Author Archives: Ryan Lack

Quick Slant: Major League Baseball’s Attendance and Creativity Problem

Photo Credit: (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Photo Credit: (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

By Ryan Lack

Quick Slant: Brewers Ticket Plan Gives Fans Better Seats Each Time Milwaukee Wins


Today, we’re taking a break from the NCAA Tournament. There have been a lot of games played, plenty of analysis conducted and published, and lots of upsets. We think the tournament can sit for now as they move into Sweet 16 action tomorrow. On top of that, Florida Gulf Coast ripped my Aztecs a new one last night and the wounds are still fresh. I’d rather not talk about it.

What we would like to cover is the recent move by the Milwaukee Brewers to provide fans an incentive to purchase mini ticket packages. It’s really a pretty brilliant strategy, though it’s based on an assumption that the fans will be willing to wager $99 for a nine game package that improves the more the team wins.

The way it works is the fan shells out the required cash and gets tickets to nine select Tuesday games. The seats for the first game sound like they’re crap with a face value of $11 each, but if the team wins the game you attend your next game will be viewed from better seats, and so on. Extrapolating that out to a reasonable Brewers winning streak and you could end up in some of the better seats that far exceed the value of your ticket package or any of the seats included with it.

It’s such a simple sales tactic, which is why it’s hard to believe no one has thought of it before. Based on a variety of reports this appears to be the first time a team has tried this and I’d wager more will follow suit depending on the success of the pilot program. Why wouldn’t you? It’s a good bet for both sides and an even better way to try and up attendance, which we all know has been absolutely pathetic league-wide for the last decade+.
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Quick Slant: Harvard and Its Quest to Prove Smart Kids Can Ball

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/George Frey)

Photo Credit: (AP Photo/George Frey)

By Ryan Lack

Quick Slant: 14-seed Harvard pulls upset over 3-seed New Mexico


That’s actually a terrible headline by ESPN. The story that #14 Harvard upended #3 New Mexico is surely an important fact produced by this game, but perhaps what is just as important a fact, if not more important, is it signified the very first NCAA Tournament victory for the prestigious Ivy League school.

On a day where two #5 seeds went down to #12s and #3 Marquette barely escaped #14 Davidson with six points in the final 60 seconds, Harvard’s victory was the moment of the day. It also solidified the believe that teams from New Mexico suck; Saint Louis rolled over New Mexico State by 20 earlier in the day.

All of that said, I think the one thing to focus on here is the respect factor. What we saw in each of the upsets yesterday was less than stellar effort. We watched as teams that should have had no problem disposing of their lower-seeded opponents struggle mightily. Maybe it was because of the beauty that is the NCAA Tournament – the pitting against each other two teams that know nothing about one another. So, I guess it’s a two-fold issue when it comes to the upsets, but what it really came down to was the “better” teams simply overlooking their opponents. Remember, you don’t have to be the better team in general, you just have to be the better team on that day.

What Harvard proved out yesterday is you don’t have to sacrifice intelligence for athletic achievement; Stanford is another great example of smart kids proving they can ball. So we chalk one up for the smart kids; the kids that, short of NBA careers, will likely go on to do bigger and better things.

All I can say is, it warms my heart to see this type of thing happen. It’s what makes the tournament one of the best events in all of sports. And even if Harvard goes down in the next round to Arizona those kids will go down in their school’s history books as the first squad to put a victory on the board, ending 67 years of struggle.

Well done, smart kids. Your band is clearly very happy in their own Harvard band way. And what did Jeremy Lin think of all of this?

Photo Credit: (SB Nation Facebook)

Photo Credit: (SB Nation Facebook)

I don’t even know what’s going on here, but I think he’s … happy? Or drunk? Both?

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NCAA Tournament Time, The NBA Draft, and Why Duke is an Underrated Program

Photo Credit: (Duke Photography - Curry, Kelly, Cook & Thornton)

Photo Credit: (Duke Photography – Curry, Kelly, Cook & Thornton)

By Ryan Lack

Quick Slant: The assertion that Duke makes great college players but falls short of producing NBA-level talent is completely false.


It’s NCAA Tournament time and while we’re all filling out our brackets based on half-informed opinions, and even sometimes based on logos or mascots, I got to thinking about the various programs and how under or overrated they are. One running theme from the last decade+ concerns Duke University. Coach K is an indisputable college basketball legend, not to mention the gold medals he’s won leading Team USA in the Olympics, but one point of criticism he always gets is that he doesn’t produce a lot of NBA players.

To be honest, I always accepted this assertion about his program as true. I mean, look at all of the players that have been great at the collegiate level at Duke and never panned out in the league. Now, to be clear, I’m not talking about NBA all-stars. All I’m looking at is current NBA roster players here. With that in mind, I took a look at some of the other storied programs known for producing some NBA greats and some average players. What I expected and what I found were surprisingly, and completely, contradictory.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the top college teams and their current NBA roster representatives:

  • Kentucky: 19 active roster players
  • Kansas: 16 active roster players
  • UNC: 14 active roster players
  • Texas: 11 active roster players
  • Connecticut: 11 active roster players
  • UCLA: 10 active roster players
  • USC: 10 active roster players
  • Florida: 10 active roster players
  • Arizona: 9 active roster players
  • Ohio State: 7 active roster players
  • Washington: 7 active roster players
  • Cincinnati: 5 active roster players
  • Syracuse: 4 active roster players
  • Michigan State: 4 active roster players
  • Louisville: 4 active roster players
  • Memphis: 4 active roster players
  • Stanford: 4 active roster players
  • Michigan: 3 active roster players
  • Indiana: 2 active roster players

And how many does Duke have? 20. That’s right, more than any other program. While UK is notorious for pumping out great NBA talent across the last few years – they had six players go in the last draft including Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist going 1-2 (first time ever for a pair of teammates) and Terrence Jones, Marquis Teague, Doron Lamb and Darius Miller following – Duke has been steady, producing a few each year.

The reasons for the flood of new talent from these two schools is likely two-fold: first, the barrier to entry is at an all-time low at the NBA level and, second, the one-and-done rule is bringing in otherwise draft-worthy players to these schools and quickly cycling them out. In other words, many of these kids wouldn’t even have gone to UK, for instance, had the one-and-done rule not been implemented by the NCAA back in the 2006-07 season.

Here’s the list of NBA Dukies:

  • Shane Battier
  • Carlos Boozer
  • Elton Brand
  • Luol Deng
  • Chris Duhon
  • Mike Dunleavy
  • Gerald Henderson
  • Grant Hill
  • Kyrie Irving
  • Dahntay Jones
  • Corey Maggette
  • Josh McRoberts
  • Miles Plumlee
  • Shavlik Randolph
  • J.J. Reddick
  • Austin Rivers
  • Kyle Singler
  • Nolan Smith
  • Lance Thomas
  • Eliot Williams

As a self-admitted Duke hater, I suppose it’s fair to say I was among the group of people unwilling to acknowledge the program’s success beyond the college hardwood because … well, because I hate successful things and people. It’s actually a deep-seeded resentment, but I digress.

As fans, we love to hate success. We hate Duke. We hate UNC. We hate UK, and Kansas, and many others. We love the underdog – Gonzaga, Butler, VCU, George Mason and a slew of others. And fans of the clubs aside, let’s all just agree that no matter where you’re from you hate the Yankees. They don’t call it the Evil Empire for nothing.

Regardless of hate or the perpetuation of broadly accepted falsehoods, Duke is an underrated and, perhaps, an undervalued program.

Sure, you might be saying: But, Duke is always highly ranked, always in the National Championship conversation. How can you say they’re underrated?

Look, we can agree they get their due in the national rankings and in the lip-service from the talking heads, but generally speaking they get no credit as a complete program. By that I mean, one of academic integrity, athletic excellence, and professional athlete production. Before doing the research, like many others, I honestly thought Duke does everything collegiate well but doesn’t take it to the next level. And damn, was I wrong.

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Quick Slant: For the Love of Sports, Trivia, and Alex Trebek

trebek 2

By Ryan Lack

Slant: ‘Jeopardy’ looking at Lauer as next host


I’ll take “Words That Sound Like ‘NO'” for 1,000, Alex.

You might be wondering what the hell we’re doing writing about Jeopardy and the devastating news of Alex Trebek’s impending retirement when this is supposed to be a sports site. Bear with me.

Ok, so it’s not so “impending.” We’re talking about 2016 here, but what’s troubling outside of the new of the legend’s eventual departure is what Sony Pictures Television, which owns the show, intends to do about replacing him.

If you watch the show you know it’s a pretty easy gig. As the host, you facilitate the game, reply condescendingly to stupid question responses to clues, and give off a general air of intellectual superiority. It’s not a hard job. But, it’s something that has become synonymous with Alex Trebek and, thus, synonymous with the show. The show IS Alex Trebek.

Trebek has been at the helm for nearly 30 years. You don’t just replace him. It’s not a decision you take lightly. Sure, the show will go on. It’ll be the same format, it will include the same nerdy and ridiculously intelligent contestants, and also their idiotic stories, but will it be the same?

History shows us that replacing a legendary gameshow host is no easy task. Just look at the laundry list of wannabes that Family Feud has trotted out to replace Ray Combs since his suicide in 1996: Louie Anderson? (what?), Richard Karn (who?), John O’Hurley (stick to Seinfeld, bro), and now Steve Harvey (GFY). It’s very, very difficult, if not impossible to replace someone that is so readily identifiable with the brand.

Here’s your sports angle: Just look at the Chicago Bulls. Sure, different business, different legend, but to this day and likely for all-time, the organization’s successes and struggles will be defined by one man: Jordan. The guy could go by “Michael” or “Jordan” and you know who is being talked about. His contributions to the team and the game of basketball are indisputable and even now the Bulls are still struggling to find their identity as an organization and brand that has largely remained overshadowed by Jordan.

So, what do we have against Matt Lauer. Oh, nothing, really. Only that he’s currently leading a failing program, The Today Show, or that he’s nowhere near the intellectual equal of Trebek. If Sony Pictures Television is targeting anyone to replace Trebek, let it be someone with some brain credibility, not some lame stand-in like Drew Carey on the The Price is Right.

My fear is that Jeopardy will become a shell of itself – a gameshow you can play at home with no backbone. Without Trebek, I see it failing miserably in the long-term. No one will be excited about Matt Lauer, except for maybe Katie Couric and we’ve seen how well she’s done since leaving The Today Show

You don’t just replace a legend. You don’t just move on. You don’t just replace Alex Trebek with Matt Lauer.

This … ISSSS … JEOPARDY! That sound you hear is the fizzling out of an era, or, as Sean Connory would say, “That’s the sound your mother made last night.”

By Ryan Lack
Follow Ryan on Twitter at @ryanlack
You can contact Ryan at

Quick Slant: Big 12 Men’s Basketball Officiating

By Ryan Lack

Slant: Big 12 acknowledges ‘errors’ by refs


Referees make mistakes? WHAT!? Even … don’t say it … mistakes that cost good teams great wins? No. Way. I never would have thought!

Remarkably, the broken record is still spinning on NCAA Men’s Basketball courts and football fields nationwide. We see it often. A great game plays out in front of us, often on national television, some controversial calls are made – some right, some wrong – and sometimes they’re flat out stupid.

This happened to Iowa State’s men’s basketball team recently when they took on #6 Kansas, a perennial favorite when they play most teams, especially Big 12 teams, but most certainly a favorite on this night. Iowa State competeted – hard – against a team they had no business keeping up with. And when it came down to the wire, the game’s momentum or whatever you want to call it was affected by the blatant ineptitude of the referees.

(Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports)

(Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports)

The officials did not call either a block or a charge when Jayhawks guard Elijah Johnson collided with Iowa State’s Georges Niang, who appeared to have his feet set, with five seconds remaining in regulation.

Instead, Niang was whistled for a holding foul after Johnson’s shot missed and the ball came loose on the floor. Johnson went to the free-throw line and made the two free throws, forcing overtime and helping Kansas rally for a 108-96 victory in Ames.

There’s no excuse for it really, but the Big 12 wants to make it up to Iowa State. No really, they do. How, you might be asking, will they make it up to them? No, not by overturning a win that for all intents and purposes was Iowa State’s to take home, but by “acknowledging errors were made.”

“The Big 12 Conference acknowledges that officiating errors were made at the end of regulation during last night’s Kansas at Iowa State men’s basketball game,” the conference said in a statement released Tuesday. “The plays have been reviewed and appropriate measures will be taken by the Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officials to adjust the number of future assignments for the two officials involved in conjunction with Conference policies.”

Thanks, guys.

If I’m Iowa State I’m PISSED. That’s a marquee win and potential last four in or out deal-breaker for them as they are most definitely a bubble team with a 19-9 season record and a 9-6 conference record.

Let’s be real. Change needs to happen. They’ve instituted some replay options, which is great and all, but what I’d like to see is either:

1. Coaches get one challenge and one only. You lose it, the other team shoots two free throws.
2. A referee up in the booth that reviews and can overrule bad calls in the waning minutes of a game.

Sure this adds more process to an already complicated process that we don’t want to slow down further, but getting it right is more important, especially when it’s David vs. Goliath.

By Ryan Lack
Follow Ryan on Twitter at @ryanlack
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Quick Slant: The Future of Alex Smith

By Ryan Lack

Slant: Trade of 49ers QB Alex Smith ‘effectively complete,’ report says


Word on the street is a deal is all but done for Alex Smith to be traded from the San Francisco 49ers to an as of now unnamed team. The two leading candidates appear to be the Kansas City Chiefs and the Jacksonville Jaguars, but the Browns and Cardinals could be in the mix, as well, though we expect the latter two to be rumor.

As a lifelong 49er fan and, up until recently, a full-time supporter of Alex Smith, my emotions around this news are a bit conflicted. On the one hand, I’m really happy for the guy because, let’s be honest, he really did get screwed over by Harbaugh. It doesn’t matter if you agreed with the decision to replace Smith with Kaepernick or not; the way Harbaugh went about it was 100% wrong. Was his talent assessment right? It sure as hell appears like it was, as we watched Kaepernick take-over a good 49ers team, make them great, and lead them to their first NFC Championship win and Super Bowl appearance since 1994. The latter may not have worked out the way all of us Niner fans wanted, but it was clear Harbaugh made the right move.

In the lead-up to the quarterback switch, Smith had never looked better. He was leading the league in completion percentage and had convincingly moved himself out of that “game manager” bucket into “game-changer.” He was accurate, smart, good on the run, and simply didn’t make the same mistakes we were all used to watching him make earlier in his career when he went through three head coaches and seven offense coordinators in as many years. He finally had stability.

It is these attributes he will carry with him wherever he goes next and I wish him well, though I’ll add – don’t let the door hit ya on the way out, bro.

While Smith played the good soldier role very, very well throughout the season and for most of the 49ers run through the NFC playoffs, it was during the two-week lead-up to the Super Bowl where he lost me. It didn’t really shock anyone that Smith would want out after what happened to him, especially after having to sit idly by while his team took its season a step further than it did the year prior when he was under center, but the timing made him look immature and selfish, two things he definitely did not appear to be before. It was a great disappointment that he would allow something like that to leak, even if it wasn’t him that said it, the week of the Super Bowl. Talk about distraction.

So, with that, I bid Alex Smith adieu. Frankly, I don’t give a damn where he lands because he’s going to have another new head coach, another new offense to learn, and a whole set of skill position players to gel with before he can start climbing the mountain he nearly reached the top of two seasons ago. A lot of people have said the 49ers aren’t likely to send him to the Arizona Cardinals, a team in dire need of stability at the quarterback position, given the in-division rivalry. I say, why not? Bring on Alex Smith. I’d love to watch the Smith brothers rip him a new one twice a year. It would bring some closure to this Niner fan’s conflicted heart about a once beloved 49er figure.

By Ryan Lack
Follow Ryan on Twitter at @ryanlack
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The Under-Appreciation of Frank Gore

Photo Credit: (Hoa Nguyen/

Photo Credit: (Hoa Nguyen/

By Ryan Lack

Now that we’re a few weeks out from the greatest disappointment of the football season, for a Niner fan anyway, I felt it was time to reflect on the under-appreciated, undervalued, and certainly overlooked greatness of Frank Gore.

After a standout freshman year at the University of Miami, Gore tore the ACL in his left knee during spring ball of his sophomore season, and then the ACL in right knee the following year. While he came back strong from each injury, I’m sure he wasn’t sure what to think entering the NFL draft. Optimism about going high, even though he knew he was worth it, probably wasn’t one of those emotions.

Gore entered the league in 2005 as a third-round choice out of Miami, being passed over largely, if not entirely, because of his injury history. Who was drafted ahead of him? It’s a great list that includes guys like Ronnie Brown, Cedric Benson, Cadillac Williams, J.J. Arrington, and Eric Shelton. Yeah, I have no idea who Eric Shelton is either. And a few that went after him included the likes of Vernand Morency, Ryan Moats, Maurice Clarett(!!) Marion Barber III, and Brandon Jacobs.

Someone tell me how many of those guys are still on active rosters? Anyone? Ronnie Brown (3rd down back for the Chargers), Cedric Benson (Current free agent formerly of the Packers in 2012).

Yep. That’s it. Two guys still on active rosters following this last season.

What is most telling about the called names ahead and behind Gore is how few of those guys went on to do anything meaningful, let alone whether they’re still in the league. You can argue Cedric Benson has had the best career among those preceding Gore’s selection, but that’s not really saying much. And the guys after him, well, the only two that did anything at all are Barber and Jacobs, with the latter serving as the No. 3 or 4 running back on the San Francisco 49ers roster in 2012 behind the starter, Gore.

From a recent Jim Trotter piece on there was this:

His primary goal used to be finishing with more career rushing yards than the running backs selected ahead of him in 2005 … He not only has done that — his 8,839 yards are 2,822 more than Benson — but his six seasons of at least 1,000 yards rushing are equal to the combined total of the aforementioned five.

As fans and pundits, we typically first judge a player on his draft class. Who did he come out with? How does he stack up? It’s clear from his draft class that not only has Gore been the most durable and healthiest, he’s been the most productive of any of these guys. If they’re good, and Gore is, we then expand that to the broader archives of running back greats.

So where does he stack up with them? Let’s start with other active greats.

Since entering the league in 2005 all the man has done is produce. He simply gets it done. In his eight seasons he’s failed to rush for 1,000 yards just once, this while a member of a team and an offense that ranked near the bottom in many key statistical categories and cycled through offensive coordinators like a woman would through dresses when preparing for a first date. It was a disaster, but through it all Gore was a workhorse. His 8,839 yards rushing and 51 TDs over the last seven seasons (good for the franchise’s all-time records in each category for a RB) trail only Adrian Peterson (8,849 yards and 76 TDs) and Steven Jackson (10,135 yards and 56 TDs) – the former achieving these stats in one year fewer than Gore and the latter in one additional. Gore achieved this while missing 12 regular season games of 128 possible; so almost a full season missed.

The general consensus seems to be, if you become a 10,000-yard rusher for your career the likelihood of receiving a call from the Hall is much greater than if you don’t. Clearly Frank will get to that number, but how much longer does he have? At the age of 29 he’s supposed to be running out steam, at least based on running back standards, but the strange thing many people noticed in 2012 was that Frank typically started slow and got stronger as the game went on. With the addition of LaMichael James splitting backfield duties with Gore, he has the potential to have 3, 4, hell, maybe even five more years if he wants it and barring injury.

Let’s assume he plays four more years and is able to rush for 1,000+ in each of them. If he can do that, even without that final fourth year, that would put him right on par with the career rushing yards of Hall of Famers like Marcus Allen, Marshall Faulk, Jim Brown, Tony Dorsett, and Erick Dickerson.

So what am I getting at?

Well, we all see it. The “A” players get the big money. They get all the press. They get the endorsements. They get the reality shows, if they want them. They seemingly get all of the goods, however we’re defining “goods” in this moment. But where’s Frank? Frank’s in San Francisco working his ass off so he can post another 1,000-yard season. Frank’s off not getting arrested for doing something stupid.

Maybe he doesn’t want all of the attention that comes with being a star running back. Maybe he doesn’t even view himself in that way. But I’ll tell you what, with the current success of the 49ers, almost the same exact roster and coaching staff coming back for another year, the future is bright. If he doesn’t want the attention, that’s fine by me, because I know he’ll garner plenty of it on the field as he rips through defenses for another 1,200-yard season like he did this year during the Niner’s run to the Super Bowl.

Shakespeare once said, “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.”

We all know where Frank Gore falls here. It’s time to start acknowledging.

By Ryan Lack
Follow Ryan on Twitter at @ryanlack
You can contact Ryan at

Quick Slant: The MLB and PEDs, Not Again!

By Ryan Lack

Today, we’re rolling out a new recurring post – “Quick Slants.” The goal of these will be to publish daily short reactions to some of the biggest sports stories of the day. In lieu of solid news to react to, Kevin will substitute with a diatribe on beard haircare and the benefits of exfoliating and moisturizing to promote healthy skin and vibrant, voluminous hair.

Slant: Documents from Miami clinic link five MLB players to PEDs.


From a fan perspective, the news that five more Major League Baseball players are being allegedly linked to the purchase and, by extension, use of performance enhancing drugs is nothing new.

The new players listed in documents from the Biogenesis of America clinic run by Anthony Bosch: San Diego Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, 26, the reigning National League stolen-base champion; Jordan Norberto, 26, a lefty reliever with the Oakland A’s; Fernando Martinez, 24, a Houston Astros outfielder; Fautino De Los Santos, 27, a reliever claimed off waivers by the Padres; and Cesar Puello, 21, a top Mets outfield prospect.

According to two sources familiar with Bosch’s operation, however, the Washington Nationals’ Gio Gonzalez, previously identified as being named in Biogenesis documents, did not receive banned substances from Bosch or the clinic.

Many of us as young as in our 20s and 30s remember the “steroid era.” First off, my biggest problem with labeling that period from around 1987-2009 or so is the problem is still plaguing the league.

How can you call a period of time “an era” when that era clearly never ended?

The short answer to that is marketing and PR. And also, you can’t.

Labeling something an era signifies it had a beginning and an end. The league and probably the media want us all to move on; to believe they’ve done enough to shore up these issues and rectify the negative sentiment rampant among fans new and old. But as time goes on, more and more revelations are made. A-Rod gets pegged again and may never step foot on a diamond again. Heros will continue to fall. Even guys you don’t expect to see getting roped into this, like this most recent one above with Gio Gonzalez, are extremely disappointing. Fortunately for Gio, he’s been cleared of any possible connection to this clinic in Miami but, let’s be honest, no one’s buying it. We’ve learned the hard way in the recent past with the likes of Melky Cabrera that where there’s smoke there usually is fire. I loved Gio as an Oakland Athletic and was sad when he went to the Nationals and became a 20-game winner, but if this is the kind of baggage he’s going to tote around with him they can keep him.

The MLB is trying to fix this but it’s not working. And it will never work until they drop the hammer on these guys. A 50-game ban is great and all, but it’s 50 games. A guy can get caught at the beginning of the season and still come back to not only play but play well.

What needs to happen is the MLB must become more stringent:
– First offense – 50-game ban
– Second offense – Season-long ban
– Third offense – You’re done, bro. Out of the league forever.

Make it happen, Bud.

By Ryan Lack
Follow Ryan on Twitter at @ryanlack
You can contact Ryan at

New Roster Acquisitions – Part 2

As Kevin said back in September, writing a blog is hard work. Between our day jobs, wives, and, for at least one of us, kids, keeping up the publishing frequency around here can become quite daunting. Fortunately, Kevin has quite a bit of free time on his hands and has done a great job carrying the load for us of late. However, with that in mind, he and I began considering what we could do to ease that burden some.

The only logical thing to do was to interview some new writers and bring them on. So, that’s exactly what we did, except that the “interview” consisted of one question: “Do you want to join The Couchletes?”

We started our search by evaluating what we currently have: Two main contributors that are Bay Area-based with strong affiliations to two completely different sets of regional sports teams. I love the Niners, Kevin loves the Packers (and I love the Niners vs. the Packers). I’m an Oakland A’s guy, he loves the Cleveland Indians (I know, I don’t get it either). What we sought was more diversity since the rest of The Couchletes are primarily Bay Area sports team fans. What we ended up with was more of the same, but it doesn’t mean we didn’t try!

Today, we’re announcing the addition of two more writers.

Matt Ginn – Matt is Bay Area born and raised. Having grown up in the East Bay with me (Ryan), he shares many of the same affiliations – Niners, A’s and maybe Giants at times, Sharks, Warriors, etc. Matt has a keen interest in football like the rest of us, but he also loves the English Premier League. And, while not many people like soccer in the U.S., we may get a post or two from Matt on his affinity for New Castle (football club and beer) and maybe some love poems about Wayne Rooney. Only time will tell. Matt also likes to gamble, something he will prove with his first post which will publish tomorrow. Keep an eye out for that!

Alton Beermann – Alton possesses probably the single coolest name out of all us Couchletes. I mean, his name is Beer Man. I consider myself a beer man, but this guy is legit. Beer Man shares his university with me (Go Aztecs!) and a love for NBA basketball that may rival our very own Mark Gaspar’s, though they’ll have to fight it out for the title. Alton is also a huge Niner and football fan. And, while he’s the youngest of the bunch (he just finished school in 2011), we feel he’s going to bring some interesting and fresh perspective to the (web)pages of this site.

Welcome, fellas!