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JENKINS: If Blank wants to take Falcons to LA, he should just go

Rob Jenkins

Rob Jenkins

Here's some pretty good relationship advice: when somebody threatens to walk, don't allow yourself to be manipulated. The appropriate response is, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out."

I think that applies to professional football teams as well as to significant others.

In the latest twist in the ongoing Falcons stadium drama, owner Arthur Blank has let it be known that "business interests" from Los Angeles have approached him about moving the team to the Left Coast. Either that or they want him to play the title role in the upcoming "Godfather, Part XVII." I'm still not clear which.

Before I go any further, let me to point out that I've been a Falcons fan since the 1970s. I remember going to games with my dad and cheering for Steve Bartkowski as he played on a converted baseball diamond at old Altanta-Fulton County Stadium.

Of course, I don't get to many games these days, because I'm just an ordinary working stiff, and ordinary working stiffs rarely go to NFL games anymore. But I have been able to take my sons a couple of times. Hey, just 16 more installments and I'll have those tickets paid off.

To me, then, as to many native Georgians, Arthur Blank is not synonymous with the Falcons. He's merely the current custodian of what is, in truth, an Atlanta institution. Sure, he's been a pretty good custodian. I think we're all pleased to see the franchise doing so well lately, especially those of us who endured years of aspiring to mediocrity.

But Blank is just an owner. And as we all learned when Ted Turner sold the Braves, an owner is not the franchise, any more than one player or one coach is the franchise.

None of this is to say that I begrudge the Falcons a new mega-stadium, the inside of which I will probably never see, as ticket prices will undoubtedly rise beyond my own personal debt ceiling. (What do you think I am, the federal government?)

I just don't appreciate the way Falcons brass have gone about politicking for the proposed venue, with all the arm-twisting, veiled threats, and repeated insinuations that the taxpaying residents of metro Atlanta are somehow obligated to help fund a billion-dollar football mecca.

This latest tactic, though, represents a new low -- putting out the word that, if they don't get their new stadium, the Falcons might just take their toys and move the whole shebang to La-La Land, like some gridiron version of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Well, that would be a shame. I for one would be sad to see them go, for at least as long as it took me to find the Broncos or the Redskins or the Seahawks on TV. But hey, Dirty Birds, if you have to go, go. Just don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Rob Jenkins is a local freelance writer and the author of "Family Man: The Art of Surviving Domestic Tranquility." E-mail him at rjenkinsgdp@yahoo.com, follow him on Twitter@rjenkinsgdp, and visit www.familymanthebook.com.

Comments

ptm4936 1 year, 5 months ago

Mr. Jenkins might want to get the facts before spewing forth with this kind of junk.

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NewsReader 1 year, 5 months ago

Well Rob, then you also know that long ago, many vehicles were graced with bumper stickers that said "GO FALCONS! AND TAKE THE BRAVES WITH YOU!" I had season tickets when the Falcons played at "The Atlanta Stadium (later renamed Atlanta Fulton County Stadium)" I had fond memories of tailgating before every home game along with hundreds of others along the green islands in the east parking lot. Personally, I don't think the taxpayers should have to foot the bill for this facility at all, but if the City of Atlanta want to strap their city with it, knock yourself out. After all, they have proven fiscal irresponsibility over and over again. As for one who lives in the suburbs for obvious reasons, I don't want anything to do with it. BTW, any idiot that would move a team to LA given the economic outlook of that state, is a fool. It's all business and playing one against the other to achieve the desired outcome.

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R 1 year, 5 months ago

BUT CA NEEDS those multimillionaire player salaries to tax...

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Bruce 1 year, 5 months ago

I actually agree with NewsReader, uh, wow.

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tbryant3 1 year, 5 months ago

I also agree with NewsReader. There is nothing wrong with the Georgia Dome besides there is no good tailgaiting area. When these geniuses built it they should have taken that into consideration. Also why did we need a closed stadium? We're in the deep south, another dumb move. If Arthur Blank wants a new stadium, let him pay for it. Besides some local businesses that may profit from it, hotels, restaurants, etc. the rest of Atlanta and Georgia won't. Besides, it's not like a normal Joe can afford to go to the games anyway. If you want to go to LA Arthur GO and take the Hawks with you.

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HonestIngine 1 year, 5 months ago

Solve everybody's problem... Retrofit Turner Field for the Falcons..... Move the Braves to Gwinnett....Let the Gwinnett Braves play when the "Georgia" Braves are on the road.... Use the Dome for other sporting events and concerts...Of course the Atlanta Braves will have a name change..

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jack 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't think the threatened move to LA came from Blank or the Falcons.

More likely the Atlanta Mayor's office.

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TOWG 1 year, 5 months ago

I think moving the mayors office to LA would be the best thing that's happened to Atlanta since Sherman. That is what you meant isn't it Jack?

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jack 1 year, 5 months ago

Given Kasim Reed's push for a stadium, I was referring to the genesis of the threat to move the Falcons.

However, I like your thought much better!

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John5214 1 year, 5 months ago

Jenkins must be looking to make a name for himself. Blank NEVER said that. Get the facts right before you publish this kind of crap.

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R 1 year, 5 months ago

You mean he never had a conversation concerning business interests approaching him about opportunities in LA?

I submit that unless you are indeed Aurthur himself, you would not be in a position to either confirm or deny the article's position.

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John5214 1 year, 5 months ago

"This latest tactic, though, represents a new low -- putting out the word that, if they don't get their new stadium, the Falcons might just take their toys and move the whole shebang to La-La Land". This is the kind of crap I am referring to. Where is the proof of what this Bozo is trying to make the readers believe. PS. Learn how to spell Mr. Blanks name.

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R 1 year, 5 months ago

Again, if the Falcons have any value at all - there should be back channel discussions…

(IF there aren’t any, well that’s much a bigger problem)

So your statement of perceived crap flows strictly from your mind at this point…

But thank you for pointing out the spell check error on the name. Typos like that always give weak minded posters a valid point to gripe about when there is nothing else to pick at.

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John5214 1 year, 5 months ago

And you R, are one of those people just like on the commercial for insurance. " If it is on the internet, it must be true". Don't let people like Jenkins lead around by the nose. Just because this minor league newspaper gives this wanna be writer a little space, does not make it the truth. Start thinking for yourself and you will feel much better about things.

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R 1 year, 5 months ago

I think independently and question issues/positions quite well thank you, all the while at times entertaining some of those willing to consider alternatives...

The author's premise is sound.

Enjoy

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Mack711 1 year, 5 months ago

Thought the NFL also wanted Atlanta Falcons to have a new stadium so that they may get another Super Bowl. If that is the case then let the NFL build the new stadium that THEY want, not the taxpayer. Have never been in the Dome and have no reason to go there or to another dome that will be built in Atlanta.

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jack 1 year, 5 months ago

After last night's Super Bowl, the NFL may be wanting New Orleans to build a new stadium.

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Ashley 1 year, 5 months ago

Arthur Blank and the Falcons never threaten to move. This was a punk move by Kasim Reed.

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kevin 1 year, 5 months ago

I love the article. I wouldn't spend $1billion for a new place just to have an open roof. The NFL thinks it can control even state governments. They already lost the LA Rams. How can they be given another team, which eventually will leave LA again? If the owner thinks he can shove taxes down our throats, let him kiss the ground a and leave. Maybe he can sell his other Georgia investments to pay for the move to LA.

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LilburnsFuture 1 year, 5 months ago

If the Falcons win, it's good for the local economy. If not, they don't. The Atlanta Braves won even more national attention when they kept winning their division time and time again. People respect winners. The Braves moved into their new home AFTER a World Series Championship. There will always be people who do not want to pay for it or do not plan to attend. The real fans don't care if they show up either. But I would like a legitimate place to tailgate (after all, Athens does!). The Falcons should receive the same treatment. Win a Superbowl, and then you can have your new home with an open roof!

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