Why should taxpayers foot bill for Super Bowl security?

The National Freebie League, with inspired timing, scheduled this year’s Super Bowl between government shut-downs. That assures that the Department of Homeland Security will have plenty of active personnel to send to Atlanta.

Had the game been held during a government shutdown, the NFL might have had to pay for its own security. That would be painful. You know what they say about NFL owners: Deep pockets, short arms.

You can’t ask the owners to pay for their own event. Many of them, their cash is tied up. Jerry Jones (Cowboys) and Dan Snyder (Washington) recently purchased titanic yachts. Barnacle-scrapers and deck-swabbers don’t work for free.

Snyder bought his boat for $100 million. It is 305 feet long and costs $389,000 for one tankful of fuel. It is the only yacht in the world with an iMax screen. Pity the league exec assigned to break the news. “Mr. Snyder, we need a couple hundred thou from you for Super Bowl security. Yessir, I know your team is never involved in that game, but. . .”

Jones’ yacht cost $250 million. At 357 feet long, it would fit between the goalposts with three feet to spare.

Not every team owner is that rich. Mark Davis’ only watercraft is the Tidy Bowl Man rowboat the Raiders keep handy for when the Coliseum floods. But all the owners are doing pretty well.

Then why should our government, and we taxpayers, pay for Super Bowl security? Well, because the owners are champions of inclusion. They want fans to feel the pride of ownership achieved by picking up the tab, even if they don’t go to the game, or even watch it.

The league is looking out for you and me. Like when it directs Homeland Security to patrol the host city and arrest people selling knock-off souvenir t-shirts and caps for a fraction of the rip-off price of the genuine goods.

In a Washington Post editorial, former DHS assistant secretary Juliette Kayyem proposes that the league pay for its own Super Bowl security, rather than sticking us with the tab. Apparently Kayyem thinks an iMax screen Windexes itself.

Scott Ostler is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: sostler@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @scottostler

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/ostler/article/Why-should-taxpayers-foot-bill-for-Super-Bowl-13568175.php.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *