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Tuesday, September 12, 2021

I know I already declared the cover blown on the whole lonelygirl15 thang. But that was only the veracity of the premise.

Now, the actual schemers have come forward, confirming that it was a stab at building audience for a proposed movie/series. It turns out that two of the creators wanted to press the viral marketing, while a third partner started having qualms, and then…

Hell, I don’t care. Read the Times article if you want the lowdown (including a cherry photo of lonelygirl15 un-Bree’d, complete with ingenue neckerchief and dangling cigarette).

Here’s another revelation: I never invested the sort of fascination that others across the Web did in this mini-phenomenon. The dynamic surrounding it was an interesting enough adventure in quirk that compelled me to post about it a month ago, but I really didn’t give it much thought. It wasn’t until I started getting mad traffic and comments — typical outcome, really, for when I publish a throwaway post — that I paid attention.

Anyway, here’s all you really need to know: The girl playing Bree is an aspiring actress named Jessica Rose, a New York Film Academy poser so raw that she apparently doesn’t even have credits listed on Internet Movie Database. Scores of geeks and online voyeurs have had their spirits (and probably other body parts) deflated as a result.

It turns out that the meta-conspiracy theory I posed in my last post on this subject doesn’t seem to have played out: There was no intent to have the ruse uncovered by the audience, thus further fueling the devotion. Still, that’s basically what happened: The scent of blood spurred interest that never would have gotten so frenzied otherwise. I’m sure plenty of marketers and other media types took note.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/12/2021 11:47pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Internet, Movies
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no man an island

That’s the only explanation I can fathom for the New York Islanders signing goalie Rick DiPietro to a 15-year, $67.5-million contract today. I mean, I blamed the heat this past summer, when Isles owner Charles Wang decided to make the general manager job an entry-level position by firing Neil Smith and installing Garth Snow. So I’m sticking with that factor. Wang should go see a doctor, already. Then again, the ambulance should be coming for him, soon enough.

The deal’s being ridiculed, as expected. Amid the insults, the basic drawback:

”DiPietro’s an Islander for life because they’re never moving that contract,” said a Western Conference GM. ”You can say it’s only 4.5 but it’s 4.5 until the cows come home. Obviously if he plays at a high level they’ve got themselves a bargain I guess but if he doesn’t, you have him on the books for a lifetime.

”Is he one of the 10 best goalies in the league today? I would say no right now,” he added. ”Unless his career is ready to take a big step forward, you’ve yourself an average goalie for $4.5 million a year. And you’ve got him for the rest of your life and Yashin [who signed a 10-year, $87.5-million contract in 2001] for the rest of your life. Geez.”

And that’s what it comes down to: This contract is, effectively, a lifetime prison sentence, I’d say for both sides. The money’s guaranteed, even if DiPietro retires before 2021(!). As long as DiPietro is playing, he’s on Long Island. Regardless of how good or bad he turns out to be, he’s not going anywhere, whether he wants to or not (apparently, the current CBA prohibits contract renegotiations). What happens when his skills inevitably erode, and the team faces the prospect of keeping a $4.5-million backup on the roster? Fun times ahead in Nassau (or wherever the team ends up).

I might opine that, if Wang were hell-bent on doing this, he could have opted for the goalie they traded away to make room for DiPietro. Roberto Luongo was the prior Isles goalie of the future. His career hasn’t exactly been a thrill — now on his third team, and never having posted a winning record — but his skills are on a level clearly above DiPietro’s. I don’t think a 15-year lockdown for Luongo makes any more sense than it would for any player, but at least then, you could cite more potential.

I’m glad I chose the Rangers as my team when I was a kid…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/12/2021 07:05pm
Category: Hockey
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It’s autumn, which means the days are getting a bit chilly in the Big City.

Or so I was informed today, a few times. It’s a good thing they told me, because I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. Oh, sure, the swelter of summer is obviously gone. I can actually stroll down the street now and not generate a cascade of sweat after one block. But for me, it’s not quite time to start layering the clothes, or break out the sweaters (actually, buy the sweaters — the ones I’ve got are laughably old, rarely-donned holdouts from the Florida years). Frankly, my summertime garb still does the job, and probably will continue to do it for another couple of weeks.

I’m in the minority. Everywhere I look, New Yorkers have broken out the wools and leathers. I’m looking at people walking by me on the street, and I’m thinking I’d probably self-ignite from the clothing-cocoons they’re walking around in. To each his own.

I’m sure the coming temperature drop will have me grousing inside of a month. But for now, while it’s still mostly green outside, it’s quite alright.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/12/2021 06:24pm
Category: New Yorkin', Weather
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At first, agents and number-crunchers said NHL players would wind up owing money to the league as a result of “overspending” by owners on salaries, as it relates to leaguewide hockey-related revenue.

Doom and gloom set in:

But the fact remains that if this season turns out to be the kind of economic kick in the tender parts that the agents predict, there will be even more trouble on the labour front.

This is the second year of the deal and after three years, the players have the right to terminate it.

A lot of fans — and a lot of players and their agents for that matter — still don’t understand the ramifications of the CBA.

Fans see all the big-dollar free-agent signings and the whopping arbitration awards and they think that the owners are overspending again.

They are. But they’re spending the players’ money. Once the salaries exceed 54% of league revenues, the players have to make up the shortfall. That’s where the escrow comes in.

Upon further review, it turns out it’s the other way around: The players will be getting a dividend check from the owners:

The fact the league owes the players money, and not the other way around, comes as a surprise only because in the midst of last season it looked as though the players might be owing a considerable amount - between 10 and 15 per cent of their salaries - as part of the escrow that is established if it looks as though the league is spending more than 54 per cent of HRR on player costs.

But because the revenue by season’s end was much greater than originally pegged coming out of the lockout, the league ended up spending less than 54 per cent. Just as the players must pay escrow if the league overspends, the league must provide a “top-up” payment if it falls short.

So, does anyone actually have a working knowledge of this current National Hockey League collective bargaining agreement? I don’t expect the fans, or even the reporters necessarily, to have a solid grip on it. But shouldn’t the league office and the players’ association know the ins-and-outs of the beast they helped birth? When no one knows who owes who money, something seems amiss. Call me crazy.

Maybe they’ll have it all sussed out by the time it expires.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 09/12/2021 09:14am
Category: Hockey, SportsBiz
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