It’s been a big 24 hours for polarizing athletes announcing their intentions to do stuff they’re not qualified to do. This morning it was Tim Tebow and baseball, last night it was Curt Schilling and politics.
Schilling was hard at work yesterday doing what he seems to spend most of his time doing — vigilantly passing along conservative memes and cherrypicking news stories to portray the world as a liberal-dominated hellscape — when someone said he was going to lose his upcoming election. Schilling corrected the person, noting that he’s not running for anything. Then, however, he teased that he would.
“I am going to run, soon,” Schilling said. When a commenter asked him for details he said, “state office first, white house in 8 years . . .or 4 if by some amazing illegal event this country elects another clinton.”
He added a smiley emoticon in there somewhere, suggesting at least part of that was tongue-in-cheek. If I had to guess from the tone and from his overall Facebook oeuvre, I’d say that he’s serious about the statewide office and that he seriously believes Hillary Clinton winning the election would somehow constitute an illegal act.
My guess is that he would not actually run for president, though. He probably knows he’s not yet qualified to do so. You have to have bankrupted far more businesses and failed in media far more than Schilling has to get the Republican nomination these days. He’s really an amateur by comparison.
In 2012 Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, delivered the fantasy role-playing game it had spent millions of dollars and countless man hours trying to deliver. And then the company folded, leaving both its employees and Rhode Island taxpayers, who underwrote much of the company’s operations via $75 million in loans, holding the bag.
The fallout to 38 Studios’ demise was more than what you see in your average business debacle. Rhode Island accused Schilling and his company of acts tantamount to fraud, claiming that it accepted tax dollars while withholding information about the true state of the company’s finances. Former employees, meanwhile, claimed — quite credibly, according to reports of the matter — that they too were lured to Rhode Island believing that their jobs were far more secure than they were. Many found themselves in extreme states of crisis when Schilling abruptly closed the company’s doors. For his part, Schilling has assailed Rhode Island politicians for using him as a scapegoat and a political punching bag in order to distract the public from their own misdeeds. There seems to be truth to everyone’s claims to some degree.
As a result of all of this, there have been several investigations and lawsuits into 38 Studios’ collapse. In 2012 the feds investigated the company and declined to bring charges. There is currently a civil lawsuit afoot and, alongside it, the State of Rhode Island has investigated for four years to see if anyone could be charged with a crime. Today there was an unexpected press conference in which it was revealed that, no, no one associated with 38 Studios will be charged with anything:
An eight-page explanation of the decision concluded by saying that “the quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”
Schilling will likely crow about this on his various social media platforms, claiming it totally vindicates him. But, as he is a close watcher of any and all events related to Hillary Clinton, he no doubt knows that a long investigation resulting in a declination to file charges due to lack of evidence is not the same thing as a vindication. Bad judgment and poor management are still bad things, even if they’re not criminal matters.
Someone let me know if Schilling’s head explodes if and when someone points that out to him.
Thing I learned while, for some reason, listening to Curt Schilling call in to the Dan Patrick Show today: he was paid $2.5 million a year to work for ESPN. $2.5 million.
I will refrain from saying whether or not I’d personally pay Curt Schilling $2.5 million to opine about baseball on my sports network, but I will say this: if someone paid me $2.5 million a year and said “Craig, you can keep this job as long as you don’t post offensive memes on your Facebook page more than, like, 5-6 times,” I think I’d still have that job. I realize Schilling doesn’t roll that way and, hey, you do you, Curt, but it’s not like it’d be hard for him to still be making $2.5 million a year right now if he really wanted to.
Again: Curt Schilling. $2.5 million. Yup.