The subject of many talk shows this week has been directed towards the 185 MM dollars spent on re-building the Superdome, with 114 MM coming from federal funds. A great deal has been made about how downright stupid this is, when fifty percent of the city remains without power and there are still two large neighborhoods in complete devastation a year later. Though I agree we can always second guess how money like that is spent, let me give a scenario that might help. If we figure that an average of 20k people come to support the visitors for each game, and there are eight games a year, that is approximately 160k people that visit New Orleans per year. Lets say that for every two people, they spend an average of $100 per night on a hotel, for an average three day stay, and an average of $30 per person per day on food, $30 on drinks (since some people drink and others don’t) and another $10 per day on souvenirs. We need to also consider transportation, some will rent cars, some will use cabs, some will walk. Let’s average $30 per day in transport.
160000 X ($150 (hotel) + $100 (incidentals)) = 40 MM dollars per year in revenue in the city, just from visitors to the game. That means the federal funds spent will be made up in three years. That is provided the team stays put.
The ripple effect from people visiting the city and seeing what it has gone through first hand, and coming back just to visit creates even more revenue, which cannot be calculated easily but is another consideration. Best wishes to the city.
Now, on to the game. Was it just me, or did the Falcons come into this resigned that they were going to lose? They looked flat, and I am not sure that the turf (as Joe Theismann said about 900 times) had as much to do with the loss as the Saints forcing Michael Vick to pass. 12/31 for 137 is not a ringing endorsement that Vick has gotten a hold on the offense. A great deal of Atlanta’s failures were predicated on not being able to run, but that is something they are going to face with tough defenses in the NFC south.
It comes down to one fact I have stated over and over again. Vick is not a quarterback, he is an athlete. Until he learns that his speed and agility need to be used to generate plays down the field for his team, they will not have great success.
The defending champions are in deep trouble going into their bye week. I know it is only three weeks into the season, but they are in serious danger of not making the playoffs. They were fortunate with tie breakers last year to get the six spot. To win the division this year, it will take at least eleven wins, figuring that the Bengals are going to win at least ten. The Ravens look to be in the mix as well and the way they are playing and with a softer schedule than the Bengals, they are near a lock for ten wins. What this means to the Steelers is they have to win ten of their next thirteen to have a chance. Not an easy task considering that their defense and offense can’t seem to have a good game together.
Birds of a Feather
I saw one of the wackiest endings to a game I have ever seen. Two minutes left, Bulger fumbles at his own 34, recovered by Arizona. Game’s over, right? Since the Cards are down by two, all they have to do is get a first down or hold on to the ball. Rackers could kick backwards from that distance and still make it. Warner then proceeds to fumble away the game and blame it on the center. I have to ask, was Stepanovich also responsible for the three interceptions he threw? Guess we will be seeing the prodigal son quarterbacking the Cards soon.
Just Plain Lousy Game of the Week : TEN vs. MIA – This was a battle of two impotent teams trying to win their first game. Unfortunately for us, they decided to televise it.
Tom Brady threw 55 passes Sunday night because they were only able to generate 50 yards on the ground. That is not a recipe for success. They would have been shutout if not for a late fourth quarter drive.
Baltimore nearly laid a giant egg in Cleveland on Sunday. Derrick Mason single handedly won that game with two or three amazing catches.
Can someone explain to me how the Jags held the ball for 40 minutes, ran all over the Colts defense for almost two hundred yards and still lost?
My best wishes go out to Chris Simms for his recovery from losing his spleen. I hear that Jon Gruden is going to have his out next week, so he doesn’t have to watch the Bucs play anymore this year.
Another week, and another game where the 49ers decide to spot two touchdowns to the opposing team before playing. In a bold move, they have petitioned the league to simply come into the game down fourteen to save the other team the trouble.