Lawsuit Claims Michael Irvin Stole “4th And Long”

Sadly, Michael Irvin’s new reality show, “4th and Long,” is not about Howie Long and Davis Love III’s son. I don’t even know if Davis has a “Fourth.” It is about making people who want to go to the NFL vomit as many times as possible, evidently, as they work toward a spot on the Dallas Cowboys’ practice roster.*

(If you can’t even successfully sue this guy…)

It might not be completely surprising, then, to learn that according to the DALLAS MORNING NEWS, the show has already earned itself its first lawsuit. It might surprise you that the suit doesn’t come from a participant who cookie-tossed an internal organ into a nearby trash can after running wind sprints for 30 minutes straight, but rather three guys who said they had the idea first: 

Jordan Bealmear of Thermal, Calif., and Shannon Clark and Christopher Harding, both of Louisville, Ky., allege Michael Irvin’s reality show “Fourth and Long” is their idea with a new name.

The plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Dallas County accuse Irvin of fraud, fraud by nondisclosure, breach of contract and unjust enrichment.

Immediate reaction: Louisville? Buncha know-nothing rednecks. Irvin’s attorney Larry Friedman, drive that home for us the way only a lawyer can:

[Friedman] told the DALLAS BUSINESS JOURNAL Wednesday that the lawsuit is completely bogus and without merit. Friedman said Irvin met with the plaintiffs, and they had no business cards, no company, no stationery and worked outside the industry without substantial contacts. […] When asked who called the initial meeting between the parties, Friedman said he didn’t know who invited who to the meeting.

Oh, so this is a pretty easy wait wait wait what do you mean “more than one side to the story”?

The plaintiffs offered a deal in which Irvin and his agent would receive 25 percent of the proceeds and the plaintiffs would receive 75 percent. They later struck a deal in which Irvin would take 75 percent of the aggregate executive producing fee, while the plaintiffs would share the remaining 25 percent and that adaptions of the show for other sports would involve a 50-50 split, according to the lawsuit.


In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs say they were escorted out of a March 10, 2008, deal signing meeting at the Dallas law offices of Friedman & Fiegler LLP in which Larry Friedman was present. Their attorney, Larry Kopeikin, was attending the meeting via a conference call. When they were brought back into the meeting, the plaintiffs were told that Irvin would have to review the deal memo before signing.

Days later, they learned that Irvin would only agree to a 95-5 percent split with Irvin taking a 95 percent cut, and five days after that Irvin sent an e-mail to Clark stating that he had never used the storyboard in his presentation to Jones, according to the lawsuit.

Ouch. Hard to say where this one ends up. The “elimination-style” reality show is not only not new, but played out to the point where I’m not sure there’s a job that hasn’t been offered via reality show. But oddly enough, this entire case may come down to something as simple as a storyboard, which the plaintiffs say they provided to Irvin to help sell the deal to Jerry Jones; Irvin told them before the lawsuit was filed that he never used it.

Soooo, all that the plaintiffs need to do is get Jerry Jones to act against his former star receiver’s best interests and admit on stage that Irvin used their marketing tools. As for the odds of that happening, I’ll be over in the corner laughing myself dizzy for the next five hours, thanks.

*Really? You couldn’t break them into the league with a team that needs them, like… the Redskins?**
**I kid, I kid.