More from today’s column with Sal Paolantonio, on “How Football Explains America” (linked here):
Q: In this time of a financial crisis, can football explain how we’re headed into a recession, when it most often appears to all who watch the game that college and pro football seem to be recession-proof?
A: “I’m not sure they are recession proof. Let’s look at what’s happening with the new NFL stadiums being built in Dallas (pictured above) and New York. The Giants, Jets and Cowboys are having a very difficult time selling exorbitantly priced so-called Personal Seat Licenses. They are charging tens of thousands of dollars for the right to buy a ticket, and they are asking those who in the past did not pay those fees to pony up. For months, there has been stiff resistance on principle. Now, longtime fans can’t afford it or simply cannot borrow the money to pay for a $50,000 seat license.”
Q: The NFL, in particular, seems to stifle the freedom of expression – some call it the No Fun League — which is an essential element of being America. Do you find that counterproductive?
A: “I think Commissioner Roger Goodell is ahead of the curve by enforcing decorum in the game. You don’t want to slide into WWE mode. It’s a game with time-honored traditions, and those help sell the game. So, the league is trying to protect its brand, and thus its investment. Can’t fault them for that. Same goes with Mr. Goodell’s insistence on protecting player safety. The players should be protected. It’s their livelihood and the owners’ investment. But it is tackle football. That is the essence of the game. That should not be diluted.”