Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Puttin' on the fleece

Time now to haul Jerry Glanville out of the closet, dust him off and recycle his most famous quote.

Remember? That thing he said to a zebra one time?

The NFL, ol' Jer said, stands for "Not For Long."

This seems particularly appropriate this morning, with 31 of 32 NFL owners voting to allow the Raiders to whiz on Oakland for a second time. Last time they bailed for L.A., then came back; this time they're headed for Las Vegas.

That makes the Raiders the third NFL team in 14 months to kick their host cities in the teeth, the Rams and Chargers having already done it to St. Louis and San Diego. Sorry, folks, but you're just not whorish enough to be worthy of the mighty Shield. Try harder to fleece the taxpayers next time.

If this sounds cynical, it shouldn't, because when you strip away all the gauzy rhetoric surrounding these moves, fleecing the taxpayers is what it boils down to. Essentially, St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland weren't willing to fleece them enough. And so they lost their football teams -- an especially hurtful thing in Oakland, where the Raiders were one of the NFL's most iconic (and, as a charter member of the AFL, historic) franchises.

Well, so much for that. History, schmistory.

Here's the deal, as reported by Deadspin: Apparently the city of Oakland sent Roger Goodell an 11th-hour package to keep the Raiders in Oakland. It amounted to $1.3 billion. Goodell turned up his nose at it -- mainly because Vegas was offering a record $750 million in public funding, a number cash-strapped Oakland couldn't hope to match.

In other words, Vegas got Goodell's blessing, and the owners' nod, because it was willing to screw the taxpayers harder. Think about that for a minute. Think about what it says about these people, about what vandals they are -- and then laugh out loud every time Goodell has the gall to talk about "the fans" or "tradition" or the league's precious legacy.

The league has no legacy these days, other than piracy. Think about that, too.

On second thought, don't.

Especially if you've just eaten.    

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