Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rshad Evens Beats Rampage Jackson at UFC 114

I'll give Dana White and his UFC organization credit for one thing, they know how to put on a show. It's Memorial Day weekend, and the UFC had the entire world watching with it's monster card for UFC 114. The main event featured a good old fashion grudge match between Evans, and Jackson. The match went the distance and the fans were left feeling like they got their money's worth.

Rather than try to break it all down, (which I am not qualified to do) check out these highlights from Saturday's fight.


<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=b35ebcb2-8c25-4032-91e2-9baeebc3ed47&from=IV2_en-us_foxsports_articles" target="_new" title="Highlights: UFC 114">Video: Highlights: UFC 114</a>

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jared Allen Cuts his Mullet


As I was sitting around earlier today, I heard a story come across the radio, and the overly excited sports talk show host told the story of one Jared Allen, the Pro Bowl defensive end from the Minnesota Vikings. However, this story had nothing to do with Allen's exploits on the field. The entire segment focused on Jared's hair, or a lack there of. That's right it was all about his super mullet and Jared Allen's haircut.

Seriously!?!? They are dedicating radio segments and entire blog post to Jared Allen's mullet? I'll give the man credit his mullet was impressive. And it can be a big deal when a person cuts their hair. But we're talking about NFL football. It's about hitting, and violence, pain. Not haircuts and fashion statements.

Has the 24 hour news cycle and the blogosphere brought us to this? We are talking about one of the baddest men in the NFL and the only story we can think worthy of covering is about the mans hair. Damn, I miss the old days when football was about football and nothing else.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Phill Jackson Rips Craig Sager's Suit

The LA Lakers had their hands full last night when they took on the Phoenix Suns in game 3 of the Western Conference Finals. However, despite it being a close game, Lakers head coach Phil Jackson managed to find time for the typical end of the first half interview. Yet instead of worrying about finding a way to stop Amara Stoudemire (he went for 41) Jackson was more interested in ripping TNT sideline report Craig Sager's suit.

In Jackson's defense, it was a horrible suit Sager was wearing. The problem however is Sager always wears ugly suits, that's his gimmick. Making matters even worst, Phil Jackson blew the punchline of his joke.

Hey Phil, stick to coaching and figure out a way to get Will Bynum some rest for that gimpy leg.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Daily Erin Andrews: Venus Williams Sexy Dress


The French Open is getting underway and all the big names are in action. And while tennis is a fine sport, we really only care about the woman's division. Everyone who follows sports knows about the Williams sisters they have dominated the game on the court, and thanks to some of the outfits Serena Williams has worn, they have stolen plenty of headlines off the court.

Now it appears that Venus Williams is ready to show off her body as well. Check out this outfit the multiple time Wimbledon champion puts on for her opening round match.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2012 Olymic Mascot is a Complete Disaster


The Olympic Mascots have typically been pretty horrible. And in the grand scheme of things let's be honest no one remembers what they are or why they even exist in the first place. Nonetheless, with the 2010 Olympic mascots being unveiled earlier today I have to ask, what the hell is this?

Referee Joe DeRosa Throws the Ball at a Fan

Last night the Orlando Magic most likely gave up on their chance to return to the NBA Finals by falling 0-2 to the Boston Celtics. While all of Orlando is sure the Magic can travel to Boston this weekend and pick up a few wins to even the season, there is one person who won't be making the trip. No it's not one of the players, it's 18 year veteran referee Joe DeRosa.

The NBA has had more than it's fair share of issues with their refs over the past few years. Getting one of your top officials caught in a gambling scandal will do that to you. Commissioner David Stern has worked hard to improve the reputation of his league and it's officials. DeRosa's actions on Tuesday night may have caused the reputation of NBA officials to take a giant step backwards.

Just before halftime of the Eastern Conference Finals match up, Joe DeRosa went to the scorers table to pick up the crews warm up jackets before heading to their locker room. On his way to the table DeRosa encountered a rowdy fan (go figure). The fan exchanged a few words with with the NBA official, and that's when DeRosa felt the urge to chuck the ball at the fan.




Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Shannon Brown Misses Dunk in Amazing Fashion




After last night's game, it could be safe to say that the Lakers are ready to stroll into the NBA Championships in a few weeks. They made easy work of the Suns in game one of the Western Conference Finals, and it would be difficutl to believe the Suns can do anything to stop Kobe Bryant and company.

However, the Suns may want to use more of this defense, and allow Shnnon Brown to go to the rim at will, because if history tells us anything, he won't make it. Shannon Brown laid an egg in this year's slam dunk contest, and he figured he could make it up to fans by throwing down a monster dunk during garbage time of Monday's game. One thing is for sure, Brown's efforts will live on in enfamy.








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Monday, May 17, 2010

Tyson Gay Breaks World Record Challenges for World's Fastest Man

American sprinter Tyson Gay broke a 44 year old record on Sunday evening, and in the process he threw his name into the race as world's fastest man. Gay ran a 19.41 second 200 meter dash good enough for a world record, the catch it was on a straight track, and international rules only reconized 200 meter times recorded on a curved track.

Despite that minor setback, Tyson Gay recorded a 9.88 second 100 meter split which puts him in the race for world's fastest man, a title currently held by Usion Bolt. While Gay gave credit for Bolt and his athletic ability, he did admit that he was gunning for the Jamacian sprinter and hopes to catch him one day.



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A Swing and a Miss for Roger Federer

Everyone has a bad day every now and again. This past Sunday was no exception for the World's number 1 ranked tennis player. While dropping a match to rival Nadal is nothing out of the ordinary, especially on a clay surface, dropping a match in epic fashion certainly is something new for Federer.

Roger Federer is widely reconized as the greatest tennis player of all time. However, during the match point in Sunday's final, Federer looked no better than me out there on the court.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Michael Jordan Sports the Hitler Mustache


So I'm sitting around on a Sunday evening watching the Eastern Conference Finals, and of course I'm subjected to the course of new commercials from all the typical NBA sponsors. Last year it was the LeBron and Kobe puppets that stole the show. This year, his Airness, Michael Jordan made a special appearance in one of the ads, and let's just say the commercial caused me to raise a few questions.

Michael Jordan has been a longtime spokesmen for Hanes for many years now. For the most part it's a solid relationship and Jordan does a good job with it. However, that may have come to an end today. The overall content of the commercial was fine. It's your typical boring commercial talk. The part that has the Internet abuzz is the mustache Michael Jordan is wearing. From what it looks lie Jordan is rocking a classic Hitler Mustache.

Seriously? No one onset suggested that he may want to shave that crap off his face? This is just sad on many levels. Or maybe Michael Jordan is finally expressing the inner evil that is within him.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

USA Sevens Suffers Some Injuries

The final two legs of the 2009-2010 IRB Sevens tour are coming up, and the United States Eagles are looking to finish off what has been a strong season. However, the Eagles will be missing the services of two of their mainstays thanks to injuries. Our good friends at UR7s.com has more about this.

The USA team has assembled at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Chula Vista in preparation for its final two IRB Sevens World Series events of the season.

Coach Al Caravelli’s squad will train for a week at the OTC, before being narrowed down to just 12 players that will travel to the London Sevens (May 22-23) and then to Scotland for the Edinburgh Sevens the following week(May 29-30).

Eight of the players that led the US to their first Cup final in Adelaide and the quarter-finals in Hong Kong return. Yet missing from the side is Nese Malifa (injured) and inspirational forward Matt Hawkins, who is expecting the birth of his son. Zach Pangelinan and Nick Edwards are also unavailable.

Those absences allow some of the promising collegians an opportunity to challenge for the 12 spots up for grabs. Amongst those are Colin Hawley (Cal), Blaine Scully (Cal) Benji Goff (University of Tennessee), Connor Bertrand (Texas A&M), Smiddy Schmidt (University of Nebraska), Ryan Roundy (BYU), Clint Whittler (Arkansas State University), Dusten Umeda (University of Hawaii).

Kicking off the Emirates Airline London Sevens tournament, the USA will first face World Series leaders Samoa in a repeat of the Cup final in Adelaide last month with Argentina and Italy also in their Poo.

The following week in Scotland will again face three tough opponents in its pool round as it plays Wales, hosts Scotland and Fiji in that order.

“The goal for this season was to finish in the top 10 and have 21 or fewer players play in all eight tournaments,” Caravelli said.

“If we did the latter, we believed that we could finish in the top eight. Our goal in London is several fold. We want do to better than last year, while also building on what we have done this season so far.

“With that said we will have at least four new players and a tough pool in each tournament. The players have been reviewing a lot of film, however, and we know if we correct a few mistakes on both sides of the ball we will be able to top them.”

The USA is currently sitting with 32 World Series points and has reached its highest world ranking - ninth overall.

USA Player Pool for London & Edinburgh Sevens
Barnard, Marco (Kutztown University), Bokhoven, Mark (Denver Barbarians), Edwards, Nick (NYAC), Emerick, Paul (Parma), Enosa, Tai (Belmont Shore), Hawley, Colin (Cal), Palamo, Thretton (University of Utah), Pangelinan, Zach (OMBAC), Peters, Leonard(Gentlemen of Aspen), Richards, Trevor (University of Nebraska), Ross, Alex (SDSU), Roundy, Ryan (BYU), Saunders, Tommy (KC Blues), Schmidt Jr, Erwin "Smidy" (University of Nebraska), Scully, Blaine (Cal) , Suniula, Shalom (Pearl City), Swiryn, Kevin (OPSB), Test, Zach (Loughborough), Umeda, Dusten(University of Hawaii), Whittler, Clint (Arkansas State)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Daily Erin Andrews: Erin Andrews Stripper Dance


All of America has been enthralled by Erin Andrews and her achievements on dancing with the stars. She has not only proven she has the charm but she has the moves on the dance floor to make her a serious contender on the hit show.

However, before Erin Andrews was a star on Dancing with the Stars, she was just dancing to make some money. Does anyone else remember this horrible infomercial from 2001? I know I do, and to make matters worst, I'm pretty we bought the video one night while drunk. Who knew even back then we were Erin Andrews fans?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tiger Woods Retires From Golf; That's What Walker's Ranting


Okay so maybe the great one has not retired from the PGA just yet, but with his off the course distractions mounting up, it sure does seem like that's more of a possibility. We have that and plenty more to talk about in the latest edition of Walker's Rants. This party is a go.

Tiger Woods is playing with fire. Believe me I understand how much a bulging disk can hurt. However, this is the same guy who played on a torn ACL. There's something else wrong with Mr. Woods, and I believe we can all understand that...

The Phoenix Suns may be legit...

Baseball needs more feuds let Dallas and A Rod go at it...

Rondo has arrived as the NBA's best point guard. However, he is not the best PG for the season. Still needs to work on that consistency thing...

The Big 10 needs expansion. Seriously if you don't understand that you don't understand college athletics...

Why does Rick Riley still have a job?

The Orlando Magic are on the fast track back to NBA Finals. And this time I like their chances...

Notice how there is no buzz around this year's Preakness? And I live in the DMV and I'm saying that...

Seriously who thought the Hawks were the real deal this post season?

RIP Leena Horne, yes we do more than just sports...

I cannot wait for College Football season...

Congratulations to Washington Rugby Club for one helluva season..

USA Rugby, get your head out your ass and get organized...

Anyone want to work my fantasy baseball team? I can't handle it....

As a UVA blog, I am still in shock and awe over everything that took place in Charlottesville. My thoughts are with the family of the fallen. And may both lacrosse teams come home with big victories this weekend in the NCAA Tournament...

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Tiger Woods Withdraws From Players Championship


The World's no.1 golfer withdrew from the Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass Sunday afternoon. Woods withdrew after his second shot on the seventh hole. The reason Tiger cited for withdrawing was a neck injury he has been battling for months.

"I've been playing through it,'' Woods said of pain he first felt before the Masters. "I can't play through it anymore.''

Woods was visibly upset when taking questions from reporters on Sunday in the clubhouse. He slammed his golf shoes to the ground while explaining why he withdrew. After taking a handful of questions, Woods stepped into the trainers trailer and received some treatment on his neck.

"I might have a bulging disk,'' he said.

A bulging disk in his neck would help to explain some of Woods erratic play as of late. However, what is more interesting is the fact that Woods allowed a strained neck to take him out of a tournament. The old Tiger Woods has battled through the flu, stomach flue, and he won the USA Open on one leg thanks to a torn ACL and other knee damage. Now he is allowing a possible bulging disk bring him to a halt. It just doesn't seem right.

We all know that Tiger Woods has gone through a lot since November. There is no way ones personal life can be in such disarray and not have it take a toll on you mentally and physically, and not change you. It is becoming apparent that Tiger is losing his focus. The distractions off the course are now affecting Woods on the course.

The next big moment will come this week when we find out if Tiger Woods will hold on to his no. 1 ranking or will Phil Mickelson pass him.

Serena Williams Bad Mouths Justin Henin

We have all seen how Serena Williams mouth can get her in trouble. Just think back to last year when she took out her aggressions on a line judge, in what was a low point in the stars career. It appears Serena once again let her emotions get the best of her when she let this one liner slip last Friday at the Italian Open.

As Jelena Jankovic and Serena met at the net to shake hands, after the match courtside microphones picked up Serena telling Jankovic, “Don’t think that I would ever treat you like that. Don’t think I would do that. I’m not Justine.

Perhaps that may be true, but seriously you have to be a little smarter about what you say and where you say it.




Kimbo Slice TKO'd, UFC Career in Jeopardy

UFC 113 took place Saturday night with another sellout crowd. The shocker of the night came during the main event when Shogun Rua pulled the upset over Lyoto Machida via knockout. While MMA enthusiast will tell you that fight was the big attraction. There was another sideshow taking place as part of the main card.

One time street fighter (I'm serious) Kimbo Slice stepped inside the octagon once again. This time he was fighting Matt Mitrione. A win for Kimbo and he is back in the discussion for quality heavy weight fighters. However, once again the Slice proved unable to overcome his street brawler background and put on a good fight. Matt Mitrione proved too much for Kimbo and was able to avoid his charges and take downs. In the end, the counter punches and jabs were simply too much. The referee called the fight with a TKO due to punches in the second round.

Check out some highlights from UFC 113.

&amp;amp;amp;lt;a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=6c1444ce-43b4-412e-a555-ff1ad8df2a8a&amp;amp;amp;amp;from=IV2_en-us_foxsports_articles" target="_new" title="Highlights: UFC 113"&amp;amp;amp;gt;Video: Highlights: UFC 113&amp;amp;amp;lt;/a&amp;amp;amp;gt;

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Mark Cuban Donates $25,000 To Support Rugby Sevens

MARK CUBAN TO MAKE $25,000 CHARITABLE DONATION TO THE USA 7’s Rugby Collegiate Championship Invitational

Former Collegiate Rugby Player Cuban Lends His Support to Inaugural

16-Team Tournament

COLUMBUS, OHIO – May 4, 2010 – Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and chairman of HD Net, announced today that he will make a $25,000 program contribution to the inaugural USA 7’s Rugby Collegiate Championship taking place at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio from June 4-6, 2010. This first-ever tournament will feature 16 historically significant collegiate rugby teams in a preview of the talent pool for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team.

“I played rugby at Indiana and it has always been one of my passions,” said Mark Cuban. “Between the inception of this USA 7’s Rugby Collegiate Championship Invitational and the reintroduction of Rugby 7’s as an Olympic sport for the first time in over 85 years, it’s an important time for us Rugby supporters to help build on the momentum and I’m honored to do it.”

Cuban’s program contribution will include $20,000 to the winning team of the USA 7’s Rugby Collegiate Championship Invitational and $5,000 will go towards supporting the Ohio Classic Sevens, which features high-school-aged competitors who are the future of the sport. The money is intended to support the operations of the rugby teams and their student athletes.

“Mark Cuban is a great friend to the sport of rugby and his support has helped us get to where we are,” said Dan Lyle, Tournament Director USA 7’s Rugby. “We are so thrilled to have Mark in our corner as we to take Rugby 7’s to the next level.”

“James Naismith invented basketball to give him something to do in between rugby seasons and with the similar focuses on teamwork, speed and strategy between rugby and basketball, it’s no surprise I am similarly passionate about the two sports,” Cuban continued.

Rugby Sevens features seven players per team playing on the same size pitch as a 15’s match and offers non-stop action where speed, high scoring and athleticism rule the day. The Invitational will be broadcast live on NBC on Saturday and Sunday, June 5-6 from 4-6 p.m. ET and Universal Sports on Saturday and Sunday from 2-4 p.m. ET.

The USA 7’s Rugby Collegiate Championship Invitational features 16 Division I collegiate traditional powers, including the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, Army, Bowling Green, University of California at Berkeley, Dartmouth, University of Florida,

Harvard, Indiana University, Navy, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, San Diego State, University of Tennessee, and the University of Utah.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Kobe Bryant Stars in a Bizarre Fashion Shoot

Okay, so I'll be the first to admit, I don't know a thing about fashion. If I happen to put on a sports coat it's a good day. Outside of that it's pretty much jeans and t-shirts around the Walker Sports office. For this reason, we rarely critique what athletes are wearing. However, in a recent GQ photo shoot, Kobe Bryant put on some interesting choices for clothing.

If I see kids in the streets walking around in these all white get-ups, I know the apocalypse is just around the corner.


Walker's Rants: NBA Playoff Style


You know there must be a lot on my mind when I decide to resurrect our old friend Walker's Rants. The NBA playoffs are in full swing, and since we have reached the second round, I figure it's time to start talking about them.

Cleveland is a solid team, of course we all knew that. However, after watching them Saturday night I was surprised that they are better put together than I previously thought...

LeBron James is soft. Yes I said it. If I hear him complain one more time about that damn elbow, I'm going out there myself and kicking him in it.

That being said, no matter what the price Kobe vs. LeBron in the NBA Finals will be the best bang for your buck that you will ever spend on a NBA ticket...

The Spurs may be old but they have just enough youth to make one more solid run to the mountain...

The Utah Jazz should be banned from the post season for being the most boring team to watch each year. Definitely the most overpriced basketball ticket on the market today...

Kobe Bryant saw the future last week, and it's name was the Oklahoma City Thunder...

The Dallas Mavericks and the Washington Capitals are the same team...

The Atlanta Hawks are so much fun to watch, I just wish they would stick around past the first round...

Old age is contagious, don't believe me? Just ask the Boston Celtics...

On a non basketball note, did anyone else notice we are just over a month away from the kick off of the World Cup? Party at the Walker Sports Compound, Beer and bacon egg and cheese sandwiches will be on tap...

Remember when Shaq did more than just sweat and take up space on the foul line?




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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Floyd Mayweather Dominates Sugar Shane Mosley

Floyd Mayweather took another step down the path of immortality Saturday with another great outing, this time against seasoned veteran Shane Mosley. While the outcome and even the pace of the fight was fairly predictable, there was one surprise Saturday night.

Shane Mosley proved that Mayweather is human by landing a couple of big hits and nearly bringing the undefeated Money Mayweather to the canvas. Other than that brief flurry of excitement, the was pedestrian with Mayweather during his typical dancing around.

With this fight out of the way, there is no reason that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacman shouldn't climb into the ring and face each other. It's the fight the fans want and boxing needs.

Checking out some highlights.

<a href="http://msn.foxsports.com/video?vid=5dba1af4-b10a-47c7-8036-1c9c1e4987d1&from=IV2_en-us_foxsports_articles" target="_new" title="Highlights: Mayweather - Mosley">Video: Highlights: Mayweather - Mosley</a>


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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Dan Lyle Talks US Collegiate Sevens

A few weeks back the US rugby world with rocked with the news that there would be a collegiate sevens championship, and it would be aired live on NBC. Our good friend Dallen Stanford from UR7's.com caught up with the man in charge behind the scenes, Super Man Dan Lyle and asked him a few questions about the importance for this event, not just for sevens but for rugby on the whole in the United States. Check it out.

UR7s.com’s Dallen Stanford caught up with USA Sevens LLC Director of Tournaments Dan Lyle to learn more about the much hyped inagural American Collegiate Sevens event, taking place Columbus Crew Stadium from 4-6 June.

This is an event which is causing ripples in the States with NBC and Universal set to broadcast action live.

Dallen Stanford: Dan, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak to UR7s.com about the exciting Sevens Collegiate Championship.

For the past few years your organization – USA Sevens LLC – has run a very successful USA Sevens leg on the IRB Sevens World Series. How did the Vegas Sevens compare to past tournaments that you hosted? How many years is the Vegas deal locked in?

Dan Lyle: We had a great first year in Vegas – and have another year on the books coming February 12 and 13th 2011 – although we are waiting on final confirmation from the IRB. The city of Las Vegas is 100% behind the event and there is something to do for rugby fans no matter who you are or where you are from. Vegas feels like rugby sevens and we have shown the community there how great our sport is. The entire city wants to get behind the event now, so the first year was a great success that will grow in the future.

DS : How did USA Sevens LLC come up with the idea of a Collegiate Sevens event?

DL: We as a company are looking to expand our assets to satisfy what all event promoters or sports developers know – multiple events are what sponsors and stakeholders want and need. In our search of creating sevens rugby properties NBC stepped forward as wanting to be a partner. They feel rugby is the next big sport and they believe that sevens rugby is the right product for the American market. Together we are looking to build an event that the general sports fan in America can relate to and thus build the value of our sport. Hence the college brands that were invited for this first year to get the process started.

Also our Championship Cup Series was a huge success this first year (won by your side Belmont Shore), and again we see this product growing through the national rugby sevens infrastructure moving forward. We want as many teams competing as possible, and all of them travelling to Vegas for a true international sevens experience at the end.

DS: Is USA Rugby involved? I know that they have introduced a similar top-16 Collegiate Championship at 15s. Will this sevens tournament interfere with the All Star 15-a-side Collegiate build-up?

DL: We are working closely with USA Rugby as well as the newly formed Collegiate committee to see what the long-term plan and goals they are creating needs. We are working with the All Star coaches to minimise travel for the players participating in both 15s and 7s competitions this year. And as we are an officially sanctioned event by USA Rugby, we will look to support and develop this competition with them moving forward.

DS: Sevens is definitely where America’s future stars will emerge. I know USA head coach Al Caravelli will be on hand to scout players. Have you been in contact with the Eagles coach about the event?

DL: Al and many of the top minds for sevens in the US will be taking part at different levels for the event. We are working closely to fulfill the NBC technical requirements, the teams training needs and our on ground needs – if you are at the event you will see many of the familiar faces that are taking rugby forward particularly in sevens. It will be a true showcase for all the folks that have put so much into the sports of sevens over the last number of years.

DS: How did you choose the 16 teams that will take part for the 2010 event, and what will be the process for next year?

DL: The goal of this event is to grow the game strategically using qualities that the American public knows in the arena of national sports. The choice of known college brands with great rugby was where we focused. We know that there are many universities in the USA with great rugby programs, and we want them all to be a part of this event moving forward.

For this first year, it was important to invite a team that represented a good geographical spread of the country, to show the public how nationally developed our sport of rugby is.

Moving forward we want to partner with all university programs, via USA Rugby, to develop regional qualifiers for this event, that if they win they will move onto the Collegiate Invitational in Columbus. As I have said already, this is the start of the process to develop the game of sevens nationally here in the USA, and hopefully end with a gold medal in Rio in 2016!

DS: Rugby clubs all over the world have struggled to secure finances for their seasons. Are teams in this event responsible for travel and hotel?

DL: No, USA Sevens believe in developing professional events in which the teams are properly taken care of. Similar to the Las Vegas IRB Sevens event, we will provide each team (including support staff) air travel, hotel and full catering everyday they are in Columbus.

We will also provide the same service that we do in Las Vegas for the event officials and referees, as well as all volunteers and staff that help us by working at the event. Most collegiate events in the States work this way and we are creating a top class Collegiate event, as we believe our athletes deserve it and will help them be the best that they can be on the pitch.

DS: Creating exposure to rugby for the American audience is vital in the games future growth. How did USA Sevens LLC secure NBC and Universal Sports to air the event live?

DL: NBC are looking at the rugby space, as are other networks we have worked with over the last 5 years. NBC, however, have a track record through the Olympics and other major start up events in building sports from the ground up here in the USA. They see and understand the value in rugby and want to be the network they brings the sport to the national USA audience. They are showing the event LIVE on TV for 4 hours each day Saturday the 5th and Sunday the 6th of June (2 hours LIVE on NBC Universal followed 2 hours live on NBC 4-6pm each day).

NBC have created a massive marketing campaign around this event that has never been seen before in rugby in the USA. They will begin this educational process by airing ads nationally across the country starting April 25th – and these ads will be ‘rugby education – get to know the sport.’

As I have said the university brands competing are known throughout the nation and this promotion will teach the sport to the greater public. What is important for rugby fans is to attend the event and make it a great television spectacle for all the USA to see.

This event is a litmus for the sport of sevens at the Collegiate level here in America. It is critical that the rugby players and supporter in this country support the event and in turn the NBC production. Once we show them how great the sport is this first year, NBC will support our sport and all our competitions moving forward!

DS: Your role for this event as well as the Vegas IRB tournament is ‘Tournament Director’. What does that entail?

DL: The tournament director manages or marries the technical side (playing, production) and the commercial side (sponsors, ticketing, marketing etc). He also manages many of the external relationships from the stadium to the city and its partners to how we interface with USA Rugby and the IRB. As a senior manager I am only as good as the relationships we build and the team we build around the event.

DS: It has been a pleasure speaking with you Dan! We are super excited for the event, and wish you all the best!

www.pakiscorner.com




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