Tuesday, September 26, 2017

NFL Players Will Become Involuntary Owners

The smart NFL team franchise owners are planning their exit strategies as this post is being written. They are talking to their accountants and lawyers, figuring out ways to avoid losing millions and perhaps billions of dollars before NFL players totally destroy the value of the League and all 32 franchises.  The Dallas Cowboys franchise is estimated to be worth $4.8 billion on the high end, and the Buffalo Bills worth $1.6 on the low end.

That's a lot of money at risk.  The values of teams have been based primarily upon the revenue stream generated from television advertising more than market size, tickets, hot dogs, souvenirs, winning streaks and goodwill.  TV advertisers pay more when audiences are bigger.  When attendance and audience size drops, advertising revenue will drop and there won't be enough money to pay the team's debts, those future payments to the players due under multimillion dollar contracts.  Eventually, less fans means not enough money to pay the players.  

Today these franchise investments are at risk because of the offensive conduct of the NFL players.  Players are excelling at offending and turning off fans and audiences.  We've see the hip gyrations and crotch grab by such players as former Seattle Seahawk Marshawn Lynch, Seahawk receiver Doug Baldwin pretending to “poop” out a football during Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, and recently Giants receiver Odell Beckham pretending to urinate on the field like a dog.  Class acts, all.  Now, the players seem hellbent on disrespecting the National Anthem and those who honor our country.  

At the same time, some vocal players think they are smarter than owners, coaches and referees.  Look at Seahawk Richard Sherman's recent on-field arguing with his coaches and referee.  Look at Colin Kaepernick.  He wasn't fired by the owner but rather opted out of his long-term contract, thinking he could do better on his own.  Oops.  More than just deciding to ignore basic football economics and the National Anthem, players will soon elect to ignore coaches and owners. It is just a matter of time before NFL players predictably decide they should be in control of the teams and that they should run the League.  

And, this will be the exit strategy of the smart owners looking for a way to unload their diminishing investments. While current owners will bank dwindling revenues now, players will be offered (although they will probably demand) an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) whereby they agree to restructure their future contract payments by instead accepting ownership shares in the team franchise.  Historically, some marginally profitable or failing companies have been turned over to union members to own and operate.  Invariably, the employees (i.e., players) will elect to take over a floundering business, rather than see it fail entirely and lose their jobs with it. The ESOP promises to pay the player in the future by selling his shares when he retires and then giving him the money. Egomaniacal players can be convinced this is in their best interests.  

Don't be fooled by these owners taking a knee with the players "as a sign of unity."  The owners are simply buying time to figure out their exit strategy while the franchise is still worth something, though quickly losing value.  They may just dump them on the players.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Who Killed Joe Camel?

Almost 15 years ago in November of 1998, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began the Clinton Administration's last assault on Joe Camel, an advertising character created and then owned by RJR Nabisco Holdings Corporation (RJR), contending that RJR was using the character to lure young smokers.  The FTC was seeking to force RJR to sign an order banning the company from using Joe Camel in any future cigarette advertisements.  RJR, involved in a lawsuit and under pressure from Congress and other "pubic interest" groups, had already voluntarily ended its use of Joe Camel in July of 1997.  Still, the FTC continued to kick Joe Camel in the head afer he was down.  Such can be the power and character of some federal agencies and bureaus.  

Joe Camel, RIP, July 12, 1997 

It has been asked, "Who is next, Ronald McDonald?" Can any survive such an attack? It seemed to me at the time that consequences for freedom of speech were involved, or perhaps for freedom of choice. Yet, much can be done in the name of "protecting" the children or some other group. What might truly motivate those in positions of power? Think about it. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hawaii Bar and Bone Fish Exam

By February 2012, I'd been studying on-and-off for about 6 months to take the Hawaii Bar Exam.  I'd gotten a copy of Hawaii Criminal Code, Evidence Rules, Civil Rules, Criminal Rules and down-loaded various subjects as I thought of them to review.
The real effort began about Thanksgiving of 2011, when an on-line bar refresher course was available to me--  the Kaplan Bar Review (Hawaii).  Wow!  Things have changed since I last studied for the Arizona Bar Exam (1983), studying out of one large book.  In short, there is now no limit to how much reading, watching, listening, testing, reviewing and practice an applicant can do to prepare for a bar exam.  The written materials came in two or three big boxes.


The first real order of business became to thin out the materials to what I'd realistically be able to (or want to) study.  More than half the volumes had to be thrown away, including practice exams.  On-line practice tests were to be taken only until I understood how to answer them and obtain a better than 50% result.  There would simply not be enough time to do everything. 

The remaining materials had to be put into an order that would show progress-- namely, lists that could be measured, completed and checked off.  The key would be to stay optimistic by seeing results.  Otherwise, sitting before a computer or book for hours upon hours, day after day, week after week, would be discouraging.


In short-- step by step, page by page, paragraph by paragraph, video by video--  each goal was checked off. Finally, I would visually see that I'd completed not everything, but what I reasonably believed could be achieved.

My advice to younger, future applicants-- don't try to read and do everything  possible.  Just study and memorize enough to reach your comfortable saturation point.  Beyond that, you'll only get discouraged.  Treat the materials as if you're preparing one of the most important two-day jury trials you'll ever have in your career.  That's workable.  That's do-able.

Well, the process worked.  I took the February 2012 Hawaii Bar Exam along with about 180 other applicants.  About 98% of the others were younger than I.  A good group of people.  After two full days, the test was over.  (In May I was notified that I had passed the exam, and could be admitted at a ceremony in June, which I attended in Honolulu and was sworn in).  I'm thinking that, having sat and passed the Washington State Bar Exam (1974), Arizona Bar Exam (1983), and now Hawaii (2012), there probably won't be a fourth effort.  This is enough.

Following the taking of the exam, I took a little time to go fly fishing for Bone Fish.  While studying for the examination, I'd relaxed by studying Bone Fish and flies.  It looks like I'd organized the Bone Fish subject the same way as all the Hawaii legal subjects-- 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

On Writing

In the February 2013 Edition of "Arizona Attorney," the official journal of the State Bar of Arizona, there is an excellent article titled "Writing Maketh an Exact Man" written by Attorney Robert J. McWhirter.  Here are excerpts which I found particular good--

Preparation before writing is important--

If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax. -- Abraham Lincoln.

The purpose of the brief--

The secret ambition of every brief should be to spare the judge the necessity of engaging in any work, mental or physical. -- Mortimer Levitan

Brevity and clarity are essential in a well-written legal brief--

A judge who realizes that a brief is wordy will skim it; one who finds a brief terse and concise will read every word. -- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia and Bryan Garner

Write well--

Be clear, so the audience understands what is being said.
Be interesting, so the audience will want to listen to what is being said.
Be persuasive, so the audience will agree with what is being said.  -- Cicero

The issue--

You need to give the court a reason you should win that the judge could explain in a sentence or two to a non-lawyer friend.  U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia and Bryan Garner

The conclusion--

The conclusion in a brief is not just the major thing.  It's the only thing.  -- Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Joe Hipp Update

Joe "The Boss" Hipp still has it.  The following excerpts are from the Flathead Beacon newspaper in Kalispell, Montana.  The article, entitled "UPDATE: Browning Boxing Legend Joe Hipp Returns to the Hometown Ring" by Dillon Tabish.  The photo is also from the Flathead Beacon.  The link to the entire article is below. 
By Dillion Tabish, Flathead Beacon, July 14, 2012:

Former world champion Joe Hipp returned to the boxing ring in his hometown last weekend for the first time in seven years.

Hipp won in the fifth round with a TKO against Harry Funmaker in Browning on July 14. Hipp hiked his lifetime record to 44-7 with 30 knockouts. It was his first fight since 2005. Known during his career as "The Boss," Hipp was the first Native American to fight for a world heavyweight championship and also win one. In 1995, he fought Bruce Seldon for the WBA title at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in
Las Vegas. He won the WBF title in 1999. Hipp was inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.

"You just never get tired of boxing," he said during weigh-ins at Burton Boxing in Kalispell on July 13. "And my grandkids wanted to see me fight."

Browning's Joe Hipp holding championship belts he won throughout his professional boxing career. - Dillon Tabish/Flathead Beacon

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Basic Fly Fishing - Part 1

Last summer I decided to sign up for a "basic" fly fishing course offered through the local community college extension course catalog.  It sounded simple enough-- learn about flying fishing, practice casting, catch a fish.

As soon as the class started, I knew there was far more to fly fishing than tying a hook to a line.  It sounded like a college Entomology class-- the study of fresh-water insects, their eggs, larva, pupa, emergers, dunns, spinners-- particularly the life cycles of the May Fly, Baetis Fly, Caddis Fly and Stone Fly, plus some mosquitoes, grasshoppers, ants and crane flies. 
It was overwhelming.  So, I decided to study and break it down into its basic essentials-- all to make it easy and enjoyable.  Here's what I learned.

(1) Mayfly, Caddis Fly, Stone Fly and Other Insects.  There's a lot of talk about these different flies.  There are hundreds of variations of each type, but once you sort through all the technical information, it comes down to this--

MAYFLIES (once hatched and out of the water and flying around) come in different colors, but essentially they are (a) sort of small-- averaging about a half inch-- and they can be recognized by (b) their wings, which sort of stand up like the sails on a sailboat, and (c) the three long tails.  See the first picture at the top, which is a Mayfly.  "Mayflies" also include BAETIS FLIES, which are just another variation of Mayflies.

CADDISFLIES (once they are hatched out of the water and are flying around in the air) are (a) about the same size as Mayflies, but maybe a little bigger, and are recognizable by (b) wings are swept back and (c) the two long antennae.  The second picture is a Caddisfly. 

STONE FLIES (once they hatch and are out of the water and are flying around in the air) are (a) much bigger than than Mayflies and Caddisflies, being an inch or more, (b) the wings are back against the body, and (c) there is a prominent forked tail.  The third picture is a Stone Fly. 

I purposely found pictures that show a man's thumb or finger for perspective. 

MIDGES (such as small gnats and the small mosquito and its cousins) are of interest to the fly-fisherman , as are OTHER "fresh water flies" such as the larger dragon (damsel) fly and the crane fly.  These flying insects also have lives that start as eggs in the water.  TERRESTRIALS are ants, beetles and grasshoppers (insects which live on the land, but might fall or get blown into the water by the wind).  But, most of the fly-fishing talk discusses the Mayfly, Caddisfly, Stone Fly and "midges." 

(2) Most of the action is under the water. I always thought that insects grew up on land and sometimes flew over a lake or stream, and that's when the big fish noticed the flying insect and jumped out of the water to eat the insect in the air--  all the fly-fisherman had to do was dangle a line over the water with a look-a-like artificial fly tied to a hook, and the fish would jump into the air and swallow the hook.   

It's not that simple:  These "fresh-water flying insects" spend most of their lives underwater! The Mayfly is underwater about 364 days of the year, the Caddisfly is underwater about 11 months of the year, and the Stone Fly might be underwater for 23 months out of 24.  These insects only leave the water to reproduce, and then they die. 

That will be the subject of Basic Fly Fishing - Part 2.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Keep A-Goin' "

Keep A-Goin'  by Frank Lebby Stanton (1857-1927) is probably my favorite poem.  I read it to my children when they were young, and I read it myself when needing inspiration.  If you can't remember the words to poems, or don't like to memorize, all you need here is to remember the title-- Keep A-Goin'
Keep A-Goin'

If you strike a thorn or rose,
Keep a-goin'!
If it hails or if it snows,
Keep a-goin'!
'Taint no use to sit an' whine
When the fish ain't on your line;
Bait your hook an' keep a-tryin'--
Keep a-goin'!

When the weather kills your crop,
Keep a-goin'!
Though 'tis work to reach the top,
Keep a-goin'!
S'pose you're out o' ev'ry dime,
Gittin' broke ain't any crime;
Tell the world you're feelin' prime--
Keep a-goin'!

When it looks like all is up,
Keep a-goin'!
Drain the sweetness from the cup,
Keep a-goin'!
See the wild birds on the wing,
Hear the bells that sweetly ring,
When you feel like singin', sing--
Keep a-goin'!

Frank Stanton was born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1857.  Stanton's father was a printer, then Confederate soldier, and later a farmer.

Remember that all the years of growing trouble between the North and South erupted in civil war on April 12, 1861, when Confederate artillery opened fire on Federal Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor. Fort Sumter surrendered 34 hours later, and Union forces would try for nearly four years to take it back.

Frank Stanton started his education in Savannah, Georgia, but his schooling was cut short by the Civil War (1861-1865). 

Recall that Savannah fell to Union General William T. Sherman just before Christmas in 1864 following Sherman's famous "March to the Sea."  It was from Savannah that Sherman telegraphed President Lincoln, presenting the City of Savannah as "a Christmas gift." 

In 1869, at age 12, Stanton apprenticed with a printer, and later got into the newspaper business. He went on to work as a columnist for the Atlanta Constitution until he died in 1927 at the age of 70. 

One of Stanton's works most widely quoted during his lifetime was a quatrain titled "This World" and it is reportedly on his tombstone in Atlanta's Westview Cemetery:

This world we're a'livin' in
Is mighty hard to beat.
You get a thorn with every rose.
But ain't the roses sweet?