Dear Oakland, and Everyone Else

 

picsart_03-27-09-16-34.jpg

Lets be completely honest right now. I mean gloves off, emotion out of it (at least for a couple of paragraphs), it’s mostly people that’s NOT from Oakland or who never even been to Oakland, hollering that “I’m a fan no matter what” shit. Lets be clear, Oakland needs a lot of help financially, and if the rich ass owners, and the multi-Billion dollar NFL, and every person who complains about The Town don’t want to help a city in need, but hold the citizens for ransom over a stadium, then bounce for the corporate dollar anyway, then FUCK YOU!

Raiders turned their back on Oakland twice! Twice! At the end of the day they made a business move, and I’m making one too. I don’t have to support shit. At the end of the day, I rep Oakland, and we don’t have to hang our heads over RICH FUCKS WHO DONT CARE ABOUT THE CITIZENS. 

And as far as the fanbase in Oakland, from Oakland, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GO TO ANY OF THESE GAMES. MARK THINKS HE WILL PLAY IN OAKLAND UNTIL HIS SHINY NEW PROFIT MAKER IS BUILT, in 2019.

Let’s keep it a stack, since we are being honest. All the money the NFL and each owner has, why does every host city have to pay for a stadium, and everything to go with it, and don’t get not a nare discount? The owner gets the profits from ticket sales, concessions, parking, jersey sales, and what does the fan get? That’s an honest question. What does the fan get? 

What about the citizens who are stuck paying for a stadium via taxes, who don’t like sports? Am I being too real right now? I really could care less, because all I’m seeing is people who didn’t mind seeing the great citizens of Oakland, Ca. get screwed for the sake of, 3 hours, for 8 Sundays, in a calendar year worth of entertainment.

If anything, I just hope Mayor Libby Schaaf makes great decisions, for the future of what is — the pulse of the Bay Area.

In conclusion, Mark Davis never wanted to be there, the Las Vegas citizens will get screwed on this deal everyone thinks is so sweet (on the surface), and Oakland, Ca deserves better than the treatment it’s received from sports owners, and people who complained, but never helped.

I’m a proud man from The Town until the day they bury me. I love you Oakland!

-Ex Raiders Fan

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It’s Called Karma

Well, well, well. Look he has to come crawling back.

 

So the sky is falling for Mark Davis after he tried to do a backdoor deal behind the back of the most powerful man in Las Vegas, Sheldon Adelson, on January 30.

And now word comes down that long time business associates of Adelson, Goldman Sachs is pulling out today.

Adelson had this to say about the deal, “It was certainly shocking to the Adelson family,” the statement said. “We were not only excluded from the proposed agreement; we weren’t even aware of its existence.”

Earlier this month, Raiders representatives told the Stadium Authority board that construction would be financed by Goldman Sachs — with or without the Adelsons as partners.

Now the deal is on the verge of falling apart, and Mark Davis and the Raiders may have to come crawling back to Oakland. Ronnie Lott and his financial group released a statement earlier today stating:

lott

From what I’ve been reading, the Raiders and San Diego may have mutual interest in each other. At the end of the day, we all know Mark Davis is getting his spin filled speech ready for the city of Oakland.

The Couch Sports Podcast EP. 43

Show Highlights include: Oakland better not support the Raiders if Vegas is approved, there is a such thing as too loyal, Monkey see — monkey do in the NBA, mid 90’s rap (us singing all the jams), Generation X vs Millennials, Black People waking up and more! We had to much fun!!

https://soundcloud.com/thecouchsportsradio/podcast-ep-43

 

OR

 

84 Ghetto Hoops

 

 

Fading (California) Dreams

Who doesn’t California give a fuck about?

guy-pointing

Thats right you!

 

I wrote before about all the loyalty we show to the state, that it never reciprocates—I’m not sure y’all got the message. You see, I left. I bounced. I kicked rocks. I’m trying to get others to see the light.

My gripe is with the over-priced homes, you may never attain. You thought paying $3200 for an apartment was bad. What about when you want to own?

 

Lets take a look at the bullshit what California has to offer:

San Francisco

san-francisco-housing

The cheapest house is in a neighborhood that’s still in the middle of gentrification. Get it while it’s hot, this whole city will soon only be for the rich.

Oakland

oakland-housing

I spent a big chunk of my life here. All my life it was the place the rest of the Bay Area would shit on. Treated it like the worst city in the state. Now all the hipsters are flocking here. Driving up rent. Driving up housing cost. Making it like the rest of the Bay—unaffordable. Paying over half a million dollars for 1200 square feet of house!

 

Sacramento

sacramento-housing

Some call it the last affordable city in California. That title will be gone really, really soon.

 

Los Angeles

los-angeles-housing

 

The main reason most people outside of the state think California is a big vacation. Then they move, and become homeless. L.A. isn’t far from it’s Northern neighbors in price. $300,000 house still sit in bad neighborhoods. But… the California dream, and comfortable thought of laying on beaches keep people in financial jail.

 

 

It would be irresponsible of me to show you the problem, and not give you,

Solutions:

 

Las Vegas

las-vegas-housing

All positives here. It’s the very next state over. That kills your, “what about my friends and family”  argument. Very, affordable place, with a lot to do. And hell nah, I’m not talking about gambling. If you do it right, you can take your California money and buy a house, out-right. Cash!

 

Phoenix

phoenix-housing

We’re getting a little further I know, but you only get one life. Do you want to continue to slowly financially drown? Same thing as Vegas. Very affordable. And you are not far from home base.

 

New Orleans

new-orleans-housing

This place is arguably more affordable than Texas. Plus live a little. New Orleans is on a upswing, be apart of something.

 

Detroit

detroit-housing

Oh I know what you think. Exactly what the mainstream media told you to think. And that’s ok. I like that, this place is a big secret. The major comeback is on for this place, and by the time the media hands you your next opinion tells you it’s ok to be here, it’ll be far too late. You could literally take two or three pay checks and buy a house cash!! Put it this way, Detroit is the reason I’ll never move back to my native state.

 

And then there’s this:

migration

 

The problem is, like most Humans, Californians hate change. Most won’t move. They’ll just continue to take the abuse, because, well it’s all they know. People get comfortable. Convenient excuses like, family or friends are thrown at the proverbial wall, in hopes it will stick. But one day it won’t, and it’ll be too late.

This post is dedicated to those who want out. Those who see the bullshit and are tired of it.  

If you don’t like the chapter in life you’re in, turn the page and start a new one. If you’re still not feeling where you are, close that book and pick up another!

Is There a Such Thing As too Loyal?

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

  1. The strong armed robbery pro teams commit against host cities
  2. How do the people really feel
  3. 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:

Team Owner

  • Profit from tickets, gate, concession stands, parking, merchandise
  • Bragging rights against fellow wealthy owners
  • Power
  • Say-so
  • Control of team
  • Free Arenas/Stadiums
  • Increased net worth

Fans

  • Bragging rights amongst friends and strangers
  • Entertainment
  • 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…

Football Season Predictions

 

Here we are, finally, football season. 32 sets of fans beaming with hope in their eyes. Some feeling as though this year is the year for a break out season, others expecting total domination. And the rest of you… you know what’s coming; but it’s fun to dream right?The first game will be Thursday, a Super Bowl rematch between:

Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos

Expectations will reach it’s proverbial peak Sunday morning, with the bulk of the NFL set to rumble. So, with out further ado, I present to you, my season win-loss predictions, division winners and Super Bowl champion!

AFC East 

W L T % PF PA   H   A CON DIV STRK
Buffalo Bills  7 9 0 0 0 4-4 3-5 4-8 2-4
Miami Dolphins  5 11 0 0 0 3-5 2-6 2-10 1-5
New England Patriots  11 5 0 0 0 6-2 5-3 9-3 5-1
New York Jets  9 7 0 0 0 6-2 3-5 7-5 3-3

 

AFC West 

W L T % PF PA   H   A CON DIV STRK
Denver Broncos  9 7 0 0 0 5-3 4-4 5-7 3-3
Kansas City Chiefs  8 8 0 0 0 5-3 3-5 4-8 2-4
Oakland Raiders  10 6 0 0 0 5-3 5-3 7-5 5-1
San Diego Chargers  7 9 0 0 0 4-4 3-5 3-9 1-5

 

AFC North 

W L T % PF PA   H   A CON DIV STRK
Baltimore Ravens  5 11 0 0 0 3-5 2-6 4-8 2-4
Cincinnati Bengals  11 5 0 0 0 6-2 5-3 8-4 5-1
Cleveland Browns  4 12 0 0 0 3-5 1-7 2-10 1-5
Pittsburgh Steelers  9 7 0 0 0 6-3 3-5 6-6 4-2

AFC South 

W L T % PF PA   H   A CON DIV STRK
Houston Texans  5 11 0 0 0 3-5 2-6 3-9 3-3
Indianapolis Colts  10 6 0 0 0 6-2 4-4 7-5 6-0
Jacksonville Jaguars  8 8 0 0 0 4-4 4-4 6-6 3-3
Tennessee Titans  6 10 0 0 0 4-4 2-6 2-10 2-4

 

NFC East 

W L T % PF PA   H   A CON DIV STRK
Dallas Cowboys  9 7 0 0 0 6-2 3-5 6-6 4-2
New York Giants  9 7 0 0 0 4-4 5-3 5-7 3-3
Philadelphia Eagles  6 10 0 0 0 2-6 4-4 0-0 2-4
Washington Redskins  7 9 0 0 0 4-4 3-5 4-8 2-4

 

NFC West 

W L T % PF PA   H   A CON DIV STRK
Arizona Cardinals  10 6 0 0 6-2 4-4 6-2 3-3 0-0
Los Angeles Rams  4 12 0 0 3-5 1-7 3-9 1-5 0-0
San Francisco 49ers  3 13 0 0 2-6 1-7 2-10 2-4 0-0
Seattle Seahawks  12 4 0 0 6-2 6-2 8-4 5-1 0-0

 

NFC North 

W L T % PF PA   H   A CON DIV STRK
Chicago Bears  7 9 0 0 0 3-5 4-4 5-7 2-4
Detroit Lions  7 9 0 0 0 4-4 3-5 6-6 3-3
Green Bay Packers  11 5 0 0 0 6-2 5-3 9-3 4-2
Minnesota Vikings  5 11 0 0 0 3-5 2-6 2-10 2-4

 

NFC South 

W L T % PF PA   H   A CON DIV STRK
Atlanta Falcons  9 7 0 0 0 5-3 4-4 6-6 4-2
Carolina Panthers  11 5 0 0 0 6-2 5-3 8-4 6-0
New Orleans Saints  8 8 0 0 0 6-2 2-6 4-8 2-4
Tampa Bay Buccaneers  5 11 0 0 0 3-5 2-6 3-9 2-4
 After all the dust of the regular season has settled, I have the Green Bay Packers beating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. I believe this to be the year of Aaron Rodgers.

Stadiums, Billionaires & Tax Payers

 

 

Imagine this….

We are sitting with my architect, who is showing us the building plans for my soon-to-be-built 5-bedroom, 6-bathroom 7,000 square-foot vacation house. This home boast a gourmet kitchen with countertops made in France, lace-stenciled marble backsplash made in Italy, custom walnut cabinetry, a 9-burner industrial gas range, a built-in side-by-side refrigerator complete with 2-kegerators to fill with your choice of beverages, a   9- by 5-foot island and a pantry the size of most peoples’ living room. I ask, “So, what do you think?”  You look at me and say exactly what I thought  you would…”Man, this is amazing!!! I can’t wait to come over and see it when it’s all done!! Then you ask me the question that’s really burning a hole in your head…”Man, I know you’re loaded and easily have more than enough cash to make this thing a reality, but humor me, how much does something like this cost?” Well, that’s why I called you to come and sit down with me and my architect….”I would like to know when I can count on you to help fund it, and by help I mean foot the bill…. Oh, and I’m going to charge you and everyone else a small fortune to park here, eat here and use my bathroom. One more thing… I’m going to need (and by need I mean require) you to purchase memorabilia for you and your family every time you come into this house at an astronomical price, without ever expecting any type of discount or promotion. Sounds like a great idea, I know. Hey you can thank me later. Right now, I need you to go out there and make sure you get this money for my house. Now listen…I’m giving you this opportunity to give me the money, because I know you are loyal and really want me to stay here, but-truth-be-told, I don’t want to be here, the kids do. Hey, if this doesn’t happen now, I’ll put my own money into another house in the next state over…matter fact, even if the house here does happen, the kids will be grown in a few years…..What’s a guy like me to do…..

In my humble opinion that’s what it feels like when I hear Billionaire NFL owners ask for a stadium they claim to need. One that they can fund themselves, but want regular citizens to pay for.  This subject takes the shine off of our love affair with sports I know, however this is a very important topic of conversation. In the grand scheme of things; surviving and providing food and shelter is much more important than where your favorite team plays. Keeping your team in town sounds great, but at what cost?

Quick history lesson, I’ve been a Fan of the Raiders since… well forever. Since my existence really. In 1995 the team moved back to my hometown of Oakland, Ca and I was elated to say the least. They Moved to Los Angeles the year I was born, but I knew where they originated, I knew where they belonged. It’seems no secret the once mighty Oakland Raiders and the city of Oakland have been at odds for many years on a new stadium. Mark Davis, who inherited the team from his father, the late Al Davis, wants to relocate the team. Anywhere. All the rumors and talks suggest Davis wants free land from the city of Oakland , and all the proceeds that parking, ticket sales, concession sales, and PSL’s provide. However with his latest flirtation with Las Vegas, Davis is willing to relocate the team, pledge $500 million of his own money and hope to become a NFL tycoon. Like many fans of this storied franchise we want the team to stay put, and have this matter resolved, and that seems so simple on the surface. Conventional wisdom says, a rich man and a city that has three professional teams should just draft up plans, and wallah! A new shinny facility for fans, the team, the owner and city can be proud of.  Not even close to being the case.

The Facts and Nothing but the Facts

The city of Oakland is still paying back nearly $80 million in bonds, from stadium renovations that took place in 1995– and won’t be done paying until 2026. Mark Davis Wants a $900 million stadium, that he said he would put up $500 million of his own money up, and the public needs to come up with the remaining $400 million. Then Mark Davis changed his tune and toned it down to $300 million because the NFL offered up $300M; $100 more than previously offered. One can ask if Mark Davis can offer to put up $300 million of his own money (he’s  worth $500 million), the NFL will contribute another $300M, then why can’t Davis utilize one of 20-plus fortune 500 compinies in the Bay Area? Surely he can negotiate naming rights, or advertisement,  or even sale luxury boxes. Why does he need money for something that would be used  8 times a year, when this city has so many needs and should be used to fix infrastructure, public saftey, and schools among other things. You’re a wealthy man (compared to the population), I’m sure you can get this done without us.

Owners wants new stadiums to make more money and increase the value of the franchise, thus increasing their own personal net worth. In the past 20 years the United States has built 101 new sports facilities, costing billions of the publics money. With Studies showing these stadiums/arenas don’t provide the jobs, or provide the economic boost to any given city as promised, the question begs why are we providing funding for the wealthy? So they can provide entertainment for us in a venue we payed for? With team success the owners are the ones who’s net worth increases, not ours–and certainly not our cities.

 

Emotionally Invested

I’ll be the first to admit, my emotions were and to some extent, still are intertwined into teams I grew up rooting for. Difference is, these days I can take a step back and look Bullshit in the face and call it out. There was a time, not long ago when I would have done anything to keep the Raiders here in Oakland. No, there will never be discounted tickets in exchange for loyalty, there will never be a system in place to park free after so many games attended. The fans get nothing back from a team you spend hard earned dollars on other than, hope. My favorite four letter word. Hope will bring you high it’ll take you low, yes hope will have you begging a fucking wealthy, mini van driving, bad hair cut having owner, to keep your favorite team in the city you love:

 

Watch all the emotion on display. While Mark Davis eats it all up. You know what a rich man lives more than money? People making him feel wanted. Groveling. I say you take a step back, look at the big picture of life,  and make him and the NFL pay for it or let them walk.  Real fans are being priced out anyway.  Watch from home like I do. No traffic afterwards.

 

 

 

The Myth of Job Creation & Economic Boost 

Not sure if you heard,  but rent in Oakland has jumped, tremendously.  The Town that only natives once loved, has become the new “it” place for hipsters and people trying to escape the $4500 a month rent in San Francisco. Problem is they’ve drove the rent up to $2700 a month in Oakland. Citizens who work blue collar jobs, or live below poverty level are too busy surviving or providing the basics to pay $40 for parking on top of the already pricey ticket cost. Jobs that pay decently aren’t abundant as it is, and the jobs pro sports teams do provide for regular people are low skilled,  thus low paying. So when all the hoopla about how many jobs this new stadium will provide think of this:  An NFL team plays at home 8 times a year. So these jobs serving beer and nachos to rowdy people who are wearing another man’s last name on their back, are only paying $8 an hour. Maybe $9. And they may work 3-5 hours on a particular Sunday. In the NBA they’ll work 48 days. You do the math. The economic boost? Where? Maybe to a couple bars around or near the stadium. Maybe. People are staying home these days. Which is a lot cheaper option. It’s amazing to think about how many city governments, who have people in need, give wealthy people what they want, in the name of votes. Oh but the economic growth? What growth?

 

 

 

Still Worth it?

Dave’s Top 10 shoes from the 90’s

Whether  you grew up in the 90’season or not, you have to admit the best athletic shoes came out of that decade. I put together a list of my 10 favorite pair of shoes to come out of that great era.

 

nike-air-penny-ii

     10. Nike Air Penny

I had a tough time deciding between these and the  Nike Air Ups. I adored both, but I decided I’d give his official debut signature shoe the nod.

 

 

 

lex8jk-l-610x610-shoes-silvet+bullet-black-white-nike+air+max-nike+air+max+97-hyperfuse-silver+sneakers-nike+shoes-nike+running+shoes-nike+sneakers-red-silver

     9. Nike Air Max ’97 aka Dan O’briens’

My cousin Terrell had these, and I wanted to borrow them more than anything,       because I knew I couldn’t have them. These shoes were classic! This shoe in.                            particular rekindleday my love for running shoes

 

 

FILA-Varsity-96-1

8. Fila ’96 Varsity

Oh yes! I know you remember these. Grant Hill’s second signature shoe. Jordan who? These took over for a little while as a top selling shoe.If you had these you.                   automatically went up a few notches in popularity.

 

 

Nike-Zoom-Flight-95-Champs-Sports

            7. Nike Zoom Flight ’95

Easily one of everybody’s favorites. I can remember Jason Kidd dropping dimes in these vividly! These were cleaner than your grandma’s living room

 

 

nike-air-max2-cb-og-black-white-purple-1

       6. Nike Air Max 2 (Charles Barkley)

You wanted them.  You know how I know?  Because I wanted them.  Everybody wanted them! Matched with so many outfits,  these were versatile. I’m thinking of starting a retro shoe collection starting  with these.

 

 

Blog-1_Air-Diamon-Fury-96_130_Fresh-Water-907x634

5. Nike Air Diamond Fury (Ken Griffey, Jr.)

I don’t have to write anything to sell you on these.  LOOK AT THEM

 

 

nike-air-max-95-neon-official-release-info-images-02

                    4. Nike Air Max ’95

With a litany of colors, these are my favorite scheme. Classic,  smooth, and this is the shoe that made neon green cool to rock. Neon green became the “go-to” color for a couple of years for a variety of shoes for Nike after this.

 

 

nike-air-griffey-max-1_2

       3.Nike Air Griffey Max 1

These were some of the coldest shoes ever created. Go ahead and stare. It’s ok. They some mean ass shoes huh? I just about celebrated when I got a pair. Didn’t wear them often because I refused to let someone “accidentally” step on them

 

 

 

Air-Jordan-XI-Retro-BRED

       2. Air Jordan XI

Thought long and hard about putting the original white & black joints. Then I remembered people breaking their necks to get their grubby hands on these. These changed lives for people good and bad. Only one word sums these shoes up…. Sexy

 

 

 

nike-air-max-90-infrared-release-reminder-01

        1. Nike Air Max 90’s

Unequivocally, undeniably my favorite shoe ever made! Look at them. Look at the majesty! The infrared is what really sets these apart. I just hope whoever designed these got a raise and permanent job security.