Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NFL Stadium Boondoggle Reaches A New Low

Not Actually NFL Spokesman Eric Grubman, though the confusion is understandable

As part of the ongoing St. Louis/Los Angeles/Oakland/San Diego stadium mess, it's the NFL's job to shake down municipalities for as much money as is possible. It's what the NFL does, in much the same way that parasitic fungi bore into ant brains, make the ants behave in ways contrary to their own survival, and develop useless structures that benefit no one but the parasitic fungi themselves.

Case in point: the NFL's spokesman's latest comment on the plan by which St. Louis wishes to plunge itself into eternal penury for a new stadium before it's finished paying off the last one.  (Note to various Missouri and St. Louis politicians: You have other problems you may want to address first).

The spokesman in question, the curiously named Eric Grubman, suggested that the city's plan to use $75M in sales and income taxes to help fund the stadium-o-rama was unacceptable because as he (and by extension, the NFL) saw it, that $75M in tax revenue was really Rams money anyway. Essentially, the team wants credit for contribution $75M in municipal funding that they would have gotten directly from the city anyway. Or, to quote Grubman, that money is:

“an NFL asset in the way we view the world,”

Call me crazy, but that's public money the way the rest of us view the world. If we're at the point where the NFL views tax revenues as its natural right and due, maybe it's time to rethink the relationships our municipalities have with the league.

No, let me rephrase that. The idea that the NFL views tax money as an NFL asset is flat-out disgusting. Any mayor, any city councilor, any governor or county exec who willingly climbs in bed with these people is a fool, guilty of criminal-level negligence with the public purse they've been entrusted with. And yes, being the mayor who "lost" a football team might put a dent in a re-election campaign, but in a just and fair world, handing the city's piggy bank over to this sort of loathsome entitlement - for no real benefit - would do the same.

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