Here in Curmudgeon Central, schadenfreude is a welcome situation whenever it presents itself. It is not that I enjoy watching people suffer; rather, what I enjoy is watching some pompous fool – or fools – squirm in a situation of their own making. You may recall that all during the NFL lead-up to the playoffs, I said that I was rooting for the Patriots to win the Super Bowl just because I wanted to watch Roger Goodell hand the Lombardi Trophy to Tom Brady and Robert Kraft. That situation was like having schaden on the right and freude on the left.
There is another potential schadenfreude situation facing the NFL in the upcoming season. When the people of San Diego overwhelmingly rejected a financing plan for a new NFL stadium there, the Chargers really did have to get out of town. However, they did not have a place to go and the NFL somehow approved a move that will put Chargers’ home games in the StubHub Center which is a soccer stadium that now seats 30,000 fannies and might be expanded to 35,000. Just to put some perspective on this, Central Michigan University plays its home games in the MAC in Kelly/Shorts Stadium – a facility that seats 30,225.
- The Los Angeles Chargers will play their home games in a MAC stadium.
Now just suppose that the LA Chargers are the “Team of Destiny” in 2017 and become a ratings monster for the networks. What will be “the optic” for the NFL to have its “hot team” on TV playing in the stadium equivalent of a sandbox? Now let me go way out on a limb here and imagine that the Chargers win the AFC West next year; that would mean that they would host a playoff game in their stadium equivalent of a sandbox. Won’t that be fun?
[Aside: I have never been to StubHub Center nor have I driven by it to see it in person from the highway but I have looked at pictures of the facility on the Internet. If what I think is the press box is actually the press box, I suspect that those with media credentials for an NFL playoff game there will be less than happy with the cheek-to-jowl ambience of the facility.]
Since I mentioned MAC football above, let me use that to make an awkward transition here. Much has been made of an advisor to the President of the US referring to The Bowling Green Massacre on TV. It did not take long for her political opponents to jump all over that “alternative fact” and point out that a fictitious massacre could not be justification for a Presidential Executive Order. All of the circumstances surrounding that situation are now in the rear-view mirror but here in Curmudgeon Central, research indicates that indeed there was a Bowling Green Massacre and it happened on 3 September 2016. Here are the findings from some exhaustive research:
- Ohio State beat Bowling Green 77-10 in football on that date.
- Anyone care to claim that was anything but a massacre?
Here is an item from Brad Rock in the Deseret News from earlier this week:
“Former slugger Sammy Sosa used a recent blog to deny steroid use, compare his trials to Jesus, and claim he introduced Chicago to the world.
“’Do tell,’ said Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Stan Mikita, Walter Payton, Ernie Banks, Benny Goodman …
It is not unusual for people to claim that their remarks were taken out of context when someone points out that one of their statements is just a tad on the shady side. So, let me put those remarks into context:
- If these remarks are to be evaluated for veracity, one can pretty quickly say that is analysis of what he did for Chicago is greatly exaggerated at best and a downright falsehood on most days of the week. Moreover, Sosa’s comparison of the hardships in his life to Jesus Christ demonstrates a fundamental lack of self-awareness and social/cultural awareness.
- Now, it would be in THAT context that I would evaluate the claim that Sammy Sosa never used steroids…
Here is another bit of “perspective” that is worth consideration. On last year’s Super Bowl winning team, the Patriots carried 8 wide receivers. Here is what those 8 WRs made in 2016 as they went on to win the Super Bowl. I am counting their base salaries, bonuses they got for things other than winning the Super Bowl and a pro rate share of any signing bonus they may have received.
- Danny Amendola $2.9M
- Julian Edelman $4.1M
- Michael Floyd $1.3M
- Chris Hogan $5.5M
- Devin Lucien $0.5M
- Malcom Mitchell $0.6M
- Matthew Slater $2.0M
- DeAndrew White $0.2M
TOTAL WR COST: $18.1M
Now for perspective, consider that the Steelers recently signed Antonio Brown to a contract that will pay him an average of $18.5M per season. I am not saying that Antonio Brown is not worth that sort of expenditure; he may indeed be the best single WR in the NFL today – if Julio Jones is not. However, it is interesting to note that the Pats spent frugally on their entire WR corps and all that did was get the team a Lombardi trophy and the second highest scoring offense in the league for 2016.
Finally, harkening back to my commentary on the Bowling Green Massacre above, here is an item from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“Sports Quiz: The name of the German Shepherd that won best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is:
“b) Fake News
“c) Alternative Facts”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………