I was busted for porn Friday. And I blame Roger Goodell.
As my wife passed by the computer in my office, she stopped to glare at the screen then issued a scold: “Very, nice. You’ve got porn on your screen.”
“Yeah, that stripper’s rear end.”
Turns out the shots she pointed to weren’t porn, or were they? They were screen shots sent me from Fox’s telecast of this year’s Super Bowl halftime show — Jennifer Lopez doing a barely clad pole-dancing routine as per Roger Goodell’s continued desensitization and sexual objectification of the NFL’s championship game continues.
Also continuing are the NFL’s claims that it will not tolerate sexual degradation of women by its players and other employees. But that’s how it goes, these days. Goodell somberly salutes the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. then invites N-wording rappers to entertain NFL audiences.
Goodell also solemnly testified that gambling on NFL games leads to community decay and is especially hurtful to the vulnerable and young. Now? He’s all for it as long as the NFL receives its cut!
But he has far more convictions than courage.
I don’t know if it was porn my wife spotted, but for the nation’s annual all-in, late Sunday afternoon Super Bowl halftime show, it was certainly inappropriate. Again.
Besides, she’d never find my porn so easily.
Fans could learn to do without during pandemic
So now, as it appears that we’re prepping to reopen sports in some forms or formats, my question: Do we miss sports as much as the media claim? Has the shut-in created a greater thirst for sports or lead us to the realization that we can live just fine without?
More questions: In the time of a health crisis that has cost more than 90,000 of American lives and 40 million jobs, would you call a basketball or football coach an “essential State worker”? I wouldn’t.
Yet college football and basketball coaches, by far — often by millions of dollars per deal — are the highest-paid state employees.
Will that end because it should? Or because the cupboard is bare? Or will it continue as a matter of defying both fiscal and practical sense on behalf of college sports that increasingly have nothing to do with college educations?
And how will Roger Goodell, having erected a house of PSL remittance forms on the bogus pledge that they’re “good investments,” now handle the collapse?
Last year a federal judge took it easy on Rams owner Stan Kroenke, ordering him to pay just $24 million to Rams PSL holders left flat in St. Louis. PSL purchasers were guaranteed 30 years on the life of their investments, but when the Rams left there were nine years left.
With Goodell’s blessings, Kroenke was on his way to Los Angeles where Goodell again allowed — and perhaps urged — a team owner to really cash in on those double-whammy Personal Sucker Licenses.
In 2015, Kroenke was going to build a stadium for the L.A. Rams and L.A. Chargers for an estimated $1.86 billion. A year later, that estimate was raised to $2.4 billion. Then $5 billion. As of late last year, the number was nearing $6 billion.
The Rams expected to in part finance the cost through $400 million in PSLs paid to them by Rams and Chargers fans. It hasn’t come close, by at least $250 million. The Chargers even resorted to selling $100 PSLs in the upper deck.
And it seems the Rams, having borrowed tens of millions from the NFL and even more from banks, have no credit left.
And with the financial rug pulled from beneath the NFL by the coronavirus pandemic, prospective customers don’t have a pot to PSL in. Those who spent tens of thousands for their seats can continue to sit beside those who bought game-day tickets through secondary markets for 10 bucks a seat.
Just as the NFL has taken its paying customers for granted, it also took for granted that the line on its money graph would always point up — in an historical first. PSLs were bad for NFL business before the virus, and now they’re a lot worse — here, there and everywhere among the 17 teams that lean on them.
More than ever, whatever TV wants — more and more prime-time games — TV will get as in-house game attendance will continue to erode. TV money is the first and last refuge of leagues losing their fans to greed, and now to unforeseen poverty.
The Great Depression produced a great, woeful song:
“Once I built a tower up to the sun
Brick and rivet and lime.
Once I built a tower, now it’s done,
Brother, can you spare a dime?”
There’s no cure for botched sports coverage
The idea — if it was the idea — made sense: ESPN would remotely show some live professional baseball from South Korea to help the self-quarantined pass the time.
But then ESPN’s preposterous production standards came to the fore, thus the ballgames became background filler in favor of clutter, gizmos and say-anything yak, as if we tuned in to see clutter, gizmos and hear say-anything yak.
Naturally, Fox is trying to compete with ESPN’s empty-headedness. After last Sunday, those who were looking forward to Fox’s return to live NASCAR coverage are still waiting.
Fox shrunk the view with needlessly fat graphics and worthless shots of closeups of single cars. Once again, live TV was sacrificed to “better ideas” and “technological advancements.”
Perhaps we’ll soon learn if MLB is done trying to wreck the game with artificial additives such as those golf ball-stuffed baseballs used last season to shatter home run and strikeout records — to fabricate “excitement” — when all it did was reduce The Game to a home run or strikeout sideshow.
As for the return of the NBA, does it much matter if it means the resumption of 3-point chuck-a-thons posed as basketball?
Seems Fox’s college football lead analyst Joel Klatt on Monday couldn’t find the time or inclination to ask Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby about all the arrests of Big 12 players, including five Kansas State players in four days a few weeks ago.
K-State football coach Chris Klieman said, “I am extremely disappointed in the poor choices recently made by some of our student-athletes.”
Texas players have been on a roll, too, including the arrest of a 19-year-old receiver for illegally carrying a loaded Glock, a bullet ready to go in the chamber. A recent Texas recruit was arrested for selling Xanax — he had $1,300 in cash on him — and a Kansas player also recently was arrested on a weapons charge. Student-athletes.