Ok, ok, I’m clearly forcing a square peg into a round hole here, but two different ladies are dominating the sports news cycle at the moment and I want to write about them both!
A jury just awarded Erin Andrews $55 million after the FOX host was filmed naked by a stalker (Michael Barrett) at a Marriott hotel. Barrett, who secretly taped Andrews from the room next door, is on the hook for 51-percent of the award; Marriott (which will be much easier to collect from) is responsible for the remaining $27 million because they failed to provide Andrews with a secure room.
Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova held a press conference yesterday to announce she failed a drug test at this year’s Australian Open. Evidently, a drug she’s taken for a decade to treat diabetes – meldonium – was recently banned.
What lies ahead for these femme fatales as they continue with their legal battles? Sharapova stands to lose a ton of endorsement money. She’s already seen watchmaker Tag Heuer pretend not to know her in front of all the cool kids. Will others follow suit?
While money seems like a poor substitute for dignity, Andrews is set to become rich beyond her wildest dreams. Will the verdict stand?
I set the odds on that and more!
Maria Sharapova Odds:
Over/under on the length of suspension the ITF will impose on Sharapova for her failed drug test: 364.5 days
A one-year suspension is the norm and Sharapova doesn’t have much of an excuse (other than ignoring the pertinent email). But the International Tennis Federation may find a way to get one of its biggest stars back on the court a little sooner.
Odds on Sharapova retiring before her suspension ends: 4/1
She’s been adamant that she doesn’t want her career to end this way. The 28-year-old has always been a battler. This isn’t goodbye.
Odds another top-20 tennis player (man or woman) fails a drug test in 2016: 9/1
Odds the following sponsors drop Sharapova as an endorser:
American Express: 2/3
Tag Heuer already cut ties with Sharapova. Nike and Porsche have “suspended” their relationships. Expect them to drop her shortly and the rest to follow suit.
Over/under on when Sharapova will appear in a new ad (TV, online, or print) for Nike: March 1st, 2018
As mentioned, the clothing giant has already suspended its relationship with Sharapova, whom they’ve worked with since she was 11 years old! But, as they say, forever is an awfully long time. Golfer Dustin Johnson has proven that drugs don’t necessarily spell the end of your endorsement earnings. If Maria returns from her likely suspension, wins a couple tournaments, and gets back in the good graces of John Q. Public, I bet Nike will be the first company at her doorstep.
Erin Andrews Odds
Odds on which talk show Andrews will first discuss her lawsuit:
Fox and Friends: 3/1
The Kelly File: 9/2
The View: 15/1
Good Morning America: 15/1
Odds Hulk Hogan receives more than $55 million in his lawsuit against Gawker: 9/2
Hogan is suing Gawker for $100 million for “defamation, emotional pain and loss of privacy” after they posted a sex-tape of the former wrestling icon. He still has to win his case, and convince the jury a mammoth award is reasonable in the circumstances. But with the trial taking place in Florida – and the jury thus being comprised of Floridians – that’s not out of the question.
Over/under on how much of her award Andrews will give to charity: 10-percent o/u
Andrews has done quite a bit of charitable work in the past and is clearly a socially conscious woman.
Odds on whether Marriott will appeal the verdict: 1/9
$27 million is a lot of money. They have a reasonable argument it’s excessive.
If Marriott appeals and the case is settled out of court, over/under on the amount of the settlement: $19.5 million
- Erin Andrews – Neon Tommy (Flickr: 1366) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons;
- Maria Sharapova – Tatiana from Moscow, Russia (Maria Sharapova) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.