Friday, April 29, 2005

Yo, Alex!

I've been watching The Apprentice for three seasons, and last night's show was the first time anyone made reference to the New Jersey Generals. In the "Boardroom" segment (that's when Trump hollers insults at the contestants and eventually throws one over the side), it appeared Trump was about to fire Tana the Iowa Mary Kay Woman. But Tana came on strong in defending her business skills. Trump then turned to Alex the Hopelessly Contrived Attorney and berated him for losing, like, five shows in a row. Alex, who never before showed interest in sports, let alone defunct rebel leagues, busted out with a case study of Trump's experience as owner of the Generals of the United States Football League. ("When you bought the team, it had 4 wins and 14 losses, but you recognized that Herschel Walker could be an MVP blah blah blah ... ")

It was tough to watch, because while Alex was trying to polish the apple, you could tell he wasn't sure just what the hell the New Jersey Generals were. Trump wasn't impressed. For one thing, Alex had it wrong: The Generals didn't go 4-14 the year before Trump bought them; they went 6-12. For another, Trump probably doesn't even want to be reminded: The year after Trump bought the Generals and paid a fortune for the likes of Brian Sipe, Gary Barbaro and Walt Michaels, they team went 14-4 but got stomped, as usual, by the Philadelphia Stars in the playoffs.

If there was a precursor to Daniel Snyder and the recent Redskins, it may well have been Trump and the Generals of the mid-'80s. Oh man. The USFL played its last game 20 years ago this summer. Gotta write about that.

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