J. Bruce Miller announced last night that in secret talks with NBA commissioner David Stern, he’d reached an agreement to bring the New Orleans Hornets to Freedom Hall this fall. And Miller revealed that his huge investment group – the one he said could buy the whole league if it wanted to — was actually local rich guys John Schnatter and David Novak.
“These are top-secret deals, and I had to provide a cover story for John and David until we got it done,” Miller said. “So I made up the story about the foreign investors to throw those snoopy media types off the story.”
The pizza rivals, tired of fighting over rights to local sporting events, joined forces to bring the team to town. The only catch is the team will be known at the Louisville Pizza, recognizing our city as the nation’s pizza capital. Pizza Hut and Papa John’s will split all signage and advertising opportunities in Freedom Hall, and the team’s tomato red uniforms will have both logos on their shorts.
Miller mentioned that the deal will be a real attention-getter for the city, especially when the Pizza takes on teams like Orlando and Miami. “Pizza Take the Heat On” and “Pizza Topped by Magic” were potential headlines he mentioned in talking with a group of Young Professionals at Patrick O’Shea’s.
The big announcement was not widely reported in Louisville, since every TV station had assigned its reporting staff to Houston, where reporters were told to gawk at the size of Reliant Stadium and get interviews with members of the 1978 and 1998 Kentucky teams.
Miller said he will provide more details once the local media returns from Houston. Schnatter and Novak said that during the Final Four, they’ll have a special two-for-one deal for anyone who mentions the NBA team when ordering.
“This is really going to be a big deal, once the Final Four is over,” Schnatter said.
And, no fooling, you should check the date on this story.