The Las Vegas Raiders

So the Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas.  The Raiders are not my team so I’m not very interested in what they do.  I don’t care for Las Vegas so I don’t have much concern about what happens there.  But I don’t think this move to Vegas is a good idea.  And I don’t think anything good will come of it.

First of all, this move is just plain douchey.  Raiders fans are some of the most passionate and loyal in the NFL.  I feel bad for the Oakland fans.  This is a slap in the face by the Raiders management.  I’ve only been to the airport in Oakland so I don’t know much about the city.  But it seems like a hometown kind of town.  I bet if you polled adults on the streets of Oakland most of them grew up in Oakland.  It seems blue collar and a little bit gritty.  In other words, it’s my kind of place.  The Raiders are leaving Oakland behind for an artificial tourist town with a large transient population.

Vegas is OK.  You can have a nice vacation there and it may be a great place to retire but it has no character.  There’s no soul to Vegas.  It will be interesting to see if the Raiders will actually gain new fans in Las Vegas.  Seeing as how most of the population is transplanted from outside of Nevada the new Raiders may be a tough sell.  The impression that I have of Nevada outside of Vegas is that it is made up of people that want to live off the grid and take little interest in pro sports.

The city of Las Vegas is planning on building the Raiders a glorious new stadium.  There is something about it that is a bit creepy to me.  It’s like something out of the “Hunger Games”.  The NFL is relying on public funding to help build this stadium.  This happens all over the country and it always upsets me.

The NFL has plenty of money and I don’t understand why they need to turn themselves into high class welfare cases in order to build or renovate their stadiums.  Their excuse is that the team will help the local economy.  That’s true but I don’t think any city’s economy can be based on a sports franchise.  And if the Raiders are really interested in helping a local economy they should be concerned with what they are doing to Oakland’s economy.  Oakland could surely use the financial boost more than Vegas does.  I don’t see why Las Vegas needs the help.

I think the move to Vegas is going to be a big problem for a lot of the athletes.  People pass judgment on pro athletes when they misbehave but they are young, rich, popular and privileged.  I think a lot of them do well in their lot in life considering the temptations that are thrown in their faces.  If I was one of them I sure would have been a holy terror.

So the Raiders want to take their team that is made up of young men that are probably on average aged 27.  The town is known as Sin City and prostitution has been normalized and is legal in parts of Nevada.  Other NFL teams will have to pass through Vegas when playing the Raiders.  Does the NFL really think there will be no drama resulting from this move?  To me it’s really kind of cruel.  The NFL is setting these young athletes up for failure.

For years pro sports didn’t want sports franchises in Vegas because they were worried there would be a conflict of interest between the gambling business and sports.  I don’t understand what changed other than we live in a world where politicians and business leaders have less integrity than they had even a decade ago.  The Raiders had a great season last year but wouldn’t it seem a little fishy if they made it to the Superbowl next year?  A lot of fans already suspect that the NFL is rigged.

Anyway, I hope this all turns into a disaster and I want to see the Raiders try to return home to the bay with their tail between their legs only to find out that their once loyal fans now support the 49ers.  I hope the good people of Las Vegas replace all of their flunky politicians that act in the interest of big business instead of acting in the best interest of the tax paying citizens.

The Reason I’m a Sports Fan – Shannon in Kansas City

It’s time for the NFL Playoffs.  My favorite team, the Detroit Lions didn’t make the Playoffs and my second favorite team the Kansas City Chiefs lost in the second round which ended their season.  Watching sports on TV or in person has become one of my favorite past times.

Sporting events are one of only a few examples of wholesome programming on TV.  Almost everything on television these days is a vapid reality show, a show about murder or something that I consider to be demonic.  I enjoy a few of the Real Housewife shows but all of the subsequent casts have saturated the airwaves with manufactured images of selfish, mean and sometimes violent women.

There are dozens upon dozens of TV shows about murder.  “CSI”, “Forensic Files”, “Snapped”, “The First 48” are all compelling series but geez Louise don’t people get tired of stories about people killing other people.  I sure do.  And all of these shows use graphic and explicit images.  I get it.  He got his throat cut.  I don’t need the bloody visual thank you very much.

Almost everything else on TV is somehow demonic and dark sided in nature.  I don’t have much interest in zombies, vampires or people that communicate with the dead.  At least I’m not interested enough to watch a weekly series about these subjects.

So much of American television programming is devoted to the occult, violence and reality TV that glorifies people for behaving in a way that would never be accepted in day to day life.  It’s great to see a celebration of youth, strength, fitness and hard work.  That’s what sports competitions are to me.

In a largely sedentary country with an obesity problem it’s great to see physically fit people using their bodies to reach accomplishments and earn a living.  Seeing athletes on TV inspires me to get off the couch and move around.  And they all look great.  I have to say that some professional athletes are made of stardust.  Stardust is the active ingredient in all of our dreams.

I think that athletes are so glamorous.  They are young, rich and have the world by the tail.  I love it and I wish it was me.  I know that they are only human and they have personal struggles like we all do.  In fact, when you follow the careers of athletes you know that a pro career is full of struggle.  But I don’t know any of these guys personally and I only know what I see on TV and in the stadiums.  And it is absolutely lovely and inspiring.

Professional athletes are great role models for children and all the rest of us.  They are young, prosperous, athletic and in the prime of their lives.  Many of them came from disadvantaged backgrounds and now they appear before crowds of thousands and millions on TV.  The real stars are attractive, articulate and have a lot of personality.  I sure want to be like that.  I’m constantly working on it.

I’m glad for the NFL, NBA and MLB.  There would be very little worthwhile to watch on TV without it.  And they give us young stars to admire that will one day be legends that we remember with fondness and pride.  In a world filled with divisions the camaraderie amongst fans transcends race and economic background.  It is a thrill to watch a man fight for his pride and childhood dreams.  There is nothing else like it.  I love it!

#ChiefsKingdom #OnePride

 

You Never Know What’s Around the Corner

I watched the Kansas City Royals defeat the Houston Astros in a thrilling game this afternoon.  The Royals came back to earn a Game Five which keeps their World Series hopes alive.  The 2015 Postseason is pretty exciting because there are so many underdogs playing this year.  Over the years the Cubs, the Royals, the Astros have all been sympathetic if not laughable names in baseball.  The Royals had a Cinderella post season but I’m sure a lot of people dismissed last year’s World Series appearance as a fluke.  Now everyone knows that they mean business.

I am absolutely thrilled that we could potentially have a Kansas City Royals vs Chicago Cubs World Series.  I would have never guessed that was even possible two years ago.  That’s what I love about sports.  Sports stories are often metaphors for life.  We never know what blessings are around the corner and we never know where we will be two years from now.  We could be living out lifelong dreams and accomplishing things we never thought were really possible.

I’ve enjoyed the Kansas City Royals since I moved here in 1998.  I didn’t become a fan because they were a very competitive team.  For most of the time I’ve lived here they have been at the bottom of the barrel.  I became a fan because I enjoy going to the games and I developed a soft spot in my heart for them.  The success they had last year really took me by surprise and delighted me at the same time.  And here they are again and they are in it to win it.  I wish them the very best.

If the Royals don’t win the Series I would be consoled if they lost to the Cubs.  I have never followed the Cubs but I know that they are more famous for being perennial losers than anything else.  It does my heart to see them performing well.  I love an under dog.  And if I was a betting woman I would always put my money on the long shot.

Keep chipping away at your hopes and dreams with passion.  You never know when your dedication and hard work may pay off.  Most of us see ourselves as underdogs in some way.  Bet on yourself.  They pay out will be greater.