Well we’re back after a longer than planned hiatus so I hope everyone had a happy and safe holidays! I won’t try to catch up on all the news we missed and instead just pick up with the biggest news this week.
We start with this crazy comparison between the two oldest QB’s to throw a TD pass in postseason history. Tom Brady looks at least 15 years younger than George Blanda here and yet is actually the older one…
Mets make first blockbuster trade of Cohen era (per ESPN)
The New York Mets acquired four time All Star shortstop Francisco Lindor and pitcher Carlos Carrasco from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for infielders Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, right-handed pitcher Josh Wolf and outfielder Isaiah Greene. The move did not come cheap as the Indians were not willing to meet Lindor’s demands so they decided instead to trade him. Lindor will be a free agent after the 2021 season so if the Mets want to keep him they will have to pay up big time. Currently Lindor has a $17.5M salary and Carrasco a $12M one. The Mets' payroll is approaching the $210M start of the luxury tax. Steve Cohen is pulling out his wallet exactly as he said he would do.
Former ESPN colleagues reuniting in new venture (per Dade Hayes)
Dan Le Batard, former ESPN television and radio host, and John Skipper, former ESPN president, are teaming up on an unnamed new content company. Skipper hired Le Batard at ESPN in 2011. While not many details have been revealed it is believed to be sports content focused at the start. Skipper is currently leading operations at DAZN and is going to continue in that role but may progressively spend less time on the day-to-day operations. Le Batard was making $3.5M a year by the end of his time at ESPN before leaving just last week.
Pepsi to cut back on Super Bowl ads (per Sportico)
Pepsi, usually a major player in Super Bowl commercials, has said they will dial back their television spots and instead focus on the Halftime Show. Todd Kaplan, Pepsi’s VP of marketing said:
“We are going to double down on our existing 12 minutes in the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show in the middle of the Super Bowl, and we are going to build it out like we have never built it out before.”
The halftime show will star The Weeknd and Pepsi launched a new campaign to call attention to the performance this past weekend. As mentioned before Super Bowl spending has decreased all around with many traditional NFL sponsors but Kaplan says the company’s decision in 2021 was not forced by a desire to cut spending. CBS, which is seeking around $5.5M for Super Bowl TV advertising packages, has yet to declare a sell-out of its in-game commercial inventory. Last year’s Super Bowl generated an estimated $435M in ad spending.
DeVonta Smith wins Heisman Trophy, the first wide receiver to win the award since 1991, which ESPN estimates is worth $800K over the course of the winner’s lifetime (per Front Office Sports)
Mobile sports betting a possibility in New York sooner rather than later (per Brendan Coffey)
NIL (name, image and likeness) vote by NCAA put on hold under pressure from Justice Department (per Michael McCann)
Pair of friends offer to sell SpaceJam2.com domain name for $1M to Warner Bros. for new Space Jam sequel starring LeBron James (per A.J. Perez)
Drone Racing League sign DraftKings as official sports betting partner (per Randall Williams)
The Gambling Corner - January 11th, 2021
College Football Playoff National Championship
Alabama -8.5 vs Ohio State O/U 75
My pick (21-24-1 overall):
Alabama/Ohio State Under 75
(Odds and lines provided by Bovada. All picks are for informational and recreational purposes only and not sound gambling advice. As if there was such a thing…)
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