Sports

Mandel’s Musings/Politics: A List of Media Figures in the Sports World Who Contributed Their Hard-Earned Money Towards Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. Very Interesting.

By Scott Mandel

Three of the four sports Commissioners align themselves with the Democratic party, at least when it comes to political donations, according to NewsMeat. David Stern, Gary Bettman and Bud Selig give more than 90 percent of their political donations to the Democratic party. Roger Goodell of the NFL donates 23 percent to Democrats and 77 percent to the GOP.

Other sports media notables:

From the left

  • Chris Berman, ESPN: 100 percent of his donations go to Democrats.
  • Lee Corso, ESPN: 100 percent to Democrats (which surprised me for some reason).
  • Dick Ebersol, NBC: 75 percent to Democrats.
  • Bob Griese, ESPN: 100 percent to Democrats.
  • Tom Hammond, NBC: 100 percent to Democrats.
  • Michael Jordan: 72 percent to Democrats.
  • Armen Keteyian, CBS: 100 percent to Democrats (remember that when you see him on CBS News).
  • Jim Lampley, HBO: 71 percent to Democrats (he also writes for the liberal-friendly Huffington Post).
  • John McEnroe, NBC, CBS: 80 percent to Democrats.
  • Jon Miller, ESPN: 100 percent to Democrats.
  • Dikembe Mutombo: despite sitting next to Laura Bush at the State of the Union, he only gives 33 percent to the GOP.
  • Digger Phelps, ESPN: 100 percent to Democrats.
  • Joe Theissman, ESPN: 100 percent to Democrats.
  • Isiah Thomas: 100 percent to Democrats.
  • Brian Urlacher: toughest Democrat ever? 100 percent to Democrats.

In the middle

  • George Bodenheimer, ESPN: 61 percent goes to special interests; 20 and 19 percent go to Democrats and Republicans, respectively.
  • Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner: 72 percent to special interests; 14 percent to Democrats and Republicans, respectively.
  • George Steinbrenner, N.Y. Yankees: 51 percent to Democrats, 27 percent to the GOP.
  • Paul Tagliabue: 41 percent to the GOP, 34 percent to Democrats.

From the right

  • Jack Buck (D): donated 100 percent of his donations to the GOP.
  • Cris Collinsworth, NBC: 100 percent to the GOP.
  • Don Criqui, CBS: 100 percent to the GOP.
  • Dan Dierdorf, CBS: 100 percent to the GOP.
  • Mike Ditka, ESPN: 98 percent to the GOP.
  • Brian France, NASCAR: 83 percent to the GOP.
  • Mike Francesca, YES: 100 percent to the GOP.
  • Curt Gowdy (D): 78 percent to the GOP.
  • Keith Hernandez: 92 percent to the GOP.
  • Hootie Johnson: amazingly, 33 percent to the Democrats (60 percent to the GOP).
  • Mario Lemieux: 100 percent to the GOP?
  • Peyton Manning: 100 percent to the GOP.
  • Tim McCarver, FOX: 100 percent to the GOP.
  • Al Michaels, NBC: 100 percent to the GOP.
  • Jim Nantz, CBS: apparent golfing buddy of Bush 41; donates 60 percent to the GOP.
  • Vin Scully, L.A. Dodgers: 100 percent to the GOP.
  • Pat Summerall, FOX: 100 percent to the GOP.
  • Lynn Swann: despite running for Governor of Pennsylvania as a Republican last year, he donates 19 percent to the Democrats.
  • Steve Young, ESPN: 100 percent to the GOP.

* (D) stands for deceased.

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12:  Peyton Manning attends the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Ceremony 2016 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on December 12, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)
Peyton Manning is a big Republican supporter. Surprised?

The Clock May be Ticking for Online Sports Publication, The Athletic

by Scott Mandel

The Athletic, a subscription-based sports website, was introduced in 2016 with an interesting business model – an ad-free environment providing national and local coverage in 47 North American cities as well as the United Kingdom.

It’s ambitious plan included the recruiting of some of the best-known, highest-paid sports journalists in the country, those who already had large followings on either a national or local level. The Athletic reportedly paid exorbitantly high salaries to these reporters, many of whom had already been laid off by their local newspapers as part of an industry-wide crash that has been evolving over the past two decades, as the internet became the main source of information for consumers of news and sports.

The Athletic’s roll-out, beginning in 2016, has been impressive. Starting with one market, Chicago, in which all of that city’s sports teams were thoroughly covered, it has rolled into every major market in the United States. With nationally-known reporters such as Ken Rosenthal, Jason Stark, and Peter Gammons on the baseball beat; David Aldridge, Shams Charania, and Zach Harper on the NBA, Michael Lombardi on the NFL, and Steward Mandel on NCAA sports, along with top local writers, The Athletic has certainly gone for quality journalism. And, it has raised over $139 million dollars from a variety of investors over the past four years. All very impressive.

But, there are possible chinks in the armor beginning to appear for the four-year old publication. The Athletic is now offering deeply discounted subscriptions at the ridiculously low price of $1 per month. When The Athletic began publishing, the subscription rate was $9.99 per month, more commensurate with other online publications with well-known brand names like Sports Illustrated, Fortune, New York Times, and others.

As their advertisement on social media like Facebook, below, indicates, they are changing their subscription pricing, drastically.

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“The Athletic has become a force in sports journalism”

Either The Athletic is trying to beef up its overall readership numbers or possibly, gain more casual sports fans who don’t want to invest deeply to satisfy their sports mojo. Or, The Athletic is in deep trouble with its main source of revenue, its subscription base, through faltering renewals of existing subscriptions or an inability to attract new subscribers.

Of course, one cannot underestimate the role of a the global pandemic on the sports business, which includes publications which cover those games and teams. But, as we have seen over the past couple of decades, publications such as The Sporting News, Sport Magazine, and a painfully thinning Sports Illustrated are disappearing from the newsstands and mailboxes of sports fans.

The owners of The Athletic, now essentially a consortium of investors, are probably hoping for a million or more fresh one dollar subscriptions, as well, for the revenue jolt a million bucks would provide them. The clock is ticking on The National, which was a very good idea in 2016.

Mandel’s Musings: Drake’s New 767, Melky’s Milestone, Sweet Doris Day, More Trump, Felicity Huffman sans Hubby

by Scott Mandel

From Melky Cabrera’s Milestone to Doris Day (Who was a big fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers)

Doris Day is dead at 97. Her irrepressible personality and golden voice made her America’s top box-office star in the early 1960s.

For you young’n’s, who never heard of Doris Day? Think Madonna, but with more talent. And, if you are too young to know who Madonna was, use your power of the Google to figure all this pop culture out.

Melky Cabrera, who’s been with NINE teams in MLB, nearing career milestone

Who would have predicted, back in 2005 when Melky Cabrera was first brought up by the Yankees, would get to within 109 hits of 2000? But, the Melk Man is almost there. Now on his ninth team in his 15-year major league career, Cabrera, who was always a four-tool talent (throw, hit for average, run, field, hit for some power) has 1891 hits, going into tonight’s game. But, don’t ask me which team he’s with. I’ve lost count. No, actually, he hooked up with the Pittsburgh Pirates this year.

Image result for melky cabrera and Robby Cano
Cabrera reportedly was traded by the Yankees because of his negative influence on the nighttime habits of Robinson Cano.

Felicity Huffman goes solo during her court battle

Where is actor William H. Macy, spouse of actress Felicity Huffman? Have they decided it would hurt his show business career by showing public support for his wife as she goes to court every day to fight for her freedom?

NBA stars are not all from power conferences

How great is it that the key players in these last set of NBA playoffs come from schools like San Diego St., Weber St. and Lehigh? All the talk about the importance of getting one of the first three picks in the upcoming NBA draft simply doesn’t hold weight when you analyze who the stars of the league are, today. Damon Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Kawhi Leonard? All came from smallish, mid-major schools.

Inflation will be returning to the national consciousness, again. Wait, this is a sports website so, concessions at stadiums and arenas will be exploding in price by 25% or more.

Allow me to re-introduce into the national vocabulary and consciousness, the word, inflation. We are headed there, and it’s going to come quickly.

Remember that middle class tax cut of Trump’s? The one his base loved so much? We knew it was a fraud but now, watch prices of everyday items shoot up, driven by the China tariff war.

Make no mistake, it is a war with potentially, equal or greater short and long-term impact on this country than a war with bullets.

Everything will go up by 15-25%. And, electronics, like an iPhone? 25%. Headphones? 25%. Trump’s tax plan? 25% higher than pre-Trump taxes.

Someone has to pay for the 22 trillion dollar U.S. debt Trump created and his military budget, an all-time record.

Increased wages, limited as they have been, will be eaten up. Tax refunds were eaten up with the first food shopping excursion.

Remember, this guy ran NINE COMPANIES into the ground. Chapter 11, baby. He will say this is short-term, and when China capitulates (never happen), prices will fall and jobs will explode

Milton Friedman, a free-market guy who would support several of Trump’s pro-business tactics would be rolling over in his grave to see how Americans are about to get screwed by this huckster/liar.

Inflation is on the way. As Jim Carville said almost 30 years ago, “It’s the economy, stupid.”

Drake Buys 767 jet plane for $187 million. Jet is shaped like a……well, a long, cylindrical unit…

Guys used to buy expensive cars to cover up their insecurities. I guess being a rap star raises the stakes on phallic insecurity.