Wallace’s Second Letter

Dear Mr. Capitalism –

JACK POT BABY! JACK POT! Who said God doesn’t love lawyers and agents? He has sure planted a great big kiss on the head of yours truly, Wallace J. Stone. My head is spinning after the most important news since the coming of Jackie Robinson – we have our gay athlete in the NBA and his name is Jason Collins.

I can’t go into all the details of my involvement but look closely and you’ll see my fingerprints all over this pot of gold. He is black and he is gay. The black part we all knew, the gay part we wondered. Wonder no more. AND HE IS A FREE AGENT, able to sign with any team smart enough, rich enough, brave enough to want him bad enough.

As I so cooly predicted when I last wrote you, teams are now be faced with the most important question of the age: Why didn’t _______________(insert team name) sign him? Are they afraid of gays? Are they in league with the homophobes in bars and dressing rooms?

So far I have lined up dozens of supporters – none of them bidders for his signature on the dotted line you will notice. But what is the limit to what we can ask for when you think about the crowds filling every single arena for every single basketball game in which he plays? Is half a million a game too outrageous?

Think on it – for the first time in the history of the world people will wish they were and black and gay. I am all atingle.

Yours truly,

WJS

Dear Wallace my boy,

Good work, good work! I suspected you all along, you ol’ devil you! And such a clean cut boy too, someone who every mother across America would gladly bring home to meet their son! And he went to Stanford, is already rich beyond most people’s wildest dreams (not mine) and he’s well-spoken to boot!

The only mistake you made is that he seems a bit old for this gig, don’t you think? On top of that, something that no one wants to say right now but we all agree upon—Jason Collins really sucks at basketball. At best he’s a third-string center who was just hanging on for dear life to stay in the NBA. Nonetheless, the first openly gay player might as well be someone who wasn’t very good since he’ll get tons of media attention in any case . . . and then Wallace, you can hit them hard the next time: a superstar! Someone who people have actually heard of before the annoucement! Someone who people previously purchased the jersey of and know what they look like. It will just keep building and building!

In any case, he’s not a no one anymore! Not only a smart marketing move for the two of you, but he’s going to make big cash on his upcoming salaries alone! And if one of those teams say they don’t want him, you can always sue for discrimination! Bonus!

Cross-promotions, as we discussed last time, will be key. Since he’s going to be with a new team in any case (although he’s played for practically every franchise already!) we need to include some sort of uniform change to go along with the signing. Perhaps rainbow-jerseys or an in-arena pride parade before every game.

Jason Collins, you are a truly courageous man: you had the fortitude to stand up, realize your playing career was almost over, and you came up with a way to make more cash in your waning playing-days than you ever did for your actual basketball skill. Now that’s capitalism!

MISTER C.

Wallace’s Letter

Dear Mr.Capitalism,

My name is Wallace Stone and I am a lawyer. A very good lawyer who is not wealthy enough for my liking. Yes, I drive a great car and live in a spacious home near the ocean but I feel I should be worth so much more. After all, how much is enough?

I have just begun to put the pieces together to begin a Sports Representation Agency featuring professional athletes. Most professional athletes make more money than they are worth and I see a niche here for myself. I want to represent a new class of pro athletes – ones who will explode on the front pages of every newspaper, take over every news story on TV, be the first to make millions off who they are, rather than what they do. Who better than me to be at the center of a media storm?

I want to be the sole agent to all the gay athletes who are about to come out. But first, I want to locate the sport where that athlete is likely to come from. The NFL? Maybe. NBA? Not likely. Major League Baseball. I don’t know. The National Hockey League – maybe but I hope not. Not enough money to be made off them.

As you know, no professional player who was still active in sport has yet come out, but it is getting close. Rumors are everywhere about a group of players coming out together so that they would have each other for support. How many gay athletes are there? If we combine the number of players from the 4 major sports at about 4000 that puts the number of gay men (at about 3% of the total) around 120.

Ad agencies will have to sign them because they would be afraid to be seen as homophobic. Think of the lawsuits against other teams for not having a gay athlete or not protecting the ones they have.

My question is what sport do you think would generate the most income for a newly announced gay athlete?

Dear Wallace,

I truly admire you gumption. You have learned the most important lesson in this life here on Earth: never be satisfied with what you have. You can always have more, and that ‘more’ will always make you happier . . . unless it doesn’t, in which case the only solution is ‘even more.’ Good work, young man.

I also must commend you on your idea, which is sound. One thing for which I have always been proud is my ability (along with associates such as yourself) to take any subculture/trend/change and make it into a commodity. Hippies, poor inner city black people, Arab keffiyeh, what ever the case may be: turn something that has meaning to people but no monetary value and market market market!

The gay demographic is sadly under-exploited in our mainstream culture. There are literally hundreds of thousands of gay people out there who are not being marketed to properly. And I don’t only mean the obvious gay-sitcoms and gay-films, but gay-toothbrushes, gay-coffee pots, everything! I mean, I myself am not gay nor do I know anyone who is, but from what I understand of them, they all act and think pretty much the same, so we can treat them as such. It’s the advertising way!

Your idea to start an all-frou frou sports agency is clever. Gay athletes might be a tough sell in certain spaces, but in others (what we like to call the ‘sympathetic, centrist-liberal 18-49 demographic’) it’s going to be a goldmine!

As far as your direct question, I think you know the answer: synergy, cross-pollination, diversify!!! These might sound like buzzwords to the outsiders, but you and I know that consumers fall for it every time. Why restrict yourself to one athlete or even one sport? I think you need to take a page from one of my finest proteges, Jay-Z. Rather than just focus on one sport and gain expertise that way, make a big splash without thinking of the repercussions! Find one homo (that’s what they like to be called, isn’t it?) in each of the major sports (baseball, basketball and football—your inclusion of hockey was cute) and have them “come out” at the same time! Ooh, ooh, ooh, we can even do one of those LeBron James-style “taking my talents to South Beach” 1-hour specials and live announcements! Can you imagine the ratings if we announced that one major sports star in each league was gay and was going to be revealed live on Sunday at 8pm!

I’m hyper-ventilating here, have your people call my people, let’s do lunch . . .

Action figures! We can do action figures! Do you think you could find a transsexual athlete? We could have interchangeable parts! That would sell like hotcakes next Christmas! We could make movies out of it too, whoever these guys are would be like Jackie Robinson multiplied by twitter! (we’re still milking Jackie for all he’s worth with that new movie out this week, but we need some fresh “overcoming bigotry” meat for the grinder)

If I could shake your hand in a letter, I would sir. Good job, Wallace. (Just know: I am a Yankees, Cowboys and Lakers fan, so if you could make sure the guys aren’t on any of those teams, I would appreciate it. If I found out Jeter or Kobe was a faggot, I don’t think I could take it . . . although all their jerseys I have would be worth more on eBay.)

MISTER CAPITALISM