During the NBA lockout last fall, Bill Simmons and Jay Kang fantasized about the players breaking off and creating a rebel basketball league. Their proposed name for the alternate universe: The Oracle. After all, as Kang wrote, "we need a commissioner/bankroller [and] Larry Ellison has to be the man to spearhead this league." Among Ellison's bona fides as the ultimate (slightly unhinged) sports sugar daddy? "He spent $200 million to win an effing yachting competition."
At least. The Sports Business Journal actually estimated the cost of Ellison's 2010 America's Cup victory to be more like twice that sum; perhaps they were tacking on all the legal fees Ellison racked up along the way. And the spending hasn't stopped since. With the America's Cup, which for decades had never left Newport, set to take place in U.S. waters for the first time since San Diego hosted back in 1995, Ellison has doubled down on his mission. He no longer just wants to win the effing yachting competition — he wants the effing yachting competition to win everyone over. Even those who may not know their Sunfish from their starboard.