San Diego shines as host

    National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has somehow managed to leapfrog MLB’s own Bud Selig as the worst commissioner in sports. The title that once unquestionably belonged to Selig was recently transferred to Tags when he once again overstepped his bounds as the commissioner.

    Tags just came out with a threat to the city of San Diego that unless it builds a new football stadium, it has no chance of getting another Super Bowl.

    “”I’m surprised we’re here this week,”” Tags was quoted as saying at a Super Bowl press conference.

    So basically, the big boss is threatening the city on behalf of perennial jerk Alex Spanos, who has been trying to get the city to split the cost of a new $400 million stadium. To say that this threat has any other legitimate basis is patently absurd. I have a news flash for all of you who think that Qualcomm (apologies to Jack Murphy) is a truly outdated stadium not fit for the big game: The NFL would not come to this city two of the last five years — and three of the last 15 — if the stadium were not a fitting host for the Super Bowl.

    Perhaps the old Jack Murphy Stadium was not a fitting home for a Super Bowl. I am willing to admit that. However, after the $78 million 1997 expansion prior to the Big Dance in 1998, the NFL had no complaints about San Diego’s stadium. In fact, it thought so highly of the improvements that it brought the Super Bowl back to San Diego this year, something not often done in the NFL.

    The question has to be asked: What is this city lacking? We have the best late-January weather in the country, plenty of hotel space, the best natural backdrop around and plenty of stuff to do. On top of that, the city of San Diego offers a truly historic stadium that is not outdated, has natural grass, an open stadium and not a bad seat in the house (I’ve personally sat in the top row of the stadium and had a blast watching the Chargers).

    This is a lot more than can be said for the next three Super Bowl sites. Houston, next year’s site, is a domed stadium without real grass. The oil fields of Texas cannot compare to the beaches of San Diego. The weather also leaves something to be desired when compared to the beautiful San Diego climate. Weather is something that Jacksonville, the following super site, does have the weather, but the buck stops there. Jacksonville hardly provides the backdrop that San Diego does. On top of that, there is not enough hotel space in Jacksonville, so the NFL is planning on renting out cruise ships to serve as floating hotels for the game. And then there’s Detroit, the site of Super Bowl XL. What can you say about Detroit? It has a bad football team and would be a horrible place to have a Super Bowl. It might have been OK back when Barry Sanders still had Detroitians interested in football, but I’d be surprised if the city could fill half of the seats for the 40th anniversary of the Super Bowl. And then, for life during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, what are people supposed to do, walk around and try not to get mugged?

    When you look at the situation logically, it’s clear that Tags is simply trying to help one of his owners get a new stadium. The new stadium would increase revenue for the team, which would in turn increase revenue for the NFL. That’s something that Tags would like. What the citizens of San Diego should do is recognize this as the baseless threat that it is and not cave in. Jack Murphy Stadium — err, Qualcomm — is a great football stadium. It will continue to be so. There is no need for a new stadium at this time. A few renovations, sure, but definitely not a new stadium.

    I, for one, can’t wait for five years down the road when Tags realizes that there isn’t a site in America better fitting for the Super Bowl than San Diego. On that day, I want to see him crawl back to San Diego on his hands and knees, begging for us to take him back. Oh, what a site it will be.

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