On this wonderful, wonderful day after Thanksgiving and on the day of Jay-Z visiting our fair City, we are reminded of a fellow Power Baller a bit closer to home and silently give thanks for his existence. We are referring to a man who is an estimated 10x richer than his namesake – local champ Daryl “Kay-Z” Katz.
Jay Z is widely reported having a net worth of around $150 million dollars US, up from $34 million back in 2007. In addition to being a crazy good rapper who is going to blow our mind tonight at RX1, he has a variety of ventures to his name including a chain of 40/40 sports bars, a successful clothing line and a wife that some how pulls in even more dough, an estimated $87 million USD in 2008 alone.
Tonight these two Titans of industry will quasi cross paths as Jay Z performs in the house that Kay Z built, or rather owns er, sorta. Well at the very least Jay Z is performing at the house Kay Z wants to see torn down immediately, or doesn’t really he just wants a new one , or something, sorta. All of this ambiguity got us thinking about the value that a Kay Z and a Jay Z bring to their hometowns. Both men are famously civic minded, Jay Z as a part owner of the New Jersey Nets and is widely looking to orchestrate the construction of a Frank Gehry designed arena which will eventually be the cornerstone in bringing the Nets back to Brooklyn, home of Jay Z. Jay Z once famously quipped that he “made the (NY) Yankee hat more famous than a Yankee can” and it would be hard to understate the value abroad Jay Z has had to the City of New York.
On the other hand, Kay Z – listed by Forbes at $1.5B USD in 2008 – didn’t have to go as far to bring his team home, but his value to the City cannot be understated either. Instead of trying to a move a team into Brooklyn, a-la Jay Z, he has liberated it from the well meaning hands of the EIG and seems poised to build a new arena of his own Frank Gehry’s consulting notwithstanding. Many people understandably take some issue with this proposal, particularly when considering the idea of tax dollars partially funding the construction of this new building.
Your stance on the new arena aside, it would be hard to argue that Kay Z’s emergence on the National scene as a Powerballer, throwing his cash around and flying all over hells half acre in the pursuit of free agents is anything but tremendous for the City. This guy clearly loves the City, loves the Oilers and is going waaaaaay out of his way in order to try and improve both the perception of these two institutions and the quality of life in Edmonton as well.
Though his success in landing free agents hasn’t been for the lack of trying, he was able to impossibly lure Mike Comrie back into the fold in the offseason, personally tending to a one year contract offer and inserting a new chapter into Local-boy-makes-good-then-makes-impossibly-bad-then-amazingly-good-again-then-??? It’s this last chapter that has us thinking, particularly in Comrie’s impressive 5 game point streak to start the season.
While guys like the Zs (featured above) are clearly 100% about their home town, it remains to be seen where the Mike Comries of the world stand on the whole matter. Comrie was famously run out of town after demanding a trade back in 2003. People cursed him out on radioshows, cursed him out in furious letters to the editor, cursed him out over watercoolers and poker tables all over the Country and flooded a dormant OilersNation.com with commentary – though it wouldn’t be an active site for nearly 4 more years. How embarrassed we all were in those days!
Thank Gods we have Kay Z to pitch the City on our behalf. We don’t know how on Earth he has been able to trick Comrie up here so far or what he plans to do for an encore to keep him in town should Comrie continue to light it up all season. But we can be sure it is a much more compelling pitch than “the Oilers play in Edmonton!” which is what half of rural Albertans are excited about as they move into town. No, Kay Z’s pitch probably has to do with coming home, Civic Pride and other heart swelling things that normal folks like the rest of us don’t get to hear about when considering moving to Edmonton.
But back to Comrie
Now that he has re-landed in town and put a stamp on the season to date, we have to wonder where his mind is at at the present time. Part of him is probably secretly hoping to light the league on fire and shove it squarely up the asses of all of his haters league wide, both in the stands and in the GM/Coaches office. But another part of him is doubtlessly considering lighting the lamp Chez Oilers for the season, getting some options that didn’t exist at the start of this season, then high tailing it to the biggest US City that offers him a contract.
Things haven’t really changed all that much since he demanded a trade back in 2003 have they Mike?
Point: The winters in Edmonton haven’t gotten any warmer since you left.
Counterpoint: The winters in Edmotnon haven’t gotten any colder since you left. That’s something ain’t it?
Point: People in Edmonton still love to gawk at you.
Counterpoint: There are no papparazzi in Edmonton to snap pics of you. The counter point to the fact everyone is staring at you at the local Esso Station is that is pretty much where the annoyance ends. Hordes of people armed with telescopic lenses simply don’t exist here. And that works pretty well if you are in the business of living your life out of the limelight.
Plus, if you are in the paparazzi business you won’t follow anyone up here, it’s too cold to hang outside Diesel Ultra Lounge for several hours hoping to snap a picture of Lindsay Lohan on her way out. Plus, the odds Lindsanity is throwing it down in Diesel Ultra Lounge on any given night is probably 60-40 at best. Unless of course it’s shooter Wednesdays. Then anything goes – cause that bitch be craa-azy!
Now what the hell were we talking about before we got all sidetracked looking for pictures of Lindsay Lohan getting smashed? Oh yes, wondering aloud at Comrie’s motivations in returning to Edmonton and his plans for the future. What do you think they could be? Can he be considering taking it one day at a time until mid way through the season and then starting to negotiate a long term deal? Or is it 82 and out?
We aren’t going to make some sort of touching plea to Comrie to stay in Edmonton. We are long done with that kind of nicey nice nonsense and the Oilers – and their Dany Heatly DVD Production Department – had better be out of that business too. We aren’t going to claim that somehow Castledowns Bingo is the new Monte Carlo or that sushi at Tokyo Express tops that of Urasawa.
But seriously, who cares? As a guy who has a profound interest in keeping er on the DL you shouldn’t.
Know this 91
The last thing this City needs right now is another player to go through a decent season, sell thousands of Children Sized Jerseys in the process and then bounce after a single season. It’s one thing if Erik Cole does it, that guy is a piece of crud anyways. But it is an entirely different matter if you do it – again. Play here, play well, make millions more than you will if you go somewhere else in the league and return to obscurity. Shoot, take the bull by the horns and rebuild your image into a towering bastion of Canadiana then help your Dad’s old company shake off the ass kicking the recession has caused it on the public markets.
You literally have that level ofgame changing ability in you. Or just play out your days maximizing cash flow and minimizing contact with the unwashed masses. It ain’t even about money up here any more – you could literally make millions more up here. Look what Horcoff got for heavens sakes – and that goat Grebeshkov. He pulls down $3 million if you can believe that!
Or don’t. Play a year and bounce off into the sunset – Atlanta, Carolina or one of the other hooped US markets who will undoubtedly pick you up sooner or later. And the day after you retire and are living comfortably behind a 75 foot wall you can wonder to yourself what would have been if you stuck it out way the hell up North for a couple more seasons on your second time around. We stand on guard for thee OilersNation, and we won’t be having any more of this “woe is me and mine City so cold so everyone must hate it” attitudes, nor will we be having any more “beg a player to stay in Edmonton-a-thons.”