Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business. Show all posts

Friday, May 15, 2020

Rory McIlroy is Terrified of Being Seen With Trump

This guy seems traumatized:
McIlroy was asked about that round with the president and vowed it would be the last time he’d ever play with Trump.
Asked about that round and the subsequent reaction it elicited, McIlroy said, “Guilt by association,’’ adding, “I haven’t done it since, so there’s one answer to [your] question.’’

McIlroy then indicated he’d been invited to play with the president since but hasn’t. When asked if the reason he hasn’t played again with Trump was by choice, McIlroy said, “Out of choice.’’
The article goes on to let McIlroy weasel his way out of saying anything negative about Trump and still signal to anyone who might give him money for something that he's definitely not one of those MAGA freaks who stands outside of a half-empty arena screaming about Q-Anon.

Really, we should give McIlroy credit for taking the path known to weasels everywhere. Letting him say "what a nice fellow, no I don't agree with him, and I sure won't ever appear in a public place with him again, can't we all just get along" is the normal way functioning adults behave in public in the year of our Lord 2020 when there are promotional considerations and product endorsements on the line.

If Trump were to walk up to McIlroy on a golf course sometime in the next six months, this poor fellow would tear both hammys trying to get away from the cameras.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

17 Games

To me, this is a crazy number of games for the NFL to play in one season:
As we stand on the verge of another decade of labor peace, I can’t get that out of my head, and my reasoning is simple. Over the last couple weeks, we’ve discussed everything from the revenue split to pensions to how individual contracts will work under a reformatted NFL schedule, and the main thing is still the main thing.
My belief is the reason why opposition against the current CBA proposal has persisted lies therein. It’s the 17th game. Period. End of story.
It’s been clear from the start that players are leery about the idea of extending their season—creating another set of car crashes in a system that already called for 16 of them. And a lot of them knew that the owners’ strong desire to do that, in addition to their concern over further delaying the broadcast negotiation, created leverage.
So some players wanted the union to push for more, in just about every category.

You want 17 games? Fine. Then it’s on our terms.
And they did get more in some areas. The money in this deal is good, and if the goal is, “Let’s keep getting rich!” then the deal the union’s done is totally fine. But if you were looking for a game-changer, then this really isn’t that.
The franchise tag system is the same, as is the vesting schedule. There were tweaks to rookie contracts and the funding rule, but problems with those (team control over players for six or seven years, a crutch to use in not guaranteeing contracts) aren’t going away. And specific to the issue of 17 games, there are problems. The max number of padded practices in training camp was cut from 28 to 16, but offseason and in-season rules didn’t change.
The impact of an NFL game in an American city is easy to measure. On game day, revenue pours in. People spend their cash like it's water. Adding just one more home game per year, every other year, means more of the same. More people through the gates, more butts in seats, more of everything.

However, it means shorter careers and more injuries for the players. I hope they get a larger piece of that pie. I think they're getting too little as it is in relation to what the owners are walking away with every home game.

It's just my mathematical bias speaking, but an uneven number of games throws me off a bit. If anything, I would cut the number of pre-season games to two and I would add two more bye weeks into the current 16 game season. I wouldn't even keep the 16 game season. If I could, I'd knock it back to 12.

You would get less football. But you'd get fewer injuries, and guys would play longer. No one would like my idea, but there it is.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

China is at War With the NBA

The National Basketball Association is now at war with the nation/state of China, and the economic future of the league is, somehow, in serious jeopardy:

As the fallout from the controversy between the NBA and China continues, commissioner Adam Silver addressed how the Chinese government responded to Rockets general manager Daryl Morey's tweet.

"We were being asked to fire him, by the Chinese government, by the parties we dealt with in government and business. We said there's no chance that's happening. There's no chance we'll even discipline him," Silver said at the TIME 100 Health Summit on Thursday.

He added: "We wanted to make an absolutely clear statement that the values of the NBA, these American values—we are an American business—travel with us wherever we go. And one of those values is free expression. We wanted to make sure that everyone understood we were supporting free expression."

On Oct. 4, Morey tweeted his support for Hong Kong protestors. His tweet included a photo of protestors with the caption, "Fight For Freedom. Stand With Hong Kong." The Nets and Lakers traveled to China to play in two exhibition games one week later. 

However, a pair of NBA Cares events in Shanghai were canceled as the fallout from Morey's tweet continued. China's state-run TV network, CCTV, suspended its NBA programming due to the controversy. The Chinese basketball federation also canceled upcoming G League exhibition games between teams affiliated with the Rockets and Mavericks.

“We are an American business” is something that should resonate here, but it won’t. For the NBA to put itself into a position where losing revenue from China because of a statement made by someone in the league means that they are heavily leveraged and have no real plan to get out of this mess.

If the NBA figures this out, it will mean that their deals with China will likely not be of the size and scope that their withdrawal could cripple the NBA. Other sports leagues should pay attention. China is headed for a more repressive future, and for more surveillance of what people say and do in the public square. One person’s statements should not cause this level of consternation, but here we are.

And LeBron James should be ashamed of himself.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Don't Feel Sorry For Papa John's

The man running Papa John's is a complete and utter douchebag:

Papa John's is blaming the NFL for hitting its bottom line.

The pizza company, which has been a league sponsor since 2010, sliced its sales and profit forecasts on Tuesday. And Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter wasn't shy about who he thinks is to blame for the "debacle": Commissioner Roger Goodell. 

"Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership," Schnatter said on a conference call with investors Wednesday. "The NFL has hurt Papa John's shareholders." 

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart declined to comment on Schnatter's comments. 

NFL ratings, like the rest of network television, are in a slump. Through Week 7, NFL viewership is down 5% overall from the same point last year. 

Though the ratings slump has many causes, some NFL fans may have tuned out because of the controversy over players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police violence. 

President Trump has called on fans to boycott the NFL if the league doesn't crack down on protests. Last month, Vice President Mike Pence left an Indianapolis Colts game after San Francisco 49ers' players took a knee during the anthem.

I would feel bad for the people who work for him if the company went under, but that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about the shareholders being upset that they're not making as much profit as they would like. The owner of Papa John's does not care about his workers--he cares about being rich.

His business model is no different than that of the NFL's. Exploit labor, avoid consequences, make as much money as humanly possible with no regard for anyone else.

Tell me again why I have to feel sorry for people who don't care about anything but themselves...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The National Women's Hockey League

Women now have their own professional hockey league:

On Sunday, all four teams of the National Women’s Hockey League, the first-ever pro league for women, will drop the puck on its inaugural season. The Connecticut Whale will host the New York Riveters in Stamford, Conn., while the Boston Pride will visit the Buffalo Beauts. All four teams feature 18-player rosters stocked with Olympians and collegiate All-Americans with a $270,000 salary cap.

Make no mistake. The NWHL may be a fledgling, but it’s also legit. The teams will play 18 games apiece, all on weekends, with twice-weekly practices. There is a scheduled All-Star weekend (Jan. 23-24), a postseason in March and a draft in June. The league has received funding from private sponsors along with the NWHLFoundation, which directly supports the league as well as girls’ youth hockey. Teams will battle for the Isobel Cup, named for the daughter of the Stanley Cup’s namesake. Not too shabby for an entity that many of its own players weren’t sure they’d get to see.

This is fantastic. I hope they're able to expand quickly and add teams from the upper Midwest. There's no reason why there shouldn't be a team based in Minneapolis-St. Paul. In fact, there should be a team based in Wisconsin as well.

When the league gets underway, I think people will see that the level of play will really shine. Olympic hockey and college hockey at the women's level is very well played. You can see the skills and the dynamic of the game when you watch these events. Couple that with the fact that women's hockey is gaining traction wherever it is offered and it won't be long before we have at least a dozen teams and a television deal.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Excuse Me, But Why Aren't You Playing Hockey?

You know, it sure would be nice to watch some hockey.

It would be a wonderful way to celebrate the onset of fall and the coming of winter. It would be a great way to say goodbye to October to be watching some hockey right now. The National Hockey League season is now, officially, cancelled through the first of November. They're going about things as if there's no lockout on their website. Players are signing deals to play overseas. We're talking about the AHL? We're talking about prospects? We ought to be seeing games. But we're not. And that's fine. Nobody is going to lose their mud over a few hundred missed games.

Come the end of November, well. People are going to start wondering what's what. People--fans--are already kind of wondering what's going on. How smart is it to start the season with people perplexed as to why the deals offered by the players aren't even being entertained right now?

The NHL has decided to just blunder through and see how it can screw the players. Because, when there's a strike, it means the players are trying to get more money. When there's a lockout, it means that the owners are trying to screw the players. That's generally how that works. How dumb do they think we are?

This time around, it probably isn't going to work. It's going to further alienate the fan base of hockey and drive people from the sport. How smart is that?

You know, Gary Bettman thinks he's a smart man. I'm sure he is a smart and powerful man. But I think he overestimates the shelf life that professional hockey has right now. There are people who are never going to leave it. And then there are people who are just annoyed with the drama. How smart is it to test these waters and take people to their breaking point?

Not very.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The End of the NHL is at Hand

Let's be honest. There are four major sports now. Football, baseball, basketball and auto racing. Hockey is a distant fifth, if that.

If the people running the NHL think that they can cancel another season and treat everyone to months and months of nonsense, they are sadly mistaken. I predict that if this an extended lockout, the damage to hockey will be severe. Numerous franchises might disappear.

And, again. Few, if any, will care. You have great followings in a lot of cities. But you can only piss people off so much and then, that's it. They'll vote with their feet and stay away. I mean--can you even get hockey on TV without paying for it anymore? Come on.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

No Highlight Footage For the Worldwide Leader?

Viewers who tuned in to watch this ESPN segment on the website were treated to Kurt Rambis, and nothing but Kurt Rambis, because the Worldwide Leader isn't being given any highlight footage to show.

Is that correct? Or am I missing something?

I'm in Germany, and there are numerous restrictions as to what I can watch here, and I would have thought that we would have seen some of those uncontested three pointers in this segment. What gives?

If this is the future of sports--locking people out, shutting down international viewers, and denying others the highlights--then screw it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bill O'Brien Made the Worst Decision in Sports History

You could make the case that there have been people who have made worse career decisions; I am not buying any of those.

Bill O'Brien made a decision to coach at Penn State that was based on honoring the tradition; he is not a bad man for having done so. But, what we now know is that there is virtually no conceivable way in which Penn State can compete in the Big Ten for the next decade, if not more. The loss of all of those scholarships, and the guarantee made by the NCAA to allow players to transfer without having to sit out for a year, means that the floodgates are going to open and the competitive players are going to start leaving, and soon.

They should have taken the 4-year ban. It would have made a clean break from the past and it would have allowed O'Brien to walk with his dignity intact. Instead, Penn State made a decidedly selfish decision. When the stadium is empty, and when the alumni are staying away in droves, this will be more apparent than ever.

How many can he keep? And how long before O'Brien decides that he does not want to go down as a 4-54 coach at Penn State?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

No Death Penalty for Penn State

Take the statue down, but keep playing football:
NCAA president Mark Emmert has decided to punish Penn State with severe penalties likely to include a significant loss of scholarships and loss of multiple bowls, a source close to the decision told ESPN's Joe Schad on Sunday morning. 
But Penn State will not receive the so-called "death penalty" that would have suspended the program for at least one year, the source said. 
The penalties, however, are considered to be so harsh that the death penalty may have been preferable, the source said. 
The NCAA will announce "corrective and punitive measures" for Penn State on Monday morning, it said in a statement Sunday. Emmert will reveal the sanctions at 9 a.m. ET in Indianapolis at the organization's headquarters along with Ed Ray, the chairman of the NCAA's executive committee, and Oregon State's president, the news release said.
All of that is well and good, but removing symbols while allowing the Penn State Football program to continue is yet one more example of how money runs college sports. We can thus be spared any nonsense about ethics, values, and doing the right thing. It's all about the power of the Penn State alumni. They scare the hell out of the NCAA and taking away their football would drive everyone around the bend.

But, go ahead. Take down the statue of Joe Paterno and pretend that's all that needs to be done. In a few years, no one will care about those boys anyway.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Are They Howling in Beantown?

This may look like a good trade on paper, but does it damage the team chemistry in Boston?

I'm not going to get into whether this makes sense from a baseball perspective as far as bringing in players that can help Boston win; I think it opens up the question of whether or not you trade a popular player who has contributed and what you can expect from fans when you do exactly that.

In baseball, nostalgia and sentimentality end when a player stops being productive. No matter who you are, you're gone if you can't produce. I'm not aware of the inability of Kevin Youkilis to produce for Boston. Are they happy to see him go? Or are they howling for blood?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Should the Angels Move to Los Angeles?

Should they or shouldn't they?

Well, if the Angels want to destroy their fanbase in Anaheim, then they should make the move into the market currently owned by the Dodgers. And if they choose to jump on the new ballpark bandwagon, that's going to set off a lot of scrambling.

Add the possibility of a Minnesota Vikings franchise operating in the Los Angeles market, and you have the potential for a major realignment in sports.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The NFL Might Do Away With the Pro Bowl

The article goes on to say that last year's Pro Bowl was a "joke."

All of them have been a joke; the game itself is a joke. It's not real. It does present the opportunity for a player to go into the off season injured or worse.

No sport should have "fake" games like the Pro Bowl or the All Star game. They are meaningless and serve only to raise cash from a phony spectacle. The All Star Game in baseball actually damages the World Series prospects of certain National League Teams because it has allowed for American League teams to have home field advantage.

If you did away with the Pro Bowl, few would notice.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Augusta National Remains a National Disgrace

When the outrage rose to a crescendo several years ago, Augusta National survived the onslaught. This was very similar to the way that Rush Limbaugh survived numerous scandals and slips of the tongue.

I think Augusta National is in for a tough year, and women are going to go after them, and soon. Besides, the old boys in Augusta are dying off, and fast.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dennis Rodman is Broke and Suffering From Illness

Dennis Rodman's life is spinning out of control. After appearing in court, and avoiding jail time for his failure to make child support payments, Rodman's "advisors" are trying to help him restructure his life.

This speaks to a need to create an annuity program (also mentioned by Atrios) for professional athletes. It is simply impossible to understand how anyone payed tens of millions of dollars could possibly be broke, but that is becoming the normal situation for professional athletes from all walks of life. Setting aside a portion of contract salary for an annuity makes total sense, provided the annuity cannot be sold off.

What is hurting Rodman is the fact that he had to cash out his NBA retirement for pennies on the dollar; what should be keeping him afloat right now is, essentially, gone. He didn't do that because of greed. He did it because he was behind in his taxes. And taxes are what is hurting Rodman in the cash flow department. Poor management has left him with a string of unpaid tax bills. That sort of thing can undermine any effort to make good on obligations.

Couple all of that with Rodman's alcohol problems and you can see where this sad story is headed.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lance Berkman is Right

The people who back the institution of Major League Baseball against any and all criticism are probably going to tear in Lance Berkman for stating the obvious.

They should shut up.

There is simply no other way to look at the sale of the Houston Astros--and the rebate that went with the sale--and their move to the American League. It was rife with fraud and paybacks. It was unethical. When will Congress eliminate baseball's anti-trust exemption? Which side of never will that happen on?

Bud Selig destroyed the sanctity of baseball (whatever that means anymore) when he tore the Milwaukee Brewers out of the American League and put them in the National League so that he could have a nostalgic moment for the club that used to play in Milwaukee before it was moved back in 1965.

Berkman will probably have people come after him, and so be it. When you speak truth to power in Major League Baseball, power always wins.

Monday, March 12, 2012

This is One Way to Break a Strike (and a Team)

Basically, these guys were playing for peanuts. They were playing to arena football fans, and they could have been making a few thousand dollars a game, no problem. And I don't care how the owners do the math--if you charge what they're charging right now, and if you can't make money, there's something wrong with you.

This is what an arena football game costs right now. I picked this one at random, by the way:

The venue, called The Tampa Bay Times Forum, seats 19,500 people for arena football. And they have exactly seven goddamned tickets left for the game coming up this week.

Using an average price of, what? $65? Let's do the math.

19,493 x $65 = $1,267,045.00

That's right. The box office receipts are going to top one and a quarter million dollars for what appears to be a typical Arena Football League game. And these players were asking for, basically, gas money on top of what little they were getting. And the owner of the team fired them all and left some of the players to find their own way home.

With what, you heartless bastard? They weren't making any money.

This is the glamour of "professional" sports. It's still about exploiting the labor in order to feather the nest of the owners. Matt Shaner is one cold-hearted son of a bitch. You play for him, you might as well sell your soul at the crossroads, son.
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