Welcome to a special calamity edition of Ad Age Sports Media Brief, a weekly roundup of news from every zone of the sports media spray chart, including the latest on broadcast / cable / streaming, sponsorships, endorsements, gambling and tech.
Perhaps the primary function of sports, that timorous hive of superstition, is to serve as a reminder that things can go wrong, and disastrously so. Surrendering to optimism is an invitation for chthonic forces to start doling out a whole lot of emotional rump puntings; disaster is the reward for feeling a little too chipper about your team’s prospects.
On Thursday night, possibly because somebody somewhere woke up on the right side of the serotonergic bed, the Furies played a few spirited rounds of tetherball with the hearts of sports fans, advertisers and network sales execs. Calamity struck first in Denver, when Chiefs signal caller and the NFL’s reigning MVP, Patrick Mahomes, dislocated his right kneecap while running a quarterback sneak. As the league’s most dynamic young star lay on the turf at Empower Field, a team trainer popped the patella back into place as if he were realigning a stray Lego brick.
A few hours later and more than halfway across the country, New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia exited Game 4 of the American League Championship Series after his shoulder appeared to give out in the midst of a bases-loaded jam. Hoping to remain on the mound for at least as long as it would take to try and retire the Astros’ George Springer, the 39-year-old lefty tossed one exploratory warmup pitch before trudging toward the home dugout.
That practice throw would be Sabathia’s last as a major leaguer. Having suffered a partial dislocation of his left shoulder, the Yankees’ workhorse this morning was removed from the 25-man roster. In the unlikely event New York manages to overcome Houston’s 3-1 ALCS lead and move on to the World Series, Sabathia will no longer be eligible to take the hill for the Yanks. His career is over.
For Mahomes, the prognosis was far less dour. While the radical feng shui reboot of his kneecap will sideline him for at least three weeks, an MRI today confirmed that no bones had been broken and no ligaments or tendons had been mangled or otherwise damaged. He’s due to have more than a few consultations with joint specialists, but Mahomes is expected to return to the Kansas City lineup after a relatively brief rest.
We’ve addressed how quarterback injuries can wreak havoc on the NFL’s TV ratings, and Mahomes’ absence won’t leave the networks totally unscathed. NBC undoubtedly will miss the phenom’s inspired brand of howitzer-armed razzle-dazzle next week when the Chiefs host Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on “Sunday Night Football.” (Ad Age’s 2019 NFL preview likened the prospect of the 24-year-old Mahomes squaring off against wily veteran Aaron Rodgers to “Kevin Bacon’s showdown with John Lithgow in ‘Footloose,’ only without all the Kenny Loggins on the soundtrack. Presumably.”)
Which isn’t to say …read more
Via:: Ad Age B to B