September 17, 2005
A fine line

There's a fine line between self-promotion and shamelessness. I've read this story several times now and I still can't decide which side of the line Bob McNair falls on.

Texans owner Bob McNair hopes Houston's response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster will cause NFL owners to look favorably on the city as a possible site for the 2010 Super Bowl that will be voted on Oct. 6.

Houston, Atlanta and Miami lost the 2009 Super Bowl to Tampa in May. When the Jets failed to get public support for a new stadium in Manhattan, the league took the 2010 Super Bowl from New York and announced that the three finalists that lost to Tampa would be finalists again.

"It would be a nice gesture by the NFL," McNair said Friday. "It would be an appropriate way for the NFL to recognize the great way in which Houston responded by taking in the evacuees from Hurricane Katrina."


Three owners said Houston was eliminated on the first ballot because enough owners from low-revenue franchises voted against McNair, a high-revenue owner who chairs the NFL's revenue committee that has caused a division among the owners.

If Houston didn't get the Super Bowl because of McNair's position as chairman of the committee, that would work against the city again.

"I don't know if we'll address revenue sharing until we have a new collective bargaining agreement with the players," McNair said. "I do know that we're ready, and we believe we deserve another Super Bowl because we did a super job with the last one."

OK, we want another Super Bowl. We probably should have gotten the '09 Bowl - at the least, we deserved more consideration than we got. And I'm sure McNair is just vocalizing what a lot of people involved in that process have thought.

But still. Seeing it in print like that, from the guy who'll make a boatload of money if it happens, just makes me a little squeamish. Maybe it's just me, I don't know. What do you think?

UPDATE: Tom says in the comments that McNair makes no more from the Super Bowl than he would from any other game, and he incurs other expenses in doing so which makes it a net loss for him. That's not what I would have expected, but as such I've amended the original post to reflect this.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 17, 2005 to Hurricane Katrina | TrackBack

I think he's a little delusional if he thinks the other owners are sentimental types. If they were, they'd be more likely to give it to New Orleans and toss in some big bucks to renovate the Superdome with. Not good odds for that happening.

As for his being self-promotional and shameless, you got it. And not too different from the politicians when you get right down to it. But at least he writes nice checks from time to time!

Posted by: Baby Snooks on September 18, 2005 2:48 AM

Most likely, the NFL will announce that they'll give it to New Orleans, contingent on getting the taxpayers to pony up $500 million for a new stadium to be ready by the 2010 season.

You heard it here first.

Posted by: Tim on September 18, 2005 11:59 AM

I'd take it easy on McNair. My hunch is that he was spoonfed a question about Katrina & the Super Bowl vote and took the bait without a lot of thought one way or the other. But rest assured that, if the NFL gives us the Super Bowl, Katrina will be among the talking points. That said, if they were to somehow award it to Saskatoon, Katrina would be among the talking points.

Posted by: Greg Wythe on September 18, 2005 1:05 PM

I vote shamelessness.

Posted by: Kurt on September 18, 2005 2:46 PM

Charles, I agree that it is far-fetched that the hard-knuckled NFL owners would vote Houston a Super Bowl because of its hurricane relief effort. However, why do you presume that Bob McNair makes a "boatload of money" on the Super Bowl? As I understand the economics of Super Bowls, Bob actually loses money on hosting the affair. Those who benefit economically are primarily in the hotel and restaurant business, and Bob doesn't own any interests in those businesses.

Posted by: Tom K. on September 19, 2005 6:56 AM

Tom - I presume he'd at least make money off of ticket, concession, and parking sales, as he would for any other game. Is this not the case?

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on September 19, 2005 7:54 AM

Charles, no all of that is property of the NFL. Thus, McNair's take from the Super Bowl is the same as any other owner regardless of where the game is held. However, inasmuch as he incurs some considerable out-of-pocket expense when the game is held in Houston that is not reimbursed from the league, my understanding is that McNair effectively makes less from the Super Bowl when it is held here than if it were held elsewhere. He really does not have an economic incentive to hold the game here. He does it primarily to promote Houston.

Posted by: Tom K. on September 19, 2005 8:38 AM