Chances are you have not been following the feud between the New Jersey Devils and Newark mayor Cory Booker, unless you are a Devils fan and a New Jersey political junkie, which is to say, unless you are Joe Piscopo. That's a shame. It's one of the more publicly bitter city vs. owner feuds we've seen.
A quick synopsis: Newark and the Devils have had a long-running dispute over Prudential Center parking revenue. Last week, arbitrators ordered the team to pay the city $14.7 million in back rent, but they also said the city owes the team $15.3 million in parking revenue. In response, Booker—a "genius," according to Oprah Winfrey—called Devils managing partner Jeff Vanderbeek a "highfalutin huckster and hustler" who came to Newark with a "mouthful of promises and pocketful of lies." Booker later claimed he had been denied tickets to Bruce Springsteen's sold-out performance next month at the Prudential Center, though the Devils plead their innocence. Then—wouldn't you know it?—there suddenly were way fewer police officers at the Devils' next home game.
Here's the Star-Ledger:
Top police brass would not say how many were cut, but a smaller contingent of uniformed officers around The Rock was evident to Devils fans at Saturday's sellout game, some of whom said they had trouble crossing streets.
Booker acknowledged that police had been reassigned.
"Obviously I'm not going to deny that the timing looks like a reaction (to the arbitration ruling)," he said. However, Booker claimed the decision has been a long time coming.
Hucksters! Parking lots! Bruce tickets! The story is so New Jersey you can almost smell the Tag body spray coming off the words.