Friday, July 9, 2010

The Owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers is an Illiterate, Deranged, Hypocritical Jackass and LeBron James is Good to be Rid of Him

This is why I hate professional sports. There's just nobody to root for.

The players are narcissists! The owners are narcissists! At least with the players, one can admire their athletic skill. And, to be fair, they're not all bad. Some of them make appearances at children's hospitals, I've heard.

The owners, however, are all bad. Believing themselves entitled to my money to build their "stadiums" even though I could not give less of a shit who is wearing which uniform as they "dunk" their "balls" into "baskets" or whatever it is that they do.

Today, I inadvertently found myself reading an open letter to a character called LeBron James, from another character called Dan Gilbert. Mr. James apparently played for a team owned by Mr. Gilbert, the Cleveland Cavaliers. (For some reason, there is a professional sports team in Cleveland Ohio that is named after supporters of King Charles I during the English civil war in 1642.) Mr. James recently -- last night, apparently -- decided to stop "dunking balls" in a "Cavaliers" jersey, and start "dunking balls" for a team in Miami, Florida called "The Heat." (Yes, it's a team named after a thermodynamic process.)

Mr. James apparently made public his decision to "switch teams" in a one-hour special on that waste of cable space, ESPN. This is a cable channel that specializes in promoting the private corporations that take tax money to put on exhibitions ("sporting events") that I will not watch because I resent having my money used to put them on. Some people were interested enough in this nonsense that they turned off "Wipeout" (a show co-hosted by an ESPN "anchor") to watch.

That is someone else in the professional sports world to dislike, actually. The television "reporters" who promote these businesses.

Anyway, Mr. James's decision, which was made for his own personal reasons and I have no idea of what they are (he wants a "title"?), has raised the ire of Mr. Gilbert. He feels betrayed, somehow. And it motivated him to write an embarrassing, illiterate, and deranged open letter to the "fans" (or, as the French call them, "Le Suckers") of his privately-owned but publicly-funded sports corporation, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The letter is kind of fascinating. First of all, the font chosen was comic sans. Comic sans is not a font that anyone in a serious position in any business environment should ever choose, for anything. Not even for those notes that you post in the break room, that remind employees to take their food home every Friday, because the refrigerator will be cleaned out by the janitorial staff.

I am serious. This team owner, supposedly a businessman who wants to be taken seriously, used comic sans for his venting, tirade-filled open letter to his "fans." I took a picture of part of the letter to prove it to you:

That should give you some warning that this ridiculous man is not to be taken seriously. That first impression is reinforced by the fact that he followed the letter's salutation with a semicolon.

A salutation is followed by a comma or a colon. A semicolon is intended to be placed between two related but independent clauses that are not joined by any kind of conjunction. Opening a letter with such punctuation is nonsense.

But how can a man so filled with righteous indignation over a hometown hero's betrayal be expected to get his punctuation right? After all, he's the one who is non-cynically trying to do what's best for the people of Cleveland, Ohio.
The good news is that the ownership team and the rest of the hard-working, loyal, and driven staff over here at your hometown Cavaliers have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you.
Whenever I read anything like this, it just makes me want to cry. Because this man is a millionaire, and he actually writes for public consumption sentences that read "have not betrayed you nor NEVER will betray you."

But let's leave aside the awkward syntax for a moment and check the content of that sentence. Implicit in this letter is that Mr. James is a greedy narcissist who did only what was best for himself in deciding to go to Miami. While the staff of the "hometown" Cavaliers want only what is best for "the hometown."

That is a load of bullshit, pardon my language. Mr. Gilbert is far more greedy, cynical, and narcissistic than Mr. James could ever hope to be.

First of all, Mr. Gilbert might be a little upset with Mr. James because his leaving Cleveland's team of Charles I supporters could end up costing him a substantial amount of money. In 2007, he made a deal with a sports network to cover his team's games. Thanks to Mr. James, that deal was quite a bit larger than in the past:
Owner Dan Gilbert continues to reap the benefits of superstar forward LeBron James. FSN Ohio agreed this summer to pay the Cavs an estimated $25 million in its new broadcast contract, double its prior deal. Last season ticket prices jumped 8% (more than double the NBA average) and attendance was fifth highest in the league. Six home playoff games also added millions to the Cavs coffers. And the best news of all for Gilbert: LeBron signed a 3-year contract extension that keeps him a Cavalier until at least 2010.
As you can see from the above quote, Mr. James's presence on the team also helped Mr. Gilbert to jack up the ticket prices, and increased the number of tickets sold.

So, you can see how Mr. Gilbert is concerned for the betrayed people of Cleveland.

He was concerned enough to use the 2009 season opening game to "get out the vote" for a special ballot initiative:
Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert got to appear on video screens during his team's home opener to urge fans to vote in favor of legalized casinos in Ohio. "Keep the jobs here. Keep the tax dollars here," Gilbert told the sellout crowd, who'd already received handouts urging the same thing.

Not mentioned by Gilbert, so far as I can tell: That the referendum would give his company exclusive rights to build casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati. It's nice to have your own captive audience.
You see how selfless is Mr. Gilbert, and his concern for the people of Cleveland.

He's so concerned that he switched the team's ticketing service.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will switch from Ticketmaster to Veritix as part of an effort to allow all fans to enter the arena without paper tickets.

Starting Oct. 1, Veritix will be the official ticket provider for events at The Q, including all concerts and Cavaliers games. The change means all tickets to events there can be purchased using Flash Seats, a Veritix technology that provides paperless entry to the arena and a Web site for reselling tickets.

A fee will be charged for reselling tickets, but the amount has not be determined, team officials said. Previously, someone buying a Cavs ticket from a season ticket holder on Flash Seats paid a 20 percent fee.

Event-goers will still have the option of a paper ticket that can be presented at the gate. Tickets sold by Ticketmaster to events held at The Q after Oct. 1 will still be honored and will not have to be exchanged.

Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is the majority owner of Veritix. The Cavs, Veritix and Ticketmaster settled a lawsuit in May that paved the way for the departure of Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster's contract with the Cavs, which controls The Q, was not due to expire until the end of the Cavs 2009-2010 season.
"The Q" is "Quicken Loans Arena," which is the stadium in which the Cavaliers joust. How did that stadium get its name? It's another example of Mr. Gilbert's concern for the people of Cleveland, and the plucky business owners helping to bring that city back to life:
Included in Dan Gilbert's 2005 purchase of the Cleveland Cavaliers was Gund Arena, named after the team's previous owner. Gilbert decided to change the name to Quicken Loans Arena, giving free publicity to the company he founded and chairs.

Speaking of the people of Cleveland, they have done a lot more for Mr. Gilbert than just buy tickets. They've also helped support the stadium in which the team plays, and help Mr. Gilbert make even more money in the process.
The Q, as it is known, is owned by the Gateway Economic Development Corp., a non-profit organization set up to operate both the arena and Progressive Field.

Most of the cost of both sports facilities has been borne by the taxpayers of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County.

So, I for one resent that Gilbert can sell a portion of the Q arena to anyone.

But the fact that sticks in my craw and should anyone else’s is that Gilbert and the foreign investors sort of do OWN the place that we paid for and operate.

That’s because in the sweetheart lease the owners of the team have full use of the arena even when the Cavs are not playing. So every other event and its profits go to the owners, not the taxpayers.

So since the Q draws some two million customers at some 200 events, a lot of money that should go to the owners – us - goes to the sports franchise owner.
The owners of the team get the profits from other events at the stadium? Well, I suppose the Cavaliers owner had to make his money somewhere, since there are only about 41 home games a year.

Oh, and the "foreign investors" mentioned above are an investment group from China, who came in to help the team "stabilize" its finances in order to help re-sign LeBron James.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have signed an agreement with an investment group from China to become minority owners of the NBA franchise and its arena, a partnership that could impact superstar LeBron James’ future with the team.

The Asian conglomerate, which includes JianHua Huang, a Chinese businessman who has brokered sponsorship deals with the New York Yankees and other sports franchises in the U.S., could acquire up to 15 percent of Cavaliers Operating Company, the entity that owns the team and operates Quicken Loans Arena.
Obviously, Mr. Gilbert cares a lot more about the people of Cleveland than Mr. James does. That's why he's spent so much time and energy manipulating them, taking their money to line his own pockets, and using them in the service of his own massive ego. That is why I certainly agree with him when he writes in his open letter:
You have given so much and deserve so much more.
And Mr. Gilbert is just the man to stick give it to you, apparently:

You can take it to the bank.

If you thought we were motivated before tonight to bring the hardware to Cleveland, I can tell you that this shameful display of selfishness and betrayal by one of our very own has shifted our "motivation" to previously unknown and previously never experienced levels
I shudder to think of the levels of manipulation and chicanery this rotten man will resort to in order to display his renewed "motivation." And then there's this nonsense:
Some people think they should go to heaven but NOT have to die to get there.

Sorry, but that's simply not how it works.

This shocking act of disloyalty from our home grown "chosen one" sends the exact opposite lesson of what we would want our children to learn. And "who" we would want them to grow-up to become.

But the good news is that this heartless and callous action can only serve as the antidote to the so-called "curse" on Cleveland, Ohio.

The self-declared former "King" will be taking the "curse" with him down south. And until he does "right" by Cleveland and Ohio, James (and the town where he plays) will unfortunately own this dreaded spell and bad karma.
Illiterate, scarily deranged, and hypocritical (should our children be learning how to behave from Mr. Gilbert?). No wonder LeBron James wanted out of Cleveland.

Would you want to work for the man capable of writing such a letter?

LeBron James is taking his ball and getting away from Dan Gilbert.

LeBron James pic source.

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