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Tuesday, October 15, 2019
08:16 PM - October 15, 2019. Written by SBartlett
Blog: SBartlett
Monday, January 28, 2019
11:49 PM - January 28, 2019. Written by TheKnack
NATIONALS RECEIVE: Mitch Haniger

MARINERS RECEIVE: SS Carter Kieboom, LHP Seth Romero, SP Mason Denaburg, C Raudy Reed

Kieboom is a premier prospects at positions of need for Seattle. Romero is a dominant reliever w/attitude issues. McGowin is immediate MLB SP depth.



PADRES RECEIVE: Mitch Haniger

MARINERS RECEIVE: C Francisco Mejia, SP Mackenzie Gore, SP Chris Paddack, SP Jacob Nix

If Padres are indeed about to "go for it", it makes sense. Tatis isn't going anywhere. Mejia and Gore are premier names. Paddack is close. Nix can start now.



WHITE SOX RECEIVE: Mitch Haniger

MARINERS RECEIVE: SP Michael Kopech, OF Luis Robert, 3B Jake Burger, RP Zack Burdi

Admittedly, CWS probably need to land Machado for this to make sense. Kopech and Robert is premier prospects. Burger and Burdi are former 1st rounders with tools.



Finally...

BRAVES RECEIVE: Mitch Haniger

MARINERS RECEIVE: SP Mike Soroka, 3B Austin Riley, RP Thomas Burrows

Soroka, Riley are all high ceiling guys. Soroka is close to MLB. Burrows a former Mariner who was dealt for Mallex Smith.
Blog: TheKnack
06:21 PM - January 28, 2019. Written by TheKnack
Who We Are.
We want to ensure that we give the best of ourselves to the clients and communities we serve and put our actions where our passions lay. The Knack makes it our mission to get involved, never ceasing our support for our contractors and hires long-after their initial placements. We believe in people – and in creating strong communities and client landing spots for them to live and grow in.

As a staff, we are committed to rolling up our sleeves and diving into local needs – wherever those needs present themselves. We believe in giving and we know the good it can do, for individuals, communities and companies. We are committed to positive change and moving the needle for our clients. We do this in a variety of ways:

First and foremost, by dedicating a percentage of our annual revenue to the community through non-profit organizations whose mission is aligned closely with our own.

We are a professional small business with principles and integrity

We take pride in ourselves as a friendly organization that supports our communities

We place an onus on being a willing and trusted partner

Lastly, we are a generous organization, prioritizing our time and resources to clients first. Solving our clients solutions come first.

Let us become a resource for you. KnackStaff.com
Blog: TheKnack
06:20 PM - January 28, 2019. Written by TheKnack
PULLMAN — Rien Long, the celebrated Outland Trophy winner from Washington State’s glory days a decade ago, has been out of the public eye since his NFL career was undone prematurely by injuries. Today, seven years since he took his last NFL snap, the pain of losing that career so quickly makes it almost impossible for him to even watch a game on TV.

But he hasn’t lost his ability to laugh (he’s pursuing a career as a standup comic) or love (he raves about his 10-year-old son Gavon).



Pro ball, though, still gnaws at him.

“I mean, I made ‘The League,’ but that wasn’t enough for me,” Long told me in a phone interview from his home in Nashville. “I wanted to play through the first contract and earn the big bucks. I wanted that second contract, the big one.”

Long was a fourth-round draft pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2003 following his first-team All-American junior season at WSU in 2002.

His first contract with the Titans was a four-year deal totaling $1.67 million. After three productive seasons with the Titans, he entered 2006 with 9.5 sacks and 39 starts under his belt. The future looked bright.

Then the injuries started.

“It sucked, you have no idea,” Long told me in a phone interview from his home in Nashville. “I headed to Clarksville (Tenn.) for my fourth camp and blew out my right Achilles on the first day.

“I worked my *** off for six to eight weeks,” Long said of the rehab process. “Then, I get out of the walking boot, first day out of it I re-tweaked (the same Achilles) pretty good. Back to the boot I went.”

Long had surgery and the 2006 season was lost. But that soon became the least of Long’s concerns.

“I got that surgery, but it never healed,” he said. “It developed the MRSA infection and there was an open wound there for six to eight months. It destroyed my Achilles. The infection just ate it up.”

The Titans put him injured reserve for 2007 and then waived him.

After rehabbing for almost a year and a half, Long again began to train in earnest for another shot in the NFL. That’s when he tore cartilage in his left knee.

And then came the scariest chapter in his injury odyssey.

Shortly after tearing up the knee, Long’s football career — and nearly his life – came to a permanent end in a grisly car accident.



“Heath Ledger and I died on the same night,” Long said of his January 2008 accident. “Thing is, I somehow made it through it.”

Long said he was driving his Ford Mustang, the self-proclaimed ‘fastest car in Tennessee,’ too fast on a slick highway on-ramp. The thrill-seeking Long lost control and hit a rock wall at more than 80 miles per hour.

“I crushed myself in my own car,” Long said. “I died in the ambulance, I died a couple days later in the hospital, but I’m still here.”

He was in critical condition with multiple injuries and spent 10 days at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Living, breathing and on the mend. But the NFL career was, for all intents and purposes, over.

“It’s like having a big snickers bar,” Long said. “You take one bite of it, then somebody bumps you and it falls in a pile of dog crap. I wanted that whole snickers bar.”

Long tried to resurrect his career in the humblest of ways, working out for the Florida Tuskers of the United Football League. Unfortunately for Long, his legs were not the same, and he retired shortly after joining the league.

“I can’t watch football anymore,” said Long, 31. “It’s like having a really hot girlfriend, and now I have to watch her with somebody else.”

He attention now is focused on acting and stand-up comedy – so much so that he’s in the process of moving to Los Angeles to pursue the dream.

Wherever he goes, however, the rolling fields of the Palouse aren’t far from mind. He says he dearly misses Pullman and Cougar football. “I miss the whole town, I miss it so much,” Long said. “I miss the whole experience. I miss the football. I miss my teammates. You can’t get that anywhere.”
Blog: TheKnack
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
01:26 PM - May 2, 2017. Written by SBartlett
Open Source Campaign Proposal for 2K Sports
An Open-Source Campaign can Drive Passion, Ingenuity, and Interest for 2K Sports and the Community.

Preface: At Converse, I had the chance to work with Accenture software engineers to upgrade our company’s CRM. After many months of QA testing, it was quite clear that Accenture software engineers teamed up with business managers formed very powerful teams. The new CRM system was designed with the interests of the users (as best as possible).

This type of relationship opened my eyes up in to what types of limitations the CRM system had from a programming perspective. I began thinking within the parameters of the current software, almost like a software engineer. From this experience alone, it is clear to me that software engineers that work in concert with business managers (or end-users) can produce great results.

Now let’s carry this strategy over to gaming.

Campaign: Unleash the PC modding community by availing the older-generation testing & design tools for classic titles.

Rationale: This one is a bit more creative, unconventional, but within the realm of possibility. If this idea is not executed as written here, it still opens up the possibility to riff off the idea, and come up with some other unconventional releases.

The goal is to release previously created in-house testing & design tools for original 2K sports titles and make them free open-source tools. Functionally, this will enable the community to create their own gameplay mechanics on their PC’s. Think: slider tweaking and testing multiplied by 100.

Testing & design tools will enable millions of fans to create their own interpretations of very specific gameplay elements and fine-tune them. The modding community will be unleashed with a new set of tools to edit gameplay mechanics and to test sliders. For a specific example: perhaps the tools will enable users to test each jump shot animation’s success rates - a point of contention within the 2K community this season.

This campaign would be gifting the community tools to become gameplay engineers, to study and interpret data and feedback, and improve the gameplay on their own. Further, it will educate users on how to perceive gameplay mechanics, data, and how to communicate bugs to 2K in the future.

Many parties stand to gain from this. Defying traditional business in making some of these old tools available would create buzz. User generated content would have the potential to go viral on the web, and 2K may find some very talented developers and modders out there creating unique gameplay mechanics to inspire new controls, new sliders, and new gameplay flow.

By making use of these old assets, we can re-energize and grow the fanbase of sports gamers on the PC gaming side. This is an engagement devised to cultivate creativity and imagination within the community to push the gameplay mechanics further.
Blog: SBartlett
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The opinions stated within this blog post are mine alone and in no way associated with OperationSports.com or anyone in an official capacity for this website. This blog post contains my thoughts.

NBA 2K14's post launch failure is a good thing for the future of sports games and let me tell you why. Imagine a world in which 2K14 had a flawless launch. No server issues, no corrupt save issues, no crashes to the dashboard, and no broken features. As a gamer this sounds like basketball utopia. However, in this scenario, I believe 2K's implementation of virtual currency would not have come under the same scrutiny that it has. Now that's one man's opinion but I think it needs to be discussed. As people's frustration grew over a broken game with broken saves and broken features, people also started to notice other things wrong with NBA 2K14. The virtual currency implementation, the lack of local save files to your HDD, and the reliance on always connecting to 2K's server to name a few.

In many ways, NBA 2K14 embodies that "always online" spirit that gamers erupted against en masse when the Xbox One was initially revealed. Microsoft walked back these features and the rest is history. 2K14 often feels like a game made for that always online world. The always online nature of the game didn't reveal itself right away either. I paid my $64 at launch and bought 2K14 like many of you did. I went home and was blown away by the graphics and gameplay, like many of you were. Many gamers were in the "honeymoon" period with 2K14 and rightfully so. It wasn't until after the launch of the game and after the reviews were posted by every major site, OS included, that the gaming world woke up to what was going on.

I myself might have downplayed or diminished the grumblings of fellow gamers on some issues had I not experienced a broken MyCareer save that couldn't be played until Patch #2 was released. At the time I was furious. But now I'm glad that it happened the way it did. It gave me a chance to stand back and reflect on the game and it's various issues. It afforded me the opportunity to look at the implementation of VC as a universal currency across all modes. It gave me the chance to wonder why it took so long to boot the game up sometimes. It game me a reason to wonder why I couldn't find the roster I had worked on unless I was disconnected from online (as I was when I first worked on the file). I'm not saying that all of these issues wouldn't have been noticed by gamers eventually. But I do believe the roar over them would not have been as loud and I don't believe that major websites and even our own Press Row Podcast would have devoted entire stories to "vc", had 2K14 had a trouble free launch and fantastic post launch support. We'd have all been too busy playing the game!!

So yeah, I'm glad that NBA 2K14 launched with so much broken, now that I reflect on it. It gave sports gamers a reason to question the future of our hobby and to start speaking up about our concerns for this generation of sports games. Without gamers and critics crying fowl over the way that "vc" was implemented, would we as a gaming community have had any meaningful discussion about the state of micro-transactions, in-app purchases, and always online in December and January? I don't know the answer but I'm glad we didn't have to face that. In large part because of NBA 2K14, baseball gamers the world over now ask questions about SCEA's "universal currency", scheduled to debut in MLB: The Show 14. All sports gamers have rallied around the idea that we shouldn't have to connect to a server in order to access our local save files. I think some really positive discussion came from the failed state of NBA 2K14 and it just might be the tip of the spear for gamers to shape what kind of experience we demand and accept from our sports games going forward. And it even expands beyond sports games to console games in general. NBA 2K14's failures have been a massive story. And rightfully so in my opinion.

I believe that in the long run we might look back at NBA 2K14 and be thankful that we had to address some of the issues that we have addressed as a gaming community. It might prove to be this generation's Madden NFL 06 moment for some of us. For different reasons obviously but perhaps more important. The failure of NBA 2K14 on so many levels is a good thing for the future of sports games.

If any of you would like to comment, I'd be happy to know what you think about it.
Blog: JohnDoe8865
Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The injury saga of Derrick Rose has been a tough one to follow for those that empathise with the plight of the Bulls' talented point man. It's not as easy, however, for us to relate to the front office in Chicago. What is life like when the heart of your franchise goes down for an entire season -- or more? The injury to David Robinson that led to San Antonio drafting Tim Duncan was one of the most impactful twists of fate for any professional sports organization in recent memory. But allowing your organization to struggle in the current season with the hope it leads to gains in the future (draft positioning) is a tough call to make.

Last year the Bulls pushed forward to reach the Eastern Conference semifinals despite the void Rose left. This year, however, Chicago is struggling with a sub-.500 record and the organization has responded in kind. Luol Deng has been traded away and Andrew Bynum immediately released -- perhaps a sign that Chicago is looking past the current season and banking on the future when Derrick Rose returns.

If you were the GM of a sports franchise that lost a star player to injury, would you push forward or plot for free agency and future draft picks?

Bonus Question: What strategies have you tried in the virtual world as a sports video gamer?


Sports Headlines for January 8, 2014
Blog: jmik58
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
12:23 PM - January 7, 2014. Written by jmik58

It wasn't quite Vince-Young-over-USC good, but last night's finish that saw Florida State steal a national championship from Auburn and the SEC -- in one word, 'Wow!'

College football isn't like its professional sibling in regard to parity as much as we like to think it is. So when two evenly-matched teams square off and the game comes down to the final minute -- that's what championship moments are meant to be.

Today also marks the first day of the post-BCS era and with it some unintended positives. Sure, we get our computers exchanged for a playoff format. But one thing that stands out in my mind which may go unnoticed by many is the boost in quality of play we'll get in the title game. No more four-week layoffs from conference championship week to bowl week for the nation's elite. The semifinals will be the time to work out the jitters with a quick turnaround allowing for a regular season type of preparation -- the routine teams and players are used to.

What aspects of a college football playoff are you most excited about?


Sports Headlines for January 7, 2014
Blog: jmik58
Monday, January 6, 2014

Sure, America's economy isn't what it used to be, but football fans have never been more ravenous for their sport. Yet tickets are sitting on cold Midwestern shelves and are at historically low prices for tonight's BCS championship game between Florida State and Auburn. So what gives?

It's the final game of the 2013-14 college football season and the final hurrah for the infamous BCS system. It's the undefeated Seminoles with Jameis Winston versus yet another SEC school -- everyone has a reason to watch and something to cheer for or against. Maybe everyone is still watching, they're just doing it from home.

Is the cost of traveling too much for the fine folks of Southeastern USA to trek to the nation's opposite shore? Or has the in-home experience finally surpassed that of the in-person spectacle? One thing is for sure, the view may be just as good with HDTVs and the food and companionship can't be beat from the comfort of your own man cave.

Has your preference shifted regarding your favorite way to watch big sporting events? Are you as satisfied watching at home compared to the in-person experience?


Sports Headlines for January 6, 2014
Blog: jmik58
Saturday, January 4, 2014
12:29 PM - January 4, 2014. Written by Steve_OS

Kobe Bryant couldn't make the interview after shoot arounds, so Nick "Swaggy P" Young stepped in as the Black Mamba in this funny video interview.

Source - Lakerholicz
Blog: Steve_OS
Friday, January 3, 2014

Maybe Bob Stoops knew what he was talking about. The SEC may field the top team in the nation each year, but the rest of the bunch appears to be just as vulnerable on a neutral field with the nation's other elite teams -- especially their quarterbacks. And what happened to the vaunted Alabama defense? Forty-five points surrendered to Oklahoma, thirty-eight on the shoulders of the staunch Crimson Tide defense.

South Carolina defeated Wisconsin by a respectable ten-point margin, but LSU struggled to beat unranked Iowa, Georgia was upset by Nebraska, Texas A&M squeeked by Duke, and now Alabama has lost to the Sooners. God forbid in SEC-land should Auburn lose the national championship game on Monday. Sure, the SEC is full of good teams, but when you talk yourselves to a level so much higher than the rest of the nation, it takes more to verify and maintain that elite status.

Is it "open season" on the SEC after their less-than-dominant performances thus far in the Bowl Season?


Sports Headlines for January 3, 2014
Blog: jmik58
Thursday, January 2, 2014

September is a long way from now, but unofficial reports have surfaced that point towards a September bout between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. For months, both sides have postured and fired verbal shots towards the other as numerous attempts to schedule a fight between the two continued to fall through.

Both are set to return to the ring for separate matchups sometime in April or May. This would allow for a natural progression towards a September face-off between arguably the world's two most-revered boxers. But nine months is a lot of time for plans to fall through the cracks or for an injury to derail plans -- not to mention a return to the blood-test saga.

On a scale of 1-10, how excited are you for Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather to fight?


Sports Headlines for January 2, 2014
Blog: jmik58
Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Where do we draw the line in post-game corrections? According to the NFL, an apology is all that is given when officials miss calls that determine playoff qualifiers, but stats and records can be shifted arbitrarily to fix missteps by official scorers.

Peyton Manning's seven-yard pass to Eric Decker at the end of the first half may be reversed to reflect a running play since the pass appears to have been a backwards lateral. The change would slip Manning behind Brees' mark with 5,470 yards -- still an impressive feat.

Should statistical adjustments and rulings changes be allowed once a game is complete? Or should leagues implement an all-or-nothing philosophy in regard to post-game corrections?


Sports Headlines for December 31, 2013
Blog: jmik58
Thursday, December 26, 2013

It always feels good seeing highlights of the year's best plays or moments. But maybe none of your favorite stars or teams gave you anything to cheer about in 2013. To paraphrase a certain brewing company in St. Louis, Missouri: This one's for you!

If you count yourself among the loyalists to the Knicks, Spurs, Bulls, the health of Kobe Bryant or Derrick Rose, The LBJ Haters Club, San Francisco 49ers, the read option, defense in general in the NFL, the St. Louis Cardinals (hey, it was still a great run!), Big-Ten Football, anything other than SEC football, or just a fan of anything Cleveland -- it's safe to say 2013 wasn't all roses.

What were your most disappointing sports moments or letdowns of 2013?


Sports Headlines for December 26, 2013
Blog: jmik58
Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Jason Garrett is by no means the world's greatest head coach -- but then again, is he even really in charge of his own team? Tony Romo is reportedly out for the rest of the regular season with a back injury. That is, unless you're the omnipresent Jerry Jones who has decided to interject by stating that Romo may actually not be done just yet.

Jones owns the team and likely will never "fire" himself from its self-appointed general manager duties (of which there is a consensus he is out of touch in the salary cap era). The captain of the ship once known as America's Team (is it still?) has gone so far as to shift around the play-calling duties of his coaches mid-season and it wouldn't surprise many if he adds his opinion to game-planning as well.

Jason Garrett understood the micromanaging he would experience from his boss when he took the head coaching job in Dallas. But public interjection (that often contradicts previous team reports) may be slightly extreme, even for a control freak like Jerry Jones.

Do you think Jason Garrett has the most frustrating job in the NFL? What other players, coaches, or general managers could argue for the title?


Sports Headlines for December 24, 2013
Blog: jmik58

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