I did not want to write this week. What more can I say other than what has already been said after yet another callous, atrocious, evil, and (perhaps worst of all) familiar mass shooting in this country? Since this is a Sports and Entertainment blog, it is convenient to highlight the pre-game press conference from the other day by Golden State Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr — though they have nothing to do with sports and everything to do with common sense and exasperation with the utter inaction that predictably sets the stage for more carnage. “When are we going to do something? I’m tired, I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families that are out there. I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.” If you have not already, watch the full speech, hang onto every word and do something, anything not just to push for legislative action, but also to restore some light to this world.
If you’re like me, you could probably use some levity. As long as you’re here we might as well get into this week’s "Spotlight:"
- Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) is the latest musician to forge a collaboration with a fast-food restaurant, going from YEEZY to greasy as he teased a redesign of McDonald’s packaging. Seems like the perfect partnership for debuting the “Yappy Meal.”
- In what is almost too seamless a transition from the Ye news, like her ex-husband, Kim Kardashian is also jumping into the food world having been named Beyond Meat’s “Chief Taste Consultant.” Seems like the perfect partnership for debuting the — oops, I already used that one. How about…because if there’s one thing Beverly Hills knows, it’s being fake.
- As debate rages on about name, image and likeness deals as a recruiting tool, new deals continue to be struck, including one by collegiate-branded clothier, Reveal Suits for the Villanova University Football Team. Finally, a suit that the NCAA welcomes.
Welcome back to the "Spotlight," welcome back to allergy season and welcome back, Kotter (I swear I’m younger than that reference would indicate). At any rate, this weekend, I am looking forward to welcoming Broadway back to my life, as my wife and I are slated to see the revival of “The Music Man,” starring Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster. Normally, I would be less than thrilled for my wife to be in the same room as Hugh Jackman, but this particular musical holds a special place in my heart and in Bloomgarden family lore. Indeed, it was my grandfather Kermit Bloomgarden who produced the original Tony Award winning production of back in 1957 (by the way, he also produced and won Tony Awards for the original Broadway productions of The Diary of Anne Frank, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible and Equus). Unfortunately, I had met Kermit only through my dad’s stories of childhood around show business – one of the most noted in my mind being Kermit in the living room of his apartment discussing business with Arthur Miller, while Miller’s wife at the time, Marilyn Monroe (yes, that Marilyn Monroe) and my dad played. Pretty amazing stuff, and a large part of why I chose to break into the entertainment industry, that and because I never had the stomach to get into my dad’s chosen field of medicine. What can I say? I guess I’m drawn to the spotlight as I hope you are to this week’s "Spotlight…"
- While the NCAA plods along through the NIL era, boosters in NIL collectives are taking full advantage of using NIL as a recruiting tool, while tiptoeing around “pay-for-play.” But if the NCAA thinks its name is its favorite four-letter word, just wait. California is moving ever closer toward passing legislation requiring its universities’ football and basketball programs to share 50 percent of their revenues with their collegiate athletes.
- No sooner do we bid adieu to the Apple iPod, but LimeWire, one of the 2000s peer-to-peer filesharing services that enabled iPods to be loaded with “free” music (much to the dismay of the record industry) appears to be older, wiser and aiming to break back into the mainstream, entering into a content licensing deal with Universal Music Group for LimeWire’s NFT-licensing platform. If a major record company can mend fences with a filesharing service after over twenty years, it gives me hope that my Tamagotchi might forgive me for the years of neglect through that same period.
- In the wake of several high-profile arrests and indictments of hip-hop artists in which song lyrics were used as evidence against them, New York passed the first-of-its-kind legislation, prohibiting that practice. Shaggy need no longer hide behind the denials of “It Wasn’t Me.” With any luck, the use of law blogs as evidence will similarly be prohibited so that I can feel free to reveal my darkest secrets. Just kidding….or am I…? I am.
Welcome back to the "Sports & Entertainment Spotlight," your 30,000 foot view of the various goings-on in the sports and entertainment industries. This week, I am writing from, well, 30,000 feet flying cross country to soak up all that Seattle has to offer (not the least of which being raindrops) for our firm’s retreat. Amidst that backdrop comes news of the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I Board of Directors’ seemingly returning from its retreat and offering “guidance” about the name, image and likeness (NIL) collectives popping up throughout the country. Seeking to address the concern that these collectives are being used to skirt NCAA rules against providing financial benefits in return for committing to play sports at the collectives’ preferred universities, the NCAA has, for the first time in nearly 10 months since its interim NIL rules came down, spoken — rather ambiguously, on the topic. They claim that past instances may be enforced depending on severity, but in characteristic fashion, have remained vague on what exactly that means. What’s more, were the NCAA to take action, it is like that it would find itself right back in the court system litigating antitrust issues. Again, it did not all have to be like this, but after years of inaction, the NCAA is sleeping in the bed that it made for itself. It is looking more likely that Congress will have to take up the mantle to provide definitive direction, but in an election year, we may have to wait until next term for any legislation to come up for vote. Fortunately, the Spotlight moves quicker (and is much less dysfunctional) than Congress:
- Nickelodeon is set to broadcast a National Football League game on Christmas Day. My humble suggestion is that they brand it as the “Most Wonderful Slime of the Year.” My not so humble suggestion is that if Nickelodeon uses that, they should provide me with four tickets to that game.
- Those of you concerned about Tom Brady’s financial security when (if?) he eventually retires from the NFL can cancel your plans for fundraising bake (unlikely to have been TB12-approved anyway) breathe a sigh of relief, as he stands to make $375 million over 10 seasons as Fox Sports’ NFL broadcaster. About time that guy caught a break.
- Formula 1 racing continues its rise to popularity, bringing out celebrities en masse to the Inaugural Miami Grand Prix on par with the number of celebrities in attendance at the Kentucky Derby – though the latter lacked significantly less horsepower than the former.
Live from New York it’s…wait, that’s not right. Two weeks off, and I’ve forgotten how I open these…ah, yes…
Welcome back (both to me and to you) to the “Spotlight.” I would love to be able to say that my batteries are fully charged having been on family “vacation” on a beach, but I did not get as much rest and relaxation as I was hoping for. I will have to chalk it up as a learning experience, but traveling (let alone parenting) with two young children — in the midst of a pandemic, no less — is really hard. That this vacation was actually a trip is something I should have seen coming.
Something we regrettably all should have seen coming following “The Slap” at this year’s Academy Awards, was more on-stage violence directed at a stand-up comedian. This time, it was Dave Chappelle on the receiving end of an audience member’s attempted tackle in the middle of Chappelle’s set at The Hollywood Bowl during the “Netflix is a Joke” comedy festival. The motives of the assailant are unknown at this time, but it would not be farfetched to wonder whether the attacker was someone offended by Chappelle’s jokes. Call me old fashioned, but I remember a time when people would respond with words — not violence —when someone did not like a comedian’s jokes. Indeed, there is even a special title reserved for such a person in stand-up comedy: “a heckler.” Here’s hoping that for comedy’s (and safety’s) sake, these are mere blips.
Another thing we all could have seen coming?
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