Chargers look to expand reach with Hispanic audience via new broadcast deal

Photo via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The article can also be found on the Chargers Wire!


The Los Angeles Chargers have reached a multi-year agreement with Azteca to broadcast the Chargers’ preseason games in Spanish.

With the football team’s recent move and a perception that they lost a large portion of their fan base, Los Angeles is looking to increase the following of the team by connecting with the Hispanic population.

Enrique Perez, Executive Vice President of the Azteca America Station Group, released a statement on the new deal.

“We are excited to serve as the flagship Spanish-language station for the Los Angeles Chargers preseason games as they ‘Fight for LA.’

Our viewers throughout Southern California will be able to watch the games live as well as participate in team-supported community events for fans of all ages in the local LA area.”

In addition, it is expected that Azteca Los Angeles will launch a weekly primetime show that will provide highlights and analysis of the Chargers’ recent games, per Portada.

Chargers President of Business Operations A.G. Spanos, had this to say in response to the new agreement.

“We strive to provide Chargers fans with the best experience in every way possible. In this case, unparalleled television access throughout the LA region. This partnership only serves to enhance this priority.”


The article can also be found on the Chargers Wire!

Way-too-early SEC power rankings

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With recruiting almost over and Spring games at a close, it’s time to take a critical look at the SEC and decide who will be winners and losers in both divisions.

East Division

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RB Nick Chubb has proved an invaluable asset to the Bulldogs. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

1. Georgia

Even after an 8-5 season last year, the Bulldogs will dominate the East Division. Sophomore QB Jacob Eason had 2,430 yards in his freshman season, and threw for 16 touchdowns.

With Nick Chubb and Sony Michel returning for the 2017 season, the UGA ground game will be in full force. Chubb had 1,130 rushing yards last season, while Michel had 840.

The Dawgs also had an outstanding recruiting class, nabbing 21 4-star recruits and two 5-star recruits; rated second best by Campus Insiders.

2. Florida

The Gators showed promise during last year’s season, finishing 9-4. The offense remains strong with a slew of returners, and a new quarterback ready to take the reins, Felipe Franks. He threw for 2,766 yards and 35 touchdowns in his senior year of high school and is rated No. 5 at his position. Franks should do well with a strong receiving and running corps.

3. Tennessee

The Volunteers come into this season after losing two key defensive players, DE Derek Barnett and CB Cameron Sutton. They also lose QB Joshua Dobbs, although they have two promising quarterbacks vying for the spot.

Four-star recruit Jarrett Guarantano will battle Quinten Dormady, a junior backup who has completed 24 of his 39 total passes. The Vols add five-star OT Trey Smith, as well as four-star RB Ty Chandler to bolster the offense.

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Gamecocks QB Jake Bentley had an impressive 2016 season. Photo via Jeff Blake/USA TODAY Sports

4. South Carolina

USC returns 16 starters, including sophomore QB Jake Bentley, who impressed Gamecocks fans last season with 1,420 yards and a 65.8% completion rate.

South Carolina is picking up plenty of talent on both sides of the football, but the most important aspect of their recruiting is the offensive line.

The Gamecocks gave up 41 sacks last year, but they performed much better than in 2015, where their record was 3-9.

Muschamp was able to turn around the program to a bowl run in one year, so we’ll see how much he can turn them around after two seasons.

5. Kentucky

The most important thing for the Wildcats this season is improving their defense. They only racked up 21 sacks last season, and allowed 228.2 rushing yards a game.

However, Kentucky’s offense should be impressive, as they return both QB Stephen Johnson and RB Benny Snell, who ran for 1,091 yards last season.

The SEC is such a tough conference to compete in, and the Wildcats will struggle to hold their own against much better opponents.

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RB Ralph Webb will be part of the Commodores’ recipe for success. Photo via Jim Brown/USA TODAY Sports

6. Vanderbilt

The Commodores aren’t looking bad for the 2017 season. Despite losing linebacker Zach Cunningham to the NFL, Vandy returns RB Ralph Webb, who rushed for 1,283 yards last season, as well as most of the offense. If QB Kyle Shurmur performs with his considerable offensive depth, the Commodores will make it to a bowl game again.

7. Missouri

Mizzouri isn’t looking great for the 2017 season. After a 4-8 2016 season, they lost almost all of its defensive starters, only returning three players, and this after last season when they gave up 31.5 points per game.

The offense returns 10 players headed by QB Drew Lock, who had 3,339 passing yards with 23 touchdowns last season.

(West Division on next page below)

ESPN choosing brand over star power will lead to inevitable decline

Photo via Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images

ESPN, the beloved and family oriented sports network that took a major risk to run the first all-day sports channel, will never be the same.

As everyone knows, they have cut over 100 on-air personalities. This isn’t a major shock for people in the sports business, for it was a long time coming. ESPN appears to have been on the decline for a while and this is just the confirmation.

Most of these cuts are people who America consistently sees on television. The notable layoffs include Ed Werder, Andy Katz, Trent Dilfer, Jay Crawford, Paul Kuharsky, and more.

It was not too long ago that we saw ESPN fail to renew the contracts of Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, Mike Tirico, Keith Olberman, and Bill Simmons, all notable ESPN personalities that they would not pony up the money to keep.

However, it didn’t take the former employees much time to find a job that paid them more money at a different company.

Bayless and Cowherd left to Fox Sports for a higher salary and the ability to speak their mind freely.

Cowherd often criticizes his former employer on Fox Sports and he knew the end was coming while he was still an employee of ESPN.

“I told my producers, ‘Fellas, it’ll never be the same here,’” he told CBS’ “Bull & Fox” show. “You cannot pay four times for the house [more] than what you paid for the house last year. And I said this company will never be the same. It was at that point I started looking, and this is not going to end today. They have really cost-prohibitive contracts, combined with cord-cutting.”

ESPN has made many mistakes that are costing them now.

They bet on their brand instead of the stars in the business. In addition, they signed enormous TV deals that they could never afford, according to Deadspin’s Kevin Draper.

“They paid $2.25 billion to broadcast SEC games. They paid $480 million to broadcast Wimbledon. They paid $15 billion to broadcast Monday Night Football. They paid $1.5 billion to broadcast the Pac-12. They paid $5.6 billion to broadcast MLB. They paid $3.6 billion to broadcast the ACC. They paid $770 million to broadcast the U.S. Open. They paid $5.6 billion to broadcast the College Football Playoffs. They paid $12.6 billion to broadcast the NBA.”

They believed that no matter who they put behind the camera, business will boom.

As a matter of fact, Ed Werder told The Doomsday Podcast, “these cuts were going to be made and the quality of work was not going to be a consideration.”

Consequently, their viewership numbers have been plummeting; they have lost 10.8 million subscribers since Fox launched their new channel FS1, per Sports Business Daily. 

A major reason for the decline is the high price ESPN charges the cable companies to show their network (four times greater than the next highest fee). Now, those cable companies are making skinny bundles that are much cheaper and don’t include ESPN.

It is to be seen whether or not the loss of subscribers includes a huge number of sports fans. If it does, ESPN could be in further trouble.

Many anchors and other employees took major pay cuts with hopes of staying with the company and continuing their dreams. According to Sports Business Daily, ESPN approached one employee asking them to cut their salary by a preposterous 60%.

Instead, an ESPN employee could leave for the rival companies that pay a higher salary, provide an opportunity to live in Los Angeles rather than Bristol, Connecticut, and will let their on-air personalities speak with fewer restrictions.

Today, the only bargaining chip ESPN has is providing the opportunity for a young up and comer to fulfill their dream of being on ESPN.

WATCH: Chargers’ Mike Williams shows off his elite hands

Photo via Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The article can also be found on the Chargers Wire!


Los Angeles Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams has not wasted any of his time since being drafted just over one week ago.

Below fans can see the former Clemson receiver showcase some of his abilities per FOX Sports PROcast.

Williams does a pretty good job of reminding fans of his playmaking abilities, while displaying confidence that he will need while going up against the world’s best cornerbacks in the NFL.

NFL Network’s Chase Goodbread labeled the Chargers as the team who added the most talent on offense during the 2017 NFL draft.

ESPN’s NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Bolts a grade of ‘A’ for their selections as well, yet many analysts are concerned because Williams isn’t a combine speed demon.

Cast those fears aside Chargers fans, Williams is going to make plays early and often in 2017.


The article can also be found on the Chargers Wire!

Pressure already mounting for Raiders rookie Marquel Lee

Photo via SEAN MEYERS/ICON SPORTSWIRE

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


Just one day into rookie minicamp, Oakland Raiders linebacker Marquel Lee already has to be feeling some pressure that most fifth round selections aren’t accustom to.

Lee is expected to work at the middle linebacker position for a defense that ranked No. 26 overall in the NFL last year. Though Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie did not sign anyone via free agency before selecting Lee, coach Jack Del Rio has already been on record that the team is still looking for linebackers.

Interestingly, Lee will also be wearing the same number that Raiders coach Jack Del Rio sported during his NFL playing days, and did admit to the pressure he will face during camp.

McKenzie hasn’t been shy regarding his position on the former Wake Forest linebacker, stating everyone would be “impressed” with Lee during a Sirius XM NFL Radio interview earlier this week.

As Raiders rookie minicamp unfolds, Lee’s battle to play at inside linebacker is just one of many storylines from Day 1 in Alameda.


The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!

Raiders minicamp: Conley wears former Charles Woodson jersey number

Photo via Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The article can be found on the Raiders Wire!


As of a few hours ago, the Oakland Raiders rookie minicamp is officially underway and new Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley is wearing one of Raiders legendary defensive back Charles Woodson’s old numbers.

Conley took to the field sporting the No. 2, Charles Woodson’s number at Michigan in college, as well as during his second stint in Oakland before he bought his original No. 24 jersey back.

If his jersey choice is any indication of his confidence level, then the Raiders should be in good hands at the cornerback position for the near future with Conley.

Conley was on the field immediately as the team’s starting nickel cornerback already on Day 1 of practice, per the Bay Area News Group’s Jimmy Durkin.

Even though Conley played for Woodson’s biggest rival, Ohio State, any sort of resemblance to the future Pro Football Hall of Famer would be great news for Oakland this upcoming season.

As for the number selection causing any sort of friction, Raider Nation doesn’t retire numbers as the team, fans and organization are family.


The article can be found on the Raiders Wire!

WATCH: Member of Raiders says Lynch brings ‘venom, nastiness’ to backfield

Photo via MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ/AP PHOTO

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


After the drama that lasted a few months, Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch is finally on the practice field wearing a Raiders uniform.

The move to sign Lynch was not just a move for public relations, but also to win football games.

According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, a person in Oakland’s organization believes Lynch will bring a “nastiness and venom” to the backfield in addition to improving the production from the running back position overall.

There seems to be a lot of optimism surrounding a player who hasn’t been on the field in over a year and the last time he was, he didn’t look so good, tapping out without finish half of the season.

Presumably mended and reinvigorated, Lynch’s most valuable asset might be the mindset and experience he brings to the young players on the Raiders.

Rookie Raiders safety Obi Melifonwu has already commented on how he felt Beast Mode would help his game, and it’s true that every football team could benefit from a player like Lynch should he play as hungry and be as fit as he has appeared early on with Oakland.


The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!

LOOK: Charger rookies get their new NFL jersey numbers

Photo via Jae C. Hong / AP Images

The article can also be found on the Chargers Wire!


It has been less than a week since the Los Angeles Chargers made all of their selections in the 2017 NFL draft. Now, those players are making it onto the practice field with their new numbers.

The new jersey numbers for the Charger rookies can be found below via Gridiron Experts’ Paul Maland.

It’s only fitting that both Chargers offensive lineman Dan Feeney and Forrest Lamp would have doubled up numbers (66 and 77 respectively) considering each were taken with back-to-back early-round picks by Chargers general manager Tom Telesco.

Maybe it is time to buy a new jersey, if you are a fan of the number and player, and help Los Angeles put a Charger in the top 50 of jersey sales for next season after having zero this past year.


The article can also be found on the Chargers Wire!

Way-too-early ACC football power rankings

Photo via Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Spring games are over, recruiting is wrapping up, and it’s time to start seeing how teams will square off against each other next season. Here are the JR Report’s thoughts on how the ACC will shape up, going from best to worst for both ACC divisions.

Atlantic Division

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1. Florida State

The Seminoles ended last season on a high note by finishing 10-3, including an Orange Bowl win, with two of their losses coming by less than 3 points.

Although they lost running back Dalvin Cook to the NFL, FSU isn’t losing any sleep. They will replace Cook with freshmen running back Cam Akers, who is the No. 1 ranked running back in his class.

In his senior year of high school, Akers rushed for 2,105 yards and 34 touchdowns in addition to passing for 3,128 yards and 31 touchdowns.

The Noles are also bringing in the No. 4 ranked freshman running back, Khalan Laborn, and the No. 15 ranked RB Zaquandre White.

As for returning running backs, the Seminoles have junior RB Jacques Patrick, Cook’s former backup.

Most importantly, Florida State has quarterback Deondre Francois coming into his sophomore year after a 3,350-yard freshmen season. He is a dynamic dual-threat and presumably will get better each game he plays.

With a strong veteran defense and a promising recruiting class, the Seminole’s don’t lack anything on the other side of the football. They are no doubt the top of the ACC and a favorite to play in the conference championship.

2. Clemson

The biggest question mark for the Tigers is who will replace future Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson.

The Tigers have two main contenders: junior Kelley Bryant and redshirt freshman Zerrick Cooper. While Bryant hasn’t seen much of the field, he has completed 13 of his 16 passes and has one touchdown. Cooper passed for 1,132 yards and 14 touchdowns in his senior year of high school.

If Clemson can’t find the right QB fit for the team, they won’t stand a chance against Florida State.

That being said, Clemson still has a strong defense that stops both the run and the pass. Clemson has three players who had more than 50 solo tackles in the 2016 season: Van Smith (65), Kendall Joseph (59), and Ben Boulware (58). Smith and Joseph will both return.

In fact, the Tigers might have the best defense in the country next season, although it’s a bit too early to tell.

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Cardinals QB Lamar Jackson led his team to a breakout season his freshman year, and won the Heisman on the way. Photo via Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

3. Louisville

The Louisville Cardinals have been in and out of national attention for the last couple of years for various upset wins and surprise losses.

They might not be starting next season in the top 10, but they have the potential to climb their way back up.

Louisville is coming back with Heisman-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson. If he gets the O-line support he needs to succeed, the Cardinals will be a powerful force. Jackson was sacked a whopping 46 times, including being sacked 11 times in a loss to Houston.

Receiver Dez Fitzpatrick was signed in 2016 and showed promise during the spring game. Jackson needs adequate protection and needs to get the ball into the hands of his receivers if the Cardinals have title aspirations, but, in my opinion, they won’t be able to do enough to win the division this year.

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Dynamic NC State RB Matt Dayes graduated this past year, leaving a lot of questions as to who will replace him. Photo via NC State Athletics

4. NC State

NC State has a great team coming into next season but might struggle because of the stiff competition in the Atlantic division.

The Wolfpack have several players returning from injury that could make a difference on the field this fall and have bolstered their recruiting department to help in future seasons.

Nyheim Hines and Jaylen Samuels seek to replace running back Matt Dayes. Hines had 782 yards at RB last year, while Samuels had 565.

NC State’s defense is one of the top in the country—the NCAA had them at No. 24 in total defense after the 2016 season. The Pack had 37 sacks as a team last year, and their entire D-line will be seniors. The O-line will have four returners, and NC State will return a total of 16 starters from last year.

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Photo via Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

5. Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons ended their season on a high note with a Military Bowl win against Temple. They went 7-6 on the season and had a close game against the Seminoles.

The Deacons leave a lot to be desired on offense. They need to find someone to carry the ball, as the team averaged only 4 yards per carry last season, while the O-line allowed 39 sacks. Without a doubt, there is a lot of work need to be done.

6. Boston College

The Eagles also ended their season at 7-6, with notable wins against Wake Forest and NC State.

They struggle to throw the football, only completing 46.5% of their passes last season. There also isn’t any apparent heir at quarterback, making it improbable they improve much from 2016.

Many of their receivers are returning, however, so we’ll see if any quarterbacks can take up the mantle and make plays.

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Photo via Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

7. Syracuse

Syracuse had a rough year, finishing 4-8. The Orange have a pretty difficult schedule for a team of their caliber—they had games against USF, Notre Dame, Clemson, FSU, and NC State to keep them busy—and they couldn’t pull through last year.

They gave up over 38 points per game and weren’t able to generate much noise on offense either.

They are in a rebuilding process and are unlikely to make any noise next season.

(Coastal Division on next page below)

Raiders rise to No. 3 in NFL Network’s power rankings

Photo via Thearon W. Henderson, Getty Images

The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!


The Oakland Raiders had a resurgent 2016 campaign, and are looking to make some more noise in 2017.

After a solid haul at the 2017 NFL draft, NFL Network’s Elliot Harrison seems to believe the Raiders are one of the top-three teams in the league in his latest power rankings.

Harrison thinks the acquisition of former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch “is no small deal.” Despite Lynch’s age, “he is playing for love more than money” and that extra motivation should show itself on the field.

He even compared Lynch to “the modern-day John Riggins” and called the Oakland native one of “the best true power backs to ever live.”

Harrison, one of the few media analysts who liked the Raiders’ draft, “loved” the selection of former UConn safety Obi Melifonwu, but decided to hold judgment on former Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley.

He concluded the draft deserved a “B to A-minus” grade, which is much better than the grades of other NFL experts, like ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

Ultimately, Oakland had an excellent draft and signed some great pieces thru free agency to improve their already impressive offense. With that being said, the Raiders have earned their right at No. 3 in the latest power rankings.


The article can also be found on the Raiders Wire!