Frookie Speaks Out: DeSean Jackson Sulk Underscores Game-Day Picture Power

A picture is worth a thousand words, and increasingly during the 2011 National Football League season it is a sideline image that tells the most compelling game-day story.

Thursday night, it was troubled Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson ignoring quarterback Vince Young during an embarrassing, nationally televised 34-14 loss to the mediocre Seattle Seahawks:

Vince Young (left) and DeSean Jackson during loss to Seahawks. Photo from

This isn’t the first time that a sideline image or video clip, perfect for smartphone distribution, has dominated post-game conversation in the 2011 NFL football season. An image of Washington Redskin’s QB Rex Grossman after teammate John Beck threw a touchdown pass had many of the team’s fans questioning whether Grossman isn’t just in it for himself:

Is this a meaningless expression, or the telltale sign of a selfish football player?

Frookie Speaks Out: Media outlets distinguish themselves in today’s sports media arena when they come up with a great photo, video clip, player profile or analysis. In fact, I’m less likely than ever to read a run-of-the-mill game recap on any website other than StatSheet, because StatSheet’s automated approach gives me a cleaner, more consistent read, and all the statistics I need to optimize my sports betting and Fantasy experiences. But, give me a good image or video clip that I can share via a smartphone, and I am all over it.  And share opinion or insight that allows me to contribute to my sports discussions with friends, and I am all over that, too. Just don’t waste my time producing anything less.

On the Eagles:

Frookie Speaks Out: After taking a flyer on Michael Vick and having it work out, the Philadelphia Eagles came to believe they could be successful with any talented player no matter what transgressions they had, or what the Wonderlic Test revealed about their character (or lack thereof).  Eagles fans are paying a steep price for that hubris.  Beginning with coach Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman, the Eagles should clean house. Then, they should build a winning team of character, befitting the city and state they represent. In that way, Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians can again have at least one  nationally recognized football team they can be proud of.  That would be the picture-perfect solution.

Finally, here’s a link to footage where the photo of Grossman originated. Decide for yourself whether this is simply an NFL QB hankering to get into the game, or a selfish player you’d be better off not having on your team.



Frookie Speaks Out: STAT.US Debut Rocks Sports Information Industry






In a blockbuster move, Automated Insights Inc. has launched STAT.US, which allows sports fans to pick a favorite team or player and receive automated updates on their performance.

The website enables the average Twitter sports fan to quickly become a power user, and will drive traffic to the emerging StatSheet sports information network.

Make no mistake:

MobileSportsReport expects STAT.US to emerge as a killer application of Twitter in sports within a year, elevating the average sports fan into a mobile device power user.

In fact, STAT.US‘ parent company is emerging as odds-on favorite to lead the convergence of sports viewing, sports information and mobile device ubiquity.

In short, today’s launch of STAT.US, when coupled with the rest of Automated Insights’ offerings, have the potential to tilt the sports information industry on its axis.

STAT.US Explained

Sample of StatSheet's Automated Sports Content -- Powerful Stuff

In essence, STAT.US is the consumer user interface to a sports information network that Automated Insights has built using Twitter.

Automated Insights has created the Twitter accounts that feed into STAT.US, and will be responsible for updating those accounts, including game-day stats that match or exceed the most robust offerings currently available to Fantasy team owners.

Moreover, links featured on STAT.US will drive people to StatSheet content, which uses artificial intelligence to craft stories about live sporting events, and presents sophisticated statistical data in dazzling ways.

Automated Insights COO Scott Frederick

“We turn data into automated content,” Automated Insights COO Scott Frederick told Mobile Sports Report. “”We just want smarter more passionate fans.”

Easy to Use Interface

The prime reason STAT.US is such a powerful idea is because it is easy to use.

Once you go to STAT.US, you simply provide your Twitter log-in information, and then name NFL, NBA, MLB players or teams, or favorite NCAA Basketball or NCAA Basketball teams. From within the STAT.US domain, your selections are automatically added to your Twitter stream, and also presented through the STAT.US portal. Each STAT.US data stream is managed on Twitter by, meaning that StatSheet’s real-time information can be promoted throughout a live sporting event via tiny URLs.

Making Money, Raising Money

Automated Insights makes no bones about its plans to monetize the STAT.US service.  Since those Twitter accounts feed into STAT.US, and a percentage of fans will opt to receive information through the STAT.US portal, Automated Insights Inc. will own the advertising, marketing and e-commerce opportunities that go along with the captured audience. Today, the website has AdChoices placed on every page. That’s simply a signal that it plans to monetize the website in more meaningful ways once a user base is established, and familiarizes consumers with the idea that they will receive marketing messages along with information services.

As of Nov. 30, greater than 250,000 fans were actively using the network, according to an email from the company.

Automated Insights CEO Robbie Allen

Automated Insights has had no trouble raising money to pursue its goals.

In 2010, it raised $1.3 million in funding, and got an additional investment of $4.0 million from Court Square Ventures and OCA Ventures in September.

The history, the team

Automated Insights and STAT.US is the brainchild of former Cisco engineer Robbie Allen, who figured out that the Twitter lists functions could be easily leveraged to provide NFL, college and NBA fans with statistical analysis, charts and stats tailored to specific players. Others on the Automated Insights team are also impressive, including former Valhalla Partners venture capitalist Frederick, who will create business opportunity for the company, VP Operations & Finance Adam Smith and VP of Product Engineering Joe Procopio.

The Big Picture

Sports is the tip of the iceberg for Automated Insights. Eventually, it will drive its business model into every vertical that has consumers interested in real-time data, including financial services. In so doing, it will compete with everyone from Bloomberg News Service to the local newspaper. That Automated Insights incursion begins with sports data underscores the desirable demographic sports attracts, as well as the natural fit between the live sports viewing experience and real-time information accessed through mobile devices.

Automated Insights has embarked upon a game-changing strategy in the information-services industry, and if Stat.US and other content offerings successfully grows a large user base in the year ahead, it won’t be stopped in the sports vertical.

Frookie Speaks Out: “Yahoo! Sports: If You Can’t Stand the Heat Stay Off the Internet”

John Evan Frook, aka Frookie, is senior editor for MobileSportsReport

Apparently, sports social media is too much for one Yahoo Sports contributor to stand, and Yahoo Sports editors are clueless when it comes to timing.

In a column titled Where Did the “Classy” Sports Fans Go?, Yahoo Sports contributor Elden Hardesty today writes about going online after Sunday’s Baltimore Ravens versus Pittsburgh Steelers game on Nov. 6 and being shocked by online discussions encountered on ESPN, and Yahoo! Sports.

“Hatred and the lack of class seems to have no boundaries and is becoming a disturbing trend on the discussion boards,” Hardesty writes.

Hardesty complains that people posting to online forums after the Ravens beat the Steelers on national television in a three-point squeaker bitched too much about the officiating. In addition, Hardesty took offense that some people participating in forums reveled in helmet-to-helmet contact likely to produce three separate fines from the National Football League office.

“It looks like a majority of the people who go online to discuss a game now only go there to slam everyone else, guess it makes them feel more like a man,” Hardesty writes. “The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner and it appears both have taken control of the sports discussion boards.”

Hardesty’s outrage is simply misplaced. Sports social media is akin to sports radio of the 1980s, except it is unfiltered by producers. There are no bleeps and no 10-second delays. And NFL football is a world of passionate patriotism for a specific team. If you go on the websites of such major sports providers as ESPN, and Yahoo! Sports right after an NFL game, you are going to find jingoism, sour grapes, and blood lust. This is the NFL, where early in life the average sports fan swears allegiance to a team and spends the rest of that lifetime living and dying with that team’s successes and setbacks.  As they have been for greater than a decade now, online forums are where the tribes gather after a war. After a war, there are no cool heads. That’s not outrageous. That’s reality.

And, as the column’s title suggests, Hardesty wonders where classy fans went, the answer is nowhere. They are still in the corporate suites, top-deck seats, at bars, in front of televisions at home or at work. The difference is that a growing number of them have mobile devices, and use them to find the people with whom they’d most want to interact. Some of them use handles like RayLewisSucks, BensADouche or Steelersin2012, and others don’t. They all have something to say, and most of them say it. Just don’t expect them to say what you want, or you’re going to be disappointed.

Hardesty is really not to blame. He had no back up. If Hardesty proposes there ought to be a place where bitching about officiating or expressing blood lust isn’t allowed, he should consider working with some of the better sports social media applications already on the market. Those apps allow you to easily pick and choose with whom you participate. For Yahoo! editors to pass the column off to the general public without getting Hardesty to insert analysis of sports social media applications for mobile devices is just piss poor editing. Sure, Hardesty’s column appeared on Yahoo!’s contributor network, and contributor networks are simply a place for a media outlet to get a few more eyeballs. But allowing decent writers like Hardesty to publish without enough quality control to recognize the boom in mobile sports applications is more than myopic. It is downright blind, relegating Yahoo! to the lowly status of content farm.

And here is the kicker. And not that idiot Ravens’ player Joe Flacco, who benefited from poor officiating and ought to have been knocked out by Steeler’s James Harrison’s helmet before he got a chance to engineer a last-minute, 92-yard drive that defeated the Steelers on Sunday night. Flacco is a quarterback. Here’s the real kicker:

The timing by Yahoo! Sports editors in posting Hardesty’s column was awful. Hardesty’s column appeared second in Google search results on the same day news that Joe Paterno would resign as head coach of Penn State broke as a national news story.  The Penn State story, including Tweets by Joe Paterno’s son amid questions whether his father would resign, was a story that took sports social media to new levels. If Ravens-Steelers commentary was profane and loud, as Hardesty asserts, Penn State commentary was four times more profane, and four times louder.  Hardesty’s uninformed column appearing on a day when the biggest college football story of its kind advanced in one of its most significant ways, underscores that sports content producers are going to need to watch every gate they keep, or appear embarrassingly out of touch with a rapidly changing sporting world.