Thursday, May 22, 1997

Thank Heaven We Are Packer Fans!

Events here in San Francisco in the past week serve as a reminder how lucky we are to be Packer fans (as if we needed any reminder in this most glorious of years). It seems that the 49ers want a new stadium to replace Candlestick/3Com Park, and they want (need?) the San Francisco voters to approve a pair of propositions on June 3 to authorize $100 million in revenue bonds to finance the new stadium.

Candlestick/3Com Park is, in the words of 49er owner Eddie DeBartolo, a "pigsty." Oh really? Well it doesn't have the magic of Lambeau Field, and it is a multi-purpose stadium, but it does have real grass, it doesn't have a roof, it does have luxury boxes, it has actual backs on the actual seats, and it has much greater variety in food service than the home of our own heroes. So if Candlestick/3Com is a pigsty, is Lambeau Field one as well?

In my view, the whole issue is cooked up by yet another demanding sports owner, in a desire to have a new stadium just so he can say he has the newest, coolest stadium.

This week, the debate has become even uglier, as DeBartolo has dropped hints in the press to the effect that, if the bonds are not approved, the team might "have" to move elsewhere, since they cannot continue to play in Pigsty Park. In other words, he pulled the gun out of his pocket, and laid it on the table. TV ads are now running here, sponsored by the pro-stadium forces, which conclude with a shot of the 49er helmet, with the "SF" oval spinning like a dial on a slot machine, until it stops on a "?" Today's afternoon paper has a headline discussing the possibility
that the 49ers might move to Los Angeles.

Al Davis. Bob Irsay. Georgia Frontiere. Al Davis (again). Art Modell. Bud Adams. Eddie DeBartolo. All charter members of the NFL Hall of Shame. Thank heaven it can never happen in Green Bay.