It appears as if one of the plot lines in one of the sports soap operas of 2019 has come to a resolution. A TV station in the Bay Area announced late yesterday that the Oakland Raiders would play their home games in the Oakland Coliseum for 2019 “at least”. The Raiders’ lease on the stadium expired a week or so ago and their new playpen in Las Vegas is nowhere near ready for action. So, the Raiders were starting to look like the Vagabonds even getting an overture jointly from Tucson, AZ and Birmingham, AL to be their “split home” for 2019. Now there is no need for that…
According to KNBR, the Raiders and the folks in Oakland who manage the Coliseum temporarily put aside the lawsuit filed against the Raiders and the NFL attesting that the entire process of moving the team to Las Vegas was bogus and reached an agreement for the team to play in Oakland this year – – with an option to play there again in 2020 in case the Las Vegas stadium schedule continues to slip. According to the reports:
- The Raiders will pay the Coliseum folks $7.5M for the 2019 season.
- The Raiders will pay the Coliseum folks $10.5M for the 2020 season.
We know that one of the Raiders’ home games (against the Bears) will be played in London this year. That means the Raiders will play 7 regular season games in the Coliseum and presumably 2 more exhibition games there. [Let’s not get carried away and think about potential playoff games in January 2020, OK?] That means the Raiders are paying $833.3K per home event in 2019.
I guess that is a good deal for both sides. That seems like a relatively meager sum for the Raiders to pay considering that they did not have a deal in hand for 2019. On the other hand, that is $7.5M more money in the Coliseum’s coffers than the building would have generated over the course of 2019. So, it appears to be settled; the Oakland Raiders will again be the Oakland Renters for 2019 – – at least.
Christian Hackenberg’s football career continues to circle the drain; he was benched at halftime of last week’s AAF game; and yesterday, Memphis coach, Mike Singleterry, announced that Hackenberg will not be the starter this week for the Memphis Express. In the first half of last weekend’s game, Hackenberg went 8 for 14 for 88 yards and 2 INTs. I saw much of that first half and he looked about as bad as those numbers would imply. Overall, in two-and-a-half games here are his numbers:
- 32 for 62 for 277 yards with 0 TDs and 3 INTs.
Hackenberg was a second-round pick (by the Jets) in 2016 after playing 4 years at Penn State. He never came close to living up to that lofty draft status; he never saw the field in a real NFL game in 2016 or 2017. Then last year he bounced around from training camp to training camp stopping in Oakland, Philly and Cincy before being cut from the Bengals’ practice squad around Halloween. Maybe that elevated position in the NFL Draft was more of a curse than a blessing?
By now, I’m sure you have seen photos of the exploded sneaker that led to Zion Williamson’s “Grade 1 knee sprain”. Photos of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” did not get wider distribution than the exploded shoe has gotten. Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times succinctly put perspective on what that shoe might mean for Nike’s reputation in the future:
“Introducing Zion Williamson’s new Nike sneaker: The Open-Air Jordan.”
According to a report in the NY Post, there could be a new model for sports journalism kicking in this year. Here is the deal:
- Yahoo Sports will create something called the Queens Baseball Club. It will provide inside coverage of the Mets specifically for Mets’ fans. It will have access to batting practice and “insider experiences”. The Queens Baseball Club will rely on coverage by 3 dedicated reporters/writers and the idea is to create a community of Mets fans that use the online mechanism as its place for interactions.
- Members of the club will pay a monthly fee to participate. The NY Post report says the cost will be $4.99 to $5.99 per month.
- Here is the most unusual aspect of this venture. Yahoo Sports will pay the Mets a fee to have the insider access that makes the venture possible in the first place. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that indicates to me that the coverage one might read from the Queens Baseball Club might be very different from what one might gather from other news outlets in NYC.
- The overall Yahoo Sports plan is to replicate this model in other cities and with other teams. The initial focus will be on MLB and NBA teams.
Color me skeptical here – – or maybe I just follow sports differently from other folks. We have here in the DC area something that is like what the Queens Baseball Club could turn out to be except there is no monthly membership dues to pay. Until last summer, Danny Boy Snyder owned and operated one of the sports radio stations in the DC area and several other radio operations in the far-flung suburbs of this area. In addition, we get to see one show written and produced by the Skins themselves on the regional sports network here in addition to several other programs that provide viewers with nominally “inside info”.
The TV programs are simply unwatchable; the coverage of the team is fawning when it is at its most “analytical”. The radio stations were similarly “less than realistic” when covering the Skins but as proof that anything can be made worse, the radio programming actually got worse once Danny Boy sold the whole radio operation to new ownership about 6 months ago. In any event, I cannot see myself paying money – even something as paltry as $5 a month – if my “inside info” is coming to me through news media that is a business partner with the team they are “covering”. Hey, I refuse to watch figure skating; other people find it enthralling. Chacun a son gout.
Finally, let me close today with another observation from Dwight Perry in the Seattle Times:
“Megan Marie, 35, of Kansas City says she posts pictures of stunning panoramic views from her hiking adventures – featuring her naked backside in the middle of them – as a way to make her exes jealous.
“Which certainly qualifies her as an outdoors buff.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………