Friday, December 12, 2008

I Predict a Riot - Week 15 in the NFL

So as you may have noticed (but probably didn’t) there was no NFL wrap-up post this week. I’m blaming the fact that I couldn’t come up with a clever song lyric to fit in the “nameless post” model – and while you may scoff at that, I assure it played a larger role than it probably would have for a sane person.

But since we’re all here – why don’t we have a chat?

Did you know a new football stadium was apparently built overnight here in Regina? I sure didn’t. But from what I’ve been able to piece together it is a state of the art, 60,000 seat, retractable roof, interchangeable turf, multi-use, NHL-enticing, Rolling Stones having every year, BEST THING EVER stadium!!1!1!!

It seems like only about 10 months ago we were having this same discussion and hey – look what I found! From a March 18th post:

Well let me be the first to give this new stadium it's first nickname... the World's Most Expensive Golf Dome. Or how about The Big Empty? That Stadium They Used to Play Football In? Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time?

Anyone want to sit inside on a beautiful summer night and watch football? Didn't think so. An indoor stadium would save fans from how many cold games a year... 2... 3? And that's all part of the experience of going to a football game in Saskatchewan.

Is a new stadium needed? Maybe.

Taylor Field absolutely has to be upgraded and improved. But if a new stadium is followed through with, it has to be open-air. What is a brand new, multi-hundred million dollar indoor stadium going to be used for in the winter? Occasional soccer game? The odd concert Regina can pry away from Saskatoon? Car dealership extravaganzas?

And where might the money come from for this new pipe-dream? Oh, the government you say? I will agree that there is lots of money to go around in the province right now. But let me counter by saying there are a few hundred things that need funding in this province before a new football stadium.

Our infrastructure is crumbling.

Our health-care system is dangerously close to collapsing in on itself (ok, maybe it's not that bad - but I sure don't want to go to the Emergency Room anytime soon).

Affordable housing is a joke and a thing of the past.

I'd like to think that we have a little bit of common sense in this province and we see to it that some of these more pressing issues are dealt with before we build a novelty that will sit empty and unused for half of the year.

However, if this project does somehow start to move forward you can be that I'll be using this platform and it's (non-existent) influence to come out fully against the indoor stadium. Or at least the use of public money to fund it.

That is all.

And just think, that was written back when oil was $110 a barrel and rising, today’s price: $43.50. Oh well, there’s always potash.

But I’m sure glad I wrote all this back then because it saved me a lot of time now. The only thing I would change is the name of the stadium, I still love ‘The Big Empty’ but here’s what my sources (I have none) tell me the stadium will be called:

“Hopson’s Folly”

In the spirit of other affectionately-derisive stadium nicknames, like “The Big Owe” and “The Mistake by the Lake,” I think “Hopson’s Folly” is perfect. “Fiacco’s Folly” and “Wall’s Folly” just didn’t have that same ring, even though they might be more appropriate.

Then there is the fact there are some who think the possibility of an NFL team in Toronto (less likely than it was 6 months ago) would kill the CFL (I still don’t see it). So even if both of those longshots paid off and the Toronto Bills killed the CFL, what then? Would the Regina Red Sox play in front of 45 people inside this testament to man’s need to build the biggest, coolest stuff he can?

Oh, by the way – as you were reading this SaskPower raised your rates by 13%. How would you feel about a tax increase to pay for a new stadium now?

And since the writing of the post spanned two days, here’s a quote from yesterday’s Leader Post, from Kevin Blevins:

What does matter is that Fiacco, our fair city’s most public cheerleader, has come a long way in the past 12 months, from thinking we could only spend $10 million on fixing up 80-year-old Mosaic Stadium to now believing that maybe this city, and this province, can build something extraordinary that will serve our province for the next 50 years at least. There is a long way to go, especially when Premier Brad Wall says it’s a City of Regina issue. Thanks, Mr. Premier, maybe Regina will build the stadium and then rename them the Regina Roughriders.

All I can say is bravo, Mr. Premier. At least someone in a position of power isn’t getting swept up in this hoopla. And he’s right, it is a City of Regina issue. Are people in North Battleford going to want to pay higher taxes or have their tax dollars (or however it would be paid for) used to build a new stadium in Regina? How about Saskatoon? What percentage of a Roughrider crowd comes from Saskatoon? 10%? I have no idea but I think even that might be a little generous. And that’s only 10 days a year (probably 9 in reality). And yes I know that provincial money is spent in regions that do not affect me one iota – but I’d say that fixing a road or bridge in northern Saskatchewan or a hospital in Moose jaw is slightly more important than a new luxury stadium in Regina.

Sure, a new dome would have a larger effect if a big name concert was drawn to Regina – but I don’t think simply building the stadium means Led Zeppelin is going to play a reunion date here.

I am well aware that this has been all over the map – but here’s my last question: If this new stadium was 40,000 seats let’s say – would the Roughriders have the ability to sell 40,000 tickets for every football game? I say probably not. And I guess in reality the stadium would hold 30,000ish and be expandable. But a situation should not be created wherein sections of stadium are tarped off so empty seats aren’t visible and the game is technically a sell-out.

In the end, I don’t care if a new stadium is built – I’m just not going to pay for it.

But on to why we’re here:

Note – my fantasy football semi-finals are this weekend, in which I’m playing Sports As Life’s own fantasy guru Trebor and am going to get blown out of the water. So expect much fantasy talk in the game previews, as I try to motivate my team by cursing them out in an electronic medium they will never, ever see – and if you don’t like it go read a newspaper.

New Orleans @ Chicago – I hate you Lance Moore. I know you basically saved my season when Jerrico Cotchery disappeared faster than my interest in network television. But you screwed me last night Moore – ruining the slim chance I had at making the finals, so kindly go find an interstate to run across.
Winner: Chicago

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta – Die Tampa, die!
Winner: Atlanta

Washington @ Cincinnati – The bloom has really come of the Jim Zorn rose, hasn’t it? Apparently Clinton Portis thinks Zorn is a “genius” – which I assume means that Zorn isn’t a genius. Although I could be wrong about that – I was away the week they taught sarcastic quotation marks in school. Or are they ironic? Like I said, I was away.
Winner: Washington

Detroit @ Indianapolis – After this game, Detroit has New Orleans and Green Bay left. Neither of those two teams should lose to Detroit, but Baltimore shouldn't have lost to Miami last year either. I'm extraordinarily excited for Detroit to go 0-16.
Winner: Indianapolis

San Diego @ Kansas City – Gee, I hope this steaming pile of garbage is on TV. So word out of Kansas City this week is they might be looking to get a pass rusher in the first round instead of a quarterback. For those scoring at home, the Chiefs still only have 6 sacks for the year. And while a defensive end is needed, I don’t think you can build a team around that position. YOU NEED A QUARTERBACK. Fun fact: in the past, the Chiefs have tried to shore up their defensive line through the draft with hilarious, if not expected results:
2004 – draft Junior Siavii in 2nd round, played 2 years in the league – now out of football
2004 – get lucky in 4th round, draft Jared Allen – trade him during last offseason because General Manager is grade-A prick (note: Allen has 12.5 sacks this season – Kansas City’s entire team, 6)
2002 – draft Ryan Sims in the 1st round (6th overall), played 4 wildly unspectacular seasons in Kansas City – apparently now with Tampa Bay. Here are some of the defensive linemen taken after Sims in 2002: John Henderson (9th overall), Dwight Freeny (11th overall), Albert Haynesworth (15th) – as I was typing that I had to fight a very strong urge to spontaneously combust.

But if you want to drive yourself nuts, get on Wikipedia, look at past NFL draft results and see just how bad your team is in the draft. Were you aware that David Carr was taken number 1 overall in 2002? Joey Harrington was taken #3. So I guess a quarterback is never a sure thing either.
Winner: San Diego

Buffalo @ NY Jets – If you use speakerphone for the majority of your person to person phone calls, you’re a douchebag ok? I hate to break it to you – but you are. PICK UP THE RECEIVER AND SPEAK TO THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END AS IF THEY’RE ACTUALLY WORTHY OF YOUR TIME! “Oh I’m sorry, I’m much too important and busy to pick up 0.25 pounds of plastic and place it under my chin.” Here’s another news flash – absolutely nobody wants to hear your phone calls. PICK UP THE PHONE!
Winner: New York

Seattle @ St. Louis – I just know you’re going to screw me over this weekend, aren’t you Steven Jackson? I just know it. This actually might be the worst game of football every played.
Winner: St. Louis… no wait, Seattle… no wait, there will be no winners associated with this game because in the end we all lose

San Francisco @ Miami – Well it was inevitable… the Sports As Life accounting department has just informed me that due to a catastrophic corporate structure and borderline-incompetent money management we will be bankrupt within the month. So here’s my question – is this the line for a bailout, or are we taking numbers?
Winner: Miami

Green Bay @ Jacksonville – It’s come to my attention that the light in my office’s photocopier is green, rather than the usual retina-destroying bright white. Yes, it is a fascinating life I lead – thank you for asking.
Winner: Jacksonville

Tennessee @ Houston – Chris Johnson, this weekend you’d better run like you’re covered in BBQ sauce and LenDale White is chasing you with that look in his eye. Hell, I’ll even supply the sauce if that’ll help.
Winner: Tennessee

Minnesota @ Arizona – Since I have nothing to say about this game, other than I hope Kurt Warner contracts a case of sudden-onset, acute, uncontrollable pants-pissing syndrome and has to sit this week out, forcing Matt Leinart into the game wherein he miraculously thrown 7 touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin and nothing to Larry Fitzgerald – here are some pictures from Arizona’s NFC West-clinching victory last weekend, courtesy of commenter B.

Winner: Arizona

Pittsburgh @ Baltimore – Whooooweeeee, this might be the most exciting 6-3 game you’ll ever see. This game might also bring us the NFL’s first on-field aggravated assault charge.
Winner: Pittsburgh

Denver @ Carolina – By all logic Carolina should rush for about 1,400 yards in this game – which of course means they’ll rush for 42. I still can’t get over the ass-kicking they gave the Tampa defence last week. The only rushing game in the world right now that’s better than Carolina is Georgia Tech. If you love the Triple Option, and how could you not, make sure to watch the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve. I’m sure Cooper will cover this as well, but I wanted to give it an early plug.
Winner: Carolina

New England @ Oakland -

Winner: New England

NY Giants @ Dallas – If you happen to find yourself standing near a bus while in Dallas, Texas – beware! Someone from the Cowboys organization will find you and throw you under it. First Jerry Jones threw Marion Barber under for not being tough enough (of all the people to question!). Then Terrell Owens throws Tony Romo and Jason Witten under for having a secret club and not inviting him (winner for least surprising news of year). I’m certainly glad that my fantasy fortunes are tied so closely to two people in the middle of a blood feud – although I guess that’s what I get for making that fantasy deal with the devil. How’d that Pacman Jones signing turn out by the way?
Winner: Dallas (the power of positive thought!!1!!!)

Cleveland @ Philadelphia – I just need Brian Westbrook to be stifled for one week and he’s playing Cleveland?!?! Shoot me in the face. Where’s that “can only tie with Cincinnati” Philly team when you need them?
Winner: Philadelphia


Trebor said...

did you know over the last few weeks baltimore is like the highest scoring team. I need the ravens to et like 50 points as i play aginst the steelers in 2 leagues...go Flacco.

i'm worried about the denver game to as ihave stewart and williams starting.... the matchup is their but after their huge win i too forsee disappointment.

Anonymous said...

This new stadium for the Riders is still being discussed eh? C'mon, lets be reasonable human beings here. With a dwindling tax base in Saskatchewan,no way. The only viable option for a new stadium is on reserve land,owned by the First Nations folks, maybe Piapot, or Standing Buffalo. Yeah, PowWow Saturday, Rider game Sunday in the new dome with an add on casino.
This plan at least has the Feds footing the bill... Oh by the way, free parking.

Now we're talkin.


Mitch said...

No talk of the big Rider acquisition? Or was that after this was written?

Saskatchewan shouldn't settle for a mediocre 40 000 seat stadium. Create something so big and horrendous that planes are re-routed so as to not have to come into view of the thing. Make a name for yourself Regina. Even Moose Jaw has the biggest something; it's about time Regina got into the long lasting, ridiculous game of biggest *blank.*

Saskatchewan/Regina tax payers have too much money anyways; it needs to be taken away.

Cooper said...

I am all for the new stadium on reserve land idea. Not only free parking and a casino but when you leave you can fill up on tax free gas and get cheap smokes for the kids. Everyones a winner!