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Ali Adair @AliAdair22
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🏈Can Trump’s entire adult life be defined by his maniacal dream to own an NFL team? Trump #ArtyDealMaker purchased the USFL New Jersey Generals in 1983 & made rash decisions despite multiple loud protests. The result? The destruction of the entire USFL league 3 years later.
🍊Trump re: USFL ▶️ In order to get what he wanted he lied (apparently even to his lawyers), cajoled, tangled asses with the NFL commissioner & the other owners—and despite multiple warnings that what he was doing was completely stupid—did it anyway. Yes, HE ALONE DID IT.
💪The rough-and-tough-NFL is everything Trump thinks he is, but the reputation of football is in fact not what he represents—it is only what he wishes he was. The NFL is full of perhaps his definition of “strong men,” who play hard and hit hard.
It’s definitely rough & it’s tough. A "metaphor" for war.

🏈Maybe the best depiction of the toughness of football was by George Carlin, when he compared it to America’s pastime, baseball, making baseball sound effeminate compared to its manly counterpart:
🏈Football is full of tough people—all of whom could (or can) back it up, like Vince Lombardi who said: "Winners never quit and quitters never win." More on this train of thought later. via @BrainyQuote
🚫Accordingly, to prove he was one of them, Trump #ArtyDealmaker tried to buy NFL franchises multiple times. The first time was in 1981 when he—as part of a group—offered Baltimore Colts owner Robert Irsay $50 million. Irsay rejected the offer & Trump denied he ever did it.
📚Author Jeff Pearlman recounted these times for CNN:…
🤠In 1984, Trump tried to buy the Dallas Cowboys for $50 million. Today the Dallas Cowboys estimated worth is $4.8 billion—the most valuable sports franchise by far. Trump #ArtyDealmaker took a pass.

🙌Good move.…
🍊: "I feel sorry for the poor guy who is going to buy the Dallas Cowboys. It’s a no-win situation for him, because if he wins, well so what, they’ve won through the years, & if he loses, which seems likely because they’re having troubles, he’ll be known to the world as a loser.”
💰In 1985, he finally decided to buy the New Jersey Generals after they completed their first season—for the price of approximately $5-10 million—depending on who you talk to. Trump claimed $5 million:…
🐃Trump tried to get into the elite NFL owners club a fourth time as recently as October of 2014, when he was outbid by Terry Pagula, who reportedly paid $1.4 billion in cash to buy the Buffalo Bills.

‼️But here’s the interesting part.
🎤Also reportedly offering more than Trump’s bid was a Toronto-based consortium which included entertainer Jon Bon Jovi.…
🐃What apparently derailed the Toronto group’s bid was an alleged “grassroots” effort to make Buffalo Bills fans believe that Bon Jovi intended to move the team to Toronto. It was false.…
🕵️‍♂️The GQ article claims that the whole thing was “pulled together” by Donald Trump with the help of Roger Stone and Michael Caputo, a Buffalo resident and close associate of Paul Manafort and Roger Stone.
🐃Bon Jovi told Howard Stern that not only was he not going to move the team, he was ready to move his family to Buffalo. “I’m brokenhearted because I would have loved it. I think that we could have done a lot of amazing things.”…
⁉️Does this sound A LOT like inauthentic social media political campaigns such as Abolish ICE…traced back to the Russians?🇷🇺…
👑Trump said after losing his bid for the Buffalo Bills: “I'm glad [I lost], because if I bought the Buffalo Bills, I probably would not be [running for president], which is much more important.”…
🏈[Note: Trump probably never would have been approved to buy the team. These days, the NFL requires one 30% or more owner to be the “face” of the team and three quarters—or 24—of the 32 owners have to approve a new owner. (cont'd)
🏈NFL cont'd: In addition, there is some type of morals code of conduct since Jerry Richardson had to sell the Carolina Panthers after an investigation found him guilty of sexual harassment and racism.
🏈NFL cont'd: In addition, the NFL’s Finance Committee has to check out the prospective owner’s finances with a fine tooth comb.

💳There is also a new borrowing limit.

⁉️Does anyone think Trump would pass that test?]
🏒🏀Back to the USFL: Trump likely purchased the New Jersey Generals after the first season because he thought his team might get absorbed into the NFL. Four teams from the competing WHA were absorbed into the NHL in 1979 & 4 teams from the ABA were absorbed into the NBA in 1976.
🐬In Trump’s first season, he tried to hire Don Shula as, but claims he balked when Shula wanted a condo in Trump Tower as part of the deal. Shula says it was because he announced the deal before it was real IN THE MIDDLE of Shula's Dolphin season.…
🏙️And in Jeff Pearlman’s new book: “Football for a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL,” Pearlman described a “secret” meeting with NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle in a suite at the Pierre Hotel in New York City—paid for by Donald Trump.
🎈In 1985, he signed Doug Flutie and demanded that the other owners chip in on his overinflated 6-year $8.3 million salary.

📞That was one of the times Trump posed as “John Barron,” his fake public relations persona.…
📞"John Barron" AKA Donald Trump claimed that “everyone asked Trump to go out and sign Flutie…for the good of the league.”…
🇲🇽Author Pearlman noted: "This is a duplicate strategy to Mexico paying for the wall. No USFL owner paid a dime of the Flutie deal — much like Mexico has yet to fund a wall."

⁉️Who’s going to pay for it?

“The other owners!”

🏈The New Jersey Generals records: in 1983 (without him) they were 6-12-0. Two seasons with him: 1984: 14-4-0. 1985: 11-7-0. In both 1983 and 1984, the Generals lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs.
🙌But the league was generally doing well. In fact this article says the NFL should have been worried.

🌞Logic would say this was due to the spring/summer schedule strategy.…
🏈But Trump got impatient after these two somewhat successful seasons. He wanted an NFL team. The New Jersey Generals were in his words “small potatoes.”
🏈The Rozelle/Trump Pierre Hotel meeting: the two differing accounts of this meeting—recounted in an anti-trust suit filed by the USFL against the NFL reveal a lot about Trump.
NFL Commissioner Pete Roselle verified in court that Trump had tried to buy the Baltimore Colts in 1983. Apparently, Rozelle told Trump—through an intermediary—that it was "a waste of time."

Trump's lawyers probably weren't expecting a lot of the answers they got from Rozelle.
🧐Trump's lawyer: "Do you deny that in other conversations, you suggested or told Donald Trump it was a good idea for him to be in the N.F.L.?"

💥Rozelle: "I did not."

⁉️Do you think Trump lied to his lawyer?

@nytimes 5/22/86
🧐Trump's lawyer: "At that time, didn't you tell Mr. Trump you wish he had been able to buy the Baltimore Colts and hadn't gone into the USFL?"

💥Rozelle: "No."
🧐Trump's lawyer: "Did you tell him if he hadn't gone to the USFL, the USFL would have died?"

💥Rozelle: "No. Never."

🤥Apparently, Trump bragged about lying in depositions and wrote about strategic use of dishonesty in The Art of the Deal.…
Rozelle testified that Trump said in March 1984 that he wanted an NFL expansion team that would play in Shea Stadium until he "could arrange for" a new stadium to be built in NYC.

What would he do with the New Jersey Generals? He told Rozelle "he'd get some stiff" to buy them.
👨‍⚖️In New York Federal Court, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle quoted Trump: "But I don't want to do these things [basically screw the USFL]. I want an expansion team in New York in the NFL."
💥Earlier in the trial, Trump had testified that Rozelle promised him an NFL franchise if the USFL kept playing in the spring & didn't file an antitrust lawsuit.

⚡️Rozelle’s version was much different.
🏈Rozelle said he did not and could not offer Trump a franchise: these were only awarded when 21 out of 28 NFL owners voted in favor of a franchise.

Trump had made another claim: Rozelle advised him not to buy into the USFL because it was "doomed to failure in the spring."
📺And a second part of Trump's claim: Rozelle had said the USFL could not get a television contract in the fall because "he [Rozelle & the NFL] literally controlled the television networks."

💥💥💥Rozelle: "That's PREPOSTEROUS!!!!"
💥Then-NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle continued, "That conversation never took place, in the lobby of the Pierre, in a ballroom at the Regency, or at any time."
🔪Perhaps twisting the knife, Rozelle added that he and Trump were NOT friends (as Trump had claimed) and Trump was not on his "Christmas card list" and that the two had never even spoken by phone before the Pierre Hotel meeting.
📚Author Pearlman further elaborated on this meeting: "Trump told Rozelle that he would gladly ditch and ruin the USFL if it meant getting an NFL franchise. Trump directly attempted to conspire with the rival league against his own people."…
🗞️The above article also states:

🚫[NFL Commissioner Pete] Rozelle responded by pledging never to let Trump into the league — and despite repeated attempts by Trump, he held to his word.
After the '85 season, Trump decided that the league should compete with college & the NFL and play in the fall.

🤪This made no sense.

The reason the league had any success—& the reason it was conceived—was because of the paucity of football during the spring and summer months.
🏈But Trump thought he could force a merger with the NFL with the threat of a lawsuit and as a result he would become an actual NFL owner—without much work—or more importantly, without the scrutiny.

🤼‍♂️He fought with the other USFL owners. Publicly.
🌴Tampa Bay Bandit owner John Bassett (who also had owned other sports teams including the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, WHA Ottawa Nationals/Toronto Toros/Birmingham Bills) said the idea was “irresponsible and a detriment to everything we are trying to do.”
Bassett wrote Trump: “You are bigger and younger and stronger than I, which means I’ll have no regrets whatsoever punching you right in the mouth the next time an instance occurs where you personally scorn me, or anyone else, who does not happen to salute and dance to your tune.”
💥Bassett's scathing letter documented by Jeff Pearlman continued: "You are not only damaging yourself with your associates, but alienating them as well. Think before you shoot and when you do fire, stick to the message without killing the messenger."…
🧠Bassett also said he’d rather start his own league than compete with college football & the NFL.

💥But that punch in the nose never happened since Bassett, a melanoma survivor, was diagnosed with not one—but two—brain tumors during that time period.…
📺A lot of the USFL demise was documented in an ESPN “30 for 30” episode entitled "Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?"

😝Which apparently Trump didn’t enjoy:

🤩Trump was interviewed for the project.…
Apparently, everyone in the documentary piece blamed the demise of the USFL on Trump, including Bert Reynolds. Burt Reynolds, who played football for Florida State Univ., was a minority shareholder of the Tampa Bay Bandits & Loni Anderson was featured in team promotional material
⚰️Bassett and Trump kept fighting, even after it was revealed in early 1985 that Bassett had the two brain tumors. Bassett died on May 14, 1986 at age 47—less than 2 years after he wrote the letter.

😡Because Trump's that classy.
Ironically, Bassett died during the antitrust trial that the USFL filed. He had been forced to sell the franchise a year before his death for obvious reasons.

Before he died, the other USFL owners formed a committee & decided to stick with a spring schedule: what the fans wanted
💡Author Jeff Pearlman also noted the similarities between this horrible episode with John Bassett and Trump's insistence on castigating John McCain—even after he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
🙄But Trump eventually wore the owners down—and with new owners Eddie Einhorn of the Chicago Blitz & J. William Oldenburg of the L.A. Express—he was able to convince a majority of them to move to the fall—promising them that they could force a merger.
Then two months after they made the decision to play in the fall, they sued the NFL for violating anti-trust laws for $1.69 million since the NFL had wrapped up all the T.V. contracts and various other ways they prevented them from doing business (which they wouldn't reveal yet).
🤥🤥🤥🤥With typical Trump hyperbole/lies, he stressed the "tremendous spirit" of the USFL owners in support of litigation and also claimed that the NFL was "petrified of the suit."

💥4 Pinocchios!!!!
🕵️‍♂️🍊Trump delivered the attorneys: Roy Cohn, who was his “fixer” during the 1970 and early 1980s (until Trump dumped him when he got sick) and Harvey Myerson, who was later known as the “Agent Orange of the legal profession.″
Myerson was charged with padding legal bills—taking new law firm partner & former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn down with him—& eventually sentenced to 70 mos in federal prison for tax fraud & defrauding clients. Cohn left the lawsuit after a few months because of his illness.
⚖️The verdict of the USFL lawsuit? The jury found that the NFL had violated one of nine counts of anti-trust laws, but they only awarded the USFL $1—and anti-trust case awards are tripled—so the USFL won a total of $3.…
⚖️After the trial, NFL co-counsel Frank Rothman said: "They're (the jury is) saying, 'We believe the NFL, that the USFL sought to force a merger.' They're saying you can't use the court to do that."
💣The lawsuit effectively ended the USFL.

🚫The USFL never played the 1986 season and lost $186 million by the time it folded.

⚰️R.I.P. USFL.…
🦵A few postscripts: Colin Kaepernick first sat, then "took a knee" during the National Anthem in the fall of 2016, while playing for the San Francisco 49ers to protest systematic racism, causing African Americans getting needlessly, frequently & unfairly killed by police.
🏈🇺🇸Trump started tweeting about the national anthem in September 2017. USA Today estimates he's tweeted about the NFL more than 3 dozen times. But his ire probably culminated on September 22, 2017 at an Alabama rally for Luther Strange.
🔥Trump shouted at the rally: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”
💥Trump also encouraged hard hits in the NFL: “…Because you know today if you hit too hard—15 yards! Throw him out of the game! They had that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes. Two guys, just really beautiful tackle. Boom, 15 yards!... (cont'd)
🍊Trump (cont'd): "...The referee gets on television, his wife is sitting at home, she’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game. That’s what they want to do. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.”…
🗣️Trump rant cont'd: "...But you know what’s hurting the game more than that? When people like yourselves turn on television and you see those people taking the knee when they are playing our great national anthem....
🛑Trump rant cont'd: "...The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium, I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore, anyway.”
That was September 23, 2017. Was this his idea? On October 8, 2017, Mike Pence and his wife went to the Indianapolis Colts and walked out when some players “took a knee.” That stunt costs the country over $200K:

💣By the way, author Jeff Pearlman says that Trump used to do business and talk on the phone all the time during the national anthem when he owned the New Jersey Generals.

🤔So highly likely this NFL patriotism act is a bunch of hooey.
🏈Callback: Trump also would love to be like one of the more well-known NFL owners: But Trump is NOTHING like George Halas Sr. (Chicago Bears) or Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys), who actually played football (Halas Sr. also coached);...
🏈Nothing like Jerry Jones and Wellington Mara, who fought in the Navy in World War II; Nothing like Al Davis, who fought for players’ civil rights; Nothing like Robert Kraft, who has a 4 year degree from Ivy League Columbia University and an MBA from Harvard University;...
🏈Nothing like Wellington Mara, after whom they nicknamed 2 versions of the Wilson football used in all NFL play “Duke;” Nothing like Carroll Rosenblum, who was self-made and part of an inner circle of owners who negotiated the TV contract for the NFL,...
...eventually making it profitable and the most watched spectator sport in the U.S.

🏈Nothing like Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka whose players would walk over lava for him;...
🏈Nothing like Washington Redskins’ coach George Allen who ate peanut butter sandwiches and slept on a cot, working around the clock; nothing like Minnesota Vikings’ Bud Grant, who played two sports at the professional level...
(cont'd)...and as a Marine won a ribbon for driving a group of Marines in a landing craft to quell a riot at Alcatraz prison;

💥Nothing. Just nothing.

🍊Trump will never be tough, rough, or anything like most NFL owners, coaches or players.
💰He could have all the money in the world, but he would never be regarded as others who have acquired great wealth: people with old money—& most with new—don't flaunt it, brag & carry on.

He’ll always be as New York residents say they view him: a con man; a charlatan, a poser.
🍊Trump will deservedly be in prison soon. Orange will be wearing an orange jumpsuit.

🇷🇺Or in Russia, suffering the same fate as Paul Manafort’s other "client": Viktor Yanukovych, in exile in Russia, wanted by the Ukraine for high treason.
🇺🇸But Trump will be wanted by the United States for high treason.

🏈Pretty amazing: we have a U.S. President right now that we know wouldn't even be accepted as an owner in the NFL.
🇺🇸Right now, I believe in our great country's democracy.

🐦RT this if you're with me.

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