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Putting an asterisk on every VFL/AFL premiership ever

Recently there's been a bit of a debate around the traps concerning this 2020 season and whether or not the eventual premiership should have an asterisk next to it. And that's a silly debate, because of course every VFL/AFL premiership ever can have an asterisk next to it. Just pick and choose the asterisks that you personally believe should exist:
Year Premier Reason this premiership gets an asterisk
1897 Essendon didn't even have a Grand Final
1898 Fitzroy general clusterfuck
1899 Fitzroy too much rain
1900 Melbourne Melbourne winning the flag from 6th so bullshit they changed the final system in response
1901 Essendon umpiring error gives Essendon the semi-final 'win' - should have been Fitzroy in the GF
1902 Collingwood season tainted by Essendon's 'Goodthur' controversy
1903 Collingwood Collingwood's captain was called "Lardie" that's not even a real name
1904 Fitzroy Crapp umpiring
1905 Fitzroy MCG too wet and soft
1906 Carlton fake Grand Final, was just the prelim in disguise
1907 Carlton fake Grand Final, was just the prelim in disguise again - also illicit Geelong pre-season affair with the VFA's Richmond clearly taints the whole season
1908 Carlton Essendon clearly psychologically scarred by vicious Fitzroy riots
1909 South Melbourne Argus system 'challenge match' is kinda bullshit
1910 Collingwood season tainted by Carlton bribery scandal
1911 Essendon season tainted by player expenses shenanigans
1912 Essendon rules tinkering: players have to be branded with numbers on their backs so that fascist 'Stewards' can report them - I mean what is this, the Napoleonic occupation of Iberia???
1913 Fitzroy silly finals system allows Fitzroy to play St Kilda again in the GF after losing to them in the prelim
1914 Carlton Jamieson illegally in the back of Bollard, South robbed, #justice4bollard
1915 Carlton comp too imba after University pulls out
1916 Fitzroy wrong for spooners to also be premiers
1917 Collingwood season compromised by WW1
1918 South Melbourne Carlton too distracted by the Allies thumping the Kaiser to perform well
1919 Collingwood season clearly unbalanced by the winless Melbourne having their first professional season (ie. with paid players) eight years after the rest of the comp
1920 Richmond a player debuts in the Grand Final for Richmond and plays a key part in the result? that's too implausible to be true
1921 Richmond Richmond's season tainted by ball-stabbing incident in R7
1922 Fitzroy season tainted by Richmond fans death-threating an umpire into retirement
1923 Essendon Grand Final played on Caulfield Cup day? that's not even close to September
1924 Essendon nonsense round-robin finals system that was immediately scrapped
1925 Geelong compromised draw with the three expansion teams
1926 Melbourne Collingwood into the GF without winning any finals - a contrived win for Melbourne
1927 Collingwood GF the lowest-scoring match in 20th or 21st centuries, not good enough to count as a real GF
1928 Collingwood Pies players under a bribery cloud
1929 Collingwood Pies hoarding all the goals and premiership points actually the cause of the Great Depression? #wakeupsheeple
1930 Collingwood Geelong defeats Collingwood in the Preliminary Final but the Pies get to go again because the Argus system is a joke
1931 Geelong R6 was played in two halves, either side of R7 and R8? you can't count 1931! how do we know who even really won?
1932 Richmond uh... Melbourne playing three games for premiership points at the Motordrome and losing all three clearly tainted the season in ways we can't fully appreciate
1933 South Melbourne Bloods deviously importing so many players from WA they should be called the "Swans"
1934 Richmond I mean technically Richmond kicked more goals on the day but that's no match for Bob Pratt's 150 goals in the season
1935 Collingwood Bob Pratt taken out by a brick truck the Thursday before the GF and you can't prove it wasn't a Collingwood player driving the truck
1936 Collingwood Gordon Coventry rubbed out for 8 weeks and missed finals but clearly he was just a fall guy and they should have suspended the whole team
1937 Geelong Sellwood? Hawking? Abbott? if the Cats were going to time travel modern champions back to take the cup at least they should have come up with better fake names
1938 Carlton MCG 12,000 over capacity? some people actually watched the game from on the grass inside the fence? well that's just unsafe
1939 Melbourne rules tinkering: VFL trying to get holding the ball called more often - now you can't just drop the ball when tackled!
1940 Melbourne if you don't think St Kilda winning the Patriotic Premiership was the real premiership that year then you might as well go kiss A-dolf Hitler's boot
1941 Melbourne season compromised by WW2
1942 Essendon season compromised by WW2
1943 Richmond season compromised by WW2
edit: Methuen's suggestion - Jack Broadstock shouldn't have been on the field: went AWOL in order to play and was arrested by military police before Jack Dyer intervened
1944 Fitzroy season still compromised by WW2 (no MCG)
1945 Carlton Bloodbath
1946 Essendon some of the Bombers' record 11 third-quarter goals have to be fake, it's statistics
1947 Carlton season clearly should have been called off in shame after the Big V went down to WA in Tasmania of all places
1948 Melbourne clearly the season should have ended on the drawn Grand Final, 69 to 69
1949 Essendon Coleman kicks his 100th goal for the season in the concluding minutes of the GF - a story stolen directly from Jack Titus in 1940, you have to ask what else was faked about Essendon allegedly 'winning' this premiership #fakenewsflag
1950 Essendon Essendon's captain was the biggest Dick ever to play Aussie rules
1951 Geelong Coleman set up by Caspar
1952 Geelong season tainted by weather so wet and muddy they had to introduce white balls mid-season
1953 Collingwood Cats' full-forward caught having an affair and forced out of the team, they then lose the GF and you can't prove it wasn't a Collingwood player in disguise sent to seduce him
1954 Footscray season tainted by Fitzroy betting scandal
1955 Melbourne Melbourne's kamikaze tactics
1956 Melbourne season compromised by accommodations for the Olympics
1957 Melbourne allowing everyone to compete for the night series clearly tainted the real finals somehow
1958 Collingwood MCG bias
1959 Melbourne uh-oh, Essendon implementing a special high performance training regime, sounds suss
1960 Melbourne Melbourne shouldn't have been able to play a Grand Final with no opponent, that's clearly unfair
1961 Hawthorn just the expansion teams playing, doesn't really count
1962 Essendon medical shenanigans
1963 Geelong whole of round 11 postponed due to weather, season obviously invalid after that
1964 Melbourne Fitzroy clearly should have won the premiership: their lay down misère (zero wins, #1 worst offence and #1 worst defence) was clearly the highest bid
1965 Essendon crowd support drove the Dons to the prelim win and a GF berth after a brutal attack off the ball on one of their players but was it a false flag operation?????
1966 St Kilda timekeeper was a big St Kilda fan you say? oh sure, we can toootally trust that the siren was correctly sounded in this close fought St Kilda game
edit: showmanic also suggests St Kilda kicking the ball out of bounds deliberately (legal until 1969) to use up time at the end of the match
1967 Richmond competition clearly unbalanced by players wanting to play for the Galahs rather than compete for the premiership
1968 Carlton too windy
1969 Richmond VFL tinkering with the dang rulebook again to try to boost scoring: now you get a free kick if the opposition kicks it out of bounds on the full??
1970 Carlton Syd Jackson probably should have missed the game through suspension
1971 Hawthorn R21 Fitzroy v Carlton played in zero-visibility fog clearly a sign of interference by ghosts, season should have been abandoned
1972 Carlton too many goals
1973 Richmond take your pick of option 1, cheap hits and punches take out three Carlton players or option 2, Francis Bourke and Royce Hart not supposed to be playing but played anyway
1974 Richmond Tiges tainted by R7 brawl at Windy Hill
1975 North Melbourne season ruined by pointless rules tinkering: bizarre, wacky centre 'square' introduced to replace sturdy, traditional centre diamond
1976 Hawthorn pre-equalisation era resource disparity: Hawthorn had a complete monopoly on former captains tragically about to die from cancer at too young of an age as a source of motivation, North Melbourne forced to rely on just wanting to win the premiership
1977 North Melbourne rare second-ever drawn GF clearly contrived for the advantage of the first TV broadcast
1978 Hawthorn political interference: North Melbourne supporters clearly too exhausted from booing Malcolm Fraser in R20 to effectively encourage the team to victory
1979 Carlton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6orWbfMkWDI&t=8s
1980 Richmond bottom of the ladder Fitzroy had more points for than top of the ladder Geelong? clearly a fake season
1981 Carlton Garry Sidebottom misses the bus
1982 Carlton Carlton illicitly obtains special powers from Helen D'Amico
1983 Hawthorn Morwood/Foschini transfer clusterfuck making a mockery of VFL transfer rules - plus the Big V goes down to both SA and WA, just call off the season already
1984 Essendon season destabilised by breakaway competition rumours
1985 Essendon season tainted by biff: Lethal breaks Neville Bruns' jaw, John Bourke for the Pies reserves gets suspended for 10 years and 16 matches
1986 Hawthorn illegal Tasmanian bank account
1987 Carlton compromised draw with the new expansion teams
1988 Hawthorn compromised draw with the new expansion teams
1989 Hawthorn illegal Tasmanian bank account
1990 Collingwood replay of drawn Pies v Eagles QF pushes back whole finals schedule, disadvantging Essendon
1991 Hawthorn take your pick of option 1, you can't play a legitimate GF at Waverley or option 2, match tainted by Bound for Glory
1992 West Coast Vic teams get their zones taken away and a foreigner team wins as a result #AntiVicBias
1993 Essendon Baby Bombers bust their way through the salary cap
1994 West Coast rules tinkering: arbitrarily changing the length of quarters from 25 to 20 minutes
1995 Carlton Diesel Williams the recipient of not only payments outside the salary cap but also one of the first ever racial vilification charges
1996 North Melbourne West Coast forced to play 'home' semi final at the MCG
1997 Adelaide psychological warfare: Port Adelaide entering the comp and blasting innocent ears with their terrible club song - Crows unfairly advantaged by being already partly immune to Port bullshit - alternatively steroids in the AFL
1998 Adelaide Crows somehow allowed to win flag from 5th on the ladder edit: and while losing their first final, just like Carlton the next year
1999 North Melbourne finals system is so shit that Carlton finishes 6th, loses first final, yet progresses to semi-finals where they play West Coast who are once again forced to 'host' a semi at the MCG - Blues make it to the GF where they're rolled by Norf
2000 Essendon season compromised by accommodations for the Olympics (and retrospectively, Lions' intravenous saline scandal and Carlton's salary cap breaches)
2001 Brisbane Lions Lions' intravenous saline scandal (and retrospectively, Carlton's salary cap breaches)
2002 Brisbane Lions six games not involving Carlton forcibly moved to Princes Park after Carlton moves games to Docklands - meanwhile Carlton wins the spoon and then has their salary cap cheating exposed, fuck 2002 Carlton basically - also Adelaide forced to 'host' a semi-final at the MCG
2003 Brisbane Lions all the non-Vic teams made finals #AntiVicBias
2004 Port Adelaide Brisbane forced to 'host' home prelim at the MCG - also because Port's win triggers insufferable debates about whether to count SANFL Port's flags
edit: lbguitarist's suggestion - St Kilda's PF momentum ruined by ground invasion after the G Train's 100th
2005 Sydney Barry Hall escaping suspension after the prelim
2006 West Coast druuuuugs
2007 Geelong 1) Cats commit murder in broad daylight and get away with it, 2) disgraceful Melbourne v Carlton spoonbowl with priority draft pick at stake, 3) 'Guttergate'
2008 Hawthorn morally bankrupt Hawthorn triple team Fev to stop him also getting to 100 goals
2009 Geelong take your pick of option 1, season tainted by Melbourne's tanking or option 2, Hawkins hitting the post
2010 Collingwood St Kilda robbed in broad daylight and the police did nothing about it
edit: NitroXYZ's suggestion - St Kilda robbed of momentum by replaying the GF the following week rather than playing extra time, replay replaced with extra time from 2016 season onwards
2011 Geelong tainted by Meatloaf and the lavish Gold Coast concessions
2012 Sydney season tainted by Essendon doping regime and the lavish GWS concessions
2013 Hawthorn season tainted by revelation of Essendon doping regime
2014 Hawthorn Brendon Bolton coaches Hawks to five wins from five games while Clarko out with Guillain–Barré syndrome yet nobody tests Bolton to see if he's some kind of cyborg or superman (though clearly swapped back for the real human version to go coach Carlton)
2015 Hawthorn treatment of Adam Goodes puts a stain on the whole comp
2016 Western Bulldogs umpiring so biased the AFL had to apologise for it
2017 Richmond THEY'RE WEARING THE WRONG JUMPER
edit: NitroXYZ's suggestion - Cats forced to play 'home' QF at their opponent's home ground; veryparticularskills' suggestion - Cotch dodges suspension after PF
2018 West Coast Sheed played on
edit: PyrrhicNicholas' suggestion - Maynard was blocked
2019 Richmond Gilstapo intimidation
2020 ? pandemic-affected season
submitted by spannr to AFL [link] [comments]

The truth behind Puskás Akadémia FC - How Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán stole a legend, built a stadium in his backyard and guided his team to Europe

The 2019/2020 season of the Hungary’s National Football League (NB1) – being one of the first leagues to restart play - came to an end on 27 June. If a casual observer (for whatever reason) decides to check out the final standings, he would be not surprised at the first two positions: record-champion Ferencváros defended their title, while regional powerhouse Fehérvár (Videoton) came in second. However, the third place team, Puskás Akadémia FC might seem unusual and one could think that there is a story behind that. Is there a team named after Ferenc Puskás? Did some academy youths make an incredible run for the Europa League qualification? Well, the observer is right, there is a story behind all this, but it’s absolutely not a fun story. It’s a story about how one powerful man’s obsession with football stole a legend, misused state funds and killed the spirit of Hungarian football. (Warning: this is a long story, feel free to scroll down for a tl;dr. Also, I strongly advise checking out the links, those images are worth seeing).
Naturally, political influence in football has been present ever since the dawn of the sport and we know of numerous state leaders who felt confident enough to use their influence to ensure the successful development of their favored clubs – Caucescu’s FC Olt Scornicesti and Erdogan’s Basaksehir are well-known examples of such attempts. However, I fear that very few of the readers are aware of the fact that Puskás Akadémia FC is nothing but Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s grandiose project for establishing his hometown’s club as one of the country’s top teams. Considering that Orbán managed to achieve this goal using state funds in an EU member democracy in the 2000s, one might even say that it might be one of the most impressive attempts of cheating your way through Football Manager in real life. Now that Puskás Akadémia FC escaped the desolate football scene of Hungary and is getting ready for the European takeover, I feel that it’s high time to tell its true story.

Part 1: Part time striker, part time PM

Our story begins in 1999 when the 36-year-old striker Viktor Orbán (recently elected as the country’s Prime Minister) was signed by the sixth-tier side of Felcsút FC residing in rural Fejér County. It might sound surprising that an active politician would consider such a side job, but given that Orbán has been playing competitive low-level football throughout his whole life and has always been known as a keen football enthusiast, people seemed to be okay with his choice for a hobby. Orbán spent most of his childhood in the village of Felcsút (population: 1,800), so it seemed only natural that he would join the team after one of his old-time acquaintances became team president there.
Orbán’s arrival to the club seemed to work like a charm as Felcsút FC immediately earned a promotion to the fifth league. The Prime Minister’s busy program did not allow him to attend every training session and game but Orbán did make an effort to contribute as much as possible on the field – there is a report of a government meeting being postponed as Orbán was unavailable due to attending Felcsút FC’s spring training camp. The 2001/2002 season brought another breakthrough for the side as Felcsút was promoted to the national level of the football pyramid after being crowned the champion of Fejér County. Sadly enough for Orbán, he suffered a defeat on another pitch – his party lost the 2002 election and Orbán was forced to move to an opposition role.
No matter what happened on the political playing field, Orbán would not abandon his club. Just before the 2002 elections, Felcsút was surprisingly appointed as one of the regional youth development centers by the Hungarian FA. Orbán continued contributing on the field as well (he had more spare time after all) but his off-the-field efforts provided much more value for the team as he used his political influence to convince right-wing businessmen that they should definitely get sponsorship deals done with the fourth-division village team.
Club management was able to transform the influx of funds into on-field success: Felcsút FC was promoted to the third division in 2004 and achieved promotion to the second division in 2005. Although these new horizons required a skill level that an aging ex-PM is not likely to possess, Orbán regularly played as a late game sub and even appeared in cup games against actual professional opponents. The now-42-year old Orbán did not want to face the challenge of the second division, so he retired in 2005 – but this did not stop him from temping as an assistant coach when the head coach was sacked in the middle of the 2005-2006 season.
Success on the playing field did not translate to political success: Orbán lost the elections once again in 2006. However, this was only a temporary loss: the ruling party committed blunder after blunder and by early 2007 it became absolutely obvious that Orbán would be able return to power in 2010. Now confident in his political future, Orbán opted for the acceleration of football development in Felcsút – by late 2007 he took over the presidency of the club to take matters in his own hands. Sponsors seeking to gain favor with the soon-to-be PM were swarming Felcsút FC, so the club was able to stand very strong in an era where financial stability was a very rare sight in the Hungarian football scene, accumulating three medals (but no promotion) between 2007 and 2009.
On the other hand, Orbán realized the value of youth development as well, and started a local foundation for this purpose back in 2004 that gathered funds for the establishment a boarding school-like football academy. The academy opened its doors in September 2006 (only the second of such institutions in the country) and Orbán immediately took upon the challenge of finding an appropriate name for the academy.
He went on to visit the now very sick Ferenc Puskás in the hospital to discuss using his name, but as Puskás’ medical situation was deteriorating rapidly, communication attempts were futile. Luckily enough Puskás’ wife (and soon to be widow) was able to act on his incapable husband’s behalf and approved the naming deal in a contract. According to the statement, naming rights were granted without compensation, as “Puskás would have certainly loved what’s happening down in Felcsút”. However, there was much more to the contract: Puskás’ trademark was handed to a sports journalist friend of Orbán (György Szöllősi, also acting communications director of the academy) who promised a hefty annual return for the family (and also a 45% share of the revenue for himself). Ferenc Puskás eventually died on 17 November 2006 and on 26 November 2006 the football academy was named after him: Puskás Academy was born.
Orbán shared his vision of the whole organization after the opening ceremony: “It’s unreasonable to think that Felcsút should have a team in the top division. We should not flatter ourselves, our players and our supporters with this dream. Our long term ambition is the creation of a stable second division team that excels in youth development and provides opportunity for the talents of the future.” Let’s leave that there.

Part 2: No stadium left behind

Orbán became PM once again in April 2010 after a landslide victory that pretty much granted him unlimited power. He chased lots of political agendas but one of his policies was rock solid: he would revive sports (and especially football) that was left to bleed out by the previous governments. The football situation in 2010 was quite dire: while the national team has actually made some progress in the recent years and has reached the 42nd position in the world rankings, football infrastructure was in a catastrophic state. Teams were playing in rusty stadiums built in the communist era, club finances were a mess, youth teams couldn’t find training grounds and the league was plagued by violent fan groups and lackluster attendance figures (3100 average spectators per game in the 2009/2010 season).
Orbán – aided by the FA backed by business actors very interested in making him happy – saw the future in the total rebuild of the football infrastructure. Vast amounts of state development funds were invested into the football construction industry that warmly welcomed corruption, cost escalation and shady procurement deals. In the end, money triumphed: over the last decade, new stadiums sprung out from nothing all over the country, dozens of new academies opened and pitches for youth development appeared on practically every corner. The final piece of the stadium renovation program was the completion of the new national stadium, Puskás Aréna in 2019 (estimated cost: 575 million EUR). Orbán commemorated this historic moment with a celebratory video on his social media that features a majestic shot of Orbán modestly kicking a CGI ball from his office to the new stadium.
Obviously, Orbán understood that infrastructure alone won’t suffice. He believed in the idea that successful clubs are the cornerstone of a strong national side as these clubs would compete in a high quality national league (and in international tournaments) that would require a constant influx of youth players developed by the clubs themselves. However, Orbán was not really keen on sharing the state’s infinite wealth with private club owners who failed to invest in their clubs between 2002 and 2010. The club ownership takeover was not that challenging as previous owners were usually happy to cut their losses, and soon enough most clubs came under Orbán’s influence. Some clubs were integrated deep into Orbán’s reach (Ferencváros and MTK Budapest club presidents are high ranking officials of Orbán’s party) while in other cases, indirect control was deemed sufficient (Diósgyőri VTK was purchased by a businessman as an attempt to display loyalty to Orbán).
Pouring taxpayer money into infrastructure (stadium) projects is relatively easy: after all, we are basically talking about overpriced government construction projects, there’s nothing new there. On the other hand, allocating funds to clubs that should be operating on a competitive market is certainly a tougher nut to crack. The obvious solutions were implemented: the state media massively overpaid for broadcasting rights and the national sports betting agency also pays a hefty sum to the FA, allowing for a redistribution of considerable amounts. However, given that the income side of Hungarian clubs was basically non-existent (match day income is negligible, the failed youth development system does not sell players), an even more radical solution was desperately needed. Also, there was definite interest in the development of a tool that would allow for differentiation between clubs (as in the few remaining non-government affiliated clubs should not receive extra money).
The solution came in 2011: the so-called TAO (“társasági adó” = corporate tax) system was introduced, granting significant tax deductions for companies if they offered a portion of their profits to sports clubs – however, in theory, funds acquired through TAO can be only used for youth development and infrastructure purposes. Soon enough, it became apparent that state authorities were not exactly interested in the enforcement of these restrictions, so some very basic creative accounting measures enabled clubs to use this income for anything they wanted to. Companies were naturally keen on cutting their tax burdens and scoring goodwill with the government, so TAO money immediately skyrocketed. Opportunistic party strongmen used their influence to convince local business groups to invest in the local clubs, enabling for the meteoric rise of multiple unknown provincial teams (Mezőkövesd [pop: 16,000], Kisvárda [pop: 16,000], Balmazújváros [pop: 17,000]) into the first division.
Although it’s not the main subject of this piece, I feel inclined to show you the actual results of Orbán’s grandiose football reform. While we do have our beautiful stadiums, we don’t exactly get them filled – league attendance has stagnated around 3000 spectators per game throughout the whole decade. We couldn’t really move forward with our national team either: Hungary lost 10 positions in the FIFA World Rankings throughout Orbán’s ten years. On the other hand, the level of league has somewhat improved – Videoton and Ferencváros reached the Europa League group stage in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Too bad that the Instat-based top team of 2019/2020 Hungarian league consists of 10 foreigners and only 1 Hungarian: the goalkeeper.

Part 3: Small place, big game!

As seen in the previous chapter, Orbán did have a strong interest in the improvement of the football situation Hungary, but we shouldn’t forget that his deepest interest and true loyalty laid in the wellbeing of Felcsút and its academy. Now that Orbán had limitless means to see to the advancement of his beloved club, he got to work immediately. Orbán handed over formal club management duties to his friend / protégé / middleman / businessman Lőrinc Mészáros in 2010, but no questions would ever arise of who is actually calling the shots.
First of all, no club can exist without a proper stadium. Although in 2011 Orbán explicitly stated that “Felcsút does not need a stadium as stadiums belong to cities”, no one was really surprised in 2012 when the construction of the Felcsút stadium was announced. Orbán was generous enough to donate the lands just in front of his summer home in the village for the project, locating the entrance a mere ten meters away from his residence. Construction works for the stunningly aesthetic 3,800-seater arena (in a village of 1,800 people) started in April 2012 and were completed in April 2014, making Felcsút’s arena the second new stadium of Orbán’s gigantic stadium revival program.
The estimated budget of the construction was 120 million EUR (31,500 EUR / seat) was financed by the Puskás Academy who explicitly stated that they did not use government funds for the project. Technically, this statement is absolutely true as the construction was financed through the TAO money offered by the numerous companies looking for tax deduction and Orbán’s goodwill. However, technically, this means that the country’s budget was decreased by 120 million EUR unrealized tax revenue. Naturally, the gargantuan football stadium looks ridiculously out of place in the small village, but there’s really no other way to ensure that your favorite team’s stadium is within 20 seconds of walking distance from your home.
Obviously, a proper club should also have some glorious history. Felcsút was seriously lagging behind on this matter as though Felcsút FC was founded in 1931, it spent its pre-Orbán history in the uninspiring world of the 5th-7th leagues of the country. Luckily enough, Orbán had already secured Puskás’ naming rights and they were not afraid to use it, so Felcsút FC was renamed to Puskás Academy FC in 2009. The stadium name was a little bit problematic as the Hungarian national stadium in Budapest had sadly had the dibs on Puskás’ name, so they had to settle with Puskás’ Spanish nickname, resulting in the inauguration of the Pancho Arena. But why stop here? Orbán’s sports media strongman György Szöllősi acted upon the contract with Puskás’ widow and transferred all Puskás’ personal memorabilia (medals, jerseys, correspondence) to the most suitable place of all: a remote village in which Puskás never even set foot in.
While the off-field issues were getting resolved, Orbán’s attention shifted to another important area: the actual game of football. Although academy players started to graduate from 2008 on, it very soon became painfully obvious that the academy program couldn’t really maintain even a second division side for now. In 2009, Orbán reached an agreement with nearby Videoton’s owner that effectively transformed Felcsút FC into Videoton’s second team under the name of Videoton – Puskás Akadémia FC. The mutually beneficent agreement would allow Videoton to give valuable playing time to squad players while it could also serve as a skipping step for Puskás Academy’s fresh graduates to a first league team. The collaboration resulted in two mid-table finishes and a bronze medal in the second division in the following three seasons that wasn’t really impressive compared to Felcsút FC’s standalone seasons.
It seemed that the mixture of reserve Videoton players and academy youth was simply not enough for promotion, and although Orbán had assured the public multiple times that his Felcsút project was not aiming for the top flight, very telling changes arose after the 2011/2012 season. Felcsút terminated the Videoton cooperation deal and used the rapidly accumulating TAO funds to recruit experienced players for the now independently operating Puskás Academy FC (PAFC). The new directive worked almost too well: PAFC won its division with a 10 point lead in its first standalone year which meant that they would have to appear in the first league prior to the completion of their brand-new Pancho Arena. Too bad that this glorious result had almost nothing to do with the academy - only two players were academy graduates of the side’s regular starting XI.
Orbán did not let himself bothered with the ridiculousness of an academy team with virtually no academy players being promoted to the first division as he stated that “a marathon runner shouldn’t need to explain why the other runners were much slower than him”. Orbán also displayed a rare burst of modesty as he added that “his team’s right place is not in the first league, and they will soon be overtaken by other, better sides”.
The promotion of PAFC to the first division made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. Supporter groups were united in hatred all along the league and not surprisingly, away fans almost always outnumbered the home side at PAFC’s temporary home at Videoton’s Sóstói Stadium (demolished and rebuilt in its full glory since then). One of the teams, however, possessed an extraordinary degree of anger against PAFC: supporters of Budapest Honvéd – the only Hungarian team in which Ferenc Puskás played – felt especially awkward about the transfer of their club legend’s heritage to Felcsút. Tensions spiked at the PAFC – Honvéd game when home security forced Honvéd supporters to remove the “Puskás” part of their traditional “Puskás – Kispest – Hungary” banner – the team answered the insult with style as they secured a 4-0 victory supported by fans chanting “you can’t buy legends”.
Despite Orbán’s prognosis, other better sides did not rush to overtake his team, so PAFC, now residing in their brand new Pancho Arena, came through with a 14th and a 10th place in their first two seasons. Naturally, conspiracy theories began to formulate, speculating that government-friendly owners would certainly not be motivated to give their best against PAFC. However, as the league size was reduced to 12 for the 2015/2016 season, PAFC found themselves in a dire situation just before the final round: they needed a win and needed rival Vasas to lose against MTK in order to avoid relegation. PAFC’s draw seemed to be unlucky as they faced their arch-enemy Honvéd at home, but Honvéd displayed an absolute lackluster effort – fueling conspiracy theories – and lost the fixture 2 to 1 against a home side featuring four academy players. Vasas, however, did not disappoint, their 2-0 victory resulted in PAFC’s elimination and a very relaxed sigh all over the football community.
PAFC’s relegation seemed to be in accordance with Orbán’s 2013 statement, so public opinion supposed for a while that Orbán’s project came to a halting point and the Academy would go on to actually field academy players in the second division (especially as rostering foreign players was prohibited in the lower leagues). However, if you have read through this point, you know better than to expect Orbán to retreat – obviously, PAFC came back with a bang. With a ballsy move, PAFC didn’t even sell their foreign players, they just loaned them across the league, promising them that they would be able to return next year to the newly promoted team. The promise was kept as PAFC went into another shopping spree of experienced players (easily convincing lots of them to choose the second division instead of the first) and easily won the second league.
Orbán – now aware of his negligence – opted for the doubling the team’s budget, making PAFC the third most well-founded club in the whole country (only coming short to his friend’s Videoton and his party minion’s Ferencváros). With an actual yearly influx from TAO money in the ballpark of 30-40 million EUR, PAFC management had to really work wonders in creative accounting in order to make their money look somewhat legitimate. The books were now full of ridiculous items like:
Naturally, in the country of no consequences, absolutely nothing happened: PAFC went on with its spending and signed 35 foreigners between 2017 and 2020. They did so because they could not hope to field a winning team in the first league consisting of academy players, despite the fact that Puskás Academy has been literally drowning in money since 2007. This seems to somewhat contradict Orbán’s 2013 promise, stating that “Puskás Academy will graduate two or three players to major European leagues each year”. To be fair, there have been players who managed to emerge to Europe (well, exactly two of them: Roland Sallai plays at Freiburg, László Kleinheisler played at Werder Bremen) but most academy graduates don’t even have the slightest the chance to make their own academy’s pro team as it’s full of foreigners and more experienced players drawn for other teams’ programs.
Despite their unlimited funding, PAFC could not put up a top-tier performance in their first two years back in the first division, finishing 6th and 7th in the 12-team league. Many speculated that the lack of support, motivation and even a clear team mission did not allow for chemistry to develop within the multinational and multi-generational locker room. Consistency was also a rare sight on the coaching side: club management was absolutely impatient with coaches who were very easily released after a single bad spell and there were talks of on-field micromanagement request coming from as high as Orbán.
Even so, their breakthrough came dangerously close in 2018 as PAFC performed consistently well in the cup fixtures and managed to reach the final. Their opponent, Újpest played an incredibly fierce game and after a 2-2 draw, they managed to defeat PAFC in the shootout. Football fans sighed in relief throughout the country as ecstatic Újpest supporters verbally teased a visibly upset Orbán in his VIP lounge about his loss.
Obviously, we could only delay the inevitable. While this year’s PAFC side seemed to be more consistent than its predecessors, it seemed that they won’t be able to get close to the podium - they were far behind the obvious league winner duo of Ferencváros and Videoton and were trailing third-place Mezőkövesd 6 points just before the pandemic break. However, both Mezőkövesd and PAFC’s close rivals DVTK and Honvéd fall flat after the restart while PAFC was able to maintain its good form due to its quality roster depth. PAFC overtook Mezőkövesd after the second-to-last round as Mezőkövesd lost to the later relegated Debrecen side. (Mezőkövesd coach Attila Kuttor was fined harshly because of his post-game comments on how the FA wants PAFC to finish third.)
PAFC faced Honvéd in the last round once again, and as Honvéd came up with its usual lackluster effort, PAFC secured an effortless win, confidently claiming the third place. PAFC celebrated their success in a nearly empty stadium, however neither Orbán, nor Mészáros (club owner, Orbán’s protégé, now 4th richest man of Hungary) seemed to worry about that. While Orbán high-fived with his peers in the VIP lounge, Mészáros was given the opportunity to award the bronze medals (and for some reason, a trophy) to the players dressed up in the incredibly cringe worthy T-shirts that say “Small place, big game!”. Big game, indeed: in the 2019/2020 season, foreign players’ share of the teams playing time was 43.6% while academy graduates contributed only 17.9%.
On Sunday evening, less than 24 hours after PAFC’s glorious success, György Szöllősi, now editor-in-chief of Hungary’s only sports newspaper (purchased by Orbán’s affiliates a few years back) published an editorial on the site, stating that “the soccer rebuild in Felcsút became the motor and symbol of the revitalization of sport throughout the whole country”. Well, Szöllősi is exactly right: Felcsút did became a symbol, but a symbol of something entirely different. Felcsút became a symbol of corruption, inefficiency, lies and the colossal waste of money. But, hey, at least we know now: you only need to spend 200 million EUR (total budget of PAFC and its academy in the 2011-2020 period) if you want to have a Europa League team in your backyard. Good to know!

Epilogue: What's in the future?

As there is no foreseeable chance for political change to happen Hungary (Orbán effortlessly secured qualified majority in 2014 and 2018, and is projected to do so in 2022 as well), PAFC’s future seems to be as bright as it gets. Although consensus opinion now seems to assume that Orbán does not intend to interfere with the Ferencváros – Videoton hegemony, we can never be really sure about the exact limits of his greed. One could also argue that entering the European theater serves as a prime opportunity for making splashy transfers who could be the cornerstones of a side challenging the league title.
However, as all political systems are deemed to fall, eventually Orbán’s regime will come apart. Whoever will take upon the helm after Orbán, they will certainly begin with cutting back on the one item on Orbán’s agenda that never had popular support: limitless football spending. Puskás Academy, having next to zero market revenue, will not be able to survive without the state’s life support, so the club will fold very shortly. The abandoned, rotting stadium in Felcsút will serve as a memento of a powerful man who could not understand the true spirit of football.
But let’s get back to present day, as we have more pressing issues coming up soon: PAFC will play their first European match in the First qualifying round of the Europa League on 27 August. We don’t have a date for the draw yet, but soon enough, a team unaware of the whole situation will be selected to face the beast. I hope that maybe one of their players does some research and maybe reads this very article for inspiration. I hope that the supporters of this club get in touch with Honvéd fans who would be eager to provide them with some tips on appropriate chants. I hope that other teams gets drawn as the home team so Orbán wouldn’t get the pleasure of walking to his stadium for an international match. But most importantly, I very much hope that this team obliterates PAFC and wipes them off the face of the earth. 5-0 will suffice, thank you.
And if this team fails to do that, we don’t have to worry yet. Due to our shitty league coefficient, PAFC would need to win four fixtures in a row. And that – if there’s any justice in this world – is a thing that can’t, that won’t happen. Ball don’t lie – if I may say.
TL,DR
Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán redirected some 200 million EUR of taxpayer money over 10 years to fuel his ambition of raising a competitive football team in his hometown of 1,800 people. He built a 3,800-seater stadium in his backyard, expropriated football legend Ferenc Puskás’ trademarks and heritage and built up a football league where almost all clubs are owned by his trustees. His team, Puskás Akadémia FC was originally intended to be a development ground for youth players graduating from Orbán’s football academy, but eventually the team became more and more result-orianted. Finally, a roster full of foreign and non-academy players came through and finished third in the league, releasing this abomination of a team to the European football theatre. Please, knock them out asap!
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WHILE TRADITIONAL SPORTS ARE TAKING A BREAK, ESPORTS IS TAKING A LEAP FORWARD

In those challenging times for the whole world, we as an organization would like to spread our message for positivity to the iGaming industry and beyond.
Although most of the sports events worldwide, including the biggest of the year – Euro 2020, were canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we still have other opportunities to offer to our clients and partners, such as betting on eSports.
With the shutdown of all major sports leagues internationally, sportsbooks need markets to keep players interested and betting. Esports, as an already well-established gambling vertical, comes as the working alternative to all sports bettors around the globe. Most of the LAN tournaments were shortly reorganized to be held online, such as LCS, LEC, LCK, Overwatch League, ESL Pro League, Flashpoint and many more.
UltraPlay eSports offering:
Numbers at the moment:
UltraPlay covers 251 events, 90% of them with live odds.
We experienced a 30% increased turnover only in the first 5 days after the traditional sports shutdown. This is growing on a day-to-day basis as more people get involved. We expect this to get in 100’s% once all eSports leagues restart playing online. Low tier matches are the ones to see turnover go through the roof because of lack of any other events.
Moreover, we record an increased interest in our eSports product ODDS.GG from the leading sportsbooks. They are willing and ready to integrate it as soon as possible.
From March 20-26, UltraPlay will cover, both pre-match and live, the online charity marathon dedicated to fighting COVID-19, organized by WePlay Esports. Top teams and top talent from the Dota 2 scene are included, namely OG, Team Liquid, Virtus.Pro and more.
Tournaments that still haven’t announced the shift towards online, are expected to follow the example if the situation with COVID-19 health crisis continues in the following months.
Many operators in the regulated markets throughout the US, for example, have already requested eSports to be allowed on their websites so that they keep the business running. And it should be the right step forward knowing the fact that eSports is just like any other sport.
With traditional sports matches postponed and teams self-isolated, football stars are joining the competitive games scene by playing FIFA and Fortnite, attracting an enormous audience towards eSports in general.
Since we first started offering eSports 6 years ago, we have always believed in its potential. Now, more than ever before, we see that eSports can be a profitable alternative to sports markets on the sites.
Let’s face it; 60m people watched the final of the highest-profile eSports tournament. Only the Champions League final, or World Cup final, can compare with that. And sportsbooks can attract the eSports audience to their websites with reliable and extensive odds coverage.
If your bettors also request eSports in general or games that you don’t have yet, contact us today at https://ultraplay.co/ , odds.gg or [[email protected]](mailto:[email protected])
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How COVID-19 Is Affecting Esports And Online Casinos - My Opinion

How COVID-19 Is Affecting Esports And Online Casinos - My Opinion
Chances are, you are also cooped up at home due to the lock-down just like I am. Thanks to the internet, we are still able to work online, socialize safely via online platforms, entertain ourselves with online esports tournaments, live-stream sports matches, and access online casinos.
The online world is a world unto itself. It allows us to achieve many real-world tasks with minimal real-world action or interaction. In many ways, the internet is helping us to deal with the lock-down in ways that weren’t possible 100 years ago in the time of the 1918 H1N1 pandemic.
Regardless of the benefits of the internet, the online world still relies heavily on real-world events. It’s also dependent on human-mobilization to deliver products, services, or entertainment to consumers.
Keeping this in mind, this is how I believe the COVID-19 virus is shaping our online casino and esports experience in 2020.

https://preview.redd.it/makdogqhhiu41.png?width=626&format=png&auto=webp&s=113c48cad967e3f5d7546c4aadd03789f59747ee

Impact Of The Coronavirus On Business

Real-world environments like shops, malls, parks, stadiums, casinos, and arenas are the perfect breeding and transfer grounds for the COVID-19 virus. Now, visiting previously safe areas and communal facilities like these poses a risk to my loved ones and my health and safety.
It’s necessary to take precautions. The strict measures put into place to limit the spread of COVID-19 are hitting worldwide industries and the economy hard.
Non-essential brick-and-mortar establishments are shut in most parts of the world. This has led to zero revenue for these establishments.
There is a lot of uncertainty. Some businesses are even unsure if they will open their doors again after this pandemic is over. It remains to be seen where industries and the economy are going and how they might be reshaped in the future.

Coronavirus vs eSports

Big eSports tournaments have been affected. Esports events and tournaments have been postponed, cancelled, or are now set to be played online, as they originally were played before eSports became such a huge spectator sport and professional gaming existed.
eSports giants like Modern Times Group (MTG) are switching over to digital tournaments. The company is projecting a huge revenue drop in the second quarter of 2020, according to Statista.
It’s great that they are finding alternative, safe ways to generate revenue during this crisis. Many gaming tournaments have swapped to online-only competition, and others have popped up to raise funds for COVID-19 testing and other COVID-19 charitable causes.
For me and everyone else cooped up at home with not much more than some electronics and wifi, these tournaments offer entertainment. They offer the opportunity to spectate eSports competitions, and it provides people with a distraction from what’s happening around them.

Coronavirus vs Online Casinos

Simple tasks like going out of our house to buy groceries or receiving orders of groceries, food, or goods have never been so risky. Going out to the casino or a sports match seems out of the question.
According to studies, the COVID-19 virus can live in aerosols and on different surfaces for hours or days. Besides that, the asymptomatic spread, contagiousness, and longer-than-average incubation period make COVID-19 a force with which to be reckoned with.
These factors make any venture out of my house or any in-person interaction risky. This raises the question, how is this affecting casinos and bookmakers in Canada and worldwide?

Casinos

Offline casinos have, rightly, been deemed unsafe and shut their doors as per government regulations. Those people who find fun and distraction in offline casino establishments haven’t been left completely high and dry, though. They still have the option to turn to online casinos.
People who previously only attended offline casinos may be dipping their toes into the online casino world as we speak. I think those who already gamble online are probably happy they got started early.
It’s projected that online casinos will see an uptake in revenue in the short-term. However, it’s difficult to see how revenue will be affected as the COVID-19 situation continues.

Sportsbooks

The online sportsbooks aren’t faring too well despite the internet and the live-streaming options on offer. The ground is very shaky.
Some events are going ahead, allowing bettors to still get in on the action. Other planned events are on shaky ground due to travel bans, lock-downs, and postponements.
Countries like Italy and Spain have been the hardest hit, which has definitely hit home with sports fans due to their reputation for football, one of the most popular sports on which to bet.

La Liga & Serie A - The Spanish and Italian Top Flights

Italy and Spain are at the forefront of COVID-19 deaths on the Worldometer coronavirus counter. The last La Liga Match was played in mid-march when Eibar lost to Real Sociedad 1-2 at home.
The last Serie A match played was also almost a month ago when Sassuolo beat Brescia at home. In my opinion, the experience for the fans and players is surely bittersweet, because it’s been such a long time since watching the beautiful game.

https://preview.redd.it/40jf8ayjhiu41.png?width=626&format=png&auto=webp&s=45af73d1bb7f6c3560c9668e9b358a923b2bcafe

The Olympics - Japan

Some other events don’t have the option to play behind closed doors. The Olympics is one of them. The Olympics hosts teams, crew, family, friends, and fans from almost every nation worldwide. Congregating together in this manner would obviously be a disaster.
It has been rescheduled, and for a good reason. It’s not only the health-risk that is an issue. It’s also become difficult, expensive, and in some instances, downright impossible to travel via air due to closed borders, folded air-lines and routes, and lock-downs.

Conclusion

I think online esports tournaments, online casinos, and online sportsbooks are helping in many ways. They can ease the troubles and offer welcome entertainment in these difficult times.
Gaming and gambling online offers a safe way for us to bet and watch games from home. By placing wagers from home on the few events still available, we’re ensuring that the industry isn’t going to fold.
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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Apr. 12, 1999

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE: 19911992199319941995199619971998
1-4-1999 1-11-1999 1-18-1999 1-25-1999
2-1-1999 2-8-1999 2-15-1999 2-22-1999
3-1-1999 3-8-1999 3-15-1999 3-22-1999
3-29-1999 4-5-1999
  • Davey Boy Smith was hospitalized in Calgary with some sort of spinal infection and is in really bad shape. He's been in crippling pain for weeks with back pain as well as abdominal pains and had dropped around 40 pounds. Tests determined it wasn't cancer and doctors were stumped. Finally, he went to a doctor again last week when his daughter noticed a large lump on his back. Doctors determined it was a bone infection spreading through his body. He was given aggressive antibiotics but that didn't work so now he's hospitalized. Doctors think it's a staph infection on his spine and shouldn't be life threatening, but he'll be hospitalized for a long time and it's unknown if he'll ever be able to wrestle again. Smith described the pain as having a knife in his back 24 hours a day and the pain has gotten worse since he was in the hospital and he could be there for months. He's still under contract to WCW but hasn't been used in several months after injuring his back on the trap door built under the ring that was used for Ultimate Warrior's entrances back in the fall, which is likely where all this stems from.
  • A Japanese women's wrestler named Emiko Kado was also seriously injured in a match after taking a bump wrong over a week ago and has been in a coma ever since. Dave has very few details on this one, other than she was a rookie and had only worked a handful of matches. Dave says a lot of people have compared this to the 1997 death of Plum Mariko in a match in Japan (yup, Kado eventually dies from her injuries. Later found to be a "sprained acute membrane in her brain").
  • Wrestlemania 15 numbers are coming in and early estimates are that it did around 830,000 PPV buys, which will make it the biggest money PPV in wrestling history. WWF will bring in more than $12 million just from the buys alone. The New York Daily News reported that WWF had tried to get both Howard Stern and Monica Lewinsky to appear, but they both turned down 7-figure offers. Lewinsky apparently turned it down immediately, while Stern negotiated for several weeks before deciding against it. He talks about how WWF has proclaimed it to be the best WM ever but Dave naturally disagrees and says WM 10 still holds that honor. But he does give his personal picks for the top 10 WM matches ever and he puts Austin/Rock from WM15 at the #10 spot. Just in case you're wondering the rest:
  1. Michaels vs. Razor Ramon ladder match (WM X)
  2. Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin (WM XIII)
  3. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (WM X)
  4. Ricky Steamboat vs. Savage (WM III)
  5. Warrior vs. Savage (WM VII)
  6. Hart vs. Michaels (WM XII)
  7. British Bulldogs vs. Greg Valentine & Brutus Beefcake (WM II)
  8. Ric Flair vs. Savage (WM VIII)
  9. Hogan vs. Warrior (WM VI)
  10. Rock vs. Austin (WM XV)
  • AJPW is expected to officially announce their 2nd ever Tokyo Dome show for next month. Dave breaks down the matches and says that the show will also have an official ceremony honoring Giant Baba, which will also feature legends such The Destroyer, Gene Kiniski, and Bruno Sammartino appearing, all of whom are well-respected legends in Japan and will likely never appear in a ring there again, so it'll be a big deal. AJPW also wanted to bring in the Road Warriors, Steve Williams, and Steve Austin for the show but Dave doubts it'll happen. WWF has big house shows booked that weekend and Austin especially would cost AJPW a fortune to get. And since the show will likely sell out the Dome regardless, Dave doesn't see the point in spending a ton of money to bring him in. No word on Road Warriors or Williams (they do get them, but not Austin).
  • Wrestling, especially the WWF, is dominating the home video market in the "Sports" listing according to Billboard. Of the top 20 selling sports videos this week, 19 out of 20 of them are wrestling related (mostly WWF). The only thing keeping it from being a full 20-for-20 is the tape of Super Bowl 33 which charted at #9 this week.
  • The subject of backyard wrestling seems to be the new hot topic everyone is concerned about now. There have been several news stories about it recently and ABC's 20/20 is doing a piece on it this week, featuring interviews with Vince McMahon and Mick Foley, who Dave calls "the crown prince and ultimate hero and god to every teenager who wants to bash a light bulb into their head and fall on thumbtacks." Dave isn't sure that this is worthy of being a big story. Obviously the idea of teenagers doing dangerous moves, blading, falling in barbed wire, etc. is bad. But it's not like there has been a huge epidemic of hospitals reporting wrestling injuries. Dave isn't sure that this whole backyard wrestling phenomenon is common enough to warrant all these breathlessly panicked news stories. Dave talks about how he used to play tackle football in the street with no pads when he was a kid and basically sums it up as, hey, kids do stupid shit and sometimes they get hurt. But unless we start seeing evidence of backyard wrestling causing more injuries than football or skateboarding, Dave doesn't think this is really a story.
  • Raw won the ratings battle again this week but the gap wasn't as wide as usual, and WCW was even a little competitive for 2 segments. But overall, it didn't make a difference. One of the biggest mistakes WCW has made lately is not taking advantage of their first hour. Nitro is a 3 hour show and that first hour has no competition from Raw. If they were smart, they would use that hour to build the hell out of the rest of the show and do everything they can to keep viewers. Instead, week after week, they just throw out curtain jerking jobbers out there to have boring matches and do nothing to take advantage of the hour lead time they have. So now, even without competition, Nitro's first hour ratings are starting to plummet because the show just sucks. They've managed to kill the one hour of Nitro that should be the most successful.
  • Brian Pillman's former wife Melanie has apparently been studying the effects of Human Growth Hormone and is convinced that is what killed him, which is why she talked about it on the ESPN show last week. Pillman reportedly was using so much HGH for more than a year but quit cold turkey shortly before his death, largely because he couldn't afford it (Pillman and his wife were having financial troubles and HGH is prohibitively expensive). She believes his quitting led to an enlarging of the heart, which killed him. Dave goes into the science behind some of this stuff but basically says we'll probably never know for sure what the exact cause was, and it likely was a combination of many things.
  • The newly revived Stampede Wrestling, led by Bruce and Ross Hart, ran their first major show this week. Most of the wrestlers weren't anyone of name value. Stu Hart was there, moving around very slowly, but got a huge reaction from the crowd of about 1,800 fans.
  • Mr. Fuji filed a $1.5 million lawsuit against Nintendo and THQ over the WCW vs. NWO video game. There's a character in the game named Master Fuji that he feels is based on him. Mr. Fuji was at times called Master Fuji when he was in the WWF.
  • Jake Roberts was arrested in Athens, GA for being $21,000 behind on child support payments.
  • In news that was destined to happen, Sid Vicious no-showed ECW's Cyberslam PPV and now appears to be done with the company. He missed his first flight, so they booked him a 2nd flight. He called and got that 2nd flight upgraded to first class....and then missed that flight also. Paul Heyman says he talked to Sid the next day and Sid evidently told him that he no-showed in order to get Heyman's attention because he wants creative control. In response, Heyman told him to go get fucked and said that Sid won't be brought back to ECW unless he posts an appearance bond, which he would forfeit in the event he no-shows. So Sid's done in ECW (nah, he comes back a couple more times).
  • In-ring wise, ECW is now poised to put on the best PPV shows in the U.S. Dave mentions that WWF doesn't have the depth as far as talented in-ring guys goes. WCW has plenty of in-ring talent, but none of them are ever pushed. Meanwhile, ECW has quietly been rebuilding their undercard with guys like Jerry Lynn, Super Crazy, Taka Michinoku, and others. The base of ECW is now built on strong in-ring performers and unlike WCW, Heyman is at least making a clear attempt to push these guys to help them get over.
  • New Jack's trial in the Mass Transit incident has been postponed until May.
  • ECW has a lot of potential deals in the works to try to bring in money. There's been discussions with TNN about ECW getting the Friday night time slot that RollerJam currently has. The first season of RollerJam just ended and was a ratings flop and it's unknown if the show will even get a 2nd season. They're also still working on a video game deal, negotiating with 2 companies: Take Two Interactive and Acclaim (they end up going with Acclaim and, in fact, Acclaim ends up buying a 10% ownership stake in ECW, but we'll get there). Heyman has also had meetings with WWF about some licensing ventures. All of this is basically an attempt to bring in much-needed cash for ECW. They recently got that big loan and that has smoothed things over for now, but it's not a permanent fix.
  • Chris Candido and Tammy Sytch made their return to ECW at the most recent Arena show. Candido had noticeably lost weight but looked good. Sytch looked better than she did a few months ago, but still looked like she's been through hell. For now, they're not really being written into any storylines, but if they can stay clean, Heyman plans to ease them back into the mix.
  • WCW will be getting a visual overhaul this week. New logo, new set design for Nitro and Thunder, and other little visual changes. Given the state of WCW right now, Dave says that's like putting a fresh coat of paint on a house that was just hit by a tornado. Speaking of, apparently the new stage set isn't the safest and all the wrestlers backstage were making bets on who would be the first to trip over it while making their entrance.
  • Scott Hall is scheduled to be out for the next couple of months and when he comes back, he will be working a 5-nights-per-month schedule (Nitros and PPVs only). Obviously, a lot of people in the locker room aren't going to be happy, since Hall is making a guaranteed 7-figures per year, while guys who go on the road, work all the house shows, all the Nitros, Thunders, and PPVs aren't even making a fraction of that. It's basically the same deal that Hulk Hogan has. And while Hall is undoubtedly a big star, he's not Hogan. But Dave says once they opened the door a crack and gave Sting a similar deal to Hogan, it led to the inevitability of other top stars angling for the same deal. Basically, WCW is going to end up where all the top stars only work TV and PPV and it's going to kill house show business. But then again, Dave says that Hall has been such a disaster in the last year or so that this is probably the only way they'd be able to use him effectively anyway.
  • Bret Hart had surgery to repair a groin tear and will be out for about 6-8 weeks. After they did the angle on Nitro with him quitting, they didn't mention Bret at all on TV this week (since doing so would give away that it's an angle and, for whatever reason, Bischoff is still intent on trying to work everybody with these "shoot" storylines). Of course, if they never mention Bret's name during the next 2 months, everyone is just going to forget about it. "But WCW would rather try and fool people and not get something over than emphasize something other than Hogan's program and get anyone else over," Dave says.
  • Chris Jericho's sidekick Ralphus is done on TV and believe it or not, word is the reason they got rid of him is because he was getting too big of an ego (yeah I think Jericho has confirmed this).
  • Random notes from the latest Thunder tapings: during the NWO battle royal, "The crowd went dead, like they had each individually had their hands covered in Novocaine." Describing the whole show, Dave says, "This was basically everyone just goofing off because nobody cares." At one point Norman Smiley did his big wiggle dance and the camera cut away to a crowd shot so as not to show it. Just overall a total shit show.
  • No word on Kevin Sullivan's scary collapse backstage last week, but he was perfectly fine the next day. And I think that's the last we hear about it. Seems like that'd be a bigger deal but whatever.
  • Chris Benoit was on a radio show in Toronto and had some interesting stuff to say. When a caller asked if there was a conspiracy to destroy WCW from within, Benoit said, "It appears that way." Benoit also said that when he signed a new contract last year, he had vowed never to complain about WCW again, but then said Bischoff hadn't delivered on promises that were made so...he's back to complaining again. He said he's still wrestling for the money and that in 3 years, he'll be 34 years old, be a free agent, and will have a lot of money in the bank. So at this point, he's basically just going through the motions and collecting a check. Amazing that WCW, at least temporarily, managed to kill Chris Benoit's passion for wrestling. His entire identity—prior to, ya know—was that he was borderline obsessive about pro wrestling. And WCW made him not care. During the show, Benoit also complained that Kevin Nash only pushes his friends.
  • Several Canadian indie wrestlers had tryouts with WCW before Nitro last week (Mike McFly, Greg Pawluk, Eric Freeze, Todd Douglas, Gary Williams, Peter Smith and Scott D'Amore).
  • MMA fighter Tank Abbott has signed a WCW contract and will probably end up working with Goldberg at some point. Dave says he always knew Abbott would end up in pro wrestling, given his charisma, but Dave is "betting strongly" against this working out.
  • WCW execs were so upset with how the company (and Bischoff especially) were portrayed in the ESPN show last week that they have cancelled all planned media pieces. No more media outlets allowed to film backstage and Bischoff cancelled an interview on TSN's Off The Record, saying he wasn't doing anymore interviews due to the ESPN show, which he apparently feels misrepresented him.
  • Chad Brock, a former WCW jobber, has a country song out called "Ordinary Life" that is #7 on the country music charts. Enjoy. I didn't.
WATCH: Chad Brock - "Ordinary Life"
  • Kevin Nash reportedly told Vampiro that he's being taken off Nitro and Thunder and won't be on TV at all. There was a lot of heat on Vampiro after a recent match with Juventud Guerrera, with everyone feeling like Vampiro was careless and didn't protect Guerrera in the match.
  • Fitness model Trish Stratus, who has reportedly been trying to get into the WWF, was backstage at WCW Nitro when they were in Toronto recently, looking to get hired there also. I'm befuddled that Trish had such a hard time finding a job in wrestling in 1999.
  • WCW ordered a ton of new business cards, stationary, etc. that features the new logo. Except they goofed and the address on all of it lists their headquarters as "Altanta." Ha! Calssic WCW.
  • Time Magazine is doing another one of those Man of the Century online polls and Ric Flair is in 2nd place (behind Jesus Christ). More than 20 million people have voted, making it the biggest web pole in internet history and Flair has over 310,000 votes. But the editor of Time.com has said that Flair will be removed from the poll because his ranking is due to "unfair lobbying from wrestling websites." The whole thing led to Time posting this notice on the poll: "Whimsical candidates and others who do not fall within the spirit of the title will not be counted." Word is they are planning to remove Jesus from the poll also, although they're hesitant because of the flak they know they're going to catch from religious nutcases and wrestling freaks whenever they remove the top 2 gods from the list. Funny enough, if you remove Jesus and Flair, that would bump 3rd place up to #1. Who's currently in 3rd place, you ask? A former painter named Adolf Hitler.
  • Mick Foley's knees are in bad shape and he needs to take time off to get them worked on, but with this month's Backlash PPV being built around him so much (he's on the poster and commercials), he felt now wasn't the time to take time off so he's planning to work through it.
  • WWF will be running a special on UPN later this month that will somewhat act as a pilot for their planned women's show. It won't be all women though, since they need to draw a big audience, so expect a couple of the male stars. But it will be primarily focused on the women. If the show is a success, the plan is to run a new 1 hour show on UPN starting probably in August, that will air in the middle of the week, probably on Wed. or Thurs. (needless to say, the idea behind this show changes somewhat).
  • A biography about Mick Foley is being written by ghostwriter Lou Sahadi (turns out Foley wasn't happy with Sahadi's version of the book and decided to write it all himself and the rest is history).
  • Shawn Stasiak will be starting with WWF in about 6 weeks. He's currently undergoing a hair transplant before he starts. Matt Bloom, who has been working in Memphis as Baldo, will be starting around the same time. The original plan was to book him as George Steele's son but that idea seems to have been dropped.
  • Bart Gunn suffered a concussion in his knockout loss to Butterbean at Wrestlemania and was still disoriented even the next day. All told, the Brawl For All concept has been considered a flop. Savio Vega suffered a neck injury he still hasn't recovered from. Steve Williams was brought in to be a top guy and ended up getting injured and humiliated by Gunn, which not only killed his planned push but has pretty much wrecked his entire aura as a tough guy which his whole career was built on. And Bart Gunn, who WWF officials apparently thought had a legit shot against Butterbean, got murdered on live PPV and they haven't mentioned the match on TV since. So really, nothing was gained in the end.
  • Steve Austin and D-Lo Brown are in a 1-800-COLLECT commercial that started airing this week.
WATCH: Steve Austin/D-Lo Brown 1-800-COLLECT commercial
  • Steven Regal has been released by WWF. He's been in drug rehab for the past few months and was only 3 weeks away from completing it. Since he was almost done with treatment, he was allowed to leave rehab and go home for a weekend and, well...it went poorly. Apparently that was the last straw for WWF and they fired him.
  • Shawn Michaels' promo that he cut at Wrestlemania was apparently not what it was supposed to be. Dave's not sure how it was supposed to be different, but apparently Shawn went off-script somehow and it led to a lot of heat on him about it, which is why he wasn't on TV the next night. Speaking of Michaels, he just got married last week in Las Vegas to Whisper of the Nitro Girls. The two have only known each other for a few weeks (and now they're coming up on their 20 year anniversary together).
  • Forbes Magazine had a really interesting article about how pro wrestlers have basically no leverage when it comes to their paychecks. The story noted that on average, wrestlers only get about 15% of the revenue that the business generates and compared it to the NBA, who's athletes get 48%. Dave has talked about this in the past actually, when people would write in and say that WCW wrestlers were overpaid and Dave would respond saying that, given the money WCW brings in, the wrestlers are actually underpaid. He's compared it to different sports and it's the same across the board. Players in MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, etc....all of them are paid a much higher percentage of the revenue than either WWF or WCW wrestlers are (this is still true to this day). Point being, wrestlers BADLY need to unionize. Anyway, in the Forbes article, they talked to Ken Patera who was a major star in the 70s and 80s. Patera said that at his peak, he earned $140,000 per year but after expenses (mostly travel and hotels and whatnot), he only netted about $42,000 in his best year.
  • Random Dave thoughts: he says Stephanie McMahon has been very good in her limited role on TV lately. He also thinks X-Pac is the best in-ring worker in WWF right now.
  • The plan was to do an Austin vs. Rock rematch at Summerslam, but instead, they're going to rush it and do it at this month's PPV. The reason is that they realize they can't keep Rock a heel for much longer (he's just too popular) so they need to do the rematch now.
  • On the WWF website, Vince McMahon once again called Phil Mushnick a liar and a gutless coward for not appearing on the Fox News show to debate him face-to-face. Conveniently, they left out all the other details about Vince backing down from debating him over the phone, or how Mushnick was never actually scheduled to appear in person in the first place or any of the, ya know, real facts.
  • Someone writes in to ask Dave if he was paid for being a UFC judge at their PPV awhile back and says that if he was, it would compromise his ability to cover the promotion fairly and he should disclose it. Dave responds and said he was not paid to be a judge and he agrees that it would have compromised his ability to cover them fairly and says that if he had been offered money to be a judge, he would have turned it down for that very reason.
WEDNESDAY: WCW fires Davey Boy Smith while he's hospitalized, WCW Spring Stampede fallout, wrestling mainstream media coverage, NJPW Tokyo Dome show, and more...
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NFL100: 100 Days, 100 Years (Day 44)

To celebrate 100 days until the 100th season, it is time to continue counting down to the historic centennial season of the National Football League.
Over the 100 days leading up to kickoff, we’ll look at each season since the very beginning, and how the league has evolved to today’s game.
Season 44: 1963 NFL (National Football League)
Duration: September 14-December 29, 1963
Teams: 14
1963 NFL Draft: 280 selections (20 rounds), held in Chicago, IL.
1963 First Draft Pick: Terry Baker, Quarterback from Oregon State University (Los Angeles Rams)
1963 AP Most Valuable Player: Y. A. Tittle, Quarterback (New York Giants)
1963 NFL Championship Game: Chicago Bears (11-1-2) defeated New York Giants (11-3-0) 14-10 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL.
Prior to the season on April 17, NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle indefinitely suspended Green Bay Packers running back Paul Hornung and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras for gambling on their own teams, as well as other NFL games; Hornung and Karras would miss the entire season. In addition, five other Detroit players were fined $2,000 each for placing bets on one game in which they did not participate.
In Week 11 on November 24, just two days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the NFL played its normal schedule of games. League commissioner Rozelle said about playing the games: "It has been traditional in sports for athletes to perform in times of great personal tragedy. Football was Mr. Kennedy's game. He thrived on competition." Attendance at games went unaffected despite the assassination. Although the choice to play the games was protested, and Rozelle had also eventually regretted the decision, he stated that Kennedy's secretary, Pierre Salinger, had urged him to allow the games to be played.
However, the Eagles and Redskins had sought postponement of the games. Eventually, the game between the two teams in Philadelphia saw acts of kindness from both sides. Before the game, each of the Eagles players contributed $50 to the family of Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit, who was killed by the assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. After the game ended, players on the Redskins asked Coach Bill McPeak to send the game ball to the White House, thanking Rozelle for allowing the games to be played that weekend, saying that they were "playing...for President Kennedy and in his memory."
No NFL games were telecast, since on the afternoon of the 22nd, just after the president had been pronounced dead, CBS President Frank Stanton ordered that all regular programming be pre-empted until after Mr. Kennedy was buried. Normal programming, including the NFL, was replaced by non-stop news coverage, broadcast without commercials.
Both conference races were undecided until the final games of the regular season. In the Eastern, the Browns were 7–1–0 after eight games, but on November 10, the Browns lost 9–7 at Pittsburgh, while the Giants beat the Eagles 42–14, to tie New York and Cleveland at 7–2–0. When the Giants won again and the Browns lost, the former had the lead.
The Western race was close as well. The Bears were 5–0 and the Packers 4–1 entering Week 6; Green Bay won at St. Louis, 30–7, while Chicago lost 20–14 at San Francisco, tying the Bears and Packers for the lead at 5–1. Both teams continued to win, and then met in Chicago in Week 10 on November 17, where the Bears prevailed decisively, 26–7.
The Week 11 games took place two days after the Kennedy assassination. Although the fourth-year American Football Leage (AFL) postponed its schedule, the NFL chose to play, although the games were not televised due to round-the-clock network TV coverage of the assassination aftermath. The Giants lost at home to St. Louis, 24–17, while Cleveland beat visiting Dallas 27–17, to give the 3 teams identical 8–3–0 records. The Bears were losing at Pittsburgh, until Roger Leclerc kicked a field goal to get a 17–17 tie, and to stay half a game ahead of Green Bay.
In Week 12, Green Bay's win was denied when the Lions tied the game 13–13 with a last-minute touchdown in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day, while Chicago averted another loss by tying Minnesota 17–17 on Sunday. The 3-way tie in the East was pared down when Cleveland beat St. Louis 24–10, and New York won 34–27 over Dallas.
Week 13 saw both the Bears and Packers winning, while Cleveland lost to Detroit, 38–10. New York won 44–14 over Washington, but at 10–3–0, New York was trailed by Pittsburgh, which had an unusual 7–3–3 record, and the final game of the season would match the Steelers and Giants at Yankee Stadium.
Under the rules of the day (ties discarded), a Pittsburgh win over the Giants would have resulted with New York at 10–4–0 (.714) and the Steelers at 8–3–3 (.727) and the trip to the championship game. The Steelers had won the first meeting in Pittsburgh 31–0 on September 22. In a game that decided the conference title, New York beat Pittsburgh 33–17, and the Steelers fell to 4th in the East.
In the Western race, Green Bay needed to win on the road and for Chicago to lose at home. The Packers played Saturday at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco and beat the league-worst 49ers, 21–17. The Bears' 24–14 win over Detroit at Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon was announced to the Packers during their flight home, ending their pursuit of a 3rd consecutive title.
The 1963 NFL Championship Game featured familiar foes once again as the Bears and Giants competed in the title game. The Giants were making their 5th appearance in the previous 6 years. Meanwhile, the Bears were returning for the first time in 7 years, hoping to get their first title in 17 years, coincidentally enough both of those games were against the Giants. The game was played at Wrigley Field despite calls from the commissioner to move the game to Soldier Field. A total of 45,801 watched the 5th and final NFL title game to take place in Wrigley Field.
The Giants opened the scoring in the first quarter when Y.A. Tittle led New York on a 41-yard drive that was capped off by a 14-yard touchdown pass to Frank Gifford. The drive was set up by Billy Wade's fumble on the Bears' 41-yard line, which was recovered by former Bear Erich Barnes. However, later in the first period, Larry Morris hit Tittle's left knee with his helmet as the quarterback threw. The injured Tittle was much less effective for the rest of the game. After Del Shofner failed to hang onto a Tittle pass in the end zone, Morris then intercepted Tittle's screen pass and returned the ball 61 yards to the Giants 6-yard line. Two plays later, Wade scored a touchdown on a 2-yard quarterback sneak to tie the game at 7.
In the second quarter, the Giants retook the lead, 10–7, on a 13-yard field goal. But on New York's next drive, Tittle reinjured his left knee on another hit by Morris. With Tittle out for two possessions, the Giants struggled, only able to advance 2 yards in 7 plays. Allie Sherman even punted on third down, showing no confidence in backup Glynn Griffing. However, the score remained 10–7 at halftime.
Tittle came back in the third period, but he needed Cortisone, Novocaine, and heavy taping and bandaging just to continue. For the rest of the game, Tittle was forced to throw off his back foot (poor mechanics for a quarterback). An interception on another screen pass by the Bears' Ed O'Bradovich was brought deep into Giant territory, setting up Wade's 1-yard touchdown to give Chicago a 14–10 lead. The score would hold up, and the Bears iced the game on Richie Petitbon's interception in the end zone with 10 seconds left. It was Tittle's 5th interception. At the end of the game defensive coordinator George Allen was given the game ball due to his defense's spectacular play. Tittle was held to only 11 completions in 29 attempts, and the Bears superior scouting was shown by their success defending against the Giants' screen passes.
Although the young American Football League (AFL) was completing its 4th season, the NFL still regarded itself as the premiere professional league of American football, as reflected in WGN radio broadcaster Jack Quinlan's comment as the clock ticked to zero on the final play: "The Chicago Bears are world's champions of professional football!" It was another 22 before the Bears won another league championship in Super Bowl XX.
If you want to catch up, check the previous days to see some other history on the NFL’s 100 Years:
1920 APFA Season
1921 APFA Season
1922 NFL Season
1923 NFL Season
1924 NFL Season
1925 NFL Season
1926 NFL Season
1927 NFL Season
1928 NFL Season
1929 NFL Season
1930 NFL Season
1931 NFL Season
1932 NFL Season
1933 NFL Season
1934 NFL Season
1935 NFL Season
1936 NFL Season
1937 NFL Season
1938 NFL Season
1939 NFL Season
1940 NFL Season
1941 NFL Season
1942 NFL Season
1943 NFL Season
1944 NFL Season
1945 NFL Season
1946 NFL Season
1947 NFL Season
1948 NFL Season
1949 NFL Season
1950 NFL Season
1951 NFL Season
1952 NFL Season
1953 NFL Season
1954 NFL Season
1955 NFL Season
1956 NFL Season
1957 NFL Season
1958 NFL Season
1959 NFL Season
1960 NFL Season / 1960 AFL Season
1961 NFL Season / 1961 AFL Season
1962 NFL Season / 1962 AFL Season
1963 AFL Season
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Social chat app Capture launches to take a shot at less viral success

At first glance launching a new social app may seem as sensible a startup idea as plunging headfirst into shark-infested waters. But with even infamous curtain-ripper Facebook now making grand claims about a ‘pivot to privacy’ it’s clear something is shifting in the commercial shipping channels that contain our digital chatter.
Whisper it: Feeds are tiring. Follows are tedious. Attention is expiring. There’s also, of course, the damage that personal digital baggage left out in the open can wreak long after the fact of a blown fuse or fleeting snap.
Public feeds have become vehicles of self-promotion; carefully and heavily curated — which of course brings its own peer pressures to keep up with friends’ lux exploits and the influencer ‘gram aesthetic that pretends life looks like a magazine spread.
Yet for a brief time, in the gritty early years of social media, there was something akin to spontaneous, confessional reality on show online. People do like to share. That’s mostly been swapped for the polish of aspirational faking it on apps like Facebook-owned Instagram. While genuine friend chatter has moved behind the quasi-closed doors of group messaging apps, like Facebook-owned WhatsApp (or rival Telegram).
If you want to chat more freely online without being defined by your existing social graph the options are less mainstream friendly to say the least.
Twitter is genuinely great if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to find interesting strangers. But its user growth problem shows most consumers just aren’t willing (or able) to do that. Telegram groups also require time and effort to track down.
Also relevant in interest-based chat: Veteran forum Reddit, and game chat platform Disqus — both pretty popular, though not in a way that really cuts across the mainstream, tending to cater to more niche and/or focused interests. Neither is designed for mobile first either.
This is why Capture’s founders are convinced there’s a timely opportunity for a new social app to slot in — one which leverages smartphone sensors and AI smarts to make chatting about anything as easy as pointing a camera to take a shot.
They’re not new to the social app game, either. As we reported last year, two of Capture’s founders were part of the team behind the style transfer app Prisma, which racked up tens of millions of downloads over a few viral months of 2016.
And with such a bright feather in their cap, a number of investors — led by General Catalyst — were unsurprisingly eager to chip into Capture’s $1M seed, setting them on the road to today’s launch.

Point and chat

“The main idea behind the app is during the day you’ve got different experiences — working, watching some TV series etc, you’re sitting in an arena watching some sports, or something like that. So we imagine that you should open the app during any type of experience you have during the day,” says Capture co-founder and CEO Alexey Moiseenkov fleshing out the overarching vision for the app.
“It’s not for your friends; it’s the moment when you should share something or just ask something or discuss something with other people. Like news, for example… I want to discuss news with the people who are relevant, who want to discuss it. And so on and on. So I imagine it is about small groups with the same goal, discussing the same experience, or something like that. It’s all about your everyday life.”
“Basically you can imagine our app as like real-time forum,” he adds. “Real-time social things like Reddit. So it’s more about live discussion, not postponing something.”
Chat(room) recommendations are based on contextual inferences that Capture can glean from the mobile hardware. Namely where you are (so the app needs access to your location) and even whether you’re on the move or lounging around (it also accesses the accelerometer so can tell the angle of the phone).
The primary sensory input comes from the camera of course. So like Snap it’s a camera-first app, opening straight into the rear lens’ live view.
By default chats in Capture are public so it also knows what topics users are discussing — which in turn further feeds and hones its recommendations for chats (and indeed matching users).
Co-founder and CMO Aram Hardy (also formerly at Prisma) gives the example of the free-flowing discussion you can see unrolling in YouTube comments when a movie trailer gets its first release — as the sort of energetic, expressive discussion Capture wants to channel inside its app.
“It’s exploding,” he says. “People are throwing those comments, discussing it on YouTube, on web, and that’s a real pain because there is no tool where you can simply discuss it with people, maybe with people around you, who are just interested in this particular trailer live on a mobile device — that’s a real pain.”
“Everything which is happening around the person should be taken into consideration to be suggested in Capture — that’s our simple vision,” he adds.
Everything will mean pop culture, news, local events and interest-based communities.
Though some of the relevant sources of pop/events content aren’t yet live in the app. But the plan is to keep bulking out the suggestive mix to expand what can be discovered via chat suggestions. (There’s also a discovery tab to surface public chats.)
Hardy even envisages Capture being able to point users to an unfolding accident in their area — which could generate a spontaneous need for locals or passers by to share information.
The aim for the app — which is launching on iOS today (Android will come later; maybe by fall) — is to provide an ever ready, almost no-barrier-to-entry chat channel that offers mobile users no-strings-attached socializing free from the pressures (and limits) of existing social graphs/friend networks; as well as being a context-savvy aid for content and event discovery, which means helping people dive into relevant discussion communities based on shared interests and/or proximity.
Of course location-based chatting is hardly a new idea. (And messaging giant Telegram just added a location-based chats feature to its platform.)
But the team’s premise is that mobile users are now looking for smart ways to supplement their social graph — and it’s betting on a savvy interface unlocking and (re)channelling underserved demand.
“People are really tired of something really follower based,” argues Moiseenkov. “All this stuff with a following, liking and so on. I feel there is a huge opportunity for all the companies around the world to make something based on real-time communication. It’s more like you will be heard in this chat so you can’t miss a thing. And I think that’s a powerful shot.
“We want to create a smaller room for every community in the Internet… So you can always join any group and just start talking in a free way. So you never shared your real identity — or it’s under your control. You can share or not, it’s up to you. And I think we need that.
“It’s what we miss during this Facebook age where everybody is ‘real’. Imagine that it’s like a game. In a game you’re really free — you can express yourself what way you want. I think that’s a great idea.”
“The entry threshold [for Twitter] is enormous,” adds Hardy. “You can’t have an account on Twitter and get famous within a week if you’re not an influencer. If you’re a simple person who wants to discuss something it’s impossible. But you can just create a chat or enter any chat within Capture and instantly be heard.
“You can create a chat manually. We have an add button — you can add any chat. It will be automatically recognized and suggested to other users who are interested in these sort of things. So we want every user to be heard within Capture.”

How it works

Capture’s AI-powered chatroom recommendations are designed to work as an onboarding engine for meeting relevant strangers online — using neural networks and machine learning to do the legwork of surfacing relevant people and chats.
Here’s how the mobile app works: Open the app, point the camera at something you view as a conversational jumping off point — and watch as it processes the data using computer vision technology to figure out what you’re looking at and recommend related chats for you to join.
For example, you might point the camera around your front room and be suggested a chatroom for ‘interior design trends and ideas’ , or at a pot plant and get ‘gardeners’ chat, or at your cat and get ‘pet chat’ or ‘funny pets’.
Point the camera at yourself and you might see suggestions like ‘Meet new friends’, ‘Hot or not?’, ‘Dating’, ‘Beautiful people’ — or be nudged to start a ‘Selfie chat’, which is where the app will randomly connect you with another Capture user for a one-to-one private chat.
Chat suggestions are based on an individual user’s inferred interests and local context (pulled via the phone) and also on matching users across the app based on respective usage of the app.
At the same time the user data being gathered is not used to pervasively profile uses, as is the case with ad-supported social networks. Rather Capture’s founders say personal data pulled from the phone — such as location — is only retained for a short time and used to power the next set of recommendations.
Capture users are also not required to provide any personal data (beyond creating a nickname) to start chatting. If they want to use Capture’s web platform they can provide an email to link their app and web accounts — but again that email address does not have to include anything linked to their real identity.
“The key tech we want to develop is a machine learning system that can suggest you the most relevant stuff and topics for you right now — based on data we have from your phone,” continues Moiseenkov. “This is like a magical moment. We do not know who you are — but we can suggest something relevant.
“This is like a smart system because we’ve got some half graph of connection between people. It’s not like the entire graph like your friends and family but it’s a graph on what chat you are in, so where are you discussing something. So we know this connection between people [based on the chats you’re participating in]… so we can use this information.
“Imagine this is somehow sort of a graph. That’s a really key part of our system. We know these intersections, we know the queries, and the intersection of queries from different people. And that’s the key here — the key machine learning system then want to match this between people and interests, between people and topics, and so on.
“On top of that we’ve got recognition stuff for images — like six or seven neural networks that are working to recognize the stuff, what are you seeing, how, what position and so on. We’ve got some quite slick computer vision filters that can do some magic and do not miss.
“Basically we want to perform like Google in terms of query we’ve got — it’s really big system, lots of tabs — to suggest relevant chats.”
Image recognition processing is all done locally on the user’s device so Capture is not accessing any actual image data from the camera view — just mathematical models of what the AI believes it’s seen (and again they claim they don’t hold that data for long).
“Mostly the real-time stuff comes from machine learning, analyzing the data we have from your phone — everybody has location. We do not store this location… we never store your data for a long time. We’re trying to move into more private world where we do not know who you are,” says Moiseenkov.
“When you log into our app you just enter the nickname. It’s not about your phone number, it’s not about your social networks. We sometimes — when you just want to log in from other device — we ask you an email. But that’s all. Email and nickname it’s nothing. We do not know nothing about you. About your person, like where you work, who’s your friends, so on and so on. We do not know anything.
“I think that’s the true way for now. That’s why gaming is so fast in terms of growing. People just really want to share, really want to log in and sign up [in a way] that’s easy. And there is no real barriers for that — I think that’s what we want to explore more.”

Chatroulette

Having tested Capture’s app prior to launch I can report that the first wave chat suggestions are pretty rudimentary and/or random.
Plus its image recognition often misfires (for instance my cat was identified as, among other things, a dog, hamster, mouse and even a polar bear (!) — as well as a cat — so clearly the AI’s eye isn’t flawless, and variable environmental conditions around the user can produce some odd and funny results).

The promise from the founders is that recommendations will get better as the app ingests more data and the AI (and indeed Capture staff performing manual curation of chat suggestions) get a better handle on what people are clicking on and therefore wanting to talk with other users about.
They also say they’re intending to make better linkage leaps in chat suggestions — so rather than being offered a chatroom called ‘Pen’ (as I was), if you point the Capture camera at a pen, the app might instead nudge you towards more interesting-sounding chats — like ‘office talk’ or ‘writing room’ and so on.
Equally, if a bunch of users point their Capture cameras at the same pen the app might in future be smart enough to infer that they all want to join the same chatroom — and suggest creating a private group chat just for them.
On that front you could imagine members of the same club, say, being able to hop into the same discussion channel — summoning it by scanning a mutual object or design they all own or have access to. And you could also imagine people being delighted by a scanner-based interface linked to custom stuff in their vicinity — as a lower friction entry point vs typing in their directions. (Though — to be clear — the app isn’t hitting those levels of savvy right now.)
“Internally we imagine that we’re like Google but without direct query typing,” Moiseenkov tells TechCrunch. “So basically you do the query — like scanning the world around you. Like you are in some location, like some venue, imagine all this data is like a query — so then step by step we know what people are clicking, then improving the results and this step by step, month by month, so after three month or four month we will be better. So we know what people are clicking, we know what people are discussing and that’s it.”
“It’s tricky stuff,” he adds. “It’s really really hard. So we need lots of machine learning, we need lots of like our hands working on this moderating stuff, replacing some stuff, renaming, suggest different things. But I think that’s the way — that’s the way for onboarding people.
“So when people will know that they will open the app in the arena and they will receive the right results the most relevant stuff for this arena — for the concert, for the match, or something like that, it will be the game. That’s what we want to achieve. So every time during the day you open the app you receive relevant community to join. That’s the key.”
Right now the founders say they’re experimenting with various chat forms and features so they can figure out how people want to use the app and ensure they adapt to meet demand.
Hence, for example, the chatroulette-style random ‘selfie chat’ feature. Which does what it says on the tin — connecting you to another random user for a one-to-one chat. (If selfie chats do end up getting struck out of the app I hope they’ll find somewhere else to house the cute slide-puzzle animation that’s displayed as the algorithms crunch data to connect you to a serendipitous interlocutor.)
They’re also not yet decided on whether public chat content in Capture will persist indefinitely — thereby potentially creating ongoing, topics-based resources — or be ephemeral by default, with a rolling delete which kicks in after a set time to wipe the chat slate clean.
“We actually do not know what will be in the next one to three months. We need to figure out — will it be consistent or ephemeral,” admits Moiseenkov. “We need to figure out certain areas, like usage patterns. We should watch how people behave in our app and then decide what will be the feed.”
Capture does support private group chats as well as public channels — so there’s certainly overlap with the messaging platform Telegram, which also supports both. Though one nuance between them is Capture Channels let everyone comment but only admins post vs Telegram channels being a pure one-way broadcast.
But it’s on interface and user experience where Capture’s approach really diverges from the more standard mobile messaging playbook.
If you imagine it as a mash-up of existing social apps Capture could be thought of as something like a Snap-style front end atop a Telegram-esque body yet altogether sleeker, with none of the usual social baggage and clutter. (Some of that may creep in of course, if users demand it, and they do have a reactions style feature linked up to add in so… )
“With our tool you can find people not from your graph,” says Moiseenkov. “That’s the key here. So with WhatsApp it’s really hard to invite people not from your graph — or like friends of friends. And that’s a really tough question — where I can find the relevant people whom I chat about football? So now we add the tool for you in our app to just find these people and invite them to your [chat].”
“It’s really really hard not to like your friend’s post on Instagram because it’s social capital,” he adds. “You are always liking these posts. And we are not in this space. We do not want to move in this direction of followers, likers, and all this stuff — scrolling and endless communication.
“Time is changing, my life is changing, my friends and family somehow is changing because life is changing… We’re mobile like your everyday life… the app is suggesting you something relevant for this life [now]. And you can just find people also doing the same things, studying, discussing the same things.”

Community building

Why include private chats at all in Capture? Given the main premise (and promise) of the app is its ability to combine strangers with similar interests in the same virtual spaces — thereby expanding interest communities and helping mobile users escape the bubbles of closed chat groups.
On that Moiseenkov says they envisage communities will still want to be able to create their own closed groups — to maintain “a persistent, consistent community”.
So Capture has been designed to contain backchannels as well as open multiple windows into worlds anyone can join. “It’s one of opportunities to make this and I think that we should add it because we do not know exact scenarios right from the launch,” he says of including private conduits alongside public chats.
Given the multiple chat channels in the first release Capture does risk being a bit confusing. And during our interview the founders joke about having created a “maximal viable product” rather than the usual MVP.
But they say they’re also armed to be able to respond quickly to usage patterns — with bits and pieces lined up in the background so they can move quickly to add/remove features based on the usage feedback they get. So, basically, watch this space.
All the feature creep and experimentation has delayed their launch a little though. The app had been slated to arrive in Q4 last year. Albeit, a later-than-expected launch is hardly an unusual story for a startup.
Capture also of course suffers from a lack of users for people to chat to at the point of release — aka, the classic network effect problem (which also makes testing it prior to launch pretty tricky; safe to say, it was a very minimalist messaging experience).
Not having many users also means Capture’s chat suggestions aren’t as intelligent and savvy as the founders imply they’ll be.
So again the MVP will need some time to mature before it’s safe to pass judgement on the underlying idea. It does feel a bit laggy right now — and chat suggestions definitely hit and miss but it will be interesting to see how that evolves as/if users pile in.
Part of their plan is to encourage and nurture movie/TV/entertainment discussion communities specifically — with Hardy arguing there’s “no such tool” that easily supports that. So in future they want Capture users to be notified about new series coming up on Netflix, or Disney’s latest release. Then, as users watch that third party content, their idea is they’ll be encouraged to discuss it live on their mobiles via Capture.
But movie content is only partially launched at this stage. So again that’s all just a nice idea at this stage.
Testing pre-launch on various celebrity visages also drew a suggestive blank — and Hardy confirmed they’ve got more pop culture adds planned for the future.
Such gaps will likely translate into a low stickiness rate at first. But when the team’s ambition is to support a Google-esque level of content queries the scale of the routing and pattern matching task ahead of them is really both massive and unending.
To get usage off the ground they’re aiming to break the content recommendation problem down into more bite-size chunks — starting by seeding links to local events and news (sourced from parsing the public Internet); and also by focusing on serving specific communities (say around sports), and also linked to particular locations, such as cities — the latter two areas likely informed by in what and where the app gets traction.
They’ve also hired a content manager to help with content recommendations. This person is also in charge of “banning some bad things and all that stuff”, as they put it. (From the get go they’re running a filter to ban nudity; and don’t yet support video uploads/streams to reduce their moderation risk. Clearly they will need to be very ‘on it’ to avoid problem usage mushrooming into view and discouraging positive interactions and community growth within the app. But again they say they’re drawing on their Prisma experience.)
They also say they want this social app to be more a slow burn on the growth front — having seen the flip side of burn out viral success at Prisma — which, soon after flooding the social web with painterly selfies, had to watch as tech giants ruthlessly cloned the style transfer effect, reducing their novelty factor and pushing users to move on to their next selfie lens fix.
“As data-driven guys we’re mostly looking for some numbers,” says Moiseenkov when asked where they hope to be with Capture in 12 months’ time. “So I think achieving something like 1M or 2M MAU with a good retention and engagement loop by then is our goal.
“We want to keep this growth under control. So we could release the features step by step, more about engagement not more about viral growth. So our focus is doing something that can keep engagement loop, that can increase our spend time in the app, increase the usage and so on, not driving this into the peak and like acquiring all the trends.”
“Conclusions are drawn from Prisma!” adds Hardy with investor-winning levels of chutzpah.
While it’s of course super early to talk business model, the question is a valid one given Capture’s claims of zero user profiling. Free apps backed by VC will need to monetize the hoped for scale and usage at some point. So how does Capture plan to do that?
The founders say they envisage the app acting as a distribution tool. And for that use case their knowing (only) the timing, location and subject of chats is plenty enough data to carry out contextual targeting of whatever stuff they can get paid to distribute to their users.
They are also toying with models in a Patreon style — such as users being able to donate to content authors who are in turn distributing stuff to them via Capture. But again plans aren’t fully formed at this nascent stage.
“Our focus right now is more like going into partnerships with different companies that have lots of content and lots of events going on,” says Hardy. “We also are going to ask for permission to get access to music apps like Spotify or Apple Music to be aware of those artists and songs a person is interested in and is listening to. So this will give us an opportunity to suggest relevant new albums, maybe music events, concerts and so on and so forth.
“For example if a band is coming to your city and we know we have access to Apple Music we know you’re listening to it we’ll suggest a concert — we’ll say ‘hey maybe you can win a free ticket’ if we can partner… with someone, so yeah we’re moving into this in the near future I think.”
from Artificial Intelligence – TechCrunch https://ift.tt/2leHg4a
via IFTTT
submitted by craigbrownphd to DataIntelligence [link] [comments]

Weekly 0xgame update - 26.11.2018

Weekly 0xgame update

Date: 26.11.2018

Summary:

New match fixtures starting on Wednesday
The new set of match fixtures for this week (27.11.-03.12.2018) will be released on Wednesday, November 29th, 2018.
This postponement is due to 0xgame moving to one Master Smart Contract rather than having a smart contract for each separate fixture.
The full schedule will be published on our subreddit on Wednesday, November 29th.
No Verity x 0xgame achievements this week
Verity x 0xgame achievements will be paused, as we are investing our entire resources and energy on deploying the Master Contract.
Make sure to check the Verity Telegram and Discord for more information!
Master Contract planned to be released on Wednesday
The deployment of our new Master Contract alongside with some other website improvements are planned for Wednesday, November 29th, 2018.
This upgrade will resolve many of the problems which 0xgame users have experienced regarding syncing as well as greatly improve the speed of the entire website.
AdBlock doesn't play nice with our website
Unfortunately, it seems that some AdBlock extensions and potentially other browser extensions are blocking connections to our socket.
We are currently looking into it how to resolve this issue, but in the meantime, we kindly ask you to whitelist 0xgame in your adblockers or pause it when visiting 0xgame or using incognito windows without extensions (aside from MetaMask) when using 0xgame.
We will provide updates on this as soon as possible.
MetaMask x 0xgame Sync problems
If you are having problems with bets not appearing or not being claimable in the "My Bets" section. Please perform a hard resync by switching MetaMask accounts, networks (main net to Ropsten and back to main net), and refreshing your browser. If that does not work, please shut down your browser and restart it.
Such problems are much more likely to appear with the most recent beta version of MetaMask. So, we would recommend reverting back to the stable version. You can do so by either:
  1. Clicking on the account icon (the one which changes when you change ETH address), go into settings from the pull down and click on use old UI;
  2. Deleting MetaMask and installing it back up (make sure not to opt-in for the beta and save your seed phrase!)
New MetaMask privacy update
MetaMask published a new update today that introduced some privacy controls to every user. It addresses a privacy flaw that allowed malicious websites and dApps to detect and keep track of users wallets without the express permission of the user. You will now have to allow each dapp access before it can access your public key (wallet address) as a security measure.
You can read more about it on the MetaMask blog.
FAQ
submitted by EThorp32 to 0xgame [link] [comments]

DDoSing and the future of eSports.

Before I begin I'd like to make a small introduction; I am completely a new viewer of competitive CSGO matches (since this week) and I can 100% attribute this to the existence of CSGL. CSGL gives me the ability to keep up-to-date with upcoming matches, provides me a livestream of the matches, and even allows me to bet which sparks my interest to actually watch the match in the first place. I'm a moderately skilled player who has achieved the rank of Master Guardian Elite in valve matchmaking (currently a bit lower as I am making my return to the game after a few months inactivity), and I believe that watching these competitive matches is starting to positively impact my game as I am able to see effective use of nades and angle holding.
However, my first impressions of this scene seem to be a bit shaky due to the huge amount of DDoSing taking place in the LDLC v VP and NM v PD matches. There is no doubt that the DDoS attacks are occurring due to the matches being posted on CSGL - this is evident due to the fact that NM v PD was an amateur match which typically would go largely unnoticed let alone not attacked.
Should we be mad that CSGL is providing a platform to allow skin betting and show when matches are happening? Absolutely not. CSGL is an amazing service to have for the CSGO competitive scene and I can tell you this in my first-hand experience of never having followed the competitive scene before. It is also brilliant that they are giving exposure to amateur teams, and I'm sure that the amateur teams themselves approve of the exposure to hopefully give them motivation and the drive to become better players (a feeling of importance in their matches played).
From what I can notice, this subreddit is generating a lot of hate towards the admins of CSGL calling them "idiots" for not returning skins on the LDLC v VP match. I think we should all take a step back and think about what the role of CSGL is in regards to the bets. CSGL lets you know beforehand what teams will be playing and when, whether or not it's a 1 match stint or BO3 and show you the betting odds. Once a match is over they report the winning team, winners of the bets make a profit on skins and losers lose out on their betted skins. The key point here is they report the winning team. Yes LDLC won the match and DDoS had a huge impact on it, yet they still won the match...it is up to CSGL to report this win.
I'd like to illustrate something about betting which I'm sure you can all appreciate as I will use real life examples. Nobody owes anything to people who bet, not even if the match is fixed in anyway. Let's look at football (soccer) for example; if a referee gives away a penalty for a seemingly unnecessary cause and this action then goes on to influence the outcome of the match the people who bet cannot simply approach the bookies and say "this is unfair, without this cheating ref I would have won my bet, please either return my bet or give me the win". That simply is not how betting works in the real world guys. If you want eSports to be taken seriously then it should follow the constructs established in sports.
Another real life example of this happening would be the Froch v Groves fight a few months ago. The last round stoppage caused a lot of uproar as it seemed completely unnecessary. No returned bets here either.
At this point I would like to point out that I am not in anyway condoning the use of DDoS attacks, and I also find it completely unfair that matches are being influenced by DDoS - it is ruining my enjoyment of the matches played and not allowing for teams to play competitively under normal conditions.
Now I would like to draw your attention to last night's BO3 between NM and PD. People are now giving some praise to CSGL for postponing the match and returning skins. What you have to realise here is that it was the player's choice to not continue with the match, which then allows for the natural continuation of postponing the match on the website and returning the skins. CSGL provides a platform in which results are being reported, they should not provide a platform which alters the results.
I would now like to talk a bit about the impact of DDoS attacks and moving forward with the CSGO competitive scene. After last night's match of NM v PD it is clear that their is at least some power given to the players in regards to DDoS attacks ie. choosing to postpone a match due to the attacks. I think going forward with the battle against DDoS, power given to the players will be a vital part in making sure that future matches can not be so heavily influenced. I think it is clear to anyone that the choice to postpone the match was a better decision than to continue playing in seemingly unplayable circumstances.
It must now be becoming clear that something has to be done against these DDoS attacks. I would highly doubt it if the CSGO competitive scene would crumble due to DDoS attacks with no attempt to battle it. Increased player security will obviously be very important. It seems that the public can no longer be trusted with player's skype names (for instance) when there is the potential to bet skins on the matches.
This concludes my view, however my take-home message for you all is this: nobody owes you any return on your bet if the outcome of the match is skewed in any way due to cheating.
submitted by Hazzerone to csgobetting [link] [comments]

[Game Preview] Week 8 - Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) at Arizona Cardinals (5-1)

Philadelphia Eagles (5-1) at Arizona Cardinals (5-1)
Following the bye, the Eagles return to action as they square off against the NFC West leading Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. The Eagles and Cardinals have both won 15 of 22 regular season games dating back to the start of the 2013 season, which is tied for the third-highest win total in the NFC during that span trailing only Seattle (16) and San Francisco (16). Additionally, Philadelphia has won 12 of their last 14 regular season games.
Contests
Don't forget to enter the Score Prediction Contest!
The Eagles and Cardinals Rivalry
First Meeting: The Chicago Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles met on 11/10/1935 at Wrigley Field (Chicago, IL). The Cardinals won the game 12-3.
These former NFC East rivals have one of the closest and longest rivalries in the NFL. Amazingly after 115 games of football the series is 55-57-5 with the Cardinals having the lead. Their five ties is an NFL record. The Cardinals dominated this rivalry in the 1960's and 1970's while Eagles took control in the 1980's and 1990's. Since then the rivalry has been very close with the sides splitting the last ten games 5-5. There only playoff meeting was in the 2009 NFC Championship Game in which the Cardinals upset the Eagles and earn a place in the Super bowl.
Notable Rivalry Moments
December 28,1947 - 1947 NFL Championship Game - Chicago Cardinals (9-3) and Philadelphia Eagles (8-4) played for the NFL Championship at Comiskey Park in Chicago. It was the first time either team had made it to a championship game. The score went back and forth several times throughout the game, but the Cardinals ended up winning 28-21.
December 19, 1948 - 1948 NFL Championship Game (Philly Blizzard) - The game was a rematch of the previous year's championship game between the Chicago Cardinals (11-1) and Philadelphia Eagles (9-2-1). It was the first NFL championship game to be televised. The grounds crew at Shibe Park needed the help of players from both teams to remove the tarp from the field, because of the heavy snowfall. Bert Bell, commissioner of the NFL had considered postponing the game but the players for both teams wanted to play the game. The teams played a scoreless game until early in the fourth quarter when, after Chicago had fumbled in their own end of the field, the Eagles recovered the fumble that set up Steve Van Buren's five yard touchdown at 1:05 into the fourth quarter giving the Eagles the win with a score of 7-0. This game turned out be the Cardinals' last appearance in any NFL Championship game until Super Bowl XLIII. Ironically, the Cardinals would have to beat the Eagles in the 2009 NFC Championship Game to get to the Super Bowl.
January 18, 2009 - NFC Championship Game - The Cardinals raced out to a 24-6 halftime lead after the Eagles played a very sloppy 1st half. The Eagles rallied in the second half, finally scrapping their way to a 25-24 lead after a spectacular 62-yard touchdown pass to rookie DeSean Jackson with just more than 10 minutes remaining. The Cardinals responded with a touchdown drive of their own and regained the lead. The Eagles tried to make something happen but turned the ball back over to the Cardinals sealing the Eagles loss and keeping them from the Super Bowl.
Cardinals
Oh... a Cardinal That's Cute
Game Time Game Location
4:05 PM - Eastern University of Phoenix Stadium
3:05 PM - Central 1 Cardinals Dr
2:05 PM - Mountain Glendale, AZ 85305
1:05 PM - Pacific Wikipedia
Weather at Kickoff
Temperature: 87F
Feels Like: 87F
Humidity: 26%
Forecast: Mostly Cloudy
Chance of Precipitation: 0%
Wind: WSW at 8MPH (Dome)
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Spread: Cardinals by -2.5
OveUnder: 47.5
Record VS. Spread: Philadelphia 3-2-1, Arizona 4-2
Injury Reports
Eagles Injury Report
Cardinals Injury Report
Where to Watch on TV
FOX - Chris Myers and Ronde Barber
TV Map - TV Coverage Map
Internet Streams
Fox Sports Go - Participating TV provider required.
NFL Streams - Look here 30 minutes before the game for Streams
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-AM 1150 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Sunbury, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Harrisburg/York/Lancaster, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre / Scranton, PA WEZX-FM 106.9 and 107.3
Atlantic City, NJ WENJ-AM 97.3 FM/1450 AM
Milford, DE WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Station Eagles Channel Cardinals Channel
Sirius Radio 137 (Internet 823) 93 (Internet 800)
XM Radio Internet Only 823 227 (Internet 800)
Sirius XM Radio Internet Only 823 227 (Internet 800)
NFC East Standings
Team W L Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Cowboys 6 1 .857 196 147 49 22 3-1 3-0 1-0 1.000 4-1 .800 2-0 6W 5-0
Eagles 5 1 .833 183 132 51 21 4-0 1-1 2-0 1.000 3-1 .750 2-0 2W 4-1
Giants 3 4 .429 154 169 -15 19 2-1 1-3 1-2 .333 2-4 .333 1-0 2L 3-2
Redskins 2 5 .286 151 183 -32 17 2-2 0-3 0-2 0.000 0-4 0.000 2-1 1W 1-4
Series Information
Series Leader
Arizona Cardinals lead the Philadelphia Eagles (55-57-5)
On the Road, Eagles trail the Cardinals (27-30-2)
Points Leader
Philadelphia Eagles leads Arizona Cardinals (2469-2235)
Coaches Record
Chip Kelly: 1-0 against Cardinals
Bruce Arians: 0-1 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Chip Kelly leads Bruce Arians 1-0
Quarterback Record
Nick Foles: Against Cardinals: 1-0
Carson Palmer: Against Eagles: 0-1
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Nick Foles leads Carson Palmer: 1-0
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Eagles lead Cardinals (2-1)
Record @ University of Phoenix Stadium: Cardinals leads Eagles (2-0)
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 3 - Cardinals No. 5
Last Week
Cardinals: W 24-13 vs Raiders
Eagles: Bye Week
Last Meeting
December 1st, 2013
Philadelphia Eagles beat the Arizona Cardinals 24-21
Last Meeting Details
Click here to view the VIDEO RECAP
Click here to view the GAME BOOK RECAP
Date Winner Loser Score
12/01/2013 Eagles Cardinals 24-21
09/23/2012 Cardinals Eagles 27-6
11/13/2011 Cardinals Eagles 21-17
01/18/2009 Cardinals Eagles 32-25
11/27/2008 Eagles Cardinals 48-20
12/24/2005 Cardinals Eagles 27-21
11/17/2002 Eagles Cardinals 38-14
11/04/2001 Eagles Cardinals 21-7
10/07/2001 Cardinals Eagles 21-20
11/19/2000 Eagles Cardinals 34-9
Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Statmilk Match-up
Passing
Name CMP ATT PCT YDS TD INT RAT
Foles 141 237 59.5% 1628 10 7 82.0
Palmer 74 112 66.1% 807 6 1 101.3
Rushing
Name ATT YDS AVG TD
McCoy 116 422 3.6 1
Ellington 105 393 3.7 1
Receiving
Name REC YDS AVG TD
Maclin 27 445 16.5 4
Floyd 19 353 18.6 2
Sacks
Name Sacks Team Total
Barwin 6.0 19.0
Okafor 2.0 7.0
Tackles
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
Ryans 36 28 8 0.0
Jefferson 38 34 4 1.0
Interceptions
Name Ints Team Total
Jenkins 3 3
Powers 3 8
Punting
Name ATT YDS LONG AVG NET IN 20 TB FC BP
Jones 30 1321 61 44.0 39.0 14 2 6 0
Butler 20 869 61 43.5 36.8 8 2 6 1
Kicking
Name ATT MADE % LONG PAT
Parkey 12 13 92.3% 51 21/21
Catanzaro 15 15 100.0% 51 11/11
Kick Returns
Name ATT YDS AVG LONG TD
Polk 5 202 40.4 102 1
Ginn Jr. 6 98 16.3 21 0
Punt Returns
Name RET YDS AVG LONG TD FC
Sproles 18 280 15.6 82 1 6
Ginn Jr. 10 135 13.5 71 1 13
League Rankings
Offense Rankings
Team Overall Rushing Passing
Eagles 9 14 17
Cardinals 28 26 21
Defense Rankings
Team Overall Rushing Passing
Eagles 24 23 23
Cardinals 18 1 31
Connections
Eagles Defensive Coordinator Bill Davis spent four seasons with Arizona from 2007-10, including the last two as the team's defensive coordinator.
Eagles LB Emmanuel Acho is the brother of Arizona LB Sam Acho
Cardinals Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles spent one season in Philadelphia in 2012, first coaching the defensive backs before bbeing named the team's defensive coordinator for the final 10 games in 2012. A native of Elizabeth, NJ, Bowles starred collegiately at Temple University (1982-85) where he was a team captain as a senior under Cardinals head coach and former Temple head coach Bruce Arians
Cardinals Linebackers coach Mike Caldwell joined the team after a five year stint with the Eagles from 2008-2012. Caldwell also spent four years (1998-2001) with the Eagles during his NFL playing career.
Cardinals Offensive assistant David Diaz-Infante spent one season as an offensive lineman for the Eagles in 1999.
Cardinals Guard Paul Fanaika was originally drafted by the Eagles in 2009.
Cardinals Guard Earl Watford hails from Philadelphia and attended Simon Gratz High School.
Talking Points
From 1970-2001, the Eagles and Cardinals were division rivals in the NFC East and met 62 times during that span before Arizona moved to the NFC West in 2002.
Eagles and Cardinals both have won 12 of last 15 games, tied with Denver, New England for best mark in NFL over that span.
Although they are not division opponents, the Eagles and Cardinals will meet for a fourth straight season
For second year in row, Philadelphia is coming off bye to face Arizona and will be coming off a home win against a division opponent (last year they beat the Redskins, 24-16).
The Eagles are searching for their first win in Arizona since 2001. The Birds have lost three straight on the road against the Cardinals and have never won at University of Phoenix Stadium.
The Cardinals and Eagles are 3-0 at home this season. Cardinals, Eagles, Packers, Saints, Patriots, and Broncos are the only teams to not lose/tie at home.
Cardinals are 5-1 for first time since 1976
Eagles
Eagles D/ST leads NFL in forced fumbles (10) and have generated at least 1 turnover in the past 19-game. With seven non-offensive touchdowns (four special teams & three defensive) through just six games this season, the Eagles are one shy of tying the team record set in 1952.
LeSean McCoy (5,895) trails Brian Westbrook (5,995) by 100 yards for second the Eagles all-time rushing list. He is coming off of his 20th 100-yard game.
Nick Foles With his next 300-yard passing game, Foles (three) will move into a tie for the third-most in team history in a season and become the first QB to have four such games since Donovan McNabb in 2006.
Jeremy Maclin (30) needs one receiving touchdown to tie Jack Ferrante for 10th on the Eagles all-time receiving touchdowns list and two to tie DeSean Jackson and Ben Hawkins for eighth.
Brandon Graham and Trent Cole are tied for the league lead with three forced fumbles apiece.
Malcolm Jenkins is tied for 3rd in the NFL in interceptions (3)
Connor Barwin ranks 9th in the NFL in sacks (6.0)
Cardinals
Carson Palmer is 10-2 in his last 12 starts
Cardinals Defense only team in NFL not to allow an opponent to rush for 100 yards. They rank No. 1 against the run through Week 7, allowing just 3.15 yards per carry and 72.5 yards per game on the ground
Chandler Catanzaro is 15 for 15 on field goals. If he makes his next one he will break Greg Zuerlein's rookie record for consecutive FGs to begin a season
Larry Fitzgerald has caught a pass in 151 consecutive games. Against the Eagles he has a total of 10 touchdowns -- the most he's scored against any non-division opponent.
Random Fact of the Week
The Kevin Kolb Trade - In 2011 the Eagles traded QB Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals for their 2012 second-round pick and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Both Kolb and DRC struggled for their new teams, but the Eagles still got the upper hand in the trade. The Eagles ended up trading the 2nd round pick to the Green Bay Packers for which they got the Packer's 2nd round pick and their 4th round pick. Those two selections turned into Vinny Curry and Brandon Boykin.
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If you backed a postponed match in a treble bet, the bet will revert to a double on the remaining 2 selections. If 2 out of 3 selections are postponed, the bet reverts to a single. If all selections are postponed, the bet is void and stake will be refunded. At first place, we need to explain the difference between postponed and abandoned matches. A match is postponed or cancelled when is delayed for any reason before it starts. For example, due to rain or weather conditions. In an abandoned match, however, the football game starts but before the completion of 90 minutes play, it got abandoned. Sports betting odds at Ladbrokes Sports. View for tips, available match odds, live-results and more. Promotion in circumstances where your accumulator bet is still made up of 5 or more qualifying selections when the postponed or void selections are removed. 1-2-FREE Homepage In-Play Betting Horse Racing Football Today's Football Matches What can I bet on in football? Which bookmaker is the best for me? What do I have to consider when betting live? Read here & bet more successfully on football. If the fixture in question is postponed before the game is due to kick-off the following bookmakers will all treat this as a void selection: Coral, Sky Bet, bet365, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Betfred. For any other bookmakers, check their accumulator terms and conditions as to what happens if a game is postponed on an accumulator.

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