Categories
NFL Sports

The Revolution Will Be Live-Streamed

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If you’re like me, when you got to work today you probably had at least one conversation about the NFL Wild Card games that took place over the weekend.

For the past few years, I’ve often said that I’m far too busy to spend three-and-a-half hours sitting down and watching a game on TV. I have a house to maintain, grocery shopping to do, laundry to wash, and everything else. All of that is still true, but since we’re living a post-Back to the Future Part II world, I was able to handle all of my responsibilities and still watch all four games of the first round of the NFL Playoffs because I carried the games with me.

I was originally skeptical about NFL Mobile. And I was wrong.


Anyone that reads press releases or watches earnings reports from the big U.S. telecommunications firms knows that there is a battle being waged for the future. Cable companies are petrified that their money-printing machines may soon become obsolete. Terms like “cord-cutting,” “cord-trimming,” and the near-ubiquitous mention of millennials dominate the conversation. If feels like pandering – and it often is – but, like Mulder and Scully always said, the truth is out there and we are moving toward a mobile society.

Like most things it’s generational.

My mother doesn’t trust online banking. My father has never heard a podcast. Meanwhile, my daughter knew the word “iPad” before she turned three years old and we barely even let her use it.

I’m in the middle. I’m on the cusp of being one of those coveted millennials, but I didn’t grow up in The Matrix. I remember rotary phones and dial-up connections, AIM away messages, and the battle between VHS and Beta. But I also live on the web now, handling all of my finances online and watching movies on my laptop.

I played around with NFL Mobile earlier in the year, but the app accesses your location because local TV rules still apply (how else would DirecTV stay in business?), so I was still stuck watching the New York games. Household chores is more enjoyable than watching Jets-Dolphins. But when I read “Verizon Wireless customers can live-stream all NFL playoff games, Super Bowl included, on mobile devices with a free app,” I gave it another shot.

And it was great. I was watching the games in rooms of my house that don’t have any TV’s – my office, the kitchen, and yes, even the bathroom. I was watching while waiting in the checkout line at Shop Rite and while cutting up fruit for my daughter’s lunch. And it wasn’t weak. The picture wasn’t fuzzy or scrambled or just the raw feed or dubbed in with Spanish announcers. My phone had the same presentation as my TV.

Still, it’s not perfect and this isn’t an infomercial. The app doesn’t run in the background, so when I wanted to tweet something snarky about the game, I’d have to close the window to access my other apps. I could’ve used my other phone to do that, but I was too lazy to go get it. I am an American, after all.

There are other downsides, of course. The screen is small, there’s no DVR-like fifteen second replay button, the picture freezes occasionally, and it drains your phone battery. But, considering that I remember a time when I was excited to be able to listen to a game on the radio, the fact that I could watch an NFL playoff game in my basement or my car is pretty cool.

The revolution will not be televised.

But it will be live-streamed.


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Categories
Greatness Rankings

The 5 Best Peyton Manning Commercials

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It appears that one of the greatest sports careers in history is finally over. After an atrocious day with four interceptions and a 0.0 passer rating (and a torn plantar fascia), Peyton Manning was benched yesterday. Whether he plays again this season or not, it’s clear that age, injuries, and the punishing nature of the sport he plays have finally caught up with him.

Aside from Terrell Owens for a season-and-a-half, Peyton Manning is the closest thing I’ve had to a favorite football player since I was about 10 years old (ironically, it was John Elway). Just like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, it was a pleasure to watch Manning ply his craft with virtual perfection. Talk about Tom Brady and playoff chokes and ringzzzz all you want, but we all know how great Peyton has been.

And he was almost as good off the field. One of the most prolific pitchmen of this era, he made a ton of commercials. Like his game, the best ones happened a few years ago. Here are his five best.

Bonus: United Way

The Saturday Night Live skit of Peyton supporting children in the community with my former employer

5. Gatorade

If Pey-Pey were Mr. Miyagi.

4. Nationwide

This has been diluted by its ubiquity and its much lesser sequel, but the first time you saw this it was catchy as hell.

3. SportsCenter

Peyton and Eli doing what brothers do.

2. Sprint

The wig is funny, but his deadpan delivery when speaking about himself is what sells it.

  1. MasterCard

One of the greatest commercials ever. Hilarious concept with perfect execution. “Cut that meat!” entered the lexicon.

Thank you for the memories and the laughs, Peyton.


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

Categories
Greatness Philadelphia

2004 Philadelphia Eagles Highlights

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The Philadelphia Eagles have never won a championship in the Super Bowl era. In fact, they’ve only ever made it to the Super Bowl twice, in 1980 and 2004.

I was born in 1980, so I don’t remember that team (although I’ve seen plenty of highlights) but the 2004 team is one of my favorite sports teams ever (behind the Michigan Fab Five, the 1992 Dream Team, and a few others). That year, Terrell Owens was a god in Philly.

This team was the pinnacle of the Andy Reid era and it doesn’t look like the Chip Kelly era is going to approach it either. So, rather than dwelling on Sam Bradford, soak up the greatness of Donovan McNabb, T.O., Brian Westbrook, and Brian Dawkins leading the best team in franchise history.


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.