We begin Odds & Ends with the news that was pretty much an inevitable story. The
Oakland Raiders were approved by 31 of the league’s 32 owners to move to Las Vegas, Nev., a move that is expected to happen by the start of the next decade. This move will be the third for the team into a third city. The team started in Oakland in 1960 and moved to Los Angeles in 1982 and stayed there until 1994, winning Super Bowl XVIII during their time there.
In 1995,the Raiders returned to Oakland, their birthplace and plan to stay in Oakland until their new stadium in Las Vegas is complete. However, stadium authorities are trying to find a legal way to evict the team and leave them scrambling to find a temporary home. Sam Boyd Stadium on the campus of UNLV, seats 30,000 plus and could be just that if this occurs.
Owner Mark Davis acknowledged that there are some fans in Oakland who will be disappointed, but said his goal in the meantime was to “bring a championship to Oakland.”
“Our goal is to have 32 stable franchises … There has been a stadium situation in Oakland that needed to be addressed … and this has been an issue for well over a decade,” said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell
There has been mixed fan reactions to the move, some are absolutely dissatisfied with the league vote and the Davis’ wishes to leave.
“I just cannot attend any home games. I’ll buy my season ticket, yes but I will not go to any home games this year,” said fan Ken Webb,also known as Afro-deesiac to KGO-TV in San Francisco.
Others will happily follow the team once they reach their new home city.
“It should be a good thing,” said Oscar Medina of Visalia,Calif. to KFSN-TV in Fresno, “Hopefully we can just hop on a plane and go to Vegas and watch the games down there.”
I feel bad for Raiders fans who have to go through this yet again and just as the team has become a good team again they’re off to another city to call home. I know a lot of fans who put up with a lot from this team over the years,espcially the last 15 where they were missing the playoffs over and over again and making poor choices in drafting,coaches,and even in the front office and I can’t imagine how they’re feeling. I also don’t know what they’re going to do in regards to cheering for them in the future, I assume some will follow them when they relocate,I’m sure some will find either find another team or not follow football altogether.
Whatever their choice,it’s the right one for them. I hope I never have to deal with what they’re dealing with in regards to any team I root for currently.
As to the one owner who voted against relocation,that would be Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross,and his reason,in my opinion,is an admirable and the correct one.
“My position today was that we as owners and as a league owe it to the fans to do everything we can to stay in the communities that have supported us until all options have been exhausted,” Ross said in his statement.
He added,“There’s very little public money available for teams today. And if you own a team, you should have the deep pockets to deliver. You need some public money for infrastructure and things like that. But with the costs of stadiums today, our country can’t afford to put all of the money in those things.”
While Ross did try to get public money of his own to renovate the team’s current home, it failed and he ended up funding it himself and the stadium has new life.
Here’s what Ross didn’t do, he didn’t pull his team out of town. He did whatever he had to do to keep them a viable commodity in the community and make sure that his fans knew that Miami was where this team belongs.
In a league where three teams in the last 15 months have either relocated or announced relocation to two different cities, keeping franchises in their existing cities hasn’t seemed like a high priority. Not only that,it makes the league unstable and money hungry all at once. Why show any loyalty to fans in San Diego,St. Louis or Oakland who have supported you through good times and bad when you can allegedly make more money in Los Angeles and Las Vegas with new fans?
Ross’ vote may have been the only objecting one to the Raiders moving yet again,but I think it’s one that fans who have had their hearts ripped out can appreciate.
The free agency journey of Colin Kaepernick continues as the former 49ers quarterback has yet to find a new team despite other,lesser name quarterbacks having achieved that feat.
Kaepernick,29, didn’t have a bad season statistically but it wasn’t his best work,either. He did the best he could under the worst of circumstances for the 49ers (2,241 passing yards, 16 touchdowns,four interceptions). So what could be keeping him from being signed by the 49ers or anyone for that matter?
Could it be his past stance on not standing for the national anthem? Possibly,but he has stated that he isn’t going to do that anymore,and also it’s his right to do it,so if teams have a problem with the first amendment, that’s on them.
NBC Sports Bay Area insider Matt Maiocco reported that teams are shying away from Kaepernick because they question his commitment to football and his vegan diet.
“At season’s end, Colin Kaepernick stated he was fully committed to football. But some teams are unconvinced and wonder about his vegan diet,” said Maiocco on Twitter.
Really? His diet is a football issue? That’s the best you can come up with,rest of the NFL?
Meanwhile,the New Orleans Saints had been talking to a different free agent quarterback,one by the name of Johnny Manziel. Manziel hasn’t played in the NFL since 2015 and if he ever comes back to the NFL,he would probably face a suspension for his domestic violence charges from the past.
Sean Payton,the head coach of the Saints,said while the team is in the market for a back-up quarterback, they may not necessariily be interested in Manziel.
“We met for breakfast,” the Saints coach said on Wednesday, via USA Today. “It was my first time having a chance to talk to him. I’ll leave it at that, that was just what it was.”
While I get that Payton wanted to talk to Manziel to see where his head is at, it gives you an idea on how much teams aren’t interested in Kaepernick,despite his resume. It seems to me like he’s being blackballed by the league.
His head coach last season,Chip Kelly, said that this is the case and that he was a model teammate when he coached him.
“There was zero distraction,” Kelly told The MMQB. “He met with the team immediately after [his first protest]. He met with the other team leaders. He explained his position and where he was coming from. And literally, that was it. Colin was focused on football. He was all about the team and trying to help us win.”
“Do I think he is one of the top 64 quarterbacks in the world? There is no question. Does he have the ability to play quarterback on a winning team in the NFL? There is no question,” Kelly said.
I’m of the hope that teams will wise up and sign this guy at some point,but when you’re being passed up by guys with lesser resumes like Mike Glennon,Josh McCown,and Matt Barkley, and teams are meeting with Johnny Manziel instead of you and teams are finding every excuse possible to avoid meeting with you or signing with you,that can’t be a positive feeling and honestly,something’s gotta give here.
The San Francisco Giants announced two very important contract extensions to two valuable assets of the team, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow.
Kruk and Kuip, as they are affectionately known, have been working together full-time since 1994 and it appears that Giants fans will get to spend more time with these guys for many years to come.
Giants CEO Larry Baer made the announcement at the Play Ball Lunch on Friday.
“It’s hard to overstate what Mike and Duane bring to the community,” Baer said. “It’s much more than broadcasting. It’s a connection.”
While I appreciate that these guys are here to stay for a while,why not give them lifetime contracts? I don’t think either one of these guys is going anywhere or to any other team ever in their lifetimes. Why not give them a contract for life? Even if they’re done with broadcasting, they can come back and be at spring training or speak at public events for the team. I think extending their contracts is nice, but giving them lifetime contracts would be more worth it to them and even the fans.
That’s all for Odds & Ends on this Saturday,we’ll catch you next time!