The New York Mets Sale Is A Good Thing, But That TV Deal Needs Help

The New York Mets Sale Is A Good Thing, But That TV Deal Needs Help

It’s impossible to be a New York Mets fan and not have heard the good news. The Wilpon family-who have been majority owners of the New York Mets since 2002 and part time owners for years before that- sold the team to billionaire investor and probably criminal Steve Cohen for a sum reported to be $2.4 billion dollars. Can you imagine buying a car and spending three years cleaning it, while the other fifteen years you spend your time shitting in that same car?

To think, back in 2002 the Wilpons said “For $400 million we can buy this team, do a horrible job managing it, have three decent seasons over 18 years, and we can sextuple our money when we sell it. During a global pandemic. While all the while we draw income from the team for ourselves, and also get ourselves a new arena paid for by the public AND get ourselves a TV channel so unpopular that no other regional area sports team wants to play on it, largely because they know we won’t pay them.”

We’ve all read about the winding down of the Wilpon Mets era. Well, the winding down of the majority of ownership. They’re still 5% owners of the team, meaning they still have an over $120 million share of the organization, and will partake in 5% of profits, assumedly. Nice pay out for failing.

But this isn’t meant to rehash stuff you’ve read about the sale or the team or anything else. Until Major League Baseball approved the sale of the Mets- and yes, the owners will approve the sale of the Mets because it makes all of their franchises more valuable because major sports teams only gain and never lose value – this is all conjecture. But I expect one thing to happen after the sale of the NY Mets: the sale of SNY.

SNY is the cable channel you can find the Mets on. And that’s about it. It’s one of the shittiest channels on TV, hands down. What brings me to that conclusion? Let me share with you what would happen if I watched SNY from the time I’m writing this through the next roughly 24 hours. Would you find the following programming captivating?

  • Amateur boxing from 9 to 11 pm
  • The same 30 minute long sports show from 11 pm until 2 am. One debut with 5 identical repeats.
  • Paid infomercial- 2:00 am to 2:30 am
  • Air fryer infomercial- 2:30 am to 3:00 am
  • Infomercial on medicine- 3:00 to 3:30 am
  • Different Infomercials 3:30 to 4:00 am, 4:30 to 5 am, 5 to 5:30am, 5:30 to 6 am
  • Condensed Mets game (they lost by 10) 6 am to 7 am
  • 7 am to 9 am- the same 30 minute highlight show from the night before run four times in a row. Disgusting.
  • Four 30 minute infomercials 9 am through 11 am
  • Condensed Mets game (they lost by 10, but at this point it feels like 30) until noon
  • ANOTHER HOUR of the 30 minute sports highlight show. So far that’s 12 shows of that shit in 16 hours.
  • 1 pm- 3pm Mets Yearbook, for the 1962, 1963, 2015 and 2018 seasons. Three of those years were washouts.
  • 3 pm to 6 pm-  A Mets game.
  • 6 to 6:30- Game recap
  • 6:30- 7:30 Documentary on the 2015 trade deadline. They’ve easily shown this shit 400 times
  • 7:30 -8:00pm. Documentary on baseball in the Dominican Republic.
  • 8:00 to 11pm- a replay of the entire game where Wilmer Flores hits a game winning homerun after he was traded and rescinded, but before he was released a few years later.

This is some shit. Who the fuck would buy this? 6 hours of informercials? 25% of the days programming are fucking infomercials. 6 hours of the same 30 minute sports show. Another 25% of the day repeating itself.

3 hours of historical shows. I’m fine with that, actually. 2 hours of replaying a beating they took at the hands of a better opponent. 3 hours of a new game, and 30 minutes of new discussion on the probable loss. 3 hours of a 5 year old game that was a turning point that the team almost didn’t have. And a 30 minute documentary that I’m sure has been repeated 200 times itself.

17% of the day has new material. 25% of the day are infomercials. How is it that Cohen would have to pay for this? You’d think that the Wilpons would have to pay him for taking a pile of shit off of their hands.

And yes, of course the Wilpons are in debt on the TV channel. Allegedly those infomercials and the lack of original content bring in $150 million a year of revenues. I’d bet the largest part is from being packaged as part of a basic cable package, a thing the Mets were 20 years behind the 8 ball in doing. You’d think if you own the team and bring in $150m in revenue you’d be ok? Nah. AMNY reports that the Mets are $850 million in debt in SNY. Meaning gthat the Wilpons are bleeding money out of the TV channel.

Understand that the Mets are partial owners of SNY. So the Wilpons are dragging other people down with them. This matters. SNY is valued at a billion dollars, but has $850m in debt. Mathematically, SNY is worth $150m. Which is more than what Cohen should be paying for a money loser that’s going to perpetually bleed as less and less people watch sports via a cable package and turn to the internet instead.

The Mets are unique at how late into the game they arrived for getting their own channel, and how late into the game they are at content, and how amazingly unprofitable they are at TV, but most of all, they’re just fucking stupid at running a business. Why?

Compare the 26 hour SNY TV schedule with any other viewing option you have. Are you tuning into the same 30 minute talk show 5 or 10 times a day? To the point, lets look at how other local teams handle this same scenario.

More of the same, over and over…

The Yankees share their channel in the offseason with the Brooklyn Nets. There are multiple MSG channels for the Knicks, Rangers, Islanders, and Devils. NO LOCAL CHANNEL HAS JUST ONE PRO TEAM. You would think the Mets would say “Jets Islanders Mets fans should have a home…let’s go get the hockey team with our colors for the winter and have a connection with the team we used to share a stadium with, so we’re not running so many shitty infomercials!” But that would mean the Mets would have to top the $25-30 million that the Islanders get for showing up on MSG Plus 5. And when you lose money at every turn because you suck? Well, you’re probably just going to lose more because you suck.

All he did was put a bad team on his back and got into the Hall of Fame…

Cohen doesn’t seem to mind spending money. Allegedly he spent as much on a single piece of art as the Wilpons did on the entire Mike Piazza contract. Let that sink in as to what this would mean for the Mets. So while I make it a habit of telling others how to behave professionally in order to look, you know, professional? And I get how Mets fans are so Stokholmed Syndromed to accept losing that everything I write has the impact of a genocide? Yeah, it’s time to expect more. Actually, that time was back in 1988. Like SNY becoming a channel, you’re late to the game for Mets fans who enjoy losing, but it doesn’t mean that you’re losers.

In the end, Cohen will be in negotiations for SNY. That’s great, I guess. I know my cable bill will go up for it. But Cohen needs a separate negotiation first. He needs another pro team, and I have just the one for him: The New York Islanders.

The Islanders have a nice deal from MSG because the Islanders Rangers rivalry was so hot in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that at that point the 25 year old channel of MSG (told you the Mets were late to the game) gave the Islanders a very rich TV deal. The Rangers owners expected the Islanders to continue being competitive, and that never happened, so the Islanders were using that TV money to prop up a team that was so underpaid that the NHL instituted a salary floor to try to guarantee a product for the fans despite the owners being terrible. Looking at you, Charles Wang. Tim Thomas was an awesome Islander…cap hit.

You do know that at one point under Wang the Islanders had a national TV deal for $13 million and a local TV deal of $25 million on a team payroll that was $43 million and claimed a $20 million loss. If you’re bad at math I’ll help. $38 million of TV money, $43 million of payroll. This NOT considering advertising, the Canadian TV deal, parking lot revenue, T shirt sales, hot dog sales, beer sales, and OH YEAH ticket sales. But if all those streams never existed? $38m is NOT $20m less than $43m. Oh, and then with the NHL adding $5m to the Islanders budget for being a small market team? $43m is the same as $43m. And the Islanders had phantom cap hits not being paid. If you’re concerned with a Cohen organization being fined for insider trading, understand that the Islanders were 20 years ahead of the curve. And the owners got approved, even with one headed to jail.

Oh, does that Wang era and those statutes of limitations! How far we’ve come. There’s even rumors that if the Cohen- SNY negotiations somehow fall apart, the New York Islanders are looking to buy the channel. How far they’ve come.

But with Cohen? He can say to the Islanders- “We make $150 million a year. You can be $50 million of that revenue. It’s nearly double the MSG deal. You stop being on MSG 5 or C-SPAN. You get a home so that no channel surfer has to guess what channel the game is on every night. We get winter ratings without having 5579987 reruns of the David Wright story- which I am certain has been shown more times than we have viewers. And we can sell advertising at higher rates while having live sports, so it won’t actually cost us $50 million. Plus, we look like a legitimate sports channel.”

A second team a must. Lets face it, the Knicks and Rangers ARE MSG network. The Yankees have made the low rent Nets their 5 boroughs partner.  The Jets and Giants are major channel properties and unbiddable as a headliner. So what’s left? The orphaned franchise with the same color scheme playing 10 miles away from the newest mess that needs cleaning up.

And the Islanders absolutely need their own TV identity and home. It’s a no brainer.

Cable TV is a changing climate. Thanks to the Netflix model, channels will continue to go ala carte. SNY with one sport can not be a subscription service. SNY needs the Islanders- and probably more than amateur boxing- because the 45 actual classic Mets games will not fill another winter.

And a channel maybe losing money? That may actually help Cohen. For instance, say Cohen’s capital gains and taxable income is $300 million a year. But the Mets lose $300 million in that same year. Well, Cohen is effectively paying no taxes. The Mets can be a cost sink and Cohen will actually make more money from it. Also, sports teams themselves do not lose value, so even if Cohen somehow lost every dollar he has, he’s still a multi-billionaire.  

Fat Devin Townsend

This idea only works if Cohen gets SNY for pennies on the dollar. I’d think assuming the Wilpon debt may be enough to get the deal done. That type of thing never happens you say? Hmm. Didn’t the Islanders buy their practice rink for15% of the cost of actually building it? Yes, yes they did. Sometimes when people are desperate, you take advantage of it. The Wilpons are clearly desperate. They quibbled over keeping a $120 million stake of the Mets, which tells me $120 million means a lot to them. And it may be more than enough cash Cohen may need to buy a TV channel.

Introducing the Playoff Draft!

Introducing the Playoff Draft!

Want to make sports more exciting? Welcome to Playoff Drafts!

COVID brought all sorts of new ideas to sports. It may be the ultimate legacy to a botched public response to a global pandemic- new sports rules. Like? A baseball double header lasting 14 innings. If it goes extra innings? The inning starts with a guy on 2nd base. Everyone gets a DH, like the games are played in Oprah’s studio.

As a sport, baseball was way ahead of its rivals. They made fundamental short term changes to the game in order to have something that looked like a season. Football? Showed its true mentality. “SMASH! RUN!” was the Commissioners reaction grunt to how football would deal with fans and corona.

Two sports thought of a bubble. One thought of one without prostitutes, which may speak to the long run difference of being raised with one parent versus two.  

Wow…

But there was one change I would have liked to have seen be introduced in every sport. And not just this year, but going forward forever. That idea? Playoff drafts.

What’s a playoff draft? I’m not sure it even exists, so I get to totally create this new and brilliant idea. In theory, a playoff draft is a way to make playoff sports more interesting and exciting. How does it work? It goes like this:

Team A beats Team B in the playoffs. Fuck you, Team B, you pieces of shit! After A dispatches B, depending on the sport, Team A can harvest players off of Team B’s roster. How many players? Easy.

NBA? 1 guy. NHL? 2 guys. MLB? 2 guys. NFL? 3 guys.

A smart team would select other players to cover for weaknesses. Is your running back average? Steal the better one! Did a star player get hurt? Take the equivalent?

Think back to when the Jets beat anyone in the playoffs. In 2010 Tom Brady would have been a Jet. That’s a big wow factor, no?

The player additions are also a per round total. If your baseball team wins the play in and the wild card? You have 4 new guys on your team.

Forever? No. You get the player back on your team after the postseason.

Do you have to take other players? No, its up to your GM and coach.

You may say “Since we won, why would we take a player from the other team?” The better question is- Why wouldn’t you? What, you think by sharing how you’re coached a guy or two will have the keys to your weaknesses? They just lost to you, so if they couldn’t figure it out then, one player wont break a code in an extra week or two. The only thing he may figure out is that his regular coach sucks.

No, this is about rewarding winning. About adding excitement for the fan. About offering the best product that you possibly can. Plus now you get multi city appeal. Derek Jeter on the 2004 Red Sox? New York will be watching that World Series.

For the players, it’s like a free agency window. You get to check out other teams operations first hand. Players should love that because it will push wages up when they jump ship for teams that they liked.

What if there is an upset? Holy cow is that a game changer! Say The LA Lakers lose in the semi finals. Suddenly you have LeBron James or Anthony Davis coming off of your bench in the next round. That’s sudden interest in an underdog team. And the more LeBron, the more ESPN exists.

What about the guys that they replace? Those guys get put into suspended animation on your roster. New guy gets injured? Fuck off. You’re down one. You have to give the suspended animation list a positive sounding name so it doesn’t sound like a punishment. Call it the “Recent Reserves” list.

The 2020 New York Islanders and their awful power play beat the Capitals. Top 5 bust Michael Dal Colle goes on the Reserves list, add Alexander Ovechkin to your lineup. Power play issues solved, maybe the Islanders beat Tampa Bay and add Braden Point to their team at forward, and Victor Hedman on defense. But Tampa won….bet Josh Bailey wouldn’t be in their top ten players to poach list.

Reunited with Trotz? Power play solved.

Players you take in a playoff draft? They get playoff money shares, a title ring, but their name isn’t added to your team history or on the Stanley Cup. Their stats however are added to their personal history. Say Pete Alonso is taken by the Braves and hits 4 playoff home runs? That’s all Alonso stats, not the Braves.

The Celtics beat the Sixers? Suddenly backing up at point for the Celtics? Ben Simmons! Makes the game more interesting, and the team stronger. This year in the NBA Kawai Leonard would have been picked up by Denver. How would that change their approach in the next round?

Plus, the selection process itself would be super exciting. All sports leagues make a big deal about amateur drafts. Imagine the headlines of a professional draft? It would be interesting to see who would get picked. Sorry, choking ass Clayton Kershaw!

Whomp whomp!

And if you chose a player who was a bum? The second guessing would make a whole new world of sport talk what if’s. “Imagine how it would have turned out if the Yankees took Ichiro, Tim Hudson and Barry Zito in 2001? They win 6 World Series in a row!”

Think about the revenue opportunities available for sports teams. Sport leagues keep making money off of TV ratings. Why would they want to water down a product?

Could players throw games? Absolutely. That makes the selection more exciting- it’s the chance you take as a franchise. Plus, couldn’t a player throw a game in the playoffs anyway, or was John Starks that god awful bad versus Houston?

Reggie Miller was right

This idea is most definitely outside the box, and will insult sports purists. However, if would create dream teams in each sport, and that’s what fans want to see, right? So come on big leagues, time to grow a pair and start the playoff draft!

Clippers History Full of Broken Dreams

Clippers History Full of Broken Dreams

While the rest of the NBA world mourns the “Battle for LA” never materialized, Clippers fans are again wondering why success consistently avoids them.

Despite being everyone’s favorite to reach at least the Western Conference Finals after the offseason signings of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Clippers let their fans down again.

While everyone knows about the woeful Game 6 loss against Houston in 2015, here are some other painful memories Clippers fans experienced in franchise history.

Game Five, 2014 Western Conference Semifinals at Oklahoma City

Leading 104-97 with 49 seconds remaining, the Clippers looked to take a 3-2 series lead. Multiple turnovers by Chris Paul results in Kevin Durant (five) and Russell Westbrook (three) scoring the final eight points of Oklahoma City’s 105-104 win. The Thunder eliminated Los Angeles in Game 6 to win the series 4-2.

Danny Manning tears ACL

After leading the University of Kansas to a National Championship in 1988, the Clippers selected Danny Manning with the number one overall pick in the 1988 NBA Draft.

Despite winning just nine of the 26 games he participated, Manning posted ten 20-point games while averaging 6.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in his promising start. However, Manning tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Milwaukee on January 4, ending his season.

Manning returned to the Clippers the following season, but never featured the same athletic ability. The Clippers traded him to Atlanta for Dominique Wilkins in February 1994, despite posting career-highs in PPG (23.7), RPG (7.0), and APG (4.2).

Ron Harper tears ACL

One of the rare instances in which the Clippers achieved something worthwhile featured their November 16, 1989 trade for Ron Harper. The Clippers traded their number two pick in the 1989 NBA draft (Danny Ferry) and Reggie Williams to Cleveland for Ron Harper and three draft picks (1990 & 1992 first-round picks and a second-round pick in 1991).

Harper averaged 23 PPG while leading Los Angeles to a 14-14 record in his first 28 games. The former Miami of Ohio standout continued his ascendency to join the elite shooting guards in the NBA. However, like Manning, Harper’s career with Los Angeles drastically changed on January 18, 1990, when Harper tore his ACL and done for the season. The Clippers lost 31 of their final 43 games.

Pair of Game 5 losses – Larry Brown’s departure

Despite crushing ACL injuries to Danny Manning and Ron Harper, the Clippers fortunes briefly changed after hiring Larry Brown on February 7, 1992. Brown led the Clippers to 23 wins in their final 35 games, helping LA reach the postseason for the first time since 1975-76.

While Brown changed the atmosphere, the Clippers still disappointed. Forcing Utah to a Game 5 in the first round of the 1992 playoffs, the Clippers led 52-40 at halftime. However, the Jazz rallied to win 98-89. 

In their first-round matchup against Houston in 1993, the Clippers couldn’t hold a late lead in Game 5, falling 84-80. Brown’s resignation on May 21 ended the Clippers brief uprisal.

Clippers, Rivers Make Wrong Kind of History

Clippers, Rivers Make Wrong Kind of History

Despite NBA experts extending an invitation to the Western Conference Finals after their marquis offseason signings of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, the Los Angeles Clippers Clippers predictably failed in their 50th attempt. The much anticipated “Battle for LA” against their Staples Center’s co-inhabitants, will be put on hold for at least another year.

Most Seasons Played, Current Franchises
No Appearances in Conference Finals
Buffalo Braves/San Diego/Los Angeles ClippersNBA50
Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats/HornetsNBA30
Columbus Blue JacketsNHL19
Houston TexansNFL19

The Charlotte Hornets/Bobcats/Hornets rank second to the Clippers playing 30 seasons without reaching the Conference Finals.

RIVERS STANDS ALONE

While blowing a 3-1 series lead to Denver adds to their latest franchise failure, Doc Rivers made history himself. Rivers stands alone as the only coach in pro sports history to lose three series when holding a 3-1 advantage.

Most Series Losses, Leading 3-1 in Best-of-7 series
Head Coaches in Pro Sports
Doc RiversNBA3>>2003 (ORL), 2015, 2020 (LAC)
Bryan MurrayNHL21987 (WSH), 1991 (DET)
Jim SchonfeldNHL21995 (WSH), 1999 (PHX)
Marc CrawfordNHL21998 (COL), 2003 (VAN)
Dan BylsmaNHL22011, 2014 (PIT)

The late Bryan Murray (died of cancer in 2017) is the only head coach in major pro sports history to lose and win multiple series trailing 3-1. Murray lost the 1987 Patrick Division Semis with the Capitals and 1991 Norris Division Semis with the Red Wings, then rallied both teams the following season (defeated the Flyers in 1988 with Washington & the North Stars in 1992 with Detroit) when trailing 3-1.

NUGGETS HOPE TO MATCH ROYALS SUCCESS

The Nuggets joined the 1985 Kansas City Royals and 2003 Minnesota Wild as the only teams to erase multiple 3-1 series deficits in a single playoff year. The Nuggets will try to equal the Royals in winning a title, while the Wild lost in the Conference Finals to Anaheim.

The 1985 Kansas City Royals overcame 3-1 series deficits in defeating the Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals on their way to winning the World Series.

Rallied from Multiple 3-1 Series Deficits
Same Playoff Year
Result
2020Denver NuggetsNBA???
2003Minnesota WildNHLLost Conference Finals
1985Kansas City RoyalsMLBWon World Series

NBA/NHL Notes of Interest – August 2nd

NBA/NHL Notes of Interest – August 2nd

In this insane world of COVID-19, Esports is now non-fiction. Adjusting to the times, here are notes of interest surrounding professional sports in the United States.

While MLB adjusts to multiple teams administering quarantine guidelines, seven-inning doubleheaders, unequal amount of games, changes to extra-innings, and other rules, the NBA and NHL both resume this week minus seven and eight teams, respectively.

NBA


Five games on Saturday pushed the total to 13 since the restart on Thursday. COVID NBA produces dominant displays of offense, as point totals continue to soar.

NBA Per Game Totals
Before/Since COVID-19
BeforeSince
PPG223.4235.9
FGM81.781.9
FG Pct.0.460.466
3PTFGM24.224.9
3PT FG Pct.0.3570.358
FTM35.347
FT Pct.0.7710.793

While the rest of the league benefits, the Lakers 35.4 shooting percentage in their 109-92 loss to Toronto equaled their lowest since 2016.

T.J. Warren scored a career-high 53 for Indiana, matching an NBA season-high 20 field goals as the Pacers 127-121 victory moved them one-game ahead of Philadelphia for 5th in the East.

T.J. Warren set a career-high scoring 53 points in the Pacers 127-121 over the 76ers.

50-Point Games
Indiana Pacers HistoryOpponentPtsResult
11/28/1992Reggie MillerHornets57W, 134-122
1/4/2005Jermaine O’NealBucks55W, 116-99
8/1/2020T.J. Warren>>76ers53W, 127-121
11/11/1980Billy KnightSpurs52W, 119-117
>>Career-high (previous was 40)

Most FG Made, Single-Game
2019-20 NBA Season
OpponentFG MadePoints
8/1/2020T.J. Warren, IND>>PHI2053>>W, 127-121
12/11/2019James Harden, HOU@CLE2055W, 116-110
12/8/2019Anthony Davis, LALMIN2050W, 142-125
Seven Players with 19
>> Career-High (Previous was 40)

Zion and the Pelicans are 0-2 and four games back of Grizzlies.

I

n the West, New Orleans fell to 0-2 in the restart, falling 126-103 to the Clippers. Zion Williamson did not factor again, producing seven points in 14 minutes.

Zion Williamson
Totals, last two games
Minutes29
Points20
FG-FGA9-17
Rebounds5
Plus/Minus-33

NHL

A pair of 12 seeds won Game 1, as Chicago (11 points fewer than Edmonton) and Montreal (15 fewer than Pittsburgh) took 1-0 series leads. In his first playoff game, rookie Dominik Kubalik set an NHL postseason record, registering five points (2 goals, three assists) in Chicago’s 6-4 victory.

Most Points, NHL History
Rookies, First Career Playoff Game
OpponentPointsResult
8/1/2020Dominik Kubalik, CHIOilers5W, 6-4
4/7/1982Daryl Evans, LAKOilers4W, 10-8
24 Players with 3

Jeff Petry scored his first career playoff goal in his 19th game.

In the East, Jeff Petry scored his first career postseason goal (19th game) with 6:03 remaining in the first OT, as Montreal defeated Pittsburgh, 3-2. The game featured two penalty shots, as each team blew chances to put the game away. Game 2 is on Monday.

Overtime Postseason Penalty Shots
NHL History
OpponentResultTeam Result
8/1/2020Jonathan Drouin, MTLPenguinsMissW, 3-2 (0T)
4/22/2016Aleksander Barkov, FLAIslandersMissL, 2-1 (2 OT)
4/23/1998Aleksey Morozov, PITCanadiensMissL, 3-2 (OT)
4/24/1996Joe Juneau, WSHPenguinsMissL, 3-2 (4 OT)

The New York Islanders won two of their final 13 games (2-7-4) before COVID-19 but entered Toronto winners of four straight against first-round opponent Florida. The Panthers scoring troubles against the Islanders continued, scoring one goal for the third consecutive game. The Islanders, outscoring Florida 7-3 in their last three wins, can take a 2-0 series lead on Tuesday.

In the East’s 6-11 matchup, the Rangers fell 3-2 to Carolina. New York was 0-7 on the power play in the loss.

When I think of Small Business, I think of the LA Lakers

When I think of Small Business, I think of the LA Lakers

For those who aren’t aware, we are in a recession that has been fallen upon us by a combination of bad economic policy racing face first into a global pandemic. To debate this is nonsensical, because if you could? We wouldn’t be here where we are.

But explaining reality is only art of this article. Also, today we intend to educate. So let’s deal with reality and talk about how taxpayers expected a public fix based on the years and decades they’ve paid taxes into a system, with no thanks in return, while businesses saw the present disaster as an unmitigated cash grab.

The US Congress- the most powerful part of the government as per the US Constitution- decided when seeing unemployment numbers compete with the Great Depression, that maybe they should do something. Their response was the CARES Act.

$5 trillion to stock markets? SOCIALISM! QE Unlimited!

The CARES Act gave leeway to personal finances like hardship loans on your retirement savings, or for colleges to tend to foreign students who for whatever reason had to live on campus, but its bulk was to allow small businesses- small meaning under 500 employees- to apply for loans from the government to keep their employees off of unemployment. These Small Business Association (SBA) loans would be forgiven if a company keep a benchmark number of employees on the books through a pandemic, and even offered small bonuses as an incentive for such to the employees. Solid plan, yes?

Many companies applied for loans made available via the almost unanimously passed CARES Act. The Federal Government “kicker” adding $600 a month to unemployment- doubling what you receive in states like New York- seemed a way for the Federal Government to apologize for wholly screwing up their “Worse Death Toll than the Vietnam war in only 3% of the time” response to COVID. For small companies that have budgets that are more quarterly or even month to month than multi million and multi billion dollar corporations, this seemed like a boon. Seemed.

Because when it came to these small business loans? Publicly traded companies like Shake Shack had their hands out for ten million dollars. And GOT PAID BEFORE YOUR LOCAL DELI. National franchise Ruth Chris Steakhouse? Took $20 million meant for people like the auto mechanic in your neighborhood. Trump hotels? Shockingly, a billionaire is eligible for a few bucks. Because he’s a “billionaire.” (https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-inc-hotels-do-appear-to-qualify-for-coronavirus-bailout-benefits)

Neither of these groups took something as insignificant as $20. They took millions. Multimillion dollar companies taking millions instead of dipping into their own coffers. Why? Because that way it wouldn’t cost THEM to support their workers. It would cost YOU.

Only when bad press hit these companies that they found the conscience of bad publicity and returned their money. To a program that didn’t have enough money to approve even half of the small businesses loan applications in the country. And then they immediately laid off workers- fr example, the multimillion dollar company AutoNation. Because if you weren’t paying for their employees, why should the company?

Thieves.

Whereas I am not a regular customer of AutoNation, Shake Shack, or Ruth Chris, it’s safe to say that unless I get free food and cars for life for socializing their owners, I’ll never eat in their shit boxes or buy their overpriced lemons EVER. But I will make it my business to tell everyone how scumbagish their move was and is.

But truth be told, I can see why a million dollar fast food shitbox would want some free money. In the long run, will anyone give a shit about shake shack? There are 1000 better substitutes and Shake Shack will fold, so why not prolong the ride if someone else is paying for gas? And if you live in New York- ANYWHERE in New York- and go to a Ruth Chris Steakhouse, you’re a complete dipshit. I’d be willing to bet residents in any other state know a better place for a steak than Chris as well. ANY other state.

**I just randomly asked a neighbor if he wanted a steak would he go to the nearest Ruth Chris or somewhere else. He chose Cliff’s Elbow Room in Mattituck NY, a roughly 2 hour drive from his home. He said the marinated Porterhouse is legendary. Is anything in Ruth Chris legendary, save for the stories that they make up about quality and character?**

Soon….

After public outcry about millionaires stealing millions- see stock market bailout– these companies gave the money back. That there was no oversight to how this money was distributed seems pretty criminal in itself, and I’m sort of sure why that was, but I’m pretty sure if I wanted my businesses…say, a hotel that I brand, to get free money I’d keep an arbitrator out of the process  https://www.propublica.org/article/trump-inc-hotels-do-appear-to-qualify-for-coronavirus-bailout-benefits

So million dollar companies at this time can be greedy without consequences. Legal, yet greedy. So what happens when a billion dollar company take small business money? I mean, once an industry hits the billion dollar mark, they’re a full on legitimate industry. But a billion dollar FRANCHISE? Not an industry, but a fractional part of a multi billion dollar industry? Taking money as a billion dollar franchise may be the most insulting fuck you of all. And you want to know what? A BILLION DOLLAR FRANCHISE TOOK SBA MONEY.

The Los Angeles Lakers decided that, despite being worth over $3 billion dollars, revenues were so tied up in giving individual players tens of millions of dollars that they needed about $5 million more to pay the guys that makes popcorn and the valet parking people because, well, money was tight.

In an economy that basically is facing the second Great Depression- how we got here is an article not for a sports blog- for a $4 billion dollar franchise to take $4.6 million dollars is like Mike Tyson punching a 3rd grader for the change from his lunch money.

IT IS FUCKING DISGUSTING.

You may be wondering how the Lakers qualified for ANY money from the SBA. I know I was. Apparently they are a company that employs less than 500 people. According to the Lakers themselves, they employ about 300 full time and part time workers. That’s a per capita worth as an organization of $13,333,333 per person. So…that $4.6 million pays for the per capita worth of less than one half of an employee. And no, they don’t pay their ticket takers that much. It probably went to subsidize LeBron’s ego after missing the playoffs last year without an all-star cast to carry him. Did Larry Bird or Magic Johnson ever miss the playoffs?

More to the point, the Lakers just didn’t want to pay the people you don’t see on TV, but they wanted you to. Again, FUCKING DISGUSTING.

Of course when caught, the Lakers gave the money back. I wish these same standards went for something more exciting, like a bank robbery. “Oh, you caught us! What silly fools we are. Keep the money, and we’ll try again next week. Why face a punishment in court for this?”

Fact is, every company that looked to steal taxpayer money should have taxpayers pissed off, and should have prosecutors filing criminal charges. But they won’t, because it wouldn’t fit the marching orders that they’ve been fed.

At this point, some folks may be feeling bad for that multimillion dollar company or multibillion dollar franchise for getting caught with their fingers in the taxpayer cookie jar, because economic growth or some other uninformed myth. At this point, they’ll even rear their anti-intellectual heads and blame colleges for being greedy, too. Shitty schools like…Harvard. So check out this Editor’s note:

*Editors note- you may be reading this yelling “What about Harvard?” at the screen. So I wanted to point out three inconvenient realities to people too willfully uneducated to recognize research funds are different than foreign borrowed payroll funds to artificially prop stock price up:

  1. Harvard was not receiving SBA money, instead it was money earmarked for colleges that have students who have to stay on staffed campuses during quarantine. Different field.
  2. Harvard will without a doubt be involved in developing a vaccine for corona as they’re already working on one as per https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2020/03/harvard-scientists-work-to-find-coronavirus-treatment/
  3. Other colleges took federal money to pay their highest paid sports coaches instead of support students, like Ohio State, who is using CARES funds to pay the entire student body $7 for every $1 it pays its head football coach. Yes, sports make money for colleges. but a multimillion dollar scandalous head coach can take a pay cut.
  4. Some media (MSM) outlets are wondering why an endowment can’t be drained before federal funds are given. That’s like asking your bank why can’t they give you your neighbor’s money before yours. An endowment is a trust fund that’s specifically directed towards a purpose to support someone’s tax avoidance. Some of the people complaining about endowments not being spent are the same people who created them to avoid paying taxes, and are now bitching because it might- MIGHT- prevent them from future tax avoidance.*

Normally these articles are more sports driven than from an economic point of view. Unfortunately, sports and economics are pretty much married right now, maybe more then ever. But it all swings back to this simple question:

How is a multibillion dollar company like the LA Lakers a small business?

And how are you not questioning their access to funds before your neighborhood bar? Please explain what a downtown main street global brand is for me, thanks.

No arenas

And if you believe that the Lakers are in the exact same financial boat as the local diner? I have a bridge in Brooklyn that you want to get in on. The LA Lakers aren’t Main Street. In reality, they don’t even have a lake. Maybe consider a name change before taking the money? Like the Los Angeles Bank Robbers? LA Scumbags? LASsholes??

Your local major league sports team is not a small business. They have an international industry with federal monopoly protections. That such provisions were created to let billionaires take $1 million from a small company with 450 workers is horrific. Or to let fake billionaires take free tax money from Mom and Pop businesses? Fucking disgusting. Even the New York Mets- who run a poor house franchise- didn’t ask for free cash. That itself is a statement on how horrible these companies were in stealing from taxpayers. So the next time you think about spending your dollars on some national or international brand, ask yourself this- “Did they take money from me?” If the answer is yes, spend your money somewhere else. Those companies certainly aren’t charities, and shame on them for trying to screw over their fans.

The Lakers Minnesota arena was paid for by public dollars. So pretty much….what’s changed?