Most of the time writers are competing for space and issues to debate about. Today I am going to offer an argument in support of one of our contributors, but for a different reason.
Jason Havelka on June 15th explained to us in a very passionate manner, and successfully I might add, that the NFL should be embarrassed over the amount of money they are giving to certain cities to improve their football playing conditions. This averaged out to $166,000 per site, barely enough to improve the turf at a high school stadium.
Havelka has it correct, and the NFL again is on the defensive. In Northeast Ohio, one of the areas that does NOT need the money is the city of Grafton. Certainly they will accept it, and use it for the benefit of the football program. But upon just a few minutes of investigation, which basically means a Google search by anyone in the NFL offices, they would have seen the money was going to the wrong place.
Around the Cleveland area, by far the neediest for this endowment is the Cleveland city School District. This is a district that is not going broke, it is broke. Words like “bankruptcy” and “receivership” are being tossed around like candy in the area. All this so the State government can continue their “Charter Schools” initiative.
When you Google a simple statement such as “Ohio School Districts Going Broke”, you see the names of Cleveland, Maineville, Westerville. Yet just how many “little” schools are in dire straits we do not know about. Schools that will be sucked up into larger districts and class sizes will grow, and, pardon the word, but stupidity will reign because we are unable to teach the youth of the state.
This is not only in Ohio, but will soon be an epidemic throughout the country. Yet the constant scream when schools need more money is “the athletics will be cut.” This in the face of the NFL trying to do a good thing, but again failing.
Could it be the NFL feels in some of the regions they are donating money to will have another effect? That effect being the league will see a surge in ticket sales from that area? Certainly Grafton is an area that could afford it, while the city of Cleveland, much like the cities of Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and probably New York can’t.
Look at the areas receiving money in Havelka’s story. Most are suburbs outside the NFL hub. The NFL cities receiving money are Detroit, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Washington. None of those cities, except for maybe Detroit, are in straits like the city of Cleveland. Notice half of those cities have held, or talks are being held for the Super Bowl to be played there. Not a Surprise.
The NFL should be embarrassed. Not only for the amount of money they are giving, but the areas they are donating too. Not much will be spoken of about this, except in the areas the money will flow into. So the controversy will be small. But again, the league and Commissioner have missed the boat.
The league might have been better off with a dart and a map.