Hummer. Streaming Service. It Is A Service Dog. TV Content. Wednesday Night Fun.

Who Would Have Thought?   Walmart Television.  Service This.   What Should We Cover Now.  Welcome Juventus to Atlanta.

Doug Roberson is the Atlanta Constitution and Journal’s beat writer who does a great job of covering #AtlantaUnited.  His peers at the AJC include Steve Hummer, an award-winning sports writer who has been with the AJC for over 24 years.  Hummer’s background and credentials have provided him with the opportunity to cover most of the great sporting events Atlanta teams have participated in (a.k.a. the World Series and Super Bowl), or events hosted in Atlanta.  He was a soccer naysayer, maybe for the right reasons, but his piece below is a tiny thread of evidence of how Atlanta United, led by owner Arthur Blank and President Darren Eales, have turned Atlanta into a legitimate Soccer City, USA.  Nice piece Steve Hummer!:

Hulu, Netflix and Amazon streaming services.  Now Walmart is seriously considering a new streaming service at low, low prices (sound familiar?).  In a few posts I have written about the cord-cutting precedent that is sweeping across the U.S.A. This wave of cord-cutting is led by those who have no desire to pay cable service providers their outrageous fees for a lot of content they are not interested in (can you say Comcast?).   I now have a very low cost provider for television and internet but when I move next, it will be easy to cut the cord with cable service providers.

I am a dog lover.  From the crazy Maltese I grew up with to the woman-loving, three-legged white lab/Shepard mix Montana, I enjoy being around dogs and enjoy their company.  With that said, many restaurants and other private entities have allowed dogs on their premises.  Now we have morphed into the availability of ‘service dogs’, who when trained properly, can give the disabled and the elderly incredible guidance and safety.  It is remarkable when you see a trained service dog guiding and leading someone less fortunate through a mall or airport.  It is unremarkable to see dogs designated as a service dog riding in a stroller or shopping cart under the premise of assisting and guiding someone.  Kudos to the Publix grocery chain who has now come out strongly against the morons who put their so-called service dogs in their shopping cart while they stroll through the grocery aisles.  Again, I love dogs but their is a time and place for their presence at restaurants, grocery stores, and airports.

No politics, no religion in this blog.  I will only state that news outlets in the U.S. must be wondering what content, other than the terrifying fires in Northern California, they will cover once the Trump-Cohen battle subsides.  Can you say Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon?  Yes, I can.

Wednesday night.  Atlanta.  Mercedes Benz Stadium.  The Major League Soccer All-Star Game.  #MLS All-Stars v. Juventus.  75,000 people.  Soccer-City U.S.A.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday.   


Random Rants and Thoughts.

E-Commerce.  Dog Track.   No More Uber.   GE Sad.  The Euros.  Zeke.

The success of Amazon and their bold and aggressive strategies have changed the commerce model in the United States, if not the world.  Then we learn more about Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant with 552 million active Chinese-based consumers.  What Jack Ma has done with Alibaba is mind-boggling as his empire expands and shifts into technologies related to the Cloud.  With that in mind keep your eyes on, another e-commerce enterprise with annual revenues approaching $60 billion.  Their model is a bit different than Amazon and Alibaba, with focus on online direct retailing.  For me the telling-tale of their successful model is Google, who recently invested $550M in, and Walmart, who recently inked a multi-year partnership with this up and coming e-commerce giant.

I respect the game of golf for many reasons.  Basically a sport that uses more mentality than physicality (which is why I cannot shoot under 85).  I enjoy watching the major tournaments of golf, a.k.a “Majors” including this week’s #TheOpen.  This year’s Open is at Carnoustie, where golf has been played since the 16th century.  Located on the coast of Scotland, Carnoustie Golf Links is the prototypical links course, way different than most of the courses we have played in the United States.  Now I will say my take on what many stay away from due to the ‘storied’ history of Carnoustie:  the course, burned out brown due to the lack of rainfall, is playing like a bit of a dog track.  Thursday and Friday’s rounds had players hitting 2 irons off the tee, with some of those shots rolling out past 300 yards.  On the first hole of yesterday’s third, Jordan Spieth had a 8′ putt for eagle because he hit a 380 yard tee shot that rolled out 100 yards after the ball landed.  Carnoustie has the ability to water and green up the fairways…they elected not to to “let nature have it’s way”.  To me, the beauty of a golf course is the layout, the lushness of the trees, greens and fairways, and the demand of having to use all the clubs in your bag.  Oh, I know you golf purists think I am dead wrong, but The Open, as well as the U.S. Open, the PGA, and the Masters usually meet my criteria for great courses.  Carnoustie is not.

Twenty months ago I took a look at the amount of actual playing time in one quarter of play in the NFL:  “Some who read last week’s blog had quite a bit to say about my piece on baseball and the length of the game.  What most of them said was not so nice.  This week, I decided to take a look at the NFL.  I watched the first half of the Monday Night Football game and gathered the following metrics (love that word) regarding the 2nd quarter: 39 – # of minutes of the second quarter; 35 – # of plays during the second quarter; 4 minutes, 10 seconds – total play time from the snap to the end of play whistle; 10 minutes, 30 seconds total time for six commercials/promo spots.  Extrapolate what you want from those numbers but the ratio of time played to commercial breaks is a bit concerning”.  Yesterday, I took a look at televised golf watching one hour, between 9:30-10:30am of the third round of The Open.   In that one hour, 31 minutes and 40 seconds showed actual golf activity.  Of that time, 4 minutes was taken up by two golfers, Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, reviewing and over-reviewing their pending putts.  That leaves 27 minutes within the 60 minute time frame of watching the players play golf. The other 33 minutes was dedicated to commercial breaks, promotional spots, and back- story content.  You don’t have to wonder why the television rights and payouts are such massive money with professional golf.

Until last Wednesday night, I had never used a third-party food delivery service.  For whatever reason, I decided to use DoorDash, an app-based service that provides location-based restaurants, menus, credit card payments and the ability to track your order.  Though initially skeptical, the experience ended up being very good, with the delivery on-time and the food excellent.  A great app-based service that I am very high on – until I read that DoorDash hired Uber’s finance chief as their CFO.  If you read my recent blog, you know how I feel about Uber.  Oh well.

General Electric (GE), now only a slice of the mega-powerful conglomerate they once were – very sad.  Their Board is either asleep or on the take.

If you enjoyed the past 30 days of the World Cup, wait two summers for the “Euros”, the quadrennial European Championships which starts with all 55 European countries qualifying for the tournament.  Some say that this tournament, though European concentric, is a better competitive tournament than the World Cup.  I am one who agrees.

To Ezequiel Barco:  you are young, new to the Country and the Club.  We all make mistakes, act out, and most of us have to some level have misbehaved.  This is a lesson learned young man and hopefully you have peers, associates, and friends that can wake you up to get on the right path. Note: Atlanta United paid $15m for Barco, a 19 year-old from Argentina,  to help bolster the midfield and fill the void of Yamil Asad leaving for D.C. United.

Adios and Have a Funday Sunday.

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Mid-July Things I Think.

The Coast of Maine.   Cavemen.  Discriminatory Behavior – NO.   The Final.  Orlando City Wins!

If you are looking for an easy way to spend a long weekend, fly to Portland, Maine.  Within an hour of Portland, either south or north, the coastline, while different than the California coast, offers equivalent spectacular views and activities.  Try hiking on many coastline trails, take in a sail or enjoy the experience of fishing for haddock.  I don’t say this often but I would head back there often to enjoy what the Maine coastal areas offer.  Yes, you might want to get up there before the end of October.

We all look for ‘wins’ in life.  Positive experiences in today’s life are few and far between, but learning that the twelve soccer players and their coach were finally safe was fantastic.  The players and coach from the Wild Boars soccer team had visited these caves in the past, and had only planned on spending an hour exploring one of many caves in the Tham Luang region of Thailand.  Once inside, torrential rains flooded portions of the cave preventing them from returning to the entrance, a circumstance that kept them with little food, water, and no daylight for 18 days.  A tremendous effort from worldwide rescue crews, who after many days of planning and preparation, were able to ‘swim out’ the 12 players and coach in what really was a great deal of skill and luck.  A great story in the midst of so many negative vibes happening in today’s world.

Ride-sharing has become ubiquitous.  Led by Uber and Lyft, these companies provide car services to millions.  Uber’s mismanagement,  ethics, and lack of enforcement of discriminatory behavior from their executives  has put the company in a very precarious position.  These allegations started at least two years ago and unfortunately continue today.  If you have an option to use Lyft, do so, at least until Uber gets their act together.

Whether a soccer fan or not, the World Cup final is must-see TV.  France, with it’s relative all-star team, faces the blue-collar men of Croatia in a final few would have predicted.  Close to 1.2 billion people will tune in later this morning (11am EDT) to watch the culmination of what has been a fun and exciting World Cup tournament.  Here is to hoping that the final is as intriguing as the semi-finals.  I guess the reality is that it all boils down to country pride and money.  Speaking of money: today’s winner between France and Croatia will take home $38 million in prize money.  Yes, $38m! The runners-up in Sunday’s showpiece at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium will receive $28m.  Nice payday for both.

Congrats to Orlando City, who beat Toronto 2-1 last night.  Finally a complete effort from the team and their new coach, who made a few changes in the starting lineup that resulted in Orlando City’s many chances.  Kudos to the supporters, who came out and were very loud for all ninety minutes.  Orlando City had lost nine straight games until last night’s win.

Adios and have a Funday Sunday!