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RIP Earle Bruce

Former head football coach of The Ohio State Buckeyes from 1979-1987, the 87-year-old Earle Bruce, has died.

There’s so much to say about Mr. Bruce–on and off the gridiron–but at this reflective moment, there’s one memory that rises above the rest.

There are few greater honors as a Buckeye than to dot the “i” in Script Ohio in the Horseshoe back in 2016. And Mr. Bruce was provided that unforgettable opportunity.

RIP Earle Bruce. 

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The Boys of Summer (Minus 1) Are Back

A lot of sand is nothing to write home about. However, THE Sandlot is an entirely different (and thoroughly entertaining) story. Aside from the fact it’s been a quarter-century since The Sandlot premiered in movie theaters, this film is timeless and will always be 25 kinds of awesome.

What’s more trying: Avoiding the famed pitfalls of Friday the 13th or attempting to recover a baseball signed by Babe Ruth (or Baby Ruth, for true Sandlot fans) hit over a neighbor’s fence and into a backyard guarded a monstrous dog?

Well, you’ll only want to relive one on repeat.

Bayern Munich Is Not Loyola-Chicago

Lionel Messi and Barcelona did not earn their way into the final four of the UEFA Champions League after a shocking 3-nil defeat against Roma that sent Roma to the semifinals based on away goals. Whoa.

“Of course that was a warning,” Robben told reporters. “It shows that everything can happen in football.”

And you thought college basketball had a monopoly on madness this time of year.

Soccer is the world’s game and one of this sport’s eternal truths is that anything can happen. The biggest clubs can dominate or stumble in spectacular fashion (see above). That’s part of soccer’s beauty. Another part of this sport’s amazing DNA is that–if approached with hard work, tact, talent, and patience–teams can set themselves up to peak at exactly the right time.

Enter the 2017/2018 Bayern Munich squad.

(Click “Watch this video on YouTube” and then return back to Jimmy’s Daily Planet to finish the article!)

Will Bayern Munich win the Champions League en route to another treble under the management of world-class coach Jupp Heynckes? We’ll see soon.

Most pundits have been critical of Bayern Munich this season outside the Bundesliga. Fair points have been made here and there, I suppose. Still, they’ve been tagged–as a result of a few less than stellar/perfect performances–with an underdog tag for the Champions League.

Well, those same “experts” may want to review the tape and “underdog” roster of Bayern Munich one more time…

because Liverpool, Roma, and Real Madrid certainly are.

The draw for the semifinal matchups is this Friday. Stay tuned to Jimmy’s Daily Planet for the must-see fixtures.

P.S. Bayern Munich has dominated the Bundesliga and has qualified for the UEFA Champions League semifinal without Manuel Neuer. Or, in other words, the world’s best goalkeeper. How many other clubs could do that? Just saying. 

Are We Watching the World Flatten Out?

If you would have told me 10 years ago that Facebook would be providing footage of a UEFA Champions League quarterfinal match free of charge…

I would have thought you were crazy.

Earlier today, because a certain cable provider that has chosen to invest in rebranding, marketing and just about everything else except for quality, I was left with the option of following virtual text updates for the first leg of the UEFA Champions League game between Sevilla and Bayern Munich. Then, I had an idea. After the TV and ESPN app options provided a nil-nil result, I logged into Facebook. And there, before my eyes, one click away was the Fox Soccer Channel’s video and commentary feed of the aforementioned game via Facebook Live.

Simply incredible in more ways than one.

One: Social media has effectively entered some of the biggest sports broadcasting stadiums and games around the world in real-time, albeit at a seemingly small-scale at the moment.

Two: The Facebook Live video (with quality commentary) was/is free.

For a social networking platform that is rightfully being criticized for privacy issues, this is one positive story for Mark Zuckerberg’s company this week. While Facebook Live isn’t new, the Sevilla vs. Bayern Munich game earlier today highlights that–much like the communications industry–broadcasting sports games has entered a new phase that could prove to have good and bad consequences by flattening out through technological innovation.

Is the Pay-Per-View model slowly nearing the antiquated tech graveyard? How does cable TV respond concerning its sports packages if this isolated game, presumably available to fans (and Facebook users) around the country and the world, evolves into the rule and not the exception? Is this a good thing? A bad thing? Should there be some exclusive reward for purchasing/investing in premium cable channels and packages? How will (or does) privacy issues play into using Facebook Live, YouTube Live or similar streaming services while logged in as a user? How should we consume a variety of live television programs?

One thing I know for certain at this point is that I watched Bayern Munich score two critical away goals in a 2-1 win at Sevilla with an enjoyable post-game recap by a Fox Soccer Channel host and two analysts.

Lots of questions to ponder. So, round-and-round we’ll go.