Posts Tagged ‘nfl’

November Sigh

6 November 2008

Dear J-

Funny how they’re already running Thursday NFL games — it always seemed to me that Thursday and Saturday games were fill-ins for the time between the NCAA football regular season and bowl games.  After an orgy of bad food and hygiene around New Year’s Day, you’d all go on with your lives and watch the rest of the football season, then settle in for some of the winter sports (in this way, for Americans at least, those first couple of months of hockey and  basketball seem almost to fade into an extended preseason, never mind that a good third of the games happen while we’re in a stupor watching large men collide awkwardly).

The year keeps accelerating in little spurts; we’re only three weeks away from entering Thanksgiving, which will mark another long bout with compulsive binge eating (the repeated leftover meals of stuffing, gravy, and pumpkin pie are like the holiday season for retailers — making up for other lean, healthy choices throughout the year) and impulse shopping.  No one really needs most of the Christmas gifts we end up passing around; I still remember 1996, when the only one who made use of my photography-themed gifts was my mom, who retired that beast only reluctantly when the inevitable tide of digital made film scarce.

The nights are long; our holiday cards are here, and we have some stamping and mailing to do this weekend.  Football games pop up at random, unexpected times.  We’re starting to lose our heads at work — another season ruined by extended hours.  Sounds like November to me.

Mike

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NFL Woes

12 September 2008

Dear J-

Forbes released a report on NFL team valuations — our hometown Chargers placed 26th out of 32 teams, which sounds pretty dismal until you realize that the top 19 teams are worth one billion dollars or more (number 20, the Tennessee Titans, are within spitting distance and both they and the Saints will exceed it at their current rate of growth next year).  Based on the numbers, the Chargers are in fairly robust health — on the low end of the debt to value ratio (11%), turning a profit, and should they go deep into the season this year as expected, voters may feel a little more inclined to grant them their wish:  a shiny new stadium, somewhere with lovely views and the latest and greatest high-dollar luxury boxes.  It worked for the 1994 World Series Padres, after all, but then again, that’s a team that plays 81 home games, not 8.

In fact, according to Forbes, our Chargers have a greater value and less debt than the Boston Red Sox.  Plus they turn a profit at the end of the year.  Go figure:  one has a national presence, rabid fans, and a historical stadium, and the other one plays in the Boston swamps.  No, I kid; seriously, would you expect the three most profitable teams in sports to be the Chicago Bulls, Washington Redskins, and Toronto Maple Leafs, each making over $50 million per season?  These are fascinating numbers to pore over for the NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB — the Chargers are worth more than the top two NHL teams, Leafs and Rangers, combined; the Cowboys are worth nearly as much as the top three NBA teams.  Nearly every NFL team turns a healthy profit, and this with by far the fewest games.

It’s difficult to root for the Chargers to get that new stadium.  It’s somewhat difficult to root for them to succeed , as it’s felt like a transparent attempt to drum up support for a stadium they don’t need, and like a tantrum against a city that can’t subsidize them (we’ve got well-publicized budgetary constraints), they keep threatening to move to greener pastures.  Well, should they head back north to LA, the Coliseum has seen better days, and the Rose Bowl is now the proposed home to both the Trojans and Bruins.

Mike