Schaefer is against Laurel because it's not Baltimore

December 15, 1993|By ROGER SIMON

Laurel?

Put an NFL team in Laurel?

Don't make me laugh.

Ha.

I SAID DON'T MAKE ME LAUGH!

We can't have football in Laurel.

Laurel is a city with less active culture than yogurt.

And, as we all know, cities must have a lot of culture to have a football team.

It goes hand in hand with painting your face in the team colors and showing up at the games in your underwear.

Laurel?

You know what they do for a good time in Laurel?

They go down to the Giant and watch the changing of the fruit.

And every Memorial Day the mayor goes out and puts a six-pack on the grave of the Unknown Bowler.

Let me ask you something about Laurel: When couples get divorced there, are they still brother and sister?

(Yes, I used that same joke a month ago. But the government wants us all to recycle.)

And when you've seen one smart person from Laurel, you've seen them both.

(Irony Alert! Irony Alert! For Charlie Sheen and other people who have to take off their clothes to count to 21, the above has been irony. Irony is "humor, ridicule or light sarcasm, the intended implication of which is the opposite of the literal sense of the words.")

And small? You know how small Laurel is?

It's so small that the sign "Entering Laurel" and the sign "Leaving Laurel" are on the same pole!

Laurel is a hick town in northern Florida, near the Georgia border where the roaches are so big they cast shadows.

And . . . huh? Whazzat?

That's Jacksonville? Not Laurel?

Oh.

Never mind.

Actually, I like Laurel.

How much do I like Laurel?

I lived there for six years.

And by choice!

I lived on a street called Carriage Hill Drive that had neither a hill nor carriages, but was very pleasant, even though the roar from nearby Interstate 95 was a constant companion.

And that roar will, if we play our cards right, someday include football fans driving to games in Maryland.

Jack Kent Cooke, owner of the Washington Redskins, says he wants to move the team to Laurel.

But our governor, William Donald Schaefer, says he does not want the team there. (If you're wondering why each of these guys has three names, it's in case they forget one.)

Do you know what Schaefer really has against Laurel?

It's not Baltimore.

Which is exactly what he has against Paris and London, too.

When I lived in Laurel, my friends in Baltimore and my friends in Washington would say the same thing: "You live in Laurel? What's in Laurel besides car dealers?"

These were people who lived on blocks where they had to call their neighbors to lay down covering fire when they wanted to mail a letter after dark, but they felt comfortable making fun of Laurel.

And Laurel does have claims to fame:

1. It lies in four counties. (Can you name them? Louis Goldstein and I can.)

2. It's where George Wallace got shot.

3. It has a beautiful harbor.

OK, so I'm lying about the harbor. But sometimes the downtown floods a little.

Laurel -- the Pearl of the Corridor -- would be an excellent place for a football team.

This is not irony. I mean it.

Laurel is equidistant from Washington and Baltimore. It is served by Interstate 95, Route 1 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. And it has parking out the wazoo.

Also, Cooke will build a stadium in Laurel at his expense, rather than at the expense of the taxpayers.

So we should be rolling out a red carpet for this guy.

Thus far, however, William Donald Schaefer won't even return his phone calls.

But I think I have a solution:

When Cooke was going to build his stadium in Virginia, he announced that it would be named the Jack Kent Cooke Stadium.

Now that he wants to build it in Maryland, I suggest a compromise that might grease the skids a little with the governor:

Call it the Donald Dome.

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