GUYSNATION! To quote Robert Plant, “Its been a long time…” 18 months. I’d love to say I traveled the globe, wrote a novel, or performed a one man comedy show off Broadway. Truth is? I’m just lazy, but? Like the deadbeat son who backpacks around Europe and you hear nary a word from for years? I’ve shown up on your doorstep and all I ask is a bed, a warm shower, some food, and could you lend a dudeman a couple hundred till I get back on my feet? (I’ll throw my paypal account info in at the end.)

So, what spurred this return to the Nation of Guys? To sit down at a keyboard and share some thoughts?

Is it the impending college and pro football seasons? Is it penant races? PEDS? Johnny “sign here” Manziel? NO!, but yes?

Confused? Good.

I was sitting watching ESPN. I then turned on NBCSports and see an ad for the Premier League coming to the NBC family of networks. THEN put on the MLB Networe. I briefly turn on FX and I saw an ad for Fox Sports 1. The newest addition to the ever growing and ever competitive Televised Sports Landscape. I sat there blissful at all the sporting options. All the games and news conveniently blocked together by my Fios package.

It really is the most wonderful time to be a sports fan. It is also not the best time to be employed by the “World Wide Leader” in sports, but for us sportsfans? competition is a wonderful and beautiful thing!

Sports has shown itself to be the most “Tivo-proof” television. Let me explain. Watching TV live means you can’t fast forward commercials. Destination, “must watch live” TV is becoming increasingly valuable in a medium with DVRs, and On Demand, and the advent of “binge watching” TV shows. IE, I just watched Breaking Bad season 1 over the last two days. I’ll probably never see an episode when it debuts on AMC. Lots of shows are consumed like that now.

Sports? Not so much. NBC’s Sunday Night Football is wrecking house in the ratings (of course so is the NFL in general), but sports, in general, is something that people get together and watch live with friends. With the ever expanding TV Dial with hundreds into a thousand plus channels? It has become highly competitive for landing rights to broadcast sports. This was also the push the last few years and success of each domestic pro league’s channel. At the top of that of course is the NFL Network, followed, in my opinion by the MLB Network.

But I’m not telling you anything you (as a sports fan) shouldn’t already know. I’m not here to talk about the impending NFL season. I see lots of guys doing great work breaking down the NFL and NCAA seasons that are on the horizon. I’m here to say, tomorrow is a HUGE day in sports. Huge day that increases games on TV. Increases sports coverage. Increases the competition between all the networks. For two big reasons:


The English Premier League is coming to NBCSports. Tomorrow NBC family of networks will be showing 3 games from England’s soccer league. 2 on NBC Sports and 1 on the mothership, NBC. This kicks off their coverage for the next three years. This gambit not only lands NBC a lion’s share of the televised soccer for the US (they also have a deal with MLS), but also they took the league from Fox, and their soccer specific channel. I can feel some of you rolling your eyes, but as a lifelong soccer fan, this is great. I think the addition of NBC Sports production and promotion with the EPL will help grow the game here. Plus thanks to the time difference? Their schedule melds perfectly with our sports needs. If you get up early (I consider 7-8 am “early”) on Saturday or Sunday morning? You will find a live game. Some of the world’s best players. Playing the world’s most popular game. I strongly recommend giving it a try.

But lets say Soccer ISN’T for you. Well, apparently “FUN” is coming back to sports, and its being brought by THESE folks.

Fox Sports 1

Saturday, Fox launches their 24/7 sports channel. They already had lots of regional channels that covered lots of NCAA Football. They have deals with NFL, MLB, NASCAR, UFC, Big 12, PAC-10, UEFA Champions League, and they recently landed the rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. They already tout a lineup of sports and future rights that makes an immediate impact on the sporting landscape. And exactly HOW they’re kicking off this lauch speaks to how the whole landscape has changed.

Chael vs. Shogun

The UFC on FS1 will be their “Premier Gala”. A Pay Per View caliber lineup of some of the industries best, most loved (Uriah Faber and Joe Lauzon), or hated (Chael friggin’Sonnen), or entertaining (Chael friggin’ Sonnen) are on this card to usher in a new era. To further the mission that ESPN laid the groundwork for the better part of the last 3 decades. If you’re a sportsfan like me, and the first thing you turn to IS a sports channel?

There is no better time to love sports. The dial is expanding. The choices are getting better. There are more games on TV, and that’s not just a good thing.

That’s a GREAT thing.

So this weekend stock up on the chips and beer (or if you’re watching EPL tomorrow morning with me, fish, chips, and a pint). Preorder a few dozen wings, and celebrate this landmark weekend in sports fandom!

Alright Nation of Guys I’m gonna head outside. Might be the only chance I have for the next few days.

This is the Sheriff of Scottingham, signing off.

Sir Scott M. Hayes xiv

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