Wednesday Morning QB (Week 14)

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It has become one of the longest running battles in the NFL and it has nothing to do with a rivalry or players.

Instead, it has everything to do with the power of the NFL over the cities that try to lure a team to their borders and when that can go wrong.

The Raiders have been at the centre of this fight for decades now as they never seem to be happy with where they are at any given point.

In 1980 The Raiders began their first real walk into the world of municipal politics that set the tone for decades to come.

As professional sports grew cities wanted to be put on the map and to be put on the map they needed to have a team.

The NFL was always the biggest show in town and for many cities getting an NFL team meant something major.

It meant that they were big enough to warrant a team and when they got a team it meant that they would get a brand new stadium that they could use to attract more sports and events to the city.

In turn, that would grow the area around the stadium and bring more eyes on the city as a destination.

That want for a team had a lot of cities doing everything they could to not only get a team but keep a team around.

They let teams essentially push them around as the threat of leaving was political suicide for anyone in power.

That has been the thinking behind the growth of professional leagues in North America but a lot of that thinking has evolved.

That evolution really all started in Oakland in 1980 when Al Davis looked to try to update the Oakland Coliseum.

It would involve a lot of money to be put into the stadium from the city and little from the ownership group of the team, which is usually how things work.

Oakland refused to put up the money to update the stadium and so the Raiders threatened to leave and head to a new city that wanted to help them.

The city didn’t budge and so the Raiders attempted to move to Los Angeles before being blocked by the NFL.

After an antitrust lawsuit, they were eventually allowed to move to L.A. where they would play in the L.A. Coliseum.football-sidebar

In 1995, the same issues that plagued the Raiders in Oakland plagued them in Los Angeles as the L.A. Coliseum was an old building without all of the great things that came in new stadiums.

With the teams struggling in Los Angeles they moved back to Oakland beginning a tenuous relationship for over two decades.

Last year the saga continued as the Raiders once again decided to move, this time with less fight from the NFL.

They would sign a deal to move to Las Vegas where they would finally get the new stadium that they have been looking for since 1980.

The problem was that the new stadium won’t be ready until 2020 and leaves them without a stadium in 2019 and it doesn’t seem like Oakland will want them back next year.

This week the city filed a lawsuit against the Raiders and the NFL in general for breach of contract.

The lawsuit alleges that the league and the team have cost the city and the taxpayers money leaving town without paying their debts.

That lawsuit itself shows how much the world has evolved as cities are far from willing to bend over backwards for professional teams.

Recent years have shown that cities are no longer willing to do anything to get or keep a team with proof that teams don’t do a lot.

More cities are demanding that the stadiums that are built have far more than one use or one tenant.

There are still cities willing to make sacrifices but more often than not the terms are changing.

Oakland’s lawsuit is a stand against the issues that have made many people turn and change their opinions on professional teams.

Putting so much money and effort into a team only to have them walk away like the Raiders are about to do is what scares cities.

If the lawsuit is awarded it could mean a swing in the power structure of these relationships changing the future of the sports world.

 

Fifth Quarter

One Record Down

The debate will always continue about who is better between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady but in one aspect the debate swung this week. That is after Rodgers was able to break one of the many records held by Tom Brady. Rodgers threw his 359th pass without an interception breaking the NFL record for most passes without an interception. It won’t reduce the gap that many see between the two but it is a record that will be tough to break as he will hold that record for being one of the most accurate passers in the game.

Two-Sport Star

This past week Kyler Murray took home the Heisman Trophy to become the second straight Oklahoma quarterback to win the award. The debate now is whether or not he will be headed to the NFL like last year’s Heisman winner. Murray has already been drafted by the Oakland Athletics as a star baseball player at college as well. He has said that he would like to play both football and baseball. Although he seems to be leaning towards baseball there is a chance that he will enter the NFL draft although taking the chance to play two sports is even rarer in this age.

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