The Thursday Show Prep

posted by Steve Bortstein -

That didn't take long. 

In fact, it took as much time for this deal to take place as it does to receive a delivery order.

I'm trying to imagine a scenario sometime this past Tuesday evening when someone in the executive offices of Pizza Hut contacted someone in the executive offices of the National Football League, and simply stated to the first person who answered the phone, "yes, I'd like to order a sponsorship for delivery."

And by Wednesday morning, fresh and hot and delivered right to the door of the NFL offices in New York City, the delivery was made.

Because that's about the amount of time it took for the giant pizza maker Pizza Hut to take over the official tag from Papa John's Pizza.

For the record, it looks like almost 16 hours passed in the transition from Papa John's committing a form of corporate suicide to Pizza Hut throwing their stuffed crust cheesy deliciousness into the ring.

And this is why NFL commissioner Roger Goodell earns his $40 million a year.

Because in spite of all you hear about last season's sagging TV ratings, for all the nonsense spewed forth by people deliberately lying to you about the dropping popularity of the league, for all the bile I hear spewed from people about the league disrespecting this person or that group of people, the reality is that the business model of the NFL is just as strong as ever.

And for the record, John Schnatter, the founder and former CEO of Papa John's, has only himself to blame for this. He took the advice of a delusional old man in Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and decided to play "Russian Roulette" by publicly admonishing the league and its practices of doing business, both on and off the field.

I'm not even that big a fan of the Pizza Hut product, but I'll (virtually, for the sake of the blog) stand and applaud the giant pizza maker for jumping aboard the gravy train (or would that be sauce train) and making what might be the easiest decision we've seen in the business world of sports.

Divisional Round - Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys

The Sounds of Near Silence

Without ever really addressing the rather large elephant in the room in regards to the contract status of wide receiver Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett did speak volumes about what may be the mindset of the organization as to Bryant's distraction factor.  

Addressing the media at the NFL Scouting Combines this week, Garrett told reporters, "When things don't go well, sometimes there is frustration. One of our jobs as coaches is to make sure their mind is right and make sure they keep focused and keep their mind cleared to play their best."

Bryant has expressed his frustration -- time and again, it seems -- in recent weeks about his future with the Cowboys, who may be signaling their interest in asking the multiple time Pro Bowler to consider taking a pay cut.

Bryant didn't seem all that open to the idea when he was last asked about it, and that probably won't change anytime soon.

Garrett has been coy in regards to his comments about Bryant's contract status, but that's not been the case with team vice president Stephen Jones, the son of owner Jerry Jones.

Stephen Jones sees the writing on the wall. 

Bryant has two years remaining on his contract. He is scheduled to count $16.5 million against Dallas' salary cap in 2018 and another $16.5 million in 2019.

The two sides could agree on a reduced salary for Bryant or they could part ways.

The Cowboys would save $12.5 million against the 2018 cap if he's designated a post-June 1 cut. He would still, however, count as $4 million against the 2019 cap.

Jones is clearly weighing all his options.

"When these times come... it's a difficult decision. You've seen the press conferences when Troy (Aikman) retires or Michael (Irvin) retires, it's a lot of emotion. And not to say Dez is at that point but all these decisions are very difficult, especially with great players who've done so much for our organization."

Oh, this is gonna be a fun story....

-- SportsDay/DallasNews.com contributed to this story

See My Shadow Changing

I'll be taking the next few days off for a personal holiday.

My 48th birthday is coming up and I'll be doing whatever it is I do to relax and unwind and contemplate the changing of my own personal calendar.

The 47th year of this journey has been quite the ride. And as I prepare to write the epilogue to this latest tale, I do so with a rather odd feeling of anticipation for the opening pages of the new book.

Yes, the world is a terrible place. We're all goners, if you want to believe the worst in ourselves.

I'm just a voice. A voice in the wilderness... and I'm not going anywhere.

With that, I present the musical version of a mathematical formula called 46 & 2. Looking forward to a little "spiritual connection" with all of you in the coming year.

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