Rudy The Fanatical Baseball Fan

Time for another report [sports theme] from the Wide, Wide, Wide, Wild World of Sports.

Today's feature: Sports Fanatics! These are people who go beyond the enthusiasm of normal fans, instead entering the red zone of extreme support for their teams. One example is the "Dawg Pound," a goal-line section of Cleveland's football stadium where rabid fans go bare chested in the dead of sub-zero winter to root-on their beloved Cleveland Browns.

Their fanaticism is amateurish, however, compared to Rudy Giuliani's support for the New York Yankees and Mets baseball teams. Rudy, the former Big Apple Mayor, roots not so much for the players as for the teams multimillionaire owners, going to extremes to cheer them on, even when that means abusing ordinary fans and taxpayers.

Giuliani's latest rah-rah move for the owners was discovered only after he left office. It was known that in the final hours of his mayorship, he had generously offered to have New York taxpayers pony up $800 million to build new stadiums for both of the baseball teams, but this had not been a binding deal. However, a couple of weeks after Rudy moved out of the mayor's mansion, it was discovered that he had also secretly signed a binding agreement that changed the terms of the two teams' leases with the city.

Rudy's new agreement says that either team may break their current leases and leave New York on 60 days notice if city taxpayers do not commit to build new stadiums for them this year. Hello... this just gave a loaded gun to the Yankees George Steinbrenner and the corporate owners of the Mets to hold at the head of New Yorkers. The owners can now say, build us new stadiums or else... we're out of here!

In another flash of fan fervor, Guiliani also said to the Mets owners, what the hey, just forget about that half a million bucks or so you owe taxpayers for shared revenues on stadium advertising.

This is Jim Hightower saying ... If Rudy Guiliani wants to be a super-fan ... let him do it with his own money.


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