Crisis Response

blaxabbath
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The M — Henderson — 8:44 PM

Seated in a private dining room, higher and more exclusive than any of the host resort’s 390 rooms, the heads of America’s most influential entertainment corporations finish a meal as rich — and still unfulfilling —  as their cloud-obstructed north-looking view of The Strip. Nestled away from the action and the crowds, these on-any-other-day-mega-high-rollers wait for the help to finish clearing the tables so they can continue their conversation.

Adam Silver: Here’s the bottom line, we’re plenty fortunate that our only real job is broker the play of these devoted professionals. So what if we have to take off a couple months? The fans will come back hungrier than ever but plenty appreciative that we didn’t listen to the feds and get everyone sick. And you know we’ll make it all back on the municipalities after the fact.

Rob Manfred: Oh easy for you to say! Nothing happens in the NBA until the last week of May anyways. We’re in Spring Training here — it’s the way we make all the money necessary to afford those empty stadiums for a third of the year! Look, people are going to be exposed. They know the risks. And if they are planning on going out — be it to a basketball game or a movie or a food truck round up — they’re going to find somewhere else to spend their dollars and develop their 2020 spring and summer habits. By the way, did that busboy seem to be trying to hold in a cough?


Niki Caro: That’s why we’re all meeting tonight, Rob! I’m delaying Mulan’s release. I know you all have to cancel with your crowds of thousands at a pop. I could have the entire entertainment market to myself for the next two weeks by simply paying for an ad in People. So don’t act like I’m here to victimize you, Manfred! You can’t even go one season without some player or team who is the face of your sport getting caught cheating.

Dan Snyder: Listen. This is not hard. This is a time of global crisis. Global. This is where we, as the greatest nation on the planet, get together and say, “don’t fucking worry about our stupid government, Republicans tend to create global crises when give power for more than 23 months. We’re putting our neighbors first.” This is about the American Spirit!

Silver: Don’t give me that shit, Dan! The Shield didn’t even bother to send a rep tonight. You’re here representing the advertising industry’s interests.

Snyder: An industry that can have up cancelation stamps over every Lakers billboard by Monday morning rush hour. Just say the word.

Manfred: No the American Spirit is about freedom. We aren’t commies. And it only hurts the elderly anyways! I mean, we not going to keep selling cars to the public because, like, some dude on probation runs down a family? Right? No no no — we keep things open. It’s life as usual. We might even get some good tweets! They got no hope against this virus thing but they know how to tweet millions in losses to us. Nah — no. This is just hysteria.

Caro: That simply can not be. There has to be some kind of room for compromise. Limited crows sizes and heightened safety? Temperature checks?

Manfred: No! Nothing! Do you hear me? THE! GAMES! WILL! CONTINUE!

— DOOR FLIES OPEN —

Mustachioed Man in the Glasses  Well, if you all wouldn’t mind excusing my lateness now. It seems you all arrived early enough to take the best hangers just across the street at the Henderson Executive Airport.

Manfred: This is a closed meeting sir. So I’m not sure who let you in here but I’ve been to all of these and have never seen you so how about you give the powerful their space.

Mustachioed Man: Well, that’s because this is my first visit. Elbert Spring, Insurance Broker to the Elite. Pleased to make your acquaintance.

Manfred: Please. I’ve been doing business with Elbert Spring for a decade.

Mustachioed Man: But have you ever met him?

The man removes a Caran d’Ache Astrograph rollerball from his breast pocket and flips over the desert menu resting on the end of the table. His arm sweeping gracefully about the sheet while his left wrist twists the paper as the pen tail slowly detracts from the medium. He holds up the signature.

Silver: Goodness! That is the exact signature! I first saw it on the Lonzo Ball Insurance Policy. We’ve done so much business but only by mail. It is so good to meet you in person, Mr Spring.

Snyder: No way! I’ve done business with Spring for 15 years!

Spring: Yes, I appreciate that business very much. The little Reagan quote on your email signature made me become a Republican you know? That’s right. Gipper nailed it saying we needed to be one nation divided.

Snyder: Yeah, that was a good one. Wife was a huge whore, you know? Learned that from Robert Kraft.

Spring: So let me cut to the chase, ladies and gentlemen. This — this — virus. Is it a bit overblown? Sure. Is the panic as much the lack of leadership as it is the threat of illness? Yes. Bu bottom line, this isn’t a decision for us to make tonight. It’s a decision that was made 200 years ago. When you can help your neighbor, you do so. When making the call to cancel an event so people are safe, do so with confidence that you’re helping your community. Like it not, we are part of the fabric that is the United States — and, furthermore the numbers on your claims and premiums tell the same story — current events must be shut down.

Manfred: For how long?

Spring: Until August.

Manfred: Excuse me?

Caro: Ummmm, theaters are literally a week away from showing just two shows a day and charging $100 per ticket. Why would they stay shut a day longer

Spring: You think you can take the proper precautions. You say you care about the fans. I’m not going to look ten days into the future when everyone is side-eyeing their seatmate and secretly scolding you for letting in a potential hazard. I’m not going to look a week in the future where Joe Everyman gets nagged by his bored and exhausted wife to take her out to the one thing going on in town and ending up paying $367 for two tickets to 6am Jumanji and half a popcorn. I’m going to look ahead only to that re-opening day where the fathers are bringing their sons to the game because, dang it Rob, they missed America’s great summer pastime and, in his heart, Dad knowns and appreciates that you didn’t thump your chest and cry about buying tickets to Spring Training because of The American Spirit, which he knows is paired with The American Flesh, which is spongy and bruised.

Silver: But August will have cost us our whole playoffs. And the NFL will be on schedule. The NFL will consume the sports landscape and anyone who tries to wedge in there will surely be destroyed.

Spring: Right. You call the season and for another ten years your talking heads can debate what LeBron could have or wouldn’t have been with a full 2020! This is the long game. This is small percentage of your paycheck that you grab and throw into your 401k when the market is down. And the market is down, gentlemen.

Caro: Ahem.

Spring: Listen darling. I was right about bringing in real snakes on your set. It looks as great and you didn’t lose one day on the film! And I was right about the NBA looking the other way on players smoking weed. Any one lawsuit would cost you $100 million minimum!  I was right about just killing the Astros thing about one news cycle. Look at me — I’m right!

Manfred: Mark my words. You wait til August and people just forget about their midyear habits. They spend Saturdays enjoying the weather, reading books, and sitting by the lake. They assemble in small neighborhood gatherings where they know everyone is being prudent and safe and, most of all, they remember how bad we gave it to them. The shock of $14 beers on gameday returns. They wonder why they should be paying to upgrade your stadiums when their local parks aren’t even clean enough to host youth soccer games on Sundays. We have to be up in some kind of capacity — playing in half-full high school stadiums or an amended basis with complete television access — within two weeks or we all become the biggest victims of this pandemic.

Spring: I appreciate your enthusiasm but I did not budget time for a conversation. Read your policies. You close the doors now, earn some goodwill, and everyone will be made whole for what you’ve done in 2020. Push the issue to the weekend and I look forward to hearing the conversations about your judgement at the pubs on Sunday morning during the Newmantle game or whatever.

Caro: This is not how these conversations work now, Mr Spring! Now please step back in and —

Spring: This is how tonight’s conversation goes. Now, you may waste your time discussing further but, if I were any of you, I may want to race to see who is early enough to not be criticized for being too late on this decision. But what do I know? I’m just a name on a piece of paper. A very powerful piece of paper.

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blaxabbath
blaxabbath
I sat on a jury years ago, 2nd degree attempted murder case. One day the defendant wore sneakers with his suit to court. It was that day I knew he was guilty.
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clint greasewood

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Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

The American Flesh, which is spongy and bruised.

The American Mind, however, is very much willing.

Old School Zero

The orgy has not been cancelled; I repeat, the orgy is still on.

theeWeeBabySeamus

The orgy is still on who? Or is it whom?

bk109

Utterly unrelated, a “funneh”
comment image

LemonJello

This is accurate.

bk109

Yep, I know.. When I was doing my conscripted service, I got a fuckwad go nuclear on me for having swiss army knife on my belt (that was apparently a massive danger to myself and others) all the while I had a machine gun (a PKM 7,62×54) with a 250round belt and several offensive (blast/concussion only) and defensive grenades (fragmentation grenades that have a 200meter “effective” range). Life IZ weird 😀

ArmedandHammered

At least no sports has allowed me to do look diversify my interests:

Old School Zero

For some reason this makes me think that luxury biohazard bunkers are going to be all the rage for the uber-wealthy in the near future… anybody wanna run a scam with me down in Silicon Valley?

bk109

“are going” ? No offence, but ya missed the boat on that one by a long, long, looooooong time 😀 You’d be surprised how many old ICBM bunkers are now really swanky pads to ride out the apocalypse… What really warms my cold, black ooze of a heart is that I find it amusing that these places have round the clock caretakers, which once the NBCG shit goes down can decide not to actually open up, ’cause .. “what’s the worst that could happen?” … it’s not like the paycheques they’d collect will have any worth whatsoever 😀

Old School Zero

Awww, man… I miss out on all the good scams… /kicks a rock which then hits a Juicero

bk109

Could be worse, lol. I’ve personally thrown a hard-drive full o’ bitcoin in a skip, ’cause back then I was using that shit as a stability test for GPUs and CPUs at work and btc’s were like cents (and hard as fuck to convert into real money). I can guarrantee, howver, that I REAAAALLY don’t want to think how much money was that (only thing I’m dead sure of was that it was north of 500 BTC’s 😀 )

bk109

‘olla y’all… How’re you handling the terrible realization that there are no sports to stick to for the time being? I personally am using it as an excuse to teach the kiddos how to swing a baseball bat – it’s fun as shit an’ honestly, given the quality of the MLB preseason not that bad a substitution 😀

ArmedandHammered

Now is the time for eSports to come into their own. You don’t have to be in the same location, your audience is watching a live stream and just like normal sports, nobody watching really understands the rules!

bk109

Nah… training your kids to play sports for your amusement seems better XD Though to be fair, the kiddos seem more interested in how tanks work and why they Daddy can’t shoot the 125mm at least once XD

ArmedandHammered

I got tired of dealing with the other parents, the kids were fine. I was always just let the kids play, but there is always some asshole who is acting like the game was deciding the fate of nations.

bk109

Ah, yeah, I’m doing it alone with the kiddos … Benefit of having 4 (and the warm embrace of death statistically a long way away from me) is that you can forego other parents (at times) and still have enough kids to drink/have fun/ both 😀

theeWeeBabySeamus

This morning I took Mom to her hair appt and then to get groceries. Then, on the way home, she said this…

“Maybe we should stop at the ABC store”

Now, ABC stands for Alcoholic Beverage Control. That’s how we do it in red states apparently. State owned and operated. But Mom has NEVER said before “Maybe we should stop at the ABC store”.

Why Mom?

“Well, having alcohol is never a bad thing in a crisis. It can even be used as a disinfectant”.

At which point I started laughing uncontrollably. But we gotz a shitload of booze now.

nomonkeyfun

Your Mom sounds like a DFOer.

theeWeeBabySeamus

Mom would put Sill in his grave before he ever saw it coming.
(see it’s funny because he works on eyes)

ArmedandHammered

Holy crap, well written. I was just thinking about this last night, if this goes on till August the NFL will clean up from a sports hungry nation. Glad to see Goodel, I mean Spring is on the case.

nomonkeyfun

Wait where’s Bettman?

/rereads opening paragraph

the heads of America’s most influential entertainment corporations

Oh, never mind then.

LemonJello

Is it wrong that I was hoping for a Mark Davis appearance?

ArmedandHammered

He was the busboy coughing on their food.