There isn’t the least bit of evidence that anything has changed two decades after the greedy owners of the Rams and Raiders fled town because of lack of public support.
The NFL isn’t a sport any longer; it’s a comedy show as evidenced by the spectacularly funny ending to Monday night’s game when the replacement referees gave Seattle a winning touchdown on the last play of the game although it was as clear as day that Green Bay had intercepted the ball in the end zone.
One scab official called it an interception as everyone else in the world saw it. The other called it a touchdown and after further review in slow motion, the call stood as a touchdown, prompting the Packers to flee the field in total disgust although the rules require kicking the extra point with no time on the clock, a ritual that took 10 minutes to carry out.
Every single game this season has been a comedy of errors that are the consequence of putting amateurs in charge because the billionaire owners of a billionaire league don’t want to keep paying for pensions of the referees who are paid barely the minimum salary that the least valuable players get.
The cheapskates who have run football into the ground for their own profit and ego aggrandisement treat the public as suckers and the refs as part-time employees, which may explain some of the officiating scandals that have occurred in recent years.
The officials are no more part-time than the players whose brains and bodies are being destroyed by the repetitious violence they experience on the field — something for which they are paid on average $2 million a year.
Last year, the owners locked the players out to pad their bank accounts; this year it’s the referees. Next year, it will probably be the fans since the real money is in TV rights and the crowd could be digitally created for verisimilitude while the wealthy party in the luxury boxes that are tax deductible as a corporate business expense.
Nothing better captures the insanity of America than the NFL. Nothing better captures the corruption of LA than the pathetic charade that are mayor, City Council and top bureaucrats have put on in order to give incredibly valuable entitlements — the kind of entitlements that Mitt Romney and Barack Obama ought to condemn in the harshest terms — to billionaire Phil Anschutz.
There are tremendous hidden costs to taxpayers in the Farmers Field deal, vague and unenforceable terms of the contract and a ridiculous fiction about how the stadium and Convention Center are going to make us all rich and downtown LA the coolest place to hang out in the world.
Anschutz is cashing out on in the gift City Hall has given him without tackling the risk of making this work, and now says through his mouthpiece that he never intended to see the deal through, waiting to the last-minute to disclose that so nobody would question his honor or integrity.
What a joke, just like the NFL today. But all of us are going along for the ride, too enervated and distracted to stand up as one and just say, “No!”