Speed Read: If They Say It’s Not About the Money

SPORTSbyBROOKS, in conjunction with Disney on Broadway and Rosie O’Donnell, is proud to present the upcoming smash Internet musical that will leave your toes a-tappin’ and your wallet a-empty: How to Succeed at Sports Business Without Really Trying!

How to Succeed in Sports Business Without Really Trying

Nathan Lane plays Sam Zell, a real estate magnate who overleverages himself in order to buy a major company in a rapidly shrinking industry just before the lending bubble bursts. It’s zany fun (except for the hundreds laid off, but they’re offstage anyway).

Desperate to make debt payments, he tries to sell the only profitable part of the company: a sports team known for being both lovable and not-winners. Still, he can’t find anyone willing to put up with his byzantine conditions in time to avoid bankruptcy.

However, to please the bankruptcy judge and try to salvage some of his own wealth, he presses on (as captured in the frenetic number, “Doesn’t Anyone Want to Get My Goat?”) and finds a family willing to buy the team off him.

Sam Zell's Goat

When negotiations don’t progress as hoped because he’s not getting his way and the family has to turn to regional celebrities to pony up cash, Zell tries to gin up a bidding war by hinting that he might be speaking to one of the previously-rejected suitors.

Will the family bow to the planted story and give the charismatic dwarf what he demands? Will his bluff be called and leave him singing “The Blue-Pinstriped Bankrupt Overtaxed Blues”?

And that’s just Act One, kids! Just wait till you see what’s in Act Two!

As the curtain rises on the second act, a strikingly successful bald man with an accent from the Queen’s lands (Patrick Stewart in a rare singing role) tries to make off in the night with a bag jammed full of hockey players from Phoenix (The Jonas Brothers). Caught at the U.S./Canada border, he tries to plead his case to the judge, who laughs him off and tells him to get back in line.

Having been cast a hand so weak that he could call it “The Stranger”, Jim Balsillie (the aforementioned smooth-headed rascal) organizes Make It Seven Day for today (June 19th) to encourage the creation or move of an NHL team to Canada to raise the number of Canadian NHL teams to seven.

Jim Balsillie does seven the hard way

(Jim Balsillie performing “Make It Seven the Really Hard Way”)

He bounces around the stage, Robert Preston-style, to sing to people that “Make It Seven Day is all about providing a voice to Canadian hockey fans, while raising money for minor hockey teams across the country.” (It all sounds better when it’s set to Elton John’s “Greater Toronto Area Freedom”.)

The Canadian chorus, recognizing a true Canadian hero in their midst, throw him onto their shoulders while he waves the Maple Leaf triumphantly and leads a round of “O Canada (Deserves a Seventh Team)” before someone in the crowd (Robin Thicke) realizes Balsillie is using nationalism (and corporate sponsors) to give himself a plaything and cast himself as a hero as well as a billionaire.

Also, the kid in the crowd realizes that the rich bald guy still hasn’t brought them a team, either, for all his bluster.

The crowd escorts Balsillie to the edge of the stage and tosses him back to America, warning him not to come back without a team this time. End of Act Two.

Oh, but Act Three… it’s the most expensive act in Internet musical history as it involves tearing Formula One asunder by chasing all the wealthiest teams (including Ferrari and McLaren) into forming their own league because Formula One dared suggested they not outspend all the other teams so badly anymore.

Well, the rich teams responded in eight-team harmony, if you won’t let us spend ridiculously in Formula One, we’ll build our own playpen so we can try to outspend each other with absurd amounts of cash.

Needless to say, this act’s a blatant theft of the American version of this musical, starring Jesse L. Martin as Tony George. It ends like the American version, too: both sides drain all the interest out of open-wheel racing, the money dries up, and Danica Patrick is cast as the savior. (Hey, if NASCAR can do it…)

Danica Patrick photo SI

(As always, it’s a race to the bottom with Danica)

On the other hand, you should see Formula One boss Max Mosley’s Naziriffic spanktastic encore for this show (and Formula One’s final bow):

Look out; here comes the bullet points! (But not before you consider a new iPhone for all the NSFW foreplay possibilities):

  • As the old joke goes, Jeremy Roenick donned his sparkly collar and surely proved that he has a career waiting for him on the stage, as seen during last night’s NHL Awards. In fact, if he hurries, there’s a stage leaving town in 15 minutes.

  • The Detroit Tigers have benched Magglio Ordoñez “indefinitely” due to his mediocre performance at the plate and definitely not because management has told Jim Leyland to sit on The Big Tilde to avoid triggering a clause in his contract to pay him $18 million in 2010. However, if Ordoñez would like to catch up on his DVR watching during the game, that would be totally cool with the Tigers.
  • If you’re a big fan of your favorite team, you won’t just stop at collecting cards or jerseys. You’ll also buy the unauthorized porn video (whose screen captures are probably just a bit NSFW). C’mon; if you’re in for an inch, you’re… probably doing it wrong, actually.
  • Let’s see… an AL pitcher is hurt on the basepaths in interleague games for the second year in a row. You know what that means: OMG PANDEMIC RUN FOR THE HILLS (unless you’re an AL pitcher; they get designated runners).
  • A few members of Iran’s soccer team donned green quietly to support the growing support for those demonstrating back in Iran while the players participate in the Confederations Cup in South Africa. They could be in a bit of trouble when they return home.

Iran soccer team

Who would you least like to handle your finances?

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Speed Read: No Penalties, No Subs, No Time Limit

Officially, the Steelers-Ravens game had six injury timeouts. Something tells me more than six players got their bodies bruised last night. Fortunately, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t implement the Rollerball championship game rules in this game, because it probably would have ended up with both punters just kicking the ball to each other.

Rollerball-like conditions in Ravens-Steelers MNF

Andre Frazier was stretchered off on the first play. Both teams were down to their third-string running backs by overtime. Willis McGahee was helped off twice. Strangely, QBs Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco, the two guys who got rassled down to the ground all night, didn’t leave the game prematurely with boo-boos.

But are there really any winners, as a society increased its desire for bloodlust on this night? (Sorry, that was mighty post-apocalyptic for a sports blog.) In the post-game conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said the injuries did not dampen their hard-fought 23-20 win over B’more. “That’s football.” And thank God almighty for penalties, substitutions and time limits.

Speaking of men with no apparent time limits, let’s bring in our comic relief. Headlining tonight’s gig will be Funny Bone Ticker of the Year, Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders! [applause]

Al Davis

(Wow. He’s never looked better.)

Davis has never been a buy-the-book guy. When the book says “fire your coach, then look for a replacement?” Davis burns the book. (Or feeds it to a lamprey.) No, Davis is hellbent on finding a replacement to Lane Kiffin first, then subsequently firing Kiffin, ESPN is reporting. Perhaps this is all a cunning ruse by Davis, through the wise advise of former literary agent John Hodgman, to convince the world that time is moving backwards. By Week 11, he’ll inexplicably announce Lane Kiffin as the new head coach of the Raiders. By 2010, he’ll hire Art Shell, just to throw the world a curveball. And in 2015, he’ll lose his virginity.

So if you’re curious if Kiffin’s been canned yet, there’s only one definitive place to bookmark and refresh. The official website of the countdown, HASLANEKIFFINBEENFIRED.COM:

Has Kiffin Been Fired?

(Could Abe Froman be interested in the job?)

Kiffin probably doesn’t deserve to be head coach anymore, but man, when did it make sense to can coaches before October? (I think we’ve all had ex-girlfriends who we’ve strung along for far less time than Davis has done with Kiffin.) The SANTA ROSA PRESS DEMOCRAT notes that if Kiffin’s job is saved, Kalimba Edwards might have had something to do with it.

Tiger on his knees, not in my tank

The world’s best golfer has a time limit of 24 months before he can play again? So stay strong and resolute in your fantasy golf keeper leagues, because Tiger Woods‘ ACL injury recovery could last as long as two years, sez THE TELEGRAPH. World famous surgeon Lanny L. Johnson said — no kidding! — that the ligament means something different to football players than it does to golfers:

“If you tear your cruciate ligament in American football, you can play within a year – and with full confidence within two years. Based on this, and the recovery period of other athletes, I am guessing that Tiger will need two years.”

Wow. What a world in which we take advice from guys named Lanny.

What about a world in which you take advice from guys named Joey Porter?

Joey Porter, financial advisor

  • The Dolphins linebacker knows how to get us out of this economic recession. ESPN’s NFL NATION gets the financial advice we’ve been waiting to hear: just dig a hole in your backyard and put your money in there. Skeptical? Hey, he was right about Matt Cassel.
  • Then Porter can tell you to go back in time and bet on the Tampa Bay Rays to win the American League who, as VEGAS WATCH points out, were at 75-1 odds to start the year. (Quick story about this. We saw the Vegas Hilton Sportsbook odds a couple weeks ago, and at the top stood the Yankees’ AL hopes at 2500-1. Second from the bottom was Tampa, at 20-1. Oh what a beautiful sight it was.)
  • A somber update to Jaguars offensive lineman Richard Collier, who was shot 14 times last month: His leg was amputated and will be paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life.
  • So you just lost your quarterback for the season? No worries. If you’re the Washington Huskies, and your QB is Jake Locker, just move him to safety, COLLEGE FOOTBALL TALK murmurs.
  • Gilbert Arenas‘ life, because it needed to be said, is still better than yours. As he shares on AGENT ZERO, the Wiz’ star is now engaged, and he didn’t even have to pop the question.
  • Ousted Rams coach Scott Linehan can at least take solace that more people approved of this work than they do of still-employed Vikings coach Brad Childress, RANDBALL discovers.
  • Meaningless game for the Tigers on Monday? Tell that to Jim Leyland, who told MLB.COM: “I wanted to win this game today bad … because we wanted to get another win. It’s not like you’re trying to knock the White Sox out as much as you’re trying to get a win and you’re trying to be professional and go about your business. I tried everything I knew how to do.”
  • Encouraging words from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Ron Wilson to the GLOBE AND MAIL regarding the upcoming NHL season: “We’re not going to win the Stanley Cup this year. There’s a news flash for you.” Honesty. You gotta respect that, at least.
  • Pssh. What the heck does Will Leitch know about New York sports? That didn’t stop him from sharing his ten best Big Apple athletes for NEW YORK MAGAZINE.
  • Oh yeah, and the White Sox play the Twins for the AL Central crown today. It’s Nick Blackburn against John Danks. No, I’m not envious by jamming this nugget at the end of the article. Nuh-uh.

What’s most likely to happen in today’s Sox-Twins playoff game?

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Blog Jam: Randle El Boasts He Can Outrun Bears

• NO OFFSEASON.COM can’t bear to hear the Redskins’ Anwtaan Randle El claim that he can out-gallop a grizzly.

Antwaan Randle El can outrun a bear

• USA TODAY’s GAME ON finds Ron Hunter getting off on the good foot, as the IUPUI basketball coach is on his way to Africa with 200,000 pairs of shoes for the poor.

• BRAHSOME tees up news that Phil Mickelson will be showing up in an episode of “Entourage” this season.

• The gun show goes on in Tallahassee. First it was Preston Parker. Now Scott Carter of TAMPA BAY ONLINE reports that Charlie Graham is the latest FSU Seminole facing firearm charges.

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Blog Jam: Leyland Lashes Out About Timid Tigers

• THE WORLD OF ISAAC gets (r-rated) word of Tigers manager Jim Leyland unleashing his inner Lee Elia.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland holding bat

• Speaking of angry managers, HUGGING HAROLD REYNOLDS finds Brewers boss Ned Yost joining Tom Haudricourt in the blog bashing parade.

• YAHOO’s SHUTDOWN CORNER sure wishes former Redskin quote machine Dexter Manley was plying his trade in the days of blogs.

• Ryan Wilson of AOL FANHOUSE catches up with Quincy Carter, as the former Cowboys QB languishes on the Arena League sidelines.

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