UPDATES | DOUG ELDRIDGE
FOX NEWS: ANTHEM
I was honored to join Neil Cavuto on FOX News, to discuss the controversial revision to the NFL's National Anthem policy. In short, the policy will require any team personnel (including players) to either stand on the sideline and "show respect" or remain in the locker room during the course of the anthem. If any personnel deviate from this, the team itself will be fined by the League and Commissioner Goodell reserves the right to apply "appropriate discipline" separate and apart from the fine.
As I said, to Neil, "I'd liken this to a marathon in that the first 20 miles are the longest, but the last 6 are the hardest and most important. In that sense, this goes a long way toward creating some sense of structure, but the 'loose wording' and lack of specificity means the League has passed a significant mile-marker, but they're no where near a finish line. Ambiguity leagues to gray area and that invariably spells trouble."
Of note, the NFLPA did not have a voice or role in this determination, as it was 'passed' and will be enacted through the Game Operations Manual, not the CBA. //DE
I was happy to join my friends at FOX Baltimore to discuss the scope and impact of a landmark SCOTUS ruling, which 'allowed' organized sports betting in all 50 states.
Prior to this ruling, only four states were 'grandfathered in' and permitted to host organized, off-track gambling across all sports. While the high court's decision didn't 'legalize' sports betting, it did remove the legal barrier for each state to develop its own parameters and pass the necessary legislation to govern the process, one that is estimated to bring in $400B per year. //DE
1st MOTHER'S DAY
On Sunday morning, Alexander and I got up early, made Momma coffee, fixed her favorite breakfast, set out our matching outfits, and filled up the gas tank for a surprise day trip for Hilary's first Mother's Day.
The three of us headed down to Luray Caverns (VA), a place Hilary always wanted to visit and one that I enjoyed tremendously as a young boy. I'm not sure Alexander got the same value that we did, but there's no question the three of us enjoyed every minute of a very special day.
There's nothing like family, and no one like Momma! //DE
FOX: NFL SUIT
Had a chance to do a rare, same day, double-hit with my friends at FOX recently. The first segment was about the legal underpinnings and various moving pieces behind a pending lawsuit by NFL cheerleaders. The second focused on the 2018 NFL Draft and the various storylines across the League, teams, and players.
Television is always a privilege. I don't often mention this, but it merits restating--I built both companies from the ground up with no contacts, colleagues, cousins or favors owed. The fact that we regularly place clients across local, regional, and national media markets is a direct result of the fact that I built those bridges, did that work, and established that credibility MYSELF, sitting in the chair, looking at the anchor, and breaking down the issue into popcorn size pieces. Therefore, any chance I have to sit back down in those same chairs and repay the anchors and producers for giving my clients an opportunity to share their story, I am more than happy to do so! //DE
ABC: NFL DRAFT
Always happy to join Larry Smith and the morning crew at ABC 7, especially when we get to break down the business (and millions of moving pieces) behind the $14B industry of professional football.
The NFL Draft has become a massive, three-day, prime-time event with sponsorship packages stretching across social, digital, and traditional media platforms. It's seven rounds, roughly 250 picks, and months and months of incessant 'Mock Drafts.' (I love rep'ing players and enjoy (mostly) working with teams, but I hate these bullshit Mock Drafts.)
That said, it's important to remember: careers are neither made nor halted with the NFL Draft; it is merely the entry point, it doesn't determine what you do once you get in the League. //DE
Nothing beats family time and Alexander's first Easter Sunday was a wonderful day for his Momma, Daddy, and K-K. From family breakfast, to early morning service, to naps, to Easter baskets, to outfit changes (plural), to afternoon lunch at the Army-Navy Club.
The big guy was all smiles, waves, laughs, and love. His Mom and I couldn't have been happier. God is Good! //DE
EWTN: FINAL FOUR
I was happy to join my friends at EWTN for a segment on media, marketing, and merchandising of the NCAA Final Four.
With roughly $1B in TV/media deals--between CBS and Turner platforms--the NCAA already has a strong revenue stream surrounding the Men's Basketball Tournament. This year, an unlikely character stole the spotlight and with it, the marketing money (on a much smaller scale) for her college: an octogenarian nun, Sister Jean, from Loyola-Chicago. That's not a typo.
Sister Jean signed no less than two dozen licensing agreements, designating Loyola-Chicago as the beneficiary of all monies earned. Pretty amazing. //DE
ABC: KIRK'S DEAL
The most significant move this NFL off-season might have mattered most to the men behind the scenes: NFL Agents.
Kirk Cousins signed a 3-year, $84m contract, which is fully guaranteed. Granted, there are a handful of top-flight QBs who are slated to make more money than Cousins and even some with more total guaranteed money, but none have ever had the entirety of their contract (all 100%) fully guaranteed like Cousins. In that sense, his contract is truly historic and could signal a paradigm shift for NFL contract negotiations moving forward.
This will be a big year for Cousins, as he moves on to Minnesota and a team that was just one play away from making a Super Bowl appearance last year. //DE