Running with the Devil

So yesterday afternoon or evening, depending on what coast you are on, stories about Roger Goodell and Art Rooney (Chair of NFL Stadium Committee) flying to Minnesota to, um, talk to the Gov of Minn about the impasse in the legislature for public funding of a new stadium popped up. So I started looking around for sources for info about the public funding for pro sports stadiums, and dug up all sorts of articles – academic economic papers, ‘research’ institute pieces, WSJ – to dig into the pros and cons of public funding; myths and truths.

In one google search, a BTSC article came up talking about the trip that was posted about 4pm ish, but the link was 404. Why, well, maybe one reason was that it said that Dan Rooney was the one traveling with Roger. Maybe other reasons. It made me wonder about whether it was a not desirable topic around here – Steeler fans (myself included to an extent) put the Rooneys on an impeachable pedestal of virtue and honor. Lots of valid reasons for such a disposition. Jump it!

But this brings up something I came across when researching the decision making processes and people involved in those processes. I found one very rosey comment from Art Rooney upon the hiring of Roger about his regard for Roger, as he was the chair of the hiring committee. You see, often Roger is called a dictator, but I also have been told that things like violent play fines are not solely decided by Roger. The owners are often given a free pass on what they support as far as decisions attributed to Roger. It stands to reason that not all owners support all moves that the NFL makes, but you know enough do to give Roger an extension until 2019 and a raise. Particularly interesting is that Tom Benson, Saints owner and now an NBA franchise owner, was on the compensation committee that approved that (what a kick in the head, what with bountygate...or...)

Anyways, the point of this post is to ask the community, the mods, M. Bean and the lead writer these days Neal:

can we open up this discussion about owners and how they fit into decisions and policies that are often decried as hurting the game, greedy, etc? Can we ask the hard questions about the Rooneys and how they are involved, what kind of owners are they really?

Can we talk about the myths and truths about the public funding of stadiums , including the Steelers home?
Or does this cross into politics to much? Because what is happening in Minne is interesting, especially in light of the Vikings owner and Roger being in LA yesterday morning, and the Vikes owners refusing to be part of the discussion with Art, Roger and the Gov. of Minne.

I can cite the details of things I am mentioning, but this post has more to do with: can we write and discuss these things or is it going to get too crazy?

take it boys

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