1-28-19 - Marshall - Andy Dolich
Marketing guru Marshall McLuhan redefined
the medium
The FCFL debuts shortly

Andy Dolich -- 2015

The Medium is the Message
By Andy Dolich

In 1964 Marshall McLuhan, the famous communication philosopher, said, "The medium is the message."

The sports fan of today is the medium and the messengers using whatever expanding customized media tools they choose. McLuhan proposed that a medium itself, not the content it carries, should be the focus. He said that a medium affects the society in which it plays a role, not only by the content delivered over the medium but by the characteristics of the medium..

I left my PhD at home but I do know that the sports communication continuum has progressed from cave drawings to smoke signals, town criers, ink on paper, radio, television, morphing into 24/7/365 cables which went streaming, mobile with a dash of HD, 3D and virtual reality to come. The 24-hour sports news cycle was squeezed into 24 minutes and now has no cycle at all. Today's sports fans are the media and the messengers.

The day we followed our favorite beat writer, columnist, electronic talking head, or sports addicted water cooler colleague is fast coming to an end. There is a kaleidoscope of communication choices that give today's sports fan a customizable engine that is adding more information horsepower every day. Fans are changing the sports world by utilizing their own views of what's going on.

Blog this!
The growth of the Blogosphere, Twitterverse populated by Diggers, Flipboarders, You Tubers, Instagrammers and Yammerers, with hundreds of other media mediums are changing the communication dynamic. Look at the shrinkage of local sports reports on the nightly news. When is the last time you saw someone under thirty reading an actual newspaper's sports section. In many instances we have people with no technical ability writing columns about their favorite teams. They believe they know more about the game, their team than the coach, GM, players or reporters that work the team beat every day. Think about what you read and what sources you were following leading up to last month's NFL draft. These days TMZ is competing with ESPN in breaking sports stories.

Fans have the opportunity not just to rewind, slo-mo, but to zoom in on certain plays without being beholden to the directors of game broadcasts. They can watch the game from a player's first-person perspective. Advances in camera and video technology are allowing for previously unseen perspectives. Prepare for drones coming to a stadium near you. Maybe there will be cameras on every player, similar to the NHL experimenting during last season's All-Star game.
I'm there without being there

We are now seeing VR (virtual reality broadcasts) impact on sports. Fans will take to the VR platform because it can become a universal hub for twitter, fantasy leagues, video, and stats all in a way that can be totally immersive. I think a secondary market is going to crop up for virtual live-streaming of events where fans can experience the thrill of "going to the Super Bowl" or The Fight of the Century" without being physically present.

Take any popular sports social media story line one step further in the realm of gameification. We might see the fan base not just controlling story lines but also the game: Deciding plays, which players to play, where teams play, draft picks, and encroaching on all facets of the game, including business and administration. It'd be like the American Idolization of sports.

It is already here in the form of the Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL) and the FCFL is set to debut this summer in Las Vegas. (www.fcfl.io)

McLuhan spoke of society's values, norms and ways of doing things which change because of technology. He wasn't a sports fan but his prediction has come true.

Andy Dolich has over five decades of leadership in the sports industry, including executive positions in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, pro soccer and lacrosse. Presently Dolich is COO of the Fan Controlled Football League (FCFL) and teaches sports business at Stanford's School of Continuing Studies. Dolich is also co-author of the new book:
Outlaw's Outtakes
Boston Red Sox
New England Patriots

Boston Celtics


The Insufferable Shamrocks
by Outlaw

In 1595 the English poet Edmund Spenser, writing of the Irish rebels in Munster, described the shamrock as,  "a food eaten as a last resort by starving people desperate for any nourishment during a post-war famine."

How fitting that description is when applied to long-suffering Boston Red Sox fans, who, starved since the end of the Great War, endured an 86-year famine, desperate for a winner. Finally, mercifully, in 2004 they got their wish and then some. Four championships in 15 seasons topped off last fall by a convincing dismantling of the Dodgers. Their fans travel, too. Go to any Red Sox game at the Coliseum, close your eyes and hear the cheers for both teams--you would not know who the home team is.  More than just Boston's team, the wealthy Sox represent an entire region. Ever hear of the Jimmy Fund?

Full disclosure; I lived in Boston for five years and admittedly have a love-hate relationship with the place, and for 50 years have marveled at--and been repulsed by--that phenomenon; the New England sports fan, from the word fanatic.

Speaking of the pride of New England, once again we have (not again!) the dreaded Patriots in the Super Bowl, for the ninth time in the Tom Brady era, thanks in no small part to Walt Coleman, the NFL and the infamous Tuck Rule.  By the way, what happened last week? The non-call on the blatant pass interference at the end of the Saints-Rams game was the second worst in a championship game, ever. The common conspiracy theory has to do with bi-coastal TV ratings and the like. But I think there may have been something more insidious at work. Many folks believe that the only team that could have beaten the Pats was the Saints; now they are conveniently eliminated. What about the four replay calls down the stretch that all went against the Chiefs? I'd like to know--does winning justify everything? Spygate? Deflategate? To say nothing of the unconscionable and obsequious 2016 support on the part of Brady, Belichick and Craft of the current occupant of the White House; Did someone once say, "... if you ain't cheatin', you ain't tryin'!"

And then there are the Celtics, winners of 11 of 13 titles in the Bill (raised in Oakland) Russell era. Based on Saturday night's performance, I believe that the denizens of the red oak parquet currently represent the toughest challenge to the Warriors' hegemony. It took a "48-minute effort" (said Steve Kerr) to pull out a close one in front of 19,580 frothing-at-the-mouth Celtic fans. If it weren't for Kevin Durant alertly boxing out at the free-throw lane, sensing that Draymond Green might miss a second free throw, thus preventing Jayson Tatum from chasing down the long rebound that ended up in Green's hands and sealed the deal, the Warriors may have lost, God forbid. This Celtic team is formidable; they are experienced, deep, and well-coached. And they have several players that not only defend, but can score. The silver lining? The Warriors finally won a game on the road against a quality team that was at full strength.

This is historically the golden age of Boston pro sports, without a doubt. You thought that Boston fans were bad before? If (when) the Pats win their sixth title Sunday, and the Celtics (possibly) get to the NBA finals, and this year the Sox (maybe) repeat? Well, put it all together, and all this winning that has made the "Chowderheads" so cocky will surely make them, yes-- insufferable!

Oakland, January 27, 2019

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From 2000-2005 I wrote a column for the late great Oakland Athletics Fan Coalition (OAFC) entitled  Elman Swings,
a play on the fact that I'm a musician. Some of you may remember the OAFC, an East Bay organization that at its peak had several thousand members devoted to keeping the A's in Oakland and guess what? They've succeeded. Perhaps one or two of you might remember my articles (more like rants) about baseball and society. So when the Ultimate Sports Guide asked me to compose regular screeds for this weekly blast called Outlaw's Outtakes, how could I say "No?" ('Outlaw' is their nickname for me.) -- Pete Elman

3-6-17 - Pops

Michael King (left), with an associate from USF (center), and Karla Granadino-King, are pictured at the Olympic Club in San Francisco,  proudly sharing with the world their  Pops Premium Rumpopo. A King family secret, Pops Premium Rumpopo is a  delicious rum cream liqueur recipe brewed in the family tradition.  The award winning recipe is a Belizean family favorite and now available at all Total Wine & More stores in California and Bay Area retailers.
For more information, visit https://www.bzecheers.com/rumpopo

Pops - Original
Pops Back Label