Category Archives: Sports

iPhone “Simulator”

iPhoney: It’s not quite a simulator, but will certainly help web developers understand what their sites will look like from an iPhone. Since the iPhone uses Safari, the iPhoney app can use the same on an OS X system to provide a pretty decent testbed:

Looking for a way to see how your web creations will look on iPhone? Look no further. iPhoney gives you a pixel-accurate web browsing environment—powered by Safari—that you can use when developing web sites for iPhone. It’s the perfect 320 by 480-pixel canvas for your iPhone development. And it’s free.

iPhoney Example Screenshot

Nascar at Infineon

Nascar’s big show is making its annual trip to Northern California at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma. Infineon is a great track that really aggravates some of the drivers, while giving “road course experts” a chance to show their stuff. Jamie McMurry took the pole today with Robby Gordon (below) second.

Robby Gordon during his qualifying lap at Infineon Raceway, June 22, 2007

Starting Out in the Hole

This year I want to experiment with some better graphics to explain Nascar results and stats. With the extraordinary number of penalties given out this week at Daytona, the deduction of series points from five drivers will put them in the hole. None of the online Nascar sites (Yahoo Sports, ESPN, Nascar, etc.) are showing the 2007 standings yet, but if they did it would look something like this:

Nascar points with 5 drivers already below 0

Looking at the results from last year, the average point spread between the 11th place (Tony Stewart) and 31st (Ken Schrader) was about 80 points per position. Being even 100 points in the hole doesn’t mean the season is over, but it’s a heck of a way to start.

NASCAR TV Schedule

With the 2007 NASCAR season about to start, I took a closer look at the new TV deal and how it breaks down among the various networks.

Here’s how the Nextel Cup races will be divided among the television partners:

  • Fox will air the season-opening Daytona 500 and the next 12 races
  • TNT will have the next 6 races, including the Pepsi 400 at Daytona on July 4th weekend
  • ESPN covers the 7 late summer races, including the prized Brickyard 400 at Indy
  • ABC will broadcast the final 10 races (“Chase to the Cup”)
  • Speed will have the Gatorade Dual qualifying races and the non-points All-Star Challenge

For the Busch series, ESPN/ESPN2 will cover 29 races and ABC will have 6. For the Craftsman Truck Series, Speed will have 23 and Fox will carry 2.

The new TV contract was signed at the end of 2005 and runs from 2007 through 2014. Total value was quoted as US$4.8B total, or about US$600M per year. Contrast that with the king of American TV sports — the NFL — whose current contracts cost the networks US$3.7B per year. Similar to the NFL, it seems these multi-network deals will be the way of the future. The cost would be too prohibitive for any one network to cover by themselves. Because NASCAR has “premier” events throughout the season, it can spread those around among the networks to a certain extent.

Other than the total value, details of the contract are apparently being held private by NASCAR. One interview did explain the distribution as roughly 65% going to the tracks, 25% to the teams, and the remaining 10% to NASCAR itself. The amount paid to the owners of NASCAR is probably higher than the quoted 10% if you consider they also own part of Speedway Motorsports which operates tracks hosting 11 of the annual 36 races.

(Sources: NASCAR, Speed, and Wikipedia)

San Jose Sharks Close Discussion Board

It looks like the San Jose Sharks had enough of the problems with trying to keep a clean community discussion board and finally shut theirs down:

The Sharks Chatroom has been shutdown indefinitely due to repeated inappropriate abuse of the system. This decision is in response to the high volume of postings containing sexually explicit language, cyber sex links, junk mail, unacceptable or inflammatory language and more. We do not wish to have the Sharks organization, our fans, or our sponsors associated in any manner with this material and, considering the many youth who regularly visit sjsharks.com, wish to avoid serving as a conduit for those individuals attempting these improper communications.

The San Jose Mercury had this to say about it:

For months, a random check of the board would show porn links on as many as a third of the threads on the front page. But behavior among the core fans is a problem as well; there’s a good chance that if not for the Sharks’ message board, the booing of the Canadian national anthem in May never would have happened, because that’s where some of the more idiotic “fans” pushed the move.

Personally I never used the discussion boards, but from what I gather it seems they didn’t have much of a registration process and were trying to moderate everything with one employee (who undoubtedly had other tasks to tend to). It sounds like they (the Sharks) were also trying to exert too much control over the discussion content. Hopefully they’ll be able to re-launch a discussion forum with better registration and more community policing and a more realistic approach as to letting the content be what it’ll be and just live with it.