It was talked over, and we decided we couldn't let the debate end so easily. I will be upfront, and admit we probably will not be able to talk Mr. Wilson off his point. But it would be a disservice to the Domebeer-aholics, and Domesphere readers in general, if we didn't take one last shot, and at least try to convince some of the undecided.
The one topic of interest is really two. The Abbotsford issue, and then the larger issue of what I will call sources.
The people of Abbotsford wanted sports in the city. They wanted one so bad that they decided, through a referendum, to build a sports stadium. The people voted 54%+ build the stadium. Presidents are elected on such margins, and the French would have broken the country up with such a margin. That is a huge amount of support. Kent seems to be angry that after a government program was implemented, there were cost overruns. Sorry, Kent, but that isn't a legitimate argument. Every government program ever has cost overruns, which is why people like me hate government projects. If you don't want to pay for an $84 million dollar stadium, then don't vote to pay for a $64 million dollar one. If you don't want to be stuck with the tab of operating the stadium, get a lease agreement in place that stipulates that before you let the tenant move in. Kent appears to believe that the people of Abbotsford where silly little children duped into the whole thing by reptilian politicians. I happen to believe that Abbotsford has adult voters who went into this this eyes wide open, fully cognisant of the inherent risks involved in building a stadium without a fucking tenant guaranteed to move in. And that's the rub right there that Kent seems to conveniently ignore. The people needed a tenant, and the Calgary Flames provided one. Did they provide one for free, and give everyone in Abbotsford a unicorn? No, because they are trying to make money. As City manager Frank Pizzuto said, speaking of the 5.7 million dollar annual guarantee that Kent hates: "This is what it took to have a team in Abbotsford,". Period point blank. Abbotsford wanted a team, the Flames offered one on their terms, and the city agreed. No gun was pointed at Abbotsford head. Sorry, but we believe in responsibility for ones actions here at Domebeers, and don't shed any tears for Abbotsford.
As an aside, if you read the article it is pretty clear that the local noise about this issue is being generated by whiny people who seem mad that there isn't money available for their little pet projects. That's called greed. The big tip off is the anger that the Heat would dare have the chutzpah to try to claim 60% of the profit generated from their activities. Those bastards. Sorry Kent, but I can smell an astroturf campaign when I see it. These people are anti-business. Me-thinks denying the loony kooks of the city some funds was probably a little bit of the motivation for spending the dough on a stadium.
The Abbotsford side of this story is one where reasonable people can have disagreements. My real issue with Kent and his take has to do with the people he sourced as his information, and the defence he employed when their character was called into question, which is exactly what we are doing at Domebeers. Roger Noll and Andrew Zimbalist may have doctorates, but I don't understand why that lends any credibility to their research. Kent, lots of weirdos with personal agendas have Ph.D.'s. Taking someone at their word because they have those 3 little letters at the end of their name is pretty lemming like, to be honest. I don't know if Kent or any of the Domebeer-aholics read those two comrades resumes, but I suggest you do so. Mr. Noll is a straight up leftist. Which is cool, but don't pretend he doesn't have a bias. How do I know? Look up his sponsored research. Besides such red drivel as 'Studies in the Regulation of Economic Activity' we can also see he was a favourite of LBJ (who was such a staunch anti-racist he saw race in everything), where his White House consulting credit comes from. LBJ was a notorious caste system advocate, who was such a favourite of his country he was promptly replaced with Richard Nixon. If Kent wants to argue that someone who worked in the LBJ administration isn't tinged with left wing kookism, that's fine, it just means he thinks his audience won't know any better. Mr. Zimbalist is a slightly more respectable fellow to source, although he too has his bias. He has spent his entire career litigating for various players unions against ownership. His job seems to be providing expert witness for players unions suing ownership. Am I shocked to discover that his research tends to align with what appears to be his own personal politics? Not really, but I was shocked to see some try to dismiss this fact with the 'well he has a Ph.D.'. Domebeer-aholics, let this be a teaching moment. Everyone under the sun has an agenda, and you can't take what people say as gospel. This is double true when it comes to economists. As one of the anonymous commentators pointed out, economic studies, and Domebeer-aholics, really, this is a big deal, are full of suppositions. A lot of the basic math behind the models is from assumed propositions, which makes the model subject to the law of GIGO, or Garbage In Garbage Out. It's that famous line about 'lies, damned lies, and statistics'. The problem with looking to the Ivory Tower is they are often too narrow in scope. It is true that a large amount of research shows that public funding for sports stadiums is a bad idea. What people fail to mention is 'compared to what?'. And the compared to what is really the issue here. You have to look at who funds the studies, who prepares the studies, ect. Bias is real and if you think these people are white as the virgin snow because they are 'researchers' and have 'Ph.D.s' well, I think that is a fairly weak defence. Lots of snake oil salesmen are educated.
Kent is not talking me off my point, and I probably won't talk him off his. It isn't personal, but I think I am right and he is wrong, and he probably thinks the vice-versa. Cool. But maybe I was able to convince some people who were in the undecided camp that the Flames are not the devil, and are in fact operating as any rational person would expect them too in this situation.
Enough with the politricks, lets talk some hockey. Fucking eh, right?
From last nights action, a few things:
One: Jarome is a fucking ninja. Do not fuck with that hombre. He had some bad intentions for Clowes face, which was nice to see. It probably would have been nice to see during the San Jose 9-1 beat down of the Flames a few weeks ago, but beggars can't be choosers, and I for one am happy he at least decided to fight someone. I honestly can't stay mad at the guy, and if he decides to bring it in the last 10 games and get us into the playoffs, I won't complain.
Two: Peter Loubardias is fucking awful. I don't know why the Domebeer-aholics have not flooded Overtime with calls about how this guy is ruining the viewing experience with his repellent suckness, but you gotta start. He actually said, and this is a quote: 'A collision of large human beings'. What the fuck, Loubardias? You get paid to call games and you bring that shit? Charlie Simmers Hair thinks your a joke. Rogers needs to step it's game up and fire this amateur. The guy who won the Red Hot Ram has more flamboyance than Loubardias does. Hire that guy.
Oh yeah. Nystrom bodied Rob Blake off the puck last night in a huge way. Respect. Do that more than once a week and we will be even more thrilled.
Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias should be fired.