City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: Gilbert Arenas Reminds Us of the Greatness of ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money’?

I've been saying the Six Flags/Dick Clark Productions deal stank for a long time. Now, some big folks are looking into it.

In 2008, Dan Snyder bought Dick Clark Productions for $175 million for Red Zone, a private equity fund he controlled. Snyder then immediately sold 40 percent of Dick Clark Productions to Six Flags, a public company he also controlled.

That means to make that deal, Snyder was essentially negotiating with himself, in a situation where he could potentially use Six Flags stockholders money to enrich himself and his buddies in Red Zone.

Making matters worse, Six Flags was well on its way to bankruptcy when Snyder brokered this deal with himself. Now that Six Flags is actually in bankruptcy, lawyers for folks who are owed hundreds of millions of dollars are asking questions about the transaction, and there are allegations that Snyder tried to hide a transfer of Six Flags' portion of Dick Clark Productions in a division of the theme park corporation that would make it harder to get at in bankrupcty proceedings. This could get good!

***

The rest of the sporting world is obsessed with a DC sports story, but not the Mike Shanahan Story.

No, the big story for everybody else: Gilbert Arenas and his arsenal. David Letterman does a Top 10 on Agent 0 007. (Letterman came out of the Top 10 list playing Warren Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns and Money." Good golly, what a song!) And Al Sharpton wants the NBA to give Gilbert Arenas the business. Stephen A. Smith sorta writes about Gilbert Arenas, but it's mostly about,well, crap. Smith says again and again that whatever Arenas did is really going to hurt the "Black Community." (Capitalization Smith's.)

Problem is, Smith doesn't explain real well how whatever Arenas did is going to hurt the Black Community. Smith doesn't even explain what the Black Community is.

Given the upper case "Community," I assume Smith is talking about an upscale subdivision somewhere around here where Arenas and fellow gazillionaires live. If I'm right, well, then I guess I can see Smith's point: If the charges against Arenas are true, then the Black Community really will be hurt.

Nobody's gonna wanna live near a quirky gun toter.

(AFTER THE JUMP: What's preventing Mike Shanahan from signing? Is it the forced arbitration clause? DimWitsGate's antagonist survived the whole season? What, you forgot DimWitsGate? Michelle Rhee's Boswell goes after Jim Zorn? How's Jeff Ruland doing at UDC? That bad? Really?)

***

Dan Snyder still hasn't closed the Mike Shanahan deal. Hmmm. What's the hold-up? Could it be the Rooney Rule, where the NFL has ordered a post-Zorn replay of the Jerry Gray interview? Could it be Snyder's finally sick of putting every coach's son on the payroll and doesn't want to shell out for Kyle Shanahan's contract?

Or could it be that Snyder tried to sneak a forced arbitration clause into Shanny's contract? Turns out Snyder makes Redskins employees agree to never sue him before he'll give them a job. So when he screws them over — and I've read he screws them over pretty regular — they're outta luck. It's an amazing tale. What a guy.

Shouldn't SOMEBODY give him an award for being such a meanie?

Oh, wait! He just got one!

***

The clips used on Fox-5's nightly newscast last night to say goodbye to Jim Zorn showed the soon-to-be-deposed coach hugging a player in a #51 Redskins jersey on the field after the Chargers game.

Hey! That's Robert Henson! Remember him?

Henson was briefly the most hated man in town. After fans at FedExField booed the Skins during and after the win over St. Louis, the rookie scrub linebacker went on Twitter to go after the home crowd, calling the patrons "dim wits" and folks who "work 9 to 5 at mcdonalds."

Henson wasn't even active for that Rams game. After the outburst and ensuing blowback from the fans, I figured Henson would be given a bus ticket. He wasn't on the active roster for months after the brouhaha. But apparently Vinny Cerrato's roster was was so talent-hungry, Henson stuck around til the end. Turns out that Henson actually got playing time for the last several games.

The clearest sign of just how dysfunctional the Redskins' 2009 season was: We've already forgotten DimWitsGate™!

What a year.

***

Odd story from the Washington Post's  Jo-Ann Armao trying to make Jim Zorn into a villain and a symptom of big ills for getting paid what he was promised. After the way Dan Snyder and his former sidekick, Vinny Cerrato, tried to save money by shaming and bullying him into quitting, Zorn should get punitive damages on top of whatever salary he's owed. (Oh, I forgot: Zorn worked for Dan Snyder, who makes his employees sign away the right to ask for punitive damages!)

Armao apparently doesn't write about football much, but I've read she's close with Michelle Rhee. Now I can't wait for the column asking Rhee to give money back to the city after she leaves DC with the school system still in direr straits than the 2009 Skins. You know that day's coming!

***

After a high-profile hiring, Coach Jeff Ruland has quietly assembled a horrific basketball squad over at UDC. Ruland, known as McNasty when he played center for the Washington Bullets, is putting one of the McWorst teams in UDC history on the floor. The Firebirds, after last night's blowout loss to Alderson-Broaddus, are now 1-12, and can boast of getting whupped by such known hoops factories as Mansfield, Stonehill, NYIT, and Pitt-Johnstown.

For those who think UDC can't have a first class basketball program, remember: Not only were the Firebirds once NCAA Div. II champions, the school also produced a first-round NBA draft pick (Earl Jones) and a second-rounder (Michael Britt) back when a second-round pick meant something.

The basketball program has been down for years, hit by apathy and NCAA sanctions. Ruland knew what he was getting into.

After his hiring this summer, Ruland told the Washington Times: "I have a yeoman's task in front of me. School starts in about a week, and I don't have a team. Because of sanctions, I only have five scholarships. I've got to find a starting five in a week."

The UDC schedule shows some chances for Ws in the next couple weeks. Ruland, the former Bullets center, will put his boys up against something called the Apprentice School, followed up by a pair of games against Philadelphia Sciences. They can't be any good, can they?

***

Full disclosure: I freelance music reviews for the Washington Post.

Story tips? Wanna Play the Feud? Tube amps for sale? Send to: cheapseats@washingtoncitypaper.com

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
  • http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com Mike DeBonis

    "Lawyers, Guns, and Money" is LL's favorite karaoke song. And favorite shower song.

  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    Karma just bit Jayson Williams on the ass - he broke his neck drunk driving in NYC. Jayson shot & killed his driver, accidentally, back in '02, as we know. Now he crashed his car & broke his neck drunk driving in NYC. Maybe the driver he killed had something to do with it.

    It's a sad story. His dad died in November. Who knows what will happen next.

    Jayson seems like a likable guy, I always liked hearing his commentary, but then he got fired after he shot his driver. Of course a year earlier he broke his leg, which ended his career & his $86 million contract.

    It's a sad, sad story.

    btw, Helter Skelter is my karaoke song; in the shower, I like singing The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, using my Italian translation - La notte, loro guidata vecchio Dixie sotto...

  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    Correction: Jayson did not break his neck. Due to a copy editing error, erroneous information was posted in the last post. "Breaking news" was edited to "breaking neck".

  • RobShaw

    Guilty. I totally forgot about DimWitsGate.

    Z: -1 for hugging DimWitsGate, +26 for fake field goal play, +15 for sitting Deuceworth at practice, +5 for surviving.

  • http://thealbatross.ca Adam Fineman

    Here's a funny article about the situation with Arenas and saying the gun thing was a joke:

    http://thealbatross.ca/2010/01/gilbert-arenas-stages-hilarious-armed-robbery/

...