Mac the Knife

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Everything posted by Mac the Knife

  1. Mac the Knife

    Trivia Question

    In baseball, what is the minimum possible number of pitches a pitcher can throw and record a complete, 9-inning shutout - presuming that there are no rule violations from any batter which cause him to be called out, cause the game to be forfeited, etc.? Give your answer - then show your work.
  2. Mac the Knife

    CCSLC Championship Ring Thread

    By request, and since I for some inexplicable reason have dozens of them, I'll start the official CCSLC Championship Ring thread with images of the following: The 1927 New York Yankees 1977 Los Angeles Dodgers NL Championship 1955 Cleveland Browns - proof that the NFL did exist before the Super Bowl 1983 Michigan Panthers USFL Championship 1962 Dallas Texans AFL Championship ...more to come...
  3. Mac the Knife

    2018-19 NBA Season

    Introducing the first-ever "reversible" championship ring, courtesy of the Golden State Warriors.
  4. Mac the Knife

    Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    It won't hurt either one. In fact, if they stage those games at 1PM local time, they can parlay Jazz fans into coming into town to see both teams as part of a full-blown sports Sunday.
  5. So to recap... The Mariners are squawking about their corporately whored stadium. The Diamondbacks want out of their corporately whored stadium. The Rays want out of their corporately whored stadium, and now The Angels want out of their stadium that's so old they can't whore it. So let's move 'em around... Los Angeles gets the Rays. Tampa gets the Mariners. Arizona gets the Angels. Seattle gets the Diamondbacks. Just for the lulz.
  6. Mac the Knife

    Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    Plus that big Commanders-Fleet rivalry? Decided by Week 3.
  7. Mac the Knife

    Something To Waste Time With

    AstroTurf Field Configurator
  8. Mac the Knife

    2018 NFL Season

    Politics aside though, this probably begins two new, simultaneous rounds of one of our favorite games, the "How much will the franchise sell for?"
  9. Mac the Knife

    Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    Actually, for the higher level price points? AAF is coming in a little lower (based solely on Memphis' disclosure). The "one price covers all" is the unique element moreso than the pricing itself. My sources are telling me Memphis may be an exception rather than the rule, but still, it's a fascinating approach because no matter what, the most I'm going to spend to attend a Memphis Express game (unless I buy merch) as a season ticket holder is going to be $170.
  10. Mac the Knife

    American Patriot League

    Yep. I remember it now. Cuadra chaired the one and only conference call I was involved in regarding the 'new USFL.' They spent two hours talking about a whole slew of things - league vision, branding, how they were going to take the mantel from the original league and run with it, etc., etc. I had interjected a few thoughts here and there which evidently made me seem smart, and at the end of the conference call they offered me and two others slots on their Board of Directors. The other two accepted without hesitation. I then asked the two questions that everyone in the call either didn't bother to ask or didn't have anything resembling an answer to: What is the source of your initial capital for this venture, and where do you plan to seek the additional capital you're ultimately going to need in order to bring this thing to fruition? Followed by... What revenue and expense projections have you done for the first five years, and how do you plan to make up for the inevitable shortfalls when they come? When those questions were met with coughs, silence, and "Uh, we're working on that" with no specifics? That was the end of my involvement. I don't even think I stuck around to the actual end of the call.
  11. Mac the Knife

    North American Pro Soccer 2018

    You're making two fundamental, perhaps misguided, presumptions here though. The first is that MLS wanted to be in Austin, and the second that Garber knew what the hell he was doing with respect to Precourt in the first place. I don't think either is necessarily the case. Precourt has a little Eddie Lampert in him - get your foot in the door, gain enough trust to put yourself in a solid position with some leverage, then apply that leverage for what's your ultimate end game. With Sears, Lampert figured out as far back as 2005 that there was a way to bleed that company (and KMart along with it) bone dry, siphoning off its assets to other of his own entities while leaving the body that was responsible for all of it to slowly dry rot from within. For years he suckered everyone into believing he was trying to resurrect Sears when, in fact, he was deliberately burying it. Precourt bought his MLS membership and Columbus' operating rights intending to relocate them. He knew that once he got in the door, that status gave him sufficient leverage to force the LLC's hand in some fashion; the only question would be how. It's a leverage he'd not hold with any of the "big four" leagues because of their status as unincorporated associations vs. a limited liability company. In the former, the issue would be resolved (albeit messily) by simply terminating Precourt's membership in the association; the premise being that the club was an independent entity, and as such joined at will and was expelled by its internal termination process. But because MLS is a limited liability company, Precourt has a financial stake in the company, just in the same way Lampert does as a Sears shareholder. He has direct equity, which makes the matter of removing him from the equation considerably more difficult. He's going to Austin and he's going to get what he wanted, but in doing so he's got some very pissed off partners who feel this whole deal cost them upwards of $300 million in capital infusions. They might be businessmen at heart, but they're not going to forget this, either.
  12. Mac the Knife

    North American Pro Soccer 2018

    What most don't comprehend with respect to MLS is that its 'expansion process' isn't one in the traditional sense, due to its single entity structure. They can call it an expansion process if they want, but what they're doing is searching for partners to admit into their LLC - basically a capital call, only trying to raise it from outside sources rather than from within. Precourt acquired one of the "A/E" memberships in MLS as I mentioned earlier. I'd love to see that contract as well, but MLS' operating agreement doesn't give him the right to relocate a team unilaterally, member or no. That's only accomplished by a supermajority vote of the members, and I'm guessing he didn't have, and wasn't going to get, the votes. Under the terms of the operating agreement this created something of a stalemate in that you have an LLC member who has a right to operate a team in a certain market, but who's telling his partners after a certain date, he's refusing to do so. So as a company MLS had five options: Let Precourt continue as an "A/E Member" and go to Austin. But again, he didn't have the votes for that move. Terminate his "A/E" membership for cause and buy him out. But the LLC doesn't have the cash to do that; the 'expansion' scratch they're getting - the $150 million from Cincinnati and Nashville, isn't coming in chunky style. It's coming in installments. Find someone to buy out Precourt and his "A/E" membership. That they did, but Precourt had to be willing to sell, and he wasn't. Allow Precourt to move to Austin in exchange for trading in his "A/E" membership for a new class of membership (Orlando City is MLS' "Class J" member, so I'm not sure what letter designation it'd be up to now). MLS would then either (i) sell the "A/E" membership to Haslam, or (ii) sell the "A" membership to Haslam and terminate the "E" membership. (confused yet?) Issue Haslam the new "Class X" (or whatever) membership, and draft a separate agreement allowing Precourt to operate his "A/E" membership in Austin. If the partners of MLS were smart, they took Option 4, as it would terminate one of the Class E memberships it had to sell to current members to raise capital back when the league was teetering on the edge of disaster. The history of this will read that Austin got an expansion franchise. The technical reality of that may be true, or that Haslam got an expansion franchise and Precourt got to move. In retrospect this could be a win-win or a lose-lose. It could be win/win from the perspective that it sends a message to the other partners in the LLC: unless we decide otherwise, you are where you are. It also allows MLS to plausibly pare back its 4-team expansion to the 2 it's already chosen, arguing that Miami and Austin took up the slots they'd intended. But it could be a lose/lose in that from this the partners glean that if they choose to move, they can hold their partners hostage and ultimately get what they want - and that thanks to this precedent, the end result could be unwanted expansion. That's not a business partnership I'd be terribly comfortable being in.
  13. Mac the Knife

    The Oakland/Las Vegas/Where The Hell Are We? Raiders

    As someone who once had a girlfriend who lived in this neighborhood, this cracked me up to no end for some reason. Actually, "London Jaguars" would make perfect sense, given the automobile company's history. They could actually go full-bore and do some kind of tie-in with them, rather than the adversarial relationship their then-owners had back in '93. Whenever a London team plays at home, it'll be scheduled to play in a 10AM or 1PM USET slot, guaranteed. That's the biggest logistical hurdle of all: time zone differential. Other than being tried as a one-off just for the sake of novelty, a London-based team could never play a home SNF, MNF or TNF game. Honestly? If not for Baltimore, Modell doesn't relocate, but is rather forced to sell the franchise unless a new stadium deal emerges in Cleveland. He bought that team with OPM, operated it for decades based on what he could borrow, and even the move to Baltimore merely postponed the inevitable. Financially despite all the fan loyalty, the Browns were on their asses financially because Modell was always strapped for cash, taking from Peter to pay Paul. IIRC part of the Baltimore move included an immediate cash infusion (by loan or otherwise) of somewhere between $50-150 million; money Modell needed to keep afloat, right then, right there. He also never really consulted with his fellow owners or Paul Tagliabue about what he was doing before he pulled the trigger on everything. Fart was well liked within the inner circle, and while he caught almost all of them completely unaware when he pulled up stakes, the owners decided to back him in the ensuing storm rather than do what they could've easily done - forced him out.
  14. The Las Vegas Raiders of Oakland are, by virtually everyone involved in the situation, apparently not going to be calling the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (sorry, I try to avoid corporate whoring unless I'm being paid myself) beyond the 2018 season. This despite the fact that at earliest their new stadium in Las Vegas won't be ready until 2020. Everyone involved is also saying that a one-year stay at luxuriously atrocious by NFL standards Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas is not a viable option. This in essence means that unless something changes, in 2019 the NFL's going to have a modern-day version of the Seattle Pilots: a team that plays in some city for one year, then relocates. Among the rumors floating around are that, of all places, San Diego is under consideration as a potential temporary home for the Raiders, which seems about as likely to go over about as well as... well, insert your own phrase here. It won't go over well. So, conjecture time: Where will the franchise currently known as the Oakland Raiders call home for its 2019 season? Oakland? Las Vegas? San Diego? San Antonio? Sacramento? Neptune? Make your best guess and discuss here...
  15. Mac the Knife

    North American Pro Soccer 2018

    "Texas: It's Like a Whole Other Country." The rest of America: "And we wish you'd go back to that." With Haslam as the owner, in five years you may be wishing they had moved. Jimmy Haslam is to professional sports what the Olive Garden is to... professional sports. The expansion process wasn't followed McCarthy, but the end result is the same while, remarkably, providing everyone involved a "win-win." MLS issues Haslam a new membership. Haslam gets to play hero by keeping the team in Columbus. Precourt keeps his MLS membership, collect expansion receipts, spend a few years focused on building anew in Austin rather than a few months relocating. And the MLS collects $100 million (or more) that they can't collect right now because no municipality aside from Cincinnati and Nashville were dumb enough to meet its expansion criteria to their satisfaction. You can't beat that kind of deal with a stick.
  16. Mac the Knife

    Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    Well, that's presuming alcohol's covered in the package, but yeah, that's not a bad deal for fans at all. The all-inclusive package intrigues me from a business perspective, which is why I wonder if it's an M.O. or a one-off.
  17. Mac the Knife

    Introducing the Alliance of American Football

    At first glance, those prices for only 5 home dates seem high, but in truth they're dirt cheap if you take into account the ancillaries (e.g., parking, food and beverage). They're doing it with broadcast optics in mind - because those tickets should sell, offering the ability to do nice crowd shots along the sidelines in the lower bowl. What I'm wondering is if this is going to be indicative of the lease deals AAF has made, or an oddity. If it's indicative, it's a really interesting way to go about it. Not a financially profitable one, but interesting all the same.
  18. Mac the Knife

    North American Pro Soccer 2018

    Random but sequential thoughts... (1) Columbus is trading an ***hole owner for an incompetent one. Given Haslam's history? I'm not sure it's a step up. (2) This deal takes one of the four planned expansion sites off the table, guaranteed. But that's a good thing where face-saving is concerned for MLS, because ultimately they only found two markets willing to bend over far enough and take it up the pipe from them to begin with. (3) Actually Buc, per the MLS' limited liability company agreement, they're a "Class A/E" Member. The original teams are Class A Members. People who doubled down and bought a second ownership interest stake when the league was on death's door bought a "Class E" membership, thus the "A/E." Every other team has had a separate class of membership (I think they're through "J" now), but they all have equal ownership stakes and essentially equal rights despite the designation.
  19. Mac the Knife

    American Patriot League

    Actually... third. He was introduced to me once at a conference call for one of the two leagues that tried to enlist me onto their boards. Can't remember if it was the "new" USFL or the A-11, though, but I definitely remember him.
  20. Mac the Knife

    The Oakland/Las Vegas/Where The Hell Are We? Raiders

    I don't think anyone had any misguided notions that the team was going to stay in Jacksonville once Wayne Weaver sold them. St. Louis was the projected landing point when the Rams left, now it's London based on what Shalid Khan has been up to. But I don't think that team moving anywhere would be all that big a surprise. Khan just had to give it enough time to say, "Hey, I tried to make things work in Jacksonville, but this team can't be economically competitive with the other 31 here," without looking like, well, a Stan Kronke (sp?)
  21. Mac the Knife

    Sports Gambling Question

    Does anyone here (who lives in the U.S.) use Bet365.com? If so, have you had any issues with them (making deposits, collecting winnings, etc.)? With the latest SCOTUS ruling I'm presuming that I can lawfully place a bet via Bet365 same as if I were at a legal betting parlor here in the U.S., but I'm not sure to what extent that ruling applies where websites like Bet365 would be concerned. Does anyone out there know?
  22. Mac the Knife

    The Oakland/Las Vegas/Where The Hell Are We? Raiders

    Again: Test Bed. A chance to find out all the specifics involved in the logistics of operating a franchise there, without making a permanent commitment to do so. If not for the Bills experiments a while back, I'd be suggesting Toronto instead of London, but if Toronto's not going to back a team from Buffalo they're sure not gonna pony up NFL prices to watch a vagabond Raiders team play 8 home dates at SkyDome.
  23. Mac the Knife

    Sports Gambling Question

    Now this is the kind of information I was curious about. Thanks, Wabes... but are online wagers within the U.S. now legal? I suspect I know the answer to that due to the lack of internet gambling sites popping up all over Hell's half acres, but am curious. For the first time in probably 15 years there's something I'd like to bet on, and if between now and then I wind up in a state where it's legal I'll probably place a bet on it there, but figured if I could do it online that'd be more convenient.
  24. Mac the Knife

    Alliance of American Football - Team Names and Logos

    This thing is 35 years old, game worn and beat to ****, but it still the best damned looking football helmet I ever saw at the professional level. I'd end that sentence with "bar none," but given the circumstances will instead say "Bar W."
  25. Mac the Knife

    The Oakland/Las Vegas/Where The Hell Are We? Raiders

    IIRC, both the Raiders and 49'ers have said a firm "no" to the team playing in Santa Clara, even for a season. Sam Boyd would be bad aesthetically to a point where it'd remove a good chunk of the glitter around the move (go watch the XFL's inaugural game, then imagine it 20 years older and a brand new-to the city NFL team playing there). The only travel would be to London or Mexico City, and only because the league office has a boner for London being the spot for a relocated franchise - which would make my "play in London for the season" idea a good one. Staying at the Coliseum may not be an option based on all the lawsuits and what-not that are flying around. And suspending operations? Oh, that's just not going to happen. I'm not sure what the exact extent of the complaint is, but one thing I remember reading about at the time it was filed was that it could have the potential to forcibly strip the "Oakland Raiders" name away from the team, mandating a rebrand. THAT would be interesting to say the least. As for keeping the team in Oakland, however, I don't recall if that was part of what was being sought.