Archive | July 2013

What if other athletes played baseball? The all-pro lineup!

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Happy Deadline Day everybody!!

The MLB trade deadline is a July sports staple everyone looks forward to (behind the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest of course). Rumors are swirling, and fans are learning whether their team is going to go for an October run, stand pat, or invest in the future.

(Reminder: Trade deadline is 4:00PM. Follow Spogo on Twitter for updates!)

Whenever I think of trade deadlines, I think of what would happen if inter-sport trades were possible. Then I wonder: “what would happen if another league’s all stars played baseball?” Well, here’s what we came up with if we could field a baseball team of other professional athletes. And the batting order is…

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1. Calvin Johnson (Center field). The ideal leadoff man. Great eyes, great hands, and lots of speed. Megatron could get 80 steals and never drop a fly ball in center field. (Also, check it this video of Megatron hitting a home run at Tiger’s batting practice!)

2. Chris Paul (2nd base). He’d be great at turning double plays.

3. Lebron James (3rd base). Always put your best hitter third in the order. A true five-tool baseball player.

4. Adrian Peterson (Left field). True power comes from one’s lower body strength, and nobody’s got more power from his legs than AP. The next great slugger batting cleanup.

5. Zdeno Chara (Right field). Huge slap shot = monster power. Look for Chara to rake in the RBI’s batting after AP.

6. Dwight Howard (1st base). Huge body and wide shoulders makes him a large target to throw to at 1st base.

7. Henrik Lundqvist (Catcher). Not a single pass ball all season.

8. Kobe Bryant (Shortstop). Coming off an injury so his mobility may not be what it once was, but still a productive clubhouse veteran.

9. Tom Brady (Pitcher). Strong arm and very accurate, Tom Brady is a perennial Cy Young candidate every season.

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And just for fun, when this team plays in American League ballparks, Vince Wilfork will be the designated hitter, and Darren Sproles will pinch-run for him.

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Some Surprises From Twitter

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For those who follow @PlaySpogo on Twitter, you know we’ve been tweeting up a storm recently. (And for those who aren’t, go follow us right now!) We love reaching out to sports fans on Twitter and jumping into the conversation.

However, as is common with Twitter, things sometimes are not what we expect them to be. Here are some examples we’ve noticed:

1. #Patriots is only sometimes talking about football.

Most tweets using the hashtag #Patriots are about New England football. But a lot of them aren’t. A lot of them are from hardcore conservatives…

2. A lot of Red Sox tweeters speak Spanish.

Baseball is a global game, and a lot of baseball players come from Spanish speaking countries, so it makes sense that there are a lot of Spanish speakers who are fans. But in taking a quick look through #RedSox, nearly 20% of the tweets were in Spanish! How bout them manzanas? (That’s a Spanish word, look it up).

According to Google translate, the above tweet translates to: “Outstanding player, a Warrior with blood #RedSox an honor for us to have in the Nation for Life! Let’s Go Red Sox…”. No matter the language, people are happy in that Red Sox 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia has signed a lengthy contract extension.

3. The personal touch of a robot

In the Twitter world, some people believe it’s polite to thank users who follow them. It’s nice and it gives a personal touch. However, several times now after following someone, we’ve been sent a direct message from an obvious robot that reads something along the lines of “Thanks for following me. Please check out my YouTube page … – via justunfollow.com”. Doesn’t that give you the warm feeling of a real person welcoming you into their lives?

On another note, we’re getting excited about launch! Are you? We’ll be beta-testing Spogo soon. Please email me at harry@playspogo.com if you would like to participate. And remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

P.S. Feel free to tweet at us anytime. We know you’re out there and want to talk sports!

True Life: I am a Spogo Intern

I’m sure by now many of you are wondering what it is exactly that keeps this machine called Spogo running fluidly and flawlessly. The answer is obviously ME. I am the intern, also known as Spogo’s engine.  Read on for an exclusive glimpse into my daily life:

1) My day starts by being woken up on my sister’s couch by her cat Jangles, and then her telling me I stink and that I’m ruining her couch.

2) I have my breakfast then begin my 10-minute walk to Spogo Headquarters. I stroll in around 10:05 am (yes, I know the hours are brutal) and awkwardly say “hi” to everyone.

3) Andrew offers me some coffee but, before I even get settled in, he has already polished off the little that was remaining in the pot.  He has now likely already consumed his 5th cup.

 

4) I then proceed to pull up excel and mentally prepare myself to stare at it for the next 6 hours. You may say my work is unimportant.  I say otherwise.

5) I’ll often reward myself with an almond for every sporting event I add to our Spogo calendar.  Just yesterday, I added the entire NFL schedule.  That’s a lot of almonds.

6) After completing my daily tasks, I head to the door and say my goodbyes.  As I exit, whispers of praise of my excellent work are heard, but not acknowledged.

This is the true life of a Spogo intern.  The last one in, the first one out.  And the most important cog in the machine.

3 Things We’ve Learned Testing Spogo

Hey Spogo-verse, get excited!!

Testing is underway for the new version of Spogo, which is on track to launch this summer! We’ve been simulating Spogo gameplay with baseball games on TV and here are some interesting things I’ve learned:

1. Baseball is fun to watch! (Yup, I said it.)

Now many of us love baseball, but when is the last time you can say you watched all NINE innings of a game? We can all admit that sometimes it’s just a little slow. But if you Spogo during the game, it starts to fly! From making wagers on who will score next, to predicting how many strikeouts a pitcher will throw or if a mid-game brawl will break out…there’s always something happening.

2. Game Master Zen:

One of my favorite parts about Spogo is that it feels like my bar buddy. The questions have personality, and FLAIR. Some of you may be wondering how we make that happen. Well, there’s always a live “Game Master” behind each game. I’ve taken on the role of lead Game Master, and it’s a blast, but it takes a lot of focus.  According to my calculations, Game Mastering is 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to MASTER THE GAME!

3. Channel your inner Simon Cowell:

When testing, you’re suddenly a critic, designer, expert, guesser, and techie all at once. You take note of EVERY little bug, and are constantly thinking about how to improve gameplay features. No issue is too small to not be called out. Simon Cowell would be proud! (But he’d probably still insult us).

We’re getting pumped about our upcoming launch. We hope you are too! Make sure to follow us for updates on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

4. Who wants to help us test?!?

If you think you might be interested in helping us test Spogo in the upcoming weeks, please shoot me an email at harry@playspogo.com.

The Top 5 Sports Stories From Last Week

Hopefully everyone had a fun 4th of July weekend! Let’s start off the week right by recapping the top 5 stories in sports from last week.

1. Murray wins Wimbledon: Finally, the British claim a Wimbledon title. Murray defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets to the delight of the home crowd. Marion Bartoli won on the women’s side.

2. NBA Free Agency: Or in the words of ESPN, “Where in the world is Dwight Howard?” Well, it’s official. Howard is going to Houston to play for the Rockets. Meanwhile Andre Iguodala signed with the Golden State Warriors and Manu Ginobili is staying with the Spurs. More decisions expected to be made this week with signings becoming official on Wednesday.

 

3. NHL Free Agency: NHL free agency is underway, but this year’s big stories were the trades. The Bruins traded Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley, and a prospect to Dallas for Loui Eriksson and three prospects. Meanwhile, the Senators acquired Bobby Ryan from Anaheim. The big free agent signings were Nathan Horton to Columbus, Jarome Iginla to Boston, and Daniel Alfredsson to Detroit.

4. Joey Chestnut’s record: 69 hot dogs in ten minutes! Joey “Jaws” Chestnut remains the eating champion of the world as he broke his own record at the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog eating contest.

 

5. MLB All-Star game selections: Here’s the list! It’s fun to argue who was snubbed (Stephen Strasburg) and who maybe shouldn’t have made it (Clay Bucholz, injured since June 8th).

Enjoy the week everyone! Remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

 

The Five Most Patriotic Moments In American Sports

In honor of Independence Day tomorrow, and for your patriotic viewing pleasure, here are some of Spogo’s favorite American moments in sports history:

5. Landon Donovan’s goal in the 2010 World Cup:

Let’s face it, soccer isn’t that big in the United States. But in 2010, with the US team on the brink of elimination, Landon Donovan broke a 0-0 tie in stoppage time to give team USA the win, advancing them past the pool round. Donovan’s goal gave Americans a reason to be proud of and excited about their national team.

 

4. Fans react to the death of Osama:

On May 2nd, 2011, while the Phillies were playing the Mets on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, news broke that SEAL Team 6 had successfully killed Osama Bin Laden. Good luck not getting chills:

 

3. Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympics:

With the Nazis in power at this time, Hitler attempted to use the Olympics to showcase the superiority of the Germans (and the Aryan race). Meanwhile, proud African-American Jesse Owens had different plans. Owens won the gold medal in the 100 meter dash, 200 meter dash, the long jump, and the 400 meter relay.

2. A Boston Strong National Anthem:

I was lucky enough to be a part of this Garden crowd. The Marathon tragedy was devastating, but this anthem was extremely symbolic of the unifying spirit that brought Boston together during such a difficult time.

 

1. The Miracle on Ice:

The 1980 US Olympic hockey team stunned the world by pulling off a heroic upset over the heavily favored Soviet team in the semifinals. They followed that win with a win over Finland to capture the gold, but the Cold War-era victory over the Soviet Union is truly one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Watch every goal from that game:

 

Plus Al Michael’s famous “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?!?” call in the final seconds of the game:

 

Honorable Mentions:

Mike Piazza’s game winning home run after 9/11, NFL player Pat Tillman enlisting in the Army to serve his country in Afghanistan, and the Patriots pre-game ceremony honoring the Andruzzi brothers, who were New York City firefighters, following 9/11.

Have a happy 4th of July everyone!

The 8 Most Important Sports Stories of Last Week

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Patrice Bergeron may be the toughest athlete in sports

With so much happening in the world of sports, it’s nice to start each week by looking back at the previous week. If it looks like we may be leaning towards Boston and New York, it’s all in your head. Don’t worry Boston, we’ll ignore this small Stanley Cup related news story.

 1. Aaron Hernandez arrested for murder:

Aaron Hernandez was arrested and charged with first degree murder in the death of Odin Lloyd. The Patriots immediately cut the pro-bowl caliber Tight End, and are now offering a free swap from the Pro-Shop to any fan who wants to trade in their Hernandez jersey.

2. Wimbledon Week 1:

It’s the year of the Upset at Wimbledon. Nadal got bounced in the first round, Federer in the second round, and now Serena Williams has just been upset in the fourth round. Will this finally be Andy Murray’s year to give the British a win?

3. Celtics SELL SELL SELL!!:

Doc Rivers decided to go to LA to coach the Clippers, netting the Celtics a 2015 first round pick. Then GM Danny Ainge traded Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to the Brooklyn Nets for what seems like half of their roster and three future first round picks. Celtics fans already want the team to #TankForWiggins.

4. NHL and NBA Drafts:

Anthony Bennett was the surprise 1st overall pick Thursday by the Cleveland Cavaliers in a draft that saw a lot of trades and surprising picks. Sunday’s NHL draft  saw Nathan MacKinnon picked 1st overall by the Colorado Avalanche. Former Celtics player Popeye Jones’ son, Seth Jones, was drafted 4th overall.

5. Vancouver and New York Coaching Switcheroo:

Both the Canucks and Rangers have hired each other’s former coaches. Alain Vigneault will be the new coach of the New York Rangers and John Tororella will be the new coach of the Vancouver Canucks. Everyone involved is hoping that the change of scenery will be enough to get these coaching veterans winning in the playoffs again.

6. Where will Dwight Go?:

Sources say Chris Paul has agreed to a new 5 year $107 million dollar deal with the LA Clippers, so that leaves Dwight Howard as the big name as NBA free agency starts today. The Lakers are trying hard to keep him, but the two Texas teams, Dallas and Houston, are also rumored to be heavily in the running.

7. A-Rod Saga:

First A-rod tweets that he’s okay to play. Brian Cashman tells him to “shut the f$#! up”. A-Rod says that he’s upset with the Yankees not wanting him to play. Then he says he might not be able to play all season for health reasons. The Yankees are slipping too, and may find themselves with a rare lost season.

8. Bergeron’s toughness:

This has to be on this list. The Boston Bruins may have lost the Stanley Cup, but the legend of Patrice Bergeron shall live on. Bergeron played in the Stanley Cup Finals with broken ribs, torn cartilage, a separated shoulder, and a punctured lung. Hercules on skates.

This was quite an eventful week to say the least. Follow @playspogo on Twitter to keep up with the world of sports, and don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

Also, stay tuned for news on the launch of the next version of Spogo. It’s almost time to start playing and winning some great rewards!

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