Mattel Inc. on Monday reported a 15 percent increase in its second-quarter profit on global sales of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels toy cars, although U.S. Barbie sales fell for the second consecutive quarter. The toy maker posted net income of $43.1 million, or 11 cents per share, compared with $37.4 million, or 10 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue totaled $1.02 billion, up from $957.7 million in the year-ago period. The company’s profit matched expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial, although revenue fell below the $1.03 billion analysts were looking for. The company’s boys’ brands fared better, with sales of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars up 15 percent worldwide. Sales from lines connected with films or TV shows fell 2 percent in the quarter, although the company said it continued to see strong sales from toys related to the animated film “Cars,” released last year by The Walt Disney Co.’s Pixar Animation Studios. Last year’s second quarter also included strong sales of products from the Warner Bros. film “Superman.” Sales of the company’s Fisher Price line, including infant, newborn and preschool electronics, were up 10 percent worldwide. Mattel said revenue from its American Girls line fell 10 percent worldwide. The company will introduce a new historical doll in the second half of the year, its first in five years. American Girls boutiques are also scheduled to open in Atlanta and Dallas. Analysts said they were pleased with the quarter overall, with international sales picking up the slack of falling domestic revenue in some cases. The continued strong sale of “Cars” merchandise was a surprise, as was an increase in the company’s gross profit margin, said Sean McGowan, an analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities Inc. He said fans of Mattel’s American Girls line were holding off their purchases until the latest doll in the series is released later this year. Mattel seemed poised to do well in the second half of the year, the busiest season for toy sales, McGowan said. The company did not buy back shares in the second quarter. For the first six months of the year, Mattel’s net income fell 18.5 percent, to $55.1 million, or 14 cents per share, compared with $67.6 million, or 17 cents per share, in the same period last year. Revenue for the first six months increased 12 percent, to $1.960 billion, compared with $1.751 billion in the same period last year. Shares of Mattel rose 71 cents, or 2.7 percent, to close at $27.24. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The company said global gross sales for Barbie rose 6 percent, although that figure included a 4 percent gain from currency exchange rates. Barbie sales in the U.S. fell 5 percent in the quarter. The El Segundo-based company said it was hopeful that a new Barbie music player tied to a Web site will boost sales of the company’s flagship girls’ toy line in the second half of the year. “Both we and retailers feel good about the line,” Mattel chairman and chief executive Robert Eckert told analysts in a conference call. “I continue to feel good about where we are strategically, but we continue to have work to do in the U.S.,” he said.
Leander Paes on Saturday said that he is ready to partner whosoever is chosen by the selectors as “Olympics is my greatest honour.” Breaking his silence after Mahesh Bhupathi accused him of “backstabbing,” Paes said who he partners at the London Games was not the most important issue for him.The All India Tennis Association (AITA) has stuck to its decision to pair the two veterans while the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has asked for a report in the matter.”Winning a medal at the Atlanta Olympics is the most cherished memory I have in my tennis career. To play for our flag, and represent India for the sixth time at the Olympics, is my greatest honour. I will, as I always have in the past, put my best foot forward,” said Paes.Paes, India’s top doubles player ranked seventh in the world, refused to react to Mahesh Bhupathi’s stinging statements. “I have no reaction to the recent statements made by Mahesh Bhupathi to the media.I have always maintained that I will play with whoever the selection committee and AITA choose and this continues to be my stand,” Paes said.The 38-year-old player, who had the right to state his preference of partner for the Games, made it clear that he wanted to play with Rohan Bopanna, but said he would not mind combining with his estranged partner Bhupathi. “When asked by the AITA, I expressed my preference to play with Rohan Bopanna as my partner in the Olympics 2012, based on his physical fitness and big serve.”advertisementThe issue of India’s tennis entry for the London Olympics snowballed into a row after AITA chose Paes and Bhupathi as India’s sole representatives in men’s doubles.Bhupathi, who paired up with Bopanna in January with the London Olympics in mind, has maintained that he will not partner Paes as he and Bopanna have qualified as a pair.”It does not help to shoot one’s mouth off like this,” Rohit Rajpal, one of the selectors told Mail Today, on the outburst by Bhupathi and Bopanna. “They should have shown a bit more maturity, discuss things and think about the country. People do come together to rise to the occasion. We thought about all options before taking this decision. As of now, we do not know how it will unfold. We hope things calm down and they will think a little bit.”Asked about their options if Bhupathi refuses to change his stance, Rajpal said “We can then ask Bopanna to partner Leander.AITA chief Anil Khanna said that the federation will stand by its decision. “If Bhupathi expects AITA would buckle under pressure and refuses to pair up with Paes, he should know that it will not happen,” he said.”It will have to be Leander and Mahesh. Olympics is a different ball game and tougher than a Grand Slam and wealth of experience that the duo has would keep them in good stead in crunch and pressure situation”.Meanwhile, IOA supremo VK Malhotra has asked for a report on the issue. “Tennis is one of the sports which can fetch us a medal in the Olympics,” Malhotra told Mail Today. “I have asked Anil Khanna for a report which he has promised to give in a day or two. We will have to look at all the possibilities like whether we can send one team or two.”
Manchester United Man Utd treble winners better than Guardiola’s Man City – Keown Goal 18:45 3/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Getty Images Manchester United Premier League Manchester City v Chelsea Crystal Palace v Manchester United Manchester City The ex-England international believes that the Red Devils always had “something special” about them to get out of trouble Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United side of 1999 is superior to the Manchester City team running away with the Premier League title this season, according to ex-Arsenal defender Martin Keown.United famously scooped the treble in 1998-99, snatching the Champions League trophy from Bayern Munich by scoring twice in the dying stages of the Camp Nou showpiece.Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s men have been the dominant force in England this term, already sealing the Carabao Cup and boasting a formidable 16-point advantage in the league that could make them the earliest Premier League title winners ever. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Despite City’s form, which has been all the more impressive given the style they have played, Keown believes that United’s classic vintage is better.“Manchester City are on their way to being a dominant force but Manchester United’s 1999 treble-winners would beat them,” Keown argued to the Daily Mail.“I was part of the Arsenal side who finished a point behind United that year. That Gunners team was one of the best I played in, but United beat us in an FA Cup semi-final replay despite being reduced to 10 men, thanks to a moment of magic from Ryan Giggs.“United always had one player who would do something special to dig out unexpected results.”Where United were so strong was with four strikers all competing to be top dog. Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke would run the legs off you, then Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would come off the bench with a point to prove. And their finest hour in the Champions League final was delivered by those two substitutes.”Peter Schmeichel was one of the Premier League’s finest keepers. He was such a daunting figure for strikers. The years he spent at the top should be a blueprint for Ederson at Manchester City.”Keown would not, however, discount the possibility of Guardiola’s side going on to dominate for years to come but feels they would lack the experience to trouble Ferguson’s men.“City can be as dominant as the great Liverpool and United sides but winning trophies gives teams an extra layer of armour. That is what City would discover if they faced Sir Alex Ferguson’s treble winners today,” he argued.City remain on course for a treble, although they were shockingly knocked out of the FA Cup by Wigan at the fifth-round stage.Having thrashed Basel 4-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 match, Guardiola’s men are expected to cruise into the quarter-final following Wednesday’s second leg at the Etihad Stadium. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
PSG VIDEO: U.S. youth international Weah nearly scores on PSG debut Ben Valentine Last updated 1 year ago 02:27 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images PSG Ligue 1 Troyes v PSG Troyes United States The 18-year-old came on for the final 15 minutes of the Ligue 1 leaders victory over Troyes United States youth international Timothy Weah has made his first-team debut for Paris Saint-Germain, as he came on a substitute in the club’s 2-0 victory over Troyes.With PSG missing star attackers Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, and Unai Emery deciding to rest other attackers with the club’s second leg against Real Madrid happening midweek, the 18-year-old forward was named to the bench for the Ligue 1 leaders.And with PSG leading 2-0 in the 79th minute, Weah was given his first run out with the senior team, coming on for Giovani Lo Celso. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp George Weah’s 18-year-old son, Timothy, has come on for PSG against Troyes The future is bright #USMNT pic.twitter.com/Tx0aMaMnb5— Goal USA (@GoalUSA) March 3, 2018Weah nearly secured a dream debut as well, as he was put in 1v1 against Troyes goalkeeper Erwin Zelazny just before the final whistle. Coming in at an angle, Weah but a hard shot into Zelazny, before a scramble in the area lead to a goal for Dani Alves that was ruled out due to offside.It could’ve been the dream start for PSG’s Timothy Weah!A good save, or should he have done better there? pic.twitter.com/tR3iRD9iew— Goal USA (@GoalUSA) March 3, 2018The son of former FIFA Player of the Year, and current president of Liberia, George Weah, Timothy has featured for PSG youth and reserve teams over the past few years since departing the United States after representing the New York Red Bulls developmental academy. His debut came over 22 years after his father’s last appearance for PSG, which came in May 1995 after four seasons with the capital club.Tim Weah has represented the U.S. at the youth national team level, scoring a hat trick at the under-17 World Cup against Paraguay in 2017.
Transfers Bayern contacted Pochettino, claims Hamann Goal Last updated 1 year ago 03:04 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Bayern München Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United RB Leipzig v Bayern München RB Leipzig Tottenham Hotspur Newcastle United Premier League Bundesliga The Argentine’s fine work in north London has not gone unnoticed, with Die Roten joining Real Madrid among his suitors Bayern Munich have contacted Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino with an eye to the Argentine succeeding Jupp Heynckes, Dietmar Hamann has claimed. Pochettino has won rave reviews for his work with Spurs, turning the London club into Premier League title challengers since taking over in 2014. That record has not gone unnoticed, with Real Madrid among the sides linked with the manager should he leave his current employers. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp According to Hamann, however, Bayern are keen to turn to Pochettino if Heynckes decided to end his interim term at the Allianz Arena at the end of the season. “I know Bayern have been in contact with Pochettino and that he was an option – and might still be,” the former Liverpool and Germany midfielder explained to Sky.”Some say the Bayern coach should be a German, it might be one area of importance, but not the only one. “Even Pep [Guardiola] was not perfect. It is about picking the best coach possible. “For me, that man is Pochettino.” While Pochettino is still waiting for his first trophy as a manager, he took Tottenham to second place in last year’s Premier League campaign to mark a second successive qualification for the Champions League. Spurs currently lie third in the league, and narrowly missed out on a berth in the Champions League quarters after losing out to Juventus in a thrilling last-16 tie.
Premier League Is football in the Commonwealth Games? Goal 02:45 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Premier League UEFA Europa League The 2018 Commonwealth Games will begin on April 4 and end on April 15, but is football included in the competition? It’s taken four years, but the 2018 Commonwealth Games are now finally on the horizon.England were runaway leaders in Glasgow in the 2014 games with a total of 174 medals, 58 of which were gold, and will be hoping for a repeat performance this time round.But what is the event, who is competing, and will football be included in the schedule? Goal takes a look. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp What is the Commonwealth Games?The first Commonwealth Games was held in 1930 and was marketed as an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations.John Astley Cooper, who first proposed the idea of the event in 1891, wanted a ‘Pan-Britannic-Pan-Anglican Contest and Festival every four years as a means of increasing goodwill and good understanding of the British Empire’. Indeed, the Commonwealth is held every four years, with the last taking place in Glasgow, Scotland 2014.There have been a variety of Commonwealth editions, including the ‘British Empire Games’, the ‘British Empire and Commonwealth Games’, the ‘British Commonwealth Games’, and simply ‘the Commonwealth Games’ as we now know it.The Commonwealth Winter Games ran from 1958 until 1966, the Commonwealth Youth Games have been held every year since 2000, while Para-sports were introduced in 1994 for athletes with a disability before they were included as full members for their national teams in 2002.Where and when is the 2018 Commonwealth Games?The opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held on Wednesday April 5 and will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The games will come to a close on Sunday April 15.Australia, all-time leaders in the medal table with 852 golds, will host the games for the fifth time in its history.Is football in the Commonwealth Games?In short, no. A minimum of ten core sports and maximum of seventeen sports must be included in any Commonwealth Games schedule, with the current list including athletics, badminton, boxing, hockey, lawn bowls, netball (for women), rugby sevens, squash, swimming and weightlifting.There are also nine para-sports, in this case swimming, athletics, cycling, table tennis, powerlifting, lawn bowls, and a triathalon. On March 8 2016, Beach Volleyball was also officially included in the event list.While football, along with billiards, fencing, and golf, are recognised Commonwealth Games Federation sports, hosts may not select them as official events as the are deemed to ‘need expansion’.With the games running through the middle of April, too, it would not make sense for European club players to participate due to their domestic seasons and with the 2018 World Cup kicking off in the summer.Which sports are played at the Commonwealth Games?The official list of sports included in the 2018 Commonwealth Games is as followed: Sports Athletics Badminton Basketball Beach volleyball Boxing Mountain biking Road cycling Track cycling Diving Artistic Gymnastics Rhythmic Gymnastics Hockey Lawn bowls Netball Powerlifting Rugby sevens Shooting Squash Swimming Table tennis Triathlon Weightlifting Wrestling Where and when is the 2018 Commonwealth Games?The opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held on Wednesday April 5 and will be held on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The games will come to a close on Sunday April 15.Australia, all-time leaders in the medal table with 852 golds, will host the games for the fifth time in its history.Commonwealth Games venuesMain arena Carrara Stadium will host both ceremonies and the athletics, while the vast majority of events will take place in the host city Gold Coast.Some other events require facilities located elsewhere, however. Venue Sport Capacity Carrara Stadium Athletics, Opening Ceremony, Closing Ceremony 40,000 Robina Stadium Rugby 7s 27,500 Gold Coast Aquatic Centre Swimming, Diving 10,000/2,500 Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre Gymnastics, Netball (finals) 7,500 Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre Basketball (finals), Netball (preliminaries) 5,000 Gold Coast Hockey Centre Hockey 5,000 Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre Badminton, Powerlifting, Weightlifting, Wrestling 5,000 Oxenford Studios Boxing, Table Tennis 2,500/2,750 Runaway Bay Sports Centre Squash 3,000 Broadbeach Bowls Club Lawn bowling 2,500 Carrara Indoor Stadium Weightlifting 2,500 Southport Broadwater Parklands Marathon, Racewalking, Triathlon 2,500 Elanora/Currumbin Valley Road cycling N/A Nerang National Park Mountain Biking 2,000 Queen Elizabeth Park Beach Volleyball 4,000 Venue outside of Gold Coast Sport Capacity Cairns Convention Centre Basketball (preliminaries) 5,000 Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre Basketball (preliminaries) 5,000 Anna Meares Velodrome Track cycling 4,000 Belmont, Queensland Shooting 3,000 Which nations will compete in the Commonwealth Games? AFRICA AMERICAS ASIA CARIBBEAN EUROPE OCEANIA Botswana Bahamas Bangladesh Anguilla Cyprus Australia Cameroon Belize Brunei Darussalam Antigua and Barbuda England Cook Islands Ghana Bermuda India Barbados Gibraltar Fiji Kenya Canada Malaysia British Virgin Islands Guernsey Kiribati Lesotho Falkland Pakistan Cayman Islands Isle of Man Nauru Malawi Islands Singapore Dominica Jersey New Zealand Mauritius Guyana Sri Lanka Grenada Malta Niue Mozambique St. Helena Jamaica Northern Ireland Norfolk Island Namibia Montserrat Scotland Papua New Guinea Nigeria Saint Lucia Wales Samoa Rwanda St. Kitts & Nevis Solomon Islands Seychelles St. Vincent & The Grenadines Tonga Sierra Leone Trinidad & Tobago Tuvalu South Africa Turks & Caicos Islands Vanuatu Swaziland Tanzania Uganda Zambia Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Viktoria Plzen 2 Sporting CP 1 (aet, 2-3 agg): Battaglia header sends visitors into quarter-finals Ryan Benson 04:37 16/3/2018 Getty Images Rodrigo Battaglia’s extra-time goal proved crucial, as Sporting CP beat Viktoria Plzen 3-2 on aggregate despite losing 2-1 on Thursday. Sporting CP have booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League thanks to a 3-2 aggregate win over Viktoria Plzen, as Rodrigo Battaglia got the vital goal in extra-time in Thursday’s 2-1 defeat.The Portuguese side’s luck appeared to have deserted them when Bas Dost saw a penalty saved in second-half stoppage time, sending the game to extra-time after Marek Bakos’ brace had wiped out Sporting’s 2-0 lead from the first leg.But Jorge Jesus’ men stepped things up a notch in the first half of extra-time, making the most of their superiority with Battaglia’s header on the stroke of the interval, and Plzen – who needed another two goals in response – were left deflated. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp It took the home side just six minutes to pull themselves back into the tie, as Bakos headed in at the far post following a fine Jan Kovarik cross from deep on the left flank.However, Sporting did a good job of restricting their flow of further chances, and they should have drawn level just before the break – Bryan Ruiz slamming a left-footed volley wide from about eight yards out.Sporting missed another glorious opportunity early in the second half.Bruno Fernandes’ long-range strike was parried to Marcos Acuna, whose follow-up effort bounced back off the right-hand post before he then hit the rebound over.And Plzen capitalised just after the hour mark – Bakos sweeping into the bottom-right corner from just out the six-yard box following Radim Reznik’s pinpoint cut-back.Dost was presented with the perfect chance to get a vital away goal right at the end of normal time, but his tame penalty – which he had won – was easily saved by Plzen goalkeeper Ales Hruska, securing extra-time for the hosts.Sporting’s progression, though, was ultimately sealed just before half-time in extra-time, as Battaglia headed in Fernandes’ cross, taking Sporting into the last eight.
Discipline — or lack thereof — was a constant gripe among spectators last season. The team wasn’t very good as it was, but when it was, penalties and lapses in thinking often made them look worse.So Gundy’s solution? For him, it’s simple: get back to his coaching roots. That means more discipline, more physicality, and in turn, hopefully, a better team.“I feel like we need to be a more disciplined, physical, tough football team,” said Gundy. “So I’m going to make a point as I did in the spring and hopefully it carried on this summer when the players were working out and obviously we’re not out there with them, to be a more disciplined, physical football team, and I think that will help our team. So I’m excited about just seeing the results.” 20165.342 YearAvg. penalties per gameNational Rank 20175.133 ARLINGTON, Texas — The added density on the mullet and the favorable home schedule aren’t the only reasons Mike Gundy has a pep in his step as he looks ahead to the 2019 football season.At Big 12 media days on Monday, Gundy explained he is especially rejuvenated this summer for the upcoming season because of another reason: lack of success last season.“I’m more excited and looking forward to a season than I have in a long, long time,” he said. “We didn’t play as well last year as we should have, in my opinion, and it was the result of me not doing my job and holding coaches and players accountable. We weren’t a very disciplined football team. We weren’t a very tough football team. Those are two areas that we can control the outcome.”Gundy’s teams typically rate out above the national average (sometimes well above the national average, sometimes just averug) in terms of penalties per game, but 2018 was definitely a slip far below what has been the norm in the four years before it.As you can see below, from 2015-2017, the team ranked inside the top 50 each year in penalties committed. In 2018, however, OSU committed 6.8 penalties per game, ranking 95th in the country according to TeamRankings.com. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. 20106.893 20136.9105 20115.551 20146.275 20186.895 20155.538 20126.684
A good morning and a great day to the fellow golf-heads out there crazy enough to wake up early and follow the British Open’s opening day. May your coffee be strong, your caffeine high last long, and may we all watch with pleasure as Rickie Fowler clinches his first major win from across the pond. Bullets Rundown• Ice Man taking on bigger leadership role• Why Big 12’s stance on Horns Down deserves thumbs down• OSU’s offseason motivation, in shirt form• Les Miles with Hollywood treatment at new ESPN+OSU Bullets• Gold medal-winning point guard Isaac Likekele (has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?) is already putting to use his valuable Team USA experience back in the states. As one of the players on the U19 team that won the World Cup, he’s already positioning himself for a bigger role at OSU as a sophomore.“His presence, it means a ton to us,” said Mike Boynton. “You can tell his energy is infectious, and he will be a great leader for us.” [NewsOK]• Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman argues the Big 12’s stance on Horns Down is a thumbs up. Respectfully, *fart noise*.I guess the Big 12 could go extreme with Horns Down — ban it outright or allow it regardless — but neither seems viable. Allow it, and officials have their hands tied if someone uses it in a taunting manner. Ban it, and officials have to spend time looking for something easily undetected and ultimately unimportant.A nuanced stance is the right one for the Big 12. [NewsOK]I get the point of arguing this side of it. Really. But when talking about the Big 12’s officials, the words nuance and open to interpretation makes me about as confident as Hugh Freeze when he sees the NCAA on caller ID. Any type of judgement calls related to gestures or intent are bound to be misjudged. My horns are down at this stance, and so are both my thumbs.• OSU could have just printed out some “H8ERS R OUR MOTIV8ERS” shirts to fuel them this offseason, but instead they did one better by printing shirts with the names of every team that beat them during their 7-6 year.“It gave you something to work for every day,” center Johnny Wilson said. “You go to your locker, you get your stuff out and there’s those names. Every single day.” [Dallas News](I approve. Please send a size large to [HEAVILY REDACTED, BROKEN ARROW, OKLAHOMA]. Thanks in advance.)• Date and time for Fan Appreciation Day, 2019, has been set. Marketh thine calendars (and maybe see you there).SAVE THE DATE!🏈️⚽️Fan Appreciation Day📅 Aug. 3🕝 2:30-4:30 p.m.📍 Gallagher-Iba Arena#okstate #GoPokes pic.twitter.com/QP23udWHBk— Oklahoma State Athletics (@OSUAthletics) July 17, 2019• I apologize for being a total child with this #FaceApp stuff, but the amount of laughter I had when it spit out Spencer and Dru like this was healthy for my soul. (Also, who is your vote on this question? I’m riding the SS Ship.) Non-OSU Bullets• It seems the CP3 era in OKC could last longer than expected! As ESPN cap guru Bobby Marks pointed out, the reason for a non-robust market for him is pretty simple: it’s mid-July, ~40% of players under contract cannot be traded at this time, and most teams have already filled up most of their cap space.Here is the formula for why:*40% of players under contract cannot be traded* There are no teams with significant cap space (ATL has the most @ $7M)* Biggest trade exception is GSW ($17.2M) who is hard capped- next is DAL @ $11.8M https://t.co/H6FExQmTAf— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) July 17, 2019• Auburn — and by extension, Bruce Pearl — seem to be bracing for a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA related to the college basketball scandal. Auburn had an assistant implicated in the case, and while he got off nearly unscathed by avoiding prison time, Auburn’s program (and again, by extension, Pearl) might not be so fortunate. The case is of particular interest in Stillwater, as OSU is in a similar position; Lamont Evans was one of the assistants implicated in the scandal, and OSU could be in a similar boat as Auburn (and NC State).Related to the college basketball scandal, NC State received its own NOA last week detailing multiple Level I and Level II violations, the most severe and the second-most severe in the eyes of the NCAA. In its case, the NCAA alleges a former Adidas executive paid former star recruit-turned-NC State-signee Dennis Smith Jr. $40,000. Former coach Mark Gottfried and his former assistant, Orlando Early, are also named in the case, which alleges Smith was provided $46,700 in total impermissible benefits. [CBS Sports]• /ducks the comments section. So uh … this Baker Mayfield piece was interesting, as was his strategy to get his now-wife’s attention. Millennials!The quarterback and his fiancée, who is from Nebraska, were introduced in 2017 by a mutual friend. At the time, Wilkinson was living in Los Angeles. She says she was wary of dating a “punk football player” and ignored Mayfield’s advances for months: He repeatedly followed and unfollowed her on Instagram, trying to attract her attention. Finally, in late December, they exchanged messages. He begged her to meet him before the Rose Bowl, his final college football game. She reluctantly agreed to grab lunch. [ESPN]• I am enraged at The Ringer’s placement of “Let it Go” on the ranking of the best Disney songs. Enraged! • So grass-eating Les Miles is going to be a star, huh?And Tuesday saw an even more interesting announcement of an 18-part behind-the-scenes series on Les Miles and Kansas that will premiere on the ESPN+ Big 12 Now service next month, with a trailer that includes footage of Miles and Kansas athletic director Jeff Long talking before Miles officially took the job. [Awful Announcing]The trailer looks pretty awesome, actually. (Les saying he doesn’t need a fake-bleep whistle to some poor GA hooked me instantly). This is like “Hard Knocks” for CFB, but like, way less interesting. Count me in!• People are dying (literally) for Instagram likes at an obscure sight-seeing spot in Arizona.• Emoni Bates is only 15 years old, but he’s seen by many already as the best basketball prospect since LeBron James. But will he even garner interest from high-major college programs? Why murky NBA plans to lower the age limit (and potentially abolish the one-and-done rule for good) have thus far limited his college prospects.• Nine golfers who could win the 2019 British Open. I’m fading Rory. Fowler at 25-1 is interesting. I don’t hate Tony Finau at 80-1, either! While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
I got this email this week from a reader who gave me the go-ahead to post it. I’m not posting it to comment on it. In fact I’m not going to comment on it even though I disagree with parts of it. I’m posting it because I think it’s a good synopsis of where a lot of rational OSU fans are at the moment with Gundy (based on what people tell me), which is about to become problematic for Oklahoma State as a program.Here it is.Here’s the biggest deal for me and why I’m so anti Gundy right now, he doesn’t seem engaged. My friend was at the game he sent a pic of the team huddled up during a time out, Gundy was 20 yards away, arms crossed. He literally looks like a corpse propped up out there. Look at the elite coaches, they are so involved in every play. Not Gundy, and his team plays like he coaches. Low energy, boring, no urgency. He’s really turning into Bill Snyder, I don’t want that. I’m not buying a new polo every year, having my weekends revolve around OSU football for 6-6/8-4 seasons every year. If we have no chance at ever winning the conference, I will quit caring. I’ll watch OSU football like I watch OSU basketball or the Dallas Cowboys. If I’m not doing anything, I’ll watch it or have it on as background noise. But I’m rarely engaged in those games, I’m mostly indifferent. That’s it in a nutshell, I’m afraid Gundy is going to end up turning the fan base into mostly indifferent people. Maybe Shane Illingworth comes in and jolts the program, I’m not off the Sanders hype train, but it is starting to lose steam. I honestly think he might have been a little concussed, he was playing really well till he took that shot to the dome. Play-calling doesn’t help him either. Anyways, another loss and I’m out on the season, I’m not here for a coach that looks like Bernie from “Weekend at Bernie’s” (get Carson to explain the reference) or a team that plays like they’ve got better things to do. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.