The Michael Scott Paper Company Was Real, What If LIV Wasn't?

LIV Golf Invitational - DC - Day Three
LIV Golf Invitational - DC - Day Three / Rob Carr/GettyImages

With the PGA and LIV (and DP World Tour) merging, many people are comparing it to the Michael Scott Paper Company breaking away from Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch and stealing enough business so that Dunder Mifflin has no choice but to buy out their former employees. It's a good scam. The thing is, Michael, Pam and Ryan weren't running a scam.

Michael and Pam didn't leave Dunder Mifflin for a bunch of money. Michael felt he had no other options and Pam felt unappreciated. Ryan was working at a bowling alley. The LIV golfers simply left for untold riches. Did they really feel they were offering better paper product prices and services for customers?

Why didn't LIV simply do this in the first place? Probably because people would have freaked out about the idea of the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund. Kind of like now, but worse. There would have been public outcry about sportswashing and basically all the stuff that people have been complaining about since LIV first launched, but all intensely focused at once. So what do you do to soften the blow?

You start your own paper company. But not something adorable like the Michael Scott Paper Company. What LIV did is more like if Todd Packer started his own paper company backed by Staples. Then he never really sold any paper and Dunder Mifflin merged with the Todd Packer Paper Company and Staples put their logo on every box.

LIV didn't need to be viable or watchable. They didn't need to sell tickets to get people to tune into underproduced live streams or download the CW app. They just needed to half-ass a golf league. You throw an indecipherable scoreboard on the screen. You make up some teams that no one will ever care about. You make tournaments more like festivals where you can get in the door for cheaply. And you come up with a slogan that doesn't really make sense. Do whatever you need to make it look different, but all that matters is that LIV needs to exist.

Simply put, you can't just buy golf. But you can make some Trojan Horse of a competitor, wear down the public to the idea of your nation's entanglement and financial ties to the sport and then basically buy golf under the guise of a merger, which it sure sounds like is what just happened.

So maybe this is more like the episode of The Office where Packer took a dump on Michael's carpet. Everyone was mad. It disrupted the entire office. Michael, or in this case, Jay Monahan, got more and more annoyed as the episode went along and then he found out Packer did it and thought it was hilarious. In this example, Michael's carpet is Jay Monahan's wallet and it's just as messy.