By Scott Tibbs, June 17, 2005
Why would I, a lifetime resident of Indiana, root against the professional football team in Indianapolis? The answer is that the Colts reached into the pockets of Hoosier Taxpayers and helped themselves to a large chunk of money to build a new stadium. The Colts lost my loyalty when they decided to forcibly confiscate money from Hoosiers rather than earning it.
Yes, I know that many sports teams have been the beneficiaries of taxpayer subsidies to build stadiums. If someone does not cheer teams that reach into the wallets of taxpayers, they will have very few teams to choose from.
However, the only way taxpayers are going to protect themselves against having their money confiscated to give to millionaires, multi-millionaires and billionaires is to make a difference in their own area. If Hoosiers boycott the Colts, it will send a powerful message across the country to other pro sports cities. It sends a much stronger message for Hoosiers to root against the Colts than to root against a different recipient of corporate welfare.
Some argue that losing the Colts would have hurt the economy. I am not convinced of that, because disposable income spent on NFL games can go into other forms of entertainment, such as the movies, concerts, or the Indiana Pacers.
Pro sports teams know that they can bully and threaten their host cities into paying them to stay. If a city takes a stand on principle, they know another city will gladly prostitute itself for the chance to have a pro sports franchise. If this is ever going to stop, a line must be drawn somewhere. We had a chance to draw that line in Indiana, but the politicians caved in.