Friday Notebook: Straight Cash Homey, The Baker And Nick's Revenge


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It was 2010 and Randy Moss was just fined $10,000 by the NFL for pretending to pull his pants down in the end zone to celebrate a touchdown. When a producer of a Minnesota TV station caught up with Moss at the team's facility in the parking lot he asked Moss if he wrote the check yet for the fine. Here's the response:

Moss: "When you're rich, you don't write checks"

Producer: "If you don't write checks, how do you pay these guys?"

Moss: "Straight cash homey!"

And so that's where the term came from. And here's another story of how it was used.

(Note: The following person is not based in Florida and does not support a Florida school)

He was invited to a meeting where he knew what the topic was going to be and still hadn't committed to go when he got a phone call from another person who was going to the meeting.

"Hey, are you coming tonight? Because this is important."

My friend had become frustrated from what he thought was supporting his favorite college football team to something he believes is out of control. He had joined his school's "collective" and was excited about the idea of using his three businesses, which he built from scratch, to open opportunities for players to gain work experiences while being compensated for their work and their willingness to market his businesses, products and services. He quickly learned he was invited to be part of something that was nothing like that.

By the time he attended the second meeting of the group of wealthy donors, he was told how much the coach was looking for and told what the going rate was for 5-star and 4-star recruits and when they needed the money to secure commitments.The group's goal was to get $10M in 30 days and he was asked if he could commit $500,000 a year for five years. He sat stunned as wannabe general managers offered up their hard earned cash into a pot of gold that would be basically handed off to a group of coaches to acquire talent.

Our friend didn't commit that night and asked if he could take some time to decide what he wanted to do. For the previous 24 years he gave, on average, $100,000-$300,000 to the school and in return he received his luxury box, close-to-the-stadium parking, golf outings with the coach, free hotel rooms for road trips and the VIP treatment any time he came on campus.

Why does he do this? His dad and grandfather played at the school. He played at the school and his four daughters have either graduated, attend or plan to attend his school. His father's name is on a building and his name is on a facility in the athletic department. He loves football and he loves his school.

So after a week or so, he decided he wanted to make an offer to the person representing the head coach that he would be happy to offer opportunities for players to make money from his companies but he also wanted to start a program where players could learn a little about starting a business, financing a business, networking with industry sources and creating contacts that could assist with career opportunities when football was over. He created a program that he wanted to present to all players and was willing to help any player interested. He said he felt any player could possibly earn about $10,000-$15,000 over a six-month period.

Before he even got into his pitch he was cut off by someone about 30 years younger and certainly not as financially successful who said the follow:

"Hey man, our guys don't work for these companies. We don't want them working for anyone. We need them to focus on football."

Our guy asked the following: "Well, how do they get paid?"

The answer: "Straight cash homey!"...

In 2019, Javon Baker was one of the top receivers coming out of high school. A four-star recruit from Atlanta, Baker had offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Florida and Auburn, where Gus Malzahn was coach. But Baker opted to go to the other place that offered him- Alabama. The Tide class for 2020 included Bryce Young, Will Anderson, Brian Branch, Tim Smith, Javion Cohen and Traeshon Holden- all starters for Alabama. Baker joined a receivers room that featured John Metchie III, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith and Jameson Williams-who transferred in from Ohio State. When Waddle went down with an injury in 2020, Baker saw increased playing time as a true freshman and played in the national title as Alabama rolled Ohio State. In 2021, he again saw extended time in last year's playoff semifinal against Cincinnati when John Metchie III was injured and he played again in the title game against Georgia.

But looking for more time in 2022, Baker received a call from Kobe Hudson. The two were friends in high school and Hudson was now selling Baker on coming to Orlando to play for UCF. Hudson, Auburn's top receiver in 2021 was headed to play for the coach who recruited him, Gus Malzahn. Baker knew Malzahn from his recruitment and jumped at the chance to play with Hudson and liked what he heard from Malzahn about joining a receiving corp that featured his good friend and UCF speedster Ryan O'Keefe.

On Wednesday, Baker had his breakout game against SMU. He caught six passes for 138 yards. Baker made a sensational catch with a defender on him on a 3rd-and-8 for 25 yards to set up UCF's first touchdown. Then he dazzled fans and scouts with a 51-yard catch and run on the opening drive of the second half. Baker caught the pass from John Rhys Plumlee and as he broke free he stopped on a dime then reverse cut to only do it again on the same play and faked out and ran away from four Mustang defenders. Baker has 24 catches for 395 yards and two scores through five games. He looks the part and adds the swagger. Baker can help Plumlee continue to gain confidence as UCF's passing game blossoms. The Knights moved Baker around against SMU, putting him in the slot at times and it's clear they want the ball in his hands to let him create. O'Keefe is electric when he gets the ball in space. Baker is physical and has soft hands and clearly has moves that UCF hopes to showcase even more...

Nuggets: Five months after Jimbo Fisher's famous press conference ripping Nick Saban, Texas A&M and Alabama meet Saturday in Tuscaloosa. After having a fanbase cheering on Fisher he now finds himself almost abandoned as his team faces the number one ranked team in the country while A&M may be looking at a 6-6 season. Fisher is not going anywhere with an $89M buyout and Saban gets this once hyped showdown at home. Both coaches can tell you their issues with each other are in the past but don't buy it. Saban will downplay the hype but will enjoy the night if his team wins big as expected and Fisher will only hear the volume of a fan base who has flipped from five months ago...GameDay is in Kansas and it's not for a basketball game. East Carolina-Tulane is a big AAC game...Texas and Oklahoma is not a big Big XII game...Utah at UCLA is a big Pac 12 game...Mel Tucker got a 10-year $95M contract from Michigan State in November last year. He's 2-3 with three straight defeats and the Spartans have Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois in the next month. A 5-7 season is possible...

Final Note: Barbeque is the top flavored potato chip.

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