The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Columns

January 19, 2013

We always find enough funds for bread, circuses

With the holidays behind us and football season winding down, I was pleased to hear that the National Hockey League and its players union agreed Jan. 12 to end their labor impasse and salvage a truncated 48-game season.

For me, this means I won’t have to sit through a wasted season for my young, hungry Edmonton Oilers, who are teeming with talent after winning three consecutive draft lotteries. For those whose livelihood depends on the game, such as my old journalism school pal-turned Los Angeles Kings beat writer Andrew Knoll, the deal is much more important.

But forgive me if I greet the NHL’s return with more relief than joy. As nice as it is to see such a great sport return, I can’t help but feel a bit miffed that regional economies and loyal fan bases can be taken hostage in feuds between millionaire athletes and billionaire owners, two groups demanding extra money that they want but don’t really need.

It’s similar to the senseless, pigheaded standoff between the NFL owners and referees this fall, which ruined nearly half a football season.

It’s especially frustrating when this ravenous sports-entertainment complex earns the bulk of its revenue in taxpayer-financed stadiums and benefits from myriad tax incentives — often hatched from a city’s desire to kick backs and slush funds, not because some well-heeled team owner actually needs the money.

As an NFL fan and a New Yorker, I guess I’m supposed to be happy to learn that the Buffalo Bills reached an agreement Dec. 21 to remain here for another decade. I’m sure Bills management found the deal much sweeter than taxpayers did. Of the $130 million allotted for improvements to Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Bills will cover $35.5 million, with Erie County and the state picking up the rest of the tab. Taxpayers will cover roughly $226 million of the entire $271 million deal.

Text Only
Big Chuck D'Imperio
Cary Brunswick

Chuck Pinkey
Guest Column

Lisa Miller

Mark Simonson

Rick Brockway
Sam Pollak
William Masters
  • Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues

    As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.

    September 18, 2012

  • Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner

    An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.

    September 4, 2012

  • Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity

    Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.

    August 21, 2012

  • Romney shows little regard for common man

    The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.

    August 7, 2012

  • Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists

    The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.

    July 24, 2012

Additional Content
Join the Debate
Helium
Additional Resources
CNHI News Service
Poll

Is Israel justified to conduct its military campaign against the Hamas in Gaza?

Yes
No
Undecided/no opinion
     View Results