RON HART: Signs of a crumbling empire

Published: Sunday, August 11, 2013 at 09:49 AM.

Obama-phones might soon be given out under a SNAP program because Obama's USDA would classify an Apple as food.

There are now 80 federally funded, means-tested welfare programs that cost us $1 trillion annually, up 16-fold over the past five decades. The “safety net” has become a safety hammock.

This brings us to “circuses.” Cronyism is never as stark as a taxpayer-funded stadium deal doled out to rich team owners. From 1991 to 2004, 78 stadium deals cost $85 billion, with taxpayers on the hook for 61 percent of that. Miami voters said, “Oy vey!” when they found out that the Marlins Park baseball stadium deal would cost them $2.4 billion. They wisely voted out two mayors involved.

Pro football began 91 years ago as a privately owned business so 45 men could travel and shower together without people talking. Now it is a government-sanctioned monopoly. The NFL Commissioner got a raise from $11 to $29 million, which should be a mind boggling amount of money to the players, even those players with concussions.

Recently, there has been retribution for homophobic player comments and a push for the first NFL player to come out of the closet. The benefits of more gays in the NFL would be huge, starting with better choreographed end zone celebration dances.

Politicians are calling for the NFL to hire more black coaches, even though two brothers just coached in the Super Bowl.

I presumed that Ray Lewis retired from the NFL to spend more time (allegedly) stabbing his family; he ended up with a plum job on ESPN. With 31 NFL players arrested since the Super Bowl, I thought Court TV would be a better fit for Lewis. That way he could keep up with his NFL buddies. I could see the Oakland Raiders hiring the Johnnie Cochran Law Firm as the team’s defense coordinator.

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