Thursday, February 19, 2009

Back to Mayo and Davy

Today, I happend to click on the indespensible Magnolia Report blog section (speaking of which, where did my entry go?). I was treated, constant reader, to the wit and wisdom...or what passes for it, anyway...of John Mayo and David Hampton. First, to the Grand Mayonaise himself.

John Mayo wonders if Republicans have hearts, since he is (in his own mind) unjustly linked to Nan from San Fran and the Speekah. After all, Mississippi might refuse unemployment insurance money from the Multi-Generational Financial Rape Package! Of course, much like most of the Democrats spending money in Jackson, he failed to read the fine print.

In taking that money, the state is on the hook to keep those benefits at the level the Crap Sandwich known as the Stimulus sets. And since there isn't going to be a stimulus every year (thank you, God), we'll have to make up that difference. Its not a lack of a heart on the part of the Governor; its a lack of brains on the part of our legislators. All they see is a big chunk of change to spend; never mind the actual consequences.

All that leads me to wonder: If Republicans don't have hearts (since they don't care about the Workin' Man!) does that mean that Democrats don't have brains? I say this since they are really, really haphazard with other people's money. The Crap Sandwich, loaded with items that will not create one single job, is one example. The phrase, "Nissan for Rural Mississippi," also comes to mind.

Then there's David Hampton, and his recent blog post musing about how unfair it is that coaches make more money than professors at most (if not all) universities. Of course, Davy misses the point again. College professors are tenured; it takes, in most cases, nothing short of plagiarism for them to be fired. In effect, they are guaranteed lifetime employment. They work 40-hour, 5-day weeks, and are, in many cases, provided with living accomodations by their university. Their children also attend school, at least in the case of some of our state universities, at roughly half the cost of an average student. Professors, for the most part, have little to do with the recruitment of students to their school. All this, and, for the most part, they are not economic mulitpliers.

A college coach, on the other hand, is not tenured. He serves at the pleasure of his superiors, and may be fired for just about any reason at any time. He works well over 100 hours a week, and for a good part of the year, at least 6 days a week. Oftentimes, he is on the road for weeks at a time, living out of his suitcase, selling his university not only to prospective students but to their familes and communities.

The college coach is an economic multiplier. Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium at Ole Miss, which is the example that Davy used, seats 60,500 people (give or take). Assume the average price of a ticket is $25 (dear God, for a $25 ticket! I'd shoot people for that). That yields a million dollars to the university just in gate reciepts for one game. This is before concessions are sold, university paraphanalia is purchased, or panchos are necessarily purchased during rainstorms (a benefit, no doubt, of Ole Miss' stick policy-umbrellas are forbidden).

Now, think about it like this, Davy: On football Saturdays, Oxford, normally a town of 15,000 people (roughly the size of economically-moribund Greenwood) swells past Gulfport as the second-largest city in the state. If Vaught-Hemmingway stadium is filled to capacity, it outstrips Hattiesburg and Biloxi's total population (the same is true of Scott Field at Mississippi State; Roberts Stadium at USM would rank slightly below fifth-place Southaven). Even if you assume simply a day trip for most visitors, that still includes at least one meal eaten away from home, two tanks of gas purchased (along with various sundries), plus whatever tailgating supplies are purchased. This does not include those who fill hotel rooms, eat out more than once, or ply the shops around town. Remember as well that in Oxford and Starkville, there are a number of people who never attend the game. This number can be assumed to be anywhere from 5-15,000 depending on the game.

Let's not even get into the publicity that a school gets from a televised football game. The two spots narrated by Morgan Freeman that Ole Miss is fond of running during games spring to mind. When all that is said and done, the successful college coach has grown the economy by a large number. If you want to see the impact, why don't you ask Oxford or Starkville merchants how much they care for 3-win seasons in football?

But all this escapes Davy. All he sees are random numbers pulled from a pile. The compensation packages for football assistants are more than fair based upon the economic criteria above. Its just that it tugs at his poor liberal heart strings too much for him to, you know, think about it and stuff.

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