Kurtenbach: One defining question for every Warriors player this season

first_imgThe Warriors have undergone some serious changes over the last few months, and as the head into what is poised to be one of the most interesting campaigns in years, I have one question for every Dubs player:Stephen CurryCan you be the best you’ve ever been?(Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)It really is as simple as that for the two-time NBA MVP — can he win a third this year? The Warriors need that level of production not just to win a title, but to even make the playoffs.I’m on …last_img read more

Barry Sanders, Brandon Weeden, Other Pokes Honor Gundy With Video Celebrating No. 100

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. You might have heard, Mike Gundy won his 100th game on Saturday in Stillwater. A host of former players including Barry Sanders, Brandon Weeden, Zac Robinson, Brandon Pettigrew and even Todd Monken honored Gundy with a video telling him what they’re thankful for about him as a coach.This day rocks.last_img read more

Three Things We Can Learn About OSU From Win Predictor Percentage

first_imgI broke this down a bit for the Iowa State game, but I think the Win Predictor for ESPN is a underutilized tool that deserves a double-take for the season so far.We are now three quarters of the way through the football season and I would say the success of the team in the minds of most fans falls somewhere between “most terrible nightmare” and “beyond wildest dreams” which, while not ideal, is not the worst place to be.While being fairly consistent performance-wise this Cowboys team has given us more than our fair share of ups and downs (I’m of course speaking in terms of both emotion and blood pressure).I talked in the earlier article about how fandom tends to live in this instantaneous reality where each game or drive or down is the highest or lowest moment we could ever comprehend but in reality life is much more consistent. This is superbly easy to see in this Win Probability chart and so I figured I could help us navigate our way through the three final and most treacherous games by looking back and taking three main lessons from earlier in the season.Let’s get to it and may all our cardiologists have slightly less business this year through the benefits of just a bit of perspective!The Three LessonsMason Rudolph has become one of the most clutch quarterbacks in OSU history.You can see the “chameleon offense” of OSU through these charts.Oklahoma State is a real contender for the Big 12 title.So obviously the Pokes struggled at end of game situations through the first few games, but around the Baylor/Texas games it seems like a switch flipped in Mason’s brain and he is a closing machine now.Pay special attention to the last 25 percent of each chart and you can see the improvement that is driven by QB1. You can also see the way Oklahoma State plays offense differently in each game as far as setting up slow drives in games like Baylor and WVU.This also gives us a decent potential gameplan for success against our last three teams. Other than Baylor which was pretty close to 50 percent through the game, OSU has been favored pretty heavily throughout the entire rest of the season. This is a good team that can play with the best of them.VS SELAscreen-shot-2016-11-08-at-7-14-52-amSo this was pretty standard as far as wins over non-FBS schools go. Not much to look at here overall. I have no clue about that uptick at the end but I’m pretty sure OSU was up 50 at that point so safe to ignore the anomaly.VS CMUscreen-shot-2016-11-08-at-7-15-12-amThis is still pretty upsetting. The bottom section with the score, time, and probability. Ugh. But as we can see before the end, there were several large spikes in favor of CMU.Fourth quarter was obviously the first example of end-of-game difficulty for OkState and regardless of the way the game did *should* have ended they left the opportunity there for the Chips. Not the best look for OSU regardless.VS PITTscreen-shot-2016-11-08-at-7-15-24-amSo OSU played a fairly strong game here, though you can see there is another bit of trouble at the end of the game once again.This is the most sporadic of all the win probabilities so far. The line is not smooth and it seems as though the win probability system may have taken a page from the fans! The jump towards the 50 percent line near the middle of the game is Mason’s fumble in the end zone which tied the game. Not yet very clutch.The last half of the game was fairly competitively even and it took a massive heave from Rudolph to Seales to finish off this game.@ BUscreen-shot-2016-11-08-at-7-15-37-amWell that’s not good. Lots of green on this line. The Pokes held up early and caused Baylor a few problems throughout the game, but for the most part, the Bears seemed to dominate this game. It felt that way while watching as well.You can see some interesting line movement here throughout the game. You can see the Cowboys’ drives are more of a slow upward slope, then Baylor gets the ball and there are large drops down.We know OC Mike Yurcich tried to take it B1G style to the Bears with slow grinding drives which kept the Pokes in the game for a while, but Baylor’s quick strike offense was just too powerful and took over the game by the end.VS UTscreen-shot-2016-11-08-at-7-15-49-amThis is one of the Cowboy’s best Win Probability lines. This is also the first game which has shown the Pokes extending their lead near the end of the game and solidly defeating an opponent.What had been a struggle for OSU early in the season has begun to turn into an asset as we move towards the second half of the season. Up to this point they have faced tremendous pressure right to the wire and it appears the Pokes and Mason have finally found their recipe for “Clutch Mason.”VS ISUscreen-shot-2016-11-08-at-7-16-06-amYeesh. Remember that thing where we learned how to finish? Well, I suppose this is a scary yet good example of that. With 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter Iowa St. had a 92.2 percent (!!!) chance to win. Then Clutch Mason happened.Three touchdowns and a drive resulting in a field goal to finish the game and steal the victory for the Pokes. While I would have liked the Pokes to have made this easier on my heart, their close finishes in the earlier weeks paid off and Mason Rudolph had plenty of confidence to grab a win here.@ KUscreen-shot-2016-11-08-at-7-16-18-amThe worst Win Percentage the Pokes had in Lawrence was 80.3 percent. That seems fair. Has Bill Self ever considered coaching the football team?VS WVU (Homecoming)screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-7-16-31-amPokes were favored from the start and, though they struggled at the beginning of the game a bit, OSU clearly came out and shut this game down in the second half.Against a highly ranked West Virginia team Oklahoma State showed that they could both outplay and outlast their opponent without needing to give fans a heart attack at the finish!@ KSUscreen-shot-2016-11-08-at-7-18-11-amA crazy back and forth game in the Synder’s version of Hogwarts ended in victory for the Cowboys. Honestly I don’t know how this happened and it still doesn’t feel real.KSU got all the way up to 94.1 percent chance of winning when they punted and pinned OSU at their own 8 yard line with eight minutes left and a nine-point deficit. But again, Clutch Mason. Wow.We’ve discussed if Mason is elite, and we have (and will probably again) talk about records he can break at OSU, but holy cow this dude can ball.There is enough on Mason Rudolph second half comebacks for its own post but this is one guy who does not bat an eye no matter the pressure. We’ve also talked plenty about our confidence level in Mason and how he stacks up to other historic OSU quarterbacks with the ball in his hands and the game on the line.There have been times when his short-intermediate passes have worried me, but gosh, seeing his composure there’s no one I’d rather have back in that pistol with the game on the line than No. 2.Looking ForwardSo what does all this tell us about the rest of the season? We play Tech in Stillwater, at TCU, and at Mordor Norman. Three tough games with three teams that can put up some points.If you quickly scroll through the win percentages so far this year, OSU has improved dramatically in 4th quarter and end-of-game situations. Gundy recently said his goal for the last four games is to be close in the fourth quarter and I fully agree with that idea at this point in the season.Mahomes, Hill, and Mayfield are all good QBs, but when it comes down to it, I have faith that Clutch Mason can pull off a win in just about any situation.Now if we can just get QB1 in a courtroom with some MAC officials to get us one more win….. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Brandon Weeden on OSU’s Receiving Corps: ‘Probably the Deepest They’ve Had Maybe Ever’

first_imgHouston Texans quarterback Brandon Weeden knows a thing or two about deep receiving corps. During his time in Stillwater, he tossed the ball to the likes of Justin Blackmon, Josh Cooper, Bo Bowling, Tracy Moore and Hubert Anyiam en route to leading the Pokes to a Big 12 championship. But even that group pales in comparison to what 2017’s core group looks like, he says.“I’ve gotta say it’s probably the deepest receiving corps they’ve had maybe ever,” Weeden told the Tulsa World. “They’re deep at receiver.”OSU returns its leading receiver James Washington for his senior season and adds Marcell Ateman, who missed last season due to injury, along with LSU transfer Tyron Johnson. That doesn’t even include Jalen McCleskey or Chris Lacy, both of which had a combined 110 receptions last season. Not to mention, OSU signed two four-star receivers in its 2017 class in Tylan Wallace and Shamond Greenwood.The sky is the limit in 2017 and the hype hasn’t lagged far behind. That leads Weeden to believe a big year is on the horizon—and he’s ready to watch it all unfold.AdChoices广告“I’m excited for them,” he said. “They have a chance to have a pretty special year. They gotta go out and take care of business. It’s gonna be tough on them, but I’m excited to watch them play.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 18 Jelani Woods

first_imgAs we inch closer to the Cowboys’ season opener, let’s get acquainted with a player that Oklahoma State hopes won’t see the field in 2017.How he got to OSUMike Yurcich once again dipped into the SEC honeypot for a quarterback. With 6-foot-7 Jelani Woods, he got in early on a recruit that was all upside and others took notice. Yurcich had to fend off suitors like Michigan, Louisville and South Carolina but he landed his guy. Woods was drawing interest from several other blue-chip programs before he shut it down and signed with OSU.What he’s done in StillwaterWoods enrolled early so he was able to take part in spring practice and the spring game. He went 0 for 2 in the exhibition which quelled some hype surrounding he and redshirt freshman Keondre Wudtee (1 of 6). But two attempts from a true freshman, in a scrimmage, is not enough to even have an opinion about. The coaching staff was just getting his feet wet and they have big plans for Woods moving forward.AdChoices广告Role in 2017Those plans include everything except casting a shadow on the turf at Boone Pickens Stadium — or any other field. Obviously, Mason Rudolph is the quarterback and if everything goes well, Taylor Cornelius or Keondre Wudtee will just be playing in the second halves against Tulsa, South Alabama and Kansas.Woods could benefit from a year under Coach Glass and Co. to build up his giant frame and the time he’ll get with the coaching staff and Rudolph and Cornelius learning the playbook. If Woods plays in 2017 then something went very, very wrong.Noteworthy stats and highlightsWoods hasn’t made any highlights at OSU yet but here’s a look at some of his high school reel. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

How Good is Oklahoma State as a Ranked Team and Against Ranked Teams?

first_imgOklahoma State is going to be playing a lot of games as a ranked team this year. Hopefully all of them. We already looked at how Mike Gundy fares as a top 25 team and against top 25 teams, but let’s break that down a little further. Here are some records for OSU in the Gundy era. I used CFB Reference which uses the AP Poll at the time of the game.When Oklahoma State is …Unranked: 43-27 (61%)Ranked in the top 25: 60-23 (72%)Ranked in the top 20: 49-19 (72%)Ranked in the top 15: 33-17 (66%)Ranked in the top 10: 16-8 (66%)Ranked in the top 5: 6-3 (66%)AdChoices广告When Oklahoma State plays …Unranked teams: 84-20 (81%)Top 25 teams: 20-30 (40%)Top 15 teams: 11-25 (31%)Top 10 teams: 6-15 (29%)What about home and away?When OSU is top 25 at home: 30-9 (77%)When OSU is top 25 on the road/neutral: 30-14 (68%)When OSU faces top 25 at home: 12-14 (46%)When OSU faces top 25 on road: 8-16 (33%)MiscellaneousWhen OSU and opponent are ranked: 13-15 (46%)When OSU is top 20 and opponent is ranked: 13-14 (48%)When OSU is top 10 and opponent is ranked: 6-6 (50%)When OSU and opponent are both top 10: 2-4 (33%)There is not a lot that pops here. I suppose you would like to see a better record against top 25 teams. OSU only wins two out of every five games it plays against the top 25. But again, many of those came in the early days of the Gundy era when OSU was lousy. The “when OSU and opponent are ranked” record doesn’t exactly flip the narrative, though.I think the encouraging thing is that OSU has traditionally (under Gundy) been a really good top 20 team. Their loses as a top 10 team have traditionally come when they’ve been a bit overrated (i.e. 2015) which I don’t really think they are to start out the year.Two other encouraging notes: OSU has been good against top 10 teams (compared to what I would imagine the national average is) and good against top 25 teams on the road — teams have only won 23 percent of games against OSU when OSU is a top 25 team at home and OSU has won 33 percent against top 25 teams on the road).The (hopefully) fun part? We’ll be able to update this after the first game as OSU goes into the Tulsa tilt as the AP No. 10 team in the country. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Free webinar: How to sustain your nonprofit through social enterprise

first_imgWhen I talk with groups of nonprofits at conferences and training events, I often hear the same common concern from fundraisers and marketers: how can we cover our expenses and expand our programs when we rely on shrinking, restrictive, or difficult to manage funding sources? To become truly sustainable, many nonprofits need to diversify funding sources and supplement the support they receive from grants, loans, and charitable contributions. One way to do this is with a social enterprise model. Nonprofits that apply the best practices of businesses and explore earned income strategies can open up new opportunities for revenue streams through fees for service, production of goods, or for-profit enterprises. Examples of organizations using a social enterprise business model include Goodwill Industries, DC Central Kitchen, and Habitat for Humanity, through their home improvement ReStores. Kevin Lynch, president and CEO of Social Enterprise Alliance, will join us tomorrow (February 18) for a free webinar to show you how you can apply these tactics and boost your bottom line. He’ll explain what social enterprise can do for your organization and how to get started. This session is a must for any nonprofit professional who wants to move their organization forward in 2014. Check out the details below.Free Webinar: Transform Your Nonprofit with Social EnterpriseTuesday, February 18, 2014 | 1pm ESTRegister now.(Can’t attend the live session? Sign up anyway—we’ll send you the slides and recording so you don’t miss it!)last_img read more

The 4 Rs: Be Real, Relevant, Realistic, and Rewarding in Your Content Marketing

first_imgAs you start using content marketing to capture the hearts of your nonprofit supporters, remember to stay true to your organization with the four Rs: Be real, relevant, realistic, and, most importantly, rewarding! Here’s how:1. Be real.When you’re talking about your nonprofit or cause, are you being real? It’s important to keep your organization’s story at the forefront of everything you do and to stay true to your nonprofit’s voice. Be mindful of your supporters and where they’re coming from, and be mindful of how you can reach them. Are they heavily using mobile? Do they rarely go on Pinterest?2. Be relevant.Does your nonprofit make sense in its context? That might sound like a lot of marketing speak, but it really means are you relevant. For example, are you holding a coat drive in the hottest part of summer? Make sure your content and actions make sense with what’s happening in your community and in current events.3. Be realistic.Do you know the barriers to communicating with your audience? Identifying what can get in the way of communication might seem hard, but it’s just making sure you’re reaching your supporters. If the dollars are flowing and volunteers are knocking down your door, then your content is doing amazing work! If you’re asking people to do something hard and getting no response, how can you make it as easy as possible? Is the action inconvenient or seemingly expensive? Use your messaging to acknowledge that and take action to make it seem easy.4. Be rewarding.Do you tell people what the benefits are to taking action? Let your content express the benefits of taking the course of action you want. If you want people to attend your event, emphasize that guests will enjoy a good meal, good company, and a good time. If you’re asking for a donation, emphasize the feel-good feeling or tempt them with free swag. Make sure that you offer a reward in your message.last_img read more

Rallying the Troops: the Staff Plan for #GivingTuesday

first_imgThank key partners and sponsorsAlert the community to Day-of challenges and contests (especially if they change hourly)Inspire the community with Day-of rewards or incentivesAsk the community to GIVE and SHAREMention the Campaign Hashtag and URL Volunteer Event coordinatorIf your nonprofit is hosting a hands-on service event for #GivingTuesday, the volunteer service coordinator should be part of the war room team. Ask them to provide photos, quotes, and results from the volunteer activity that can be shared with potential supporters online and in email. Make this #GivingTuesday your best yet! Kick off your year-end fundraising with our tools, training and matching funds. It doesn’t matter if your organization has 2 staff members or 200, you can raise money on #GivingTuesday and we can help.Free #GivingTuesday resources are available to all nonprofits through Network for Good’s All TUEgether campaign. Network for Good customers can leverage matching funds for all donations made on December 1, 2015. Plus, customers have access to expert coaching, new donors, and exclusive resources to help plan a stellar #GivingTuesday campaign.Not a Network for Good customer yet? No problem. Sign up for a demo and find out how easy it is to raise money online. Get ready to have your best giving season ever. Work hard, have fun, focus on your goals, and it will be a great #GivingTuesday! Set up a #Givingtuesday ‘war room’ so the team is all together in one place. There will be hard work to do and a party atmosphere will make a long day more fun.Consider these suggestions to elevate the excitement and spur the efforts of your staff and volunteers: Make #GivingTuesday an event for your team, and a win for those you serve. In just a few days #GivingTuesday will be here. Whether you’ve planned for months or just for a week or two, there’s one more thing you can do to make it a great day for your nonprofit.Organizations large and small can put their campaigns over the top on #GivingTuesday by creating a “day of generosity” that involves your staff, board, and volunteers. Plan a day of hard-working fun that involves your team in outreach and celebration as you hit milestones toward your goal.The recommendations below are targeted at a mid-sized organization, so scale the plan for your day up or down to fit your organization’s capacity. Make it a party! Provide special t-shirts, wristbands, hats or other swag if you have it. If you don’t, consider asking each team member to wear something in the colors of your organization’s logo to create that spirit of a team.Have food throughout the day.Have a first gift ceremony, where the team members contribute whatever they can to the campaign and put that total on the board as the “founders” gifts for the campaign.Take an UNselfie of each team member and one of the whole team together and post on social media.Have a visible tally board so everyone can see when you are getting close to key milestones Phone outreach teamYour phones can be the most powerful weapon on #GivingTuesday. You can organize an actual phone-a-thon of sorts, reaching out to supporters to thank them for past generosity and invite them to join your #GivingTuesday campaign. At a minimum, you should reach out to board members, key friends of your organization, and active volunteers to enlist their participation as givers or sharers.Donor supportAssign one or more people to be available to answer questions from donors should they arise.Social outreach staff The social team will be the ambassadors of excitement for the campaign. They will focus on: Covering the dayYour #GivingTuesday staff plan should cover a time period from about 8am to 10pm. The busiest donation periods are likely to be from 9am to 3pm and 7pm to 10pm, and these are the windows when you’ll want the most coverage.Suggested staff rolesLeaderAppoint a leader so campaign staff have a single point of contact for questions throughout the day. The leader should have a list of contact information for all staff and partners (include cell phone numbers and email addresses). He or she should be ready to address technology issues should there be problems with your online giving site. Have the phone number of your software provider handy in the event there is an issue. He or she may also be assigned as designated representative to talk with the media if there is press interest in your campaign.The leader (or a designee) should be ready with talking points highlighting the key aspects of the campaign. · Building excitement by posting content to social media channels.Engaging with followers, fans, tweets.Promoting key milestone content such as Goal Updates, Prize winners, media coverage.Alerting other staff to any social postings related to issues or questions.Forwarding any social postings from the media to the team leader.last_img read more

5 Ways to Use Online Tools for Nonprofit Event Management

first_img5 Ways to Use Online Tools for Nonprofit Event ManagementNonprofit event management includes planning, scheduling, coordinating, recruiting, and especially promoting. It can be a lot to deal with, but by making the most of your online fundraising tools, you can make it much more manageable. Here are five things you need to do, including details on how to tie in your Facebook fundraising with your other social media.Plan a “launch.” Set the date for your event, then determine when you want to send out the announcements/invitations. Traditionally, the launch date would be the day you mail out invitations and email announcements. Schedule reminder emails between your launch date and the event, and get them written and set up to be automatically delivered so you don’t have to worry about them during the busy days leading up to your event. Your social media campaign and other outreach should be designed and set up to launch concurrently (or scheduled strategically).Current donors will receive email announcements, but to make sure you don’t miss potential new donors, put the full event information on your website. Include the event in any community calendars that you publish to as well, and if possible, include a link directly to the event info on your site.Before the invitations go out, set up a registration page that integrates social sharing, using a tool such as Network for Good’s easy-to-use fundraising pages that allow you to quickly set up and sell tickets and accept online donations. Be sure to use one that lets you put your branding on the page so donors know they are in the right place.Promote the event on your Facebook page, but be sure to also set up a Facebook event page. This lets you post updates about the event that won’t get lost in a bunch of other posts and lets your supporters help generate “buzz” by commenting on event updates that you post. If this is a repeat affair, use pictures from last year’s event. Remember, Facebook images are small, so use photos that capture the moment and focus on an individual or small group, avoid shots that are too broad to identify in the Facebook feed.Tweet about it. Write your Twitter messages so that they are ready to retweet and your followers are much more likely to send them to their own followers. Since tweets have to be so short, it can be tempting to avoid saying something your followers already know, but be sure to include what their friends need to know about your event.These five actions will get you off to a great start using online fundraising tools to make nonprofit event management easier and help you reach more potential donors.Ready to start your own fundraising event? We’re here to help! Network for Good has helped over 125,000 nonprofit organizations raise more than $2.5 billion in donations. To discuss how we can help you get the most out of your fundraising efforts, contact us now!last_img read more