Cardinals accused of hacking rival, Warriors of crimes against the art of shooting free throws; good ratings for Women’s WC
Morning Brief: It’s summer and better to talk about things other than digital publishing – like sports, vacations, wine, food, anything but media please!
It’s summer, and sports news is dominating. Which, when you think about it, is better than war, tech or celebrity nonsense (though I suppose one could argue that sports news is all about celebrity nonsense).
The St. Louis Cardinals are now at the center of a hacking controversy. They are being accused of hacking into the network used by the Houston Astros in order to steal scouting reports, discussions about possible trades, etc.
The Cardinals and the Astros used to be in the same division, but the Astros moved to the American League as part of a realignment that still feels odd. So the reason for the supposed hack was not to beat a rival. Instead, the motiviation, it is said, is that a Cardinal executive had moved over to the Astros and the Cardinals wanted to either 1) know if that exec had taken information from the Cardinals, or 2) to get a bit of revenge.
In the end, one bets this is all much ado about nothing. Like a Cardinal employee is responsible and will be disciplined. But now that both the basketball season and hockey season are over, baseball is centerstage, so this will remain big news… for a few weeks (then preseason football begins).
The Golden State Warriors last night defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers to capture their first title in 40 years. Sadly, I am old enough to remember Rick Berry shooting free throws underhanded (love those shorts, by the way).
As a Bay Area sports fan I should be excited about the long awaited Warriors triumph, but I find watching NBA basketball rather painful these days. The winning team shot 62 percent from the foul line, and the final game featured so many wild shots and turnovers that one wondered how either team would fair if forced to play some of the teams playing in European leagues.
But most fans found the series exciting as it pitted two of the league’s premier players: LeBron James and Stephen Curry.
But the best part of the series, besides the Bay Area team winning, was that Andre Iguodala won the award for Most Valuable Player. The obvious choice for me was LeBron James, without him Cleveland would have been swept (they played the series without two of their best players). Iguodala played very well, but the real interesting thing was that he didn’t even start any of the first three games, and was not a starter during the season. It is, indeed, rare for a role player to be recognized as MVP.
Oh, and by the way, Iguodala shot 40 percent from the foul line last night, for the whole postseason be made only 27 of 65 attempt. Yikes, modern basketball.
Meanwhile, the Women’s World Cup continues and Fox Sports is doing a good job of providing coverage, often airing the U.S. in prime time.
Early on, ratings are up 73 percent versus the 2011 Women’s World Cup. Better yet, the Friday game between the U.S. and Sweden was the highest rated broadcast in its time slot (the game ended in a 0-0 draw). Best of all, it delivered the 18-49 year old audience advertisers wanted.
Soccer is popular in the U.S., despite claims to the contrary. It’s just a big country, with lots of different kinds of sports fans (witness the growth of lacrosse). Young sports fans appear to like variety and may be consuming sports the way they do media: in smaller portions, when and where they want it.