Latest "Ballers" Episode Talks IMG Agency Culture, NFL Front-Office Politics
HBO’s “Ballers” for the eighth episode of Season 3 brought viewers to a fictional IMG South Florida office for a scene involving the sale of a fictional agency on the show -- ASM Financial. The character Spencer Strasmore, played by DWAYNE JOHNSON, walks the ground floor of the office alongside his business partner Joe, played by ROB CORDDRY, and IMG branding is shown throughout the scene. Johnson's character likes the sale, saying, "This whole place is impressive.” But Corddry's character expresses some reluctance to sell the agency to IMG, saying, "“I’m just hoping our staff is going to fit with IMG culture." Later in the episode, Coddry's chracter is still hesitant to sell the agency to finance the stadium deal, but Strasmore is confident and says, "We’re really doing this. ... IMG came in with an amazing offer." Strasmore said of the work he and Joe have been doing to get an NFL team to Las Vegas: "This Vegas deal gives us a greater stake in the league. It makes us legit. We become more powerful. We can help out the players, we can f***ing influence the game.” Later in the episode, their business partner, casino magnate Wayne Hastings, played by STEVE GUTTENBERG, sent them a promotional video of the stadium site in Las Vegas. Hastings said in the video while sitting on a horse in an empty, lot, “Why settle for great when we can make America spectacular. Welcome to your new home Raider Nation! Welcome to Wayneville!”
TO RUN OR PASS? The Dolphins are also prominently featured on the show again, this time involving the search for a new head coach. A white board in the GM's office lists Illinois head coach LOVIE SMITH, Lions offensive coordinator JIM BOB COOTER and Jaguars Exec VP/Football Operations TOM COUGHLIN as candidates, but Assistant GM Charles Greane, played by OMAR BENSON MILLER, pushes for Pro Football HOFer LARRY CSONKA. However, the Dolphins GM wants an air attack, which sells more tickets. Greane then goes to push for Csonka and a running game on his own with the team president, who says, "Ticket sales have never been a part of our decision making." Greane says, "Then we need to hire the man who laid the bricks for Miami's success." The team president responds, "(DON) SHULA is retired. (BOB) GRIESE has a radio gig and (DAN) MARINO has no interest in coaching." Csonka later in the show appeared as himself after getting the coaching job.
MIXED MESSAGES: Another story arc features free agent WR Ricky Jerret, played by JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON, dealing with post-concussion symptoms, which Jerret has been playing off as bipolar disorder. His agent says of signing a long-term deal and the bipolar diagnosis, "It’s a good thing that they diagnosed you. It earns us another chance with the Pats."
LINES OF THE NIGHT:
- An ASM exec named Phil, played by JEFF WILLIAMS, upon being told the agency is being sold to IMG, “As soon as the papers are signed those corporate whores will clip us.”
- Strasmore sees a doctor about his low sperm count, and the doctor in giving the results says, "You do have functioning swimmers. They're just more RYAN LOCHTE than MICHAEL PHELPS."
- Joe said to Strasmore about the deals involving IMG and the Vegas stadium, “I’m afraid that somewhere in this wild pursuit of a mega-stadium deal, you’ve become just as aloof and just as greedy as those asshole one-percenters we used to despise.”