If college basketball players were paid …

… Montrezl Harrell of the Lousiville Cardinals would be a multimillionaire (via NerdWallet):


It’s striking what he’d make, but the revenue figure for Louisville basketball is up in the stratosphere. Let’s watch Montrezl in action:

Definitely a first-round draft pick.

The death of cable TV, finally!

I saw this and thought, “cable TV is dead.”

For many TV viewers, the only reason to keep paying for expensive cable subscriptions is to watch sports. And for that, they invariably need ESPN, the powerful network that has exclusive rights to many of the country’s most popular football and basketball games.

Now, that linchpin is being removed. For the first time ever, sports fans will be able to watch ESPN’s programming streamed online to their tablets, laptops, smartphones and TVs—all without paying a cable or satellite bill.

Everyone I talk to hates the cable company. And whenever I ask why they don’t dump it, the answer is ESPN.

We’ve been without cable TV since 2003, and really haven’t missed a thing. If I want to watch a big game that isn’t on a network live, I visit a relative. Otherwise, I just go to the ESPN 3 Web site and catch the replay for nothing.

For network shows, all you need is a digital antenna. If you have had cable for years, you don’t know that the broadcast quality you get with a $30 digital antenna is amazing. In D.C., I get 40 channels, and about 10 of them are foreign language, many with subtitles. Of course digital TV has limits based on where you live.  Do we really need 15 religious channels in Louisville?

For other entertainment, spend $100 for an annual subscription to Amazon Prime. Thousands of movies and TV shows. And while you’re at it, get a Fire TV stick. All of the Prime content is there, and you can add apps for more free entertainment. I found an app that lets me watch a train moving through Norway from a motorman’s perspective (Honestly, when I lIved in Europe it was one of my favorite channels.)

Hook your computer to your HD TV, and you can watch what you normally watch on your tiny computer monitor.

I’ve thought this through for a long time. One more advantage of not having cable: I never have to accidentally land on Fox News. When that happened at other places I’ve been I felt like someone just opened the door to their house and let a vagrant come in and take a dump on the floor.

I’ve measured the cost of all this. A monthly cable bill is about $100. I’m spending about $150 a year, plus a monthly Internet fee that is nowhere near what cable TV (with the fixin’s like the premium movie channels and premium sports packages) costs.

Save some money folks. Oh, and if you want ESPN, that will cost $240 a year, but you’ll get a few other channels.


Want to understand economics? Don’t watch CNBC.

Here’s an excerpt from a CNBC interview with IDA Ireland chief executive Martin Shanahan, of IDA Ireland, Irelland’s industrial development agency. CNBC allegedly understands global economics.  (Via the Irish Times):

CNBC: What has the weaker euro meant in terms of tourism?

Shanahan: So, I think, em, Ireland is a very globalised economy so we look to what is happening here as much as we do to what is happening in Europe and we look to what is happening in…

CNBC: You have pounds anyway don’t you still?

Shanahan: We have euros.

CNBC: You have euros in Ireland?

Shanahan: Yes. We have euros, which is eh…

CNBC: Why do you have euros in Ireland?

Shanahan: A strong recovery….

CNBC: Why do use euros in Ireland?

Shanhan: Why wouldn’t we have euros in Ireland?

CNBC: Huh. I’d use the pound.

Shanahan: We use euro.

CNBC: What about Scotland? I was using Scottish eh…

Shanahan: Scottish pounds.

CNBC: Scottish pounds.

Shanahan: They use Sterling.

CNBC: They use sterling?

Shanahan: They use sterling. But we use euro.

CNBC: What? Why would you do that?

Shanahan: Why wouldn’t we do that.

CNBC: Why didn’t Scotland? No wonder they wanted to break away.

Shanahan: They are part of the UK we are not.

CNBC: Aren’t you right next to er?

Shanahan: We are very close but entirely separate.

CNBC: It is sort of the same, same island isn’t it?

Shanhan: And in the North of Ireland they have sterling.

CNBC: They do?

Shanhan: And in the North of Ireland they use sterling.

CNBC: It is just too confusing…

Let’s begin with the first problem: The CNBC interviewer doesn’t know that Ireland is its own country. He thinks it’s part of the United Kingdom. Go to Dublin (or if you don’t want to travel that far, go to an Irish-American bar in Boston) and say the Irish are really Brits, and see if you don’t get your ass stomped. Something about potatoes and famine.

The second problem: The CNBC interviewer doesn’t know that Ireland is part of the eurozone. That’s the 18 countries that use the euro as their currency.

The third problem: The CNBC interviewer doesn’t know that Scotland uses the British pound. He thinks it has it’s own currency. Scotland is part of the U.K. It’s like asking if residents of Louisville use the Kentucky dollar.

The fourth problem: The CNBC interviewer doesn’t know that Northern Ireland isn’t in Ireland. It uses the pound because it’s part of the U.K. Being part of Britain is why people were getting blown up during “the Troubles.”

I realize the other interviewers on the set know their cohort is an idiot, but they let him go on, which makes them look stupid for not saying, “Dude. It’s another country. Like Canada isn’t part of the United States.”

(To which he probably would have responded, “But Canada uses the dollar.”)

Oh, and just to be clear. This isn’t confusing.

These are the people who go on TV every day and tell you how you should invest your money. You’d get better advice from a mattress.