Time(s) Marches On
(From the typewriter of our Wise Old Egg)
April 18, 2004
It has a nice rhythm to it. As time marches on (toward the Day of the Stadium) the Times marches on, in lockstep, chanting rhythmically, “Stadiums are noisy! Jets stay in Joisey!”
Columnist Dave Anderson set the tune with his skepticism-oozing article about the enthusiastic announcement ceremony starring Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki, Jets owner Woody Johnson (the eight hundred million-dollar man), and other heavy hitters. Charles V. Bagli followed up with another in which his key line was a sardonic “Well, maybe.” And on April 15 the elder of the Vecsey brothers, the best brother act in New York journalism since John Lardner and Ring, Jr., joined the chorus. (Old Olympic Hand Likes New York's Chances)
In an article about Peter Ueberroth, the hero of the staging of the 1984 Olympics in L.A., coming to town and endorsing New York's drive to get the 2012 Games, George V. (his brother Pete is the star of the Post) says “There is considerable opposition from some of us to the idea of a stadium on the West Side of Manhattan.” So there we have the admission that a gang of them has gotten together to kill this fabulous project.
George V. is paid to write opinion pieces, he has earned that freedom and I admire him. I just don't understand this lockstep business. (Unless, of course, there were an agenda, but of course perish the thought at the righteous NY Times, right?)
Let's put aside the cost. Everything is a ton of money these days. I just read that a Manhattan apartment is going for one million bucks. A million dollars for a damn apartment?? But that's today's world. Having conceded that it's going to cost money (big surprise!), we come to the next straw dog (and worn-out cliché) that the opponents trot out: that “taxpayers' dollars” are going to be spent. Your taxes are not going to change whether the stadium is built or not. When was the last time a government official knocked on your door and said, “You are being taxed $5,750 toward the cost of (this or that project)?” Never happens. You pay your taxes and the government decides how it is going to be spent.
So having devastatingly disposed of those arguments, I come to a point that is probably simplistic, maybe even juvenile, but we're given the freedom to be kids again here at westsidestadium.org.
Don't you guys want a gorgeous, 75,000-seat retractable-roof stadium in midtown Manhattan, just a crosstown bus ride from Grand Central and walking distance, for God's sake, from Penn Station, situated not in the middle of town, where it would cause horrendous traffic, but over on the river? Come on now, if the obstacles, manufactured or real, could be overcome, wouldn't you as sports guys want it?
A silly question? Perhaps, but I still would like to see one line in the Times in support of this historic project.
– Tom McMorrow, Sr
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