Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Jeffersonian Scores a Field Goal

For another view of the NFL and the fate of the “Dillo Dome” check out The Jeffersonian . He makes some valid observations there and points out that San Antonio is in fact the 37th largest media market. My bad.

He postulates that San Antonio’s principal obstacle to an NFL franchise is that it would have to take place over the dead bodies of Dallas and Houston. Well Cincinnatus, that’s a lot of dead bodies and my experience leads me to believe that when time comes to legitimately consider expanding to San Antonio, those folks are not likely to play nice. As Cincinnatus points out there is not an insignificant disparagement of income between the populous of San Antonio and either of these metroplexes. San Antonio has about as much chance of defeating their combined forces as Tampa Bay has of accumulating more NFL championships than Dallas.

Cincinnatus also points out that an NFL franchise is not sufficient to book a domed venue into the black. I’m no expert on New Orleans either, but I seem to recall reading in various places that their Dome adventures have been a financial debacle for their city. The Saints had a few good years back in the days of Kenny Stabler. Soon afterward the shine wore off, but the debts continued. In light of the recent soccer proposal, I don't see how a Dome can ever be profitable if we keep negotiating away all its revenue streams to anyone who will book their events there.

Regarding pulling from Austin’s media market, I am highly skeptical. From my observations IH 35 might as well be a one-way street headed north. Lots of headliner music acts book Austin and not San Antonio because San Antonian’s are conditioned to drive north for their cool fix. Promoters almost never book San Antonio and not Austin with the presumption that Austinites will drive south. In fact, the zeitgeist of Austin is generally highly condescending with regards to San Antonio. I’ll bet Austinites will become passionate jai lai fans before they condescend to drive south and admit their cultural inferiority just to see a football game. After all they have the Longhorns if they need a personal pigskin fix.

San Antonio Election Headline Hoots

If you juxtapose the titles of some of the hundreds of news stories, articles, editorials and blogs that have been published on the San Antonio elections this season, you might find hilarious results. Here are some of my Headline Hoots award winners:

Seeing Double in San Antonio - Off the Kuff Blog - April 25, 2005
Early vote coming at faster pace - Express-News - April 26, 2005

See Crooks. See Crooks Run (for Office) - Dead Can't Rant Blog - Ap 17, 05
Show them the money - SA Current - April 21, 2005

Sheryl Sculley - Hither and Yawn - SALighting.com - April 4, 2005
Awake San Antonio -SAWorship.com

Scribbles Vs. Typing - The Red State Blog, April 18, 2005
Stop Graffiti (Dominick Dina, Dist 6) - SANewspaper.com - April 12, 2005

Bumper to Bumper (Dist. 8) - SA Current - April 14, 2005
Residents can follow Castro twins closely - Express-News - April 24, 2005
Candidate Auctions Bumper Sticker - WOAI.com - April 18, 2005

Does Joaquin Float? - San Antonio Election 2005 Blog - April 21, 2005
My Water Tastes Funny - The Red State - April 6, 2005

Mayoral Mud Could Start Flying - Express-News - April 17, 2005
New Tidbits from the Campaign Trail - SALightning - April 17, 2005

The Sump Hole: District 7 Bring your galoshes - SACrnt April 21, 05
Don't Look Now, But You Are Standing Next to a Bottomle$$ Pit - Express-News -

44 Hats in Ring for this Year's City Election - Express-News - Mar 8, 2005
My Head's About to Explode - The Jeffersonian Blog

Search for Next City Manager Fanning Flames in Mayor's Race - SABJ Ap 05
Firemen Support Castro for Mayor - KENS5 - Mar 23, 2005 (Video)

To find a comprehensive list of links to San Antonio elections related articles go to http://www.saelections.com/ and make your own jolly juxtapositions. That’s what I did. It’s a real hoot.

Phil Hardberger: Yet Another Business as Usual Candidate

When Phil Hardberger talks about bringing an NFL franchise to San Antonio he’s just shining us on. In a recent interview with the SA Business Journal Phil states:

"We have talked and I have asked Red if he would be willing to help me explore the possibilities of whether the NFL will truly consider us."

Hardberger says he will commit, within his first 100 days in office, to seek a meeting with the NFL and determine if San Antonio has a legitimate shot at landing a team. If it does, Hardberger says he would make a real push for such a franchise.

"If it's not a real possibility," he says, "then we go on about our business elsewhere."

Renovation costs for the Alamodome will no doubt be a factor in any NFL discussions. (No doubt they will, Phil) But Hardberger says the city has no shot if it isn't willing to take the matter seriously.

Here are the operative words in the above quote, “explore,” “truly,” “legitimate,” “real,” “elsewhere.” and “no shot.” That’s a lot of qualifiers that amount to what Hardberger is really saying, namely, “I don’t want to be a buzz-kill folks, but fat chance.” That a politician is reluctant to just deliver bad news in a straightforward manner is not much of a surprise.

Further on in the same interview at SABJ, Hardberger drops a bomb on all those that think he is their “great white hope” for a return to integrity at City Hall. For all you Schubert bashers out there (as regular readers know, that includes this writer) don’t look to Phil to be your savior, as this quote from the interview suggests:

Equally destructive as the effects of term limits, according to Hardberger, has been "the exclusion of the business community from the affairs of the city." That combination, he contends, could pave a certain path to disaster.

"San Antonio is a city with a $1.5 billion budget," Hardberger explains. "That's by definition a Fortune 500 company. But it's being run by people who, by and large, have no real business experience. I want to put business back in the business of city government in San Antonio."

Here are the operative phrases from this quote, “exclusion of the business community,” “no real business experience,” “business back in the business of city government.” It just sends chills down your spine, don’t it?

It is not the business of government to declare war on the business community, nor is it the business of government to climb into bed with them. Presumably by “no real business experience” Phil is referring to the utter lack of competence that pervades the City Council. About that he’s correct. What I am not clear on is how a trial lawyer whose principal “business experience” is derived from suing businesses is going to bring “real business experience” to City Hall.

“Exclusion of the business community...bring business back into the business of city government,” give me a break Phil. Where do you think David Earl and Associates keeps their cot, if not at City Hall? Judging by the coincidence between a list of Earl’s clients, Schubert’s campaign contributors and the largest contributors on Hardberger’s CFR, I’ll wager the Business, Lobbyist and Council Member orgy that goes on Downtown will continue uninterrupted.

Of course if you are an optimist, maybe you'll conclude he was just pandering. Afterall, he was talking to the Business Journal.