Friday, April 20, 2012

Vikings Stadium Issue: Uninformed Commentary

I was planning to write something on a couple of issues, and I think I will get to them, but some special mention has to be made of the fucking travesty of misinformation that came riding on the radio waves on KFAN this morning. I've had plenty of issues with Paul Allen in the past, mostly because of his ridiculously obvious paid for boosterism of the Vikings. He's their radio voice, sure, but that doesn't mean he has to make incredibly stupid predictions, as he did all last year. My favorite was (direct quote, ladies and gentlemen):

BERNARD BERRIAN will run up 900 receiving yards and about seven TD's. His per-catch average will be around 17 yards and he will resume his role as the team's best deep threat. Bernard adjusts to the ball better than any receiver we have and is more engaged to play than he has been the last couple of years. Milk The Great 28, go play-action, and he'll be singled more than he's not.

So, we have two choices when parsing that prediction--Paul Allen is either a total idiot (which I kind of doubt, to be honest, though he's nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is) or he's so in the tank for the Vikings that he's willing to look like an idiot just to boost up a club that no one thought was going to be very good (and was probably worse than expectations). During that same write-up, he decided to back up Adrian Peterson's prediction 2,500 RUSHING yards.

So, not shockingly, the guy hired to be the radio voice for the Vikings has a history of greatly overestimating the ability of various Vikings. But what happened on the 9 am hour of Friday's show was beyond belief. Paul Allen is joined by Fantasy Football impresario Paul Charchian and actual Minnesotan Viking John Sullivan. Not contacted at any point--anyone with an alternate point of view, a sports economist, anyone who doesn't think that the Vikings should be kept, regardless of cost. Essentially, anyone with a perspective that messes with their narrative, aside from some callers, who can always dismiss and rip after you've hung up on them.

If you can handle it, I kind of demand you listen to the actual show. I'll pull some quotes, but I really can't pull out all the dumb shit that is said. The first five seconds prove what I've said about Commissioner Goodell and Zygi Wilf not actually threatening to move. Who needs to threaten when independent media open the way this hour of radio opens?

We begin with Paul Charchian's rant. And I'm paraphrasing here

Charch: "If the Vikings leave, we'll end up building a new stadium, just like Houston and other have, and we'll end up having to pay a new franchise fee, and who knows if the NFL will even want to expand? They are pretty happy at 32 teams, after all."

Funny Charch should mention Reliant Stadium. It was completed 10 years ago, and it was one third the cost of the proposed Minnesota Viking stadium. Inflation does not explain what is happening with stadium building costs. Reliant was built mostly with tax dollars (73%), which by my math is $332 million in 2012 dollars, or roughly half of what Minnesotan taxpayer are being asked to put in. Franchise fees are not paid by taxpayers (not directly, at least), and if the story of Houston is to be believed, a Los Angeles NFL team could knock down the cost of franchise fee considerably. As for the NFL not wanting to expand? Hilarious. If the Vikings were to move (which, let's be clear, the NFL doesn't want to see happen), the NFL would fast track any opportunity to get back into the market. We aren't the ugly girl at prom, y'all!

Charch and PA: "And it will be an expansion team and it will suck"

Suck like a 3-13 team with an aging superstar at RB coming off knee surgery and a rookie QB? I am as impressed as anyone is by Adrian Peterson, but he's 27, coming off ACL and MCL surgery and probably has two or three good years left. The Vikings would be hard pressed to beat an expansion team in Week 1 of the 2012 season. Make no mistake--success matters. The Colts got their stadium built (for $200 less than the proposed Vikings stadium) after a decade of dominance. The Vikings, over the past decade? They've won more than 9 games two times.

Charch: [seriously listen to his tone when discussing this one. Start at about the 1:50 mark] You know, people talk about the poor, whatever. We built the Twins stadium, and who died? Show me who died!

Hey, Charch--poor people die all the time, whether you hear about them or not, and yes, money that you want to go to pay for a stadium might save some people. If you spend the $600 million dollars you want to build a stadium with and spend it on mental health for people without medical insurance in the Twin Cities? Yes, more people will be live, and many more people will have an improved quality of life. Without a doubt. Probably a lot more people.

I've been planning on writing a special compendium of the false equivalence between Target Field and this Vikings Stadium. The difference? $cale.

NFL backers should NEVER compare their stadiums to baseball fields. Target Field was less than half the cost of the projected Vikings stadium, and they bring people into the neighborhood 81 times, compared to 8 in the NFL (playoffs not included). It is, on its face, a ridiculous comparison. Oh, and the Twins were riding a decade of playoff visits, and quality management, compared to the stumble-wumbly nature of the Vikings.

I haven't even gotten into the economics these buffoons bandy about, like they know anything about it. John Sullivan at one point says, "Listen, I'm not economist, but I read that a Super Bowl brings in $400 million dollars to the city that hosts it." and Charch says, "That's almost half of the stadium right there!" Yeah, if only those numbers that John Sullivan quoted were at all real. They aren't.

I only got two minutes into the broadcast, and the amount of misinformation in those two minutes was enough to fuel this entire post. This is what the typical Vikings fan is hearing in the morning on their radio, and yet, the support for the Vikings Stadium is, at best, apathetic.

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