“There can be no question our country is in the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. I also think there can be no question that it falls on us, the individuals, to find a way out of our own personal crisis.” — Curt Schilling, February 2011
Turns out that 38 Studios is in real trouble. You remember 38 Studios, right?
If you don’t, a quick refresh:
Schilling started his own video-game company in 2006 (think World of Warcraft-type stuff), based it in Maynard. Four years later the state of Rhode Island offered 38 Studios a $75 million loan to move operations to that state, a move that wasn’t exactly met with jubilation in Rhode Island (the $75 million represented more than half of Rhode Island’s new job creation program).
And now it appears that 38 Studios is broke. Just three months after the company released its first game — called “Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning” — 38 Studios missed its latest loan payment of $1.125 million to the state of Rhode Island on May 1. That means that 38 Studios (which basically means Schilling, who has absolutely been the only face and voice of the company since Day 1) has defaulted on its loan. And if 38 Studios were to fully default on the entire loan, guess who takes the hit? Yup, the citizens of Rhode Island — which will reportedly be a $112.6 million wallop. Big government at its worst.
This is where I get lost in the tall grass.
Curt Schilling, maybe you heard, is a Republican. He’s made that clear many times in many different forums. He’s campaigned for John McCain and Scott Brown and flirted — briefly, but some leg was shown — with the idea of running for Ted Kennedy’s vacated Senate seat. And Schilling isn’t a moderate Republican, this isn’t Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins. Nope, Schilling has made his beliefs very clear — he’s a Tea Party guy, wants the government out of our everyday lives, Tim Thomas with a spiltter.
And those are perfectly legitimate opinions. As a matter of fact, I’m with him on less government all the way. But here’s the difference: I haven’t spent the last five years on a very large platform railing against government bailouts and the evils of the sitting President and then happily accepted what is surely going to be a bailout from the state of Rhode Island for over 100 million bucks.
If this was, say, 2010, and the state of Rhode Island had royally screwed up (which they did, the fault starts there) and was forced to bail out a company for $112 million there’s a pretty good chance you would have a spirited post on 38 pitches about it.
Curt Schilling could once throw a baseball very fast and very well. I believe he is a no-question first ballot Hall of Famer. Maybe there are three better postseason pitchers in the history of the sport but there aren’t five. And that means some people will listen when he talks politics, I suppose. And I don’t doubt his passion about 38 Studios. He’s devoted years of his life to the company.
But I’ve never cared what an athlete or actor or musician thought about anything outside their given profession. Others disagree and care a great deal. And it was because this was Curt Schilling — the bloody sock, the two World Series, all of it — that the folks making the decisions in Rhode Island decided to piss away $75 million dollars. Very expensive jock-sniffing and another shining example of why people should always view government with extreme suspicion.
I wrote a couple of months ago that Curt Schilling should keep his mouth shut when it came to his early criticism of Bobby Valentine. Turns out all you need to do to shut Schilling up is have his company fail spectacularly and at the cost of the citizens of Rhode Island. Where is Schilling? He was on WEEI about 30 days running during the Valentine bashing, but I haven’t heard from him on 38 Studios. Where’s that personal accountability he advocates so strongly?
And that’s the dirty little secret when it comes to Schilling — he’s got plenty of bluster but there’s always more than a whiff of hypocrisy. The two topics he’s been loudest about? Steroids and politics. He was all over the problems of steroids in baseball early on, but contradicted his previous stance while testifying in front of Congress in 2005, saying he believed there was very little steroid use in baseball. Since then, he has flip-flopped again, going back to his pre-Congress take on the issue.
That’s why he has zero credibility when it comes to the steroid issue. I hear him talk about it now and all I can think of is how he choked when put on the biggest stage (ironic, given his superb October numbers). And now he can’t talk about how much small government means to him — his actions have spoken a lot louder than any words ever could.
Just ask the taxpayers of Rhode Island. Think Schilling will be campaigning for Mitt Romney in the Ocean State this fall?
Source: Kirk Minihane @ WEEI.com