Yesterday was the start of the Chinese New Year; today we begin the Year of the Tiger. Considering what Tiger Woods accomplished in recent years when it was not the Year of the Tiger, I would suggest that locking up the womenfolk might be in order…
By the way, did medical understanding change or did we just find new terminology here. Twenty-five or thirty years ago, Tiger Woods’ sex addiction was simply referred to as “Wade Boggs Syndrome” and there weren’t any clinics.
Normally, during the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities, David Stern paints a rosy picture about the NBA and its expanding popularity overseas. For years, I have said that he is selling snake oil with all that buncombe; this year his tone changed significantly. This year, David Stern said that the NBA will lose $400M league-wide. For the first time that I can remember, he has acknowledged that all those empty seats that you see on televised games actually affect the bottom line. More interestingly, David Stern also acknowledged that he had been pumping sunshine up our butts for the past several years. He said that in the first four years of the current CBA, the league lost
“…at least $200M a year.”
Of course, there are impending negotiations on a new CBA and Stern wants to position himself for hard bargaining. Nevertheless, the NBA is not nearly on a sound financial footing anymore and for the first time, David Stern has admitted that. I have not seen his accounting books so I do not know if “the problem” is solely the fault of the CBA but there are some other endemic problems that might contribute to the economic malaise:
1. There are too many meaningless games.
2. There are too many teams requiring clubs to put marginal players on the court in those meaningless games far too often.
3. The league has marketed to celebrities who want to and can pay hundreds or thousands of dollars per seat. Normal folks cannot afford decent seats for a small family to a dozen games a year.
4. The league has marketed its “stars” – - and not its “games”. When the “stars” are not compelling figures, interest wanes.
5. The league has marketed the “experience” – - and not the “games”. That attracts folks other than hard-core fans so when economic issues hit them, going to a basketball game is not at the top of their list of “things they have to do.”
The NBA could hire a consultant to do a study to come up with those five issues for the league; it would probably cost them $500K. In a spasm of generosity of spirit normally not seen here in Curmudgeon Central, I offer it to David Stern, gratis.
A week ago, NFL Network pulled Warren Sapp from the Super Bowl pre-game shows after Sapp had been arrested on a domestic violence charge. I have no problem with their decision to do that. Granted, they did not have lots of time to find a replacement; but inserting Joey Porter for Warren Sapp was a bit strange. I do not pretend to have Porter’s biography firmly in my mind, but I do recall that he and some friends attacked and beat up another NFL player in a Las Vegas casino a couple of years ago and he was involved in some hi-jinks at a nightclub where he wound up being shot in the butt. Granted, Porter did not have any legal charges pending last weekend, but I do not think he was a great step up from Sapp in this case…
Roger Goodell seems bound and determined to spread NFL football to Europe – - more specifically to Great Britain. He has hinted at times that there might be more than one real NFL game per year played over there. Personally, I do not think that is a great idea, but it will not harm the NFL for him to give it a go. Recently, I read something ominous; since I gave David Stern some free advice above, I think that I will continue my expansive mood and pass along some free advice to Commissioner Goodell:
If you want the NFL to gain a foothold in Europe, do not use Joe Theismann on the international TV feed for the Super Bowl game.
The Buffalo Bills announced a ticket price increase for the 2010 season and not a trivial one; the increase amounts to a 15% rise. Oh yes, that 15% increase will apply to the exhibition season games played in Buffalo to which season ticket holders must subscribe. I must have missed the fact that the Bills made a run at the Super Bowl this year and that they were just a play or two away from “The Big Game”. I could have sworn that the Bills went 6-10 last year…
Here is an item from Bob Molinaro’s weekend column in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:
“Kid you not: My office just received an e-mail from Scores, informing us that the so-called gentlemen’s club in New York City is lobbying to have pole dancing accepted as an Olympic sport by 2012. The press release didn’t mention whether the competition would be clothing optional.”
Tom Glavine announced his retirement and he will move on to the next phase of his life working in the Braves’ Front Office. He said that he might consider broadcasting too. After a very long and successful career as a major league pitcher, it is worth remembering that the Los Angeles Kings of the NHL also drafted Tom Glavine around the same time that the Atlanta Braves selected him in the MLB draft. Not many pitchers with 300 wins on their record can make that claim…
Finally, here is an item from Greg Cote’s column yesterday in the Miami Herald:
“Not a lot of people know Valentine’s Day was named after baseball manager Bobby Valentine. Imagine. If not for a coin flip, you would be sending your honey flowers each year on Lasorda’s Day.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…