Yahoo Sports has an article on how Robert Goodell did so much good for New Orleans’ American Football and should not be vilified for cracking down on the Saints for the “bounty” program.
It’s just plain disgusting. To wit:
Thornton has a favorite Goodell story. He loves to tell it. In early 2006, Thornton desperately needed to get about $100 million from FEMA so construction could begin. Federal officials told him it would take 90 days for the money to be approved. The only problem: Thornton didn’t have 90 days. The schedule was tight as it is. Without the FEMA money, construction would be stalled, the dome wouldn’t be finished in time for the season and the tiny window to keep the Saints in New Orleans might be lost forever.
Desperate, Thornton called Goodell at home. It was a Sunday. Goodell said he would see what he could do to get the FEMA money. Ten days later, a FEMA official phoned Thornton.
“You got your money approved,” the man said.
Thornton immediately contacted Goodell, who told the story of how he and Tagliabue went to Washington to visit with lawmakers and pressure FEMA officials to deliver the Superdome funds. Goodell told him he went to the highest levels of government to get the money.
90 days! The horror! If you aren’t aware of it yet, look how average inhabitants of New Orleans got treated, how inept and slow (and generally disinterested) FEMA acted, how difficult it could be to get one’s insurance claims accepted, or to get assistance from the “road home” program.
Start here and here, for instance. Excerpt from the latter:
Even in 2009, many homes and homeowners were still devastated. Some organizations, like the state-wide Louisiana Disaster Relief Foundation or the neighborhood-based United Saints Recovery Project are still working to provide support to homeowners in rebuilding their homes.
But 90 days – for a god-damn sports stadium so that a billionaire owner could continue to make the most money with his team and wouldn’t relocate to San Antonio. This is just another symptom with what’s wrong with the priorities in the US – instead of financing needed support directly, local (and federal) politicians rather put large sums into subsidies to private business (look at the public financing for sports stadiums in general), instituting taxes to fund them, or taking up public debt (true public debt, taken up by currency-using federal or local entities), hoping for a trickle-down effect.