Anyone catch this yet? I live in Canada, so it won't air for a bit, but sounds like a fascinating story. Was a little too young to follow the business of sports when it was happening, so I am kind of learning about this for the first time recently. Heard it was worth it just to see Spano and Milbury go at each other.
“Big Shot” tells of Spano, a small-time Dallas businessman who in 1996 bluffed his way into ownership of the strugglingNew York Islanders franchise. A hockey fan who believed, essentially, that it was his God-given right to own a team, Spano had made an ill-fated attempt to buy the Dallas Starsthe year before. When he learned the Islanders were up for sale, he began wooing the team’s owner and the NHL.
Soon Spano, just 32, had reached an agreement in principal to pay $165 million for the Nassau Coliseum team despite — wait for it — possessing little means to do so. Eager for the cash, the club and league didn’t really bother to check.
As Spano took over as owner — strutting through team events, making executive moves, luxuriating in media attention — he somehow evaded scrutiny. The months wore on and the questions mounted, but not very fast, and even when Spano was engaging in bald-faced deceptions (“erroneously” wiring a check for $5,000 instead of $5 million), he somehow managed to keep the charade going. ("He hung out with rich people so we thought he was rich,” is a common refrain among many he duped). It’s a story so outrageous you’d roll your eyes at the implausibility if you saw it in a scripted film.
Connolly, a longtime Islanders fan, recounts the wild story, even landing a rare interview with Spano, who comes off as equal parts sheepish and slimy reflecting on his bid for sports-savior status.
Edited by devilsrule33, 24 October 2013 - 09:05 AM.