From Where I Sit: This year's Super Bowl will be a game that can't loseBy: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
I took a brief walk around the block before sitting down to write a bit. It was my kind of night – a little bit of fog, a little bit of mist. It suits a depressive personality, reminding me of “The Rainy Day” by Longfellow (“the day is cold and dark and dreary”).
It also reminded me of another dark night nearly 30 years ago when team owner Robert Irsay looked the city of Baltimore in the face and lied to them, sneaking the Baltimore Colts our of town during the middle of the snowy night in March of 1983 with numerous Mayflower moving vans.
For all intents I gave up watching football that day. Oh there has been the occasional game here and there, but nothing like it used to be in the days of John Unitas, John Mackey, Art Donovan, Bubba Smith, Mike Curtis, Ray Berry and on and on.
That’s why I pay no attention to all of the contrived emotions on current display over the entire Sacramento Kings fiasco. It’s a business. Owners are still owners. It’s not a charity, and if they can make money they will follow the money. Why is that so surprising?
You say, “Oh, I wear the team colors and watch the games and have a sticker on my car, doesn’t that count for something?” No, it doesn’t. If the owners can’t get enough people to buy $200 tickets, pay $20 for parking, drink $10 beer and eat $5 hot dogs, they will pick up their team and go where somebody will.
Or, if they take a liking to a new venue, their money often talks and what it says is, “Goodbye faithful fans.” So don’t tell me about this movie – I’ve seen it many times before.
However, this year’s NFL Super Bowl is upon us and who is playing in the big game? The local San Francisco 49ers, and who is their opponent? A team from Baltimore you say? No, not the Colts, but a new team that ironically uprooted the storied Cleveland Browns franchise and became the Baltimore Ravens in 1996 (in a nod to Edgar Allen Poe, who was not born in Baltimore but had the misfortune to die and be buried there).
Either way I come out on top. Either my current hometown team or my former hometown team will win. So on February 4th my team will be winners. In your face Irsay!
Reach Tom Rupp at firstname.lastname@example.org.