Sally Jenkins, in today’s Washington Post:
If the fans don’t get a fair return on the public funds and favor lavished on owners, here’s what they should do: sue. That’s right. Attorneys general in every state that houses an NFL team should draw up suits to force the league to play, or repay what they owe us.
It’s time to change the way we do business with the NFL. You don’t have to pick a side in the owner-player quarrel over revenues to arrive at that conclusion. If nothing else, the current labor strife has finally alerted us to some truly rapacious practices by the owners.
They collect welfare, and treat it like a birthright. They use public facilities to enrich themselves, hostage-take whole cities for every subsidized dollar they can get, and then cry socialism at the suggestion they have any community responsibility. Among other things, they are profoundly ungrateful.
Their world view was summed up the other day by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones: “I just spent a billion dollars on a stadium, and I didn’t plan on not playing football in it,” he said.
Now, that’s a funny thing for Jones to say, because as it happens, he doesn’t actually own Cowboys Stadium. The city of Arlington does. And Jones didn’t spend a billion dollars to build it. Arlington taxpayers passed a bond issue and wrote him a check for $325 million. City sales tax increased by one-half a percent, the hotel occupancy tax by 2 percent, and car rental tax by 5 percent, all of which may hurt the local economy. Jones is merely a tenant, with a lease.
[Double doors opened by impeccably dressed non-white assistants]
Jerry Richardson: Oh sweetheart, sweetheart. That’s a downright nasty thing to be writing in a so-called “professional” newspaper. If you would kindly point out the nice man whose incendiary claims you so dutifully transcribed on your pink lady-appropriate keyboard, I would be glad to seek redress.
Oh, what’s that? YOU were the writer responsible for this foolishness? Imagine that. A lady columnist. Discussing sports, no less. You must fashion yourself a latter-day Nellie Bly.
Now, I consider myself a genteel Southern gentleman, imbued with tact and what the Frenchies might call a certain savoir faire. Nevertheless, sometimes a man is pushed to the limits of his patience and he is forced to call a woman an ugly old hate-filled cunt boil of a bulldyke. I’m afraid this may be one of those occasions.
As to the merits of your argument, why I’m afraid my dog left a better reasoned mess on one of my many expensive rugs just the other day. Chained him to the post out back and beat some sense into the old boy. Took him an afternoon to regain his footing, but I can tell it did our relationship a world of good.
[Makes a show of cracking his brittle knuckles]
Where I take issue with your scribblings is where you say I have collected welfare. You, as do others of your field, make the mistake of confusing government assistance with government cooperation. I am a self-made man. I have nothing to thank for my success than the sweat off my own brow. I didn’t need Uncle Sam to put food on my table or give my children reduced lunches or none of this other coddling nonsense that’s paid for with my tax dollars. No ma’am, I wouldn’t have accepted it even if I needed it. I have too much self-respect. Maybe that’s something you know nothing about.
You see, if the government sees fit to rob from me to fund your welfare, should I not be able to collect for that same entity, especially when I can provide a vital service? The government may be incompetent, but those responsible for running it aren’t all stupid. They know having an NFL team brings prestige and, even more importantly, a sense of victory to that politician who is responsible for bringing it or keeping it in town. Rapacious tactics? Hmpf. There was a time when women didn’t speak of such things.
As for the players, I understand the dynamics of this current stand-off better than most. I was an NFL player once. Let me clue you into something: football players are barbaric and stupid, careless and impudent. That was true when it was all fellows like myself in the league, so you know it has to apply tenfold in these times. These athletes got more money than they already know what to do with. And you see the way they waste it. Just look at that Autosinko. $11,000 for clothes he just took from somewhere. I tell you, there’s just no sense in that. And you want these men to have MORE money?
[Has employees toss $3 million in cigars because he dislikes the labels]
You should be thankful that I took the time to disabuse you of your uninformed, woolly-headed beliefs. I’m thankfully not a member of your dying profession, but I would hope that editing standards have not slipped so dramatically that there is not a man whom is available to sign off on squishy ruminations in the future.
Sue me? What a sorry rutting bitch you are.