Business

Don't Feel Sorry For Papa John's

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The man running Papa John's is a complete and utter douchebag:

Papa John's is blaming the NFL for hitting its bottom line.

The pizza company, which has been a league sponsor since 2010, sliced its sales and profit forecasts on Tuesday. And Papa John's founder and CEO John Schnatter wasn't shy about who he thinks is to blame for the "debacle": Commissioner Roger Goodell. 

"Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership," Schnatter said on a conference call with investors Wednesday. "The NFL has hurt Papa John's shareholders." 

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart declined to comment on Schnatter's comments. 

NFL ratings, like the rest of network television, are in a slump. Through Week 7, NFL viewership is down 5% overall from the same point last year. 

Though the ratings slump has many causes, some NFL fans may have tuned out because of the controversy over players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police violence. 

President Trump has called on fans to boycott the NFL if the league doesn't crack down on protests. Last month, Vice President Mike Pence left an Indianapolis Colts game after San Francisco 49ers' players took a knee during the anthem.

I would feel bad for the people who work for him if the company went under, but that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about the shareholders being upset that they're not making as much profit as they would like. The owner of Papa John's does not care about his workers--he cares about being rich.

His business model is no different than that of the NFL's. Exploit labor, avoid consequences, make as much money as humanly possible with no regard for anyone else.

Tell me again why I have to feel sorry for people who don't care about anything but themselves...

The National Women's Hockey League

Women now have their own professional hockey league:

On Sunday, all four teams of the National Women’s Hockey League, the first-ever pro league for women, will drop the puck on its inaugural season. The Connecticut Whale will host the New York Riveters in Stamford, Conn., while the Boston Pride will visit the Buffalo Beauts. All four teams feature 18-player rosters stocked with Olympians and collegiate All-Americans with a $270,000 salary cap.

Make no mistake. The NWHL may be a fledgling, but it’s also legit. The teams will play 18 games apiece, all on weekends, with twice-weekly practices. There is a scheduled All-Star weekend (Jan. 23-24), a postseason in March and a draft in June. The league has received funding from private sponsors along with the NWHLFoundation, which directly supports the league as well as girls’ youth hockey. Teams will battle for the Isobel Cup, named for the daughter of the Stanley Cup’s namesake. Not too shabby for an entity that many of its own players weren’t sure they’d get to see.

This is fantastic. I hope they're able to expand quickly and add teams from the upper Midwest. There's no reason why there shouldn't be a team based in Minneapolis-St. Paul. In fact, there should be a team based in Wisconsin as well.

When the league gets underway, I think people will see that the level of play will really shine. Olympic hockey and college hockey at the women's level is very well played. You can see the skills and the dynamic of the game when you watch these events. Couple that with the fact that women's hockey is gaining traction wherever it is offered and it won't be long before we have at least a dozen teams and a television deal.

Can Plaxico Burress Come Back?

Michael Vick showed that a player can go to prison/jail/detention and come back in top form and win games in the NFL. Is Burress tough enough? Did he wow them with a great workout? All well and good. His debt to society is paid, give him a chance.

And when I say, give him a chance, I mean, give him just that one chance to show that he isn't a violence-prone headcase. Give him a chance to prove himself. And if he screws up, cut him.

I wonder if he has a clause like that in his deal. Any of that headcase stuff, and his money is gone, something like that.

A Desperate Move to Stay Relevant


I hope Tiger plays well. The issue here isn't really whether he wins this tournament or not--it's staying relevant and visible. For Tiger to slide in the rankings and drop off the radar means the end of what little endorsement money is coming his way. By competing, he gets face time on camera, maybe a media-friendly interview spot or two (he really needs to be more available and forthcoming with the golfing world's media), and he needs to play well.

If he blows through a few holes, quits, and says nothing, he might as well sit down for the rest of the year and plan a "comeback" next season.

Is it Really the Ball?

JabulaniThe most important thing in the whole entire world right now is the sport of World Cup Soccer. Adidas gets to decide what technology the ball uses, and no one is happy about it:

Several players are going all out against the new World Cup ball, with more than one comparing it to those bought at a supermarket.

And this time it's not only goalkeepers who are complaining. Strikers, defenders and midfielders are also lashing out at the Adidas ball just a few days before the monthlong tournament is to begin in South Africa.

The ball is called Jabulani, which means "to celebrate" in isiZulu, but not many are celebrating it so far. It's hard to find a player who is happy with it, and those who don't like it are not saving adjectives to describe their feelings.

"It's very weird," Brazil striker Luis Fabiano said Sunday. "All of a sudden it changes trajectory on you. It's like it doesn't want to be kicked. It's incredible, it's like someone is guiding it. You are going to kick it and it moves out of the way. I think it's supernatural, it's very bad. I hope to adapt to it as soon as possible, but it's going to be hard."

Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar on Saturday called the ball "terrible" and was the first to compare it to those plastic ones bought on a supermarket. Italy striker Giampaolo Pazzini said the same thing, calling it a "disaster."

Here's how jacked up that article is over at Sports Illustrated. It really is one of the most incompetent news stories I've seen in quite a while. When you write a story about a ball, you should probably find a good picture of the ball. I know it sounds like the demented ranting and raving of a man wearing pants that are too tight and with ideas that were flushed out of his ears with hydrogen peroxide, but this is a visual medium. It's where you can put up a simple photo, perhaps a video, maybe an interactive graphic, and do something for a reader or a blogger. I don't know. It's where you can make a token, half-assed effort at trying and see it pay off for you.

I've never been above half-assing it, and I'm not going to start now. What?

Never mind. I'm on a roll, homes. Am I that kind of a blogger? Absolutely. I found and cropped (read: stole) a photo of the Jabbablouyouaniyappidy-whatever ball and I am making a heck of an effort here to give you something useful and informative. I'm asking the question--really? Is this ball really like the cheap ones purchased at supermarkets? I have to find out if this is true. I have to go to work for you and make something happen. Blogging is more than just finding an article and saying something about it--it's. Blogging is more than...hold it. My roll just came to a stop.

I found a picture, you see. I did what I should have done. I made this about me.

So, after my nap and a little apple juice, I went out to a supermarket and tried to buy a soccer ball. They just laughed at me. They told me I was crazy. Supermarkets don't really sell soccer balls unless they are an impulse item or a key buy added to a section of the retail establishment where toys and accessories and other purchased-in-bulk items are sold off of end caps or out of tables full of assorted pieces of merchandise that can be bought by people who don't really go looking for their ilk in supermarkets. You know, like hamster balls, duffel bags, soup can crushers, beaded seat covers, and Christmas ornaments that won't offend anyone Jewish.

It was a total bust. I must have gone to two supermarkets. Wow. I could have bought a new shower mat and made a soccer ball out of that, but I'm avoiding the impossible and trying to bring you the probable. I could have bought a beach ball. I passed. So, okay, fine--I went online and I ordered a soccer ball.

Yep.

It's going to take about three weeks to get to me, so. You know. I'll post something. That's how blogging works. I bought it out of some supermarket chain that allowed me to select items for purchase and throw them into a consolidated shopping cart after I spent a half an hour setting up an online profile. Oh, this wasn't entirely for buying a soccer ball--this is how I'm going to get some Archway cookies. The lemon ones. 

I know it's a waste of time, but I'll probably check the mail tomorrow. Well, that's kind of stupid. The ball--and, more importantly, the Archway cookies--are all being shipped from an Albertson's in San Antonio, Texas, but I did choose UPS expedited shipping, I think. I might have clicked on that wrong. Let me check the confirmation E-mail and I'll get back to you.

Anyway, I was going to take the soccer ball that I bought in the supermarket and see if it was any good. Miranda played soccer when she was in high school, and she actually has the ability to "bend it like Beckham" because she has these incredibly fat legs and can kick things really hard.

This post was going to be about what Miranda told me about the supermarket ball. Oh, and I was going to get a World Cup ball as well. Maybe do a little side by side comparison. Maybe film Miranda kicking the two balls and giving her opinion. I don't know. Miranda doesn't really humor me when it comes to blogging.

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