Monday, 12 May 2014

A Story of a Haircut

It's not a story that will get told on CNN or in your local paper.  If you browsed around, there might be a dozen newspapers in the entire US that carried the story, and it'd just be forgotten real quick anyway.

So, two guys go for a haircut.

In a normal typical day.....tens of thousands of guys go for a haircut.  Most have a preferred barber.  They have a routine......stepping in...reading the local news....maybe sipping some coffee.  The TV might be on, or the barber might be chatting away on NCAA football, a Baptist revival, or discussing the best way to brew garage-beer.

In this particular case....the barbershop is in Yemen....a far piece from American soil.  The two customers?  One was a CIA guy and the other a Army special forces Lt Col.  It's safe to say....that in Yemen....you do as the locals do, and you carry a gun on you.

For some reason, these two guys were picked from the various folks coming and going at the embassy there in Yemen, and were supposed to be kidnapped.

The kidnapper crew?  I'm not sure if they really had much of a plan, or if the head mullah of the local Muslim facility just said a few magic words and figured it'd all be fine.

Well....our two American guys pull their pistols out and kill the two terrorists.  Reports won't indicate the shape of the barbershop after the event.....but it's safe to say that there's no more issues ever to arise from these two fine young gentlemen of a Muslim orientation.  They've gone to the six-feet under world.

The barber?  Well....there's not much said.  I'm sure he's a bit shaken.  He probably didn't get to finish the haircuts.  And there's probably a reputation about his customers now.....they aren't the type to give easily.

This old world is not a peaceful place....or defined as a friendly place.  You do stupid stuff....you end up six-feet under.  You think about your place in life, and gauge the circumstances of which you'd like to enjoy.  If you don't have much to live for.....obviously, you lack something....as these two young gentlemen did.

The Business of the NFL

I rarely write sport blogs....mostly because I consider the NBA a 'weed' of an operation, major league baseball is fundamentally flawed with fake records, and the NFL is simply the NCAA on steroids.

This weekend....the Saint Louis Rams ended up drafting Michael Sam (the first openly gay NCAA football player)....in the seventh round.  Generally, some wondered if Sam would get picked up by anyone.  The seventh round status?  Well.....it means you don't get a big contract, and it's probable that you last maybe five years max in the NFL unless some coach takes a liking to you and decides you have more talent that recruiters believe.

In the case of Sam?  Most believe he's not really a potential star, and might only be a two-star performer.

Why draft him and the social status business it brings?  Well....it's about empty seats.

You see, in Saint Louis....the Ed Jones Stadium is built for 66,000 fans.  For the eight home games of 2013, they averaged around 56,957 in attendance (ESPN numbers).  Nine thousand empty seats.  You do the math.  It's a fair amount of missing profit.

So, here's this marginal player, with some capability.....who you offer a good basic contract for four years probably.  You push the coach a little to hype the guy, and put the guy into a starting position three or four times in 2014's season.  Maybe start him six times in 2015.  The odds are in your favor that another thousand fans will attend Rams games....only because Michael Sam is gay, and openly so.....and they want to show support.

A thousand more per game, for eight games....figure these are all idiots who'd pay $75 a ticket, and waste another $150 on parking, beer, and food.  Plus, they'd bring a buddy with them.  It adds up.

I hate to suggest that you manipulate a social thing, and use a guy just to get more fans into the stadium.....but if you built something for 66,000 and are missing 9,000.....you are doing something wrong.  Plus....if you pay this guy a limited contract and get 1,000 more fans in the stands....it makes perfect economic sense.

The NFL isn't around for social causes or changing American perceptions.  It's there for profit.  Sam equals profit....no matter how you review the situation.  In five years....he will have shown virtually no real talent and get dumped.  He'll write a book over the period, and then likely get hired by the Today Show to thrill viewers.  And the Today Show will make profit off Sam.  End of the story.