Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stadium news

I am dumbfounded by absurdity sometimes. And the audacity of some people makes me scratch my head.

The NFL wants host cities to exempt them from paying taxes

Yes you read that right. A not for profit NFL thinks it should not have to pay taxes, in spite of it raking in billions each year, and being able to afford paying the commissioner around $30 million annually.

It kind of boggles the mind, especially when the Dolphins are trying to push legislation to increase hotel taxes in order to fund stadium renovations, but the NFL thinks *they* shouldn't have to pay them! Talk about ridiculousness!

The NFL requests a broad range of tax exemptions from host cities, including waivers for everything from contributing to local employees’ unemployment insurance to having parking be tax-free during pre-game events. Barreto said in an interview he has decided to only reject the exemption for hotel taxes at this point. The full committee will consider other exemptions in the coming weeks as the group prepares to meet a May 1 deadline for submitting a bid for the ’16 and 2017 games. Committee members also will begin talks with NFL executives next month which can serve as negotiations over some of the requests, he said.
This idea of stadium improvements keeps getting dumber and dumb-er-er.  And of course the NFL makes the blanket statement "hey, you get millions in revenue from the big game, so you should be happy to do it."

I've being saying for years that the biggest joke in all of sports is the SuperBowl.  The supposed "economic benefit" has been thoroughly debunked as a myth.  The NFL gets perks and tax breaks, while there's more police, garbage collection, etc. to be paid for by someone.  And lets not forget that *most* of the people who are "working" at the big game are volunteers - so its not like the NFL is paying people in the local economy.

Thankfully the local host committee said no.  But, San Francisco has already told the NFL they would gladly meet their demands on tax breaks - and that will absolutely secure them SuperBowl L (they were already a shoe-in, this just is the proverbial icing on the cake); and Houston is mulling this possibility for SuperBowl LI - so Miami may find themselves out in the cold there, too.

So if the NFL is making demands that the host committee is not willing to accommodate, and that means the SuperBowl won't be coming here - then I suppose the carrot of the game is removed, and there shouldn't be any money spent on JRS getting any subsidies....or at least I would hope not.

In related news, there will be no referendum held on May 14 as the Dolphins requested; they had to set a date 60 days in advance, and that did not happen.

And the legislature threw a small curve ball.  They will only consider changing legislation if there is a referendum that the locals want it - and the specific details on what they would ask has not been announced.

I would argue that while its not over yet, I suspect this issue will be tabled for "a while"...

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Remove your-rose-colored glasses free agency take

I admit that I didn't care who the Dolphins signed.  It really didn't matter to me.  But the fact is that I can't avoid hearing about it.  It seems to be the talk of the town the last day or so.  And a comment was in order:

The Dolphins signed a big-name player and a couple of other guys, and suddenly "they're a contender" according to most pundits.  Sure, its fun to play a mini version of fantasy football and let the GMs draft what they think is going to be a great performing team.

I do give Ireland credit for *finally* having a conviction in free agency and acting on it. But there didn't seem to be much competition for Wallace's services (although I did hear that Minnesota may have been interested - and wouldn't it be funny if they were the ones who drove his price up? The Vikings of course snookered Miami out of a draft pick a few seasons ago when they drafted Vernon Carey) and paying him that much would appear to be over paying for a guy who was very good *two* seasons ago.  Last year he was no better than anyone Miami had - so they're banking on a possibility?

The NFL free agency period on the big name players is a 50/50 proposition - at best.  For every great free agent, there are a dozen busts. As much as I generally don't like The Bleacher Report, here are two articles that cover that very topic:
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1073638-50-biggest-free-agent-signing-busts-in-nfl-history
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1561130-ranking-the-50-greatest-nfl-free-agency-moves-of-all-time/

And given Ireland's history on free agency, I have trouble believing Miami has "turned the corner" and gotten better.  Prove it.

Now to be a conspiracist, but I have to wonder if there's an attempt to win fan support for the bigger picture: Ross wants his stadium improvements, and this is a small price to be paid to put positive energy on the Dolphins.  If it is, it still is good for fans, but it just happens to run contrary to his "we build through the draft" mindset.

As for the linebackers he signed, last year we heard the defense had a good foundation.  But now about half of it is comprised of new players.  And in jettisoning a couple of the players, the Dolphins showed that free agency decisions of the past were bad decisions.  So are they really better?

And just one other comment.  Given the roster churn that happened when Parcells, et al arrived on the scene, and the emphasis they put on that first draft back in 2008, its amazing that NONE of the draft choices from that season are still on the team.  Not a one.  So I guess selecting Jake Long #1 overall wasn't such a great idea, after all.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Miami Dolphins sign Mike Wallace for a reported 5 -years, $65 million

As many expected to happen, the Miami Dolphins have signed former Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace. Wallace is going to bring huge excitement here to a fan base that needs it and speed to an offense that desperately needed it last year. Reports say he will be payed $65 million over 5 years with 30 million being guaranteed. Now time to focus in on other free agents with needs at OT, TE and CB still needed with the rest of free agency and the draft.