on Sports
Football Field One – Bar None


Silliman on Sports
By Stan Silliman
Football Field One – Bar None

           “Look here, Silliman, I found you one,”     Lyle walks in, mad as a hornet, as usual about eminent domain injustices.  And we told him if he can find a case where ED (that’s eminent domain, not Viagra, folks) affects sports we’ll write about it. 

    “This Jersey City bar owner says the city is stealing his land for a football field for a private school. That should chap you. He says they’re trying to gut his Golden Cicada, add seven yards to a football field for some catholic School. You better know all those councilmen, they got their kids going to that school. The little bar owner can’t win.”   

   I guess the eminent domain issue has fallen into the sports arena. So we’ve got to pick it up, brush it off.  “Hey, Lyle,” I say, “that bar wouldn’t be a strip club, by chance. If so and they’ve got a couple of stripper poles all the school has to do is add a crossbar and you’ve got goalposts. Maybe the dancers will dance for the school. Look at the bright side. If they’ve got a liquor license at the bar, transfer it to the concession stand. I bet they’d sell out the games.”

   “Not if the ACLU has anything to say about it.  They’re defending Cheng Tan and his bar against the wealthy St. Peter’s Prep and their powerful political ties,” says Lyle.

   “I thought you didn’t care for the ACLU. Besides, nobody wants to go up against St. Peter’s. That’s like asking not to go through those pearly…”
Football Field One - Bar None
    “Silliman,” Lyle scowls, “just cause your football field is seven yards short meaning you can’t play regulation games, you can’t steal a guy’s 18 year old business. You can’t say allowing the varsity to play home games there instead of where they were playing serves a greater good to the community than the neighborhood bar. And it’s not a strip bar. You know what I say: I look for the day when bars have all the money they need and private schools have to buy their own property.”

    “Why not have the prep school run the bar. Tend to the drunks and make change off them. What better education could they get? Besides, if they’re like most prep schools, the kids are already drunks.”

    “You won’t take this seriously, Silliman,” Lyle’s veins are popping (we’ll keep you posted), “They’re taking a tax paying property, condemning it and turning it over to a tax exempt entity. It’s a lose-lose. The little guy should have the right not to sell and expanding a football field ain’t advancing education.”

    No, it’s about having to go miles to get dumpling soup and Bud, if the Cicada closes. It’s a good test of the eminent domain disputes. Mr. Tan will receive at least $ 700,000 for his 5000’ property and liquor license. Maybe a solution will be reached. Buy the property, expand the field,  let Mr. Tan have the concession business at the games. Change the name to St. Peter’s Golden Cicadas. Let Mr. Tan announce all the home games.  “They just scored touchdown. He ran across goal right where kitchen used to be. If he keep going he hit big pot of soup. I invite all my cousins from China to attend game. They late. Must be slow boat.”

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