March 20, 2006, - 4:42 pm

Tagliabue’s NFL Legacy: Soaking the Taxpayers for Billionaires/Millionaires

By Debbie Schlussel
Even if you’re not a pro football fan, Paul Tagliabue’s retirement as Commissioner of the National Football League, announced today, is important. Especially if you are a U.S. taxpayer.
Under Tagliabue’s leadership, the NFL was turned into a mega-conglomerate of sponsorships and entertainment. But he did it on the backs of the U.S. taxpayers.
Before Paul Tagliabue, pro football was a game most played half the year, then had to work as insurance salesman the other half. But thanks to you, Mr. Tagliabue, a slick labor lawyer, changed all that.
U.S. taxpayers were and continue to be the constant financiers of newer and bigger stadiums and arenas, not the NFL billionaire owners, allowing them to spend more money on players’ salaries and keeping a lot more for themselves. U.S. taxpayers pay for consistent police protection of players at games around the country, not just on Sunday, but on Monday Night, and Thursday Night, too.

paultagliabue.jpg

Paul Tagliabue: Corporate Welfare Extractor Extraordinaire

Then, there’s the tax-subsidized Super Bowl. U.S. taxpayers paid for hundreds of federal, state and local police to watch over this year’s Super Bowl, as they do every year. And U.S. taxpayers paid for federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to take the week off from stopping illegal aliens to, instead, take direction from NFL Properties lawyers and protect the poor NFL billionaires from losing a penny of merchandise money.
You, Joe and Josephine taxpayer, working your butts off to put NFL millionaire athletes in gorgeous, state-of-the-art locker rooms, and NFL billionaire owners in fancy luxury suites.
That’s Paul Tagliabue’s legacy in heading the NFL. So, how do you like him now? He started the slippery slope that never ends.
Hopefully, you like paying for Warren Sapp’s vacations and Ricky Williams pot-fests. Because, whether you buy tickets to the game or not, you’re subsidizing both. Thanks, Paul Tagliabue.

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7 Responses

I did a search on Google today for ‘Harry Samit’ the FBI agent testifying in the Moussaoui 9/11 case, and your website came up as a second search result; not too bad.
I have never heard of you before and find your site interesting. In reading your additional article and opinions on Tagliabue’s retirement I am prompted to comment. Simply, how about the accountability of our elected officials in regard to allowing taxpayer money to be consistently used to fund the NFL billionaire owners, and NFL millionaire athletes? There is the real crux of the matter, not some business man who likes to bilk the US taxpayer, but the elected officials who don’t stand up for and protect the US taxpayers.
P.S. Also interesting was when I attempted to respond to your article I was taken to a page with your seemingly endorsed advertising on the side of the page displaying T-shirts for sale with logos insulting hippies, and with a bent of tame yet invocative violence. Tame, because it’s safe to be insulting and juvenile and cool with the appearance and display of strength with particular bile. I find it also interesting that the (Republican?) conservative movement is so bent on uneducated reactionary lack of discourse based on insults and suggestive violence. I suppose it is a result of our greater societal trend of lack of accountability, which arises from a lack of seeing oneself as part of the ‘whole picture’ and a part, to some degree, of the problem as a whole. Once we individually and collectively accept our role, both positive and negative, I think then opinions like yours can be taken more seriously, if not simply because they will be offered and delivered as ‘non-exclusive’ and not attached to bile and disregard.

ByteMe on March 20, 2006 at 6:17 pm

Simple economics: Supply and Demand. Tinkering with the supply in this case is the problem, i.e. collusion amoung NFL owners piggy-backing on Baseball’s Anti-Trust exemption. Supposedly this is protecting something American, baseball. But forcing someone to pay who wants to play, is un-American in this case. For example, why can’t Fresno, California start it’s own professional baseball team and join MLB? Because, they have to contend with the monoply protected by Congress. And why does Congress protect Baseball? Free tickets, and happy voters if their district has a team. The fewer the teams, the greater the demand, the greater the demand, the more money to go around including salaries.

code7 on March 20, 2006 at 8:24 pm

I have lived in 3 major cities over the past 3 decades and everyone of them pushed them a taxpayer boondoogle stadium financed by the taxpayer. There is always this claim ‘we’ll make it up in taxes on stadium revenue and taxes on visitors.’ I have always questioned this. Does it really?

John Sobieski on March 20, 2006 at 11:02 pm

Los Angeles has not had a professional football team in years. I am not certain if the taxpayer loses in every city, but they certainly would in Los Angeles. Raider fans were the lowest class of public assistance consumers I’ve ever seen.

code7 on March 20, 2006 at 11:44 pm

We here in Houston have been fleeced THREE times for each major sport in the past 10 years. Each and every time, the campaign was based on promises that were never kept. The revenue generating vehicle (taxes on rental cars) have not panned out. Concessions, which were supposed to be reasonably priced since it was a new venue and new contracts could be put in place, are more outrageously priced then ever before. Imagine having to pay $6.00 for a bag of peanuts, that you could buy at a local grocery store (RETAIL price mind you) for $1.00. Thank you, Drayton McLane, Leslie Alexander, and Bob McNair!

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