Scoring the Billionaire

By: Max Monroe

To tears.

We cried a lot of you during the making of this book, both for personal and professional struggles and triumph.

If not for your salty hydration, we probably would have died a slow and painful death. And then we’d have to be real ghost writers.

So thank you.

In the future, though, we’d really appreciate if you made a bigger effort to taste like wine—or vodka.

I’m Wes Lancaster.

The third “Billionaire Bad Boy,” as it were.

I own the New York Mavericks, BAD Restaurant, am a silent investor in several start-up companies across the United States, and yeah, I’m worth three or four billion dollars.

Sounds like the same old story, right?

I’ll admit, even to me—who’d rather not lump himself into the Billionaire Bad Boy heap with the likes of Thatcher Kelly—the basics are startlingly similar. But the difference between Thatch, Kline, and me is that they keep avid track of each dollar—granted, their reasons vary greatly from one another—and I’ve never been one to focus on the numbers. I know a ballpark figure, and I know what that ballpark figure means.

It means freedom.

Freedom to live my life as I please, spend money tastefully but often, and enjoy all the things I appreciate with abandon. Women, cars, travel, and time—each and every one can be mine on my terms.

I like the control. I like the escapism. I like being in charge of my own life.

Money may not buy happiness, but it definitely buys opportunity. For me, that opportunity comes in many forms, the most notable being my ability to live the dream of owning a National Football League team. My staff knows by the level of my involvement—something they like to whisper creative epithets about—that the desire to do so has absolutely nothing to do with the money and position and everything to do with being a part of the experience. I’ve overheard the very technical description of “annoyingly present” more than once—and god-fucking-dammit, he’s here again; this is horseshit even more than that.

But now my interest has grown deeper, more complexly woven into the staff—specifically Winnie Winslow, the new team physician—and not only do I not stay away; I can’t.

She’s everything I don’t want.

Strong-willed. Demanding. A mother to a young child.

But as it turns out, maybe the joke is on me. My brain says she’ll ruin everything, but my heart says she’s everything I can’t live without.

Normally my brain rules the day, making the important decisions and keeping me from the certain agony a romantic entanglement would bring to my life. But apparently, now, there’s a new, beating, four-chambered fuck-of-a-guy in charge.

He says this is the last time this book is about me because now, thanks to Winnie and Lexi Winslow, I’m a very big we.

This is us.

The halls were busy, staffers running from the cafeteria to meetings and players making their way from the locker room to the weight room or the field, and each person I passed acknowledged me with a nod.

I appreciated the effort, but I actually hated the attention. It meant I had to watch myself, my expressions, my reactions—be whom they expected, which sometimes wasn’t who I was.

But just as I’d built the machine that was the current operations of this team, I’d constructed my reputation all on my own. Stoic. Unemotional. Unswayable, unflappable, hard-to-rile Wes Lancaster.

It scared me how often my insides were the exact opposite—rolling turmoil that kept the contents of my stomach only seconds away from making an appearance.

My relationship with God was tenuous and largely lacking in effort on my part, but I’d still lost count of how many times I’d thanked him for the power of perception and strong esophageal control.

Overhead, the lights flickered and hissed as one of the bulbs strained to avoid the end of its life. I made a mental note to notify maintenance as soon as I finished my rounds.

Much like every other team in the league, we operated on a schedule, with certain players, be it special teams, skill positions, defensive linemen, etcetera going different places at different times. When the cafeteria closed down the breakfast service in an hour, everyone on the team would be somewhere—a meeting, a final practice, at weight lifting, or getting medical advisement or attention. Wednesdays on travel weeks needed to run even more smoothly than any other day, as the whole team would need to be out and ready in a timely fashion so that they could prepare for travel tomorrow.

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