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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