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Volume 26 No. 226
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"Ballers" Continues To Talk NFL Labor, Visits L.A. Stadium Site

Last night's episode of "BALLERS" on HBO centers around a new contract for Chiefs QB PATRICK MAHOMES. Fictional Chiefs Owner Spencer Strasmore, played by DWAYNE JOHNSON, negotiates a landmark deal with Mahomes' fictional agents. The show this season has repeatedly mentioned the contract of Seahawks QB RUSSELL WILSON, who was extended for 4 years and $140M this past April. Strasmore and Mahomes' agents agree on a $150M figure, but the length is not made known. In a press conference to announce the deal, Strasmore goes after other NFL owners, saying he was tricked into voting for an 18-game schedule, which he did last episode, and calls for lifetime healthcare for former players that had a career of three years or more. He said, "The old guard is in charge and they're taking us down a path that will end with the demise of our great game."

BUILD IT & THEY WILL COME: While this episode does not feature any cameos by players or celebrities, one familiar location does make it on screen: the Rams/Chargers' new stadium in Inglewood. Fictional Rams GM Charles Greane, played by OMAR BENSON MILLER, is seen at the actual site of the under-construction venue in Inglewood, taking a phone call. The show, filmed before SoFi was formally announced as the stadium's naming-rights sponsor, does not refer to the venue with a specific name. Greane is offered a 4-year, $10M contract extension by the fictional Rams owner, who later in the episode also offers to promote Greane to team president. Greane, who has been dealing with health problems, ponders the offer, but at the end of the episode is seen returning to his family in South Florida.

HOLLYWOOD LIVING: Fictional Rams WR Ricky Jerret, played by JOHN DAVID WASHINGTON, has taken to media this season while he rehabs from an injury, and in this episode he is approached by an entertainment exec about new opportunities. The exec says Jerret could be the next MICHAEL STRAHAN. Meanwhile, the esports team created by fictional Cowboys DT Vernon Littlefield, played by DONOVAN CARTER, heads to an official League of Legends match in L.A. Teams listed as competing include real-life powerhouses like Cloud9, OpTic Gaming, Immortals, Dignitas and others.