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Volume 24 No. 117
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"Ballers" Protagonist Gets NFL Headwinds In Effort To Move Raiders To Las Vegas

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.”