Steve “Dakota” Happas

* CEO of C2 Media Corp * Options Trader * Sports Radio Personality * Poker Player * Baseball Player * A.K.A.  Dakota *

If you’re here it might be for a few different reasons….Checking out what Im all about and what I might be able to do for your business, you personally, or just reading my blog that I can promise you will be very heavy opinionated about topics ranging from sports to our economy and the stock market .  Some of you have done or want to do business with me others might have heard me on the radio – either way thanks for stopping by!

As for what Ive been up to…. In the past I was the Director of Marketing for one of the largest online dating sites Singlesnet and managed the biggest affiliate network and paid search campaigns on the Internet. It was by  far one of my favorite endeavors.   I helped sell Singlesnet to  Barry Diller’s IAC corp’s unit and worked with the new IAC and Match employees during this transition.

Currently Im the CEO of which is heavily involved in the digital/mobile marketing space helping major corporations increase traffic to their web sites.  You also can listen to me on sports radio on the Boston airwaves.

In the past I’ve had my hand in numerous businesses ranging from traditional and new internet media, equity investing & finance, free to play – subscription based games, public relations and many other things.  Personally I love playing Golf, baseball, basketball and traveling the country to play in tournament poker events…..oh wait…how could I forget… I love eating out!

Posted by: Dakota and filed under News, Sports, Stock Market Opinion

Sports thoughts  – NFL Superbook Contest Update… and look out below for the stock market!

Still trying to get my head around the thought of Robinson Cano making more than $20 mill a year…I mean he is good and all but how much better is he than Pedroia who settled in on the $16 mill area – But really…$28 mill is what he wants?

Why are there reports out there that Stephen Drew might be back at SS with the Red Sox??? Didn’t we trade away a lifetime gold glove winner with Iglesias to make room for XB? The Sox are now free rolling after winning the World Series – lets see a full year with Middlebrooks at 3b and XB at short!

Has Rondo been traded yet??? Please trade him and Jeff Green…I really want a 3 year rebuilding project so we could end up with a Durant-Westbrook -Harden scenario for the future – this way its not just 1 championship but a string of them –

Still cant figure out why the 23 year old founder of Snapchat turned down $3 billion dollars for his company from Facebook…this will go down as one of the worst executive decisions of this decade – even if he gets a few more billion next year there are two many risk factors that could easily make this worth a lot less!

As for the Stock Market... well lets just say that the FED induced bubble is about to pop! – Major indexes – Dow-16k – Nasdaq 4000 – SP500 – 1800 – should all have major corrections from these levels – could be as early as this final month of 2013 – if not 2014 will be a disaster year in the stock market –

Finally – I’m still hanging into contention for the NFL Super Book contest – 1034 entries with a prize pool of $1.55 million – $550k going for first place – I got as high as 25th place after week 11 but after a 1-3-1 in week 12 I fell back to 60th -with 5 weeks left I need to reel off a few 4-1 weeks to make the money!

Posted by: Dakota and filed under News, Sports

After 6 weeks I stand at 17-11-2 (18 pts) in 39th place out of 1034 entries

Well I can’t complain about going 4-1 ATS for the 2nd straight week – this two week stretch moved me all the way up to 39th place in the contest.  Total prize pool is over $1.5 million dollars with $550k paying 1st place – the top 30 will get paid at seasons end.

Here are some tidbits from week 6 –

19 entries went 5-0

125 went 4-1

292 went 3-2

326 went 2-3

221 went 1-4

46 went 0-5

Another overall tough week with the majority of entries having a below .500 week –

The leader in the contest has 21.5 pts with an overall record of 21-8-1 (70%)

In past years the winner in the contest finishes usually around  65-66%

Posted by: Dakota and filed under News, Sports

After I went 4-1 ATS last week I’m back in the hunt for 1st place of $500k

As we move deeper into this NFL season the games get tougher as the odds makers get sharper.  After last weeks picks came through in the Las Vegas Hilton Contest the 4 wins put me now in 97th place out of 1034 entries. The card this week has me riding my coat tails on some teams that you might want to stay clear of.

After 5 weeks of picking 5 games against the spread each week I stand at 13-10-2 for total of 14 points – the leader in the contest has 18.5 (18-6-1) – of the 1034 entries the average point total is 11 (11-14) or a success rate if 44% – So I feel really good about my 13-10-2 record so far.

With that being said here goes my 5 picks for this week!

Tampa + 1.5 over Eagles

Panthers + 2.5 over Vikings

Rams + 7.5 over Texans

Steelers + 2.5 over Jets

Patriots – 2.5 over Saints

Despite me breaking the Gronkowski news that he would definitely be out this week (2 hours ahead of ESPN) I still went with the Patriots at home over the Saints.

Here below is the link to the contest – they have the weekly standings (I’m listed as and they post everyone’s selections Saturday late afternoon.

As always you can follow me on twitter @dakotablog

Posted by: Dakota and filed under News, Sports

Gronkowski Held Out Again – Targeting Return Against Miami Oct 27th

My inside sources have Gronkowski not playing this week against the Saints and a small chance he could play some limited action against the JETS if activated.  Even the JETS game is unlikely but my sources have indicated that its almost 100% that he will make his return when the Patriots play the Miami Dolphins in 2 weeks at Gillette on Oct 27th.

Posted by: Dakota and filed under Sports

Atlanta over the Patriots is the top choice of the 1034 entries in the contest – 390 of the handicappers picked Atlanta laying the 2.5 and 129 are on the Patriots.  On a percentage basis of the two sides picks that was the 2nd biggest difference 75% to 25%.  The biggest split was on Pitt 82% over Min at 18%.  The 2nd biggest one was on New Orleans over Miami 78% to 22%.

My 5 picks again are mostly against the grain as this week I am going with Jax, TB, Giants, Detroit and Miami.  Detroit is the only one of my selections that is picked more than the other team but its 205 to 202 so pretty much 50/50.

Also of note – the leader in the contest after 3 weeks is “All YOU CAN EAT” with record of 12-2-1 for a total of 12.5 points!  I stand tied in 45th place at 8-5-2 for a total of 8.5 points.  This week the leader is going with StL, Houston, Det, Tenn and Miami.  Thus we both have Detroit and Miami this week!

Once again 1034 entries have to pick 5 games each week against the spread – their selections below:

SF -3 120
STL +3 48
PIT -2.5 248
MIN +2.5 56
BAL -3 178
BUF +3 131
CIN -4.5 155
CLE +4.5 208
IND -7.5 233
JAX +7.5 97
SEA -2.5 225
HOU +2.5 267
TB -2.5 84
ARI +2.5 149
DET -3 205
CHI +3 202
KC -4 232
NYG +4 169
TEN -3.5 138
NYJ +3.5 222
DAL -2.5 130
SD +2.5 227
WAS -3 132
OAK +3 60
DEN -10.5 161
PHI +10.5 125
ATL -2.5 390
NE +2.5 129
NO -6.5 341
MIA +6.5 98
Posted by: Dakota and filed under News, Sports

After I Had a Solid Start in Week 1 (3-1-1 ats) This Week Could Separate the Men from the Boys!

As I mentioned last week I finally took the plunge and entered the Las Vegas Hilton NFL contest this year to match my handicapping skills against others around the country – this year they broke the number of entries which totaled 1034 players putting up $1500 dollars each making a prize pool of $1,551,000.  The top 30 places will get paid with about $550k going to 1st place! In the past the winner has predicted about 66% of its selections picking 5 games every week against the spread.  So in theory if you can somehow go 3-2 every week or 13-7 every 4 weeks then you have a shot on getting part of that prize pool!

Last week I ended up going 3-1-1 against the spread as my winners came from Denver -7.5 over Baltimore, Miami +1 over Cleveland, and Dallas -3.5 over Giants….my loss came from Pitt who just went the wrong way after Pouncey got hurt and was lost for the season…finally I pushed with Chicago -3 over Cinn thanks to a Sanu fumble with Cinn on the move late to increase their lead and a great touchdown catch by Brandon Marshall to put the Bears up 3 in the 4th quarter.

Week 1 results were kind of crazy with only 3 entries going 5-0 and on the flip side 57 entries went 0-5 – pretty remarkable if you ask me…. anyways my 3-1-1 record (1 point for each win and .5 for pushes) gives me 3.5 points which places me tied in the 45th spot out of the 1034.  8 entries did go 4-0-1, 33 went 4-1 and 35 players did what I did going 3-1-1 for 3.5 points – 52 players went 0-4-1.

This week’s card doesn’t look as easy in my eyes as last weeks did but nonetheless I still need to come up with 5 picks that I feel have a shot at covering the spread.  Here is what I’m going with:

Week 2 Selections

Carolina -3 over Buffalo

KC -3 over Dallas

TB + 3 over NO

Giants + 4.5 over Denver

Seattle – 3 over SF

Here below is the link to the contest – they have the weekly standings (I’m listed as and they post everyone’s selections Saturday late afternoon.

As always you can follow me on twitter @dakotablog

Posted by: Dakota and filed under News, Sports

Sales problems forcing WEEI into ICU

It is no mystery that over the past few years Entercom has gotten more involved with money decisions at the Corp level.  Entercom is a publically traded company that owns and operates about 100 radio stations in the US.  Most of these stations are not in major markets.  Boston is right at the top of its list and any issues in one of its top markets is a major concern and is a “Needle Mover”.

Obviously increased competition mainly from 98.5 The Sports Hub and an up and coming 1510 NBC Sports Radio continue to impact ad sales thus causing Entercom to continue to cut major on air talent.  The goal for corp Entercom is simple – they are now positioning themselves for one of two things. A sale of WEEI to the Boston Red Sox or John Henry’s Boston Globe or they will continue to make major cuts and run the Boston market like most of their stations around the country.

Basically Entercom is trying to cut their way to prosperity for WEEI and that never works when that impacts the product on the air.

In Entercom’s recent public filing with the SEC its clear as day – Net revenues increased the most for our stations in the Kansas City and Indianapolis markets, offset by revenue decreases for our stations located in the Boston and Greensboro markets.”

Entercom has its eyes on making money and a growth strategy for its shareholders – thus they will continue to cut in markets where they are not profitable and have increased competition.  In June they moved into the San Francisco market – a major DMA with plenty of upside for growth.  I think the plan there is to replace or try to duplicate the success that WEEI previously had in Boston.

The writing is not only on the wall – the wall is made up of the writing! Every contract that has been expiring has been either re-written or not re-signed.  Today’s news of Jason Wolfe comes at no surprise as “Big Brother” is taking more control.

In the coming months and into 2014 there will be major money decisions on the rest of the on-air talent.  Its not only “Whose Next?” but “What’s Next?” for WEEI!

Posted by: Dakota and filed under News, Sports

If I was given the ability to be the GM of a major league team here is my line-up!

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Starling Marte LF

Paul Goldschmidt 1B

Dave Ortiz DH

David Wright 3B

Alex Rios RF

Elvis Andrus SS

Jose Altuve 2B

Russell Martin C

Bench:  Coco Crisp, Jason Kipinis, Jonathon Lucroy

In this day of the reduction of PEDs in baseball we will revert back to a speed/defense type of lineup with power only coming from a few spots in the line up.  The above players would cost me about $50 million of my allocated payroll – but Crisp who is on my bench is making 7 mill of that so he could easily be on his way out! Also with all this speed my defense is excellent with a lot of the players already receiving gold gloves!

You can listen to me from time to time Co-Hosting the Bawstin Diehards Show on 1510 am NBC Sports Radio Boston!

Posted by: Dakota and filed under Sports

Who is to Blame?

Lets just start off by saying that any business – baseball, retail or anything else cannot overcome 30% of its spend getting a negative ROI (Return on Investment).  That’s right folks…. the red sox have 4 players on this years roster starting out with a negative return which makes up 30% of payroll. Carl Crawford (19.5 mill), Lackey (15 mill), Daiske (10 mill), and Jenks (6 mill) total over $50 million of a 2012 red sox payroll coming in between $160-$170 million.

The allocation of budgeted payroll in any business can ultimately dictate success or failure, good or bad business.

If you were starting a new team and wanted to slot where your most expensive players would be it’s pretty easy to understand what is the most important factor on winning.  For starting pitching it’s your top 3 in the rotation. In the bullpen its your closer and setup man.  As for positional players you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know it should start up the middle…Ill rank the following – 1. SS …2. CF…3. Catcher and 4. 2B. If you look at this year’s payroll only Jacoby and Dustin (each $8 mill) fit into this model.  The red sox highest paid positional players are corner players…Agon, Crawford, Youk and Ill throw Ortiz into the mix cause he only DH’s.  Those four players, which of course do not play any positions up the middle account for $67 million dollars or 40% of total payroll and even more glaring is $67 of $90 million (74%) allocated to positional players.

To me this is just laughable!

I understand that in this day and age you pay for production and most production will come and is supposed to from your corners but more players up the middle now are also putting up big production numbers.

Again its about wasted spend which when you break this down is just god awful!

As for your two most important positions in the bullpen…. well we all know this… Our closer is in Philly and our set up man is the starting rotation.

Who is to blame? Is it the owner? Is it Lucchino? Was it Theo? Ben? — Well John Henry clearly stated that Larry Lucchino runs baseball operations….right? With that being said…. Theo and Terry are gone…they moved Ben up the ladder and Larry is still in charge.  So the question is …since Larry is the man at the top maybe its Lucchino that needs to go.  We will find out real quick who is running the mother ship if there is more conflict coming out of Fenway.  If it continues will John Henry pull the plug on his #1 sidekick?…. Only time will tell.

Posted by: Dakota and filed under News, Sports

Please don’t tell me that you cant take a look at what happens in the regular season because if anyone watched the Celtics this year could clearly see how Glen “Big Baby” Davis have fallen off a cliff of productivity!

How important is he to the Celts? Well consider this…. When Perk was here and healthy Doc Rivers would most always have Big Baby on the floor finishing not only regular season games but also championship playoff ones!

I really wish Doc just could have looked at what Baby has given us recently and realized that he’s got nothing in the tank to contribute to the Celtics.  By removing him completely from the rotation it would be …insert cliché here…”addition by subtraction”…

Here is one man’s vote to have a DNPCD (Did Not Play Coaches Decision) for the Big Baby’s stat line for the rest of this series!

Posted by: Dakota and filed under News, Sports

It is clearly evident that since the trade for Jeff Green that he is just not comfortable playing either the 2 or the 3 spot on the floor!  BIG Baby has been a BIG disappointment and not getting any production out of him is definitely hurting this team.

Its time for the Celtics to create a match-up problem for Miami….

Let’s roll out a starting line up of KG – Green – Pierce – Allen – Rondo

When we beat the Lakers to win the championship James Posey was on the floor as the “4” and the reason for Jeff Green being here (not including what would happen in the future) was to be this years James Posey.

This team can “man up” and go win another title or fall by the wayside to the Miami Heat!

Can we also change his number?  I really don’t like watching him with “Antoine’s 8” … It brings back to many bad memories….

Posted by: Dakota and filed under News, Sports

It is widely noted my man crush for the PATS to draft Greg Little the WR out of UNC….so after the first round went by the board and 3 wr’s taken (AJ Green – Julio Jones- Jon Baldwin) I see about 3-6 wide-outs drafted in the 2nd round .

The good news is …he wont be one of the next 3 or 4 taken in round 2 unless one of the teams love Little like I do…Thus if Im the PATS I can take him with the 28th pick (60th overall) in round 2 or their first pick in round 3 which is #10 (74th) – either way we have a great shot at getting a slot WR that with Brady throwing to him will haul in 50 plus catches a year and be great in the red zone!

Posted by: Dakota and filed under Sports

Little Will Be BIG If Drafted by the Patriots….

Don’t bother trying to see how he did in 2010…. he didn’t play…He was suspended for all of 2010 for having a relationship with an agent.  Who is Greg Little?   He’s a 6 foot 3 inch 225 pound RB looking receiver.  He’s not fast – (runs a 4.5 40) but this guy has unbelievable strength and ability to catch the ball in tight places from the slot position.

Some compare him to Boldin…a guy who many PATS fans wanted to make a free agent play for last year.  No alligator arms here – If I said to you “would you like a more athletic version of Wes Welker? Or a Stronger Deon Branch?” You would all say “Sign me up!”

The Best thing about Little is his “Value” and  the PATS could steel him either with their late 2nd  or 3rd round pick…Since he missed all of 2010 and has a history of immaturity (didn’t we all in college?) he wont be drafted in the 1st round this Thursday.  Thus the “Value” — perfect fit for the Brady offense and getting a 1st round talent after the 1st round.

Some of you might also say we don’t need another WR — well… the way we rely on the underneath stuff from our offense and with always a potential of injuries from running routes next to linebackers…. I say we could definitely need a Greg Little!

His 2009 stats were pretty dam good for college – 62 catches for 724 yards and 5 td’s…. he also runs that end-around play that the PATS have in the play book— like I said — perfect for this offense — and oh by the way – he has basketball like leaping ability to go with his size– 38 inch vertical jump – 10-10 broad jump and a 4.1 short shuttle…. Get to know his name cause if the PATS do draft him expect 50 plus catches every year and plenty of highlight leaping catches in traffic.

Posted by: Dakota and filed under Sports

Forget Crawford or Jacoby leading off….

Never in a season that I can remember has there been so much talk about where everyone should hit….most of this trouble is the fact that Francona just doesn’t come out and take a stand and say “this is my best line up to win games”…instead he’s moved this lineup around causing everyone under the sun to come up with their own opinion…well — for one… Jed Lowrie should be our everyday SS — Name me one thing that Scuturo does better than Lowrie?

Here is my Ultimate Sox Line-up

1. Jed Lowrie (Youk would be my 2nd choice)

2. Carl Crawford

3. Dustin Pedroia

4. Adrian Gonzalez

5. Kevin Youkilis

6. David Ortiz

7. J.D. Drew / Cameron

8. Salty / Varitek

9. Jacoby Ellsbury

I just cant live with either Ellsbury or Crawford leading off — both guys can run like a deer but they just don’t get on base high enough to warrant that top spot — both are .350 to .360 OPB guys — add in the fact that they both don’t hit lefties well just make either one of them not the best choice — we need a leadoff guy that gets on base above .380 and can do it against both lefty and righty pitchers!  You need consistency at the top of your line up….its not a flip flop position!

PS:  The Big O aka Glen Ordway ….will eat crow… he said that my lead off situation will never happen….He knows nothing about baseball!

Posted by: Dakota and filed under Bio, Sports

Quick cut of my morning radio show open on sporting news radio boston back in the fall of 2004

Dakota in the Morning intro 11-16-04

Posted by: Dakota and filed under Bio, Sports

Here is the radio show open from november 2004 when I hosted my morning show on sporting news radio boston 1510 am-

This open was a bunch of cuts from the previous days show that dwarfed into old school video game talk after a grande & max cut from the celtics game the night before —

Dakota in the Morning Video Game Show Open

Posted by: Dakota and filed under Sports

Sox Should Allocate Their Money On Lee

To me this is not even a question.  Yes, Carl Crawford is dynamic and would fit nicely into this lineup, so would Jayson Werth.  But I’m tired of the Sox wasting $8-$15 million a year on 1 or 2 free agents who end up not worth what we paid for.  There is risk to Crawford and Werth being able to live up to their contract.

If I said to you that I’m raising your ticket prices but I’m not sure how better the product on the field would be I don’t think you would be to happy with it.  On the other hand if I asked you that same question but told you that I could guarantee that 20% of the time our product would improve greatly and that 20% impact would raise the product on the other 80% I think we would all be fine with that.

Well, that’s what I’m talking about on the difference on signing Cliff Lee or taking a shot at one of the two mentioned above.  Cliff Lee is all that and then some.  A CY Young candidate every year and a shut down pitcher against our biggest rival the YANKEES!

Crawford or Werth could put up great numbers but come playoff time they could easily go 0-4 or 4-4 and that wouldn’t guarantee a win!  On the other hand – if Cliff Lee is on the mound and pitches lights out!  I’m pretty certain that would equate to a win!

As for a starting rotation – the signing would mean the end to Matsusaka.  This I’m totally OK with (been saying this for years).  Though he shows flashes of greatness he still cant get past 5 or 6 innings thus always taxing the bullpen and causes Tito to manage his bullpen differently during the other starting pitchers starts.  In addition, word out of NESN is that when Matsusaka starts ratings drop compared to the other 4 slots! – I’m kidding of course but maybe Tom Werner should track this! I would either move him to the bullpen (I really think he would be more effective for 1 or 2 innings- and yes he would have to change his routine- but this is a guy who likes to throw everyday anyway in between starts) or trade him to a national league team where he has been lights out when facing those teams.

  1. Cliff Lee
  2. Clay Buchholz
  3. John Lester
  4. John Lackey
  5. Josh Beckett

Please don’t argue with me on who should be 1-2-3 …It doesn’t really matter.

Once again- if the goal is trying to win a world series who gives you a better chance? Lee…. Crawford or Werth?

It’s a no brainer!  Theo… get it done!

Posted by: Dakota and filed under Sports

If you thought last years Patriots defense against the pass was terrible take another look…… This year it’s even worse!

So where does the blame game go?  I think it mostly rides on the lack of getting to the quarterback.  When doing a deep dive into the numbers I looked at the % the Pats would sack the QB per pass attempts.  Just looking at the total number of sacks is not a good comparison since some teams don’t have nearly the same amount of pass attempts to have a chance at a sack.

This year the pats have had 395 pass attempts against them registering a total of 18 sacks.  This equates to a sack/per attempt % of 4.5%.  The 2009 patriots who were porous as well had a respectable 6%.  A 1.5% decline might not seem much but that means that the Pats are 25% worse when comparing apple to apples from 2009-2010.  Last years super bowl teams NO and INDY which both played that “bend but don’t break defense” finished the year with NO at 6% and INDY at 5.8%.  The JETS defense came in at 6.3%.

Taking a look at some of the best teams in this category with playoff potential for this year are the following:

Oakland 9.7%

San Diego 9.6%

Giants 9.7%

Green Bay 8.1%

Pitt 7.7%

Philly 7.3%

Another telling stat is comparing last years 3rd down defense to this year.  In 2009 the pats opponents converted 37% of the time…this year it’s a staggering 51% of the time!  To put that in perspective the pats offense converts on 3rd down about 45% of the time for each of the last two years.

The above numbers basically tell us that no matter who the patriots are playing they make the opposing teams passing offense just as good if not better than our own Patriots offense!

This is not something come playoff time that will get the job done to win another Superbowl.  Hey…but look at the positive…. next year we have two first round picks that if only one of them can get to the QB the PATS can be the team of the decade for two decades in a row!

Posted by: Dakota and filed under Sports

What team would have a better chance come playoff time?

Before the season started I was looking at some sleepers in the NFL and what team might make the biggest leap in improvement.  Well, since my hometown team held the Oakland Raiders #1 pick in the 2011 draft (Seymour Trade) I looked first at the Raiders.  Everyone I know going into this year thought that the pick would be a lock delivering the Pats a top 5 pick.  The thought of adding a weapon like Georgia’s WR – AJ Green or Alabama’s RB Mark Ingram was truly not a pipe dream.

I on the other hand thought with a new QB and the removal of the biggest waste of space (on the football field that is) JaMarcus Russell, it might have been the biggest “addition by subtraction” in sports I’ve ever seen.   I actually thought that at the end of week 9 the Raiders record would be just as good as the PATS.  I also thought that scanning the NFL season win totals before play began the 6.5 number that the Vegas odds makers put on Oakland could be a gift if they are as good as I think they can be. I also thought to myself – “If Oakland is going to surprise on the win total why not take them to win the division, the AFC and the Super Bowl”.  Ok, well call me crazy cause I have them for each leg just incase.

Now back to the “What team would have a better chance come playoff time?” question.  Other than the Head Coach and the QB I would rather have the other remaining players on the Oakland roster as a whole than the current PATS one.  Watching Hillis of Cleveland run wild yesterday gave me flash backs of the Baltimore playoff game last year with Ray Rice carving up our run defense.

The Pats are indeed a better team this year than most have thought or if not better has played a bit over their heads.  Oakland on the other hand if not for a missed chip shot field goal against Arizona would be looking even better with a 6-3 record going into the buy week.  If Jason Campbell can settle into that offense – I love the Mcfadden-Bush RB combo, TE Miller and receivers with speed to kill – then they truly do have a better chance than the PATS to go deeper into the playoffs!