Ed Lee Calls Candlestick Blackout "National Embarrassment." Ain't That a Bit Harsh?
|ESPN television broadcast|
|If John Madden were calling this clip, no doubt he'd say "Boom!"|
San Francisco's infrastructure failures didn't lead to rampant death and destruction; regional chaos; or cars and steel in the river. That would be tragic -- this is merely embarrassing. But locals don't need anyone to remind them that it's no fun to have one's shortcomings broadcast on national television. So why does the mayor feel the need to toss fuel on the fire? (Which would have been a decent way of illuminating the ballgame). Why play up his own city's shortcomings, or undiplomatically dump on PG&E or the San Francisco 49ers?
Three possibilities come to mind:
- The mayor says unscripted -- and occasionally unwise -- things when thrust before a media scrum without proper preparation. Case in point: his statement last year that the city was heading toward bankruptcy within five years and needed a $300-million-to-$400 million-a-year pension trim -- which was many times higher than the pension reform measure he eventually championed.
- The mayor has found a way to needle PG&E publicly -- which will make more of an impression than his benefiting from scads of their money privately.
- Lee has "owned" the problem, which is beneficial no matter who is eventually found negligent for Candlestick going dark.
This figures to be the opening act of an awkward pas de deux between the city and 49ers, as the latter are all but certainly headed south to a publicly funded stadium -- with publicly generated electricity -- and the former is left to maintain a stadium that could generously be described as "decrepit."
Over the next few years, San Francisco will have to figure out how to avoid sinking massive amounts of money into the obsolete Candlestick Park while ensuring the stadium's next failure doesn't result in people being maimed or killed.
That would be far worse than a "national embarrassment."
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