It's not a secret around these parts that I'm a fan of the NHL. To go along with that, I'm a regular listener of the Marek Vs. Wyshynski podcast. On the January 7th podcast, co-host Jeff Marek said something around the 9:30 mark regarding the end of the NHL lockout that caught my attention:
I assume now that every sport that I follow will go through this. I expect hockey to go through this again. I don't like it, I don't have to like it, I won't like it. I think the next time will be the worst, because I think you get two mulligans and the NHL has had them. But don't you kind of build in to your appreciation or enjoyment of sport the idea that this is going to happen: The Proskauer Rose "lock 'em out, choke 'em out" strategy will continue as long as there are professional sports teams and unions that represent players.
You can debate the merits of what Marek said until you're blue in the face, I really don't care where you stand on that. What jumped out at me was the mention of Proskauer Rose. I knew I had heard that name recently, and I was right:
The seven Catholic schools that have decided to leave the Big East and form their own league continued to plot the future Friday, retaining Proskauer Rose LLP and Pilson Communications, Inc., to aid in their defection.
So I checked in to what Marek had meant when he referred to Proskauer Rose. I found this article that confirmed that Proskauer Rose had been representing the NHL in their collective bargaining agreement negotiations with the NHL Players' Association. But that's not the only interesting thing I discovered. Proskauer Rose is the official legal counsel for all four major North American professional sports leagues. More importantly, Proskauer Rose was representing the NHL and NBA in both of their recent player lockouts as well as the NFL in the recent lockouts of both their players and their officials.
And now Proskauer Rose is representing The Seven in their departure from the Big East.
Doesn't that seem like the move that The Seven would make if they were bound and determined to leave the Big East following this school year and use litigation to do so if necessary? Seemingly every new report about progress that The Seven are making includes a note about the possibility of leaving the Big East after this school year, so someone is letting the various reporters filing these stories know that this is on the table. The Seven appear to be making more progress on a television deal for next fall than the Big East.
Maybe I'm connecting too many dots here. Maybe one of the presidents of The Seven knows a guy at Proskauer Rose and that's how they ended up retaining that firm. But it certainly looks like The Seven made the decision to leave and are trying to leave immediately.
Agree? Disagree? Fire away in the comments.