Is there a such thing as too loyal?
The Davis family looks to be turning their back on the city of Oakland and East Bay Raider fans, again.
All the talk about the Raiders potentially moving to Las Vegas, or possibly staying put, makes people lose sight of the three real issues at hand
- The strong armed robbery pro teams commit against host cities
- How do the people really feel
- Are we obligated to stay loyal if a team bolts?
I’ve covered my feelings on wealthy owners getting over on regular citizens ad nauseam, in previous articles. So click the link and catch up and meet me back here when you catch up.
The two main things I need to cover goes as follows:
Should one become neutral, switch teams, or stay loyal to the logo you love. Because that’s what you love. The players come with the territory, and aren’t the main reason you follow the team. Most of us became fans of a certain team because they represent the city we grew up in. Or because a favorite family member you grew up with, loved them; i.e. a father, grandparents, even an older sibling. Whatever your reason, we tend to become blinded with loyalty after a certain stage of fandom. And let’s face it, a large percentage of fans don’t care about the behind the scenes angle anyhow, just show them the product. That’s exactly what these billionaire owners bank on.
You see, as tax payers we are on the hook for shiny new stadiums and arenas that our favorite team plays in just a few times a year, for 3 hours at a time. But what about the people who don’t watch sports? This isn’t fair to them. They feel tax dollars should go toward real life issues, such as crime prevention, or schools. Even the repair of roads. In fact, voters in Oakland, Ca. have keeping the Raiders ranked 18th on the city priority list. So, what about when said team decides they want an even more expensive home because they perceive the existing one isn’t good enough? What if they refuse to foot the bill? What if they want to go to another city or state to find a new home?
In a relationship would you stay loyal to someone who wants to now make it a long distance relationship after failure to compromise?
Sticking with the girlfriend analogy, if the Raiders were my girlfriend this would be the equivalent to a 3 decade long, shitty relationship. She refuses for years to clean up her act, never treats me right, but I stay loyal because what if one day she becomes the best thing to ever happen to me. Well the day has arrived, but she notified me she’s thinking about moving to Las Vegas because there’s a guy who can give her the world there.
Sounds pretty F’d up right? right. What’s the point? I’m not exactly sure thats my point. Seems easier not to be loyal to a team (or a person) who isn’t loyal out of greed. As fans what do we really get out of the deal of rooting for a team anyway?
Lets break this down:
- Profit from tickets, gate, concession stands, parking, merchandise
- Bragging rights against fellow wealthy owners
- Control of team
- Free Arenas/Stadiums
- Increased net worth
- Bragging rights amongst friends and strangers
- Topics of conversation
See the shift in emotion? Everything we do as fans, involve lining the pockets of someone we’ll never meet. Someone who says they care about the fans but really only cares about our dollar. We buy the gear, we buy tickets, we buy (over priced) food, and get to root from afar. Simple economics and simple business. Supply and demand. Funniest part about all of this is, we hold all the power. Our dollar is the power, but the average consumer is undisciplined—gives up their dollar for nothing. For a promise of a good time.
So is it better to root for no one, save your money and keep your blood pressure low? There’s always fantasy. At least with that, there’s potential for profit. I’m in a peculiar situation myself. My team wants out of my native city. I moved far away from home in pursuit of better quality of life. If the Raiders leave Oakland am I obligated to stay loyal? I’m a native Oaklander before I’m a member of The Nation. Do I root for the team in my new city? Or do I become neutral? As much as I hate the Raiders owner, I’m not sure. Ironic and interesting thought.
My beloved Golden State Warriors have also decided they want no parts of Oakland. After 48 years of loyalty from East Bay fans, the new regime has decided they want the bright lights of San Francisco. To the smart fan, we know they want the corporate dollar. Just like in every sport when a team wants out, they provide statistics. Stats which claim where “fans” really come from to drive to the game. Who provides these statistics? Thats right, the people who want out.
When Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber took over the team in 2010 two out of the three initial meetings were held across the bridge. The people who hate Oakland complain about crime, and call the citizens names, shit on the city, but never step foot within city limits. Never talk of any positivity in said community. Highlight only what fits the narrative. Much like the news and black peo…nevermind. Anyway, be a vintage human being and help clean up what you don’t like.
In life, people only complain about the things they can change.
Speaking of San Francisco, how do you think the citizens really feel about their team being ripped from them in the name of the bigger corporate dollar of Silicon Valley—while the team still uses their likeness?! Showing pictures and scenes from The City but the game is even close. That’s right, the San Francisco 49ers really play in Santa Clara, an hour away without traffic. And when isn’t there traffic in the Bay Area?
When are you too loyal? Buying season ticket, purchasing merchandise for a team that are historically losers is tap dancing on the line. Meaning, the owner doesn’t care enough to put a winning franchise out there for you to enjoy, because you’re going to line his pockets regardless.
While you’re keeping the lights on for many people, owners, players, staff and the like, you aren’t getting any return on your emotional investment. Or your financial investment for that matter.
Maybe I’m taking all the fun out of sports right now and making you do something we’re trained not to do; think.
Or maybe I just planted a seed…
Writer for TheCouchSports.com, LiveFromWoodward.com, & PTA. Editor, and Co-Host of The Couch Sports Podcast, and a Certified Beardsman.