Johnson said he has been involved in opening five Starbucks franchises in the Denver area. He’s also part of a concessions partnership at Los Angeles International Airport, among other ventures.
Jose Fernandez, who escaped from Cuba by boat on his fourth try as a teenager, and when his mother fell into the Yucatan Channel during the journey, he jumped in and pulled her out, HAS DIED IN A BOATING ACCIDENT, AND THE SPORTING WORLD MOURNS HIS LOSS.
José D. Fernández (July 31, 1992 – September 25, 2016) was a Cuban American professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Miami Marlins from 2013 up until his death in 2016.
Fernández was born in Santa Clara, Cuba. He made three unsuccessful attempts at defecting before he was successful in 2008. He enrolled at Braulio Alonso High School in Tampa, Florida, and was selected by the Marlins in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft. Fernández made his MLB debut with the Marlins on April 7, 2013. He was named to the 2013 MLB All-Star Game and won the National League (NL) Rookie of the Month Award in July and August. After the season, he won the NL Rookie of the Year Award and finished third in Cy Young Award balloting. He underwent Tommy John surgery during the 2014 season, and made the MLB All-Star Game again in 2016.
José Fernández grew up in Santa Clara, Cuba. There, he lived on the same street as, and was friends with, future Major League Baseball (MLB) shortstop Aledmys Díaz. They played for the same youth baseball team, and Díaz’s father and uncle encouraged Fernández’s mother to bring him to the ballpark. Fernández commented that had Díaz’s uncle not been an influence early in his life, he would not have pursued a professional baseball career.
Ramón Jiménez, Fernández’s stepfather, defected from Cuba in 2005, settling in Tampa, Florida. Fernández attempted to defect unsuccessfully three times, with each failed defection attempt followed by a prison term. Fernández, along with his mother and sister, defected in 2007. On that successful attempt, José’s mother fell overboard when the boat hit turbulent waters, and José had to dive into the water to save her life. They reached Mexico, and then moved to Tampa in 2008.
Knowing Orlando Chinea, a coach who had trained some of Cuba’s top pitchers before he defected from Cuba, lived in the area, Jiménez had his son train with Chinea. He attended Braulio Alonso High School in Tampa, Florida. Playing on the high school baseball team, Fernández was part of the Florida Class 6A state champions in his sophomore and senior seasons. Before his senior year in 2011, the Florida High School Athletic Association ruled that Fernández was ineligible, as he entered the ninth grade while in Cuba in 2006 and had therefore exhausted his eligibility. MLB’s Cincinnati Reds were prepared to sign Fernández as an international free agent to a $1.3 million signing bonus. Fernández won an appeal and was declared eligible for his senior year, ending Cincinnati’s pursuit. As a senior, Fernández pitched to a 13–1 win–loss record with a 2.35 earned run average (ERA) and 134 strikeouts. He also threw two no-hitters.
The Florida Marlins selected Fernández in the first round, with the 14th overall selection, of the 2011 MLB draft. Fernández signed with the Marlins, receiving a $2 million signing bonus. After he signed with the Marlins, he was assigned to the Jamestown Jammers of the Class A-Short Season New York–Penn League.
Pitching for the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Class A South Atlantic League (SAL) to start the 2012 season, Fernández threw the first six innings of a combined no-hitter. He was twice named the SAL pitcher of the week. Fernández was named to appear in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game. During the season, he was promoted to the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League. He finished the 2012 season with a 14–1 win-loss record, a 1.75 ERA, and 158 strikeouts in 134 innings pitched at Greensboro and Jupiter. He was named the Marlins’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year.
Prior to the 2013 season, Baseball America ranked Fernández as the Marlins’ best prospect and the fifth best prospect in all of baseball. The Marlins invited Fernández to spring training but sent him to minor league camp before the season began. However, they chose to add Fernández to their 25-man Opening Day roster, due in part to injuries to Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Álvarez. Also, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria hoped that promoting Fernández would buy him goodwill with the fans, following a fire sale the previous offseason. He was planned to be limited to approximately 150 to 170 innings during the 2013 season in order to protect his development. He was the second youngest National League player that season, older only than the Nationals’ Bryce Harper.
The Marlins scheduled his major league debut on April 7 against the New York Mets. In his MLB debut, Fernández pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits with eight strikeouts. He became the seventh pitcher under the age of 21 to record at least eight strikeouts in his MLB debut since 1916. He impressed in his second start. Despite a rough outing against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 27, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon took to Twitter soon after watching Fernández pitch, saying, “Jose Fernández might be the best young pitcher I’ve ever seen, at that age. I believe he will go far.”
On July 6, 2013, Fernández was selected to represent the Miami Marlins for the National League All Star team. He pitched a perfect 6th inning in the 2013 All-Star Game in which he struck out Dustin Pedroia, induced Miguel Cabrera to pop up for a flyout and struck Chris Davis out. With this performance, Fernández is one of only three pitchers in the history of the All-Star Game who struck out two batters prior to their 21st birthday for their All-Star debut, the other two being Dwight Gooden and Bob Feller.
Against the Pittsburgh Pirates on July 28, Fernández recorded 13 strikeouts, earning the 3–2 victory. With Fernández’s 14-strikeout performance against the Cleveland Indians on August 3, 2013, he became just the sixth pitcher since 2000 to strike out 13 or more batters in consecutive games. He established the Marlins’ rookie record for most strikeouts in one game. For his performance in July 2013, Fernández was named the Rookie of the Month for the National League, leading all qualified rookie pitchers in ERA. He followed up his July by compiling a 1.15 ERA with 49 strikeouts in 39 innings pitched in August, which resulted him in receiving a second consecutive Rookie of the Month Award.
Fernández’s rookie season has been considered historic as his 4.2 Wins Above Replacement places him in the Top 10 player seasons among those under 21 years old since 1900. Fernández’s Adjusted ERA+ of 174 on the season also places him in the Top 10 all-time for pitchers under the age of 21, and he is only the fourth pitcher to record this feat in the past 100 years. His strikeout rate is the highest in his league, pacing the National League at 9.81 strikeouts per nine innings.
At the time after his last start of his rookie season, Fernández was in the top 10 of many pitching statistics in the National League, including sixth in strikeouts (187), first in strikeouts per nine innings (9.75) and hits allowed per nine innings (5.759), second in ERA (2.19) and Adjusted ERA+ (176), and third in WAR (6.3). Fernández won the Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award and the National League Rookie of the Year Award. He came in third place in the Cy Young Award voting behind Adam Wainwright and winner Clayton Kershaw.
Fernández started his sophomore campaign as the Opening Day starter for the Marlins, making him the youngest Opening Day starting pitcher since Dwight Gooden in 1986. Fernández recorded nine strikeouts while walking none, and he joined Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, Ferguson Jenkins, Walter Johnson, and Cy Young as the only pitchers to do so on Opening Day. On May 12, Fernández was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a right elbow sprain. An MRI revealed that the elbow had a torn ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow, which prematurely ended Fernández’s 2014 season. He underwent Tommy John surgery on May 16. He made eight starts, going 4–2 with a 2.44 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 2014.
Fernández began the 2015 season on the 15-day disabled list but was later moved to the 60-day disabled list to continue recovery from Tommy John surgery. It was announced by the Marlins on June 15 that he would make his season debut on July 2. In his debut, Fernández recorded six strikeouts in six innings. He also hit a home run. Fernández returned to the disabled list in August with a biceps strain in his pitching arm. He returned to the mound in September and set a major league record for consecutive wins at home by a single pitcher with his seventeenth such win on the 25th of that month.
To aid his recovery from Tommy John surgery, Fernández cut back on the use of his fastball during spring training in 2016 and began working on his secondary pitches. Appearing as a pinch hitter in the 12th inning against the Atlanta Braves on July 1, Fernández doubled in two runs to put the Marlins ahead 7–5, which ended up being the final score. He became just the second pitcher in Marlins history to produce a game-winning hit, following Dennis Cook on August 1, 1997. Fernández appeared in the 2016 MLB All-Star Game.
Fernández’s last game was on September 20. He pitched eight shutout innings in a 1–0 win, striking out 12 batters and allowing just three hits with no walks. Afterward, Fernández told a teammate it was “the best game he ever pitched”, Marlins infielder Martín Prado later recalled. He finished 2016 with a MLB-leading 12.5 strikeouts per nine innings, and a new Marlins’ season record of 253 strikeouts, in 182 1⁄3 innings. He won 16 games, the best of his four-year career, while losing eight, with a 2.86 ERA. For his career he had a 38–17 win-loss record for a .691 winning percentage and a 2.58 ERA.
Fernández threw four pitches: a four-seam fastball that averaged 94–97 miles per hour (151–156 km/h) and touched 101 miles per hour (163 km/h), a slurve at 80–86 miles per hour (129–138 km/h), a changeup at 85–88 miles per hour (137–142 km/h), and a sinker at 88–94 miles per hour (142–151 km/h).
Fernández considered his grandmother, Olga, the “love of his life”. After six years apart, Olga and José were reunited in Miami after the 2013 baseball season. On April 24, 2015, Fernández became a citizen of the United States.
On the morning of Sunday, September 25, 2016, Fernández was killed in a boating accident off Miami Beach that also killed two others. The U.S. Coast Guard found the boat at about 3:00 a.m. overturned on a jetty near Government Cut and South Pointe Park and found three victims. A Florida Wildlife Commission official confirmed that Fernández had not been driving the boat, and that he had been killed from the impact of the crash.
The Marlins canceled their game against the Atlanta Braves that day. Teams around the major leagues honored Fernández after his death, paying tribute with a league-wide moment of silence and the display of Fernández’s jersey.The Miami Dolphins also observed a moment of silence before their Sunday game against the Cleveland Browns.The next day, the Marlins announced that they would retire Fernández’s uniform number, #16, in his honor.
Arnold Palmer’s magnificent golf performance record, magnetic personality and unfailing sense of kindness to everybody with whom he comes in contact has endeared him to millions throughout the world.
Michael Crabtree Saves The Day, As The Oakland Raiders rally to beat Saints 35-34 in New Orleans, Starts The 2016 Season In The Win Column
NEW ORLEANS — Oakland gambled with a 2-point conversion that David Carr converted with a pass to Michael Crabtree for the winning points with 47 seconds left to help the Raiders beat the New Orleans Saints 35-34 on Sunday.
Carr hit Seth Roberts for a 10-yard touchdown setting up the gutsy call by second-year Raiders coach Jack Del Rio.
Oakland had to overcome a 14-point, second-half deficit and a 424-yard, four-touchdown performance by Drew Brees. They also had to sweat out rookie kicker Wil Lutz’s last second field goal attempt from 61 yards, which narrowly missed wide left as the Superdome crowd briefly erupted before realizing the kick was no good.
Brees eclipsed 400 yards passing for the 14th time in his career, tying Peyton Manning for the most such performances in NFL history.
Carr finished with 319 yards and one touchdown passing Jalen Richard ran 75 yards on his first NFL carry for a touchdown and Amari Cooper caught Carr’s pass for a 2-point conversion to briefly tie the game at 27 in the middle of the fourth quarter.
But Brees marched New Orleans back down field for a score, highlighted by a 57-yard completion that receiver Willie Snead fumbled and rookie wideout Michael Thomas recovered and advanced to the Oakland 2. That set up Travaris Cadet’s short touchdown catch to give New Orleans a 34-27 lead.
Snead finished with nine catches for 172 yards and New Orleans nearly held on, but Saints linebacker Craig Robertson was flagged for interference on a four-down pass that sailed out of bounds.
The Raiders had touchdown runs of 6 yards by Latavius Murray and 2 yards by Jamize Olawale.
Cooper, familiar to fans in the Gulf South from his college days at Alabama, elicited cheers of, “Cooop!” from an audible contingent of Raiders fans in the Superdome with a couple receptions for long gains. He finished with six catches for 137 yards.
Lutz made two of four field goal attempts — missing twice from 50 or more yards — in his NFL debut. Payton made the surprising move of cutting veteran incumbent kicker Kai Forbath in favor of Lutz this past week after the undrafted rookie out of Georgia State had been waived by Baltimore. Lutz hit his first field goal from 42 yards out. He also handled kickoffs and hit a 20-yard field goal that was nearly blocked.Read More
Tiger to start 2016-17 season with three events, Tiger Woods hopes to make return to competitive golf at Safeway Open in October.
Tiger Woods said Wednesday that he hopes to play in the Safeway Open, Oct. 13-16, at Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California. Woods also intends to compete in the Turkish Airlines Open, Nov. 3-6, in Antalya, Turkey, and the Tiger Woods Foundation-run Hero World Challenge, Dec. 1-4, at Albany in the Bahamas. He will participate in the Tiger Woods Invitational presented by USLI, Oct. 10-11, on the Monterey Peninsula.
“My rehabilitation is to the point where I’m comfortable making plans, but I still have work to do,” Tiger said. “Whether I can play depends on my continued progress and recovery. My hope is to have my game ready to go.
“I’m looking forward to going to California for my foundation event and Safeway. I’m also excited to return to Turkey and Albany. It could be a fun fall.
“It was difficult missing tournaments that are important to me, but this time I was smart about my recovery and didn’t rush it. It was great spending time with my children Sam and Charlie, and also working on a lot of projects including golf-course design, the upcoming 20th anniversary of my foundation and my book about the 1997 Masters. But I missed competing. I want to thank all the fans for their kindness and concern. I’ve been a pro about 20 years, and their support has never waned.”
THE MYBOYSAY NATION OF GLOBAL GOLF ENTHUSIASTS ARE HOPING THAT TIGER WOODS IS HEALTHY ENOUGH TO PLAY AND WE WISH THE GREATEST A GREAT RETURN.Read More
Michelle Denee Carter, Daughter of NFL SUPER BOWL CHAMPION AND 2004 OLYMPIC SHOT PUT MEDAL WINNER, Michael Carter, won the 2016 gold medal at the Rio Olympics, Carter became the first United States women’s athlete to win the event since the women’s competition began at the 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London, England
Michelle Denee Carter (born October 12, 1985) is an American shot putter, and the current Olympic women’s champion. She is the current American record holder in the event with a distance of 20.63 m (67 ft 8 in) set at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Carter won the 2016 gold medal at the Rio Olympics on the last of her six throws, edging two-time defending championValerie Adams of New Zealand. In doing so, Carter became the first United States women’s athlete to win the event since the women’s competition began at the 1948 Summer Olympic Games in London, England, and only the second American to win any medal (Earlene Brown, bronze medal, 1960).
She won the silver medal at the 2001 World Youth Championships and the gold medal at the 2004 World Junior Championships. She finished fifteenth at the 2008 Olympic Games and fifth at the 2012 Olympic Games.
In addition to winning the 2008 United States Olympic Team Trials, she was the 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016National Champion. While competing for the University of Texas, she won the Collegiate National Championship in 2006.
Carter is a graduate of Red Oak High School in Red Oak, Texas. Her father, Michael Carter, is also a former Olympian and NFL star — the only athlete to win an Olympic medal and a Super Bowl ring in the same year. Both Michelle and her father hold the current National High School Record in the shot put, the only such father-and-daughter situation. Michelle set her record in 2003 while winning the Texas state championship; her father’s record has been unchallenged since 1979.
Carter’s father, Michael, won the men’s shot put silver medal while representing Team USA at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games and also played professional American football for the San Francisco 49ers from 1984-1992, winning three Super Bowls.
She received a full track scholarship to The University of Texas, she graduated in 2007 with a degree in Youth and Communities Studies, and a minor in Kinesiology.
Carter is a certified professional make-up artist; information about her work is available on shotdiva.com.
Carter has focused on body image both on the field and off, talking to young women about confidence through her program You Throw Girl. “You have to understand everyone’s body was built to do something. I was built to do something, and that’s how I was built.
THOMAS “HOLLYWOOD” HENDERSON, ALL-PRO, SUPERBOWL CHAMPION, GREATEST DALLAS COWBOY ATHLETE EVER, IS GOD’S GIFT TO AUSTIN TEXAS AND THE GLOBAL WAR ON DRUGS
MAMA USE TO TELL ME THAT I WAS FAVORED, “AND NOW”, I KNOW THAT IT WAS TRUE!!!
THOSE WORDS CAME FROM THE FASTEST NFL LINEBACKER TO EVER SUIT UP FOR A NFL CONTEST, EVER. YES, MR. THOMAS “HOLLYWOOD” HENDERSON RAN A 100YRD DASH IN 9.5 SECONDS, AND RAN THE 40YRD DASH IN 4.3 SECONDS.
IF THERE WAS A LINEBACKER THAT COULD DO THAT TODAY, AND COULD ALSO STOP A MAN LIKE EARL CAMPBELL IN HIS TRACKS, IMAGINE HOW MUCH MONEY, HOW LARGE HIS CONTRACT WOULD BE IN 2016. NIKE WOULD BE PAYING HIM “MICHAEL JORDAN” ENDORSEMENT MONEY, “$100,000,000,000.00”, GATORADE WOULD HAVE “HOLLYWOOD GATORADE STANDS” ALL OVER THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, AND HE WOULD HAVE BEEN THE SECOND COMING OF THE MOST POPULAR “70’S” PRIVATE EYE TO EVER HIT THE SILVER SCREEN, THAT’S RIGHT, HE WOULD HAVE EVEN ECLIPSED “SHAFT”.
ONE OF THE GREATEST LINEBACKERS EVER KNOWN TO THE GAME, “LAWRENCE TAYLOR”, WORE THE #56 IN HONOR OF THE GREAT “THOMAS HOLLOYWOOD HENDERSON”. NOW, THAT’S A TRUE HONOR!!!!
THOMAS HENDERSON, MY STORY:
“THIS ALTER PERSONA ALMOST KILLED ME”
Thomas Henderson is no longer "Hollywood"
Thomas Henderson was selected in the first round of the 1975 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys, becoming a big part of a team that led the franchise to three Super Bowls. After winning the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos, Henderson was selected to the Pro Bowl at the end of the 1978 season. Becoming one of the first NFL players to brand himself, Henderson gave himself the nickname “Hollywood” for his high-visibility lifestyle. Such a lifestyle led to cocaine addiction and alcoholism. In 1981, playing for the Miami Dolphins, Henderson suffered a career-ending neck injury.
Arrested in 1983 for smoking crack with two teenage girls in California, Henderson served 28 months in state prison. Right after his arrest, he entered into recovery and has been sober ever since. In 2000, Henderson won the Lotto Texas $28 million jackpot. The father of two daughters with five grandchildren, he spends his time traveling across the country, lecturing about his life and giving back through his foundation. In the fall of 2016, he will celebrate his 33rd sober birthday. This period also will mark the opening of the Thomas Henderson Treatment Center for Men in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
You have said that growing up, “My family was very, very poor. Like no toilet paper poor.” In light of your later athletic success and the spotlight shined upon you, do you think this experience of extreme poverty made it more difficult for you to adjust? When young men enter the NFL from comparative backgrounds and they’re suddenly making tons of money, do you think the league and the individual teams need to coach them on how to handle success?
I’m not sure when you start your life in poverty that anybody can correct it but yourself. I’m not sure the NFL has enough psychiatrists and counselors and psychologists to have an impact on a young man who saw his stepfather shot right in front of him, and who saw his mom get beat to the ground and watched her face get splashed with black eyes. I don’t think that there’s anything that can help you with that but some deep therapy, some psychodrama, and individual counseling and treatment. That has been my experience. If you are a young man and you need help, please stay tuned because The Thomas Henderson Treatment Center for men at Deerfield Beach, Florida will open in the fall of 2016.
In the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys, you were considered to be one of the most talented defensive players of your generation. In 1978, when the Cowboys won the Super Bowl under coach Tom Landry, you earned a Pro Bowl slot. At the same time, choosing the nickname “Hollywood,” you lived a flamboyant lifestyle, including cocaine usage and all night parties. Looking back, do you believe that burning the proverbial candle at both ends was a mistake?
I think it was. In 1976, I went straight from the Super Bowl in Miami, where we lost, to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I met a famous singer, and I went to Hollywood. Marvin Gaye was a good friend; Richard Pryor was a good friend. I stayed at his house and he stayed in my house when he came to Dallas. In that crowd, I was introduced to the fast lane of freebasing cocaine. I wasn’t a big drinker. In fact, I never was. I never did finish a beer so I never really did become an “alcoholic” until I really was at the end of my road.
About thirty minutes after the plane took off, the trainer would start at the front row with a big bag of hydrocodone, and he would walk down the aisle offering them to the players.
The flamboyancy was branding. When you see Cam Newton, the quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, doing his Superman pose, or you see any of the defensive players jumping up after a tackle and running back to the line, shaking their hips, they are trying to brand. The NFL is a brand. In truth, the Hollywood thing started out as a joke with my teammates. The cocaine use at first was recreational.
I remember being in this elevator in New York one time, and I was there because we were playing the Giants. I overheard a reporter from The New York Times talking to the Cowboys PR Director. I heard him emphatically ask, “Who do you want us to talk to this week?” to our PR Director. Right there, I knew that they weren’t saying, “Go talk to Thomas Henderson.” I sort of knew intuitively that if I was going to get what I want, something has to change. I actually wanted to be an actor after football. I wanted to do the Jim Brown thing so I started self-promoting under a really conservative regime. I think I opened the door to what you see now like the golden shoes, the pink hair and the braids hanging out of their helmet. All of the flamboyant things you see today in the NFL I think were born with Thomas Henderson in 1975.
About the physical pain of playing pro football, you once said, “You’re sitting there crippled, sitting there hurting, sitting there hurting to the point where a grown man’s about to cry, and the doctor’s standing there with a needle … and a coach standing there says: ‘Can you go?’ Or, in other words, can you play? And if I don’t go, that guy who I’ve been in the meeting rooms with for the last two years is going to take my job.” Do you believe such an emphasis on playing through injuries has led to a higher rate of addiction problems, particularly to prescription painkillers and alcohol, for NFL players, both during and after their careers? Are early interventions needed?
Well, consider this story. It’s 1975, week two of the NFL season, we are playing the St. Louis Cardinals, and I run a kickoff back 97 yards and dunk it over the goal post. The backstory of that celebrated moment is this: Before that game, I limped into the stadium because I had a hip pointer. A hip pointer is that little fatty thing right on your hipbone, and I had been hit with a helmet right into that bone. Of course, I could hardly walk and I could hardly breathe because it was so painful. I go in about three hours early to the stadium to get it treated. This doctor pulls out this long horse-looking needle and shoots Novocain and Xylocaine into my hip. Now I don’t have a hip. It just feels like dead in that area so I take a knee pad and put it over that hip.
Lo and behold, I’m going to play that game. Now that’s the first time I’ve ever been shot up: Week two of the season, and I’m 22 years old, and they fill my hip with Novocain and Xylocaine. Now, I run a kickoff back for a touchdown, and I dunk the ball over the goal post. That was the first time that had ever happened; dunking the ball over a goal post. The experience sent a signal to my mind: If I get hurt, give me a shot and then I can play.
On five or six occasions, I found myself in that situation where my back was hurting or my fingers were broken or my shoulder was separated, and I was asked, “Can you go? Are you going to play?” It was almost a threat. There was not a hint of any bedside manner like, “Are you okay and how are you feeling?” It was more of a threat. If you don’t play, they’re gonna play your backup, and you never wanted that to happen.
After away games, being a Dallas Cowboy, we loaded onto the planes, and there would be the biggest coolers of beer you’ve ever seen. I would get on the airplane after those games, and we would load the planes from the tail section on the tarmac. I would invariably pick up six or seven cans of beer, and I didn’t even like drinking beer. I would get to my seat and immediately chug down the first three to deal with the dehydration from the game. You should drink water for dehydration, but I drank beer for dehydration.
About thirty minutes after the plane took off, the trainer would start at the front row with a big bag of hydrocodone, and he would walk down the aisle offering them to the players. The first time he came by, I would say, “Give me one of those.” I just took one at first. Let’s jump forward to the next year. When he comes by, I get a pained look on my face, whether I was hurting or not, and I say, “Can I have four or five?” He always gave them to me. My introduction to drugs was not by prescription, not really for necessity, but just available.
Throughout my career in the National Football League—and I played for seven years—I had twenty plus concussions. They’d known about the dangers for a long time. My rookie year with the Cowboys, I would have to run down the field during practice and straight into four big guys holding their are together, and that was called the wedge. They would tell you to break up the wedge. Well, I would get five yards from those guys and just go airborne. I mean, I would fly into a three hundred pound guy and just knock myself silly. When I knocked myself silly, I didn’t know that I had a concussion. But I’d lay on the ground completely out of it, and here would come the trainers. They would raise your feet up and ask you questions. They would go, “Who are we playing? What day is it? What city are we in?” Literally, they were doing that protocol in 1975.
I want to make something perfectly clear for your readers. The game of football is violent and painful. During those twenty games during the preseason and the season, I was hurt every day. Something hurt every day. For a human being, the game is very, very painful because it is so violent, particularly when you play at a high level like I did.
By the 1979 season, your drug dependency had grown so strong that you kept an inhaler tucked inside your game pants and you would snort liquid cocaine between plays. Tom Landry lost patience with the effect your lifestyle and addictions were having on the team and eventually placed you on injured reserve. You never played another game for the Cowboys. Landry passed away on February 12, 2000. Were you ever able to make things right with your old coach?
The short answer is, “Yes, I did.” But let’s backup and look at that question. Let me clarify the story about me using cocaine with a liquid inhaler on the field. Let me quantify that story. By 1979, I am still using cocaine recreationally, but I am using a lot of it. Therefore, I tore up my septum. It was one big scab all the way through. I was not very good at grinding the rocks of cocaine and carrying around a little grinder, and being so neat and clean. I didn’t snort snowflakes. I was snorting rocks and pebbles and just stuffing it in my nasal passage. It got the point where I couldn’t even snort flake cocaine. My nose was completely a scab. Now I’m having headaches, my eyes are watering, my nasal passage is blocked, and I’m breathing through my mouth. The only way that I could digest cocaine was liquid form.
During Super Bow XIII, before the game, during the game, and after the game, I, Dr. Thomas Henderson, a doctor of eye, ear, nose and throat, prescribed liquid cocaine not for performance, not to play better, but because my nasal passage was rotten. It gave me a headache from hell so I squirted liquid cocaine in there to stop the pain in my nose and not to get high.
Also, Tom Landry didn’t put me on injured reserve. Tom Landry tried to waive me, and I retired, I quit. When I quit, the Cowboys were later able to trade me to the San Francisco 49ers. If I had let him waive me, the San Francisco 49ers were going to claim me off of waivers. I didn’t want to go to San Francisco. When Tom Landry fired me—let me make this point—I had the best job in the world. I had the greatest opportunity in the world to be a Dallas Cowboy, but Tom Landry and I did not get along. Tom Landry grew up during the 1930s and ’40s, and he played in the ’50s and ’60s. When Tom Landry was a New York Giant, he knew that the black players on that football team stayed in black hotels when they traveled. They knew their place.
Tom Landry coached in an atmosphere of fear. I played for the man for five years, and he never asked me once, “How is your mom? How are you?” When my daughter was born, he didn’t ask, “What’s her name? How is she?” He never asked if you were having a good day or a bad day. He coached and ran that organization with a sense of fear.
Thomas Henderson was the new black guy in 1975. I didn’t know my place. Teammates who had been there for 10 or 12 years when I got there, and I won’t mention any names but I mean the African American players, they knew their place. They were from South Carolina. They were from Georgia and Mississippi and Alabama. I’m from Austin, Texas, and it’s one of the most liberal towns in the world. Never had I faced racism. No one ever called me the N-word…successfully (laughs). For better or worse, I was the new black guy before anybody knew what the new black guy was.
After being released by the San Francisco 49ers, you began your first stint in recovery. After going through rehab, you signed with the Miami Dolphins, but this second chance was cut short by a neck injury that you suffered in preseason. Without any chance of playing pro football again, your life spiraled into greater addiction and eventually prison. Do you believe that you might have stayed sober the first time around if you had not suffered that career-ending injury?
First, let’s get the story straight. I went to the 49ers the summer of 1980, and I played four games with the 49ers during the 1980 season. I finished that season in Houston, Texas, with the Houston Oilers. By that time, I was smoking crack. I couldn’t even snort cocaine anymore because my nose was just a big scab. I started a relationship with crack cocaine, and I couldn’t stop. I was powerless. I was crazy. I came back to Dallas after the 1980 season with the Houston Oilers. John Wooten, who had played with Jim Brown, called me one day to meet him. I was leery about meeting him, but I went anyway. John Wooten said to me, “Thomas, we all know what’s going on with you. Here’s a card. Go get some help.” I looked at him like he was crazy and left to go smoke some more crack, and I kept smoking crack, barely missing getting busted and all the ugly stuff that happens when you’re running wild, but I kept the card.
Finally, I made the call to this rehab in Scottsdale, Arizona, and told them I was coming. I smoked crack the whole ride over on Braniff Airlines to Phoenix. In the spring of 1981, I go to this psychiatric hospital, and I was in that facility for three months. During that time, I had surgery on my septum where they cut out the rot and sewed my nose back together inside. In this hospital, I never heard about the 12 steps and I never really paid attention to what this was all about. I thought that since I got my nose fixed and I got some sleep, I would be okay. I’m in this place with people who have mental problems, and I don’t think I’m anything like them.
But a funny moment happened. I’m in group one day, and I’m looking around the room. There’s an Eskimo guy grinning at me, there’s a woman pulling her dress up, there’s an Indian guy looking really strange, and I’m thinking to myself, “These people are crazy.” Then I thought, “I’m in the group.” Then a thought came, “I wonder what they’re thinking. Something like there’s a black guy who thinks he’s a Dallas Cowboy. So we’re all crazy.” Rather than feeling a connection, I felt completely on my own.
That treatment was not successful. I went back to Dallas after that treatment and just started drinking gin and tonics. I didn’t know and I felt that I had to use something else. I didn’t think sobriety was an option. In other words, if they said anything about 12-step meetings or recovery, I missed the boat on it. Shortly thereafter, I would go to happy hour in Arlington, Texas, and then find myself at the phone booth calling the coke dealer. I never put that connection together: okay, after you drink, you start to want to do cocaine.
At that time, Don Shula met me at the DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) airport and wanted to sign me with the Miami Dolphins. I went to DFW airport loaded up on cocaine to meet him. The high beams are on, and I’m talking to the great Don Shula. They sign me to go play for the Miami Dolphins. And I’ll say this about the early 1980s, there’s not a worse place in the world you could send a cocaine addict than Miami, Florida. It was like sending me to hell. I wished there had been a football team in South Dakota or somewhere like that.
I played six preseason games with the Miami Dolphins and I was going to be in the starting lineup, but in the last preseason game of 1981, I broke my neck. I broke the C-1 vertebrae and that’s where your heart beating and your breathing is, and I should be dead. I should be a quadriplegic at best. It was a life-ending injury that I walked away from. While I was in the hospital in Miami, I had a girl come over with crack. I’m in traction, in the intensive care unit, and I smoked crack right there in the bed in the ICU.
When you were released in October 1986 from prison, you stayed sober for good. How did you manage to find the path of sobriety in prison? How would you reform the prison system to help others find this path as well?
Well, that question is incorrect. After my arrest on November 2, 1983, I went into treatment three days later. I was on medication for a couple of days for detoxification so my recovery date is November 8, 1983. I was in treatment and in the care of people from the 12 Steps for seven months before I went to prison. I was sober for seven months before reporting to the California Department of Corrections after pleading no contest to a crack house sexual incident that had to do with crack. I pleaded no contest, I had no money, I had an appointed lawyer, and I had explained to police that what happened is what happens in crack houses. If you don’t have your own drugs, you have to do something for it. I take full responsibility for what happened. That incident embarrassed me and my family and my friends so bad that it was either suicide or recovery.
I made the decision that recovery was good for me. A good friend of mine, Roger Staubach, was one of my old teammates who was supporting and helping me through all of this. He said to me one day, “Thomas, you’re a good guy. You always have been a good guy.” And I remembered that I was a good guy. What I now say about that time in my life is that I’m not my mistakes, I’m who I’ve become. I’ve been becoming who I am for almost 33 years now.
While in prison for 28 months, I stayed connected with 12-step programs. I fellowshipped inside with people who wanted to hear me. I did exactly 28 months, and it was sort of the best 28 months I had had in a while because I was clean and sober going in, counting my days while I was in, I had both my first and my second anniversary in, and I got out right short of my third anniversary, still clean and sober.
The prison experience reminded me of where I had come from. I’m a tough guy. I had a couple of fights. You have to stand up for yourself or you get run over. I stood up for myself, but it was surreal. It was like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It was a trip. But those 28 months were better than the previous 28 months when I was in crack houses and alleys and cheap hotels with hookers. It was all crazy, insane behavior that ultimately had me crash and burn.
About prisons; the prison industrial complex is about punishment and money. That’s why we have all these private prisons now. They do have some programs. I later worked for Ann Richards when I was in Texas, helping to develop prison programs for substance abuse and alcoholism. I went in to speak to inmates, and it made me realize they could do a far better job. There are a lot of people in prison who shouldn’t be there because they’re addicts. I don’t know what the answer is for a collective population like that. From my own experience, I do know that for seven months I attended 12-step meetings in Orange County and people loved on me and told me that it was going to be okay. They told me that I could get through this phase of my life, and I believed them, and I’m glad I did.
After spending 28 months in prison, you won $28 million in the Texas Lotto in 2000. At the time, you said, “I think it’s karma.” Is the karma expressed in 28 being both your unlucky and lucky number? In terms of your higher power and your spiritual life today, can you give us a little insight into what it looks like?
If you add 28 and 28, it’s 56, and that’s the number I wore on my back in the National Football League. 28 months. 28 million. Number 56. Yeah, it’s karma, it’s numbers, it’s numerology, it’s astrology or whatever you want to call it, but for me, it was a decision. The decision to be clean and sober is by far the biggest lottery that I’ve ever won. I couldn’t imagine this life without being sober.
What I want the reader of this interview to know is that I already had the propensity to be an alcoholic and an addict from the very beginning. I was raised by two alcoholics. If I was raised by a mother rat, I’d probably like cheese. It’s like that old joke where the rat goes up to the mouse trap and he sniffs on the cheese and the rat ends up biting the cheese. The rat trap slams on his head. With the rat trap smashed on his brain, here’s what you know about what the rat is thinking. He’s thinking, “I don’t want this cheese anymore.” I was raised like a rat in an atmosphere of violence and poverty. I was raised in nasty, very, very unsanitary conditions, which is why I left home at 16 years old.
Look, Tom Landry firing me the Monday before Thanksgiving 1979, he took away from me the best job in the world. He had the power to take it away from me for no good reason, really. I mean, I did a teammate a favor. Preston Pearson had a rally towel that he wanted to promote. He gave me this rally towel and asked, “If you get any time on camera, can you please show the flag?” We were losing to the Redskins. I took the rally towel out of my pants and shook the flag at the camera. Tom Landry fired me for mugging the camera while we were losing.
Now I came into the Cowboys with 12 rookies known as the Dirty Dozen, and those 12 rookies took the Cowboys to three Super Bowls. We went to three out of four Super Bowls: Super Bowl X, Super Bowl XII, and Super Bowl XIII. Those 12 men contributed hugely to that football team. Arguably, Thomas Henderson was the best player on the team. Now that sounds arrogant, but I’m on kickoff, I’m on kickoff return, I’m on punt, I’m on punt return, I’m on the nickel defensive package, and I’m starting on defense. I’m running kickoffs back, and he gets rid of me. He never goes back to another Super Bowl without Thomas Henderson. Tom Landry never goes back to another Super Bowl without me. That sounds arrogant because I am a little arrogant because I was a great football player.
I wasn’t a very good person, well, I was a good person, but when he fired me, I was like a plate dropped in the kitchen on a concrete floor. I broke into a thousand pieces and I did not know how to put myself back together. He hurt me. I was devastated, and I turned to cocaine, heroin, pain pills, Quaaludes, psychedelics, and whatever I could get my hands on.
I smoked crack with Richard Pryor and Marvin Gaye. Richard introduced me to freebase early on in 1976. I may be one of the founding fathers of smoking cocaine (laughing). I go back to the Bicentennial in ’76, and I am probably one of the founding fathers of smoking crack. Really. When Richard Pryor would cuss me out like only he could because I wanted to light up a cigarette around the ether—that flammable shit you use to freebase cocaine that could get you in trouble and explode on you—Richard would mf me and scream, “No, don’t spark that lighter. No, don’t light that match! Are you crazy, man? Are you trying to blow us up, mf?” So I would have to go outside to smoke. In any case, I really didn’t like freebase. I really loved crack. Okay, that’s enough of that, next question.
Reflecting on the night of your Texas Lotto win, you said, “Man, this physical strain came over me … I felt like the weight of the world was on me that night. I felt the fear. Y’know, could I handle it? Could I stay sober? Because it was a great moment for champagne. It was a great time for some cocaine.” Many people would have said ‘F*** It!’ and started the party all over again. Why didn’t you?
I was 16 years sober when I won the lottery. I’m so glad I was sober (laughing) when I won the lottery because if not, I’d be dead now for sure. You know, I took this lottery ticket home after I realized I was the only winner of this $28 million dollars, and I hid it in a book. Then I couldn’t find it. (laughing) I thought I was getting paranoid again. Then I found the book, took out the ticket and put it in a Bible. Then I couldn’t find the Bible. When I found it, I put it under my mattress. Then I took it out and put it in the trunk of my car. I kept thinking that somebody knew, but, hell, nobody knew but me and my paranoia. I tell you what, that Thursday when I found out—I won on a Wednesday and I found out on Thursday evening—and the weekend was upon us. After that crazy night, I finally went over to the bank on Friday and put it in a safety deposit box.
A lot of meditation and prayer went along with that moment in my life. I just looked in the mirror and wondered, “Are you okay?” I answered myself and said, “I don’t know if I’m okay.” I went through this whole process of getting the money. I took the cash option so I ended up with $9 million in cash. Back then, they gave you 50% of the jackpot if you took the cash option so I got over $14 million. I paid over $5 million in taxes so I ended up with $9 million in cash.
Here’s when I knew I was okay. I bought a four-year-old SEL-600 Mercedes with 12,000 miles on it. I bought a four-year-old vehicle as a gift to myself. Now, I could have bought a Bentley, I could have bought a Rolls-Royce, I could have bought a Ferrari, I could have bought a two million dollar house. There’s a lot of things you could do with that money, but I chose not to do those things, and as a matter of fact, I had about $2 million bucks already. I had really worked hard with my film company, distributing films to rehabs, drunk driving schools, prisons, jails, probation departments and so forth. I was already making a fine living and living a really good life at the time.
Recovery is possible. If a guy like me can get clean and sober and live a decent life, anybody can.
I had built a football stadium for kids in my hometown before I won the lottery. I had raised $300,000 dollars by fasting for seven days for my community in order to build a football stadium and a track for the kids. That was November of 1999 and four months later, I hit the lottery. Most people are going to know that most of my good deeds were done before the lottery. I think I passed the test. I haven’t had a drink or a drug since November 8, 1983, and I have gone through losing my mom, losing my stepfather, losing my dad, losing my sister. I have been through some hard things. I lost my sister a couple of years ago to cancer, and she was my favorite human being. She had a mental disease, and she was my favorite human being because I was her big brother.
Supported by the money you won, you established a charitable foundation with this newfound fortune. With this foundation, you give back to the Austin community in Texas where you grew up. Can you tell us more about the work of your foundation?
Yes, but it’s important to note that I set up the foundation before I won the lottery. I started the foundation in 1993. I went back to the high school that I attended. It had been closed in 1971 because of segregation. When integration happened, white kids wouldn’t come to East Austin to go to school, so they closed my high school. When I moved back home, the historic football stadium that I had played in as a sophomore at Anderson High School had been turned into a parking lot. The little kids who wanted to play football and be cheerleaders didn’t have a place to do any of that, so I turned this parking lot into a football stadium and I started the East Side Youth Services & Street Outreach. That foundation continues to do work.
Here’s what I came up with: There’s all kinds of foundations and scholarships. I thought that if I put in a football stadium and a track and bleachers, letting the kids have the same opportunities that I had, they would have a better chance to succeed. When it came to that opportunity for me when I was a kid, I dug my game out of the dirt. I learned how to run on the track and in the alleys and on the streets. I learned how to play football on the playgrounds of Austin, Texas. With athletics having been my ticket, I thought I should offer that same opportunity to the children of that community. I can’t do it for everybody, but I could do it for them. Today, that football stadium is open and has been open for over 25 years. The gates stay open for people in the community to push their strollers around the track, to jog, to walk, to play in the field. It’s just open, and I continue to cut the grass, water the grass, pick up the trash, clean the restrooms and keep this opportunity a reality for that community. It’s the greatest thing that I’ve ever done. Giving back to my community is greater than even the Super Bowl I won.
You once described your ability to talk and keep on talking until you get what you want by saying, “I could talk a hungry cat off a fish truck.” How has this changed over the years? What’s different today?
Well, I’m still a pretty good talker because I’m a highly educated man. I have a college degree where I studied the Renaissance period, English literature, psychology, and kinesiology. My degree is in science. What I appreciate about myself is that this knucklehead and thug is also very highly educated.
I started school at three years old because my mother was a cook at a monastery school in Austin, Texas. Every day she worked, I was left in the grocery closet with a toy and a pillow until the headmaster found me back there. He told my mom, “Let this child come out of there and go to school.” My mother put me in the classes at three years old so by the time I was in the first grade, I was reading and writing. I was ahead of everybody. As much of a knucklehead that I am, I am intelligent as well. My plan was to be an actor. Jack Gilardi at ICM was my agent. His only other client of color was O. J. Simpson. I had the opportunity to go to one of the top acting schools in Los Angeles, but I couldn’t stop smoking crack. I had big plans, but cocaine interrupted all of it.
At Langston University, you were known as “Wild Man” as well as being awarded the Southwest District Defensive Player of the Year. Later, you were the first NFL player to dunk a football through the goalposts after scoring a touchdown. Do you miss that wild side of your personality that pushed boundaries and lived on the cutting edge? How is that part of you expressed today?
It’s expressed in the live lectures that I do across the country. From 1986 to 2000, I put almost two million miles on American Airlines. I’ve spoken at the Air Force Academy, at major universities, and lots of prisons. I have 11 film titles at the website FMS Productions. They are all about my recovery, and I also tell a lot of jokes. I have written two books.
Speech was one of my favorite classes in college. As an elective, I took that class every semester. I had so much fun because I would show up to class unprepared, and they would tell me, “You’ve got to do ten minutes today.” I literally could pick up a piece of lint off the floor and do ten minutes about where that piece of lint had come from. I learned the craft of public speaking early on, and I knew I could be funny when I needed to be while still having an articulate delivery. I have a video on YouTube called “Yes, I’m Still Clean” and I gave that to the public. There are nine parts in total, and you can see my gift of talking in action. It’s really wonderful to be honest and open about my disease. By talking about alcoholism and drug addiction, it helps other people. In a weird kind of way, I think that’s what I was sent here for.
“If you fall, fall on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. And I got up,” you told a packed Douglass High School auditorium in 2016 in Oklahoma. Thinking of those kids, many experiencing the struggles of your own childhood, what else would you say to them about navigating the challenges of growing up?
The first thing I would say, and I would say it ten trillion times until somebody heard me: When it comes to mind-altering substances like alcohol, marijuana, cigarettes, cocaine, heroin, pills, bath salts and anything else—you name it—I would tell every kid out there from eight to 80 that sobriety is an option. You never have to use drugs or alcohol. You never have to experience drinking because you can leave it alone.
When I was 10 years old, I wish someone would have said to me, “Hey, Thomas, you know your mom and dad are drunks and most people around you are drunks, but you don’t have to do that. It actually would be good for you if you don’t drink and you don’t use.” In our country, in my opinion, prevention is not talked about enough. Sobriety is an option for every human being on this planet. If I was able to speak to every person on the planet and tell them one thing, that would be what I would want to let them know. Recovery is possible. If a guy like me can get clean and sober and live a decent life, anybody can. I’m not a Holy Roller by any imagination, but I always say a prayer during my lectures. I always say this prayer: “God, thank you for letting me, Thomas Henderson, laugh and smile again, but please God, don’t ever let me forget that I cried.”
THE MYBOYSAYNATION OF GLOBAL SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS WOULD LIKE TO THANK “THE FASTEST NFL LINEBACKER TO SUIT UP”, AND THE GREATEST DALLAS COWBOY “LINEBACKER AND ATHLETE” OF ALL TIME, “MR. THOMAS HENDERSON”, FOR HIS GREATEST CONTRIBUTION TO THE SPORT OF FOOTBALL, “HIS PERSONAL TIME AND DEVOTION WITH THE KIDS OF AUSTIN, AND ALL OF THE HUMANS THAT HE’S TOUCHED WITH HIS LIFE STORY.
Ronaldo played for Brazil in 98 matches, scoring 62 goals, and is the second-highest goalscorer for his national team. Aged 17, he was a part of the Brazilian squad that won the 1994 FIFA World Cup. At the 1998 World Cup, he received the Golden Ball for player of the tournament in helping Brazil reach the final where he suffered a convulsive fit hours before the defeat to France. He won a second World Cup in 2002 where he scored twice in the final, and received theGolden Boot as top goalscorer. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Ronaldo scored his 15th World Cup goal, which was a World Cup record at the time.
Having suffered a string of serious injuries throughout his career, Ronaldo retired from professional football in 2011, concluding an 18-year career. Post-retirement, he has continued his work as a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, a position to which he was appointed in 2000. He served as an ambassador of the2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Ronaldo showcased his impressive goal-scoring ability for Cruzeiro, helping the club to its first Brazil Cup championship in 1993. The talented 17-year-old was named to the Brazilian national team for the 1994 World Cup in the United States, though he watched from the bench as his countrymen won the Cup.
Ronaldo hit the ground running when his contract was sold to PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands in 1994, averaging nearly a goal per game against top-notch European competition. Two years with PSV Eindhoven were followed by one with FC Barcelona and then a move to Inter Milan, a four-year period in which Ronaldo twice won FIFA World Player of the Year and carried his teams to victory in the Dutch and Spanish Super Cups.
During his peak, Ronaldo possessed an unstoppable combination of speed and power, equally capable of plowing through defenders as he was of nimbly sidestepping their attacks and accelerating away. Adding to his aura was an aversion to practicing and training hard, an attitude that did little to stem his dominance.
Big things were expected from Ronaldo and Brazil in the 1998 World Cup in France, but while he was named the Golden Ball winner as the Cup’s best player, the tournament ended on a sour note when Ronaldo suffered a convulsive fit before the final and was ineffective in a 3-0 loss to the host country. Bigger setbacks followed when Ronaldo ruptured a knee tendon in November 1999 and reinjured the knee five months later, knocking him out of action for almost two years.
Ronaldo made a triumphant return in time for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, netting eight goals to win the Golden Boot Award as the Cup’s top scorer while leading Brazil its fifth world championship. Ronaldo transferred to Real Madrid that fall, winning the FIFA World Player of the Year Award a third time before leading his new club to La Liga and Spanish Super Cup championships in 2003.
Ronaldo appeared in one final World Cup for Brazil in 2006. Although Brazil was bounced in the quarterfinals by France, Ronaldo scored three times to set a record with 15 career goals in World Cup play.
THERE IS “MAGIC” IN THE AIR, AS Denver Council Advances DIA Terminal Project Bid After Hearing From “CORPORATE INVESTMENT” Business Man, Mr. Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr.
Posted by myboysay on Aug 23, 2016 in BASKETBALL, Business, Entertainment, GLOBAL BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURS, GLOBAL SPORTS, Health, Most Commented, NBA, NCAA BASKETBALL, News, Sports, U.S., World | 0 comments
Bid team seeking long-term partnership, which includes ex-basketball star EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON JR. as investor, speaks to committee.
A committee’s vote Wednesday to advance a proposal that would green-light negotiations with the preferred bid team for Denver International Airport’s terminal renovation came after members asked questions about the arrangement.
And after they were charmed, at least a little bit, by Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr.
“I’ve been coming to Denver for over 30 years,” Johnson said at the start of his remarks. “You know, in those little hot pants that we used to wear and the purple uniform for the Lakers. But now, with a suit and tie, and I’m doing business in this great city.”
The retired 6-foot-9 NBA star, who posed for photos with some City Council members after the meeting, was there because his Magic Johnson Enterprises is an equity partner in the project consortium led by Madrid, Spain-based Ferrovial Airports.
The team also is led by Centennial-based Saunders Construction, which was among the managers of the airport’s hotel and transit center project. The bid team was selected by DIA officials over two others in June.
It’s seeking a long-term public-private partnership — potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars — to renovate much of the 1.5 million-square-foot terminal. It would then oversee commercial operations in that part of the airport. Several council members cited 24 years as the potential term.
The arrangement would include the sharing of future revenues with the airport, from concessions and other sources. So far, DIA hasn’t released the conceptual financial details of Ferrovial’s bid or any of the three teams’ final proposals.
But a losing bidder, Westfield Airports, revealed in a recent filing that its team had proposed a $385 million project.
For now, DIA is asking the council to approve a “pre-development” agreement that sets in motion six months of formal negotiations for a partnership agreement, which the council would consider next spring. That initial contract is worth $9 million, but only if the airport decides not to move forward with Ferrovial.
The council also is reviewing a $600,000 contract with Los Angeles-based law firm Nossaman LLP to serve as DIA’s special counsel in negotiations.
The Business, Arts, Workforce and Aeronautical Services Committee advanced both contracts unanimously, except for the abstention of its chair, Stacie Gilmore. She recused herself from participating in discussions and voting because her brother-in-law’s company, Gilmore Construction, is on Ferrovial’s bid.
The full council could approve the contracts later this month.
In the presentation Wednesday, DIA CEO Kim Day said the major components of the project include moving the main security checkpoints from the open areas on the terminal’s main floor to the north end of Level 6, where some ticket counters are now, to effectively modernize screening for the post-9/11 era.
That would free up much of the lower level for an entry plaza from the new hotel and new Colorado-centric attractions. Among potential options: ziplines or a climbing wall.
The renovation, of course, also would create more space for shops, restaurants and other income-generating concessions. And it would mean changes to the baggage system, including some geared toward increasing capacity.
“We have a transformational project to undertake here,” said Chris Butler, whom Ferrovial has tapped as the executive director to oversee the project. Later, he referred to the iconic, striking tented roof structure of the terminal and said the goal was “to make sure that the interior of that building is reflective of the quality of the exterior.”
“We’re absolutely determined to do that,” Butler said.
The partnership would be the first at a U.S. airport for Ferrovial. It operates four airports in the United Kingdom, among other ventures.
Ferrovial’s company history has come under scrutiny from Unite Here, a union that is concerned about job retention for the DIA concession workers it represents. The union has pointed a bribery scandal in Spain, the involvement of a subsidiary in U.S. toll road projects whose operators filed for bankruptcy and problems on its projects.
The security of concession workers’ jobs, the long duration of the prospective partnership deal and the use of privatization for the project all came up in committee members’ questions Wednesday.
Several, including Kendra Black and Chris Herndon, said the public-private partnership model made sense for the terminal project. But Jolon Clark said he wasn’t sold on it and would scrutinize the arrangement more if a final agreement gets sent to the council next year.
Still others probed the team about the expected extent of meaningful contract participation by minority- and women-owned firms.
During his introduction, Johnson preemptively said he would play a role in ensuring the team meets such goals.
“I’m going to be a special adviser to the project,” Johnson said. “And what we want to do is really work with a lot of the minority firms. We want to make sure they participate here locally in this project, as well as women-owned businesses. We want to not only make sure that they have a piece of this project but also want to make sure that we mentor some of these great organizations as well and help them grow.”
Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel Unveil $100 Million Venture Capital Fund. To celebrate, KOBE BRYANT, the retired basketball star, helped ring the opening bell on Wall street.
Posted by myboysay on Aug 22, 2016 in BASKETBALL, Business, Entertainment, GLOBAL BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURS, GLOBAL SPORTS, Health, Most Commented, NBA, News, Sci/Tech, Soccer, Sports, U.S., World | 0 comments