Today’s find: The Disease of More

Stan Kroenke managed to get my goat the other day.

Not that Stan and I are all that tight. But the billionaire real estate developer and I do have a home state – Missouri – in common…and, at least for the time being, a passing interest in the NFL team he owns.

Which not incidentally is how Stan managed to get my dander up. You see, he’s looking to move that NFL team from St. Louis to Los Angeles – and in order to get the deal done, he (or one of his hired minions) verbally assaulted the community I call home in a relocation application sent to the NFL.

I readily admit to having a thin skin about that sort of thing. And my immediate reaction tended toward retaliation. I even joined in on the #kroenkecomplaints Twitter storm for a bit, seeking to secure my pound of flesh from Silent Stan.

Once I got past the wound he inflicted on my civic pride, though, I found myself becoming intrigued by the curious sickness that seems to afflict him. It is a disease which many Americans (like me) suffer: The desire for MORE.

You see, Stan – as I may have mentioned – is a multi-billionaire. By moving his team to Los Angeles, he can reasonably expect to increase that net worth by another billion or two. Not a bad payday…and one, frankly, that I’d probably find attractive, too.

What caught my attention, though, was the reason his relocation application gave for not staying put. “Any NFL Club that signs on to this proposal in St. Louis will be well on the road to financial ruin…” Kroenke claims.

That’s rich…if you’ll pardon the pun. The truth is, no NFL team is hurting for money. As Forbes reported last September:

The NFL’s rising tide has lifted all boats. The average NFL team is worth $1.97 billion, 38% more than last year. The gain was fueled by a $39 million increase in national revenue for each of the league’s 32 teams. The NFL is unlike any other sports league in that from an operating standpoint every team is immensely profitable.

So Kroenke’s definition of “ruin” must work out to something like this: “not enough MORE”.

Now, I’m not a billionaire. Still, it seems logical to assume that — when you’ve already got a couple of billion dollars to your name — the hunger for MORE ought to abate. But clearly it does not.

As I reflected on Stan’s greedy grab, I realized that I could perhaps profit from it, too. There’s a spiritual lesson to be found in the specter of a billionaire whose immense wealth does not satisfy. A lesson along the lines of the message tucked into the final sentence of the gospel reading we heard at Mass today.

Having just cured a leper, Jesus himself comes face-to-face with an attractive opportunity to acquire fame and followers:

The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him
and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.

Notice what Jesus does here: He makes a conscious effort to step back from the immediate, all-consuming demands of his culture. He steps back…and then, he prays.

Learning from this example, I wonder if we might well discover our own best defense against the disease that so often afflicts us — the only cure, perhaps, against the relentless desire for MORE.

WhirlyLamb_3

 

Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.

 

IHS

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6 thoughts on “Today’s find: The Disease of More

  1. STEVEN LUCASH

    John, Stan has it right. He does need more!!! He just has his priorities in the wrong place. Hopefully one day he will have an encounter with Jesus to truly understand the meaning of “more”. I love my Rams, but if they indeed find themselves in LA, so long for pro football for me. Twice in a lifetime is too hard to take.

  2. Mike Albers

    John,

    The goat has traditionally been the sign of the devil.

    ” When the Son of man shall come in his glory ,…he shall set the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left; then shall the King say unto the sheep, ‘Come ye who are blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundations of the world.’ Then shall the Kings say unto the goats on the left; ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into everlastng fire prepared for the devil and his angels’. – (Matt. 25:31-41)

    Goats are on the left. LA is on the “left coast.” The “left coast” is always suffering from fires. I am beginning to believe that the name “Stan” is derived from “Satan.” Maybe it is good that this man called Stan is fulfilling his destiny to be set on the left . . . He is certainly no longer welcomed in the “Rome of the West.”

    • Now, now…Michael…
      I have people in California. And most are pretty good people, too.

      As for the etymology of Stan — recall that Mr. Kroenke was reportedly named after Stan Musial — a sporting saint, if ever there was one!

  3. Mary Jost

    Thanks John . Great insight and lead me to pause and pray.

  4. Pingback: Today’s find: ‘Super Bowl L’ – for ‘Lost Interest’ | With Us Still

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