Soccer Fields—Yes, Soccer Fields—Hold up Super Bowl’s Billion Dollar Extravaganza

In the film Patton, the legendary general becomes livid after the enemy strafes his tank column. The greatest military machine of its time had been halted because two mules blocked a bridge. Incredulous at the absurdity of it all, General Patton bellows, “You let an entire column get strafed because of a couple of jack-asses?” He then shoots the poor animals and throws them over the bridge to keep his army moving.

One can pity the mules, but it is a false equivalency to expect them to be spared as human beings are being killed.

On a much smaller—and non-lethal—scale, a similar scenario is playing out with soccer fields in Santa Clara.

The city of Santa Clara has become a model for the rest of Silicon Valley in its governance. A new book by former Councilman Kevin Moore describes in detail how the small municipality overcame great odds to land the premier sports team in the Bay Area—at least until Stephan Curry and the Warriors went crazy. Now Santa Clara is poised to benefit from Super Bowl 50, inarguably the world’s premier sporting event each year.

For all of Santa Clara’s successes, though, the process of getting the stadium approved, built and ultimately making it work financially has been hampered by a small-town NYMBY mentality. On Tuesday, a judge will rule on a lawsuit filed by the NIMBYs, who will trot out their version of cute mules: small children in soccer uniforms who have no place to play.

All the while, they’ll trash those mean-spirited leaders of the city, the San Francisco 49ers and the NFL itself—you know, the folks who are bringing more than $1 billion to our local economy.

Never mind that the city of Santa Clara has offered two replacement fields for kids to play at Twin Creeks. Never mind that the San Jose Earthquakes have an excellent public relations opportunity to step up and help out. Never mind that the NFL has agreed to repair any damage to the fields once the big event is finished.

No, the NIMBYs cry, all that isn’t good enough. So they sued—and they’ll likely lose and continue to try and embarrass the city of Santa Clara, the 49ers and the NFL. Over soccer fields.

Shooting the NIMBYs and throwing them off a bridge would be inappropriate. But they also do not deserve the amount of attention they’ve received at the expense of a very well-run city—all while using using children as props.

In the end, the soccer kids will come out way ahead—because the city, NFL and 49ers have a huge interest in making them whole, mainly because of public relations reasons. Who knows, if they play their cards right, maybe they could even be part of the halftime show.

Rich Robinson is an attorney and political consultant in Silicon Valley. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.


    • The world grew up, its a hell of a shame.

      George Patton, PATTON

      Patton is in field that serves as a graveyard for the troops. He reminds his lieutenants that this graveyard will not be paved over and lost like the others. Gee. Rich would have it paved over for the Super Bowl. The guy has never liked the residents of any city, they are just in the way while Rich and his clients work to crowd them out. His record for hating residents is well known.

  1. Let’s see

    While Richie was writing pitches for serial wife beaters attached to one of his clients to San Jose Inside, soccer parents were trying to protect their kids interest. Ah, Rich, whoring seems not to suit you.

    Hmm, was Kevin Moore involved in the soccer park?

    I think he was.

    Didn’t you boast about your “involvement” in the effort to bring the stadium to Santa Clara?

    Seems to me that Pat Mahan and Lisa Gillmor had more to do with it, but know want to get the soccer parents what was promised them. You seem opposed. Why not leave issues in Santa Clara to the residents, and you focus on vetting the candidates better, or at least Rickie Green to come clean. Doesn’t Laurie Smith need to to explain the jail problem she has? Gee, Rich, have someone write you up for the work you did not do, and all of sudden you are a pundit.

  2. In the future, can we get disclaimers?

    I hereby disclose I was a hired consultant to the 49ers.

    Robinson can be example one

  3. Wow. Way to miss the entire point of what they’re arguing about. Not to mention, way to belittle and make fun of the most popular YOUTH SPORT in the country.

    How much is the NFL paying you for this dreck?

  4. Let me understand some things.

    Rich Robinson is a season ticket holder of the 49ers, and he also writes about he was one of the Big Three that brought the stadium here. I watched the Santa Clara City Council meetings and also have seen a picture of this guy. Never saw him there. I did see people at the council meetings who did work for the 49ers. He was not one of them. But let’s say this “expert” was one of the big cheeses that brought this stadium here.


    So what?

    We, on our block, voted on this thing. We bring our kids to play soccer and they enjoy the experience.

    Guess what, Robinson, unless you are paying the taxes here, it is really none of your business.



    You seem to think the 49ers Stadium and the Super Bowl is the place where Santa Clara begins and ends. Not likely, Charlie. what do you care?

    On the 9th of February, that thing will be gone, and our soccer kids will be left. What do you care? I just think you are a person with little regard for the residents. I read your stuff, you think the voters are stupid and ignorant, and you and your elite friends know better.

    Get a clue, you got a dime to sing, and now you are singing flat notes about all of us dumb parents of kids who do not appreciate the greatness of the Super Bowl. Is the Super Bowl going to help my son or daughter get to a good college?


    Soccer might help.

    Gee, Rich. at the end of the day, we have to figure out how to repair our field. Or go somewhere else/

    Wow, Rich, we have to go somewhere else/ I remember the American Indians being told to go somewhere else. You would have said, go somewhere else, Chief, the big Americans want your land. Maybe. we the residents don’t want to go to Sunnyvale,. so you can ride in a limo with some politician to the game and park on our field.

    What a big mouth. He does not care.

    • FYI – Rich Robinson was a paid political consultant for the Yes on J campaign for the stadium. Campaign finance reports for Yes on J (Santa Clarans for Economic Progress – reports available on city of Santa Clara website) show that Robinson was paid many thousands of dollars for his work on the $5 million campaign of political advertising to convince people here to vote yes.

      The fact that he thinks it’s okay to resort to junior high school name calling against anyone with an opinion that differs from his own is shameful.

  5. Wow, Rich. How about the fact that the 49ers made promises to the City of Santa Clara and the soccer organization before the stadium was built. Since they have not lived up to any of those promises, why should anyone believe they will live up to the promises they are making now?

    They can use the empty office space and empty land (waiting to have offices built on it) for the media area and parking. The soccer fields should be left alone or replaced in their entirety (the same number of fields parking, and other infrastructure) in a comparable location and at the same quality, before any changes are made to the existing fields. That means all of the replacement facilities have to be at the same location, not spread all over the city or county.

  6. We can all thank the San Jose Earthquakes for stepping to the plate–if you don’t mind my mixing sports metaphors. Of course, I always thought a pitch was ball thrown by Madbum to Posey. Now I find out it is also a “soccer field” or is it a “futbol field”. In any case, problem solved and all the vitriol by my critics seems wholly misplaced—and just a little, over-the-top.

    • There is no excuse for name calling, RR. You frequently engage in that tactic. It’s immature and there’s no excuse for it. People are entitled to have opinions which differ from yours and your clients.

      • What name calling? If Trump is a racist–how do you say that nicely? It is not the name-calling that is offensive–it is if the substance does not fit or it is gratuitous in the abstract. Is there no substance to our disagreements? Is dismissive rhetoric all you got?

        • Rich does not get it and never will. Rich stands with the elite telling the poor to eat cake, and a political brown noser and the guy in the movie that dusts the seat for the bad guy.

          • there are many in Santa Clara who have come to City council and said the same “the little people need this” RR and others don’t care about us. what will it take to unseat some of these people and ensure others don’t come back and continue to ruin our city.

        • It’s name calling to refer to soccer parents as NIMBYS. It’s junior high school level. You can write your articles without making derogatory references to people whose opinions differ from yours or your clients.

          • RR called all those that opposed the Stadium NIMBYS – I can’t wait till someone builds a toilet bowl next to his house, or doesn’t he live in an area that can happen. Probably a Woodside or Atherton home owner . Well excuse me RR time to mix with us little people who helped get you your riches.

        • Rich guy:

          Trump is not “racist”.

          What is racist is maliciously and malignantly calling people “racist” because it seems to primitive tribalists to be more vicious and brutal than saying: “I don’t like you or your ideas so I’m going to slime you with the ugliest slur I can think of.”

          “Race” is the communal reality of tribalists. “My tribe good. Other tribe bad”.

          “Racist” is the first word that baby tribalists learn how to grunt when the tribal shaman points to any tribal enemy.

          And, by the way, “racist” is something that Dan Pulcrano, Josh, and Jenn are GOING TO HAVE TO PUT IN THE SJI STYLE OF BANNED WORDS, along with “colored person”, “darkie”, “tea bagger”, the “f-word” for gays, the “k-word” for Jews, the “s-word” for Hispanics, the “w-word” for Italians, the “N-word” for Germans, etc, etc.

          “Racist” was co-opted by the old Left in the sixties and seventies when Marxist academics wrote academic papers about “white flight”, and “white supremacy”, and “white racism”. They declared “white racism” to be the “prototypical racism”, that only groups with power can be “racist”, only whites have power, and therefore only whites can be ‘racist”.

          So, “racist” and “racism”, thanks to the left, are now vile, mendacious slur terms that are hurled ONLY at white people.

          So, it’s time to get it out of your system, Rich guy. Call Trump a “racist”, Call Rush LImbaugh a racist, Call Dick Cheney a racist. The window is closing.

          You can be the last progressive to use a notorious slur term in general public forums before the hostess comes over to your table and asks you to put out your cigarette, stop wiping your boogers on the drapes, and stop referring to her white friends and guests with gutter language.

    • > In any case, problem solved and all the vitriol by my critics seems wholly misplaced—and just a little, over-the-top.

      Nice try Rich, but I have NOT forgiven you for your flacking for the California High Speed dodo bird.

      I’ve brought this to the attention of St. Peter, and I’m confident that a LONG stay in likely.

    • Let’s see. The criticism that “Anything for a Buck” Robinson is writing about is well deserved. While Robinson’s client, Laurie Smith cannot prevent her deputies from brandishing guns in Santa Clara at a Jack in the Box because they cannot get curly fries, or Robinson client, Darcie Green faces a extinguished run for the Assembly due to Rickie Green’s conduct, Richie writes a column that no one here liked.

      We understand Helen Chapman is employing Rich. The guy who wants kick kids out from soccer fields so he can waddle around with a big gulp and watch the game (Rich with nachos is not a pretty sight) is now advising Helen Chapman. If you like soccer, vote for Dev Davis.

      It is time to pull the plug on Robinson’s hatred of soccer kids and love for having anything to do with the 49ers. The guy is yesterday’s news and he now is claiming credit for the Earthquakes gesture. I guess Rich wants season tickets there as well.

      Rich is the sort of street hustler who cries when the customer that pulls up to the corner does not have the right change.

    • Do you hear the people sing, Rich?

      Not likely, a big shot who cares nothing for kids or the people, just a check from the other big shots. Remember 1848, Rich, you are never on the right side.

  7. I suppose the outrage over the Ulistac incident was just misplaced NIMBY rage as well? Get your head out of Jed York’s rear end.

    • @John Galt – good point. Anyone in Santa Clara (such as Ulistac supporters) who stands up to outside entities (RR’s clients, for example) and does not want to see taxpayer land/dollars handed over to private individuals/entities (who just happen to have donated to our mayor/city council members campaigns) is subject to RR’s name calling.

  8. I live in San Jose, I say give the kids the soccer fields they were promised.
    It’s not like the NFL gives a crap about Santa Clara or San Jose anyway.. They just used us for a stadium but we aren’t really going to get all the benefits that come with having a stadium for the NFL, SF will. SF is reaping all the benefits, they get the spot light and attention. Santa Clara is just a city that’s 45 minutes away where the stadium is. SUPERBOWL was a perfect example. No one spent money or time here before or after the game they all went to SF.

    So give the kids the soccer field. We are just a city with a stadium but we don’t have an actual team for it SF does. So who cares about the NFL when clearly they don’t care about us.

  9. I read the comments and I finally get a sense of the ‘little people’ are starting to see a side of Rich, Caserta, Kolstad, Marsalli etc they never saw before. Pity it took so long I hope none of you forget come election time what these ‘buds’ have created. And lord help us let’s hope Kevin Moore doesn’t swap sides, and look like an alternative, remember he’s worked for Rich too and now he’s announced he has a job with Irvine Corporation. Another evil empire out to destroy the NIMBY

    come the revolution who will remember these people?

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