Although there’s a lot to be said about each of the entities contained in the title, in retrospect, there’s actually very little that needs to be added. What’s probably far more important is to remind one of what’s already been said, what’s transpired, and what it may portend. Hint: All three are not very good.
First: The NFL®
Over the off-season newly signed (and compensated, once again, to the tune of nearly a quarter of a $Billion, e.g., roughly $200 million, over the next five years) the now newly minted commissioner of the NFL launched with much fanfare the leagues new policy when it comes to protests.
From my article in January, “Two Minutes To Midnight…”
“On Tuesday of last week the NFL rolled out a new initiative that began the same week (on Thursday) during its NFL Total Access venue. This is now an ongoing campaign that will play out across multiple outlets and has been named, “Let’s Listen Together.” Here are a few pull quotes directly from the NFL. To wit:”
As part of its ongoing work to support its players, the NFL today announced a joint player and ownership commitment focused on social justice. The campaign, Let’s Listen Together, launches today and includes a multi-layered roll-out including digital content and brand spots highlighting the player-led work on social and racial equality. The platform will also include social media support, as well as individual letters from players and owners sharing their stories and personal reasons for making social justice a priority.
“The above sound innocuous enough at first glance, and in many ways seems like an amenable solution to what has become an almost irreconcilable situation. At least on digit paper that is.
However, the problem here shows just how this is all going to play out over the foreseeable future in the following text. Again, to wit:”
“We are pleased to have developed a new initiative that focuses on creating meaningful solutions to improve our communities,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “In developing this plan, we have taken the lead from our players and are honored to join them in this work. Their work has deepened our understanding of the unique platform we have to help advance progress in a profound and unifying way.”
“Translation: We going to get the players to stop kneeling so they can now stand up and tell you all about their political stances as you tune in. Or said differently – As you try to take a momentary reprieve from the everyday political strife as to enjoy a few hours of pure sports entertainment played at the highest levels. We’re now going to directly insert that political into and across our entire brand and outlets for it. Hey, it’s better than kneeling, right? That’s what you’re upset about, right? So, pleeeeeease come back. Oh, and did we mention seating prices for game days are on-sale?!
The rollout for this initiative both in it’s timing, along with what it appears is going to be the viewing vehicle (i.e., across the entire NFL) is, in my opinion: One of the most tone-deaf, ill-advised, PR debacles that may do far more damage to both the NFL, along with its players and causes, than anything I’ve seen over my business career.
Many a game has been won or lost in the final two minutes. As a matter of fact, so important are those final minutes that entire game winning or saving strategies are built upon them. e.g., “The 2 minute drill.” Yet there’s a caveat that goes along with that strategy that’s paramount for the “saving” aspect which is this: You never play those minutes via a “not too lose” strategy and tactics. Once you do – you’re all but assured to do just that – and lose.
The NFL I’ll assert – is doing just that, and will.”
And what happened “two minutes” into the first pre-season game? Hint: Players took-a-knee and the NFL put its “policy” for enforcement on hold. So it would appear not only has nothing changed, but nothing will. Oops, sorry, yes there will: you’ll now get even more political commentary forced upon viewers via the “Let’s Listen Together” campaign as players show via their very public actions that they both won’t listen, or abided by, any so-called “agreements” made with the commissioner.
Watch for ticket sales to become even more affordable as the season unfolds is my best guess.
Second: What happens in Shanghai, unlike Vegas, ain’t gonna stay in Shanghai.
From my article in May, “Are the markets about to get Shanghai’d again?”
The SCI is one of those bellwether type indexes to watch when trying to gauge anything China market related. And what it is showing seems of little interest to most mainstream financial/business media pundits. Either that, or they have no real clue. I’ll go with the latter, but that’s just me.
So here’s something I feel one should pay the utmost attention to over the following days and weeks. The reasoning is quite simple: What happens in China will effect everything in the U.S. and world with near immediacy. Need I remind you of that morning in August, 2015 where the U.S. woke to its major markets in “Limit down” status?
Remember where it all started? Hint: China and in-particular the SCI. To wit:
“So where are we now?” Good question, problem is the answer may not be as pretty of a picture that all too many desire, again, to wit:
The implications of the above chart are epic. The reasoning is simple: It would signal that the effort via the Chinese politburo to keep all the “spinning plates” aloft was, one by one, beginning to come crashing down onto the stage floor for all too see. As always, all one can do is to keep watching for further clues. But to say that there aren’t a few plates wobbling more than others as a clearly winded “spinner” appears to be having more difficulty by the moment – is probably an understatement.
And finally: Twitter™ twaddle.
I only have this to say about all the brouhaha currently going on about Twitter and in general, social media:
People are all up in arms about a company that uses as its metrics: “users.” And sells advertising based on those metrics, while it purges millions upon millions of those very once coveted metrics, again – “by the millions,” because they are not humans but rather, just bot programs. While all the while these platforms are infected with even more bots that click on ads costing advertisers $10’s if not $100’s of millions (if not $Billions!) in ad fraud.
All this and Twitter alone is run by a CEO whose investors, along with Board of directors, can’t seem to find, or can’t attract a CEO other than one that will only accept the position as a “part-time” gig, because he also heads another. (Excuse me while I laugh at this current reality of absolute moronic business examples.) All this while the entirety of the mainstream media, along with its business/financial enclaves, hold interviews and/or write and speak as if we’re suppose to take it all seriously as in: we’re all supposed to believe (or better yet buy this told-and-sold ad nauseam fairy tale) there’s any there, there, in both Twitter the company, as well as its management.
Hint: As goes the Fed’s QE (known now as, QT quantitative tightening) – so goes the joke that, “it’s different this time.” Or, said differently: How’s all that boy-genius working out for investors today?
© 2018 Mark St. Cyr