Coach K crashes Dean Smith's party line

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Coach K crashes Dean Smith's party line

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

ESPN conference call on "Outside the Lines" to celebrate the legendary Dean Smith's 80th birthday. Bob Ley is the host. Ley welcomes in Roy Williams, George Karl and Matt Doherty.

Ley: It's a treat to have you all here. Let me begin by -- Hold on, I'm getting word that we've got a surprise visit on the line from Tyler Hansbrough! Of course, Tyler never played for Dean Smith and has had very limited contact with the former Tar Heels coach. They might have met after UNC won the 2009 National Championship; I honestly have no idea, but we here at the World Wide Leader have always had an emo crush on the kid, so, thanks for calling, Tyler!

Karl: ...Are you serious?

Doherty: You won your first title with my recruits, Roy.

Williams: Shut up, Matt. And Tyler, you need to move on, son.

Ley: Tyler? You there?

"Tyler Hansbrough" Sinister, nasal voice: Oh, I'm here. But this isn't Hansbrough, you fools.

Williams: Wait just a doggone minute; I know that voice. Krzyzewski, is that you, you stinkin' weasel?

Mike Krzyzewski: It is I.

Karl: Oh, for the love of... Look, I've got more important things to do than listen to this. Carmelo might be trying to call me to apologize right now so I can't be tying up the line. Hangs up

Ley: Well, gee, Coach K, if you wanted to send best wishes to Dean Smith on his birthday, you didn't have to use a fake name.
Williams: Man's a weasel.

Krzyzewski: Ley, you should narrate religious cartoons; you're too soft for sports. I wouldn't call what I have to say to Smith "best wishes."

Doherty: Come on, Mike. You passed him on the all-time wins list. You've won more tournament games. You've won more national championships. Just let the old man live in peace.

Krzyzewski: Matt Doherty: You disgraced the University of North Carolina. Your wins over my Duke Dynasty don't actually count because they went toward some of the Tar Heels' worst seasons in recent history. Southern Methodist is irrelevent; you are irrelevant. Go away.

Doherty: Sobs You're... evil. Hangs up

Krzyzewski: Especially nasally And then there were two.

Ley: Um. Back to the birthday... Roy... What does this day mean to Tar Heel nation?

Williams: Long pause Right. Okay. You walk outside and it's 80 degrees today, the sky is Carolina blue... it's a tribute to Coach Smith.

Krzyzewski: Cackles "The sky is Carolina blue"? Are you kidding me, Roy? How far is Dean's hand up your butt, you sad, sad little puppet? Oh, and Roy?

Williams: Another long pause Yeah?

Krzyzewski: Whispers Everybody in Kansas still hates you.

Ley: That's not true, Roy! Everybody loves you! Everybody loves everybody! We're all hap-hap-happy today!

Krzyzewski: SILENCE! I have something to say. The Duke University Blue Devils are going to be champions this season. And when we win the title -- and I am crowned Emperor of All Sports -- I am going to dedicate Duke's dominance to one Dean Smith. Then I will finally be free of The Double Standard. Happy 80th Birthday, you son of a bitch.
Williams: ...Emperor of All Sports? With the Plumlee boys?

Krzyzewski: Yes.

An awkward silence falls on the line

Ley: Okie dokie, then.

Another awkward silence

Krzyzewski: I'll see you on Saturday, Roy. 8 p.m. CBS. Brace your team of mortals for yet another defeat. Hangs up

Williams: That boy ain't right.

Ley: So, there you have it: Mike Krzyzewski wishes you a very, very Happy Birthday, Dean Smith. Here's to 80 more years!

Line goes dead

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

NFLPA tells rookies to be like Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski is a model citizen in the NFL. In fact, the NFL Players Association is advising rookies to be more like Gronk, according to The Boston Globe

The New England Patriots tight end has developed a name for himself on and off the football field. With that attention comes branding. And at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere from May 18 to 20, the NFLPA encouraged rookies to develop their own brand -- much like Gronkowski.

“Some people think he’s just this extension of a frat boy, and that it’s sort of accidental,” Ahmad Nassar said, via The Globe. Nassar is the president of NFL Players Inc., the for-profit subsidiary of the NFLPA. “And that’s wrong. It’s not accidental, it’s very purposeful. So the message there is, really good branding is where you don’t even feel it. You think, ‘Oh, that’s just Gronk being Gronk.’ Actually, that’s his brand, but it’s so good and so ingrained and so authentic, you don’t even know it’s a brand or think it.”

Gronkowski's "Summer of Gronk" has indirectly become one of his streams of income. The tight end makes appearances for magazines and sponsors. Because of his earnings from branding and endorsements, he didn't touch his NFL salary during the early years of his career.

Gronk was one of three players who were the topics of discussion during the symposium. Dak Prescott and Odell Beckham were also used as examples of players who have been able to generate additional income from endorsements. Beckham, in particular, has been in the spotlight off the football field. He's appeared on the cover of Madden, and just signed a deal with NIke which is reportedly worth $25 million over five years with upwards of $48 million over eight years. His deal, which is a record for an NFL player, will pay him more than his contract with the Giants.

“A lot of people talk to the players about, ‘You should be careful with your money and you should treat your family this way and you should treat your girlfriend or your wife.’ Which is fine. I think that’s valuable,” Nassar said, via The Globe. “But we don’t often give them a chance to answer the question: How do you see yourself as a brand? Because Gronk, Odell, none of those guys accidentally ended up where they are from a branding and marketing standpoint.”

Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

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Morning Skate: Sidney Crosby has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. 

*Apparently Nashville Predators head coach Peter Laviolette has yet to try Nashville’s hot chicken despite his time behind the Preds bench. It’s okay, I have yet to try it either in my handful of visits to Music City. 

*Good stuff from PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) Jason Brough. Apparently it wasn’t so easy to make Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed when it came time for director Doug Liman to cut Swingers together

*Sidney Crosby cares about the history and the issues of the game, and has been a good ambassador as the face of his NHL generation despite the hate that always comes with such responsibility. 

*Puck Daddy examines Crosby’s performance in the playoffs, and the odds of him winning another Conn Smythe Trophy. 

*The Penguins have made it to the Stanley Cup Final without Kris Letang for their playoff run, and that’s an amazing accomplishment. 

*Erik Karlsson said that he will be tending to his injured foot next week, and expects a full recovery for next season after a brilliant run with his Ottawa Senators

*Larry Brooks again rails against the Stanley Cup playoff structure and it’s relation to an “absurd regular season.” Say what you will, but the fact the Penguins are there for a second straight season shoots down some of the absurdity stuff in my mind. The best team from the East is where they should be and they did it without Kris Letang to boot. 

*Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alex Debrincat is confident his abilities will translate to the NHL despite his size after taking home honors as the best player in junior hockey this season. 

*For something completely different: Apparently there’s a hard core comic book geek gripe that “The Flash” is burning through bad guys too quickly. This would make sense if they couldn’t revisit these bad guys at any point, but they absolutely can go back to a big bad like Grodd anytime they want.