It’s June 18th, 2017. There are three days before the National Hockey League’s first expansion draft in seventeen years, and the boardroom of T-Mobile arena, the future home of the Vegas Golden Knights, is buzzing. Months of scouting, speculation on who might be available, and discussions about possible trades are finally nearing their fruition. Bill Foley, the team owner, steps out to grab another cup of coffee when a thought suddenly strikes him. He works it around in his brain for a second, then runs back into the boardroom. A pro scout who focuses on goaltending is making his pitch to General Manager George McPhee. “...Well, if we don’t take Grabovski, Jaroslav Halak is available as a potential backu-“ “Don’t you DARE speak that bastard’s name to me!” McPhee screams. He quickly snaps out of the PTSD flashback that the goalie’s name inspired and moves on. “We’ll take the centre from them and... what about that Rangers backup instead? That Raanta guy?” On the whiteboard behind them is a set of handshake deals that they have made, pending registration with the National Hockey League's office.
Anaheim trades: Shea Theodore for Expansion Draft Considerations. (Clayton Stoner) Columbus trades: 2017 1st, 2019 2nd, jack johnson, for Expansion Draft Considerations (William Karlsson) Florida trades: Reilly Smith for Expansion Draft Considerations (Jonathan Marchessault) and a 5th round pick Minnesota trades: Alex Tuch for Expansion Draft Considerations (Erik Haula) and a 3rd round pick New York trades: 2017 1st round pick, 2019 2nd round pick for Expansion Draft Considerations (Mikhail Grabovski) Tampa Bay trades: Nikita Gusev, 2017 2nd, and 2018 4th for Expansion Draft Considerations (Jason Garrison) Winnipeg trades: 2017 1st round pick and 2019 3rd round pick for Expansion Draft Considerations (Chris Thorburn) and Columbus 1st
Foley interrupts the goaltending conversation - this can't wait. "George, can I talk to you quickly?" They take a sidebar. "George, I just had a thought. These deals you made - you just traded 'expansion draft considerations,' right?" "Yes, we'll select the player that they want us to." "But what if you don't? What if you just take whoever you want? Would it be against the rules?" "I... well...no. Technically we could do that. But it would be dishonest and would make everyone furious at us." "So? I didn’t buy an NHL team to make friends. I bought an NHL team to win a Stanley Cup, and also to let people know that I went to West Point. Did you know I went to West Point?” “Yes Bill” “I trust you George. Now go out there and get me a championship.”
Tensions are high in the green room on June 21st. General managers are walking in and out to greet and chit-chat with George McPhee and Bill Foley, the newest members of their exclusive fraternity of NHL executives. They laugh and exchange stories: Joe Sakic tells them about the gas leak in the Pepsi Centre that they noticed as soon as the season was over; Peter Chiarelli asks them to give him a call if they draft a right handed defensive defenceman (because that Draisaitl kid isn't really working out); John Chayka asks them if they're hiring. McPhee is having a hard time keeping things light and friendly, knowing that he's about to betray all of these men. Just submitting an offer sheet is enough to get you kicked out of the GM Secret Santa, let alone dishonesty at this level. Gary Bettman walks into the green room excitedly. “Bill, George, I am so excited for us to get going. Everyone in this building is so energized, I even just saw Evgeny Kuznetsov doing some smelling salts in the bathroom!" ~ The Las Vegas Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is packed with new Vegas Golden Knights fans. The award show itself is highlighted by the best NHL.com intern-written jokes that unpaid can buy. Host Joe Manganiello is dutifully following the Jack Johnson model on stage: he might be bombing out there but boy is he eating up minutes. After Brent Burns finishes his Norris trophy victory speech, and the PA quickly wipes the crumbs and beard hair off the microphone, the time has come for Vegas’ first picks. "From the Anaheim Ducks, Vegas picks…” McPhee looks out at the smiling faces in the crowd. He sees Bob Murray, sitting with his plus-one for the evening (Randy Carlyle). He sees Jim Rutherford trying to turn his blaring ringtone off with his screen brightness turned up all the way. He sees Lou Lamoriello, sitting with a slightly less murderous look in his eyes than usual. He knows that the friendships he has fostered with all of these extremely normal and competent people will never recover from what he is about to do. He takes a deep breath. “Josh Manson!" The Vegas fans go wild. The attached trade is announced too: they have picked up Shea Theodore in exchange for “draft considerations.” The general managers’ faces contort with fury as it dawns on them what has happened. Things only get worse as McPhee and Foley continue to announce their picks. Instead of taking Erik Haula from the Wild, they take Matt Dumba. And they still get Alex Tuch. Instead of taking Mikhail Grabovski from the Isles, they take Brock Nelson. And they still get a 1st and a 2nd. Instead of taking Jason Garrison from the Lightning, they take Yanni Gourde. And they still get Nikita Gusev. ~ After the show, twenty-nine general managers storm the green room with murder in their eyes. Bettman tries to deflate the situation. “Good evening gentlemen. I understand you’re upset, bu- Wait, where’s Jim Benning?” “He got stuck in the revolving door somehow. But we have him on speakerphone.” Benning's voice bellows out of Pierre Dorian's team-issued Motorola Razr. “That was an embarrassment! A mockery! An insult to everything that hockey is supposed to be! Who even wrote those 'jokes' anyway?! And by the way, the expansion draft was bullshit too!” Bob Murray’s face is an angrier shade of red than usual. “George you scumbag, we had a fucking deal! We only traded you Shea Theodore so that you would take Clayton Stoner!” McPhee says “Well actually, Bob, the trade was made for “draft considerations.” And I promise you we really considered taking Stoner.” The room erupts in anger again. Garth Snow is irate as well: "You bastard, how could you take Nelson?! Resigning Tavares would've been a sure thing if you had taken Grabovski instead! I can't imagine how this franchise's cap situation could possibly be any worse!" Lou Lamoriello smirks. Bettman sighs and tries to be diplomatic. “Gentlemen, I’m sorry, but he’s right. It says in the transcripts of the official trade calls that the trades were made purely for ‘considerations’, not for the selection of specific players. There’s nothing we can do about that. That being said, George, per the NHL’s licensing agreement with EA Sports we will need to confiscate a few of your phones.” The managers walk out of the room grumbling. On the way out, a confused Dale Tallon says “There's one thing I don't understand: If George went back on all those other deals, why didn’t he take Alex Petrovic from us instead of that Marchessault guy? And he still took that cap dump Reilly Smith from us too! What an idiot.” ~ The Knights’ players were already fired up by their respective teams’ willingness to let them go – now they’re extra motivated by everyone else in the league hating their guts.
Jonathan Marchessault – William Karlsson – Reilly Smith David Perron – Brock Nelson – Yanni Gourde Tomas Nosek – Vadim Shipachyov – James Neal Ryan Carpenter – Pierre-Edouard Bellemare – Alex Tuch William Carrier Brayden McNabb – Matt Dumba Nate Schmidt – Josh Manson Shea Theodore – Colin Miller Jack Johnson Marc-Andre Fleury Antti Raanta
They claim the President's Trophy and the Stanley Cup in each of their first three seasons. The league's general managers conspire to exact revenge on these scoundrels, and all agree that Marc Bergevin should offersheet their best young players, a plan that immediately backfires when Bergevin inadvertently saves Vegas considerable negotiating time and helps them lock up their core at reasonable numbers. The Knights later find a loophole in the salary cap that allows them to add high-salary free agents seemingly at will. After they sweep through the bubble playoffs in 2020, it becomes clear that no other team can compete with them, and TV ratings hit a dismal low. Amid financial uncertainty caused by COVID-19, the National Hockey League officially folds in late 2020. Agent Allan Walsh, desperately trying to secure spots in the KHL for his stunned clients, soberly sums up the feelings of the hockey world: https://preview.redd.it/q9p41mrmnzv51.png?width=560&format=png&auto=webp&s=5db5d08168a2c897b4f57e8473f73612f191398c (Thank you for reading, it's been awhile!)
TL;DR: Man with too much time on his hands goes deep down the rabbit hole on a concept this sub already didn’t seem that enthusiastic about. If you really want to skip ahead, CTRL+F “verdict” and it’ll get you there. Two days ago, u/MrPhillyj2wns made a post asking whether USL should launch a D1 league in order to compete in Concacaf. From the top voted replies, it appears this made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move. But I’ve been at home for eight weeks and I am terribly, terribly bored. So, I present to you this overview of what the USL pyramid might look like if Jake Edwards got a head of steam and attempted to establish a USSF-sanctioned first division. This is by no means an endorsement of such a proposal or even a suggestion that USL SHOULD do such a thing. It is merely an examination of whether they COULD. Welcome to the Thunderdome USL Premiership First, there are some base-level assumptions we must make in this exercise, because it makes me feel more scientific and not like a guy who wrote this on Sunday while watching the Belarusian Premier League (Go BATE Borisov!).
All D1 teams must comply with known USSF requirements for D1 leagues (more on that later).
MLS, not liking this move, will immediately remove all directly-owned affiliate clubs from the USL structure (this does not include hybrid ownerships, like San Antonio FC – NYCFC). This removes all MLS2 teams but will not affect Colorado Springs, Reno, RGVFC and San Antonio.
The USL will attempt to maintain both the USL Championship and USL League One, with an eventual mind toward creating the pro/rel paradise that is promised in Relegations 3:16.
All of my research regarding facility size and ownership net worth is correct – this is probably the biggest leap of faith we have to make, since googling “NAME net worth” and “CITY richest people” doesn’t seem guaranteed to return accurate results.
The most a club can increase its available seating capacity to meet D1 requirements in a current stadium is no more than 1,500 seats (10% of the required 15,000). If they need to add more, they’ll need a new facility.
Let’s pretend that people are VERY willing to sell. It’s commonly acknowledged that the USL is a more financially feasible route to owning a soccer club than in MLS (c.f. MLS-Charlotte’s reported $325 million expansion fee) and the USSF has some very strict requirements for D1 sanctioning. It becomes pretty apparent when googling a lot of team’s owners that this requirement isn’t met, so let’s assume everyone that can’t sells to people who meet the requirements.
(Known) USSF D1 league requirements: - League must have 12 teams to apply and 14 teams by year three - Majority owner must have a net worth of $40 million, and the ownership group must have a total net worth of $70 million. The value of an owned stadium is not considered when calculating this value. - Must have teams located in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones - 75% of league’s teams must be based in markets with at a metro population of at least 1 million people. - All league stadiums must have a capacity of at least 15,000 The ideal club candidate for the USL Premiership will meet the population and capacity requirements in its current ground, which will have a grass playing surface. Of the USL Championship’s 27 independent/hybrid affiliate clubs, I did not find one club that meets all these criteria as they currently stand. Regarding turf fields, the USSF does not have a formal policy regarding the ideal playing surface but it is generally acknowledged that grass is superior to turf. 6 of 26 MLS stadiums utilize turf, or roughly 23% of stadiums. We’ll hold a similar restriction for our top flight, so 2-3 of our top flight clubs can have turf fields. Seem fair? Capacity is going to be the biggest issue, since the disparity between current requirements for the second-tier (5,000) and the first tier (15,000) is a pretty massive gap. Nice club you have there, triple your capacity and you’re onto something. As a result, I have taken the liberty of relocating certain (read: nearly all) clubs to new grounds, trying my utmost to keep those clubs in their current markets and –importantly--, ensure they play on grass surfaces. So, let’s do a case-by-case evaluation and see if we can put together 12-14 teams that meet the potential requirements, because what else do you have to do? For each club’s breakdown, anything that represents a chance from what is currently true will be underlined. Candidate: Birmingham Legion FC Location (Metro population): Birmingham, Ala. (1,151,801) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Legion Field (FieldTurf, 71,594) Potential owner: Stephens Family (reported net worth $4 billion) Notes: Birmingham has a pretty strong candidacy. Having ditched the 5,000-seater BBVA Field for Legion Field, which sits 2.4 miles away, they’ve tapped into the city’s soccer history. Legion Field hosted portions of both the men’s and women’s tournaments at the 1996 Olympics, including a 3-1 U.S. loss to Argentina that saw 83,183 pack the house. The Harbert family seemed like strong ownership contenders, but since the death of matriarch Marguerite Harbert in 2015, it’s unclear where the wealth in the family is concentrated, so the Stephens seem like a better candidate. The only real knock that I can think of is that we really want to avoid having clubs play on turf, so I’d say they’re on the bubble of our platonic ideal USL Prem. Candidate: Charleston Battery Location (Metro population): Charleston, S.C. (713,000) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Johnson Hagood Stadium (Grass, ~14,700) Potential owner: Anita Zucker (reported net worth $3 billion) Notes: Charleston’s candidacy isn’t looking great. Already disadvantaged due to its undersized metro population, a move across the Cooper River to Johnson Hagood Stadium is cutting it close in terms of capacity. The stadium, home to The Citadel’s football team, used to seat 21,000, before 9,300 seats on the eastern grandstand were torn down in 2017 to deal with lead paint that had been used in their construction. Renovation plans include adding 3,000 seats back in, which could hit 15,000 if they bumped it to 3,300, but throw in a required sale by HCFC, LLC (led by content-creation platform founder Rob Salvatore) to chemical magnate Anita Zucker, and you’ll see there’s a lot of ifs and ands in this proposal. Candidate: Charlotte Independence Location (Metro population): Charlotte, N.C. (2,569, 213) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Jerry Richardson Stadium (Turf, 15,314) Potential owner: James Goodnight (reported net worth $9.1 billion) Notes: Charlotte ticks a lot of the boxes. A move from the Sportsplex at Matthews to UNC-Charlotte’s Jerry Richardson stadium meets capacity requirements, but puts them on to the dreaded turf. Regrettably, nearby American Legion Memorial Stadium only seats 10,500, despite a grass playing surface. With a sizeable metro population (sixth-largest in the USL Championship) and a possible owner in software billionaire James Goodnight, you’ve got some options here. The biggest problem likely lies in direct competition for market share against a much better-funded MLS Charlotte side due to join the league in 2021. Candidate: Hartford Athletic Location (Metro population): Hartford, Conn. (1,214,295) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Pratt & Whitney Stadium (Grass, 38,066) Potential owner: Ray Dalio (reported net worth $18.4 billion) Notes: Okay, I cheated a bit here, having to relocate Hartford to Pratt & Whitney Stadium, which is technically in East Hartford, Conn. I don’t know enough about the area to know if there’s some kind of massive beef between the two cities, but the club has history there, having played seven games in 2019 while Dillon Stadium underwent renovations. If the group of local businessmen that currently own the club manage to attract Dalio to the table, we’re on to something. Candidate: Indy Eleven Location (Metro population): Indianapolis, Ind. (2,048,703) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lucas Oil Stadium (Turf, 62,421) Potential owner: Jim Irsay (reported net worth of $3 billion) Notes: Indy Eleven are a club that are SO CLOSE to being an ideal candidate – if it weren’t for Lucas Oil Stadium’s turf playing surface. Still, there’s a lot to like in this bid. I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what current owner and founder Ersal Ozdemir is worth, but it seems like there might be cause for concern. A sale to Irsay, who also owns the NFL Indianapolis (nee Baltimore) Colts, seems likely to keep the franchise there, rather than make a half-mile move to 14,230 capacity Victory Field where the AAA Indianapolis Indians play and expand from there. Candidate: Louisville City FC Location (Metro population): Louisville, Ky. (1,297,310) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Lynn Family Stadium (Grass, 14,000, possibly expandable to 20,000) Potential owner: Wayne Hughes (reported net worth $2.8 billion) Notes: I’m stretching things a bit here. Lynn Family stadium is currently listed as having 11,700 capacity that’s expandable to 14,000, but they’ve said that the ground could hold as many as 20,000 with additional construction, which might be enough to grant them a temporary waiver from USSF. If the stadium is a no-go, then there’s always Cardinal Stadium, home to the University of Louisville’s football team, which seats 65,000 but is turf. Either way, it seems like a sale to someone like Public Storage founder Wayne Hughes will be necessary to ensure the club has enough capital. Candidate: Memphis 901 FC Location (Metro population): Memphis, Tenn. (1,348,260) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Liberty Bowl Stadium (Turf, 58,325) Potential owner: Fred Smith (reported net worth $3 billion) Notes: Unfortunately for Memphis, AutoZone Park’s 10,000 seats won’t cut it at the D1 level. With its urban location, it would likely prove tough to renovate, as well. Liberty Bowl Stadium more than meets the need, but will involve the use of the dreaded turf. As far as an owner goes, FedEx founder Fred Smith seems like a good local option. Candidate: Miami FC, “The” Location (Metro population): Miami, Fla. (6,158,824) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Riccardo Silva Stadium (FieldTurf, 20,000) Potential owner: Riccardo Silva (reported net worth $1 billion) Notes: Well, well, well, Silva might get his wish for top-flight soccer, after all. He’s got the money, he’s got the metro, and his ground has the capacity. There is the nagging issue of the turf, though. Hard Rock Stadium might present a solution, including a capacity of 64,767 and a grass playing surface. It is worth noting, however, that this is the first profile where I didn’t have to find a new potential owner for a club. Candidate: North Carolina FC Location (Metro population): Durham, N.C. (1,214,516 in The Triangle) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Carter-Finley Stadium (Grass/Turf, 57,583) Potential owner: Steve Malik (precise net worth unknown) / Dennis Gillings (reported net worth of $1.7 billion) Notes: We have our first “relocation” in North Carolina FC, who were forced to trade Cary’s 10,000-seat WakeMed Soccer Park for Carter-Finley Stadium in Durham, home of the NC State Wolfpack and 57,583 of their closest friends. The move is a whopping 3.1 miles, thanks to the close-knit hub that exists between Cary, Durham and Raleigh. Carter-Finley might be my favorite of the stadium moves in this exercise. The field is grass, but the sidelines are artificial turf. Weird, right? Either way, it was good enough for Juventus to play a friendly against Chivas de Guadalajara there in 2011. Maybe the move would be pushed for by new owner and medical magnate Dennis Gillings, whose British roots might inspire him to get involved in the Beautiful Game. Straight up, though, I couldn’t find a net worth for current owner Steve Malik, though he did sell his company MedFusion for $91 million in 2010, then bought it back for an undisclosed amount and sold it again for $43 million last November. I don’t know if Malik has the juice to meet D1 requirements, but I suspect he’s close. Candidate: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Location (Metro population): Pittsburgh, Penn. (2,362,453) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Heinz Field (Grass, 64,450) Potential owner: Henry Hillman (reported net worth $2.5 billion) Notes: I don’t know a ton about the Riverhounds, but this move in particular feels like depriving a pretty blue-collar club from its roots. Highmark Stadium is a no-go from a seating perspective, but the Steelers’ home stadium at Heinz Field would more than meet the requirements and have a grass surface that was large enough to be sanctioned for a FIFA friendly between the U.S. WNT and Costa Rica in 2015. As for an owner, Tuffy Shallenberger (first ballot owner name HOF) doesn’t seem to fit the USSF bill, but legendary Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Hillman might. I’m sure you’re asking, why not the Rooney Family, if they’ll play at Heinz Field? I’ll tell you: I honestly can’t seem to pin down a value for the family. The Steelers are valued at a little over a billion and rumors persist that Dan Rooney is worth $500 million, but I’m not sure. I guess the Rooneys would work too, but it’s a definite departure from an owner in Shallenberger who was described by one journalist as a guy who “wears boots, jeans, a sweater and a trucker hat.” Candidate: Saint Louis FC Location (Metro population): St. Louis, Mo. (2,807,338) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Busch Stadium (Grass, 45,494) Potential owner: William DeWitt Jr. (reported net worth $4 billion) Notes: Saint Louis has some weirdness in making the jump to D1. Current CEO Jim Kavanaugh is an owner of the MLS side that will begin play in 2022. The club’s current ground at West Community Stadium isn’t big enough, but perhaps a timely sale to Cardinals owner William DeWitt Jr. could see the club playing games at Busch Stadium, which has a well established history of hosting other sports like hockey, college football and soccer (most recently a U.S. WNT friendly against New Zealand in 2019). The competition with another MLS franchise wouldn’t be ideal, like Charlotte, but with a big enough population and cross marketing from the Cardinals, maybe there’s a winner here. Wacko idea: If Busch doesn’t pan out, send them to The Dome. Sure, it’s a 60k turf closed-in stadium, but we can go for that retro NASL feel and pay homage to our nation’s soccer history. Candidate: Tampa Bay Rowdies Location (Metro population): Tampa, Fla. (3,068,511) Time zone: Eastern Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Raymond James Stadium (Grass, 65,518) Potential owner: Edward DeBartolo Jr. (reported net worth $3 billion) Notes: This one makes me sad. Despite having never been there, I see Al Lang Stadium as an iconic part of the Rowdies experience. Current owner Bill Edwards proposed an expansion to 18,000 seats in 2016, but the move seems to have stalled out. Frustrated with the city’s lack of action, Edwards sells to one-time San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., who uses his old NFL connections to secure a cushy lease at the home of the Buccaneers in Ray Jay, the site of a 3-1 thrashing of Antigua and Barbuda during the United States’ 2014 World Cup Qualifying campaign. Breather. Hey, we finished the Eastern Conference teams. Why are you still reading this? Why am I still writing it? Time is a meaningless construct in 2020 my friends, we are adrift in the void, fueled only by brief flashes of what once was and what may yet still be. Candidate: Austin Bold FC Location (Metro population): Austin, Texas (2,168,316) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 95,594) Potential owner: Michael Dell (reported net worth of $32.3 billion) Notes: Anthony Precourt’s Austin FC has some unexpected competition and it comes in the form of tech magnate Michael Dell. Dell, were he to buy the club, would be one of the richest owners on our list and could flash his cash in the new first division. Would he have enough to convince Darrel K Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium (I’m not kidding, that’s its actual name) to go back to a grass surface, like it did from ’96-’08? That’s between Dell and nearly 100,000 UT football fans, but everything can be had for the right price. Candidate: Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC Location (Metro population): Colorado Springs, Colo. (738,939) Time zone: Mountain Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Falcon Stadium (FieldTurf, 46,692) Potential owner: Charles Ergen (reported net worth $10.8 billion) Notes: Welcome to Colorado Springs. We have hurdles. For the first time in 12 candidates, we’re back below the desired 1 million metro population mark. Colorado Springs actually plans to build a $35 million, 8,000 seat venue downtown that will be perfect for soccer, but in our timeline that’s 7,000 seats short. Enter Falcon Stadium, home of the Air Force Academy Falcons football team. Seems perfect except for the turf, right? Well, the tricky thing is that Falcon Stadium is technically on an active military base and is (I believe) government property. Challenges to getting in and out of the ground aside, the military tends to have a pretty grim view of government property being used by for-profit enterprises. Maybe Charles Ergen, founder and chairman of Dish Network, would be able to grease the right wheels, but you can go ahead and throw this into the “doubtful” category. It’s a shame, too. 6,035 feet of elevation is one hell of a home-field advantage. Candidate: El Paso Locomotive FC Location: El Paso, Texas Time zone: Mountain Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Sun Bowl (FieldTurf, 51,500) Potential owner: Paul Foster (reported net worth $1.7 billion) Notes: God bless Texas. When compiling this list, I found so many of the theoretical stadium replacements were nearly serviceable by high school football fields. That’s insane, right? Anyway, Locomotive don’t have to settle for one of those, they’ve got the Sun Bowl, which had its capacity reduced in 2001 to a paltry 51,500 (from 52,000) specifically to accommodate soccer. Sure, it’s a turf surface, but what does new owner Paul Foster (who is only the 1,477th wealthiest man in the world, per Forbes) care, he’s got a team in a top league. Side note: Did you know that the Sun Bowl college football game is officially, through sponsorship, the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl? Why is it not the Frosted Flakes Sun Bowl? Why is the cereal mascot the promotional name of the football game? What are you doing, Kellogg’s? Candidate: Las Vegas Lights FC Location: Las Vegas, Nev. (2,227,053) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Allegiant Stadium (Grass, 61,000) Potential owner: Sheldon Adelson (reported net worth $37.7 billion) Notes: Sin City. You had to know that the club that once signed Freddy Adu because “why not” was going to go all out in our flashy hypothetical proposal. Thanks to my narrative control of this whole thing, they have. Adelson is the second-richest owner in the league and has decided to do everything first class. That includes using the new Raiders stadium in nearby unincorporated Paradise, Nevada, and spending boatloads on high profile transfers. Zlatan is coming back to the U.S., confirmed. Candidate: New Mexico United Location: Albuquerque, N.M. Time zone: Mountain Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Isotopes Park – officially Rio Grande Credit Union Field at Isotopes Park (Grass, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion) Potential owner: Maloof Family (reported net worth $1 billion) Notes: New Mexico from its inception went deep on the community vibe, and I’ve tried to replicate that in this bid. The home field of Rio Grande Cr---I’m not typing out the whole thing—Isotopes Park falls just within the expansion rules we set to make it to 15,000 (weird, right?) and they’ve found a great local ownership group in the Lebanese-American Maloof (formerly Maalouf) family from Las Vegas. The only thing to worry about would be the metro population, but overall, this could be one of the gems of USL Prem. Candidate: Oklahoma City Energy FC Location: Oklahoma City, Okla. (1,396,445) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (Grass, 13,066) Potential owner: Harold Hamm (reported net worth $14.2 billion) Notes: There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow and it says it’s time to change stadiums and owners to make it to D1. A sale to oil magnate Harold Hamm would give the club the finances it needs, but Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (home of the OKC Dodgers) actually falls outside of the boundary of what would meet capacity if 1,500 seats were added. Could the club pull off a move to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners? Maybe, but at 20 miles, this would be a reach. Candidate: Orange County SC Location: Irvine, Calif. (3,176, 000 in Orange County) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Angels Stadium of Anaheim (Grass, 43,250) Potential owner: Arte Moreno (reported net worth $3.3 billion) Notes: You’ll never convince me that Rangers didn’t choose to partner with Orange County based primarily on its name. Either way, a sale to MLB Angels owner Arte Moreno produces a fruitful partnership, with the owner choosing to play his newest club out of the existing Angels stadium in OC. Another baseball conversion, sure, but with a metro population of over 3 million and the closest thing this hypothetical league has to an LA market, who’s complaining? Candidate: Phoenix Rising FC Location: Phoenix, Ariz. (4,857,962) Time zone: Arizona Stadium (playing surface, capacity): State Farm Stadium (Grass, 63,400) Potential owner: Ernest Garcia II (reported net worth $5.7 billion) Notes: We’re keeping it local with new owner and used car guru Ernest Garcia II. His dad owned a liquor store and he dropped out of college, which is making me feel amazing about my life choices right now. Casino Arizona Field is great, but State Farm Stadium is a grass surface that hosted the 2019 Gold Cup semifinal, so it’s a clear winner. Throw in Phoenix’s massive metro population and this one looks like a lock. Candidate: Reno 1868 FC Location: Reno, Nev. (425,417) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Mackay Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000) Potential owner: Nancy Walton Laurie (reported net worth $7.1 billion) Notes: The Biggest Little City on Earth has some serious barriers to overcome, thanks to its low metro population. A sale to Walmart heiress Nancy Walton Laurie and 1.6 mile-move to Mackay Stadium to split space with the University of Nevada, Reno makes this bid competitive, but the turf surface is another knock against it. Candidate: Rio Grande Valley FC Location: Edinburg, Texas (900,304) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): McAllen Memorial Stadium (FieldTurf, 13,500 – 15,000 with expansion) Potential owner: Alice Louise Walton (reported net worth $45 billion) Notes: Yes, I have a second straight Walmart heiress on the list. She was the first thing that popped up when I googled “McAllen Texas richest people.” The family rivalry has spurred Walton to buy a club as well, moving them 10 miles to McAllen Memorial Stadium which, as I alluded to earlier, is a straight up high school football stadium with a full color scoreboard. Toss in an additional 1,500 seats and you’ve met the minimum, despite the turf playing surface. Candidate: San Antonio FC Location: San Antonio, Texas (2,550,960) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Alamodome (FieldTurf, 64,000) Potential owner: Red McCombs (reported net worth $1.6 billion) Notes: I wanted to keep SAFC in the Spurs family, since the franchise is valued at $1.8 billion. That said, I didn’t let the Rooneys own the Riverhounds based on the Steelers’ value and it felt wrong to change the rules, so bring on Clear Channel co-founder Red McCombs. Toyota Field isn’t viable in the first division, but for the Alamodome, which was built in 1993 in hopes of attracting an NFL franchise (and never did), San Antonio can finally claim having *a* national football league team in its town (contingent on your definition of football). Now if only we could do something about that turf… Candidate: San Diego Loyal SC Location: San Diego, Calif. (3,317,749) Time zone: Pacific Stadium (playing surface, capacity): SDCCU Stadium (formerly Qualcomm) (Grass, 70,561) Potential owner: Phil Mickelson (reported net worth $91 million) Notes: Yes, golf’s Phil Mickelson. The existing ownership group didn’t seem to have the wherewithal to meet requirements, and Phil seemed to slot right in. As an athlete himself, he might be interesting in the new challenges of a top flight soccer team. Toss in a move to the former home of the chargers and you might have a basis for tremendous community support. Candidate: FC Tulsa Location: Tulsa, Okla. (991,561) Time zone: Central Stadium (playing surface, capacity): Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium (FieldTurf, 30,000) Potential owner: George Kaiser ($10 billion) Notes: I’m a fan of FC Tulsa’s rebrand, but if they want to make the first division, more changes are necessary. A sale to Tulsa native and one of the 100 richest men in the world George Kaiser means that funding is guaranteed. A move to Chapman Stadium would provide the necessary seats, despite the turf field. While the undersize population might be an issue at first glance, it’s hard to imagine U.S. Soccer not granting a waiver over a less than a 10k miss from the mark. And that’s it! You made it. Those are all of the independent/hybrid affiliates in the USL Championship, which means that it’s time for our… VERDICT: As an expert who has studied this issue for almost an entire day now, I am prepared to pronounce which USL Championships could be most ‘ready” for a jump to the USL Prem. A reminder that of the 27 clubs surveyed, 0 of them met our ideal criteria (proper ownership $, metro population, 15,000+ stadium with grass field). Two of them, however, met almost all of those criteria: Indy Eleven and Miami FC. Those two clubs may use up two of our three available turf fields right from the outset, but the other factors they hit (particularly Silva’s ownership of Miami) makes them difficult, if not impossible to ignore for the top flight. But who fill in the rest of the slots? Meet the entire 14-team USL Premier League: Hartford Athletic Indy Eleven Louisville City FC Miami FC North Carolina FC Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Tampa Bay Rowdies Saint Louis FC San Antonio FC New Mexico United Phoenix Rising FC Las Vegas Lights FC Orange County SC San Diego Loyal SC Now, I shall provide my expert rationale for each club’s inclusion/exclusion, which can be roughly broken down into four categories. Firm “yes” Hartford Athletic: It’s a good market size with a solid stadium. With a decent investor and good community support, you’ve got potential here. Indy Eleven: The turf at Lucas Oil Stadium is no reason to turn down a 62,421 venue and a metro population of over 2 million. Louisville City FC: Why doesn’t the 2017 & 2018 USL Cup champion deserve a crack at the top flight? They have the market size, and with a bit of expansion have the stadium at their own SSS. LCFC, you’re in. Miami FC, “The”: Our other blue-chip recruit on the basis of ownership value, market size and stadium capacity. Yes, that field is turf, but how could you snub Silva’s chance to claim victory as the first division 1 club soccer team to play in Miami? Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC: Pittsburgh sacrificed a lot to be here (according to my arbitrary calculations). Their market size and the potential boon of soccer at Heinz Field is an important inclusion to the league. Saint Louis FC: Willie hears your “Busch League” jokes, Willie don’t care. A huge market size, combined with the absence of an NFL franchise creates opportunity. Competition with the MLS side, sure, but St. Louis has serious soccer history and we’re willing to bet it can support two clubs. Tampa Bay Rowdies: With a huge population and a massive stadium waiting nearby, Tampa Bay seems like too good of an opportunity to pass up for the USL Prem. Las Vegas Lights FC: Ostentatious, massive and well-financed, Las Vegas Lights FC is everything that the USL Premier League would need to assert that it didn’t intend to play second fiddle to MLS. Players will need to be kept on a short leash, but this is a hard market to pass up on. Phoenix Rising FC: Huge population, big grass field available nearby and a solid history of success in recent years. No brainer. San Diego Loyal SC: New club? Yes, massive population in a market that recently lost an absolutely huge sports presence? Also yes. This could be the USL Prem’s Seattle. Cautious “yes” New Mexico United: You have to take a chance on New Mexico United. The club set the league on fire with its social media presence and its weight in the community when it entered the league last season. The market may be slightly under USSF’s desired 1 million, but fervent support (and the ability to continue to use Isotopes Park) shouldn’t be discounted. North Carolina FC: Carter-Finley’s mixed grass/turf surface is a barrier, to be sure, but the 57,000+ seats it offers (and being enough to offset other fully-turf offerings) is enough to put it in the black. Orange County SC: It’s a top-tier club playing in a MLB stadium. I know it seems unlikely that USSF would approve something like that, but believe me when I say “it could happen.” Orange County is a massive market and California likely needs two clubs in the top flight. San Antonio FC: Our third and only voluntary inclusion to the turf fields in the first division, we’re counting on San Antonio’s size and massive potential stadium to see it through. Cautious “no” Birmingham Legion FC: The town has solid soccer history and a huge potential venue, but the turf playing surface puts it on the outside looking in. Memphis 901 FC: Like Birmingham, not much to dislike here outside of the turf playing surface at the larger playing venue. Austin Bold FC: See the other two above. FC Tulsa: Everything’s just a little bit off with this one. Market’s slightly too small, stadium has turf. Just not enough to put it over the top. Firm “no” Charleston Battery: Small metro and a small potential new stadium? It’s tough to say yes to the risk. Charlotte Independence: A small new stadium and the possibility of having to compete with an organization that just paid over $300 million to join MLS means it’s best for this club to remain in the USL Championship. Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC: When a club’s best chance to meet a capacity requirement is to host games at a venue controlled by the military, that doesn’t speak well to a club’s chances. El Paso Locomotive FC: An undersized market and a turf field that meets capacity requirements is the death knell for this one. Oklahoma City Energy FC: Having to expand a baseball field to meet requirements is a bad start. Having to potentially play 20 miles away from your main market is even worse. Reno 1868 FC: Population nearly a half-million short of the federation’s requirements AND a turf field at the hypothetical new stadium makes impossible to say yes to this bid. Rio Grande Valley FC: All the seat expansions in the world can’t hide the fact that McAllen Memorial Stadium is a high school stadium through and through. Here’s who’s left in the 11-team Championship: Birmingham Legion FC Charleston Battery Charlotte Independence Memphis 901 FC Austin Bold FC Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC El Paso Locomotive FC Oklahoma City Energy FC Reno 1868 FC Rio Grande Valley FC FC Tulsa With MLS folding the six affiliates it has in USL League One, the league is a little bit thin (especially considering USSF’s requirements for 8 teams for lower level leagues), but seems definitely able to expand up to the necessary numbers with Edwards’ allusions to five new additions this year: Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Forward Madison FC Greenville Triumph SC Union Omaha Richmond Kickers South Georgia Tormenta FC Tucson Format of Assorted Leagues – This (like everything in this post) is pure conjecture on my part, but here are my thoughts on how these leagues might function in a first year while waiting for additional expansion. USL Premier – We’ll steal from the 12-team Scottish Premiership. Each club plays the other 11 clubs 3 times, with either one or two home matches against each side. When each club has played 33 matches, the top six and bottom six separate, with every club playing an additional five matches (against each other team in its group). The top club wins the league. The bottom club is automatically relegated. The second-bottom club will enter a two-legged playoff against someone (see below) from the championship playoffs. USL Championship -- 11 clubs is a challenge to schedule for. How about every club plays everyone else three times (either one or two home matches against each side)? Top four clubs make the playoffs, which are decided by two-legged playoffs. The winner automatically goes up. I need feedback on the second part – is it better to have the runner-up from the playoffs face the second-bottom club from the Premiership, or should the winner of the third-place match-up get the chance to face them to keep drama going in both playoff series? As for relegation, we can clearly only send down the last place club while the third division is so small. USL League One – While the league is so small, it doesn’t seem reasonable to have the clubs play as many matches as the higher divisions. Each club could play the other six clubs four times – twice at home and twice away – for a very equitable 24-match regular season, which would help restrict costs and still provide a chance to determine a clear winner. Whoever finishes top of the table goes up. And there you have it, a hypothetical look at how the USL could build a D1 league right now. All it would take is a new stadium for almost the entire league and new owners for all but one of the 27 clubs, who wouldn’t feel that their property would be massively devalued if they got relegated. Well that’s our show. I’m curious to see what you think of all of this, especially anything that you think I may have overlooked (I’m sure there’s plenty). Anyway, I hope you’re all staying safe and well.
Although most likely GTA Online’s upcoming winter update will most likely either be a new interior in Los Santos like the mall or a small island you might not even be able to access in free roam, it definitely does seem like Rockstar is interested in eventually doing a map expansion, although currently Rockstar has been adding new interiors rather than actually expanding the map. I think that the casino interior on Online was Rockstar experimenting with enhancing Los Santos with new interiors as current gen limitations prevent map expansions. But with a standalone version of Online coming in 2021 on next gen consoles I think eventually Online could get a map expansion. What does this have to do with GTA 6? Well, as GTA 6 will almost certainly be for next-gen consoles from the start it is likely to eventually receive a map expansion. We have no idea where it’ll take place but what would you most want as a new map? The game will definitely not take place in Los Santos as we’ve been stuck with it for years but I think that several years after 6’s release they add Los Santos as a map expansion both because it would be easier than an entirely new city and people would become nostalgic for it. Let’s assume GTA 6 takes place in Vice City and lasts for a decade before GTA 7. The game receives two map expansions over the course of its lifetime. If there could be any two locations that Rockstar could add for the next-gen GTA 6, what would you like? They can be either cities that have been done or entirely new cities. Here are my ideas -Liberty City (updated with new graphics, maybe a countryside) -Las Venturas (great atmosphere plus a lot of money potential for Take Two with gambling) -Detroit (GTA 3’s Liberty City’s hellhole atmosphere on steroids, dangerous gang wars, abandoned neighborhoods giving an incredible dark atmosphere) -Los Santos (I think updating the graphics of Los Santos from PS3 to PS5 would make it seem like an entirely new city, plus the large countryside could look absolutely gorgeous, just look at Red Dead Redemption 2, that’s a current-gen game and it’s wilderness areas are incredible. -Houston (a big city with industrial areas literally right next to residential areas) -Somewhere In Mexico or South America (drug trafficking and the potential for exploring a different country in GTA) -North Yankton (snowy small town atmosphere) -Anaheim (Disneyland, which offers a ton of satire potential) -A random small town (easier to make but has a great atmosphere that’s a break from the big city) -Washington DC (government satire) -The Grand Canyon (excellent countryside area) -Hawaii or a tourist island(s) (awesome islands and jungle to explore) -Private islands (billionaire mansion heists) -Somewhere In Canada (Canadian satire) -Boston (American origins satire) -London (a city that’s traversed much differently than an American city, plus British satire) -A city that’s based off nothing in particular (allows a lot of creativity in it’s design, plus easier than replicating an actual area)
[DD] $MAR, $WYND, $H, $PK, it's worse than people realize
TLDR; Event Cancellations destroy hotel revenue more than people realize. PUTS on ($MAR, $WH, $HLT, $PK) (03/20 - 04/~) expiration. The focus has been on casinos, not hotels, until now. (easy difficulty)
Alright establishing credibility (HARD difficulty): I work with large companies, events, entertainment and HEAR a lot from idiot employees OF said companies. I'm not stating I have information that is unknown to the public. I just know how these events work. The safety and government interaction behinds these events is insane and you don't even see it. I pushed the LYV put and AMD dd's if you remember me. The presentation of the main argument (IMPOSSIBLE): If you like a sense of confidence with your investments; this ones for you. People were saying "short hotel stocks: MGM, LVS.". They were focusing on the fact of tourism and gambling being impacted. Nobody was focused on the actual hotel industry. The revenue for these major Vegas hotels mostly comes from gambling, different from everywhere else. Hotels actually get their majority room nights booking from events. Make the connection? Everything is getting cancelled. I need to give a quick lesson about cities and how event centers work with them (you can probably skip this paragraph but it helps). Most convention centers operate at a loss, and that's the plan. City's work directly with event centers to attract events. These events drive economic growth for the city. Convention centers receive a large portion of their operating costs from the cities board. The cycle is government > the CC > hotels and continue with hotel tax to the city to repeat (think room nights). tiny tldr; ($convention revenue > $hotels > $government) and it's cycles. purpose; economic growth. Here's where it gets interesting. Business to Leisure travel is a 1:2.1 ratio on average. Where do hotels get most of their revenue? Rooms right? Yes but, not by a long shot. By a small margin close to rooms is Food and Beverage (F&B) revenue. Not from room service, from events. Think catering and cooperate events. Cooperate event's are getting cancelled left and right. Add up this F&B revenue/business revenue and you have? A majority of hotel revenue is about to disappear. (Seriously catered event's are insanely expensive; ($40 a plate for steaks x 700 guests). tiny tldr; (hotel revenue = events (by majority) = cancelled) Now this is where it gets really f**** juicy. A majority of these are combined. A Marriott for example hosts convention space (THE 3RD LARGEST REVENUE GENERATOR). RIP to their incomes. What hotels will get the most F****** in order (personal opinion based off operations and support):
1957 = wrote a letter to President Eisenhower saying he wanted to lead the nation into space.
1968 = graduated from the University of Berkeley magna cum laude with a degree in finance.
1969 = gets married to his high school sweetheart.
1970 = receives an MBA from Wharton Business school, according to Milken he had the highest grades ever achieved at the school. Starts working for an investment firm called Drexel that would soon merge and be known as Drexel Burnham.
1976 = made $5 million ($23 million in 2020 dollars) from Drexel Burnham.
1977 = buys his current home in Encino, California that cost $587,500 (over $2.5 million in 2020 dollars). 7 bedrooms. over 7,000 square feet. Milken and the Drexel Burnham firm began to underwrite junk bonds.
1978 = moved his trading desk from New York to his hometown of Los Angeles, bringing about 20 traders with him. Milken stayed on the NYC schedule while in Los Angeles, waking up at 3am and working from 4:30am to 7:30pm.
1979 = First Predator's Ball, a financial conference hosted by Milken that continues to the present with over 3,500 people from over 50 nations attending.
1981 = by this time, Drexel Burnham is issuing over 60% of junk bonds in America. Milken committed to buy or sell junk bonds that Drexel Burnham had underwritten, offering liquidity and security to the market. This allowed for junk bonds to be more accurately priced and it brought new customers and their money into Milken’s junk bond market.
1982 = started the Milken Family Foundation with his brother Lowell Milken as a tax shelter.
1986 = There are more companies issuing junk bonds than investment-grade bonds. Drexel Burnham became the leading investment bank in America. Milken made $296 million ($698 million in 2020 dollars) from Drexel Burnham.
1987 = made $550 million ($1.25 billion in 2020 dollars) from Drexel Burnham.
1988 = Drexel Burnham launches an internal investigation into Milken and uncovers a shadow entity called MacPherson Partners that was engaging in suspicious financial activity. Drexel Burnham pleads guilty to 6 counts of stock parking and stock manipulation. Milken leaves Drexel Burnham to start his own firm.
1989 = indicted by Rudy Giuliani and charged with 98 counts of financial crimes which included insider trading, securities fraud, stock parking, and racketeering.
1990 = pleads guilty to 6 charges of criminal violation of securities laws and is ordered by the SEC to pay a $200 million fine plus $400 million to defrauded investors. Additional Milken has to pay a civil lawsuit settlement of $500 million to Drexel’s private investors who lost money after his crimes caused the firm to go bankrupt.
1992 = his jail sentence is reduced from 10 years to 2 years and Milken is released from prison after serving 22 months. After paying over $1 billion in fines, Milken still has a fortune of $2.5 billion ($4.6 billion in 2020 dollars).
1993 = diagnosed with prostate cancer and given 18 months to live. Milken, with the help of his money, beats the odds and his cancer has been in remission for over 25 years. Buys a vacation in Lake Tahoe for $8 million ($14.3 million in 2020 dollars) and then tears down the house and builds a new house.
1998 = paid $47 million to settle SEC claims he had violated his lifetime ban from the industry.
2009 = Milken buys his daughter an $8.75 million mansion in Beverly Hills.
2011 = bought a house in Malibu for $13.75 million.
2013 = committed another violation of his lifetime ban from the securities industry by loaning a senior executive at a financial firm $50 million.
2014 = George Washington University named its public health school after Milken because of his donation of $50 million.
2019 = bought a Beverly Hills Mansion for $19 million cash.
The junk bond scheme:
Milken controlled both sides of the deal, he controlled both the lenders and the borrowers.
he controlled the lenders because he controlled a huge network of federally insured Savings and Loan banks, reputable insurance companies, and junk bond funds.
so Milken would then raise money from his network of lenders to buy junk bonds from a junk company (borrower), with the promise that the junk company will use some of that capital to buy junk bonds from other junk companies (borrowers) in Milken’s junk bond empire. This inflated the demand for the junk bonds.
junk bonds yielded Milken a high commission, and Milken would also get equity in the junk companies that he had just financed with capital.
Junk bonds financed corporate raiders, and information about those takeover bids was improperly shared, creating criminal insider trading opportunities. Milken often tried to get as much as five times the maximum markup on trades that was permitted at the time. Milken’s friend and business associate, Ivan Boesky:
Ivan Boesky’s conviction of insider trading in 1986 is what lead to Milken’s downfall.
Milken had substantial business dealings with Boesky.
the first lead into Milken’s crimes was a payment of $5.3 million by Ivan Boesky to Drexel Burnham listed as a consultation fee. Boesky told the SEC this payment was for Milken’s profits form an illegal trade.
Boesky implicated milked in insider trading, stock manipulation, fraud, and stock parking.
Milken’s shadow entity, MacPherson Partners:
Drexel’s internal investigation discovered suspicious activity in one of the limited partnerships Milken had set up to allow members of his department to make their own investments called MacPherson Partners.
Members of MacPherson Partners included: Milken, other Drexel Burnham executives, a few high value Drexel Bernham customers, as well as a few managers of money market funds - all friends of Milken.
MacPherson Partners acquired several stock warrant)s for the stock of Storer Broadcasting in 1985. At the time, the powerful private equity firm KKR was in the midst of a leveraged buyout of Storer Broadcasting, and Drexel Burnham was the lead underwriter for the bonds being issued.
One of Drexel Burnham’s other clients bought several Storer Broadcasting warrants and sold them back to the high-yield bond department (controlled by Milken) at Drexel Burnham.
Drexel Burnham’s high-yield bond department in turn sold them to MacPherson Partners (also controlled by Milken).
Those warrants were then handed out by Milken to members of his family, and the money managers bought the warrants for themselves without notifying the clients of the funds they were managing.
By allowing his wealth fund management friends to buy the warrants, Milken was essentially bribing them so they would in turn help him with his junk bond manipulation.
His Trial, Conviction and Sentence
During the trial, Milken spent $3 million a month on his legal defense and an expensive public relations firm. He ultimately pleaded guilty to 3 counts of securities fraud, 2 counts of tax evasion, and 1 count of conspiracy to commit the other 5 crimes. Milken was ordered by the court to pay a fine of $200 million and to pay $400 million to defrauded investors. In a separate civil suit Milken had to pay out an additional $500 million to defrauded investors. Sentenced to 2 years for each of the 5 counts of tax and securities fraud for 10 years total. When the judge read the sentence, Milken misunderstood and thought he had received 2 years total. After his lawyer told him that he was getting 10 years, the blood drained out of Milken’s face, he took his wife into a witness waiting room, closed the door and let out a blood-curdling scream.
Clemency from President Trump
On February 18, 2020 Trump granted clemency to Milken, although his lifetime ban from the securities industry is still in effect. America’s Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, is longtime pals with Milken, and was the prime mover in convincing President Trump to pardon him. Mnuchin has flown on Milken’s private jet. Another fat cat advocating for Milken was Nelson Peltz, who has raised over $10 million for Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign. And don’t forget Trump's fattest fat cat, Sheldon Adelson, who also advocated on behalf of Milken. Many powerful figures in high finance came together to lobby the White House on behalf of Milken, including:
Sheldon Adelson: a major Republican donor and Trump supporter, Adelson is the chief executive officer of casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corp.
David Bahnsen: a former Morgan Stanley managing director and wealth management executive who wrote Trump in 2017 urging him to pardon Milken, calling the junk bond king’s prosecution a result of “a period of class envy run amok.”
Tom Barrack: the chief executive officer and chairman of Colony Capital Inc., Barrack is long-time Trump ally. He faced a call from an investor in November to step down in part over distractions from investigations into his political and personal activities.
Rupert Murdoch: a powerful media mogul and longtime Trump ally who put the power of News Corp. behind the president.
Maria Bartiromo: a popular anchor on Fox Business, Bartiromo has interviewed Milken as recently as 2018 (and has also interviewed Trump). The network is part of Murdoch’s media empire.
Ron Burkle: a billionaire investor who controls Yucaipa Cos., Burkle made his fortune in the grocery-store industry. Burkle, a Democratic fund-raiser famous for his friendship with Bill Clinton, made news last year when he was rumored to be interested in acquiring the Trump-friendly National Enquirer.
Elaine Chao: the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Chao was a key speaker at the Milken Global Conference last year, where she spoke about the future of mobility as well as women in government. She’s married to Republican Senate Majority Leader and top Trump ally Mitch McConnell.
Rudy Giuliani: Trump’s personal lawyer, the former New York mayor has lately been embroiled in the Ukraine scandal. As chief federal prosecutor in New York in the 1980s, Giuliani sought to prosecute Milken.
Rabbi Marvin Hier: dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Hier was invited by Trump to speak at his inauguration. The rabbi in 2018 called on Trump to fight extremism in the U.S. after a shooting at a synagogue.
Ray Irani: chairman and chief executive officer of Ray Investments Ltd. and former CEO of Occidental Petroleum, Irani stepped down as a board member at Wynn Resorts Ltd. following a sexual harassment scandal involving company founder Steve Wynn.
Robert Kraft: owner of the New England Patriots and a longtime Trump supporter.
Richard LeFrak: a billionaire developer and Republican donor, LeFrak appeared in a 2010 episode of Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice.”
Randy Levine: the president of the New York Yankees and a longtime supporter of Republican politicians, including Trump.
Kevin McCarthy: a Republican congressman from California, McCarthy is the House Minority Leader and a longtime Trump supporter.
Larry Mizel: chairman and CEO of home-builder MDC Holdings Inc.
Arte Moreno: owner of the Anaheim Angels, which he purchased from The Walt Disney Co. in 2003
Sean Parker: Napster co-creator and Facebook Inc. billionaire who has attended the annual Milken Institute Global Conference.
John Paulson: founder and owner of Paulson & Co., a New York-based investment adviser that manages about $9 billion, Paulson is best-known for making $15 billion in 2007 on a bet against mortgage bonds.
Nelson Peltz: founder and chief executive officer of Trian Fund Management LP, Peltz is well-known as an activist investor in companies like Wendy’s and Dupont.
Steven Roth: chairman and chief executive officer of Vornado Realty Trust, a REIT that holds more than 22 million square feet in commercial property, mainly in New York.
David Rubenstein: co-chairman and co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm with $222 billion in assets under management.
Larry Ruvo: senior managing director of Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, the state’s largest liquor wholesaler.
Marc Stern: the chairman of TCW Group Inc. hosted a $10,000 per person fund-raiser for Trump at his Malibu home in 2018 attended by Vice President Mike Pence.
Steven Tananbaum: the founder and chief investment officer of GoldenTree Asset Management LP, one of Wall Street’s biggest investors in distressed debt.
Ted Virtue: the chief executive officer of MidOcean Partners, the middle-market private equity and credit firm, who previously oversaw Deutsche Bank AG’s $35 billion direct investment portfolio.
Andrew von Eschenbach: a U.S. Food and Drug Administration chief under President George W. Bush, he now serves on the board of Bausch Health Cos.
Mark Weinberger: the chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young LLP, Weinberger quit Trump’s business council after the Charlottesville white supremacists rally but later dined with the president.
Milken likes to tell his life story as a smart guy who grew up wanting to be a scientist and lead America in the space race, but after his first year in college the Watts riots happened and it made him rethink his life. After talking with a Black man who told him that he couldn’t get access to capital because he was Black, Milken decided he would dedicate his life to making sure people with ability would have access to capital. So Milken changed from a science major to finance, went to business school, made $billions on Wall Street all so he could help Black people? There are plenty of people who in part owe their wealth to Milken and his junk bonds, and these people heap praise on Milken saying he created a lot of wealth in America and helped society tremendously. The wealth, though, went to those people heaping the praise! As for the companies Milken financed helping society, it would be difficult to argue that case. The big name companies that were financed by Milken include: CNN, Rupert Murdoch’s empire, Wynn casinos, Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital, etc. Milken was not helping society, he was helping people on Wall Street get rich. Government watchdogs are usually too weak to take on the crimes of the super rich, because the government watchdog worker still gets paid whether for not the Wall Street crook gets busted. There is no incentive to play by the rules. Milken has done a lot of philanthropic work especially in regards to cancer research with that $2.5 billion he had leftover after getting out of prison, although he hasn’t given away that much money considering his net worth in 2020 is $3.8 billion. What I find most fascinating about the Milken story is the power of his public relations machine. All the major media outlets cast Milken as a philanthropist and not a criminal. Another sign of the overwhelming influence of the wealthy on the American zeitgeist.
Vegas Trip is coming up! Looking for advice, comments, etc
Wall of text coming, will be a TL;DR (Too long didn't read) at the bottom if you want to skip this. My wife and I are going to Vegas in 2 weeks! (My second time). We have 4 days at New York/New York (comped from MGM) heading to Anaheim for 3 days to check out Disneyland and some escape rooms. When we come back we will be staying at the D (that's to their generosity) before leaving to come back home. Our bankroll will be about $200-250 per day (any money left from the previous day we split and add to the next day. Worked well for us last year). This will make life difficult on the strip. We plan to play mostly at Excalibur. My wife mostly plays slots, so I'll likely end up at other strip casinos so I'll need something to do. Any idea what the limits are for bubble craps machines on the strip? Are there any cheaper ones at MGM or Caesars properties? (Min $1-3 would be awesome, but I know that is dreaming). We plan to see Shin Lim at the Mirage so we will likely play something before the show. We also plan to see Mat Franco at the Linq, so I'm guessing my wife will want to play some slots there, so I'll be hoping for some cheaper bubble craps as well. We plan to take a day to travel to other parts of Las Vegas. I plan to go towards the Boulder Strip and play craps at Joker's Wild and any other cheaper places over on that side of town (suggestions welcome). I know that those areas have a lot of locals, new dealers and slower play, which I'm fine with. Hoping to find some of those cheap tables out that way. We also considered heading towards the north end to check out the Aliante Casino and any others up there. We won't be in Vegas in time to check out the Hard Rock, which we never went into and never got to go into Hooters. We plan to be downtown for a large portion of our trip (we have a rental) and play at Golden Gate, the D and Four Queens. We didn't play at the California or Main St last time, so we plan to check them out since we have a Boyd property close to home. We love downtown and except to spend much of our time there. We did stay and play at Fremont last time (since it was comped from play at our local Boyd casino), but it wasn't our favorite place. We never went into Golden Nugget since it seemed more expensive at night and Binions we spent maybe 15 minutes there. The Plaza we only ate there, but never had a chance to play. My wife hit a jackpot at Golden Gate last year and loved the D so we plan to spend a lot of time there. They have a horse racing game upstairs that uses tokens, didn't get a chance to play it last time. We also both appreciate the dancing dealers. As well, they have a table game that is poker but has wilds. It was pretty fun and we could play for quite a while before starting to lose money. We also want to hit the El Cortez to play the old slot machines with quarters/tokens and check out their craps tables. On our trip to California, we considered stopping by some of those casinos in Primm (Buffalo Bills, Whiskey Petes, Primm Valley) because they look like fun dive places we could spend an hour or two at, get something to eat and break up our drive. Any experience with those? If we run out of money, we plan to check out the Neon Museum, the Pinball Museum and take in some people watching. As well, I didn't get into all of the strip casinos (like the Cosmo, Cromwell and a few others to get my $1 chip). All in all, we have a lot we want to do in a short period of time. More travel means less money spent on gambling right? The TL;DR - looking for cheap bubble craps options on the strip, cheap places to play off the strip, craps parlours/old places to play that I should check into. Any suggestions are welcome.
Hi All, The wife and I are from Australia and looking to travel to America over December 2020/January 2021 for our first time. DecembeJanuary is the only time she can get a decent chunk of time off, so we can’t really travel at any other time. We actually prefer the colder weather, we travelled all over Europe (London, Paris, Belgium, Swiss Alps, Italy, Budapest, Germany etc.) in December 2018, and was pretty rushed, moving countries every 2-3 days (Part of a topdeck group). So prefer to be able to take a bit more time in each place this time. We saw a travel agent on the week, we usually book ourselves (Which we will probably do again) but thought we would see what a travel agent recommended. Their accommodation suggestions were expensive (Around 8.5K AUD for 29 days) considering every place they recommended was minimum $250-300AUD per night. Looking at Booking.com/Agoda, there seemed to be a lot of cheaper alternate options close to where they recommended. Length: About 4 weeks, Maybe 5? (A bit flexible on this) Budget: It’s not going to be cheap estimating 15-20k AUD (Flights from Australia at this time are around 1.7-2k AUD each), including flights, accommodation, spending money…. But we can be a flexible on the budget. Accommodation: We don’t want to stay in fancy and expensive places, we are more cheap AirBnB travellers.. As long as it’s clean, has it’s own bathroom/shower and in a good location we are more than happy with that because we are usually out 90% of the day when we travel Things to do and see: We generally can plan and find our own things to do when travelling. The only things we are really set on seeing landmark wise are Alcatraz, Disneyland and The Grand Canyon. As long as there is good food and plenty to keep us busy, we are happy. Itinerary: Boston: 9th December to 12th December – Staying at Hyatt Regency Boston We don’t really know much about Boston, was recommended by the travel agent. So we could drop this off to have more time in other places, or swap it for somewhere else? New York: 12th December to 17th December – Staying at Holiday Inn Manhattan (Financial District) I’ve spoken to a few people and they’re recommended extending the New York stay to at least 7 days? What's the best area to stay here, everyone seems to say Midtown? Philadelphia: 17th December to 21st December – Staying at The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton New Orleans: 21st December to 26th December – Staying at Wyndham New Orleans (French Quarter) San Francisco: 26th December to 30th December – Staying at The Cartwright Hotel - Union Square, BW Premier Collection Las Vegas: 30th December to 1st January – Staying at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino Anaheim: 1st January to 4th January – Staying at Four Points by Sheraton Anaheim San Diego: 4th January to 7th of January – Staying at Solamar San Diego San Diego was again recommended by the travel agent, so we are happy to either swap this or drop it off completely? Travel agent also recommended driving from San Francisco to Las Vegas then Anaheim then onto San Diego? Was possibly trying to get Washington DC in there too, but that was just an after thought. Let me know your thoughts and if there are any places you recommend swapping, spending more time in or dropping somewhere off completely? We are pretty flexible with what we are doing and where we are going and more than happy for suggestions. We were actually thinking of doing the West Coast first and then moving onto the East Coast. But the travel agent recommended it the other way around? Where would be a good place to avoid on Christmas/NYE?
Collecting California brewery bottle caps...where can I find more?
I am trying to collect bottle caps from as many CA-based based breweries as possible...I think I've bought all the individual ones currently available on eBay. Looking for recommendations on where I might be able to find more, whether for individual sale or in bulk. I even have a list of the breweries I'm still missing. I lived in CA for several years where my collection began. I'm trying to get bottle caps from 61 different breweries to fill a wooden map of CA. Currently I have 25. I've posted in CaliforniaBeer as well, just looking for whatever recommendations are out there. Edit: Breweries I am currently looking for listed below
• 21st Amendment Brewery in San Leandro • Ale Industries in Oakland • Altamont Beer Works in Livermore • Buffalo Bill's Brewery in Hayward • Cleophus Quealy Beer Company in San Leandro • Diving Dog Brewhouse in Oakland • Drake's Brewing Company in San Leandro • Eight Bridges Brewing Company in Livermore • Faction Brewing in Alameda • Fieldwork Brewing Company in Berkeley • Hoi Polloi Brewpub and Beat Lounge in Berkeley • JP DasBrew in Fremont • Oakland United Beerworks (formerly Linden Street Brewery) in Oakland • Old Kan Beer & Co. in Oakland • The Rare Barrel in Berkeley • Shadow Puppet Brewing Company in Livermore • Triple Rock Brewery and Alehouse in Berkeley • Trumer Brauerei in Berkeley • Woods Bar & Brewery in Oakland • Working Man Brewing Company in Livermore
• Amador Brewing Company in Plymouth • Butte County • Sierra Nevada Brewing Company headquarters in Chico • Eckert Malting and Brewing in Chico • Feather Falls Casino Brewing Company in Oroville • Feather River Brewing Company in Magalia • NorCal Brewing in Chico • Secret Trail Brewing in Chico
Contra Costa County
• Calicraft in Walnut Creek • Danville Brewing Company in Danville • E.J. Phair Brewing Company in Pittsburg • Farm Creek Brewing Company in Walnut Creek • Elevation 66 Brewing Company in El Cerrito • Schubros Brewery in San Ramon • Epidemic Ales in Concord • Ocean View Brew Works in Albany
El Dorado County
• The Brewery at Lake Tahoe in South Lake Tahoe • Cold Water Brewery and Grill in South Lake Tahoe • Cool Beerwerks in Cool • El Dorado Brewing Company in Diamond Springs • Gold Hill Winery and Brewery in Placerville • HWY 50 Brewery in Camino • Jack Russell Farm Brewery in Camino • Lake Tahoe AleWorX in South Lake Tahoe • Mraz Brewing Company in El Dorado Hills • Outbreak Brewing Company in Placerville • Outpost Brewing Company in South Lake Tahoe • Placerville Brewing Company in Placerville • Sidellis Lake Tahoe in South Lake Tahoe • Solid Ground Brewing in Diamond Springs • South Lake Brewing Company in South Lake Tahoe • Stash Brewing Co. in Garden Valley • Stateline Brewery and Restaurant in South Lake Tahoe
• The Mad Duck Craft Brewery in Fresno • Fresno Brewing Company in Fresno • Full Circle Brewing in Fresno • Pine & Palm Brewing in Fresno • Tactical OPS Brewing in Fresno • Tioga–Sequoia Brewing Company in Fresno
• Eel River Brewing Company in Fortuna • Redwood Curtain Brewing Company in Arcata • Six Rivers Brewery in McKinleyville
• Mountain Rambler Brewery in Bishop
• Crusader Brewing in Bakersfield • Dionysus Brewing Company in Bakersfield • Great Change Brewing in Bakersfield • Kern River Brewing Company in Kernville • Lengthwise Brewing in Bakersfield • Local Craft Beer in Tehachapi • Temblor Brewing Company in Bakersfield
• Bird Street Brewing in Lemoore • Hop Forged Brewing Company in Hanford
Kelsey Creek Brewing Company in Kelseyville
Mount St. Helena Brewing Company in Middletown
O'Meara Brothers Brewing Company in Lakeport
Los Angeles County
Absolution Brewing Company in Torrance
Alosta Brewing Co in Covina
Ambitious Ales in Los Angeles
Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles
Beachwood BBQ and Brewery in Long Beach
Belmont Brewing Company in Long Beach
Bravery Brewing in Lancaster
Brouwerij West in San Pedro
Congregation Ale House in Azusa
Cosmic Brewery in Torrance
Claremont Craft Ales in Claremont
The Dudes' Brewing Company in Torrance
Eagle Rock Brewery in Los Angeles
El Segundo Brewing Company in El Segundo
Golden Road Brewery in Los Angeles
Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in Burbank
Hand-Brewed Beer in Chatsworth
Homage Brewing in Pomona
Kinetic Brewing Company in Lancaster
King Harbor Brewing Company in Redondo Beach
MacLeod Ale Brewing Company in Los Angeles
MillerCoors brewery in Irwindale
Monkish Brewing Company in Torrance
Mumford Brewing in Los Angeles
Ohana Brewing Company in Los Angeles
Pacific Plate Brewing Company in Monrovia
Progress Brewing in South El Monte
Red Car Brewery in Torrance
Skyscraper Brewing Company in El Monte
Sanctum Brewing Company in Pomona
Scholb Premium Ales in Torrance
Strand Brewing Company in Torrance
Timeless Pints Brewing Company in Lakewoo
• South Gate Brewing Company in Oakhurst
• Adobe Creek Brewing in Novato • Indian Valley Brewing in Novato • Iron Springs Pub & Brewery in Fairfax • Marin Brewing in Larkspur • Moylan's Brewery in Novato • Pond Farm Brewing in San Rafael • The State Room in San Rafael
• Yosemite Ale Werks in Mariposa
• Bobcat Brewing Company in Merced
• Mammoth Brewing Company in Mammoth Lakes • June Lake Brewing in June Lake
• Alvarado Street Brewery in Monterey • Cannery Row Brewing Company in Monterey • English Ales in Marina • Peter B's Brew Pub in Monterey • Yeast of Eden in Carmel
• Calistoga Inn, Restaurant and Brewing in Calistoga • Downtown Joe's Brewery in Napa • Mad Fritz in St. Helena • Napa Smith Brewery in Napa • St. Clair Brown in Napa • Tannery Bend Beerworks in Napa • Trade Brewing in Napa
• FiftyFifty Brewing Company in Truckee • Nevada Brewery in Nevada City • Ol' Republic Brewery in Nevada City • Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company in Truckee • Three Forks Bakery & Brewing Company in Nevada City
• Anaheim Brewery in Anaheim • Barley Forge Brewing Company in Costa Mesa • Brewing Reserve of California in Costa Mesa • Bootlegger's Brewery in Fullerton and Costa Mes • Bottle Logic Brewing, Anaheim • Cismontane Brewing Company in Santa Ana • The Good Beer Company in Santa Ana • Green Cheek Beer Company in Orange • Gunwhale Ales in Costa Mesa • Laguna Beach Beer Company in Rancho Santa Margarita and Laguna Beach • Left d Brewing Company in San Clemente and Irvine • Network Brewery in Santa Ana • Noble Ale Works in Anaheim • Old Orange Brewing Company in Orange • Riip Beer Company in Huntington Beach • TAPS Brewery & Barrel Room in Tustin • Tustin Brewing Company in Tustin • Valiant Brewing Company in Orange
• Auburn Alehouse in Auburn • Boneshaker Public House and Community Brewery in Rocklin • Crooked Lane Brewing Company in Auburn • GoatHouse Brewing Company in Lincoln • Knee Deep Brewing Company in Auburn • Loomis Basin Brewing Company in Loomis • Moksa Brewing in Rocklin • Moonraker Brewing Company in Auburn • Out of Bounds Brewing Company in Rocklin • Slice Beer Company in Lincoln • The Monk's Cellar in Roseville
• The Brewing Lair of the Sierra (formerly UnderCover Ale Works) • Waganupa Brewing in Chester • Quintopia Brewing Co in Quincy
• Aftershock Brewing Company in Temecula • Area 51 Craft Brewery in Riverside • Babe's BBQ & Brewhouse in Rancho Mirage • Black Market Brewing Company in Temecula • Brew Rebellion in Banning • Brewcaipa Brewing in Yucaipa • Coachella Valley Brewing in Thousand Palms • Desert Beer Company in Palm Desert • Electric Brewing Company in Murrieta • Grey Wolf in Norco • Inland Empire Brewing Company in Riverside • Ironfire Brewing Company in Temecula • La Quinta Brewing in Palm Desert • Las Palmas Brewing in Palm Springs • Refuge Brewery in Temecula • Wiens Brewing Company in Temecula • Woody's Brewhouse in Moreno Valley
• Alaro Brewing in Sacramento • At Ease Brewing in Sacramento • Big Sexy Brewing in Sacramento • Big Stump Brew Co. in Sacramento • Burning Barrel Brewing in Rancho Cordova • Claimstake Brewing in Rancho Cordova • Delta Borne Brewing in Sacramento • Device Brewing Company in Sacramento • Dreaming Dog Brewery in Elk Grove • Flatland Brewing in Elk Grove • Fort Rock Brewing in Rancho Cordova • Fountainhead Brewing in Sacramento • Hoppy Brewing Co in Sacramento • King Cong Brewing Company in Sacramento • New Glory Craft Brewery in Sacramento • New Helvetia Brewing in Sacramento • Oak Park Brewing in Sacramento • Palm Tree Brewing Company in Orangevale • Porchlight Brewing in Sacramento • Red Bus Brewing in Folsom • River Rock Brewery in Galt • Sacrament Brewing in Sacramento • Tower Brewing in Sacramento • Track 7 Brewing Company in Sacramento • Tilted Mash Brewing in Elk Grove • Urban Roots Brewing in Sacramento
San Bernardino County
• 3 Iron Brewing Co. in Colton • Brewcaipa in Yucaipa • Desert Barn Brewery in Hesperia • Escape Craft Brewery in Redlands • Hangar 24 Craft Brewery in Redlands • I & I Brewing in Chino • Kings Brewing in Rancho Cucamonga • Oak Hills Brewing Company in Hesperia • Ritual Brewing Co. in Redlands • Rowdy's Brew Co. in Rancho Cucamonga • Sour Cellars in Rancho Cucamonga
San Francisco City and County
• 21st Amendment Brewery • Barrel Head Brewhouse • Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant • Black Sands Brewery • Black Hammer Brewing • Cellarmaker Brewing Company • Cervezería de MateVeza • Eagle Brewery • Enterprise Brewery • Fort Point Beer Company • Golden City Brewery • Hamm's Brewer • Harmonic Brewing • Hibernia Brewery • Laughing Monk Brewing • Lafayette Brewery • Local Brewing Company • Magnolia Brewing Company • Schuster's Railroad Brewery • Seven Stills • Southern Pacific Brewing • Speakeasy Ales and Lagers • Sunset Reservoir Brewing Company • Thirsty Bear Brewing Company • Triple Voodoo Brewing • Washington Brewery • Willow's Brewery
San Joaquin County
• Dancing Fox Winery and Brewery in Lodi • Five Window Beer Company in Lodi • High Water Brewing Company in Lodi • Idol Beer Works in Lodi • Lodi Beer Company in Lodi • Morgan Territory Brewing in Tracy
San Luis Obispo County
• 927 Beer Company in Cambria • BarrelHouse Brewing Co. in Paso Robles • Libertine Brewing Company in San Luis Obispo • Tap It Brewing Company in San Luis Obispo
San Mateo County
• 47 Hills Brewing in South San Francisco • Alpha Acid Brewing Company in Belmont • Armstrong Brewing Company in South San Francisco • Blue Oak Brewing Company in San Carlos • Devil's Canyon Brewing Company in Belmont • Freewheel Brewing Company in Redwood City • Half Moon Bay Brewing Company in Princeton-by-the-Sea • Highway 1 Brewing in Pescadero • Hop Dogma Brewing in El Granada • Sacrilege Brewery + Kitchen in Half Moon Bay
Santa Barbara County
• Captain Fatty's Brewery in Goleta • Island Brewing Company in Carpinteria • M. Special Brewing Company in Goleta • Pure Order Brewing Company in Santa Barbara • Solvang Brewing Company in Solvang • Telegraph Brewing Company in Santa Barbara
Santa Clara County
• Clandestine Brewing in San Jose • El Toro Brewing Company in Morgan Hill • Gordon Biersch Brewing Company in San Jose • Hermitage Brewing Company in San Jose • Kelly Brewing in Morgan Hill
Santa Cruz County
• Discretion Brewing in Soquel • Humble Sea Brewing Company in Santa Cruz • New Bohemia Brewing Company in Capitola • Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing in Santa Cruz • Sante Adairius Rustic Ales in Capitola • Seabright Brewery in Santa Cruz • Steel Bonnet Brewing Company in Scotts Valley • Uncommon Brewers in Santa Cruz
• Fall River Brewing Co. in Fall River Mills • Wildcard Brewing in Redding • Final Draft Brewing in Redding • Woody's Brewing Co. in Redding
• Dunsmuir Brewery Works in Dunsmuir • Etna Brewing Company in Etna • Mt. Shasta Brewing Company in Weed • Siskiyou Brew Works
• Heretic Brewing Company in Fairfield • Right Eye Brewery in Suisun • Mare Island Brewing Company in Vallejo
• Carneros Brewing Company in Sonoma • Fog Belt Brewing Company in Santa Rosa • Moonlight Brewing Company in Santa Rosa • Old Redwood Brewing Company in Windsor • Petaluma Hills Brewing Company in Petaluma • Seismic Brewing Company in Santa Rosa • Sonoma Springs Brewing Company in Sonoma • St. Florian's Brewery in Windsor • Stumptown Brewery in Guerneville • Third Street Aleworks in Santa Rosa
• St. Stan's Brewery in Modesto • Blaker Brewing in Ceres
• Anacapa Brewing in Ventura • Casa Agria Specialty Ales in Ventura • Enegren Brewing Co. in Moorpark • Flat Fish Brewing Company in Camarillo • Institution Ale Co. in Camarillo • Leashless Brewing Co. in Ventura • MadeWest Brewing in Ventura • Poseidon Brewing Company in Ventura • Red Tandem Brewery in Ventura • Surf Brewery in Ventura • Topa Topa Brewing Company in Ventura • Ventura Coast Brew Co. in Ventura • Westlake Brewing Co. in Westlake Village
• Bike Dog Brewing Company in West Sacramento • Dunloe Brewing in Davis • Jackrabbit Brewing Company in West Sacramento • Super Owl Brewing in Davis • Three Mile Brewing Company in Davis • Yolo Brewing in West Sacramento
San Diego County
• Burgeon Beer Company • Carlsbad Brewing Company • Pizza Port • Rouleur Brewing Company • Offbeat Brewing Co • Nickel Beer Company • Bagby Beer Company • Legacy Brewing Company • Breakwater Brewing Co • Oceanside Ale Works • ChuckAlek Independent Brewers • Abnormal Beer Company • Acoustic Ales Brewing Experiment • Align Brewing • Amplified Aleworks • The Beer Company • Deft Brewing • Division 23 Brewing • Duck Foot Brewing Company • Eppig Brewing • Fall Brewing • Kilowatt Brewing • Little Miss Brewing • Longship Brewery • Mike Hess Brewing Co. • Mikkeller • Mission Brewery • Modern Times Beer • New English Brewing Co. • North Park Beer Company • O'Sullivan Brother's Brewing • Pacific Beach Alehouse • Pariah Brewing Company • Protector Brewing • Rip Current Brewing • Rough Draft Brewing Company • Saint Archer Brewing • San Diego Brewing Company • Savagewood • Societe Brewing Company • Thorn Street Brewery • Thunderhawk Alements • Lost Abbey • Port Brewing Company • Rip Current Brewing Company • Stumblefoot Brewing Company • Wild Barrel Brewing Company • Aztec Brewing Company • Barrel Harbor Brewing • Belching Beaver Brewery • Booze Brothers Brewing Company • Indian Joe Brewing Company • Latitude 33 Brewing • Mother Earth Brew Co. • Toolbox Brewing
During quarantine I put together logos for 24 teams in what I'm calling the NABL (North American Basketball League) I used Placeit.net based on another Redditor's suggestion. The inspiration for my league is as a rival to the NBA (think the ABA from the 70s). I chose markets in North America that either don't have an NBA team, or that could easily support a "rival" team (LA, Chicago, NY). My teams: West Teams Vancouver Dragons - big Asian population Seattle Kraken - potential name for NHL team, pretty cool I thnk San Jose Techs - Silicon Valley Anaheim Stars - Hollywood/Disney influence San Diego Waves - surfing? Las Vegas Gamblers - cause Casinos... Austin Rockers - S by SW festival Mexico City Aztecs - classic name! Chicago Towers - big city name St. Louis Spirits - old ABA name callback - plus spirit of St. Lou plane Kansas City Outlaws - cowboys and wide open spaces Nashville Skyliners - Bob Dylan album inspiration East Teams Cincinnati Cheetahs - maybe they will be friends with the Bengals? Louisville Legends - Kentucky is known as a "birth place" of bball Columbus Spiders - cause Spiders are cool! Pittsburgh Ironmen - main industry of Pitt Montreal Kebs - nickname of Quebecois, old bball team name Buffalo Bravery - old Buffalo Braves, so yeah... New England Farfarers - Hartford/Providence team, name based on theory of early European visitors to North America New York Rens - 1920s basketball team, short for "Renaissance" Baltimore Panthers - Black Panther Marvel fanboys Virginia Beach Blast - I just like the name Raleigh Racers - NASCAR country! Tampa Frenzy - like a shark feeding frenzy What do you guys think? https://imgur.com/a/46YeMfs
All about Rich Guy, his plans, and other stuff from the offseason
1-5-19 It's been awhile since I posted because I’ve been grinding the game and vegas happened. Dashy filled expectations of being a young formal and its funny that ppl only see that now. Congratulations to Optic on winning Vegas the event was lit. My old sub is fucked up and I can't make it public now so I made the new one and copied the main posts over and locked them but their here now for history. My last post said I could write one last one until next rostermania about small stuff and some stuff I heard that I thought was fugaze. Its good I waited because it turns out lots of it was true and I heard straight from lots of ppl involved. Theirs not too much to talk about for rosters bc everything is set for the qualifier so the only topic left is rich guy and who he is. No its not Marc Cuban lol. I think hes one of the bigger stories in cod since he caused so much movement and was the reason I made my burner in the first place. So I worked on this post for awhile now in MS Word so its easier to read and made it into sections since everybody kept frying me over it lol. This is going to be my last post until next rostermania so thanks for reading and hope it’s been fun and thanks to ppl that dm’d me info and helped me figure this out. If you weren't around for Seattle Rostermania when the Optic roster of Scump, Crim, Formal, and Karma broke up, I heard from multiple people that the plan was for them to actually leave together and join some rich guy. These are the two posts I made about it and if your confused they can help.
Before ww2 even started the optic guys weren’t happy with what they were being paid and felt like infinite didnt care about them. They would joke about leaving and talking to other teams but other players thought it was just banter. Then infinite kept part of their paycheck bc part of it said they didn’t have to pay it bc it was a good behavior bonus which lots of players have and the org decides if you behaved good or not and it happened around new orleans. That’s one of the things they were pissed off about along with infinite taking forever to redo their contracts bc they only made 8000 up from 3000 and it was about to end. Then crim made the reddit AMA in February where he publicly said they weren’t happy with optic... https://www.reddit.com/OpTicGaming/comments/7xk9sp/crimsix_surprise_ama/du8yest/ Guys in optic started to think they made a huge mistake selling to the wrong group months before. Then rich guy probably heard about the AMA post. He got someone to get him in touch with the cod roster to see if they were for real about what was said in Crims AMA. Theres a rumor rich guy was one of the ppl that tried to buy optic when they were looking for investors but hecz sold to the rangers guy instead so he knew of the cod team.
(2) CWL Atlanta WW2
So the optic guys talked on skype with rich guy a few times before cwl atlanta which was in march and they planned to meet at the event to talk in person. Supposedly right before they were going to meet infinite decided to drop the halo team and very nearly dropped the cod team the day before the event too. That’s something scump said himself to lots of different players. I heard it was only crim that met in person at first with rich guy on Wednesday before the event and funny theres a post by someone who saw it and posted way before I made my burner account. Basically he saw crim meeting with rich guy at a strip club. You can read the other guys post thread here... https://www.reddit.com/CoDCompetitive/comments/8auxou/rostermania_news_and_predictions_thread/dx2ya73/
This is going to sound made up but I live in Atlanta and I saw crim having a meeting with a guy in a suit who I think is the ceo of another team. It was the wednesday before Atlanta open and they were both wearing suits. My friends and me sat at a table behind them and we heard them talking about money. they stayed about an hour and when they were leaving his friend in a suit went to the bathroom so i went to crim and shook his hand and said good luck this weekend. He was surprised and it seemed like they went there bc they didnt want anyone to see them meeting. When they left they got into a Roles Royce. I can post more after work if anyone wants to know more... I didnt think anything of it either when we first saw them but as i watched them it was obvious the guy was from another team. Both him and crim were in suits and i swear I heard crim say he loves the offer or something. This was on wednesay or Thursday night near midnight. Then on monday one of my friends that was there with me told me that he saw the same suit guy out sunday night with karma and scumpi and that they were talking loudly about teams or something. so my friend brad walked up to them and asked if he could get a picture with all 3 of them. The suit guy said no so my friend said he really wants one with all 3. Karma and the suit guy said no and that my friend could have a picture with just him and Scumpi without the suit guy or else no picture at all. My friend said ok so he just got a pic with Karma and Scumpi. After he got the picture our other friend Travis walked up to the suit guy and told him we saw him and Crim out in suits the other night. He laughed and shook my friend's hand and asked where did we see them. My friend told him we saw them at tattletales and that he said hi to Crim there. The suit guy laughed and smiled and told my friend to keep that secret. My friend asked him which team he was from or if he could even tell them who he was and he smiled and said dont worry about it everyone will find out in about a month then gave a wink. Then Scump got in a car with Silly and Study and left but the suit guy and Karma talked a little more then both of them got in the same uber and said they were going to hang out more at the hotel since it was closing time already. From what I saw on wednesday night and what my friends saw on Sunday night we all say it was obvious something was happening because of how they were acting all secretive.
One of Crims friends and other pros say he said the post was all true but he took him to an expensive steak dinner first and it lines up with what I know about rich guy. The guys second post says something about rich guy and scump getting into an argument and I can see it happening bc scump is a dick when hes wasted which always happens after events. Other ppl I talked to said they saw rich guy around the W hotel bar downtown where everyone was staying but didnt know who he was. He was talking to attach but attach was trolling and said he was his cousin when ppl asked him so thats where the intel came from that rich guy was someone attach knew. No one knows why attach was talking to him or why he knew him then either even now.
(3) CWL Birmingham WW2
rich guy took scump and crim out to dinner and smoothed things over. After the team lost they went to the bars and gambled until morning. i heard this is where he upped his offer to them to 20k a month salary each for the next 4 games. Scump and rich guy smoothed out things at the event here bc before that they didnt like each other after atlanta. I heard from a friend of crim that he said scump was rude to rich guy the first time they met in person but I dont know if the argument in the guys second post is the first time they met in person. This is when formal wanted karma gone and tried to get him dropped since he was costing and gunless would easily be available since rise didnt win yet. Im told rich guy then told crim he only wanted all 4 of them and no one would come close to salary and crim and karma thought all they needed was a team change away from infinite then. I heard attach say rich guy knew cod would be 5v5 the next year and crim said they would want him as their 5th at the bar in bham. I cant confirm that though but it makes sense on why attach would of been talking to him at Atlanta.
(4) CWL Seattle WW2
I heard rich guy took Crim, Attach, Felo, Dashy, and Study out to dinner at a steak house there then went to a few bars with crim and attach. In the players lounge the optic guys were all saying it was done deal and they were leaving optic. Then we all know what happened with t16 so optic knew they needed a change and thats when the talk of gunless came up with him taking karmas spot but crim and scump really wanted john and octane. John was cool with playing with them but only if it was to the rich guy since he thought hed get so much blame if they didnt win from the fans. I heard that night they settled on scump crim john and formal and they had a party to celebrate. Karma wasnt told at the time for sure he was getting dropped and wouldnt go to the rich guys team with the others so he still went to the party. We all heard what happened here with a tshirt being made but it wasnt finger paint but was from a stripper party rich guy threw for all the players in the hotel not even those he was going to sign. I heard it got freaky and one of the strippers had green hair. Karma was high and going off no sleep so he went down to the lobby and hecz saw him and told him to take the shirt off and told other non optic players to go back upstairs and stop being retards. There is more than one shirt that got made which is why karma says the one in the pic isnt his. https://imgur.com/jVRSIFU Then scump crim and a bunch of other players went out to the bars with rich guy. I heard they partied Wednesday Thursday Saturday and Sunday nights based on what other players said especially Saturday and Sunday ppl saw them get back to the hotel real late with rich guy. Everyone thought it was a done deal when they left on Monday morning. Sometime after that I made my first post about optic leaving. scump and crim were insisting on john and octane but then john couldnt get out of his contract with LG because there wasnt an even trade with him unlike octane for formal. I heard thats what then scared rich guy off because if formal and karma stayed on optic together and he only got scump and crim then he wouldnt get a league spot since it would stay with optic bc of the rules. So in the end formal got traded for octane and scump and crim got new deals. Then optic tried to get Zooma but faze wouldnt sell him. So optic bought methodz contract because tk didnt pay for it and then tried to trade him for zooma bc the other faze guys like methodz. Faze said no and then told Zooma they will give him a raise to 20k a month. He said they had their locks on him and wouldnt let him go. So optic then tries to get Kenny but his contract said he had to give notice of using his buyout 20 days in advance and that meant it would be after roster lock so he was stuck too. So optic got stuck with methodz as the 4th. I heard from an optic content guy they asked karma to come back but he said no.
(5) CWL Anaheim WW2
Im not fully sure if rich guy was here but I heard after this event is when he hired apoc to work for him once the season was fully over ( https://twitter.com/Apoccc ). Apocs been in the scene for a long time and knows everyone so it makes sense why hed do it. It also makes sense because after the season it turned out unilad got sold to someone else and got rid of esports. I heard rich guy hung out with a few of the owners from other teams but I never got real confirmation.
(6) Pro league stage 2 WW2
In July between weeks 7 and 8 for group B (optic eu unilad rise lg col MF TM) that nameless had a house party on some random night and rich guy went with the optic and eu guys. I think he took all of them to dinner. One of the players said he was the only one at the party that wasnt a caster or a player. I heard they went out to a small bar after.
(7) Champs WW2
This is where it gets good. So Apoc was supposed to start working for rich guy officially when unilad was knocked out but the unilad owner let him do work for rich guy earlier since unilad was leaving esports anyway. Rich guys original plan was to build around john and attach and start talking to them after the event. Then they were going to go after slasher bc with those 3 on board they could get anyone they wanted to fill out the roster. Also behind the scenes I heard nade was already offering players to come to 100t before champs even started offering 10k. This is the start of the bidding war for lots of players that happened during rostermania. That fourth they went after was scump. After optic was eliminated in groups scump and methodz were the only ones who stayed while crim and octane flew home the next morning and skipped the autograph session at champs. So its just scump and zinni hanging out with nothing to do so I heard they partied alot with rich guy. From what I know scump and rich guy are actually friends and drink together so thats what happened Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. A player who heard some of their talks said that scump was still unhappy with optic and wanted to leave and start his own thing like nade did with 100t so he went to dinner on one of the nights with rich guy and heard he still wanted a team. Rich guy and apoc told him they wanted to try to try to get john attach and slasher. I heard scump was going around the venue the next few days telling ppl thats what he was going to do. Someone said John told them rich guy asked him if he would play with scump and he said yes. The thing is so many ppl say they hate each other but their good friends and hang out alot in cbus and other places. Fans always get things wrong or blow things up when its not a big deal. Ppl thought scump hated jkap but in cbus he started working out with him bc he had back pains and it helped. Or ppl thought formal was mad about karma piping lisserboo when it was opposite but no one its not a big deal. One thing true is the players completely hate larew’s +1 even mlg staff bc she’d get drunk at the venue and cussing security out for not letting her back stage just bc larew was on optic. Scump couldnt leave champs after losing in groups was bc his mom and friends and family were coming into town to watch him. They were seen talking to rich guy at the venue and I heard he took scumps whole group of 15 ppl out to steak dinners the next few nights. The story about scump being drunk on Sunday at the hotel bar talking to karma was true but he also talked to lots of players like apathy and asked him to team too but its normal for scump and all the players to be wasted on Sunday nights after events. Lots of them talk fugaze but ppl say scump was serious and also said it wouldnt be with optic but sometimes he blacks out so idk. He was carrying a printed contract with him from rich guy and I heard the offer was 50k a month for 3 years plus a small ownership part of the org. Supposedly scump agreed and wanted it down in writing so rich guy flew one of his lawyers in to write it up and give it to him. Lots of ppl are going to say 50k a month is crazy but for scump its definitely not just look how he got 30k subs on twitch plus all the other stuff he brings to the table for exposure like playing with guys like jack and shroud and ninja. Scump is the face of optic and cod so its good to see salaries going higher.
(8) Rostermania BO4
Everybody leaves champs and rostermania started alot earlier then before. At the start optic didnt know if it was 4v4 or 5v5 yet so they were planning for 4v4 although they found out earlier than the other teams. They thought they had scump locked up but he went awol for about a week and I heard thats bc john and him were calling around to see who would want to play with them. I heard a rumor of slasher scump john Kenny as a 4 and with karma as the 5th. I heard this is when rich guy had players sign NDAs if they wanted to negotiate so thats why no one really said anything about the details or who he is because he can sue them if they go public. Someone close to one of the players confirmed it. I also heard from another person close to one of the players that rich guy scheduled face to face meetings where him apoc and their lawyers would fly to see the players and talk. One of apocs former players told me rich guy moved him to the USA from England full time to work for him and go around doing face to face meetings with everyone for 2 months. The players were also supposedly shown detailed presentations about marketing stuff salary investments and other things. Around then John and Scump decided they wanted Clay instead of slasher so he became the new target and they wanted to get it done quick before other teams made moves and so scump could get away from optic without it dragging out. Now idk exactly what happened but I heard scump started getting worried they couldnt get players out of their contracts with their current teams so he decided to go back to optic when crim and him decided to get Teej and dashy instead then add karma if it went to 5. So karma was still the most wanted FA out there still and everyone wanted him…eu, rise, LG, faze, etc, but for a time he agreed to go to 100t and Nade but then decided he didnt want to go there because he didnt believe in one of the players they signed. John and Karma also wanted to play together so nade thought karma could bring john with him but john said no and he would only go to rich guy or stay on LG. He would only go to rich guy because apoc is his close friend for 8 years. Karma liked it too bc he knew apoc for about a decade. Here’s Karma talking about Apoc in an old video... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYmOnBL13sA&feature=youtu.be&t=315 So Karma and John got talking and also decided they would want to play with Clay so that became the new core for team rich guy. I heard they stopped going after attach because faze wouldnt sell him and they thought he would be too slow and be a bad fit. Even though rich guy supposedly really liked attach…remember how they were talking in atlanta before anyone knew anything…I heard he wanted to be hands off when it came to roster moves and let the staff decide that. Someone who talked to him told me he wanted to hire the experts and trust their advice and just be the guy paying the bills. Karma supposedly didnt know what he wanted to do so rich guy wanted to fly to see him with Apoc. This is unconfirmed but theres lots of evidence to support it that rich guy flew clay to frisco to help meet with karma in person. Clay tweeted out this pic of a steakhouse... https://twitter.com/Claystestatus/1040436939416059910 Google maps street view shows that restuarant is in Frisco... https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-96.8266338,3a,75y,88.68h,63t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sesXQ0x2CWoJ3c49igD2ZRA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 So Karma agreed on the core 3 and they decided to try to get Gunless since they heard they were leaving the scene after selling teej to optic and knowing they didnt have alot of money to invest into cod. Gunless didnt want to go to team rich guy because he wanted to play with formal on LG. Someone said rich guy was going to buy him anyway for 200k but then changed his mind when he found out gunless’s contract would end on December 31st so he’d only have him for one event then he could walk away for free to LG if he wanted. The word on the street is the core 3 convinced rich guy to still go after him bc if they placed top 4 at vegas they would be locked into a league spot and it would be risky for him to tank and be stuck in the qualifier where anything can happen. That weekend is also when holly had her birthday and rich guy wanted to help win over holly so karma would sign. The story is rich guy took hollys group out at a club with vip service that cost maybe 5000 then a strip club afterwards. She told them to not take pics of him and apoc and it was some big surprise. She supposedly spent alot of time talking to him on a couch in the corner. I posted more details about it here before... https://www.reddit.com/codburnecomments/abxcvy/92918_some_stuff_about_rich_guy/ Here's a portion of it...
i know alot of u are wondering who rich guy is bc crim confirmed today he exists and partly confirmed what i posted about him going over to karmas house and seeing he was already there. i dont know exactly who it is but a few ppl DMd me a few likely suspects that i wont name without more proof. maybe u guys can help out here. When i posted about crim running into him i thought it was insane timing but now i think rich guy was there in frisco for a week. i dont post stuff without hearing from ppl first and if it sounds crazy i wait even longer before doing it and with crim kinda confirming what i said in my other post i decided to. A few weeks ago someone DMd saying that their friend in frisco met rich guy but he didnt know who he was at the time. the story is holly had a birthday where she invited her twitch subs to show up. she said the plan was to go out to a nightclub to meet up with ppl and she didnt say who it was. when they got there some big guy met them outside and walked them past a huge line right into the club and they had vip and bottles of goose and champ all night on the mysterious dudes tab at a vip table while holly hung out with him for alot of the night talking on the couch. then they went to a strip club. my source said his friend swears this was rich guy.
I think Clayster left the morning of but I think ppl at the barlow house saw him when he went to visit. This was the weekend before the 5v5 announcement so they thought the roster if it stayed 4 would be john karma gunless clayster. If it went to five and faze still wouldnt sell attach, I heard they were looking at jurd, felo, bance, shockz, censor, or slacked. Someone told me rich would of wanted dashy bc hes a fan of his but he knew he was already signed to optic. Remember rich guy was paying for apoc to live in the usa the whole time so I heard he stayed there in frisco for 2 weeks. The announcement happens that week that its 5v5 and I heard rich guy and apoc watched it happen with the barlows in their house. Optic guys said karma didnt answer his phone all day so crim decided to go over there the next day to find out what was going on. All the teams were calling him trying to get him but I heard from someone close to holly that karma really wanted to go to rich guy by then. So I posted about this before but I had the details wrong…the old post is here: https://www.reddit.com/codburnecomments/abxcp4/92418_karma/ What really happens is crim goes to karmas house in the morning but karma wont see him bc hes playing pubg and wont get off the game bc he didnt want to talk to him. Supposedly crim sat there for 4 hours and decided to leave when he figured out karma wouldnt talk. He almost gets to his car when another car pulls up and its rich guy, apoc, and a lawyer in it…they get out and holly says hi to them then they walk inside the house. So the word starts spreading and optic thinks karma is gone for sure if rich guy is going to fly in like that so higher ups at optic start calling karma and he still doesnt answer but then holly tells them they all went out to dinner. I heard hecz was about to go over there and whoop rich guys ass. Somebody sent me a clip from hollys stream showing apoc was at least in the house. Holly also talks to someone who tries to stay off camera. https://vimeo.com/309676910 The next day I heard optic started talking to other players and their big target was apathy. I heard aches got really mad and called karma and told him to sign back with optic because NV wanted to buy EG and it got stuck when optic talked to apathy. But apathy is too loyal at times and decided to stick with EG/NV after a raise even though splyce was trying to buy that roster because all their contracts expired in November and add jurd to them. So optic called eu about arcitys and he wasnt available and gunless wanted to go to LG but nade and rich guy would start a bidding war for him. So I heard john and clay were happy and rich guy started doing more face to face meetings with the other players he wanted. Another week goes by and Karma had a 150K buyout, clay had 100K, and johns contract was ending so no buyout at all. Then optic announces the next vision episode will have the cod roster announcement and everyone that was supposed to be on team rich guy thought it was gunless. Im not sure on the timing of this now but I heard sometime around rich guy then offered 300k each for zooma and attach for a five of john, zooma, karma, attach, clay but faze still wouldnt sell them. So all the players involved with team rich guy were watching it and were surprised when karma was announced...it aired during the last week of September. The story is he got really nervous because john’s contract ended second week of October so that was the earliest rich guy could sign him and he was scared he would get left out of competing again and was really stressed about waiting 2 more weeks. Someone really close to the other players told me they were surprised because the night before they all group texted and said everything was good including karma. After that clay wanted to stay on eunited and that left rich guy with just John. I heard he called up faze and offered them 800k for their whole roster but they said no. Ghost and splyce originally tried to buy them too. So that would of left john and a bunch of leftovers. 100t bought slasher and signed enable to complete their squad and Rise left the scene and sold loony to splyce and gunless to LG. I heard thats when rich guy decided it wasnt worth signing john + am players so he backed out. All ended good for john though bc I heard he got a raise to 25k. I heard rich guy was pissed but hes still friends all the guys but doesnt talk to karma but is friends with holly. In the end this is how the team rich guy wanted changed…. First… Scump, John, Attach, Slasher Then… Scump, John, Attach, Clayster Then… John, Attach, Clayster, Karma Then… John, Clayster, Karma, Gunless Then… John, Clayster, Karma, Gunless, Jurd/Felo/Shockz/Slacked/Bance/Censor Finally… John, Clayster, Karma, Attach, Zooma Then after Clay and Karma weren't joining and he tried to buy the whole Faze roster... John/Attach/Zooma/Reep/Priest I also heard rich guy offered 250k about a week after champs to get John out of his contract 2 months early but LG wanted to keep him and thought they could convince him. I gotta say steve LGs owner has big iron balls bc he could of lost john for free instead of taking the 250k but it worked out for him in the end so huge win for him. I think if karma smoked some green and chilled for a few weeks until john was free then the most likely roster would have been the John/Karma/ClaysteGunless core with rich guy taking a gamble on Gunless and adding one of Felo/Slacked to them because Shockz wanted to finish school and splyce wasn’t going to sell jurd and ended up getting loony, temp, aqua, and lamar. So karmas decision to go back to optic changed the fates of eU, LG, Optic, NV, possibly faze, and mostly rich guy. A different decision could of changed this season too….last year john signed his contract with LG late and it was for exactly 1 year. If he signed it 2 weeks earlier it obviously ended 2 weeks earlier and rich guy could of signed him before the 5v5 announcement and that probably could of gotten karma to commit because he wouldnt of been nervous about optic and not having a spot anymore. From there rich guy pays for clays buyout then the rest is history. Im also gonna say optic with J in charge is in a much better place now and the players feel like their being taken care of unlike during ww2. I heard rumors orgs are still looking for money and some reached out to rich guy to see if he would invest in them instead of making his own but either way I hope he comes into the scene if its franchise next year since he has balls trying to come in and get the best guys like nade did and makes things interesting. All the pros in the scene benefitted from nade and rich guy being around since they all got raises and other bonuses so their happy but I can see orgs being mad lol but thats what happens when you have nade opening at 10k then splyce coming in at 12k then rich guy going in at 20k lol.
(9) CWL Vegas BO4
So rich guy was at Vegas but idk if he went inside at the event. He was at the casino with players and a few people came up and talked to him. He was doing $500 and $1000 roulette and blackjack so he attracted attention. I heard he was mainly playing with Felo, Clay, and Revan but holly and nufo came up to bet on roulette with them too. One egirl told me they talked to him and he was nice and bought people some shots. All the players including optic guys hung out with him at the hard rock bar after the event and then took them out for a wild night at the nightclubs and strip clubs and apparently he did that every night with different people in the scene. A caster told me they approached him and said his name and acted like they already met before when they didnt and he was chill about it. People were calling him Edgar in person including Scump.
(10) Rich Guy’s Twitter
From what I know and what ive heard im 99% certain rich guy is this guy on twitter and he uses it as his own burner for online stuff only: https://twitter.com/EdgarAllanPwn3d He has an interesting group of followers including Nadeshot, all the old and new Optic roster, along with some of their girlfriends, the faze roster, Clayster, Felo, Saints, and other big people in the scene. It doesn’t look like hes really active but he has pics of exotic cars, first class flights, receipts from bars, and he has a 100k pc setup to play video games thats linked on his page. It looks like he gifted 5000 subs on twitch during Christmas time according to his tweets and people saying thank you to him. That’s $25k. https://twitter.com/EdgarAllanPwn3d/status/1077413765325471746 Someone sent me this clip from scumps stream where he gifted him 500 tier 3s which is $12.5k and like a grand donation over an hour. He says he knows him IRL and he wants to hang out with him next time hes back in dallas and get dinner. He even jokes about edgar and hecz being close. This clip is after karma resigned with optic and bo4 was already out and it shows how much scump and rich guy/edgar are friends even though the team didnt work out. https://vimeo.com/309676948 He has another 400 subs in Crims that I think are tier 3. Then he has another 500 in rallieds and I think 300 in nadeshots supposedly. Theres also these tweets between holly and edgar that make it sound like theyre friends including meeting up in Vegas and at a bar in Frisco in November. Edgar even tweeted a location pic of where he was.
He sold his technology company for $650 million he founded and now is a executive at the company that bought his so hes one of those silicone valley guys.
Hes sort of young and likes to party and goes out to clubs so lots of players like to hang around him.
Hes about 6’3 and looks like hes half thai or hispanic. Hes like half white.
He lives in New York city and travels alot and people have DMd me saying he has lots of business in Atlanta, Houston, San Francisco, Singapore, and all over Europe.
He owns a bunch of other businesses now like fast food restaurants and more tech companies.
He has alot of investment in EA and other stocks
People said hes real smart and a chill guy but some people were intimidated by him.
A cod team was supposed to only be the start for his org since they wanted to expand to every game quickly.
I have what I think is his full name but don’t want to post it and link their non burner twitter without confirmation in case it’s wrong. If one of the players involved wants to secretly DM with me to confirm then I might come back and post it.
(12) Final Thoughts
I think Rallied is the guy that got edgarich guy into contact with optic since he was seen with him at the strip club in Atlanta after the event and hanging out with him in Seattle. It might be Felo too.
I think Methodz knows what Scump and EdgaRich guy talked about at champs since I heard he went to dinner with them and they had nothing else to do since they got fried in groups.
Optic is damn good and Dashy will soon be the best player in the game no question.
I think its baller he went to meet players in person to sign them like its the NFL.
There’s other small things that eventually led to Optic needing to make a roster change because it got so toxic. One of them Scump said was that Formal didn’t share the MVP money from Champs when all of them agreed to do it before. What Nade said before about players wanting to be friends with teammates first also happened here when Formal didn’t want to chill outside the game like Scump does with Crim, John, or Saints.
I heard edgarich guy was planning on getting into cod during BO4 but tried to get in early when he saw the original Optic roster was available because of Crim’s AMA.
EdgaRich guy was really going to spend over a million on buyouts on top of salary which is fucking crazy.
I think Apoc could be working for Red Reserve now since he’s been posting pictures with them in Vegas.
--------------------------------- Thanks for reading and I will monitor this thread for a few days to answer a few questions possibly and add something I might remember later. If not then this is my last post until the next rostermania or if Rich guy gives me an interview lol.
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