Tag Archives: Seattle Seahawks

Mayor of Glendale, host of the Super Bowl, doesn’t get a ticket to attend Super Bowl

From the New York Times

Jerry Weiers lives less than two miles from University of Phoenix Stadium, where the New England Patriots will play the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday. Weiers also happens to be the mayor of Glendale.

Yet as politicians, chief executives and tens of thousands of well-heeled fans rub shoulders that day in the stadium in Glendale, a western suburb of Phoenix, he plans to watch the game on television in his living room, because he has not been offered a ticket.

“It was on my bucket list, but it’s not going to happen,” Weiers said. “If I had my druthers, I’d rather be in the stadium. I’ve had people say that if I was a team player, I might have gone to the game. But I’m a team player for my city.”

Weiers is not shy about making that point, so he is not surprised that he was snubbed. Critics have called Weiers ungrateful because the Pro Bowl and the Super Bowl will draw thousands of visitors to his city, and some of them will visit restaurants and hotels there. Glendale will also receive lots of free advertising during game broadcasts, though a vast majority of people visiting Arizona for the Super Bowl will visit the city only on game day.

James Cassella, the mayor of East Rutherford, N.J., was also criticized after he complained last year that his borough had been overlooked even as the Super Bowl was played at MetLife Stadium there.

But the friction in Glendale is acute because the city has a reputation for betting big on sports — and paying a price for it. In the last decade, the city spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build a hockey arena for the Coyotes and a spring training complex for the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The hope was that the facilities would prompt residential and commercial development. But when the recession hit in 2008, the Coyotes went bankrupt, the mall next to the arena foundered, and the city was overwhelmed by its debt payments and was forced to slash public services.

“The city of Glendale is the poster child for what can go wrong” when a city invests heavily in sports, said Kevin McCarthy, the president of the Arizona Tax Research Association. “You don’t want to be building stadiums and not be able to hire police officers.”

Glendale is by no means the first city to have sports facilities turn into albatrosses. Cincinnati and Miami, to name just two, built stadiums for wealthy owners in deals that backfired.

But the scale of spending in the city of 230,000 residents is unique. According to Moody’s Investors Service, Glendale’s debt is equal to 4.9 percent of its tax base, nearly four times the national median and twice the average rate for cities in Arizona. More than 40 percent of the city’s debt is dedicated to paying off sports complexes.

What the NFL does to Super Bowl host cities is a crime.  NFL owners want to host a big party and the taxpayers pay for it.  It is insane.

As for his Super Bowl ticket?

Whether that attitude gets Weiers invited is another question. Cassella, the East Rutherford mayor, said that after stories surfaced that he, too, had been unable to get a Super Bowl ticket, Jim Irsay, the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, invited him as his guest. John Mara, an owner of the Giants, sent him a parking pass.

The hypocrisy of the Terrelle Pryor decision

Some of you know I am a big fan of Yahoo! Sports’ Mike Silver.  He has a great column on Terrelle Pryor’s entrance into the NFL Supplemental Draft and the hypocrisy that is shown by the NFL by punishing Pryor and letting coaches like Pete Carroll to move on from programs under suspension to the NFL.

Terrelle Pryor of The Ohio State UniversityBy essentially accepting Pryor’s suspension, Smith is daring Goodell to apply the same standard to non-players who land NFL jobs after having run afoul of the NCAA. If and when Goodell fails to do so (and I’m not holding my breath that he will), I believe Smith would make some noise, and he’d occupy the moral high ground in the process.

That, of course, is not the endgame for the NFLPA. I believe the union is thinking about this issue on a much larger level and considering its options toward reforming a corrupt system that leaves many of its future members in a defenseless and subservient situation.

Could college athletes ultimately unionize to protect their rights, either with the NFLPA’s implicit support, or perhaps under its umbrella as part of a labor partnership?

It’s a tricky proposition, but I definitely wouldn’t rule it out.

In the meantime, NFL players have a right to be angry about Pryor’s suspension. They can’t help but compare the situation to that of, say, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who left USC one step ahead of the NCAA’s slow-footed enforcement arm, boarded Paul Allen’s private jet and made a soft, $33-million landing in Seattle.

NFL Vacation

I am trying to figure out which city I should go to and take in an NFL game next year.  Here are my requirements:

  • The game can’t have Brett Favre playing in it.
  • I want to see either a baseball game in it or a NCAA football game the same weekend.
  • It needs to be within a 24 hour drive.

Denver Broncos LogoSaskatoon to Denver

Pros

  • It’s Mecca as far as I am concerned.  I live and die for the Denver Broncos.

Cons

  • I have no desire to see the Colorado Rockies play.
  • Again, not sure if I want to see the University of Colorado play a Pac-10 matchup.
  • That doesn’t look like a fun drive through Wyoming and I doubt Dick Cheney would let me crash at his place after some of the things that I have written about him here.

Minnesota Vikings LogoSaskatoon to Minneapolis

Pros

  • Closest game to Saskatoon. 
  • Mark can stop in Winnipeg and pee on Canad Inns Stadium on the way by again.
  • Can see the Minnesota Twins play in their new park.
  • Mall of America.
  • I do like Minneapolis

Cons

  • Domed stadium.
  • I really don’t like the Vikings.
  • Brett Favre could send me a crude txt message.
  • Mall of America is not that much different than West Edmonton Mall.
  • I would feel bad driving to Minneapolis and not going to Solomon’s Porch because I was heading to a football game.

Seattle Seahawks LogoSaskatoon to Seattle

Pros

  • It’s Seattle
  • Pike’s Market
  • EMP
  • I could take in a University of Washington game
  • I can taunt them for drafting Brian Bosworth
  • I may be able to talk Don Crawford into driving down and watching the game with us.
  • We could stop in Calgary and I can have breakfast with Dave King.

Cons

  • I lost so much respect for Pete Carroll after what happened at USC.  It would bug me to support his salary with a game ticket.
  • What if they wear their horrific third jersey’s.

Chicago Bears logoSaskatoon to Chicago

Pros

  • Soldier Field.
  • Navy Pier.
  • Sears (or whatever it is called now) Tower.
  • Wouldn’t mind seeing the Cubs, White Sox, or Northwestern play.

Cons

  • Jay Cutler
  • Mike Martz
  • Bears fans in general are not the most enlightened.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Pete Carroll to the Seattle Seahawks

Pete Carroll I really hate this.  I am not a USC fan but one has to respect the work that Pete Carroll did at the University of Southern California, unless of course all of those stories about nagging NCAA rule violations are true.  Then it bugs me that Pete Carroll who was in charge of the program during all of their success and rule violations gets to bolt for the NFL and make what is rumored to be $7 million a year while USC could be headed for punishments because of his actions (or lack of actions).

It’s the same with Jerry Tarkanian in basketball.  He coached three different school and each time he left as the NCAA noose was tightening in each spot.  I don’t know why colleges keep getting stuck with the consequences while the John Calipari’s of the world get new and higher profile jobs.  Bobby Knight is right, John Calipari should not be coaching.

As the New York Times reports, this is what USC has to look forward to.

Carroll’s flirtations with the N.F.L. are almost an annual rite, but this courtship has a different feeling from previous dalliances with teams like the Miami Dolphins and the Atlanta Falcons.

Much of that feeling stems from the N.C.A.A.’s investigation into the Trojans’ football program, which goes back to 2006. The university itself is investigating a Los Angeles Times report that tailback Joe McKnight, who declared for the N.F.L. draft on Friday, was driving a Land Rover purchased for his girlfriend by a local businessman.

“We just don’t pay attention to that,” Jackson said. “What we’re here for is football and school, so we’ll let compliance and all them take care of that. It doesn’t bother me so much.”

This week, the university imposed heavy sanctions on its basketball program because of violations in the recruitment of the former star O. J. Mayo. Since 2006, the N.C.A.A. has been investigating whether the family of the former Trojans running back Reggie Bush took as much as $300,000 in cash and goods from a would-be marketing agent while he was in college. While these problems have festered the past few weeks, Mike Garrett, the university’s athletic director, has made few public appearances or comments. Garrett declined to comment to reporters about Carroll on campus Friday evening while walking to his car. The university’s president, Steven Sample, plans to retire later this year.

Cloudy days ahead for USC, despite it’s location in sunny southern California and one of the guys who was a part of the problem get to go make $7 million annually somewhere else.  What a system.