NFL Week 1 Recap

Plus MLB, Formula 1, and More Coverage

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Table of Contents:

  1. What I Watched Last Week

  2. What I Am Watching This Week

  3. Deep Dive: Premier League ‘Big 6’ Financial Analysis

  4. What I am Reading


What I Watched This Week

MLB

Hitter of the Week: Marcus Semien

It seems almost laughable that Marcus Semien had trouble finding suitors in free agency. There was so little demand for his services that he settled for a one-year contract. Now? Get ready to back up the Brinks truck. Semien has accumulated a 137 wRC+ and ranks third in the majors in fWAR. Semien has thoroughly outperformed all his expected stats by pulling the ball at a career-high rate of 47.5% this year.

Pitcher of the Week: Corbin Burnes

It has been a bountiful campaign for the 26-year old pitcher. Burnes gets the nod as PotW after pitching eight no-hit innings. The presumptive NL Cy Young ceases to amaze. Burnes’ reliance on the cutter (thrown 51.6% of the time) underscores his utter dominance.

Comparing Burnes to his peers is a fruitless endeavor:

Rather, it is better to compare Burnes’ '21 season to some of the most outstanding performances within the past decade. Field Independent Pitching (FIP) is defined as “similar to ERA, but focuses solely on the events a pitcher has the most control over -- strikeouts, unintentional walks, hit-by-pitches and home runs. It entirely removes results on balls hit into the field of play.”1 Thus, the leaderboard for the lowest FIP since 1920:

1. Pedro Martinez - 1999 - 1.39

2. Corbin Burnes - 2021 - 1.58

3. Dwight Gooden - 1984 - 1.69

Soccer

Manchester United 4

Newcastle United 1

Cristiano Ronaldo made his anticipated return to Old Trafford and bagged a brace. The first was an easy tap-in off a parried shot; however, the second was a superb finish between the keeper’s legs. Bruno Fernandes scored a critical goal from outside the box. Lastly, Paul Pogba has started the season in tremendous form, amassing seven assists in only four matches.

Formula 1

The Italian Grand Prix did not lack entertainment. Daniel Ricciardo benefited from a bit of fortune to finish atop the podium. That fortune? Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen were involved in a horrific crash, which ended both of their days early. As stated on the broadcast, Verstappen’s car contacted the “rollover hoop of Lewis’ car.”2 Stills of the crash illustrate how the halo atop Lewis’ car prevented a life-threatening injury:

U.S. Open

Daniil Medvedev def. Novak Djokovic (6-4, 6-4, 6-4)

Medvedev prevents history. Djokovic was on pace to match both Nadal and Federer’s total slam haul of 21. Medvedev started well — winning three of the first four games. After holding on to secure the first set, many still presumed Djokovic — a slow starter — would make the necessary adjustments to prevail. During the match, it became increasingly clear that Medvedev was an unstoppable force, putting forth an effort unable to be contained by the greatest tennis player to walk the earth.

NFL

Cowboys 29

Buccaneers 31

The NFL could not have dreamt a better start to the 2021/2022 season. Dak Prescott made his return from the ankle injury that derailed his previous campaign. He looked fantastic, completing 42 of 58 passes for 403 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Moreover, the Cowboys looked poised to win the game until Tom Brady marched down to kick a game-winning field goal. Despite the loss, the Cowboys will take solace in Dak’s performance.

Eagles 32

Falcons 6

Eagles fans will be excited with the performance of Jalen Hurts. The Falcons lacked conviction offensively, and their playcalling appeared too timid. Get Kyle Pitts more involved.

Chargers 20

Football Team 16

The complexion of this matchup shifted once Ryan Fitzpatrick was sidelined with a hip injury. Justin Herbert came alive in the second half and led his team to a win.

Steelers 23

Bills 16

Raise your hand if you bet the Steelers +240 ML? America largely ignored the Steelers leading into the week, which makes sense as the Bills were 8-0 against the spread in their last 8 games and won five straight at home. Yet, the highly-vaunted Steelers’ defense prevented the Bills’ offense from getting into a rhythm.

49ers 41

Lions 33

The enigmatic Dan Campbell made his coaching debut in the wildest game from the 1:00 PM slate. His era started rocky as the 49ers held a 41-17 lead with only 10 minutes left in regulation. Through a flurry of scoring and an onside kick recovery, the Lions cut the deficit to 8, thereby securing the backdoor cover of +8.5.

Browns 29

Chiefs 33

If anyone doubted the impact of home-field, watch the Cleveland punter wilt under the pressure of Arrowhead screams. The error proved decisive as the Chiefs scored the game-winning touchdown on the ensuing possession.


Deep Dive: Premier League Financial Analysis

I am piggy-backing on the Swiss Ramble’s work on Liverpool’s lack of transfer signings. I highly encourage checking out the entire thread: hyperlinked here. I wanted to highlight the ‘Big 6’ club financial performance over the past 10 years ('10/'11 to '19/'20).

Above, find the Big 6’s P&L during the past decade. What jumps out to me is Manchester United. Their business is flourishing with extremely high revenues, meanwhile maintaining a low wages-to-turnover ratio. Their EBITDA figure of €1.447bn stands out as Man United’s success on the pitch pales compared to its peers. Additionally, one can understand why United fans have bemoaned the Glazer family tenure as their interest expenses are vastly higher than the others. For reference, upon taking over United, the Glazers saddled the club with massive amounts of debt.

Transitioning over to their Cash Flows, I wanted to key on Manchester City.

Indeed, the Emirati government bolsters their books. Man City has spent over €1.48bn on Player Purchases despite recording (€596m) in Operating Losses. The club has remained solvent thanks to the hefty €837m injection from Owner Financing: it pays to have Sheikh Mansour as principal owner.

Those are all the takeaways I wanted to note, but I suggest going through the original thread and see Swiss Ramble’s rationale for Liverpool’s frugality.


What I’m Watching This Week

Monday

Rays vs Blue Jays at 7:07 PM on MLB Network

Ravens vs Raiders at 8:15 PM on ESPN

Padres vs Giants at 9:45 PM on MLB.TV

Tuesday

BSC Young Boys vs Manchester United at 12:45 PM on Paramount +

Barcelona vs PSG at 3:00 PM on Paramount +

Chelsea vs Zenit at 3:00 PM on Paramount +

Rays vs Blue Jays at 7:07 PM on MLB.TV

Padres vs Giants at 9:45 PM on MLB.TV

Wednesday

Inter Milan vs Real Madrid at 3:00 PM on Paramount +

Liverpool vs Milan at 3:00 PM on Paramount +

Atletico Madrid vs FC Porto at 3:00 PM on Paramount +

Thursday

Leicester City vs Napoli at 3:00 PM on Paramount +

Giants vs Football Team at 8:20 PM on NFL Network

Friday

Newcastle United vs Leeds United at 3:00 PM on NBC Sports

Saturday

Aston Villa vs Liverpool at 12:30 PM on Peacock

Alabama vs Florida at 3:30 PM on CBS

Auburn vs Penn State at 7:30 PM on ABC

Sunday

West Ham vs Man United at 9:00 AM on Peacock

Tottenham vs Chelsea at 11:30 AM on NBC Sports

49ers vs Eagles at 1:00 PM on NFL Sunday Ticket

Bills vs Dolphins at 1:00 PM on NFL Sunday Ticket

Saints vs Panthers at 1:00 PM on NFL Sunday Ticket

Patriots vs Jets at 1:00 PM on NFL Sunday Ticket

Juventus vs AC Milan at 2:45 PM on Paramount +

Cowboys vs Chargers at 4:25 PM on NFL Sunday Ticket

Titans vs Seahawks at 4:25 PM on NFL Sunday Ticket

Chiefs vs Ravens at 8:20 PM on NBC

*All times are EST*


What I’m Reading

Sports

NFL 100: At No. 1, Tom Brady — ‘He’s the winner of all winners’ ***

The talent, the work ethic and the ego: what’s it like to manage Cristiano Ronaldo? ***

How the Packers found, scouted and drafted star CB Jaire Alexander, as told by those who played a part in it ***

How five struggling bats (and one special case) could power their teams to playoffs *

Sean McVay, Brandon Staley and their clashing football evolutions that could shape the direction of the NFL **

Sunday Ticket stays with DirecTV? Will ratings rebound? NFL TV business predictions for new season *

Can Carson Wentz and Sam Darnold be fixed? Behind the Colts’ and Panthers’ attempt to revive their careers *

By the numbers: D.J. Moore’s ominous career TD rate, Josh Allen’s rushing inefficiency and more stat nuggets *

Need for speed: How Seahawks’ DK Metcalf became so electrifyingly fast **

What if … the San Diego Padres had signed Juan Soto? *

Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen: The NFL’s next great QB-WR duo? **

Football’s addiction to sleeping pills – ‘a disease spreading quietly across the game’ ***

Sarris: There’s some nasty stuff — and Stuff+ — brewing in Milwaukee **

Analyzing Saul Niguez: Passes like Jorginho, arrives late in the box like Lampard *

Chelsea cashed in on £90m of academy talent but Tuchel wants youth to play part in his reign *

Business

The Simple Problem That Sank Greensill’s Complex Financial Empire ***

A Big Pharma CEO Is Battling Wall Street’s Most Feared Fund ***

County I.T. Supervisor Mined Bitcoin at the Office, Prosecutors Say *

Hedge funds muscle in to Silicon Valley with private deals **

How Joseph Lubin became Wall Street’s crypto whisperer **

China Lets Evergrande Reset Debt Terms to Ease Cash Crunch *

M-Pesa and the African Fintech Revolution *

Bond Buyers Embrace 72-Hour, 52-Deal Corporate Borrowing Binge *

Andreessen Pulls a Bezos *

*** Must Read

** Very Good

* Recommended

1

https://www.mlb.com/glossary/advanced-stats/fielding-independent-pitching

2

Italian GP Coverage on ESPN

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