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Volume 24 No. 117

People and Pop Culture

HBO’s "BALLERS" had its penultimate episode of Season 3 last night, and the NFL-to-Vegas plotline that has dominated this season seems to be coming to a head. The show opened with a fictional NFL program called "Glazed & Confused" filming in the Bay Area, site of fictional NFL owners' meeting. The fictional program featured cameos by Fox Sports' JAY GLAZER, MARK SCHLERETH and ESPN's MARCELLUS WILEY discussing the Raiders' potential relocation. Glazer said, “In Oakland, they’re about getting to burn their Oakland Raiders jerseys.” Schlereth said, “If I’m (Raiders Owner) MARK DAVIS, I’m not packing my bags until I get final approval from the other owners and the league.”

RAIDER NATION: The next scene cuts to Spencer Strasmore, played by DWAYNE JOHNSON, making his final pitch to the Raiders execs. While waiting for Davis to arrive, Pro Football HOFer TIM BROWN, representing the team as himself, says to Strasmore, "The truth is, things have gotten somewhat complicated.” Brown informs Strasmore the team is looking at another “aggressive” offer to facilitate their relocation to Vegas, as Strasmore has not yet been endorsed by the league -- something the competing group has. Strasmore: “You trust the goddamn ... league?” Brown: “No, but nothing gets done without their stamp. Shifty as they may be, they have the power to shut his whole thing down.” Strasmore said to Brown, “Somebody should remind Mark that they couldn't stop his dad from taking the Raiders to L.A. in '82.” Another Raiders exec responds, “Mark isn't AL. He's taking a new approach.” Later on, fictional NFL exec Candace Brewer says to Strasmore about the competing group, "I'm just watching ROGER (GOODELL's) back.” She then encourages Strasmore to “join with the other investors." Brewer: "You can’t win. They won’t let you.” Strasmore's financial backer, fictional casino magnate Wayne Hastings Jr., played by STEVE GUTTENBERG, does then decide to join with the other NFL-to-Vegas group, dropping Strasmore.

HEAD GAMES: The ongoing post-concussion/bipolar issue around free agent WR Ricky Jerrett, played by JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON, continued as well last night. Jerrett was set to sign an offer from a Patriots exec, played by The Ringer's MICHAEL LOMBARDI -- who was actually at one point a real-life Patriots exec. Just before putting pen to paper, Jerrett reveals to the Patriots and his agent that he is dealing with post-concussion issues along side the bipolar disorder. The Patriots exec then picks up the contract and leaves Jerrett's home without a signature.

MORE SPONSOR LOVE: During his introduction as the new Dolphins head coach, Pro Football HOFer LARRY CSONKA appeared before the team's actual press conference back drop, which features team sponsors AARP and Baptist Health South Florida. This backdrop has been used on other occasions during the show.

LINES OF THE NIGHT:

  • Csonka was asked by a reporter during his intro press, “What about your age?” Csonka responded, “What about your face?” Reporter: “What about my face?” Csonka: “That’s what you’re going to be asking the medic after I slap you silly, kid.” 
  • Glazer: “My sources have in fact confirmed that Mark Davis has secured a new barber in Las Vegas.”
  • Strasmore denying he was checking his phone for messages from his on-screen love interest, “I’m looking at Bleacher Report.” 
  • Jerrett’s father after he discovered his son was dealing with post-concussion issues, “DAVE DUERSON, a friend of mine, I saw what the game did to the man. He shot himself in the chest with his Man of the Year award sitting right next to him and a note that said he wanted his brain studied.” 
  • Strasmore says to Joe as they walked the Oakland Coliseum parking lot, “It has its hidden charms.” Joe: “Like the ancient septic system carrying human waste into the breezeway.”

The NBPA has "established a separate business unit for commercial activities, including merchandising, sponsorship, events and content." The new unit, National Basketball Players Inc., will have its own "profit and loss statement and payroll, and was established as a for-profit company." The unit named Def Jam Recordings Exec VP/Strategic Marketing & Brand Partnerships QUE GASKINS Chief Brand & Growth Officer, Nike Dir of Global Brand Business Affairs CLARENCE NESBITT General Counsel and HBO VP/Global Licensing JOSH GOODSTADT Exec VP/Licensing (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/18 issue).

EXECS: Minnesota United today will name T'Wolves and WNBA Lynx President CHRIS WRIGHT CEO. Wright has been the Wolves and Lynx president the "past 13 years and has spent 26 years with the organization." He was VP/Sales & Marketing before becoming President in the teams’ business operations (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/18)....The 76ers named La Liga club FC Barcelona Deputy Dir of the Sports Science & Medical Department DANIEL MEDINA to the newly-created position of VP/Athlete Care (76ers)....Flyers GM RON HEXTALL has hired former NHL Kings GM DEAN LOMBARDI, his “onetime mentor, to assist him in the front office.” Lombardi has “not been given a job title yet” (PHILLY.com, 9/17)....The Nuggets promoted Dir of Basketball Analytics TOMMY BALCETIS to Dir of Basketball Strategy & Analytics (Nuggets)....DAVID STONE has launched his own consultancy, Stone Planning. He will continue to focus on the planning of sports and entertainment facilities and events, and will be based in Chicago (THE DAILY).

Do you have an executive announcement? If so, please send to editorial@sportsbusinessdaily.com.


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Free agent QB COLIN KAEPERNICK was named Week 1 MVP by the NFLPA for his "commitment to empowering underserved communities through donations and grassroots outreach." The union found "particularly impressive Kaepernick's continued donations to charity, including a Sept. 7 gift of $100,000 split between four organizations" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/15). The weekly honor "puts him in the running" for the Byron 'Whizzer' White NFL Man Of The Year Award. The weekly win for Kaepernick "underscores the awkward position the league is in," as he has now "donated $900,000 to underserved communities over the last year, continues to be prominent in news cycles and yet has not been offered a roster spot on a team" (SACBEE.com, 9/15). Meanwhile, JAY-Z on Friday in N.Y. during his "first headlining concert in three years" included a "dedication" to Kaepernick during a performance of the song "THE STORY OF O.J." (ESPN.com, 9/15).

NAMES: 49ers defensive coordinator ROBERT SALEH is "believed to be" the NFL's "first Arab American coordinator" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/16)....Florida football coach JIM MCELWAIN has launched a barbecue sauce line called "Mac & Blondie Mombo3," which is available at concessions stands at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and "will appear soon on the shelves in Gainesville stores" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 9/17)....Clippers F BLAKE GRIFFIN “hosted a shopping event” on Thursday at luxury Italian menswear company Ermenegildo Zegna’s Rodeo Drive boutique in Beverly Hills, and 15% of sales “went to Griffin’s Team Griffin Foundation” (WWD.com, 9/15).

IN MEMORY: PENNY CHENERY, the “beloved owner" of SECRETARIAT whose influence on horse racing "spanned decades and whose standing inspired generations of women in racing, died on Saturday at her home in Colorado from complications of a stroke at age 95.” Chenery won the Eclipse Award of Merit in ‘06, was the “first female president of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association” and was “one of the first women elected to The Jockey Club” (DRF.com, 9/17).