Saturday, June 29, 2013

Futbol Comes to SnapCall Sports!

This Sunday, June 30th, SnapCall Sports is covering the Confederations Cup Final between Spain and Brazil from the legendary Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. While SnapCall has covered American football, basketball, and baseball, international football is by far the world's most popular game. As we inch closer to the 2014 World Cup, we think the buzz will grow around America's team. While soccer is undeniably growing more popular in the United States, the game faces substantial obstacles. Not enough scoring, too much flopping, and boring action are a few of the gripes that people have with “the beautiful game.” But that's where SnapCall comes in.

With SnapCall's interactive second-screen experience (Apple and Android support), we enable TV viewers to predict a wide variety of game wide and real-time outcomes, everything from not only the outcome of the game to on-field action, to coaching decisions. SnapCall transforms the sports viewing experience into a competition among friends. In the case of soccer, predict the next goal, dive, yellow card, or make the call on other statistical and situational questions. Then let SnapCall rank you against your friends. No more speculation on who knows best!

So, for all of you new players, here's a short preview of tomorrow's final.

One word can be used to describe Spain's footballing style over the last 5-10 years: possession. After winning the 2008 and 2012 European Championships, with the 2010 World Cup title sandwiched in between, the Spanish team is still going strong. Their strong side is still driven almost entirely by members of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Even against the stiffest of competition, Spain owns 65-70% of possession time and completes more passes than opponents have touches. With young talent and a systematic approach to the sport, Spain is primed to be a favorite for years to come and heads to Brazil next summer as the prohibitive favorites to defend their World Cup title.

If Spain are the favorites next year, Brazil, with their home-country advantage, has to be the primary challenger. In years past, Brazil's style has involved flash and flair, with the likes of Pele, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, and Kaka over the past 50 years. Gone are those legends, but soccer is so deeply ingrained in Brazilian culture, a new generation of electrifying playmakers is ready for the challenge. Next in line is 21-year-old Neymar. It will be a seminal year for the youngster, as he recently agreed to join Barcelona after playing professionally in Brazil to start his career. Not only will he join Lionel Messi and the rest of Barcelona this season, but the hopes of his nation in next summer's World Cup will rest on his young shoulders.

After winning the 2002 World Cup, Brazil has had two consecutive disappointing World Cup performances. They crashed out of both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups in the quarterfinal rounds. As they prepare for 2014 which will be played in their home country, expectations are running extremely high. Although the winner tomorrow will have bragging rights for the next year, the big prize comes next year when these two teams just may meet again.

Join us for some real-time fun on SnapCall for the match tomorrow and follow @snapcallsports on Twitter.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

“Puigmania” takes over the All-Star Game

In the offseason, Los Angeles, among a handful of other teams, was able to watch a 22 year old Cuban outfielder take one round of batting practice. There was no legitimate film on him, no competition to compare to, and no guarantee that this outfielder could even compete at the major league level.

The Dodgers came out of that batting practice with a seven-year, $42 million contract ready to go. Fast forward to June.

Decimated by injury, it was finally time to unleash Puig onto the world. Through just 20 games played, Puig has put up numbers that have never been seen in the MLB history. The 6-foot-3, 245 lb. monster with leadoff speed has racked up seven home runs, 14 RBIs and 14 runs.

Oh, and his batting average is .442.

The numbers are there, but is the sample size large enough to warrant Puig a spot in the All-Star Game at Citi Field?

Fortunately, we do have an apt comparison for highly unusual question. Last season, Washington's phenom, Bryce Harper, was elected to the NL All-Star Game after just 150 at bats. Puig currently has half of that, but the argument is the same: young, electric talent vs. veterans who have put in the time, and earned their spot.

At the time, Harper was placed on the team while hitting .287, with 12 home runs and 23 RBIs. With nearly 50 fewer at bats, Puig has a chance to eclipse those numbers . Raw talent would be an understatement. What we're seeing in Puig is a new player completely dominating his competition.

Puig is such a fresh face in-fact, that the MLB doesn't even have him on their All-Star ballot. Fans have been writing him in to make a late push, a process that had previously only been used for independents on Election Day.

On July 6th, All-Star starters will be announced, and the leagues' respective coaches will choose their reserves, which is likely how Puig would find his way into the game.

We want your opinion on the matter! SnapCall Sports offers that opportunity on a nightly basis. Tune in throughout the summer as real-time baseball coverage takes over the mobile world. We'll give you the voice that the league may be ignoring.