Proposed Bathroom Bill Will Have Jerry In A Rush To Avoid A Financial Flush
Say what you will about him, think what you will, but don’t ever accuse ol’ Rog’ of lacking in style. His talents and his ambitions (okay, throw in his ego for good measure) from the vaunted throne of the NFL commissioner are as diverse and as ambitious as there have ever been.
This in no way diminishes the shadows or tarnishes the Hall of Fame busts of those who have ruled before him, but let it be known that Peter, Paul, and Bert were football disciples of the first order. Theirs was a role much more akin to that of the traditional commissioner, rather than the league despot and world dictator that Goodell is making himself out to be.
Just a couple of Sundays ago, there stood Roger in front of God, man, and trophy, flashing devilish smiles and blowing smug kisses to all of New England’s finest. To follow a natural course of events, a few days later, presumably bored with the post-Super Bowl gloating of the Kraft clan, Goodell decided to challenge the entire state of Texas in the political arena. Why not!
Buried somewhere deep in his childhood must be a story of Roger as an aspiring psychiatrist. Or else too much time in the amateur theater. How else to explain his sudden mood swings? One minute he’s playing the part of Goodell The Grouch, and the next he’s smoking the pipe of tolerance and peace for all those who plan on paying tribute to the hallowed, stainless porcelain pot in the public square.
Now, based on recent poll returns, it is just barely possible that Roger is far too proud to admit to ever having a childhood. But that doesn’t mean that he’s a stick in the mud altogether. Not at this hour. What Goodell and his league did in fact admit last week to a bunch of lawmakers down in Austin has made the Super Bowl and toilet bowl a compatible conversational duo the world ‘round. Not since the days of Santa Anna has the gossip in Texas been so minatory and graphic.
In response to a proposed bill that would place certain restrictions on the access of transgender people to public bathrooms, Goodell declared that any state laws that conflict with the league’s commitment to embrace inclusiveness could be a deciding factor in where major events such as the Super Bowl are held. And with that declaration, the battle of the bathroom bill began.
Goodell’s political posturing earned him high praise from transgender troop leader Caitlyn Jenner, which may be newsworthy to some but doesn’t exactly help sway Texas politicians. Last time that Caitlyn was a relevant character in the sports world was some forty years ago when her name was Bruce, and Bruce was a he. If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is.
The response from the highest seat in Austin was not nearly so flattering. Using a host of media platforms from Twitter to Fox News to the Glenn Beck Show, governor Greg Abbott told the NFL to stick its own pig-skinned, problem-scarred nose back in its own corner of the globe. Said Abbott: “The last thing that the NFL needs to do is to get into the business of telling states how to run their own political operations.”
This parley between two unlikely powers having momentarily subsided, the next question is a familiar one throughout the Bible Belt, and especially in the northern region of the Lone Star State. W.W.J.D. What Will Jerry Do?
If the proposed bill is ratified (and it sounds very likely that it will), then Jerry Jones will have a serious role to play in the drama that will surely ensue. The most powerful owner of the richest team in football, Jones, more than anyone else, is the one influential figure residing south of the Red River who could influence whether the Big Game will return to the big state at some time before your children are grandparents.
Not to worry some of you in the audience though. Age-old truths about Jerry still applies here. Jerry’s mind is clam-baked. He is simple, and knows nothing. Nothing, that is, except an insatiable desire to pocket every coin ever minted. And, by golly, if he isn’t the one person on the face of the earth who has the ability to do it too!
Jones has made no secret of the fact that he would like AT&T Stadium to host another Super Bowl in the near future. He also was less than pleased when his castle was overlooked several months back when the Committee awarded bids to Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Inglewood, three cities whose stadiums seem to have materialized from an explosion in a Klingon pasteboard plant.
The last thing that Jerry needs standing in his way with another selection date looming in the not-so-distant future is some slippery, frippery form of legalese. But that’s the likely reality that awaits him. How to make the most of such a situation is Jones’ most pressing question.
The options are certainly stimulating.
He could play the part of a conservative politician and argue any merits of the law in front of Goodell and the entire LGBT nation. Give it an authentic touch and make it a televised event. Come to think of it though, it’s hard to imagine Jerry filling the role of a conservative, not with pole dancers on his payroll. Bad idea.
Actually, a round-table discussion with a few of the big-wigs involved would seem to be his first course of action. Jerry always did have a charming way about him during the negotiation process. Roger, remember those labor talks I straightened out a few years ago? And remember my influence in getting the Rams moved to Los Angeles? If ever somebody could finagle some sort of a truce into existence, it would be Jerry.
But what if Jerry’s talk is deemed not only cheap, but worthless? Jerry had better hope that it doesn’t come to this point, because there the waters start to get murky, even sticky in places.
It would be imprudent to forget that Jerry has much more than just a Super Bowl at stake with this looming bathroom bill. His stadium also hosts a handful of regular season college football games, the Big 12 championship game, the Cotton Bowl, and a College Football Playoff game in 2019. And did I mention NCAA Tournament games, boxing matches, and music concerts? Forget about the Super Bowl for a moment, Jerry’s real problems begin if these events start disappearing from his event calendar.
Were the Super Bowl Committee to pass over AT&T Stadium yet again and other sanctioning bodies start pulling out as well, Jerry could possibly add the office of Philosopher to his many titles by suing for discrimination. While certainly not going so far as to say that he would win any case outright in court, there are certain points of the law that would be in Jerry’s favor. The NFL, for instance, cannot claim total inclusiveness after legally excluding the state of Texas from Super Bowl consideration, especially after noting that the proposed bill, sponsored by Brenham Republican Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, would allow organizations like the NFL, NBA, and NCAA to set their own bathroom policies at convention centers or arenas.
With hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, you can bank on the fact that Jerry is not going to take this situation mildly. Nor should he. Equally certain is the unwavering position of Mr. Abbott, who sounds more and more like a stubborn Texan with every appearance. The joker in the deck might very well be Goodell, whose position on this issue might very well be determined by the mood he’s in when approached with it. Only time will tell.
For each and every one of the power figures involved, the next handful of months will contain a cause well worth following. For Governor Abbott, a proposal. For Roger Goodell, a threat. And for Jerry Jones, a high-speed, high-stakes chase for more money than any one toilet could hold.