Summary of “Revisiting ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ After ‘Avengers: Infinity War'”

Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Last Jedi were capital-E Events-the former a massive cinematic crossover and the culmination of a decade of universe-building from Marvel Studios, and the latter a highly touted continuation of a new trilogy that promised darker undertones.
In Infinity War and The Last Jedi, both franchises deliberately disrupted the history the fan bases held so dear, delivering hefty gut-punches.
The Last Jedi transformed Luke Skywalker into an aggravating, pessimistic, alien-milking, reticent Jedi Master, and that was before he sacrificed himself to save the few remaining Rebels, who could comfortably fit inside the Millennium Falcon.
Infinity War broke the global and domestic box office opening-weekend records, and its 84 percent “Fresh” Rotten Tomatoes rating is on par with the rest of the MCU. Only Black Panther and the first Avengers movie have a higher CinemaScore grade among MCU movies.
The same can’t be said for The Last Jedi, which had a box office haul that was disappointing by Star Wars standards.
Like Empire, The Last Jedi didn’t retreat from its shocking moments: Yes, Luke wasn’t a flawless, mythological Jedi hero; yes, Rey’s parents were nobodies with no ties to the Skywalker or Kenobi bloodline; yes, the fan favorite Admiral Ackbar really died an unceremonious, off-screen death; and yes, Luke is really gone too.
The Last Jedi didn’t just impart lessons from Empire’s bold storytelling choices-it used Star Wars’ history to subvert expectations, and make a world that’s been around for decades feel lived in for the same amount of time.
The Last Jedi is a fluid continuation of Star Wars that asks its audience to reconsider their franchise nostalgia and plunge into the deep end along with its characters.

The orginal article.

Summary of “NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Has a Game Plan”

Beyond being one of the biggest providers of sports programming, it has expanded its lines of business into adjacent areas: the WNBA; the NBA G League, a developmental league; the NBA 2K League, an e-sports league based on the NBA’s video game NBA 2K; NBA League Pass, a popular video streaming service of live games; and a host of experiments with leading technology platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and Tencent.
The 2018 Los Angeles All-Star game was the 55th anniversary of the first All-Star game we played in Los Angeles in 1963.
S+B: What role do you think video games, in particular, play in the NBA’s fan ecosystem? How is their significance similar to or different from, say, what you said about social media?SILVER: We’ve always believed that, to an extent, young fans become engaged with the NBA through our video games, and by learning about the players and the teams, they’re more likely to want to engage in the live product.
We think there’s an opportunity to capture a new kind of fan, one who currently isn’t necessarily watching our games on television, but is more of a gamer, and is interested in NBA content and enjoys playing our NBA 2K game.
We saw an opportunity to create a league with our partner Take-Two around our NBA 2K game, using a new set of competitors who are professional gamers.
What if a mobile user gets an alert that a game is close, or that Steph Curry is going for 50 points, or that a game is going down to the wire? How do we then provide an opportunity for them with one click to buy some portion of the game that they can watch on their phone? Maybe we’ll be able to set the price based on the amount of content consumed rather than selling the entire game for a set price.
Tencent has been very focused on discovery: for example, on how it alerts users that there’s an interesting part of the game on, or that a player that users have already demonstrated an interest in is playing.
Bob Johnson, the founder of BET, when he was the owner of the Charlotte franchise, said watching an NBA game [on TV] is like watching one of the old silent movies.

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Summary of “Is Fandom Really Worth It?”

Following a loss, fans are more likely than usual to eat unhealthy food, be unproductive at work, and-in the case of the Super Bowl-die from heart disease.
What about fans of the winning team? Well, their testosterone levels tend to increase, which may account for why triumphant fans are more likely than other fans to suffer a postgame traffic fatality if the score was close.
Rival fans’ treatment of one another is hardly more reassuring.
A recent neuroimaging study found that fans experienced greater pleasure when watching a rival team fail, as opposed to non-rivals.
The same subjects were significantly more willing to heckle, threaten, or hit rival fans.
Fans in another study reported feeling schadenfreude when reading about the injury of a rival team’s player, and gluckschmerz when later reading about the player’s unexpectedly speedy recovery.
A landmark 1976 study described fans’ tendency to embrace a winning team as “Basking in reflected glory,” or birg.
Sports fans are inclined to respond to reminders of mortality with optimism, and to remember victories much more clearly than defeats.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Eagles Parade Was Beautiful, Melancholy, Profane, and Utterly Philly”

The 7 A.M. Acela out of New York was full of Eagles fans, but it was a little early for revelry.
Having no in-state professional football team of its own, New Jersey fans root for three out-of-state teams, the New York Giants, the New York Jets, and the Philadelphia Eagles.
In southwest Jersey, where I grew up, we are passionate Eagles fans-the word is pronounced to sound like “Giggles.” Although “Go Birds!” is favored nowadays, I still hear “Go Iggles!” in my head. Here is a photograph of me in an Eagles uniform in 1967, age eight, pretending to catch the winning touchdown while my father talks on a telephone behind me.
The year after the picture was taken, 1968, I convinced my dad to take me to an Eagles game, then at Franklin Field.
I’d like to think I came to that game as a normal nine-year-old football-crazy kid, but that I left as something else-a bloodied Eagles fan.
As a kid, I longed for a January Eagles Super Bowl parade.
“No one likes us, no one likes us, no one liiikes us, we don’t care.I have never seen so many happy people in one place before on hearing that. Seemingly every single one of the thousands and thousands of faces around me lit up with pure joy. Public joy like that is something you have to experience in person. YouTube allows fans to share other fans’ private moments of joy, such as the video of Kobe Bryant celebrating the Eagles’ victory with his sleeping baby in his arms. The parade made those private feelings public. It was an oceanic outpouring of joy that swept us all, young and old, up in its powerful surge.”
He died in 2009, not long after the Eagles lost the N.F.C. championship game to the Arizona Cardinals-the last game we watched together on TV. I startled him by screaming at the receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who killed the Eagles that day.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Super Bowl 52 Super Bag”

The next year, I wrote Super Bag II: Half in the Bag in Indianapolis after nearly overdosing on bronchitis medication.
I can’t remember why Super Bag III didn’t happen in 2013, but the reason was probably, “I’m in New Orleans and there’s a casino two blocks from my hotel - Super Bag III can go to hell.” Super Bag III: Legacy Edition belatedly posted in 2014, followed by Super Bag IV: A Little Deflated in 2015.
Q: Just curious - how do you feel knowing that Giants fans will be rooting for the Pats in the Super Bowl?- Ned, Clark, N.J. BS: You mean, because you hate the Eagles so much? That’s the reason, right?
Go Pats!- Victor, Hoboken, N.J. BS: What the hell? Giants fans are ROOTING for the Patriots? I asked a few Giants fan friends and they confirmed that - thanks to Eli’s legacy, their last two Super Bowl wins, some residual affection for Belichick shutting down Montana’s Niners and Kelly’s Bills in back-to-back weeks in 1990, and, of course, their unabashed hatred for the Eagles - nearly all of them are rooting against Philly.
Why did the notoriously private Brady pick the two weeks before the Super Bowl to release his own infomercial/pseudo-reality show? Because he’s won five Super Bowls and thinks he’s invincible, that’s why.
Q: Time for your annual answer to the “What Super Bowl halftime show song will best represent how the game is going for the Patriots?” I know we peaked with “Beautiful Day” and “Free Fallin'”, but last year, Lady Gaga had an unbelievable entry with “A Million Reasons.” The Patriots were giving their fans a million reasons to “Quit the show,” to leave the game and give up on their team.
Q: Let’s pretend Foles wins the Super Bowl isn’t that a worst-case situation for Wentz? Has a backup QB ever won a Super Bowl after the starter was injured, then the starter maintained his status as a top-tier QB?- Charlie, Chicago.
Eagles over Patriots Of their 27 playoff victories during the Brady-Belichick era, the Patriots got lucky five times: 2006 in San Diego, 2012 against Baltimore, Super Bowl 49 against Seattle, last year’s Super Bowl against Atlanta and two weeks ago against the Jaguars.

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Summary of “What’s It Like to Watch a Chargers Game at the StubHub Center?”

If the Chargers cannot fill a 27,000-seat stadium to the brim, how the hell will they fill the 70,000-seater they have coming in 2020? The Chargers fans who were there were louder than you’d think, and this is not meant to besmirch them.
Despite having a large fan base in San Diego that, at the very least, was aware the team played in the city, the Chargers left to chase L.A. revenues.
The Los Angeles Times counted 24 fans at a training camp practice when the Chargers visited Carson in 2003.
“But I had no idea the Chargers had that many fans here.” Essentially, the Chargers knew what they were getting themselves into and did it anyway.
When something bad happens to the Chargers and the visitors cheer, the Chargers fans boo in retaliation.
When kicker Travis Coons knocked a field goal off the upright to miss in the first half, Browns fans rejoiced and Chargers fans booed, but it soundly simply like Chargers fans were booing Coons mercilessly.
On Sunday, Browns fans proved to be more entertaining and organic than the Chargers fans.
So maybe the only way the Chargers can make this work is to be counterintuitive: never leave the StubHub Center.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Crack of the Bat. A Blow to the Head. Who Pays the Bill?”

Fresh off the New York Yankees’ playoff-game win against the Minnesota Twins, a New York appeals court on Wednesday considered a lawsuit that is testing whether the Baseball Rule – like the Twins’ 2017 season – is now obsolete.
Following a drumbeat of reports about fan injuries, Major League Baseball in 2015 suggested that teams provide protective netting up to the start of the two teams’ dugouts.
Along with advocating for greater fan safety, he sued the Yankees and Major League Baseball, saying the team made the game more dangerous by playing in the heavy rain and permitting umbrellas to block fans’ views.
A Bronx judge threw the case out, saying Zlotnick knew the risk and citing the state’s version of the Baseball Rule.
“Given the change in baseball, with more powerful batters and pitchers throwing and striking balls with greater velocity and force, adhering to outdated screening methods that no longer provide necessary protection for spectators makes little sense,” Zlotnick’s lawyer wrote.
Lawyers for the Yankees and Major League Baseball defend the rule, which some trace to a 1908 decision in Michigan.
As a longtime baseball fan, Zlotnick “Was fully aware of the risks of attending a baseball game,” Andrew Kaufman, a lawyer for the Yankees and the league, told a panel of four judges who heard 12 minutes of arguments Wednesday.
One of the judges expressed skepticism about Zlotnick’s attempt to avoid the Baseball Rule, suggesting he may have better luck with the argument in the state’s highest court.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Poll: For first time, majority of Americans approve of legalizing sports betting”

With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to hear arguments soon on a case that could upend the country’s sports gambling laws, for the first time most Americans support making wagering on professional sports legal, according to new poll conducted by The Washington Post and the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
A 55-percent majority approve of legalizing betting on pro sporting events, a flip from almost a quarter century ago, when a federal law went into effect banning the practice in most of the country and 56 percent of Americans disapproved of legalization in a Gallup/CNN/USA Today poll.
Support for legalization is highest among the those who’ve placed a sports bet in the past five years, and is nearly as high among fans who have played in a fantasy sports league, avid sports fans, men, people with household incomes of $100,000 or more and pro football fans.
In 1992, Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which banned sports betting in all but a handful of places.
Fairleigh Dickinson University polls found a slim 53 percent majority of Americans in 2010 opposed to sports betting in all states with 39 percent in favor of it.
While casinos might have normalized gambling for many and the Internet has made access to betting lines and bookies easier than ever, fantasy sports particularly has struck a chord with both gamblers and sports fans, allowing them to win money based on the performances of individual players.
According to the Post-UMass Lowell poll, 16 percent of sports fans have participated in fantasy sports leagues in the past five years, and playing in fantasy leagues is more popular among avid sports fans, men, people under 40 and college graduates.
Perhaps most telling: There’s significant overlap between sports bettors and fantasy players – 56 percent of fantasy players have made bets on professional sports in the past five years, while 42 percent of sports bettors have played fantasy sports in that same time period.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Will the StubHub Center Help Philip Rivers and the L.A. Chargers?”

The typical NFL stadium holds an average of nearly 72,000 seats, but at the StubHub Center, the smallest stadium that an NFL team has played a full season in since 1956, there will be only 27,000 seats, and not a single bad one.
In football, the desire for more seats, more fans, and more money continues to expand the size of new stadiums like the Atlanta Falcons’ Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which can hold up to 71,000 people, or even the Rams’ and Chargers’ forthcoming Inglewood stadium, which can expand to up to 100,000 seats.
“Soccer stadiums tend to be more raucous, they lend themselves to very dense crowds, there’s a lot of noise, there’s chants, there’s people more specifically wearing their team’s colors. There’s a very different feel than you get in other stadiums, and other sports too,” Jamieson says.
“Once the crowd increases, crowd density becomes the critical factor. For example, 10,000 fans in a 10,000-seat stadium will lead to a greater home advantage than 10,000 fans in a 50,000-seat stadium.”
This is why the Chargers, who opted to play at StubHub over Angel Stadium and Dodger Stadium, are hoping to find something special.
From the signage to the gear, the Chargers didn’t bring much of anything from the San Diego game-day experience up to L.A. There was only one exception, and in a smaller stadium like StubHub, it’s the one making the loudest noise: the Chargers’ old cannon, the one that the team has been using since 1961, and that, much like the undulating cheer that resonates with every touchdown, will launch you out of your seat whenever the home team scores.
Until you near the StubHub Center, which sits across from California State University, Dominguez Hills, you barely see any Chargers signs or indicators that an NFL team plays here.
The way to fill seats is to win, which creates a bit of a dilemma for the Chargers: Filling the StubHub Center might help them win, but they won’t be able to fill it until they start winning.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I Wore a Colin Kaepernick Jersey to an NFL Game”

I was wearing a red San Francisco 49ers number 7 Colin Kaepernick jersey.
A few weeks earlier, a sadistic Sports Illustrated editor had floated the idea of a reporter walking around an NFL game in a Colin Kaepernick jersey, as a way to explore what it’s like being a Kaepernick loyalist at a time when the entire NFL is shunning if not blackballing him.
One man pointed me out to his friends and shook his head; his friend next to him wore an O.J. Simpson jersey.
Wearing a Kaepernick jersey now indicates that you’re aligned with his politics, too.
We arrived and were there for maybe two minutes when a man at the next tailgate spotted the Kaepernick jersey and came rushing over, in excitement.
Mirrielees had a Kaepernick jersey at home, she said, and she had bought one for her son, too.
Had Mirrielees worn her Kaepernick jersey here, you could imagine her experience would’ve been vastly different than mine.
No one else in the lot seemed particularly concerned with a guy walking around in a Kaepernick jersey; they were too busy getting drunk.

The orginal article.