If you're anything like me -- no, check that -- if you've got any sense, then you've felt it deep down inside here and there over the years. That would be when someone else does something so irritating and colossally stupid you just want to shake them silly and scream, "WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH YOU? NOBODY CAN BE THAT DUMB!!!". We see it all the time on the road with nitwit drivers, not to mention other walks of life. Such an incident recently happened in Edward Jones Stadium, home of the St. Louis Rams.
Quick question: Who is Edward Jones and how did he get an NFL stadium named after him? Answer below.
But first the back story. The Rams were hosting the Detroit Lions on 12/13/15. A battle of the have-nots. In the whole scheme of the NFL this game mattered little, if at all. Just another one that had to be played.
Yet along the way a milestone was reached. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a pass to receiver Golden Tate which put Stafford over the 25,000 career passing yards mark. He was actually the youngest to ever do so. Not that this much mattered either, because while Stafford is racking up his own gaudy stats, the Lions remain -- well -- the Lions. They're not going to be contenders any year soon, let alone sniff a Super Bowl.
Thing is, Tate was -- surprise!! -- oblivious such a landmark was at hand for his QB. So in his usual infinite wisdom, the good Mr. Tate heaved the ball into the stands in St. Louis. Somebody, so far unknown, wound up with a souvenir genuine NFL football. Their's to keep. Whether or not it was a misguided Lions fan -- and there are certainly legions of those -- that had made the trip to St. Louis to watch his/her heroes -- poor koolaided thing -- is also unknown. More likely it was a Rams fan.
But the Lions' staff was aware of the "historic" football and wanted it back for Matthew Stafford. Into the stands they went to find it. So pretend you're that fan and think about what happened next.
You likely aren't aware of the significance of that football, but it's obviously important to somebody for some reason, or they wouldn't have sent "officials" into the stands to retrieve it. You don't have to give it up. It's already yours, courtesy of the aforementioned Golden Tate. Like a foul ball or home run in baseball, once the ball is in the stands, it becomes the property of whoever caught it.
But the "staff", likely with a security contingent (see cops) in tow, explains to you this particular football is very important to Matthew Stafford. Their presence is likely intimidating. If you will only give it back, they promise Stafford and/or the Lions will send you a bunch of his autographed paraphernalia in return. Also they promise not to escort you into a dungeon somewhere under the stands to be interrogated for a few hours as being an "uncooperative" patron. So you buckle under and surrender it. Did I mention intimidation?
At that point, you became a fool. Good grief, an NFL football itself is worth a hundred bucks, and what good is a bunch of Matthew Stafford signed junk if it ever shows up at all? Especially if you were a Rams fan. A Lions fan? Well, OK, never underestimate their naivete and gullibility, but you'd think even one of those downtrodden heathens would have more sense in a situation like this.
If I'm that fan, here's what I say. Right now, this ball belongs to me and I have every intention of leaving the stadium with it and taking it home. If Matthew Stafford wants it for his trophy case, here's my phone number. Tell him to call me -- in person.
Further tell him the starting price is $20,000. If I don't hear from him in a couple days, his price goes up and I list it on eBay for whatever it will fetch.
Let's get real. Stafford is making over $20 MILLION this year. The price for this milestone football represents a mere one-thousandth of his yearly salary. Twenty grand might be a nice chunk of change to an average person but it's peanuts to Stafford. Besides that, he can probably talk the dopey Ford family into ponying it up FOR him, if he's that much of a tightass. Lord knows, the Ford's have shelled out countless millions, from the front office down to the practice squad, over the decades in their seemingly never-ending quest to keep their team a clown act. And it's worked. The Fords worrying about a measly twenty grand would be like an average citizen diving into a dumpster to fetch a penny. It's just not worth the hassle.
As has been argued in this space many time before, Lions' fans that get their hopes up and think Super Bowl every year definitely qualify as some kind of fools.
Answer to question. Evidently Edward Jones is the CEO of a big multinational investment firm. It was started by his ancestors almost 100 years ago. A big bucks outfit indeed that plays with other people's money. About a decade ago they got banged for some shady dealings, and had to cough up a $75 million fine to the feds. In their world, just more chump change. And somehow this outfit was allowed to buy the naming rights to the Rams stadium. Where's Roger Goodell and his holy crusaders when you need them?
But whoever caught that football in St. Louis and traded it off for some worthless Matthew Stafford paraphernausea is just a total moron.
PS. Hi J and S. As your self-admitted B variety goes, not too shabby indeed. See ya at the office.