Justin Powell 1 p.m., Dec. 13
The Bolts And The Dolts...Do We Say Farewell To The NFL?
"You don't know what you got--'till it's gone!" --Cinderella (the hair band, not the Grimm heroine)
As a fan of football (played flag football in both high school and inter-dorm in college), what I am seeing dismays me.
The pro game has turned into a place where it seems that only swells with money are allowed through the turnstyles; where a player's off-field conduct is punished for Tweeting...but anything worse draws mild retribution; and where perfectly good stadiums are declared "Terra Non Gratia" for future Super Bowls.
We hear of owners willing to turn mercenary and move their teams to cities who are willing to pony up public money to build a stately pleasure-palace (worthy of Xanadu) for the owner and his cronies. Sweetheart deals abound in this game...as do midnight moves and cheesed-off fan-bases that have been betrayed in "The Name Of The Benjamins."
Though the NFL's chief executive (Roger The Hammer) isn't like MLB's (Bozo Bud...not only beholding to the owners, but an owner himself), it seems that the higher-ups in the NFL have forgotten about the blue-collar fans when bringing their policies to fruition. They don't give a flying nickel about the fan bases that live and die with each new season.
No, the sad truth is that the NFL would rather see Joe Six-Pack (the blue-collar rabid fan) be replaced by some J.P. Gottrocks types in the seats of their stadiums. As for viewing games on Cable/Free TV? If the NFL truly had their way, chances are that games would only be broadcast on the NFL Network...and it comes with a pricetag that's not even in Joe Six-Pack's budget!
So, shall we meet at Charger's HQ and let our feelings be known to the Spanos Family? Don't bother booking the trip, for they only listen to Mark Fabiani and Mammon in Chargers-related issues. Why do you think that the powder-blues are only a "alternative uniform," and that the Bolts had to wear Navy-Blue helmets instead of their traditional white ones (up until two years ago)?
Right...because the Spanos Family said so!
With each new press release about the Chargers relocating to Escondido, Oceanside, City of Industry, or the Ninth Ring of Hell for that matter/ I merely yawn and know that in two years, there will either be a new stadium built...or the San Diego Chargers will find their Xanadu in another city.
If we lose the Chargers...we lose the NFL altogether! Frankly, if Los Angeles is still w/o a team (after Al Davis took them back to the same ratty stadium in Oakland), what chance does San Diego ever have of gaining an expansion team (or robbing another city of it's franchise)?
You guessed it... about as much as Roger Godell desires to amend the NFL Blackout rules in favor of the fans!
When Commodore C. Vanderbilt remarked "The Public Be Damned!", little did he know that many sports-franchise owners would adopt his quote as their own. It might also be the owners' fate in the Afterlife, for greed never got anyone through the Pearly Gates.
Oh, BTW-- I will be signing off my entries from here out with a new moniker. Robbiebear was good...but the time is here for a change. --RKJ