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Newark Bears hold liquidation auction at stadium

Newark-BearsThe Newark Bears finished with a record of 37-63 in the Can-Am League last season. Those certainly weren’t the results ownership was looking for, but it’s no reason to board the place up and put a “for sale” sign out front, right? Wrong.

Last November, the Can-Am League announced that the Bears would not operate in 2014. On Saturday, the team held an “everything must go” sale at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium in Newark. According to The Star-Ledger, everything from tarps and lawn mowers to the team bus was open for bidding. Apparently playing in a region filled with New York Yankees and New York Mets fans simply became too much to overcome for the Bears.

“At one point we gave away 1,000 tickets and only a few people showed up,” team owner Doug Spiel said.

Dave Sosidka, one of the few remaining Bears fans, went to the auction on Saturday. He didn’t intend to buy anything, but instead compared the fire sale to attending a wake.

“It’s like going to a wake, like saying goodbye to an old friend,” Sosidka explained. “It was always a lot of fun. The first time we came I was picked to run on the field in a Ragu spaghetti sauce costume in one those on-field promotions. We brought our dog for ‘Bark at the Park’ night.”

Now, Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium has been left for college, high school, and possibly Little League games. The city of Newark and Essex County will have to pay for the ballpark through 2029, and they will continue to search for a new team that can somehow turn a profit.

For the time being, a team that former MLB players like Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco Carl Everett and one of LBS’ favorite players once called their own has become a thing of the past.

H/T Eye on Baseball

DeSean Jackson has to pay Drew Rosenhaus more than $500,000

Drew RosenhausWashington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson was ordered to pay his former agent, Drew Rosenhaus, more than half a million dollars on Wednesday. Rosenhaus filed a grievance last year alleging that Jackson owed him $700,000 after the two parted ways.

A source told The Philadelphia Inquirer that Jackson, who ending up signing with Joel Segal after rumors that he would join Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, will have to pay Rosenhaus $516,415 in loans and fees. Arbitrator Roger Kaplan announced that the ruling had gone in Rosenhaus’ favor on Tuesday.

Rosenhaus negotiated the five-year, $48 million contract Jackson signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in March 2012. A report last year said that Jackson took multiple loans from Rosenhaus since he hired him in November 2009.

NFL teams to offer service where fans can order cheerleader to their seat

Hunter-Mahan-Engaged-to-Dallas-Cowboys-Cheerleader-Kandi-Harris-4

Ever been to an NFL game and felt that the gorgeous cheerleaders patrolling the sidelines were so close yet so far away? You almost feel like you could reach out and touch them, but they’re just a little too far and, most importantly, following through on that desire might constitute a crime.

Thanks to the latest in technology, fans will soon be closer than ever to cheerleaders.

Sports Business Journal revealed on Monday that a few teams have partnered with app developer Experience to develop technology that will allow fans to order upgrades when they get to the stadium for a game. The perks will include stuff like getting on the field before a game or having a cheerleader come to your seat.

According to Darren Rovell, the Seattle Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are three teams that have already agreed to offer the premium experiences. League officials were expected to encourage other owners to adopt the technology at the NFL meetings this week.

The Falcons actually began offering some of the services to 3,000 of their season ticket holders last season.

“Anything from pregame on-field, to a birthday message, to cheerleader visits, to mascot visits, to the fly-by pass, which is a dedicated lane where you don’t wait to get into the stadium,” Falcons CEO Jim Smith explained. “All the experiential things sold out within the first four hours they were made available.”

[Related: Bengals cheerleaders divided by real vs. fake boobs]

Teams have spent significant time and resources over the past few years coming up with ways to improve the in-stadium experience. Stuff like offering wireless internet at games and showing fantasy stats on stadium scoreboards has done that, but plenty of people are perfectly content watching games on their 60-inch high definition TVs. But can they order a cheerleader to come visit them in their seat? Well, they could probably order someone in a cheerleader outfit … let’s not get into that.

FAMOUS CHEERLEADER DAUGHTERS
Tony LaRussa’s daughter is an Oakland Raiders cheerleader
Doug Flutie’s daughter is a New England Patriots cheerleader

Mark Cuban: NFL is 10 years from imploding

mark-cubanDallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is one of the most intelligent businessmen in the world. He made his own fortune — which is rumored to be well over $2 billion — with a series of successful investments and business decisions. So when Cuban says the NFL is 10 years from “imploding,” there’s reason to believe he may be onto something.

On Sunday, Cuban spoke about how the NFL is at risk of overexposure. The NFL has already announced that CBS will feature Thursday night games next season. There will also be two Saturday games on CBS later in the year and has been speculation that Wednesday night football could be a possibility in the future.

“When pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered,” Cuban said, via Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. “And they’re getting hoggy. When you try to take it too far, people turn the other way. I’m just telling you, when you got a good thing and you get greedy, it always, always, always, always, always turns against you.”

The NFL is currently putting out its strongest product ever, with fantasy football at the peak of its popularity. As a result, ratings remain fairly high even when teams like the Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns meet in a meaningless matchup. Cuban cautioned that it won’t always be that way.

“They’re trying to take over every night of TV,” he said. “And initially, it’ll be the biggest rating thing there is. Then, if they get Saturday, now they’re impacting college. And then if they go to Wednesday, at some point, people get sick of it.

“It drives you in a different direction. Now, it’s ‘my team’s game is on Wednesday.’ Or, ‘now my team’s on Thursday.’ It was just so easy when I could plan on Sunday or maybe Monday. And if you get no days off in football and your team is playing one of those days, it’s just one of the rules I use: when pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered. Fantasy football, people pay attention to it. But we’ll see.”

While it’s hard to imagine people getting sick of NFL football, Cuban’s theory makes sense. Tracking fantasy plays on weeknights or Saturdays (when there could be a game like Auburn-Alabama being played) is one thing. But people could eventually get annoyed if their team plays on five different nights throughout the course of a season. Will it result in an “implosion” for the NFL? That seems like a stretch, but perhaps Thursday, Saturday and even Wednesday football simply won’t last.

Report: Michael Vick would make fuss about No. 7 jersey in contract negotiations with Jets

michael-vickMichael Vick has worn No. 7 throughout his entire career. He wore the jersey number at Virginia Tech and has worn it during all 11 of his NFL seasons. Vick is currently a free agent, and one of the teams said to be interested in signing him is the New York Jets. He’ll reportedly get a chance to compete with Geno Smith for the starting job if New York signs him, but that’s not all Vick would be competing for.

Smith, who the Jets drafted to be their quarterback of the future, currently wears No. 7. According to TMZ, that could be a “big issue” for Vick if he negotiates a contract with the Jets. Vick has a clothing line called V7, and the brand name would make little sense if he stopped wearing the number.

While noting that the jersey situation wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for Vick, TMZ speculated that the 33-year-old could want more money if he can’t have No. 7. That seems pretty insane to me.

I get that Vick has a brand associated with the No. 7. I also get that a starting quarterback might be less likely to give up his number than a reserve player who is allowing a veteran to wear it. That said, teams aren’t exactly banging down the doors to sign Vick. If he gets an opportunity to compete for a starting job, he’d be wise to take it even if he has to wear No. 56.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Roger Staubach is the highest paid retired NFL player

Roger-StaubachOf all the legendary players who have come and gone in the NFL and are still living, you might be surprised to hear who the highest paid retired NFL player currently is. The man who makes the most coin in retirement, at least according to Forbes’ list of highest paid retired athletes, is former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach.

Staubach, who retired in 1979, reportedly earns $13 million a year. Most people would be inclined to think that the faces we see most often — like that of Steve Young, Troy Aikman and Michael Strahan — are the top earners, but Staubach is apparently a savvy businessman.

The two-time Super Bowl champion started a real estate company in 1977 while he was nearing the end of his career with the Cowboys. He sold the business to Jones Lang Lasalle in 2008 for $648 million. He owned 12% of the company at the time and put half of his share in a trust for his children. The last payout from the sale of the company was last year. The figure includes the $4 million annually that is directed toward Staubach’s kids.

The rest of the list is hardly as surprising, with Michael Jordan on top and still earning around $90 million a year. The majority of the list is made up of retired golfers (Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Gary Player). David Beckham and Shaquille O’Neal also made the cut, as they earn $37 million and $20 million per year respectively.

Moral of the story? Remaining successful in retirement after a pro sports career is not always about plastering your pretty face on major TV networks and billboards. A smart business venture can go a long way.

H/T Shutdown Corner

Rory McIlroy involved in legal battle with former management company

Rory-McIlroyRory McIlroy is looking to bounce back this year after a disappointing golf season in 2013. The former world No. 1 signed with Nike and became one of the wealthiest 24-year-old’s in the world last year, but his game faltered. Back in November, McIlroy hinted that legal troubles with sponsors contributed to his poor play in 2013. He may still be having them.

According to the Irish Independent, McIlroy attended a hearing earlier this week that dealt with a lawsuit he has filed against his former management company. McIlroy reportedly claims he signed an agreement with the company under “undue influence” when he was 22 years old.

McIlroy claims he has paid “unreasonable” fee rates to the company that are far greater than an athlete would pay a standard sports agency. He also does not believe he has to pay the company, Horizon Sports Management in Dublin, fees related to his $20 million per year endorsement deal with Nike.

The agency denies the claim and insists McIlroy freely entered into an agreement in 2011. They say he agreed to pay them certain fees and are seeking roughly $3 million in fees for of-course revenues earned by McIlroy. They are also seeking damages, claiming McIlroy continues to breach their contract.

All legal jargon aside, McIlroy fans should be hoping the youngster is able to is able to focus on his golf game this year. He and Caroline Wozniacki are engaged to be married, so one would think analysts would get off his case about Woz being a distraction. Hopefully the legal troubles are sorted out sooner rather than later.