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Outside the Lines:
Mark Gastineau and Bootleg Souvenirs
|Here's the transcript from Show 93 of weekly Outside The Lines - Mark Gastineau and Bootleg Souvenirs
Announcer - January 6, 2002.
Bob Ley, host - If Michael Strahan can get to the quarterback today, just once, he'll break a 17-year-old record that belongs to a flamboyant player who set the mark in the same stadium, Mark Gastineau.
Mark Gastineau, former NFL player - That was me, 100 years ago.
Ley - Detested by teammates, shamelessly thirsting for publicity.
Gastineau - It was like, I thought I was the man.
Ley - He quit abruptly at the top of his game. Why?
Gastineau - When I was in the NFL I was doing steroids, OK.
Ley - Also, before Miami won the national championship, there was another battle at the Rose Bowl -- this one at street level over counterfeit merchandise.
Unidentified Male - In a free market, it's obvious, people have a choice to buy this.
Ley - Today on Outside The Lines - a ride-along with the souvenir police; and Mark Gastineau, trying to calm the chaos that was his life.
Ley - In three-and-a-half hours, Michael Strahan of the New York football Giants may well claim the single-season NFL record for sacks. He was raised the son of an Army officer, his life one of discipline.
Discipline - only now is that being introduced to the life of the man who owns the record, Mark Gastineau. He is 13 years removed from the National Football League, six-months removed from Rikers Island. In between is a trail of excess, blame, regret, all the familiar malignancies of celebrity.
Gastineau intends to be at Giants Stadium today to congratulate Strahan should his record fall. But off the field, in the shadows and shades of gray that comprise real life, Mark Gastineau is fighting a battle that for him is disturbingly familiar.
Greg Garber now on the man whose record, for this one day, has returned him to the game.
Greg Garber, ESPN - After 25 years, Marcus Del Gastineau finds himself back in Arizona where he grew up, contemplating his future. This time, he is informed by his past.
Gastineau - I just wish that I would have appreciated it more, you know? It was an excellent feeling, I mean, you know, I thought that I was God.
Garber - At 6-foot-5-inches, 266 pounds, Mark Gastineau was built to sack quarterbacks. He reported 100-and-a-half sacks in his first 100 career starts, and in 1984 set the NFL single-season record. Each of those sacks was followed by a signature dance.
Gastineau - I was different, you know. I got excited. That sack dance caused me probably more publicity, but more pain, than anything that I've done.
Garber - In 1988, Gastineau appeared on the cover of "People" magazine with his girlfriend, actress Brigitte Neilsen, although he was still married to his wife Lisa.
Lisa Gastineau, former wife of Mark Gastineau - I was really destroyed. I mean, look, I didn't get married again.
Gastineau - You tend to start thinking that there's more to life, you know. There's -- the Ferrari is going to be better if it's going to be black. You know, you got to upgrade to keep yourself happy. And that's not true happiness.
Garber - Gastineau came to hunger for an arena larger than football.
Gastineau - I don't want to sound cocky, but I was to a point where, you know, I felt pretty -- it was almost boring.
L. Gastineau - He used to threaten and say that if things got bad he would just quit. And I thought, oh, sure, yeah, sure you're going to quit. And I'll be damned if he didn't.
Garber - Seven games into the 1988 season, while leading the AFC in sacks, Gastineau walked away from the game. At the time, he said he was retiring to be with Neilsen, who was thought to have ovarian cancer. Today, Gastineau insists steroids were at least an equal factor in his decision.
Gastineau - When I was in the NFL, I was doing steroids, OK. And I had been checked, OK, two times. And the third time, the third time was going to be, you know, in the papers and, you know, be out. So, I didn't want to be embarrassed.
Marty Lyons, former teammate of Gastineau - This is a humble way for me not to be embarrassed and not to embarrass my teammates, so I'm just going to quit. Well, I don't buy it. And I don't accept it.
Garber - No former teammate knows Gastineau better than Marty Lyons. They were the Jets top draft choices in 1979, but their relationship over the years has been strained.
Lyons - If you tested twice and you tested a third time, you pay the price. You don't walk out on 52 other players, you know. When you're falling, you look for any excuse.
Garber - And Gastineau fell hard. After he left the Jets, he tried boxing and landed briefly in the Canadian Football League. He developed a substantial rap sheet, from drug possession to several incidents of violence against women.
In 1998, he was convicted of assaulting his second wife, Patricia. A probation violation led to nearly one year in Rikers Island Penitentiary.
L. Gastineau - I think he needed something to jar him, and it didn't seem like anything else was jarring him. I mean, he needed to get that giant volt.
Gastineau - I did 26 weeks of, you know, domestic violence, and I did something that only 40 percent of the men do. You know, complete. I've got my certificate and, you know, it's something that I just do not want to go back for.
Lyons - When Mark spent that 11 months, he had time to say, you know what, it's not everybody else, it's me. And that starts the healing process.
Garber - When Gastineau left Rikers this past July, he was virtually broke. The man who once earned $1 million a year.
Gastineau - That was me, 100 years ago.
Garber - I'm serious. He owns New York. He's married to the prettiest girl. He's got a $7 million a year deal. I mean, isn't that weird?
Gastineau - Well, as long as he's happy. At that point, I wasn't that happy.
Garber - It was in New York's Times Square, of all places, that Gastineau says he found that happiness. He found it in a Times Square church with the help of friends like Jimmy Mackery.
Gastineau - Everything about this church is just really, really -- even though it's in the middle of Time's Square, it's just all about love.
I'm so thankful for Jesus Christ in my life, that he is my savior and he saved my life, you know. Because of the fact that I would just beat myself up, you know, I would beat myself up every day.
Lyons - When you sit and you talk with Mark and he says, you know what, when you think about the NFL and you think about the Jets, what do you remember most? And he'll say, I don't have any good memories. Now, that's sad.
Gastineau - I was around the wrong people, through my choices, that I have not -- I don't have one friend my past, not one.
This is where it's all at. That's what I'll probably miss, you know, is the fact that in Arizona it's really, really, really slow.
Garber - Slow might be not a bad thing.
Gastineau - No, it's not a bad thing. It's going to be a good thing.
Garber - Gastineau, now 45, recently left New York to live with his sister and her family outside Phoenix. He is separated from Patricia and is expected to begin a new job, working for his brother-in-law at a local health club.
Steve Rausch, brother-in-law of Mark Gastineau - Well, it's family, so, when you know that somebody's trying to better themselves, you want to give him every chance that you possibly can.
Gastineau - It's a new start, and it's a fresh start, and it's something that -- I'm not going to be making $65,000 a week, but still yet it's something that is a future for me.
Kelli Rausch, sister of Mark Gastineau - The future is what we're focusing on, and the past is the past. And everyone has a past, but it's not always on the, you know, in the headlines or on TV or whatever. So -- everyone has a past.
Garber - And Gastineau is attempting to recapture his. He recently visited with his daughter Brittny for the first time in 10 years.
L. Gastineau - I think everyone has a right to access and a relationship with their child. I never prevented Mark from that. It's his loss.
Gastineau - It was such a blessing to be able to go back to New York and to be with her and to see her, and to see that she's got a lot of me in her.
Brittny Gastineau, daughter of Mark Gastineau - He is my father. I would like to get to know him. I can't just go from not knowing someone to hey, you're my best friend, you know? It's going to take time.
Garber - At the height of his celebrity, Mark Gastineau would walk the streets of New York and ask total strangers, "Do you know who I am?"
Today, he says, he knows the answer.
Gastineau - My gauge of happiness is not going to be on, you know, if everybody recognizes me or if nobody recognizes me. It's not going to be gauged on that. There's more to life than who I am.
Lyons - If you don't trust who you are, how can you ask somebody else to like you? And I said, Mark, that's your problem. You've never liked yourself. You've never trusted yourself.
Garber - Despite past tensions, Gastineau recently reached out to Lyons, a successful broadcaster and motivational speaker.
Lyons - And I said, Mark, you know what? You're in a perfect opportunity, because nobody thinks you can do it. Nobody believes you're going to do it. Every one of us is, you know, we're taking odds, how much longer can he go before he fails again. I said, now, you can use that as a positive and prove a lot of us wrong.
Gastineau - People are going to say, all right, yeah, he's just doing that for this and that and this. It's a real deal, for me, OK? I might fall short, OK? I'm not saying that I'm now going to be perfect for the rest of my life. Who, you know, who is perfect?
Ley - Mark Gastineau. He has the single-season sack record. That record could fall on the final Sunday of the NFL season. Greg Garber is with me. Mark Gastineau has the record. How much does it mean to him that it might fall?
Garber - He makes a convincing argument that he doesn't care. Six weeks ago, he said that Strahan might break it big, and he didn't seem overly broken up about it. It was so long ago for him, I'm not sure he really cares.
Ley - Now, his explanation for leaving the game back in 1988, he said he was using steroids. Marty Lyons doesn't believe him. What's the historical hole in Gastineau's explanation?
Garber - It's not plausible, because in 1988 the NFL was testing for steroids informationally. Unlike cocaine, heroin and alcohol, they were not flagging people for second offenses and third offenses with public suspensions, so there was no suspension facing him. Most of the people around him say it was a rationalization after the fact.
Ley - All right. He crossed the picket line the year before in '87. He didn't stand with the union. He wore the Jets uniform, was he of the team though, really?
Garber - No. He stood apart. His sack dance is the perfect metaphor for that. His teammates took on double-teams, they played the run, he got all the credit, and they're still bitter about it.
Ley - He had a particularly cruel nickname - Scarecrow, from "The Wizard of Oz," "If I Only Had a Brain."
Garber - He didn't have a lot of personal confidence. When he had a decision to make, he'd take it to people in the organization. He'd talk to interns. He'd talk to teammates. He'd talk to coaches. The last person that whispered in his ear, that's usually the decision that he made.
Ley - Is this a sincere rehabilitation?
Garber - I think in his mind it is a sincere rehabilitation. He has surrounded himself with family. The people close to him wonder if he's equipped to succeed.
Ley - We'll watch. Greg, thanks.
And as we continue - inside the street level battle you did not see at the Rose Bowl national championship game.
Bruce Siegal, collegiate licensing company - Their M.O. is typically they try to sell as much as they can, as fast as they can, before they get caught.
Announcer - Outside The Lines is presented by State Farm Insurance. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.
Ley - Thursday in Pasadena Miami blew out Nebraska; the 'Canes souvenir, a trophy. Souvenirs for the fans, that is another story.
Tickets to the Rose Bowl game went for $150 face value and reports had scalpers dumping them for far less than face outside the game. But the give and take of the entrepreneurial marketplace has limits when it comes to souvenirs, as Lisa Salters reports, even and especially when a price is too good to be true.
Unidentified Male undercover officer - Ready to roll.
We're out here busting the guy selling the stuff.
Where's the rest of your stuff?
Two long sleeves and six short sleeves.
Lisa Salters, ESPN - Before the opening kickoff at the Rose Bowl, a cat and mouse game began in the stadium parking lot.
Rocky, T-Shirt Bootlegger - Some people think of it as cat and mouse, but the thing is, everybody's got to get along to make a dollar, you know?
Salters - On one side, dozens of self-proclaimed entrepreneurs, selling unlicensed tee shirts, sweat shirts and bumper stickers bearing the names and logos of the Miami Hurricanes and Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Unidentified Male undercover officer - This is going to be the easy part. We're not going to catch you again, are we?
Kevin, T-Shirt Bootlegger - If I can make $1000 bucks in one day, you know, I can make it. But if I can't, I can't. I mean, it varies, you know?
Salters - On the other side, 12 undercover Pasadena police officers, partnered with agents from the Collegiate Licensing Company, or CLC, a trademark protection watchdog agency.
Siegal - Five unlicensed sweatshirts bearing Huskers' trademark.
The law has recognized both at the federal and the state level that it's a crime of theft to take someone's trademark, name, logo and use it without permission.
Unidentified Male undercover officer - You ever been arrested before?
Unidentified Male Bootlegger - No.
Salters - The punishment can range from a citation to an actual arrest.
Two billion dollars worth of collegiate merchandise is sold each year, and the rights to that merchandise are owned by colleges, universities and other NCAA institutions.
Legitimate products always come with a licensing logo and legitimate vendors pay a licensing fee for permission to sell them.
Siegal - Unlicensed bumper stickers, that's a registered trademark with the Huskers.
Salters - But, not everyone plays by the rules.
Salters - Why not just sell the legit products?
Chris, T-Shirt Bootlegger - Because a license cost too much for one event.
Salters - Like how much?
Chris - Well, sometimes it go up to $1,200 for one event.
Salters - Chris says he's been selling bootleg tee shirts for 15 years, but on this day his luck ran out.
Unidentified Male undercover officer - Wow, look at that shirt. Man, I know you didn't buy it from an authorized dealer.
Salters - Why do you keep doing it?
Chris - It's my living. I pay my rent, my bills. I think they should be easier on us by -- you know, let a person make money. We're not out here robbing or stealing something. Just let us make some money.
Salters - CLC officials say the Rose Bowl was a prime target for bootleggers this year because it was a national championship game. In fact, they raided this illegal tee shirt printing facility the night before the game.
They say it had already produced 600 to 700 shirts and would have printed hundreds more through the night to be sold by bootleggers on game day.
Unidentified Male undercover officer - When you got them, yesterday?
Unidentified Male Bootlegger - Yeah, I got them yesterday, but after I left they said y'all took them.
Salters - If unchecked, bootleggers can make hundreds of thousands of dollars at an event like the Tournament of Roses, according to the CLC. And officials say their counterfeit products are almost always low quality.
Unidentified Male undercover officer - What's all this funk on here?
Salters - In fact, some shirts are so poorly designed that words are misspelled. For example, on a shirt confiscated earlier this year, the word "civil" was misspelled with an "a". And though Texas and Washington were in the Holiday Bowl last month, the date on this tee shirt has them playing in 2002.
But while the quality of the counterfeit merchandise may vary, CLC officials say the bootleggers sales strategy is always the same.
Siegal - Their M.O. is typically they try to sell as much as they can, as fast as they can, before they get caught.
Salters - Kevin thought he was slipping through, until he realized who these customers really were.
Kevin - I'm bootlegging them, basically. I mean, my shirts, if you compare to any tee shirts, it's the same thing.
Unidentified Male - That's a violation of California law, don't you know?
Unidentified Male undercover officer - Why don't you come over here for a second.
Salters - Kevin is issued a citation and may have to pay a small fine for the misdemeanor charge.
Unidentified Male undercover officer - We catch you again, it won't be as nice.
Salters - It's the repeat offender who often gets jail time, but even the threat of being arrested does little to deter some bootleggers.
Unidentified Male Bootlegger - Hey, how you doing? You guys know me? You shake my hand, at least, right on.
Salters - By the end of the game, police have written 18 citations, made three arrests, and confiscated more than 5,000 pieces, roughly $20,000 worth of counterfeit product.
Michael Drucker, Collegiate Licensing Company - All this product, you can see probably a couple thousand pieces, huge success.
Salters - Now that the college bowl season is over, the CLC will shift its attention to college basketball. Typically, March Madness has been the second most popular time of year to buy and sell collegiate merchandise. And regardless of which teams make it to the final four, two things are fairly certain - the bootleggers will be in Atlanta this year, and the Collegiate Licensing Company will be there too.
For Outside The Lines, I'm Lisa Salters at the Rose Bowl.
Ley - Usually, the unlicensed merchandise that is confiscated is kept as evidence, and eventually the clothing is donated to charity.
Jeffrey Laytin is an attorney specializing in intellectual property and trademarks. Among his clients, Notre Dame, Tiger Woods and the Spice Girls. He joins us this morning from Alexandria, Virginia.
And, Jeff, I am told as you are sitting there listening to the piece, you work in New York, you're there in Virginia, you're listening to something shot just the other day in Pasadena, you recognized one of the alleged bootleggers?
Jeffrey Laytin, Intellectual Property Lawyer - Yeah, he's what's known, Bob, he's what's known as an event person. Basically, following the major events with his counterfeit merchandise. He's a pro.
Ley - Well, let's -- let's talk about this phenomenon. There are pros, but there are also people going to events, and you know the sympathy question, just this morning we report Bob Stoops being offered $3 million to coach at Florida. There's $1 billion of TV money behind the BCS. You know what tickets cost, you try and take your kids to a game. Why shouldn't fans be, you know, willing to look for the best deal out there?
Laytin - Well, there's a difference between looking for the best deal out there commercially and violating the law. Basically, a trademark proprietor and owner of his own mark has to enforce his mark, or else he's subject to a legal claim of abandonment, which is one of the reasons one has to be very judicial about enforcing one's mark.
Runaway counterfeits would eventually be brought up in court in a defense action and you may be subject to losing your mark, which is something none of the universities or colleges would like to have happen to them. Basically, any trademark owner has the obligation to enforce his mark or be subject to losing it, and that's probably one of the key reasons why brand owners and trademark holders enforce their marks.
Ley - If there's a brand name in sports that is worth a great deal, if it's not Tiger Woods, it's Michael Jordan. And when Jordan made his first comeback, you were on the police trail of what you believed to be an unauthorized picture of him. Tell me that story.
Laytin - The story basically goes back a number of years, but it was a photograph that wound up being used on unlicensed trading cards. And the photo was taken at such an angle at the Chicago Arena, where Mr. Jordan played as a member of the Bulls, that the only one who could have access to that photo shoot was a credited journalists that was allowed in and credentialed by the Bulls.
So, it sort of made it easy for us to figure out who took the photo, when they took the photo, and what they did with the negative of that photo.
Ley - So, you went on the police trail, as it were.
Laytin - Basically.
Ley - Yeah. Let's talk about what happened in New York City after, in the wake of September 11. You can't turn anywhere now without seeing NYPD and FDNY hats. You're involved in enforcing that trademark, trademarks that only recently have been acquired, right?
Laytin - That's absolutely correct. Prior to the disaster of 9-11, the NYPD and the FDNY marks, while popular, were not as popular as they've become since the disaster. Obviously, the NYPD and the FDNY's basic business was not in the licensing business, but since that day, when a void needs to be filled, the counterfeiters are the first ones to fill it in the licensing business. And so it was in the case of the police and the firemen.
We were brought in as outside consultants to help stem that tide and create a licensing program so that the funds would go to the...
Ley - Right where they were intended. Exactly.
Laytin - That's exactly right.
Ley - Jeff Laytin, thanks a great deal for joining us. I know the battle will continue, I guess, in counterfeiting, the world's second oldest profession. Thanks a great deal.
Laytin - Thank you, Bob.
Ley - Next up, we will check our in-box. Your thoughts on the literal wrestling match over the Barry Bonds homerun ball.
Ley - Last week we examined the legal battle between the man who first appeared to catch Barry Bonds' 73rd homerun and the man who emerged from the scrum with that baseball.
From Hatboro, PA, this e-mail - "I find that both of these gentlemen, a term I use quite loosely, are being childish and are an embarrassment to all baseball fans. The ball belongs to one person. That man is Barry Bonds. Stop being babies and give the ball to Mr. Bonds."
And among the reaction to our look at Rudy Giuliani's proposal to fund two retractable dome ballparks in New York City, this e-mail from Albany - "Mayor Giuliani played his last sympathy card to the fullest. Asking for new stadiums for two teams that spent money this winter like it was water is a slap in the face to all those who felt he was genuine in his approach to the 11th. There are a lot more important things to New York than the housing of sports teams. A suggestion to Mayor Bloomberg that the baseball be played on the field, and the sympathy played out in our hearts. Don't use one to manipulate the other."
Tuesday in his inaugural address, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg clearly distanced himself from Giuliani's eleventh-hour proposal. Bloomberg talked of the city having the world's best athletic facilities, quote, "when we can afford them."
If you missed that program, catch it on-line. The keyword at ESPN.com is OTLWEEKLY. We offer transcripts and streaming video. And the place to address your e-mail, our address, OTLWEEKLY@ESPN.COM.
Announcer - Outside The Lines is presented by State Farm Insurance. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.
Ley - Tonight we've got the Eagles and the Bucs at 8:30 Eastern, right after NFL Primetime. I'll be back with Robin. "SportsCenter" in 30 minutes. The end of our fantasy game of the week, Miami and Oregon. Now, from the ESPN Zone in Times Square, John Saunders and "The Sports Reporters."
We'll see you next week.Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories
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