John Lynch says anthem protests ‘divisive,’ respects players’ reasons

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — While every member of the 49ers stood for the national anthem before last week’s preseason opener, that didn’t prevent other players around the league from continuing the silent protest that originated in the San Francisco Bay Area a year ago.

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during the anthem before their respective preseason openers, and Bennett later confirmed he sat in protest. Lynch has yet to comment on sitting.

On Wednesday, Niners general manager John Lynch was asked if he supports, tolerates and/or has concerns about those silent anthem protests.

“We had a great deal the other day where we had four chairs up here, and there was Steve Young and Jerry Rice,” John Lynch said. “And they talked about ‘The 49er Way.’ And I always thought that’s one of the great things about this league. As a matter of fact, I think it’s a great beacon for the rest of culture, in terms of the way it should be. You strive for a common goal, and you have unity.

“And I think this game brings people together. So I think personally when I see that, I think that’s divisive. And I understand guys see things and they’re not happy. They have that right. And I think we’ll always respect people’s rights. That doesn’t mean I believe that. I believe this game should be celebrated for what it is. I think [it’s] a tremendous unifier for our country and for the way things should be.”

Kaepernick is a free agent after opting out of his contract in March, whereas Reid and Harold remain with the Niners. Reid and Harold have said they intend to stand for the national anthem this season, while Kaepernick is still searching for a roster spot.

Asked if he would feel the need to talk to any 49ers who might decide to protest this season, Lynch said he would.

“I think we’ll always communicate,” Lynch said. “We think overcommunicating is a good thing. We haven’t faced that situation. If we do, we’ll communicate.”

New Rams WR Sammy Watkins ‘sharp’ in practice, Jared Goff says

IRVINE, Calif. — Sammy Watkins has been on the field with the Los Angeles Rams for three days and has been an active participant in only two practices. But he has already impressed starting quarterback Jared Goff with his grasp of the offense.

“He’s been sharper than I’ve expected,” Goff said Wednesday. “That’s not saying anything negatively about him, but it’s a new system for anybody. He’s been on it. He’s been sharp. It’s been a really pleasant surprise.”

The Rams officially acquired Watkins from the Buffalo Bills on Friday morning in exchange for cornerback E.J. Gaines and a second-round pick in next year’s draft. Watkins didn’t join his new teammates until Saturday afternoon, three hours before their preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys. He had no idea how he would fit then, saying, “I don’t even know the offensive plays yet.”

But Watkins has been a quick study. He’s rooming with fellow receiver Robert Woods, his teammate in Buffalo the past three years. And assistant receivers coach Zac Taylor has been guiding him through the scheme.

Rams coach Sean McVay said he felt confident Watkins could learn the plays relatively quickly because there’s some carryover with what Bills offensive coordinator Rick Dennison implemented. Watkins estimated Monday that it would take him “a week and a half” to get fully up to speed with the way McVay attacks defenses.

Rams coach Sean McVay is learning a little bit more about Sammy Watkins every day. “You can feel his speed and his juice down the field.” Watkins caught several intermediate throws from Jared Goff today and was constantly matched up with Trumaine Johnson.

On Wednesday, Johnson intercepted Goff for the second time in three days. He was the underneath corner in zone coverage and Goff threw it right into his chest while attempting to hit Watkins in stride. Johnson also intercepted Goff on Monday while in the red zone during 11-on-11 work when he jumped a curl route from Robert Woods.

Sports Betting Money Management Skills

  • Money Management and a “Good Defense”

Most of us focus on betting systems and strategies that will be profitable.  After all, without a good betting system, we won’t make any money, right?  The same thing can be said about “money management.”  That is, if you don’t pay attention to money management, you might not be able to take that “next” step to becoming a “sports investor.”  Good money management will reduce the chances of extreme losses and help turn this “hobby” into a legitimate “investment.”

In the world of finance, many professionals use the phrase “risk management” and “money management” interchangeably.  What are we trying to do when we focus on “money management?”  In simple words, we’re trying to “manage our money” – or “manage our risk.”  Our goal is to preserve our capital or hard-earned money.  We want to minimize the chances for loss – or in a larger sense, minimize our “risk of ruin.” 

The information on this site is for entertainment and educational purposes only.  Use of this information in violation of any federal, state, or local laws is prohibited.

Flat Betting

First things, first…  We believe that “flat” betting is the way to go.  That is, bet the same amount for each play.  “Chasing” or increasing bet size based on your last bet (or series of bets) is not recommended.  (This is true for most people; please see * Note * below.)

Over time, you may hear about various systems where you increase your bet size “knowing” that you are due to win sooner or later.  In general, these systems don’t work.  Eventually, a bad streak occurs and you are betting a recklessly large amount to re-coup losses.

In general, many of these approaches MIGHT seem to improve short-term performance – BUT at the HUGE expense of increasing your risk of ruin.  A bad stretch could endanger your bankroll fairly quickly.  If you DO succumb to the charms of various Martingale systems, please use some sort of systematic risk management method.  In this business of sports investing, it pays to minimize your risk of ruin.

Professional money managers – as well as sensible sports investors – will agree that you should minimize the chances of “blowing out” your investment portfolio.  Flat betting will help you to “stay the course” and ride the ups and downs of investing.

“True” Bankroll and “Risk Capital”

Whenever we talk about percentages of bankroll, most casual bettors feel that they are on the “high end” of the ranges we discuss.  This might SEEM true – but only because the “true bankroll” for most casual bettors is higher than what they have in their accounts.  That is, many bettors might have $X in their accounts, but are willing to add another $Y if they draw down their account.  Professionals normally already know their “full bankroll” and need to preserve their “capital” versus “risk of ruin.”

Investors – and in this case, sports investors – need to understand the level of their “true bankroll” or “risk capital (allocated to sports).”  Once investors take a serious look at their finances, they might better understand the “true” level or amount they allocate to sports investing.  They might then realize that 1%-2% of their “true bankroll” or “risk capital” is indeed a realistic bet size.

Summary: Money Management and Playing Defense  

Many of our articles focus on SportsInsights.com’s philosophies and contrarian strategies that have proven to work over time.  In this article, we focused on money management – an area where most bettors do not pay enough attention.  In essence, good “money management” is a lot like playing good defense.  Money management will allow you to “stay in the game” during tough times so that good handicapping strategies (your offense) can put you ahead.

Disclaimer

We do not guarantee that the trends and biases we’ve found will continue to exist.  It is impossible to predict the future.  Any serious academic research in the field of “market efficiencies” recognizes that inefficiencies may disappear over time.  Once inefficiencies are discovered, it is only a matter of time before the market corrects itself.  We do not guarantee our data is error-free.  However, we’ve tried our best to make sure every score and percentage is correct.

Profit with Value Betting

The key to successful sports betting is obtaining value on every bet. Value means getting better than “true” odds on a team. For example, if your objective assessment of the game suggests the underdog should be receiving 3.5 points, but is receiving 6.5 point, then that is a value-betting proposition, also called an “overlay”.

Value betting means betting when you regard the risk: reward ration as being heavily in your favor. And that can often mean betting the underdog. Too many bettors are frightened to back underdogs, but remember that a relatively poor team receiving a large point spread does not actually have to win the game, just lose by less than the points it is receiving. And they frequently do because they better team is only interested in winning and reducing the risk of injury, not covering the point spread.

Oddsmakers are often in a position where they have to issue lines/odds on a large number of games, so their resources are stretched and they are vulnerable. Even with their considerable expertise , they are by no means infallible, so be on the lookout for the so called “soft sports” where you consider that the oddsmaker has failed to judge the game or event properly or ignored a potentially key factor in the outcome.

Pay particular attention to key number in Football, especially 3,4,6,7, and 10, where minor changes in the spread have major implications for value. Even with the 2pt conversion option, changing a line from 6 to 7.5 is a major move; If you liked the under at +6, then you are getting tremendous value at +7.5.In Football, more games are decided by a margin or 3 points than by any other margin. Therefore, a point spread of 2.5 to 3.5 is a critical to the smart bettor.

Game over: Family Fun arcade is pulling the plug

Inside, the Family Fun Arcade is dark, even on a sunny day. In the back, there’s a counter where you can get change, buy a can of soda for 75 cents and grab a bag of Doritos or a cellophane-covered brownie. The place is noisy, always noisy, not with the flashy whining arpeggios of slot machines or the squeals and songs common to a Chuck E. Cheese but the booms, beeps, blasts and hai-ya’s particular to Street Fighter.

Despite the name, Family Fun is not the typical kiddie-enticing arcade. There are no redemption games here — no Skee-Ball machines spitting out tickets to trade for plastic trinkets, no claws feebly grasping at plush toys. An air hockey table stands near the door, but everything else is joysticks, buttons and video.

Yet as modest as it appears, this Granada Hills arcade, called FFA for short, is legendary in certain circles, a “Street Fighter” mecca known far and wide. “We would get guys from Canada, Japan, Australia, because of the level of competition here,” says owner Ralph Sehnhert. “These guys are like chess masters. They know every nuance of the game, to how many frames per second and what move counteracts what. Their strategy is absolutely amazing. They live and breathe it.”

“What we used to have going for us was that we were the unique experience you couldn’t get at home,” Sehnert says. “Now, you can sit in your pajamas, play against some guy in Amsterdam or Yugoslavia with a seamless connection, and you don’t have to keep going into your pocket to put quarters in.”

That’s another stumbling block to coin-op economics: the quarter. While prices of virtually everything have risen since Family Fun first opened, it’s hard to jack up the per-play price of a game, Sehnert says.

In the arcade’s early days, mechanical games like faux-rifle-equipped shooting galleries and pinball — newly legalized in Los Angeles — dominated. Air hockey had just been invented, as had the first video game, “Pong.” In the early 1980s, “Pac-Man” fever spiked, then cooled. “Dragon’s Lair,” the laserdisc game, was supposed to revive the sagging industry. It didn’t.

Online Games Are Making a Play for a Mature Audience

At 63, Elnor Smedley seems an unlikely target for a video game industry that zeros in on acne-prone adolescent males.

These days, though, the silver-haired grandmother of five is the belle at a billion-dollar ball thrown by video game companies eager to court mainstream consumers via the World Wide Web.

Microsoft Corp., Sony Corp., Vivendi Universal and Electronic Arts Inc. are among several companies pouring vast amounts of money into online games. It’s a bid to both broaden the appeal of video games and establish long-term revenue streams through subscriptions to a constantly updated cache of games.

That strategy of selling digital fun as a service is the current rage among software and entertainment companies searching for ways to make money on the Internet and move beyond one-time sales of shrink-wrapped music and movies.

“Games take a long time to build,” said Erick Hachenburg, chief operating officer for EA.com, which in February paid more than $40 million to acquire Pogo.com. “And we’ve been making the investments to build them. We believe people will pay for online games.”

For now, the games are free and the sites are supported by online ads. But with online advertising dollars at a nadir, game sites desperately need other sources of revenue.

“The model is cable TV,” said Stan McKee, EA’s chief financial officer. “Years ago, people asked why anybody would pay for cable when they can get broadcast TV for free? The reason was that cable TV offered content that wasn’t available anywhere else.”

McKee predicted that EA.com’s rate of loss will ease once it begins broadcasting games such as “Majestic” and “Harry Potter Online.”

The riskiest game in the lineup is “Majestic,” a conspiracy game in which players solve a mystery with clues delivered via e-mail, phone calls and faxes. Already several months behind in production, the game’s four monthly “episodes” are due out sometime this summer. The fall will bring another lineup of games, including “Motor City Online,” a game that lets players buy, collect and trade virtual cars.