Ex-NBAer Owns 72 Papa John’s, Outback Stores

Former Kentucky and NBA star Jamal Mashburn has built himself a restaurant franchise empire.

Jamal Mashburn and Rick Pitino

(Thankfully, they didn’t choose the sportswear business)

In a recent interview with Aron Phillips of DimeMag.com, Mashburn said he owned a jaw-dropping number of chain restaurants:

I’ve always been in business and own franchises of Papa John’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Outback Steakhouse, as well as car dealerships. I own over 34 Outbacks, 37 Papa John’s and dealerships in Kentucky.

There’s no follow from Phillips on Mashburn’s restaurant investments, so we don’t know the nature of Mashburn’s stake in the individual businesses. Though one recent online solicitation for Outback franchises required a $75,000 up front fee and $6.5 million line of credit for ownership of four restaurants.

The LEXINGTON (KY) HERALD-LEADER confirmed Mashburn’s restaurant business interests in March, 2008, including the identity of his very high profile partner. Read more…

Well-Liked Iowa HS Football Coach Shot To Death

Ed Thomas, a popular Iowa high school football coach who saw many of his players make it to the NFL, was shot & killed in the school’s weight room this morning.

Ed Thomas Parkersburg HS football coach

• Road tripping, Wisconsin style: Driving home drunk in a golf cart.

• Break out the blindfolds - Oregon’s new football uniforms are here.

Terrell Owens gets cursed out by teammate Joanna Krupa for getting themselves eliminated on ABC’s “Superstars”.

• No “Moneyball” movie means no sex scenes between Billy Beane & an Outback Steakhouse waitress.

Read more…

Vols & Badgers Inhale 5,000 Lbs. of Food At Dinner

Crikey! The guys from Tennessee and Wisconsin sure can put away the Bloomin’ Onions:

Bloomin' Onion Outback

The NASHVILLE TENNESSEAN serves up the news of the Volunteers & Badgers chowing down before facing each other on New Year’s Day in the Outback Bowl. The sponsoring steakhouse set up a welcoming meal on Wednesday for the two teams in Tampa.

When the plates were cleared, 5,500 pounds of food were working their way through the digestive systems of the boys from Knoxville & Madison.

Among the amounts gorged upon were 750 pounds of steak & chicken, 900 ribs, 700 Caesar salads, 1,300 slices of chocolate cake, 85 gallons of BBQ sauce - and the piece de resistance, 950 Bloomin’ Onions.

Bucky Badger Pepto Bismol Smokey Tennessee mascot

Hope the Tampa-area Walgreens had enough Pepto-Bismol in stock for the morning after.

Outback Steakhouse At PNC Park Closes Its Doors

PIRATES OUSTING OUTBACK FROM OUTFIELD OF PNC PARK: Outback is out for the Pirates, as the Aussie-themed eatery at PNC Park has closed its doors:

PNC Park bloomin onion

The PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE reports the restaurant space will be undergoing renovations in time for new dining digs to be ready by next season’s Opening Day.Ballpark visitors hoping to dine at Outback had to purchase a specific ticket package that included food allowances in order to enter the restaurant. Pirates officials plan for the new place to be open to all ticket-holders.

A Christmas Story Poster

Outback’s final day last Friday was a surprise to the restaurant’s workers, who said they weren’t told about the possible closing. In fact, some employees were planning a Christmas party for this Friday. Guess it’s “Bah, Humbug!” for them.The steakhouse isn’t the only nearby eating establishment to close its doors. The Hi-Tops Sports Bar located across the street shut down in October. A consultant blamed the bar’s poor sales on the Pirates’ “chronic losing.”

PNC Park empty seats

Will a new food factory on the foul line bring Pittburgh fans back to the park? It’s certainly an easier attempt than, say, fielding a winning team.