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“The women’s match between the Roosters and the Sea Eagles couldn’t be a more fitting curtain-raiser leading into the second match of Saturday between the Roosters and Sea Eagles.” The game will commence at 6:06pm. “Rugby League is moving into our finals series and the Touch Football season has just started. “Tomorrow’s match is a great demonstration of why the new partnership between the NRL and Touch Football Australia works so well,” NRL General Manager League Integration and Game Development, Mr Andrew Hill. The reigning Vawdon Cup champions will play an exhibition match against the Manly Sea Eagles, just a month after the NRL and Touch Football Australia announced an historic sporting partnership representing the biggest boost to participation and game development in the history of either sport. “People can now get involved in our sport all year round. For the first time, women’s Touch Football will be played during an NRL Finals Series with the champion Eastern Suburbs Sydney Roosters taking centre-stage tomorrow during the NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series double-header at Allianz Stadium. Related LinksWomen’s Game at NRL Finals
LeBron James may not show up for the Miami Heat next year, but whichever team he ends up with is likely to see a huge economic bump. James puts people in the seats.After reports leaked Tuesday that James would exercise his early-termination option in his contract with the Heat, some speculated that he’ll actually stay in South Beach next season. But teams are itching to clear cap space in the hopes of signing the NBA forward.We know plenty about James’s value on the court, but to get some sense of his economic value, we looked at how attendance changed before and while he was on the Cavaliers and Heat. As a baseline, the average NBA team’s attendance is about 90 percent capacity over the course of the season, but that varies wildly depending on a team’s winning percentage. (It also presumably fluctuates throughout a season.) I looked at NBA teams’ winning percentage and home-game attendance from the 2001-02 season through the 2013-14 season, and found that a team that wins 80 percent of its games — roughly 66 games in a season, probably the best record in the league — should average 100 percent capacity. Comparatively, a team that wins only 20 percent of its games will, on average, sell 80 percent of its tickets.It’s easy to see why winning fills arenas. Wins excite fans, give them hope for a potential championship, and (hopefully) are a display of entertaining basketball. James helps do that better than nearly anybody. Even controlling for success, a “LeBron Effect” materialized in the data. The teams he’s played for — the 2004 through 2010 Cavs and the 2011 though 2014 Heat — have home-attendance averages of 98.0 percent capacity, well above what their records would predict. Nearly all of James’s teams have sold tickets at higher rates than we’d expect for how well they performed. Note how for every season but one, his teams are above the line in the chart below.(Attendance here is measured by capacity, or the percentage of available seats sold. Sometimes capacity percentages rise above 100 percent because of imperfect stadium data, whether standing-room-only tickets are counted, etc.)Interestingly, James sells out even more so on the road, perhaps because he’s more of a novelty when traveling. Over the past six seasons — his last two with the Cavs and all four with the Heat — James’s teams away capacity has averaged 99.5 percent. (Because of imperfect data on away game attendance capacity, only the past six seasons were analyzed.) It’s no surprise that the relationship between a team’s winning percentage and its draw while traveling is much weaker — that is, the curve is flatter. But adjusting for how good the Cavs or Heat were in a given season, those teams with James on them sold out the house. Look how far above the line James teams are now:This analysis does not account for ticket prices, merchandise sales or any of the other revenue channels for James’s teams, so it’s just the beginning of the conversation about his economic worth. But wherever he ends up, two things are likely to continue: His team will sell out the home stadium, and his opponents’ box offices will be sad to see him go.
Source: Pro-Football-Reference.com 32San Diego Chargers4,8551,48030.5 45.7 14Arizona Cardinals4,7752,21846.5 2Denver Broncos4,2162,43957.9 29Minnesota Vikings3,2461,21537.4 11Oakland Raiders4,1291,99248.2 21Philadelphia Eagles4,3411,85042.6 27St. Louis Rams2,9311,16239.6 25Washington Redskins4,2941,72940.3 23Tennessee Titans3,8931,63742.0 8Cincinnati Bengals4,1042,11351.5 6Pittsburgh Steelers4,8222,59953.9 24New Orleans Saints5,2052,12240.8 12Carolina Panthers3,8731,84347.6 7Houston Texans4,0792,17953.4 28New England Patriots4,8121,86838.8 15Detroit Lions4,4632,02745.4 26San Francisco 49ers3,6461,45239.8 League average Which teams got the most out of their top two receivers in 2015? 16Green Bay Packers3,8251,71944.9 10Cleveland Browns4,1562,00948.3 13Indianapolis Colts3,9281,85747.3 22Dallas Cowboys3,6781,55342.2 YARDS BY TOP 2 RECEIVERS 9New York Giants4,5042,24749.9 19Seattle Seahawks4,0611,75443.2 30Baltimore Ravens4,4491,61436.3 31Chicago Bears3,8431,27133.1 5Jacksonville Jaguars4,4282,43154.9 RANKTEAMTOTAL RECEIVING YARDSTOTALPERCENTAGE 1New York Jets4,1702,52960.6% The Gang Green contract dispute is over: Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has re-signed with the New York Jets, on a one-year, $12 million contract with up to $3 million in additional incentives. Casual fans may wonder why it took so long for Fitzpatrick to re-sign — for months, it was clear that Fitzpatrick had no other suitors and the Jets had no exciting alternative. And, after all, Fitzpatrick was coming off of a strong statistical season. He threw for 3,905 yards last year — the highest single-season total by a Jets quarterback since Joe Namath in 1967 — and 31 passing touchdowns, a franchise record.Perhaps most importantly, Fitzpatrick’s statistical output was far ahead of what Jets fans have come to expect from the position. Fitzpatrick averaged 6.46 adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A) last season, more than a yard better than any of the Jets’ starting quarterbacks over the previous decade. The chart below shows New York’s main QB each season from 2005 through 2015 and his average ANY/A. Fitzpatrick’s 2015 sticks out in a very good way:On the heels of six Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith seasons, Fitzpatrick’s competent play represented a vast improvement. But Fitzpatrick’s numbers really only look great relative to the poor passers of Jets history and thanks to the rising tide that is lifting passing numbers leaguewide.Before Fitzpatrick, the Jets hadn’t experienced above-average quarterbacking since 2006, and Jets passers had been far below average in each of the four seasons leading into 2015. Against that backdrop, Fitzpatrick’s ever-so-slightly-above-average numbers painted the picture of a bearded savior. But although Fitzpatrick deserves credit for the strong season (along with, perhaps, offensive coordinator Chan Gailey), his top two receivers were just as responsible for the big year.The Jets signed Eric Decker before the 2014 season, and he had a productive year, but he couldn’t save New York’s passing attack by himself. After New York traded for Brandon Marshall in 2015, though, the duo quickly turned into one of the best one-two receiving punches in the NFL. Together, Marshall and Decker combined for 2,529 receiving yards, second-most in the NFL behind Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant. Perhaps more importantly, Marshall and Decker also combined for 60.6 percent of all Jets receiving yards, easily the highest rate in the league for any pair of receivers:1Defining a team’s top receiving duo as its two leading players in receiving yards. 18Tampa Bay Buccaneers4,0421,76743.7 20Miami Dolphins4,2311,81943.0 4Atlanta Falcons4,6022,52854.9 17Buffalo Bills3,6001,59944.4 3Kansas City Chiefs3,4931,96356.2 Marshall and Decker were also touchdown machines. In nine of the Jets’ 16 games last season, both Marshall and Decker reached the end zone: That made them the first pair of wide-receiver teammates to each score in nine games (and only the second pair of teammates, period, joining former Cowboys Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin). Incredibly, Marshall and Decker by themselves caught 25 of Fitzpatrick’s 31 total touchdown throws, or 81 percent.Thought of another way, Marshall and Decker saw 305 targets last year, with all other Jets players combining for nearly an equal number: 297. Yet Marshall/Decker combined for 2,529 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns, and all other Jets combined for 1,641 receiving yards and just seven receiving touchdowns. Marshall and Decker together averaged 8.3 yards per target; all other Jets averaged only 5.5 yards per target.That difference of 2.8 yards per target between the Jets’ top two receivers and the rest of the team ranked third-largest in the NFL, behind two other teams that had star receivers doing most of the heavy lifting: Jacksonville (with Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, at +3.7) and the New York Giants (thanks mostly to Odell Beckham Jr., at +2.9). Marshall/Decker’s rate of 11.7 targets for every touchdown also ranked fourth-best among top receiving pairings,2Behind the top duos of Seattle (9.0), Jacksonville (10.7) and New England (11.6). but the rest of the Jets were targeted 42.4 times for every touchdown pass, the fourth-worst rate in the league for receiving groups outside a team’s top two targets.3That ranked ahead of only Cleveland (56.8), Minnesota (57.2) and San Francisco (44.0). In other words, Fitzpatrick was putting up great numbers only when throwing to Marshall and Decker — not anyone else. It’s fair to say, then, that no passing game in 2015 was as reliant on its top two receivers as the Jets’ was.Granted, the Jets’ other targets weren’t very good,4Bilal Powell, Quincy Enunwa, Chris Ivory and Kenbrell Thompkins were the only other Jets with at least 30 targets. so you would expect a large chasm in production between Marshall/Decker and the rest of the team. But that makes it more difficult to determine how much of Fitzpatrick’s numbers were the product of his own play, and how much was due to his top two targets. And that’s probably what caused such a disconnect between the Jets and Fitzpatrick’s camp during negotiations.Ultimately, Fitzpatrick signed a reasonable one-year contract, so we may be revisiting the same scenario next offseason, with the Jets having to ascertain their QB’s true worth once more.
For Ohio State’s recent bowl games, sugar earned the university a sweet payday, but roses proved costly. University officials project OSU earned nearly $290,000 from participating in the 2011 Sugar Bowl. According to documents The Lantern obtained, OSU lost nearly $80,000 from the 2010 Rose Bowl. Pete Hagan, associate athletic director for finance, told The Lantern that OSU submitted a financial report to NCAA managing director of finance and operations Keith Martin in advance of a Feb. 28 deadline. The report indicates OSU actually earned about $288,000 from the Sugar Bowl. Kathy Gaspard, director of business operations for the Sugar Bowl, told The Lantern that the Sugar Bowl paid the Bowl Championship Series a $6 million rights fee. Gaspard said the Sugar Bowl’s fiscal year ends June 30. She said she should have a projection for how much the bowl earned by May. OSU beat Arkansas, 31-26, in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4. An interception by defensive end Solomon Thomas ended a Razorbacks drive in Buckeye territory with less than a minute left, sealing the victory. Officials in the business office of Arkansas’ athletic department did not immediately return calls or e-mails. The BCS pays the Big Ten directly. The conference then distributed evenly among the 11 Big Ten schools the difference between the bowl payouts and the bowl reimbursements. The reimbursement figure for the Sugar Bowl was $2 million. Since the Big Ten sent two schools to BCS bowl games, the Big Ten received an at-large net share of $6 million, said Big Ten director of media relations Scott Chipman. By comparison, the Big Ten earned more than $4.5 million from Michigan State playing in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla. The Spartans lost to Alabama, 49-7. According to a Jan. 25 release from the BCS, the Big Ten earned a total net revenue of $27.2 million, the same amount as the SEC and Big 12. Two teams from each of the three conferences played in BCS bowl games. The Lantern attempted to reach BCS Director Bill Hancock, but was told Hancock is “out of the country.” Check The Lantern on Monday for more.
Buckeye football players waiting to run out of the tunnel and onto the field before the first game of the 2016 season against Bowling Green on Sept. 3 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 77-10. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo EditorAfter releasing the game times and networks for the first two Ohio State football games of the season, FOX, ESPN and the Big Ten conference revealed Wednesday the kickoff times and networks for four more games for OSU this season.FOX will be televising at least three OSU games this season. The network will air the Sept. 16 matchup against Army and the Oct. 28 game against Penn State from Ohio Stadium, as well as the Nov. 25 season finale versus Michigan from Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Those kickoff times are scheduled for 4:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and noon, respectively.OSU’s Homecoming game, Oct. 7 game against Maryland, will begin at either 3:30 p.m. or 4 p.m. with the television network still undetermined.The latest announced start times come six days after it was revealed that the Buckeyes’ season opener against Indiana on Aug. 31 would be aired on ESPN at 8 p.m., and their home opener against Oklahoma on Sept. 9 would begin at 7:30 p.m. with ABC broadcasting the matchup in primetime.There is still no update on the start times or networks for OSU’s home games against UNLV, Michigan State and Illinois, or its away games against Rutgers, Nebraska and Iowa.