F1: The Final Four Races

The top two racers, Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso are separated by just six points. This will make for a fantastic finish to the season, so I’d recommend picking up F1 now as the excitement of every race will be addictive!

OK so here’s the preview:

India – Last year was the first race held at the Indian circuit. Sebastian Vettel won. Considering how Seb has won the last three races (Singapore, Japan and Korea) I’d place him as a favourite to win this one too. Depending on how well Alonso can do, even if he finished in second place, the gap in points will likely widen to 13 points.

Abu Dhabi – One of the most fascinating circuits in F1. Sebastian Vettel wiped out on the first corner and Lewis Hamilton wound up winning. This race is always tricky to predict because it suits many styles of driving. If Vettel wins India, Alonso will have to be very aggressive.

United States – The Inaugural Austin, Texas GP. Nobody can predict this one, although the high speed cornering and long straights should suit Vettel and the Red Bull cars. The championship could be decided here. My thoughts are that Vettel finishes higher than Alonso, and the points gap widens, but the championship is not awarded.

Brazil – Let’s hope that the championship can be determined at the last race of the season. It would make for fantastic Television! This circuit is quick, and windy, with only a narrow section of straight track! Vettel will take this one. Just a hunch :)

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Hockey, F1 and Headlines – That’s it.

From now on, I’m writing about what’s closer to my heart:

First and foremost, Hockey. Yes, I’m Canadian, but that doesn’t mean we all like Hockey. It’s my job to keep the fringe Hockey fans informed of all the major headlines so that they may keep up with their sports buddies.

Second, Formula One. This one is unusual, but I’m way into this, and I have reasons to believe you should too.

Third, the biggest headlines. I must admit that I’m a fringe fan of most sports, and only an expert in two (and I’m sure there are people who are much more insanely interested in Hockey and F1 than I am). I like to know what happens in sports, so I read the headlines. I’ll update you on the most conversational so that you may keep up with your jock friends.

So there it is…ShortSport – Hockey, F1, & Headlines. That’s what I’m best at, so why waste any time writing about others? There are many excellent bloggers out there reporting on everything you’d care to know about. Here, you’ll get what’s closer to my heart. It will be honest writing, it will be detailed and in-depth. It will allow you to become an expert in no time. And most importantly it will allow you to keep up with everyone else.

Happy Reading.

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The NHL Trade Deadline Overview

In one weeks time the airwaves in Canada will be frenzied with reports, rumours and rabid blabber. All of it will be related directly to who has been or may be traded.

For the last few years on TSN present over 8 straight hours of coverage of the trade deadline, and the last two deadline days featured mid-level trades or basically no excitement at all.

This year the scenario is different, and here’s an overview for you as you head into NHL trade deadline week:

A Change in Attitudes:

  • This year in particular, many NHL General Managers are having a hard time completing deals before the trade deadline.
  • Many NHL GM’s prefer not to make a last-minute trade for fear of making a rash decision.
  • The Collective Bargaining Agreement expires this year and many cash-strapped teams may be weary of taking on large contracts.
A Preview of the Week Ahead:
  • Defencemen are in short supply, and are extremely valuable for any team wanting to contend.
  • Some teams will make trades this week to try and prevent making mistakes next Monday. Watch for some trade news this week.
  • “Rick Nash to Toronto”, “Gretzky to Un-Retire”, “Mario Lemieux traded to Minnesota” - you will hear silly headlines, especially in Toronto. Keep a cool head and don’t react to these messages.
Why this year’s trade deadline is one to pay attention to:
  • Rick Nash is a winger for Columbus Blue Jackets. He’s one of the best players to be listed as available in the past few years.
  • A typical trade for a good player involves three items: a (usually younger) player who can play in their next game, a young prospect with potential, and a draft pick (typically a 1st or 2nd rounder).
  • For Nash, expect two players, a prospect, and a very high draft pick (1st round guaranteed).
There will be quite the list of players moved. Trade deadlines often involve 20-25 separate trades so there’s always something to pay attention to. ShortSport will keep you updated with all of the trade news! Check @ShortSportBlog for more information.
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Who in the world is Yu Darvish?

  • Yu Darvish is a 25 year old, 6’5 baseball pitcher of Japanese and Iranian descent who has 7 pitches in his arsenal
  • And has posted an average ERA of 1.99 and WHIP of 0.98 during his 7 years of professional ball in Japan playing for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.
  • He has expressed a desire to play in the MLB but because he has one year remaining on his existing contract, he must go through the Posting process in order to transfer to the Majors.

OK Slow down there, ShortSport…What is the posting process?

  1. -        Every MLB team had until 5pm Dec 14thto submit their sealed bid to the MLB head office  in order to win negotiating rights with Darvish.-        The bid money is kept by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters as compensation for losing Darvish.

    -        Once the 5pm deadline has passed and bids are submitted, MLB head office will inform the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of the dollar figure of the highest bid. The identity of the winning bidder remains unknown to the Ham Fighters.

    -        The Ham Fighters have until Tues, Dec 20th to accept or reject the bid. Upon acceptance, the winning MLB team has 30 days to agree to contract terms with Yu Darvish and his agents.

    -        If the MLB team and Darvish cannot come to terms, he remains with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham fighters and the bid money is returned to the MLB team. Darvish will then be ineligible to play in the MLB until the following season when he will become a free agent. No other MLB team will be able to acquire his services in the event the bid is returned.

OK so now what?
Well, the Toronto Blue Jays are considered the front runners for Darvish’s services. We will find out shortly what team has officially submitted the highest bid. Keep checking ShortSport for further updates.
- Vic Deng (Guest Writer for ShortSport)
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NHL Realignment – What Changed?

Since the Atlanta Thrashers re-located and became the Winnipeg Jets, the NHL has debated on how to re-align the teams. The main issues were excessive travel for the west coast teams, and what to do geographically. Here’s their solution:

  1. The NHL now has four conferences with seven teams in two and eight teams in two.
  2. They are all geographically located.
  3. Each team plays each team twice (up from a minimum of once per year).
  4. Playoff format will shift (slightly).
  • 1. The four conferences have yet to be named. They are listed in this link.  This alleviates some west coast to east coast travel.
  • 2. A closer inspection reveals that the four divisions are aligned based on their time-zone (Eastern Standard, Central and West).
  • 3. Previously NHL teams would only play each other a minimum of once. Now that it’s a minimum of twice. This also ensures that NHL stars like Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin play in every hockey market in the NHL (i.e. increased exposure and revenue).
  • 4. The playoff format will be as follows: top four teams from the four conferences will play each other in the opening two rounds. Then, for the third and fourth rounds, the teams will play based on regular-season records (1st plays 4th, 2nd plays 3rd ).
What you can say: You love that you’ll get to see every team at least twice. You’ll also love the increased inter-geographical area match ups (usually they create great rivalries). Finally, the playoff format will be exciting as new match ups will be created that previously would not have happened ever.
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Formula One TV Ratings Obliterate SuperBowl Record

2011 ShortSport Prediction: Mark Webber

2011 Champion: Sebastian Vettel

So? Who cares…

Vettel is the most popular athlete that you’ve never heard of. When you think of dominant sports figures (Gretzky, Crosby, Ali, Woods), Formula One drivers never make the cut. Sebastian Vettel should be on that list. At 24, he’s the youngest record holder for virtually every record F1 has.

Who? Still, why should I care?

Every race weekend, Formula One is watched by 500 Million viewers (PER DAY). That’s taking the largest Superbowl TV audience ever recorded, and multiplying it by five (and you’d still fall short by a few million).

So, again, take note of Sebastian Vettel. You might be able to impress someone.

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New NBA Labour Deal – The Fine Print Explained

So after 149 days of a work stoppage, who won? The NBA Team Owners did.

  1. Owners now split revenues with players 50/50 (previously 43/57). Owners increase revenue to $2 Billion/year ($300 million increase/year).
  2. “Amnesty Clause” – one player per team (signed before the CBA) may be let go without penalty. This means that if you’ve overpaid for a player, you can essentially fire them without paying the rest of their contract (previously you’d have to trade them or wait out their contract). The coolest part of this is that for any player who is let go, the rest of the teams may bid for his services (like an auction).
  3. Luxury Tax – The former deal saw $1 tax for every $1 spent over the salary cap (If salary cap was $50 million, and you spent $51 million, you’d pay $1 million tax). Tax penalties now increase for every $5 million increments above the maximum ($1.50, $1.75, $2.50, $3.25, etc…). This amount also increases for any team who overspends for four years in a row.
  4. Stretch Provision – contracts can be waived (bought out) and ‘stretched’ across twice the remaining length of contract plus one year. If your contract is for one year at $3 million per season, and a team bought you out, you’d be paid $1 Million each year for three seasons. Two years would become five, and three years would become seven.
I hope that helps! This stuff gets complicated, so I’ve focused on the major points. For an in-depth breakdown check this ESPN article.
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NBA Lockout Over – Players & Owners Sign Tentative Deal

The Lowdown:

  1. Tentative deal is in place – i.e., the real CBA has not been signed yet.
  2. 10 year deal, but at year 6 the players or the owners may opt out.
  3. NBA Players Union must re-certify before the deal can be signed.
  4. Season will begin on Christmas Day, December 25th
  5. Training camps open December 9th, same for free agency signing.
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Crosby Returns After Missing 320 Days Due to Concussion

What happened? Sidney Crosby was out due to concussion since January 5th. Now, he’s playing his first game this season.

What now? He will return tonight to play vs. the New York Islanders and there will be a media frenzy! Read up on your ShortSport herehere and here.

Storylines to follow:

  1. His first check – how gingerly will he play in this game considering his concussion history? How gingerly will the players be on Sidney? Although the opponents may say that they will still play fast and hard against Crosby, nobody wants to be known as the one to end his career.
  2. Concussions in the NHL – this will re-ignite the discussion about concussions in the NHL again. Watch for people to compare Crosby’s recovery period to that of other previously concussed players.
  3. The ratings boost – Canada’s CBC has picked up the Canadian rights for the game, which previously would not have been broadcast had it not been for Crosby’s return. Look for a media frenzy tonight, and tomorrow online, on the radio, in the newspaper, and certainly from everyone’s discussions tomorrow morning.
Your advice:
  • Remember that everyone in Canada will have an opinion on this. Again, make sure you’ve read up on his past events as reported on ShortSport here, here and here . Also, be sure to watch the game at 7PM Eastern time to catch all the buzz, and to watch Crosby’s first few shifts to see how he does.
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NBA Anti-Trust Lawsuit Fact: Triple Damages

Hypothetically, if the National Basketball Players Association takes the NBA to court and wins their case under the anti-trust laws, they are entitled to triple damages.

Whats that? Triple damages is simple…you win, you receive triple the amount you’ve lost whilst fighting the lawsuit.

How much are we talking? Well, supposing the entire NBA season is cancelled, the players would lose $2 billion of salary revenue. And supposing they win the court case, they’re entitled to $6 billion in damages.

Thats a lotta dough! That is, only if the above scenarios play out exactly as planned…the same can also go for the league.

Looking forward: Neither side can afford that, so expect this to be settled outside the courtroom.

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