PEOPLE WHO PRODUCE THINGS

–Thank you a hundred times, Susan Richard Nelson, for potentially granting my sure-to-be mediocre fantasy football team a last-minute reprieve. (ESPN)

–Feeling nervous yet, Malcolm Gladwell? I’d be feeling a little nervous, but hey, I’m no scientist. (St. Pete Times)

–Should the useless, unenforceable SPARTA Act the NCAA loves so much be repealed? Should Colby Lewis be sterilized permanently? Does Jim Tressel like wearing obnoxious sweaters (and, occasionally, lying)? These are the Questions of Our Age…(B.I.;Dallas Morning News;LVRJ

–The only thing funnier than the NCAA pretending that they are a non-profit is the BCS cartel pretending that they are an efficient means of determining playoff outcomes. This is not the opinion of some marginalized radical, but I don’t work for the Department of Justice, so who cares. (WSJ)

–Today in sleazy college athletics recruiting practices: Oversigning.

–The Telemundo soap opera formerly known as the LA Dodgers were taken over by the MLB last week, with Bud Selig and Co. citing “deep concerns” over the clubs finances and operations as the primary reason for Frank McCourt’s public mercy-killing. The Dodgers, by the way, are $430 million deep on a $145 million loan. So yeah, the takeover was warranted, the maudlin owner in-fighting was just a bonus.

But the sleeper point amidst all the debt and divorce is that the McCourt-owned Dodgers–like the Madoff-financed Mets–are more than just over-leveraged, they are over-leveraged in a patently silly, Lehman Brothers-esque sort of way. That is, over-leveraged for incredibly stupid, business-unsavvy reasons. Chief among these, as Dave Zirin points out, is the slow, semi-conscious alienation of middle and working class fans in the interest of accommodating the fleece-and-flip flops crowd. That strategy would be fine, if you could somehow pay for the installation of Wi-Fi in your antiseptic, faux-historic suburb-o-stadium (sponsored by Chic-Fil-A) solely with the ticket sales generated by that particular demographic. But you can’t. So the neglectful owner finds himself  hoping to pay for a half-empty stadium by up-selling some combination of…what? Nine million $9 Sierra Nevada’s in a promotional cup? A billion locally-sourced, hand-crafted bags of wood-fired organic sunflower seeds? Free and reduced parking for Subaru Forrester’s?

I’m sure even Madoff thinks certain MLB owners are hilarious sometimes.

–It’s down to Peyton Hillis and Michael Vick for the cover of Madden 2012. This means that despite New England’s best electioneering efforts, only Danny Woodhead can (will?) “curse” Danny Woodhead next season. It also means that online voting for a video game cover is officially less of a depressing charade than the voting for TIME’s ‘Person of the Year.’

Take heart though Danny, you’ll always be every Masshole’s large-hearted boy.

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