favor, since they have NOT been featured to date on the magazine’s cover.
Now, another factor to be considered here is the fact that “magazines” as we have known them are not nearly as influential in the media world as they once were. However, for some strange, outer body reason, the influence of the “SI Cover Curse” seems to be pretty alive and well.
Based on the above details, and I want to be clear that this is not my prediction or how I want things to play out, it appears that the “covers” are telling us that Louisville will beat Wichita State, Michigan will beat Syracuse, and Michigan will beat Louisville in the Finals on Monday night.
Damn, it hurts to write that.
For the Brooklyn generation who grew up in the 1940s and 1950s, Ebbets Field was the centerpiece of the borough. It was the baseball shrine that their fathers took them to so they could see “Dem Bums”. It was where they headed when they played hooky from school on an early summer afternoon, maybe even sneaking into the stadium to catch a game.
In 2012, Fenway Park celebrated it’s 100th birthday and this year, Wrigley Field is doing the same – the last two baseball shrines standing from that era of baseball. And if Mr. O’Malley did not move the Dodgers to Los Angeles, we may have been celebrating the same birthday for Ebetts Field in Brooklyn today.
On April 9, 1913, a cold, windy afternoon limited the attendance to about 10,000 as the Dodgers lost their season opener to the Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0, the run scoring when outfielder Benny Meyer dropped a fly ball in the first inning.
Four days earlier, in the stadium’s initial game, an exhibition against the Yankees in warmer weather, about 25,000 enjoyed a 3-2 victory as Casey Stengel, a young outfielder who later managed the Dodgers and the Yankees, hit the first home run in Ebbets Field. On March 4, 1912, when Charles Ebbets dug a shovel into frosty dirt to break ground in a Flatbush neighborhood known as Pigtown, the plan was to name it Washington Park, after the team’s old wooden home closer to downtown. But a reporter for one of the Brooklyn newspapers spoke up.
“Call it Ebbets Field, Charlie,” he said. “You put yourself in hock to build it, and it’s your monument.
But alas, all we can do today is stare at a vapid apartment building on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn and wonder ‘what if’?
Besides the article linked above, here is a nice gallery of pictures from Ebetts Field Then and now via the NY Times.
This past weekend I went to the NY International Auto Show at the Javits Center in Manhattan. When I made my way over to the BMW pavilion, I saw a small sign telling me that if I was one of the first 5 check ins via Foursquare, I’d receive a gift from BMW. Instantly, I remembered that I received a nice, compact umbrella from BMW when I did the same thing last year. I figured this year’s gift would be along the same lines – a nice parting gift with solid value and utility but nothing more than that.
Well, was I dead wrong.
See those nice Harman Kardon headphones? Yup, that’s what BMW generously provided to the first 5 people who checked in to their pavilion this year. Harman Kardon speakers and audio systems are baked into BMW autos (along with Land Rovers, Mercedes Benz and Mini Cooper), ergo the choice of headphones.
The use of social media and Foursquare to help demonstrate the partnership between BMW and Harman Kardon is really smart. To me, this is the real power of platforms like Foursquare. I’ve received a lot of value and incentives from various check ins and this is just another way that marketing and brands can deliver exceptional value and loyalty to people. No, I don’t own a BMW but let me tell you, little things like this definitely make me seriously consider giving BMW SUV’s a second look.
From an customer experience perspective, BMW giving away a few pairs of headphones demonstrates the quality of the sound systems that are baked into each of their cars in a unique and sustained way that will leave a lasting impression on a few lucky individuals. Implicitly, when I use the headphones to listen to music et al, I’ll have some sort of recall about how I got them. Smart. They are also making an extremely positive association for their brand (and Harman Kardon’s) not to mention talk value, WOM, and fools like me publishing a blog post about it.
I listened to some music with them and watched a few episodes of Game of Thrones with them last night, and the sound was fantastic.
So thank you BMW. I’ll be sure to drop by when I’m ready to replace my 2004 model car.
For all your Syracuse fans out there, I thought I’d whip up a quick Syracuse Final Four desktop background to use on your computer this week. Pretty straight forward – SU logo plus the 4 logos from the Final Fours we have been to.
Click through the image above to see and download the full size image.
Lets Go Orange!
PS – I have created many more “dekstop wallpapers” for your viewing pleasure if you want to check them out and/or download them.
For the fourth time, my Syracuse Orange(men) are heading to the Final Four. Syracuse has actually been remarkably consistent in it’s runs to the Final Four, going roughly once every nine years (1987, 1996, 2003, 2013) and once in each of the past four decades.
No matter what happens next weekend down in Atlanta, I’m still proud of the team. Now go out and bring back another championship to the Dome!!
- Suck it, Gottleib. http://t.co/oMOXdWcpFs Syracuse hater. Let's Go Orange! 2013-03-28
- RT @JoeGasperini: Syracuse has highest percent dunks of sweet 16. @syracusebball http://t.co/1ly0YR4Uzt 2013-03-27
- RT @March_Madness: The first student ever admitted to Florida Gulf Coast University hops aboard the bandwagon http://t.co/PIHS3fLUb1 #Ma … 2013-03-27
- Watch All Six Star Wars Movies At The Same Time – http://t.co/ffoKqmD3KP #StarWars #Youtube…via http://t.co/vUsSrozmjg 2013-03-25
- Are you kidding me? Fla Gulf Coast is running SDSU out of the gym. 2013-03-24
- RT @ChrisKucharski: Revenge #1987. @NunesMagician @sgclark 2013-03-24
- Lego Pricing Analysis from http://t.co/vUsSrozmjg http://t.co/LNk1jHPtb2 – #AmazingAnalysis #Economics #Legos #Toys 2013-03-24
- Going out with a whimper. Five of 8 Big (L)East teams don't make it to first weekend of NCAAs. Lets Go Orange! #cuse 2013-03-23