On the Docket – January 29, 2013

We are now less than a week away from Super Bowl XLVII which is being billed as the “Harbowl” or “Harbaugh Bowl.”  But don’t try and make money selling merchandise or paraphenalia using those phrases.  Besides the biggest sporting event of the year being just days away, there is a lot going on in the world of sports and fantasy sports. 

A-Rod is an A-Hole

We knew that MLB and the DEA were investigating a clinic run by Anthony Bosch in Miami, FL which has been associated with performance-enhancing drugs (“PED’s”).  In a stunning, but no so stunning revelation, the Miami New Times was given patients’ records from an anonymous source linking Alex Rodriguez and other players to HGH.  While we already knew A-Rod used steroids in the early 2000’s, he proclaimed in a 2009 press conference that he stopped taking PED’s in 2003.  Unfortunately for A-Rod, these new records indicate that he was taking HGH as early as 2009 and as recently as 2012.  This is alarming news for Rodriguez, the Yankees, Major League Baseball, and baseball fans overall.  Just weeks after the BBWAA made a firm statement refusing to elect anyone into the Hall of Fame this year (Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, et al.), we are now faced with another PED problem in an era of strict testing and compliance.  The real question right now is, assuming these records are legitimate, do the Yankees have enough ammunition to void A-Rod’s ridiculous contract?  It is also convenient that this information was reported just days after Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman revealed that it was “possible” that Rodriguez could miss the entire season after undergoing hip surgery earlier this month.  A-Rod, through his lawyer, has denied these allegations.  If you believe anything that Rodriguez says, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

The Future of the NFL

Baltimore Ravens’ safety Bernard Pollard recently told CBSSports.com that he doesn’t think the NFL will exist in 30 years because fans are going to get fed up with all of the rule changes being implemented to protect players’ health and safety.  This issue is a hot topic, especially with all of the lawsuits filed against the NFL for the recent deaths of players like Junior Seau.  In addition, President Barack Obama was interviewed by The New Republic for its February 11, 2013 issue and he said if he had a son, he would have to think long and hard before allowing him to play football.  The NFL will likely continue to change its rules to protect the health and safety of its players, but I don’t foresee such a drastic change that will completely alienate the fanbase.  Unfortunately, until a player dies on the field as a result of a violent impact, the NFL will simply tinker with existing rules in an effort to reduce the violence.  That may piss off some hardcore fans, but it will not have an affect on the NFL’s bottom line.

Fantasy Sports Trade Association

The Fantasy Sports Trade Association held its winter conference in Las Vegas, NV on January 21-22, 2013.  The theme of the conference focused on new and innovative ways for fantasy sports companies to enter the mobile market and capitalize on this expanding medium.  The board members of the FSTA are some of the smartest and most dedicated fantasy sports minds in the business.  They always do a phenomenal job putting together fun and enlightening agendas.  The summer conference is scheduled for June 13-14, 2013 in Chicago.

Finally, the Rock is WWE champion…again.

While wrestling is not as popular as it was in the late 1990’s – early 2000’s, it is undeniable that the return of The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) has revitalized mainstream interest in the WWE.  The Rock defeated C.M. Punk at the Royal Rumble to win the WWE championship for the first time in over ten years.  This set up the inevitable return match between The Rock and John Cena at WrestleMania XXIX at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey on April 7, 2013.  For wrestling fans in their late 20’s and 30’s, seeing The Rock on a weekly basis helps elicit the memories of the Attitude Era when watching wrestling was considered “cool.”  The Rock had transitioned from wrestling into a successful movie career, so no doubt that his presence on WWE TV every week will help bolster ratings and increase mainstream media exposure for Vince McMahon and his company.

When the Har-baugh breaks…

With all of the hype surrounding Super Bowl XLVII and the battle between the Harbaugh brothers, one man attempted to capitalize on the inevitable catchphrases and nicknames.  Roy Fox, an Indiana resident, filed a trademark application in February 2012 for “Harbowl” and “Harbaugh Bowl.”  However, the NFL intervened and requested that Fox withdraw the application as it would infringe on the NFL’s intellectual property by creating confusion amongst fans as to the likeness of the marks.  Based on what is known, it is unlikely that the NFL would succeed in court if this matter was actually litigated.  But the NFL is a billion dollar corporation with unlimited assets and aggressively protects its marks.  Mr. Fox bowed down to the NFL’s demands and abandoned his trademark application in October 2012.  The moral of the story…don’t f*** with the NFL’s intellectual property.

NCAA = SHAM

As if we needed any more proof that the NCAA is a joke.  The information that recently came out relating to its investigation of Nevin Shapiro and the University of Miami simply reiterated what is already known about the sham that is the governing body of the NCAA.  There are a dozen different spins and sides to this story.  But what is not up for debate is the fact that the NCAA has zero credibility, especially when it needs to investigate its own investigation.

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