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Volume 25 No. 107
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"Ballers" Season Finale: Mendenhall, Desmond Howard Make Cameos

The Season 4 finale of HBO’s “BALLERS” aired last night, and there was no shortage of drama and cliffhangers for the ninth episode (but no worries -- the show has already been picked up for another season). The protagonist, Spencer Strasmore, played by DWAYNE JOHNSON, started the episode by filing a lawsuit against the NCAA, followed quickly by a countersuit from the NCAA. Johnson then goes on a fictional show hosted by Fox’ JAY GLAZER to go off on the powers that be within collegiate athletics. After a meeting with the NCAA, the organization offers to reinstate the high school QB at the center of this season in exchange for Strasmore dropping his suit. Strasmore rejects the offer unless the NCAA agrees to pay all players going forward. The NCAA passes on that offer. Strasmore then returns to his office at SportsX, his action sports agency, and offers his resignation, and ends the season in limbo about his role going forward.

PERFORMANCE REVIEW: Fictional Rams WR Ricky Jerrett, played by JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON, was shown injecting PEDs in the penultimate episode, and at the beginning of the finale is busted by his family members and friends, who stage an intervention. Jerrett then makes reference to a UFC fighter who has been busted for PEDs on a number of occasions, saying to his friend who calls him out, “You been hanging with JOHNNY ‘BONES’ JONES lately?” After leaving his friends to sign his new deal with the Rams, Jerrett confides in his friend, fictional Rams GM Charles Greane, played by OMAR BENSON MILLER, that he is using PEDs. Greane tells him he will cut him if he is caught, but allows him to sign the deal.

CAMEO CENTRAL: Former NFLer RASHARD MENDENHALL, who is also a lead writer and producer on the HBO show, made a cameo as himself early in the episode, but played a yoga instructor. In the same scene, FS1’s MARCELLUS WILEY makes a cameo playing a talking head on a non-descript sports TV show. Later in the show, ESPN’s DESMOND HOWARD also portrays himself as a talking head.