Raiders to play London home game in 2014, NFL not impressed with Coliseum CIty

The Raiders and the NFL announced yesterday that the team will one of three franchises to host “home” games next season in London’s Wembley Stadium. Jacksonville, which has done this before, and Atlanta will also be “home” teams. It’s an expansion of the NFL’s exposure in Europe. Previous seasons often had only one London fixture, this season has two. Both of this season’s games are sellouts, which likely convinced NFL brass to expand the program.

CSNBA’s Scott Bair notes that the Radiers’ current lease, which ends this season, has a requirement that the Raiders play all home games at the Coliseum. A lease extension would have to be amended to reflect the new arrangement. Of course, the Raiders and the Coliseum Authority first have to agree to basic terms of a new lease, and there are no indicators that the two sides are close to completion of that yet. Owner Mark Davis has made it clear that he wants to tie a lease to a long-term deal that produces a new stadium for his franchise.

Enter today’s Matier & Ross item, which described the NFL as not impressed in Oakland and the JPA’s efforts regarding Coliseum City.

‘The NFL came in a couple of months back to see how the city and county were coming along with their plans and basically rolled their eyes,’ said a source close to the Davis camp, who asked not to be named because of ongoing negotiations in Oakland over a possible replacement for the Coliseum.

Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Davis has chided the JPA about an apparent lack of urgency on their part. Last week’s news that big-pocketed investors including Colony Capital helps their cause. The structure of the deal that pushes out the JPA’s study another 12-18 months doesn’t. That’s probably why the NFL isn’t impressed. They can see right through the public officials’ moves, which are mostly stalling tactics until something drops into their lap. The NFL has not shown patience with that in the past. They want results. Plus they’re fine with Davis talking to anyone who will listen, whether that’s in LA, Concord, wherever.

Moreover, Matier & Ross bring up the idea that if Colony is asked to help subsidize the stadium, they’ll want something out of it. Maybe that means a piece of a team or even a controlling share. That’s not likely to happen on Davis’s watch, as he’s been buying out smaller ownership stakes to further strengthen his hold over the franchise. Perhaps that’s for the purposes of flipping a small minority stake in exchange for a stadium, but no more than that. As we’ve seen with the NFL’s discussions with AEG over Farmers Field, no owner nor the league has any interest in swapping a major ownership stake for stadium rights. I wrote previously that Colony will want to pay as little as possible for a stadium since it’s money pit. This is the opposite of such an arrangement. Whatever the case, Colony didn’t grow to its current size and status by giving things away. The JPA can keep studying the issue until the cows come home. The NFL will remain unimpressed.

65 thoughts on “Raiders to play London home game in 2014, NFL not impressed with Coliseum CIty

  1. Might not matter after that documentary League of Denial on PBS last night. If its assertions were true, which seems very possible, up to 97% of NFL players could be leaving the game with some form of CTE. And if so football’s days as a sport could be numbered. Oakland would be doing itself a favor by stalling on a Raiders Stadium.

    That said it seems more likely that the NFL will make some radical changes to save itself in which case Oakland would still need a stadium. One they still seem to have no interest in really building nor any ability to make happen. And now we’ve got 2 leagues not interested in the Coliseum city plan, and one that seems indifferent.

  2. Given the NFL’s desire to have a permanent team in London, add London to the long list of possible homes for them, long shot notwithstanding.

  3. With NFL team values skyrocketing in the past decade I would not be surprised if Colony takes a “minority” equity stake in the team in return for helping fund the stadium.

    Mark Davis is looking to sell a piece of the team as has been reported but I believe is trying to use that “piece” as a bargaining chip for funding a new stadium….But he would retain controlling interest of course.

    If Colony gets a 20% stake and according to Forbes the team is worth 825M that is 165M in investment that would surely go up once the stadium is completed as the team value would increase.

    So the math would be:

    300M- Raiders
    165M- Colony
    200M- NFL

    Even so they would be short of the 850M number by 185M which is no small number.

    The taxpayers have to pick up 200M for this work in reality. Good luck Mark Davis…You are going to need it to avoid sharing with the 49ers.

  4. re: Might not matter after that documentary League of Denial on PBS last night. If its assertions were true, which seems very possible, up to 97% of NFL players could be leaving the game with some form of CTE.

    …whenever I drive by the 49ers new $1 billion palace (like yesterday, for instance), I ask myself if this is a wise investment, since we’re talking about a game that is destroying the people playing it. Anybody want to sign their kid up for football these days?…As far as Oakland and the Raiders, it looks similar to the A’s situation: The city is just stalling and trying to figure out a way to keep the teams without spending any taxpayer money on new facilities. Good luck with that.

  5. OT: RM, hope you’ve put those idiots on Twitter in their place for blaming Wolff for yesterday’s loss. Back on topic: Coliseum City isn’t even looking good for my Raiders. WTF Oakland and JPA?!!

  6. Matier & Ross: So far, the city of Oakland and the Coliseum Authority have spent more than $3.5 million on studies. But the bottom line is, no matter how you work the numbers, the stadium deal comes up $300 million short – and no one thinks the voters will agree to pay for it.

    …That about says it all.

  7. The NFL has had enough with the Oakland delaying tactics, and is now putting the squeeze on Oakland’s political officials and the Coliseum Authority to come up with a definitive stadium plan for the Raiders, or say goodbye to Oakland. I’m sure MLB is not too far behind to approving a new permanent home for the A’s, as well.

  8. Coliseum City? NFL: “More or less unimpressed.” (George Strait). This is simply another stall tactic by Oakland to try and hold on to the Raiders (and to a lesser extent) the A’s until after the Election. Maybe if the Raiders actually leave for LA, that would cause Quan & Kaplan to wake up to reality?………. Wishful thinking.

  9. @Tony D. I’m no Lew Wolff hater. He’s been an adequate Managing General Partner, but dude does not know when to shut it. He spoke too soon with Fremont and San Jose and set lose a shit storm we may never fully recover from. He chooses his words poorly and upsets fans. I appreciate that he lets Beane and Crowley do their thing, but he’s a complete dud at speaking to the media. His intentions might be good, but the road to hell is paved with those… dude even described the other MLB owners as “kind” people. Have you seen the Tigers’ owner? Dude’s kind according to Wolff.

  10. You mean Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Illitch? Who sells those $5 large pizzas at Little Caesar’s? In addition to providing the country with an inexpensive pizza option (it’s not bad for $5), his ownership of the Tigers and Red Wings provides bright spots in a city that otherwise is not doing very well…

  11. @Briggs–you don’t bite the hand that potentially feeds you—why would LW say anything but good things about others that might be controlling his destiny? As a superstituous sports fan I don’t like anyone counting our chickens before they hatch but he is hardly the first to do so and to have this be another reason for the Oakland only crowd to play the “victim” card is getting old. Personally the negativity from the Oakland only crowd is impacting my A’s buzz–

    Regarding the Raiders–if the NFL is truly not happy with the O than negotiations for a lease extension just got that much more challenging for the JPA–assuming Davis does have an opportunity to bolt—

  12. Here’s a question I never thought I’d have to ask. PJK, are you really calling Little Caeser’s $5 Large Cheese Pizza an act of charity?
    The A’s and Raiders are giving the media/public the impression that they’re laying all their cards on the table pertaining to their respective lease negotiations. The JPA, other than cryptically saying it wants both teams, hasn’t provided any details on their side of the lease negotiations. The A’s are gonna cave because frankly, all of their alternate options suck and their situation is more dire than the JPA’s. The Raiders have leverage with (1) Wanting to build in Oakland/AC, (2) Being able to play at Levi’s and (3) the vague threat of relocation. So again I think the A’s will see the short end of the stick.

  13. Just face it folks!! The Raiders are moving to LA, unless someone gets off their butts and gives the Raiders a viable Stadium offer. The Coliseum City deal is a bureaudcratic boondoggle to try and delay the team into extending its lease.

    I think Davis has given Oakland and the surrounding communities ample opportunity to come up with a solution, and the only one is moving to LA.

  14. Briggs: Compared to the $18 or so that Round Table and Mountain Mike’s charge, the $5 Little Caesar’s pizza is a steal. Pizza Hut is $10; Papa Murphy’s also is about $10. Nobody touches Little Caesar’s as far as price. Illitch also is participating in building a new arena for the Red Wings. I’m not buying into the modern-day propensity to demonize rich people, something that Wolff and Fisher have had to deal with in Oakland.

    …As far as the A”s “caving,” they can just keep on collecting revenue-sharing and nobody is going to force Wolff to build in Oakland if its not financially feasible. Oakland is not offering to build the A’s a ballpark. MLB has not disproven Wolff’s contention that all options have been exhausted in Oakland.

  15. With regards to the A’s, I believe they are looking for every excuse to get out of dodge, if the San Jose lawsuits do not pan out, even though I believe they will.

    I think they will get everything they want from Sacramento.

  16. @briggs,
    You are more than entitled to your opinion re Wolff and Oakland (supposedly) having leverage over the A’s. That is all..

  17. Oh if only Don Perata had won the election 3 years ago.

    Do something or get the hell out of the way!

  18. The Raiders would have to share with the 49ers for at least 5 years and prove it does not work before being let into LA.

    Even then there isn’t any viable stadium offer that pencils out where Davis keeps control of the team or does not have to share it with another NFL franchise in LA.

    If Davis is going to make a capital investment then he will want his own place rather than sharing. This is why the Raiders will never move back to LA because the NFL will force him to share and put in a huge capital investment….Now if Davis sells the team then all bets are off and the team could very well be heading to LA.

    Why make that capital investment to share when he does not have to and can play in Levi’s and share for a fraction of the price?

    As for the A’s, I am praying for them to win tomorrow. The game yesterday was depressing the way it ended.

  19. Sid, the Raiders would have to do no such thing. The NFL can’t really keep them out of LA.

  20. Two questions for you cognoscenti:
    1) Does LA want the Raiders? I don’t think they would be the first choice. A lot of money will need to be invested by someone in LA, and I’m not sure the Raiders are the brand that they would be looking for.
    2) Wasn’t there an NFL Europe? I seem to recall a Barcelona Dragons team, but maybe I am imagining it.

    • @Steve – LA would be happy to have the Raiders if the team didn’t come with the associated baggage and image problem. I suppose they’d prefer the Rams or an expansion team first, then one of the other small markets, then the Raiders. They’re not in the position to pick teams, since they’re not putting any money into a stadium.

  21. Private corporate owners, sucking on cigars, making city governments pony up cash for the luxury of allowing their citizens to get charged steep prices for attending a game that may be no more than an hour of flag football in about 10 years.

    Hope it’s a Cohiba . . .

  22. @Sid, I agree with your scenario. The NFL would much rather have the Raiders remain in the Bay Area and sharing the new Santa Clara stadium with the 49ers, at least as a temporary five year test case, rather than giving them first crack at Los Angeles. I would think that the NFL looks at the current stadium situations for the Chargers and Rams as being more urgent, and either one would be given first consideration for a move to LA. I do believe that in the event that an Oakland or East Bay stadium deal can’t be worked out, and the Santa Clara stadium sharing experiment doesn’t pan out successfully, then the NFL would likely approve the Raiders move to LA as the second team.

  23. I think if a team is going to move to LA the best location would be Hollywood Park. You just need to find a owner who is willing to pay 1 Billion+ for the land and stadium construction. It’s centrally located and won’t have the troubles that a downtown stadium or LA Live location presents. Until than it’s status quo with teams using LA as extortion threat. The NFL would be stupid to try and put two teams in LA. That was part of the problem with the Raiders/Rams taking fans away from each other and lets not forget that outside a couple of great seasons both teams sucked overall. It also did not help that the Rams moved away from it’s traditional fan base prior to the Raiders moving to LA.

    As for London its only a matter of time before an NFL team is relocated or London is granted an expansion. The NFL is going to have to work around game time and advertising. Brits don’t care for adverts (commercials) during sporting events. Both teams better be winners and contribute to their cities or both teams will be relocating again within ten years.

  24. Most of the best professional athletes in the world play for the NFL. It’s an unusually demanding, dangerous sport. One could persuasively argue that a civilized society would not approve it, or legally allow it. But I don’t think that the viewing audience of a PBS special is going to shut it down, no matter how civilized that audience may be. (Personally, I just prohibited my sons from playing football.)

    I overheard two of my colleagues talking about the PBS documentary today. They’re both big Cal football fans; one is married to a Cal prof. They’re smart, well educated and not without clout — in their world. But they’re not the fanatics tuning in on Sundays.

  25. “League of Denial” is just the beginning. I agree with Malcolm Gladwell’s conclusion that well-educated people will slowly prevent their kids from playing football which may lead to a different population of players over time – I’ve already experienced this trend at the prominent private high school my son attends (8 top shelf athletes who played Pop Warner football are not playing high school football because of injury concerns). Moreover, I concur with Gladwell’s suggestion that what is needed to start a big shift is for a big-time athletic/academic program, such as Stanford, to stop playing football is what will eventually happen.

  26. london jaguars

    la rams and la chargers

    toronto bills

    mexico city raiders

    …there goodell fixes the la market and begins the nfl’s dream of global expansion. but honestly as a niners fans i still want to see the raiders stay in the bay area.

  27. OT: nearly spit my coffee out a few minutes earlier watching KTVU morning news. Ahh! The brilliance of the traditional Bay Area media: the excitement of the A’s winning season (which we can all agree with) could lead to a new stadium in Oakland, city and business leaders said. They said similar success lead to new stadiums in Seattle and for the 49ers in SC. Becomes even more true if SJ looses its bid for the A’s in the courts, which looks likely. Intellectual laziness (or stupidity?) Anyone?…

  28. Bay Area media is slowly approaching DFW media status.

  29. KTVU offers a low-information approach to the A’s stadium situation. It’s just 30-second sound bytes with no attempt at in-depth understanding of the issues. No talk of where the money comes from, no naming of private interests willing to build a ballpark in the absence of public funds, etc. In Seattle, FWIW, county voters voted down a new ballpark and the state then came in and figured out a way to pay for it. Think the state of California and Jerry Brown are going to pay for an A’s ballpark after Oakland voters go thumbs-down on public funding, which they most certainly would? The 49ers stadium, meanwhile, got $200 million from the NFL ($200 million more than MLB is offering in Oakland) and $100 million from Santa Clara ($100 million more than Oakland is offering the A’s). The rest is coming from lucrative sponsorships and PSLs, the kind of funding concepts that already have failed in Oakland. KTVU just reports want it wants to hear about the A’s – that a new stadium is on the horizon (even if it isn’t). And, of course, any tossout of the San Jose lawsuit will be reported as “Oakland to keep the A’s forever” by news outlets such as KTVU.

  30. More ranting: The A’s had on-field success in the early-2000s, went to the ALCS in 2006 and have now made the playoffs two years in a row. Based on KTVU logic (of on-field success leading to a new stadium), a new ballpark should have opened about 10 years ago, no? After the fabulous 2006 season, Bud Selig came to town to sit by Lew Wolff as they announced the Fremont stadium plan. We all know how that turned out. Seven years later (yes, it’s been that long) the A’s are still stuck at the Coliseum with no ballpark deal in sight. The A’s have been trying to get a new ballpark for close to 20 years now and nothing is happening. Last-place or first-place finishes in the standings haven’t made any difference. When do Bud and MLB recognize the writing on the wall that the A’s cannot get a new ballpark in their current territory?

  31. “When do Bud and MLB recognize the writing on the wall that the A’s cannot get a new ballpark in their current territory?”

    @pjk, The answer to your question is simple. Whichever comes first, when either San Jose gets standing for the lawsuit, or when a new baseball commissioner gets appointed.

  32. Leverage. MLB is giving Oakland the only leverage they have in this situation. They have none with the Raiders. The Warriors are gone no mater what.
    It’s insane the way the local media can’t see the forest through the trees. Or, won’t admit it and advocate for realistic solutions. It’s so much easier to just demonize team ownership (in the A’s case), champion the dog and pony show that Mark Davis is going through or point out that the Warriors are the “Bay Area’s Team” anyway. Honestly, these guys are a farce. And by these guys, I mean the people who are supposed to enlighten us.

  33. Standing and applauding Jeffrey loudly!

  34. BTW, even The Chronicle is drinking the same Kool Aide as KTVU. All the “Oakland” fans filling up the Coliseum? (Fans from SJ, Tri-Valley, Tri-City will appreciate that one). The city that’s been good to the A’s and baseball for decades? (yeah, thanks for Mt. Davis and all those “viable” proposals over the years!). Let us all be thankful for this blog; quality journalism in the Bay… RIP. GO A’S!!

  35. And who elected Jerry “I will do nothing for the A’s” mayor twice?

  36. These East Coast TV friendly start times are driving me nuts. I’m gonna have to haul ass out of work early and still barely, maybe, maybenot make first pitch. Then there’s the 1pm on Tuesday? I’m running out of excuse to put on my work calendar.

  37. FWIW, the “Build in Oakland only” rants from the East Bay and Frisco media have been going on for years. It’s the same two templates: If the A’s are winning, it proves MLB can work in Oakland. If the A’s are losing, it’s because the bad owners have it in for Oakland, and the team needs to be sold to someone who will build in Oakland. But none of it has convinced MLB to formally select a ballpark site in Oakland. Because no workable solution has been found. Otherwise, Selig would have been happy to march off to Oakland and high-five everybody over the end of his Oakland nightmare. (All Selig has ever done was show up for the press conference for the ill-fated Fremont ballpark project.) So Selig’s Oakland nightmare continues, despite the best efforts of SFgate, KTVU, etc…

  38. I just read Scott Ostler piece. He, rightly, calls out that is basically bullshit. But he wrote it anyway.
    My major problem with the local media on the A’s stadium issue is that they don’t do their homework, in a general sense. Ray Ratto, Scott Ostler, Monte Poole, etc. are not bad writers. I think they are more qualified to write about events on the field than most guys sitting on a bar stool in a sports bar. But not much more, honestly.
    They are intellectually lazy when it comes to the A’s stadium. Matier and Ross call out in the very article that spawned this post that the Raiders “plan” is $300M short. At a stadium site that already exists. That is a monumental shortfall at this stage of the game. But, the fact that they call it out shows they have done some homework. I have yet to read an article by almost anyone but Mark Purdy that isn’t pulled straight out of said writer’s ass. It gets very old to read opinions that don’t acknowledge reality.
    Why aren’t these folks pointing out that even the team that WANTS to stay in Oakland can’t? Because they gave up any shred of authority/high ground on the issue of teams in Oakland long ago and they will still be writing about how screwed over Oakland got by rich dudes in 20 years. Much like people will still be saying JLS is the next big thing and the Oakland crime problem is just a perception issue based on newspaper headlines.
    Let’s just hope, by then, the A’s are playing in a place that is a palace dedicated to baseball in a city that we can all get to when we want to.

  39. Jeffrey – I think you alluded to the problem with the local writers. They are good “sports” writers, but getting a stadium built isn’t about “sports.” It’s business, specifically finance. The local media needs to get their financial writers on this topic. Then we’ll get some insightful analysis. In the meantime, it’s like having the restaurant critics writing about the politics of farm subsidies. Sure it’s related to food, but a totally different discipline.

  40. The East Bay and Frisco media refuse to acknowledge the economic giant that is the South Bay. They won’t recognize that privately financing a ballpark in San Jose is doable but doing so in Oakland is not. Anyway, they are of the mind that the rich, greedy owners are rich enough and don’t need to make a return on their investment, anyway.But I read a column by one of these guys, as I’ve said, who really believes Wolff would make his money back by building a ballpark privately in Oakland and then selling the team for a bundle. That bundle won’t be so big if the franchise comes attached with a mortgage on a stadium that doesn’t generate enough revenues to pay the bills.

  41. I don’t know what’s worse: Ostler’s bull shit or the commenter’s who think his article is “great.” Enough for now…see yall on the other side of tonight’s game and GO A’S!!!

  42. If only people could see that good business deals have nothing to do with winning or on-the-field success. If that was the case, the A’s would have had a new stadium by the middle of the 2000’s, capped with the 2006 ALCS appearance.

  43. Losing Sucks!! but loved what this team was about–loved the chemistry and passion for the game–that will carry us to the top if we can keep it together–it is our winter of discontent—hopefully the Sharks change that–Go A’s–Go Sharks!!

  44. I actually harbored thoughts of getting a new A’s jersey with a “World Series Champions” patch next month, SI commemorative edition, WS ball caps, etc..F**K THIS SUCKS! At the moment can’t even reflect on how “great” this season was. And so another off season begins, with the never ending dream of a new yard continuing…

  45. Tonight’s stung a little more than usual. Was it because it came at the hands if Verlandermort? No, although I hate his ass more than the Yanks now. Was it because of the 2 hour parking adventure for STH holders? No, rush hour traffic + Pink Floyd concert + A’s ALDS finale : gridlock hell, but everyone stuck around me was pretty kool. What worried most out of all of this was that somehow JQ and the JPA will have the audacity to not renew the A’s contract therefore it may be the last A’s game I watch in person for a while! 😦

  46. As to the NFL and the PBS special: A program making claims is not in itself proof of anything. Unfortunately when a claim of “97%” is made it can quickly become accepted as fact within the general public.

    The story itself will be shunned as much as possible by much of the mass media. We are talking about A LOT of money that directly affects companies that control a significant portion of the mass media. NBC? Fox? Others? Televising NFL games is a big deal to these information gateways (NFL TV ratings totally blow away virtually anything else on TV). Websites, radio, non game TV programming, betting/fantasy among others, we are talking about a lot of businesses that live and die from the umbrella of the NFL/football. And in a capitalist society this kind of huge money generation is not given up without a big fight. So, ultimately, companies are not going to repeatedly run stories that will so adversely affect their business. Ironically PBS had a special many years ago, hosted by Martin Sheen, that addressed this very issue. It spoke to huge corporations owning mass media outlets and how they would avoid running stories that could greatly affect their business.

    Where is the line drawn for injury related occupations/sports? Boxing/MMA, Hockey, auto racing, soccer, even baseball (pitches to the head, pitchers getting hit from line drives). Is it ok that auto racers die as long as they don’t frequently receive concussions? Is it ok that severe head injuries are rare in baseball but can be gruesomely severe when a hardball is hit at above 100 MPH off of a pitcher’s head (and while rare they are certain to happen on occasion)? How about soccer, how many ‘head-ings’ of the ball is acceptable before the brain may be materially affected? Boxing is clearly a head injury sport as is Hockey to a lesser degree. As a society if we are going to make certain dangers of the NFL impermissible, it cannot and will not stop at the NFL. For that matter why just sports?

    I believe the NFL will continue to make rules changes that will minimize head injury. I believe it will affect the type of game that is played (the game has already changed very significantly from these rule changes). Will this affect the NFL’s incredible popularity? Not in the least bit so far. There’s lots of interesting questions and considerations surrounding the issue. Ultimately I do not agree with those who think the NFL is in trouble. Come back 5 to 10 years from now and I’d bet a year’s worth of mortgage payments NFL revenues will have continued to grow, nielsen ratings for NFL games will continue to dwarf other sports as well as general TV programs. As to the question of the pool of candidates playing football (kids avoiding football), I have my doubts there will be much of an affect unless high schools and colleges simply stop having football programs. As long as they do and as long as being a football players is the highest of alpha status symbol, there will remain a steady stream of candidates. Will some avoid it? Sure but the pool will remain significant.

  47. The “only in Oakland” and Lew Wolff haters are having a field day on twitter.

  48. TW I agree 100% with what you said. One more point is this, no one is putting a gun to people’s head to force them play College (and perhaps Pro Football if they are good enough) any more then they are forcing them to join the military or a Law Enforcement entity (where they might get…. wounded or worse, killed!). Frankly, if I could have gotten a Stanford Degree, which may be worth millions over time, but the price involves lots of practices and getting crunched by a Linebacker on Game Day (instead of owing six figures worth of Student Loans), I would have done it.

  49. @Anon: Pink Floyd? No no no man… just Pink. Huuuge diff.

  50. TW and David, you both make comparisons between football and other sports like baseball or other professions like law enforcement. Problem is you’re both dealing in false equivalency (at least as far as the NFL and other football leagues are arranged and played today). A police officer does not sign up for his job expecting to get shot or killed. It’s a very remote risk he assumes, but it is not part of the job to be shot nor is it a risk a police department actively tries to hide from incoming officers. Same thing with baseball, getting beaned in the head or getting hit with a comebacker is not a regular part of the game on a daily basis nor something most players will even experience over a career. It is again a risk that they assume joining the sport that has an outside chance of happening but is not something they walk on the field expecting to occur.

    With football the CTE causing plays occur pretty much every down. As the game is played today these injury causing plays are part of the very heart of the game. This is where football and boxing are the same, they’re both sports where the very nature of the sport causes CTE and similar symptoms. And we all know what’s happened to boxing. It was once one of the pinnacle sports in this country but watching the degradation of the men who got in the ring and came out punch drunk shells of their former selves like Ali have all but killed it. Now kids don’t grow up by and large going to gyms to box. Football will suffer the same fate as more and more former players are shown publicly suffering the ill effects of a lifetime of mental damage. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen unless the NFL makes changes. And not the little half measures they’ve taken to date, but some real changes.

    Maybe I’m more aware of the dangers both boxing and football share having seen the end result of both in my late-Parkinson’s suffering grandfather from boxing or my wife’s godfather who has been living with dementia and Alzheimer’s which onset earlier than normal due in no small part from his time playing for the Raiders.

  51. OT: Anyone in the mood to get even more pissed off? Read Kawakamis piece on how Verlander has the A’s number. Two hints: Sandoval and Zito. I’ve already sent him a kind note..

  52. Kawakami: Giants PR rep.

  53. Heh. If it was Floyd, we’d have all been over there drowning our sorrows in the smokey atmosphere.

  54. OT: the A’s need some experienced pen arms. Doo, Cook etc are good but no experience. had to win game 4 there when they took the lead.

    Kawakami is a fake/fraud. I am counting down to the day SFChron and Merc die. The media is useless these days.

  55. The A’s had a great season but Bud Selig’s legacy looms large here.

    That legacy is “spend big to win big”.

    Oakland, Tampa Bay, and Pittsburgh had fine seasons. But big market LA, St. Louis, Boston, and Detroit move on and its simply because of the system that has been setup by Selig.

    In order to win the playoffs you need veterans. Detroit has a ton of them across the board with major playoff experience. The A’s? While they do have playoff experience they are no where near the Tigers in this regard.

    This is why the A’s need to move to San Jose ASAP. They can attract quality veteran players and keep the ones they are grooming. They can maximize their 10M person TV market and finally be what they need to be….A big market team competing for titles.

    Until then, this will keep happening as last night proved. My hope was the A’s avoided the Tigers until the ALCS so that Verlander could only go twice in 7 games and not 5.

    In any case, it was a great season. But temper expectations as the A’s as long as they stay in the Coliseum and Oakland will never break through like the Giants did last season for a WS title.

    Big market teams and small market teams drool……Bud Selig’s legacy.

  56. Anyone else find it ironic we consider Detroit a ‘big market’?

  57. Detroit has a brand new, taxpayer-funded stadium and no MLB competition anywhere nearby. The A’s play in a deteriorating football stadium while a shining jewel of a stadium sits 12 miles away. Big difference. Comerica Park is 63% publicly funded, as opposed to the 0% the A’s would get in Oakland. The same 0% holds true in San Jose, but the corporate dollars are there to make up for the lack of public dollars. Detroit is one of the dozens of cities in MLB that needed a new ballpark in the last 20 years and got it done. Oakland cannot get it done.

  58. Detroit has 11 Fortune 500 companies to Oakland’s 1. Detroit has a TV market all to itself (the 11th largest in the country). I know the city has had difficulty, is shrinking, but really… They have a better ability to capitalize on their market than the A’s do on the Bay Area, by a long shot. AND, they have the only owner who follows the Haas formula, spending as much as 90% of revenue on big league payroll.

  59. Kawakami blocked me on twitter for asking him real questions. I got no time for dickbag writers without the balls to face criticism.

  60. What did you ask him?

  61. Detroit does not have 11 Fortune 500 Companies. The Detroit Metropolitan area may well have 11–if you count everything from Auburn Hills to Ann Arbor. But if you’re going to include those, then you need to include a whole bunch of Bay Area companies within 35-45 miles of Oakland as well.

  62. @Briggs – lol, I thought it was PF since it was an older crowd around us….

  63. Also Detroit’s stadium while newer than many is not ‘brand new’. It is almost 15 years old.

  64. The Tigers have a modern-era, contemporary ballpark with all the bells and whistles to attract fans. It opened the same month as ATT Park. The A’s play in a nearly-50-year-old, deteriorating, sewage-spewing football stadium. A bit nitpicking to pick on my use of the phrase, “brand new,” wouldn’t you say?

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