There’s something about live television that brings out the rawest of emotions.
Take this of a broadcast of Los Angeles television station KABC’s Sports Zone interview of “Clipper Darrell” Bailey, perhaps the most notable fan of the Los Angeles Clippers during their struggling era.
It must have been hard for Bailey to support the team during its moribund past.
But Bill Plaschke’s indicates that Bailey might have gotten too big for his blue-and-red performing suit as he attempted to become a paid spokesman for the team.
The Clippers have told Bailey they would not stop him from representing them, but would simply insist that he follow the same rules that apply to every other employee in his appearances.
“Like any company, we would need control over him and his message,” Clippers vice president of marketing and sales Carl Lahr told the Los Angeles Times. “He is using our name and our colors, and we would like control over how that is done.”
When the Clippers got hot, apparently “Clipper Darrell” decided to change his message and capitalize on the team’s sizzle.
“Somewhere along the line, he stopped being a super fan and became a marketer,” Lahr said. “He got to the point where he wanted this to be a commercial enterprise.”
The Clippers told Plaschke they they actually offered Bailey a chance to be treated exactly like a Clippers cheerleader, with a $70 nightly salary but no unsanctioned interviews or appearances, and he refused.
“He’s a really good person, but he told us he’s in this to make money,” Lahr said. “Once that happens, that changes the whole fan dynamic.”
The Clippers return home next week. It will be interesting to see if their superfan is rooting for them in the arena.
But it wouldn’t suprise me if we saw “Laker Darrell” at other games at the Staples Center in the not-too-distant future.
Here’s a look at “Clipper Darrell’s” recent appearance on KABC. Bailey’s emotion gets the best of him when he starts crying at about the 2:10 mark of the video.