So, You Want To Host The Super Bowl …

Sometimes when older folks wax nostalgic about the wonders of early TV programming, they recall the good shows such as Ed Sullivan’s show and Jackie Gleason’s show and I Love Lucy etc.  They rarely recall any of the bombs that were on the air “back then” such as The Flying Nun or My Mother the Car – – or a mercifully short-lived series called So You Want to Lead a Band[Seriously, this was a program with Sammy Kaye and his orchestra.  Audience members were “invited” to come and lead the band and then a “winner” was selected at the end by audience applause.  My father loved it; I thought it was mind-numbingly stupid.]

I mention So You Want to Lead a Band because an article in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune could well have carried the headline:

  • So, You Want to Host the Super Bowl…

This article reveals what the NFL demands from a city/county/state in order to bestow them with a Super Bowl event.  There is a 163-page list of things which are non-negotiable ranging from the easily accommodated (minimum seating capacity at the stadium) to the very expensive (loads of free hotel rooms plus full exemption from all local taxes).  Oh, and the NFL also gets to keep all the ticket money – tax free.

Here is a link to that article in the Star Tribune and embedded there is the PDF for the NFL’s list of “demands”.  It is not required reading, but it is an example of how the NFL strongarms the venues for a Super Bowl game.  It demonstrates the economic power of a monopoly – which the NFL is when it comes to putting on a Super Bowl game.

Sticking with NFL stuff for the moment, the league has a decision to make soon regarding the status of LeSean McCoy.  His estranged girlfriend alleges that she was beaten up by a man or men sent to evict her from the house she is living in – which belongs to McCoy – at the behest of McCoy.  Obviously, McCoy denies the allegations and the investigations by law enforcement folks and by the NFL roll on.  However, …

  • Given the NFL’s historically horrible record in dealing with domestic abuse issues, the question now is what to do with LeSean McCoy.

In the wake of the Adrian Peterson “situation” involving his disciplining of his young son, the NFL created something called the Commissioner’s Exempt List.  It is an adjunct to the league’s personal conduct policy and essentially it puts a player on what in government would be called paid administrative leave.  As I understand this – – and I am sure that I do not fully understand it:

  1. A player on the Commissioner’s Exempt List does not count against the team roster.
  2. The player is paid the salary due him – – without any performance bonuses of course because he will not achieve them while on the list.
  3. The player cannot practice with the team or attend games.  [I assume this means he cannot attend games with the team or in the owner’s box; if the player wants to buy a ticket and sit in Section 505, I would think that would be permissible.  Or, maybe not…]
  4. The team can allow the player to be in the practice facility to attend meetings or do rehab work.  What he cannot do is be part of “football activities”.
  5. There does not seem to be a time limit on the Commissioner’s Exempt List.  Its purpose seems to be to buy time for the investigations(s) to proceed in the sense that it keeps the player away from the team and out of the public consciousness.
  6. Since the player is being paid during his time on the list, there is no real claim against the league or the team if he is fully exonerated by the investigation.  It is not clear if “time served” on The List is ever part of any discipline that might come from a finding that the player is guilty of whatever is being investigated.

The NFL has a dilemma here.  These allegations are very recent; these investigations will take time and then the adjudication process will take even more time.  It would not be surprising to see that this matter might still be unresolved by Christmas.  So, if the NFL plays the “Exempt List Card” now, it could well be consigning McCoy to a full season on the sidelines – – without knowing if he is innocent here.  On the other hand, if they put him on the field and it turns out he did what his estranged girlfriend says he did, the NFL suffers yet another Public Relations black-eye.

I guess this is why Roger Goodell gets $40M a year from the league…

One more NFL note …  The Eagles released a CB from UCLA who had been injured all last season named Randall Goforth.  I am positive that if Chris Berman was still covering the NFL for ESPN, he would have named this CB:

  • Randall Goforth-and-Multiply.

Finally, here is an “announcement” from Brad Dickson, formerly with the Omaha World-Herald of a new business enterprise.  You know, in Nebraska, he just might have a goldmine here:

“In Omaha we already have a Husker Law, Husker Dental & Husker Plumbing. Now I’m introducing Husker Crematory where your loved ones are cremated inside a giant red & white helmet while the NU fight song plays.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………