Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Microsoft lands NFL partnership

Source: engadget.com

On the same day that Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One, they also announced that they will be forming a partnership with the NFL to "optimize experience that better integrates fantasy football, including score displays, onscreen updates and Skype."

The official release stated that:

"Microsoft Corp. and the National Football League (NFL) today announced a multiyear, landmark partnership that will deliver truly unique interactive NFL television experiences for the next-generation Xbox One and leverage Microsoft devices and services to evolve the in-game, sideline experience for coaches, players and other personnel."

An interesting development will be inside stadiums, with Microsoft providing surface tablets to NFL teams (one has to wonder how Apple feels about this). Other innovations will effect the viewing experience of the fan at home..

Irish Football Round-up

We have our first division champions! The Belfast Trojans remain undefeated in the Shamrock Bowl North and their now 6&0 record gives them enough to claim the SBC North crown. Meanwhile an unpredictable SBC South means the three remaining teams have it all to play for. In IAFL-1 the league is still close with just a few games played but some teams are beginning to look a little more dominant.
David Colvin scored his 10th rushing and 11th overall touchdown of the season on Sunday - photo by Nathan James Sharrocks

Warwick Wolverines - Coventry Cougars Game Report

by Philip Gaydon

A well-fought, highly-charged contest ended as a 6-6 draw on Saturday when the Warwick Wolverines hosted the Coventry Cougars.

The highly-experienced Cougars came into the game as favourites after dishing out some convincing defeats to the Elite’s Hybrid teams in the past months. However, a full-strength Wolverines squad (something not yet seen this season) was determined to defeat the odds.

Coventry Cougars (left to right): Millie Barrett, Sophie Jones, Becca Haw, Holli Milner, Kellie Barrett
Coventry Cougars (left to right): Millie Barrett, Sophie Jones, Becca Haw, Holli Milner, Kellie Barrett

Shropshire Revolution Vs Manchester Titans HIGHLIGHTS

Revolution move to 3-1 with late game pandemonium.

by David Reid

Sheffield Hallam one-armed American footballer: I never thought I could do it.

By Adam Capper

Channer stands in front of his team mates at this year's Varsity defeat to The University of Sheffield
Channer stands in front of his team mates at this year’s Varsity defeat to The University of Sheffield
A one-armed Hallam student has expressed his delight at becoming a key player for the university’s American football team – a sport he never thought he could play.
Sheffield lad Channer Bal, 21, is a second year Marketing and Retail student who, despite being born without a limb, has started every single game in his debut season for theSheffield Hallam Warriors.

AFL Week 8 Review

Raiffeisen Vikings 58 - AFC Rangers 7

The Friday evening opening of the AFL's eighth week went very much as predicted as the home town Vikings once more proved their dominance with a very easy and routine 58-7 win over the still winless Rangers.
The Vikings gave the Rangers a strong dose of their running game on Friday night.
© Kellner Holly Thomas/Gridiron Photography
Despite the huge margin of victory the Vikings pulled off the win in a quite un-Viking way as they fed the ball to their running backs for a total of 236 yards whilst Christopher Gross only had 148 yards passing with two touchdowns. The Rangers on the other hand were even more lacklustre than usual with Craig Maynard missing from the lineup meaning that they only totalled 82 yards on offence as Brandon Moore was handed the job of carrying the offence.

Not much else needs to be said about this game as it was easy pickings for the leagues top team which sent them to 7-0 and only leaves them with three more games to end up with a perfect regular season record and the top seed in the playoffs.

Player of the Game: Jesse Lewis, Running Back #22. Lewis came up one yard short of triple figures to lead all of the Vikings rushers to go along with his two touchdowns.

Prediction: Not going to call myself a genius for getting the result right but I was only a few points away from getting the score spot on.

© Kellner Holly Thomas/Gridiron Photography

JCL Graz Giants 58 - Prague Black Panthers 14

With the Vikings having put up such a big score, the Giants decided that the time was right to really open up their offence against Black Panthers and put up a fifty-burger. With Christopher Gross leaving us without the huge passing statistics that we're used to each weekend, Alex Good decided to step up and register 5 touchdowns along with 267 yards.

Good and the Giants were far too much for the hapless Black Panthers
The Black Panthers looked fairly competitive for the first half as Andrew Shoop both ran in a score and threw for one to keep the Black Panthers within touching distance of the Giants. However, the floodgates really opened in the third quarter as the Giants put together four unanswered touchdowns that included two long touchdown passes from Good as well as a 55-yard interception return by Promitzer which put the icing on the cake for a overall dominant day for the Giants.

Since losing their head coach a few weeks back, the Black Panthers have looked a shadow of the team that occasionally threatened to pull off upsets at the start of the season and I don't see life getting any better for them I'm afraid.

Player of the Game: Alex Good, Quarterback #7. Put together some great numbers in the passing game and added 75 yards on the ground from only two attempts.

Prediction: Picked the result, but the Black Panther defence was so bad that the Giants put up way more points that I predicted.

Swarco Raiders 24 - Danube Dragons 0

The Raiders continued their impressive run of games with a second shutout in the past three games and in doing so kept their undefeated home record against the Dragons alive. In what was quite a defensive struggle on the day, the Raiders managed to snag themselves a total of three interceptions with two coming from standout performer Markus Krause and the other finding the hands of import Jaycen Taylor.

The Raiders defence completely neutralised a powerful Dragons offence.
© Florian Schellhorn from www.footballpics.info
The biggest story from me at the end of the day was the stellar play of their defensive secondary which has been a focal point of my recent criticism towards the Raiders in recent weeks, but have proven to me now that they have the ability to shut down one of the leagues better passing offences on their day.

If anyone remembers my prediction you'll have noted that I said the Dragons needed both Ogun and Dally to perform on the same day to give their team a chance of the upset, and whilst usually it's just one or the other, this week it turned out that neither star was able to produce and their lack of production really told on the scoreboard.

Krause's sticky hands restored the Raiders rep in the secondary.
© Florian Schellhorn from www.footballpics.info
Funnily enough, these two teams are slated for the return fixture next weekend giving the Dragons a week to change up what they've been doing but at the same time giving the Raiders another week to practice the same thing and maybe record a shutout in both fixtures.

Player of the Game: Markus Krause, Defensive Back #21. Usually this awards goes to a offensive player in the AFL, but Krause rightly deserved the nod this week with his two picks for 30 yards.

Prediction:  The result went to the home team as I expected but my high scoring prediction was off, the Raiders only scored half the points I had predicted whilst the Dragons didn't even get on the board!

Gronkowski's forearm surgery successful.

Source: NFL.com

Per NFL.com reporter Ian Rapoport, New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski's latest surgery on his broken forearm has been labeled a success by surgeons. No new infection was found and new plates were put in to help with the healing process.

Though it isn't a definite conclusion that Gronk will be back for training camp, it is certainly looking more positive for the 4th year veteran, who only recently signed a contract extension. Concern will now be focused on his back when he visits spine specialist Robert Watkins in three to four weeks. The need for treatment on his back would certainly start the alarm bells ringing, after it was this a back injury that caused Gronkowski to drop to the second round in the draft.

The Patriots still have Aaron Hernandez on the roster, but he also suffers from injuries and hasn't had a full season during his short career. The pick up of Jake Ballard last season from the New York Giants looks even more astute.

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