Mar 15, 2021
A third-generation scion of a
prominent Canadian industrialist family steeped in both media and
sports team ownership, John F. (Johnny) Bassett distinguished
himself from his elders as a marketing-savvy showman with a P.T.
Barnum-esque flair for spectacle and a penchant for challenging the
traditional conventions of professional sports - notably with teams
in leagues predicated on bucking the establishment:
- The World Hockey Association's Toronto Toros and Birmingham
- The World Football League's Toronto Northmen/Memphis
- World Team Tennis' Toronto-Buffalo Royals; AND
- The United States Football League's Tampa Bay Bandits
Through all his adventures,
Bassett catered to the common fan, demanded fair treatment of
athletes, and forced traditionalist sports owners to take hard
looks at the way they did business.
Crawford helps us unpack some of
Bassett's most notable escapades, including: a quixotic attempt to
compete with the NHL's Maple Leafs; raiding the NFL for Miami
Dolphins stars Larry Czonka, Jim Kiick and Paul Warfield; battling
the Canadian government over American football; an audacious
attempt at marketing pro hockey in the Deep South; and his bitter
rivalry with a greedy Donald Trump for the soul of the USFL.
the show by downloading the DraftKings app NOW and using promo code GOODSEATS to join the free One Million Dollar
College Hoops Survivor Pool!