Coming Soon: Los Angeles Raiders (ACT II)

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By Rashaan Mungo

 

It is no secret that the National Football League has wanted to put a team in Los Angeles ever since the 1995 departure of the Raiders to Oakland, and the Rams to St. Louis. To think that premiere sporting league in the country has not had a team in the country’s second biggest market for close to 20 years is unbelievable. In the last 10 years many teams have been rumored to be in the running to be the next team in the City of Angels. Among them have been the Oakland Raiders, the San Diego Chargers, the Minnesota Vikings, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Atlanta Falcons, the San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers. Pressure to find a team to play in Los Angeles has increased ever since AEG won approval from the city to build a new football stadium named Farmers Field in downtown Los Angeles next to the convention center. But construction is not scheduled to take place until AEG and the NFL receive commitment from a team to relocate. So that begs the question, “Which team is the most likely to head to Hollywood?”.

As much as it pains me to say this to my fellow Bay Area natives, the answer is quite clear, it is the Oakland Raiders. And it’s the Oakland Raiders by a long shot. Now, we all know that the Oakland Raiders originally moved to Los Angeles in 1982 and quickly became engrained in the city and the culture. They achieved great success and won their third Super Bowl Championship before eventually returning to their original home. We all know that the Los Angeles fan base of the Raiders is as big as it ever was and routinely travels long distances to come see Raider home games held at O.Co Colisieum (locally referred to as the “Oakland Coliseum” or just “The Coliseum”). But this time around a possible move from Oakland to Los Angeles will be less about whats convenient for the Raiders and more about what is convenient for the NFL. There are 3 main reasons why the Raiders are the prime choice to go to Los Angeles. What are they? Well, I’d thought you’d never ask….

Reason 3: The NFL will not give Los Angeles an expansion team.

The NFL already has the most amount of teams in the “Big 4″ professional sports leagues in America at 32. They hardly would want to add more teams, considering they already have so many teams needing new stadiums and attendance around the league has been dropping consistently as most fans believe they get a better viewing experience on television. Another reason why an expansion team is out of the question, is because if you create one expansion team then you must create another. Every sports league has to have an even number of teams, because quite frankly, every team has to have another team to play on game days. 

          Of course, with bye’s and off days this rule could possibly be worked around from week to week (as the NFL did from 1999-2001), especially in leagues like the MLB and NBA and NHL, where there is so many games and games are not for specific days every week. But even if you could work it so you had an odd number of teams in your league, the problem then becomes making sure that every teams plays the same number of games during the course of a season. As you can see, this all gets pretty convoluted and complicated really quickly. This is why, having an even amount of teams are vital to every sports league. So if the NFL creates the Los Angeles “insert team name here”, they would then have to find another city that wants a team, that is willing to build a stadium, that would have a fan base to support it and can do all of this in a fairly quick amount of time. 

          Which City would you consider to be an NFL ready city? Portland? Salt Lake City? Des Moines? Providence? Las Vegas?. These are things the NFL has to think about when considering an expansion team and not to mention that the NFL hasn’t had the best of luck when it comes to the success of its recent expansions. For instance, both the Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars are two of the three most recent teams to be introduced to the NFL and they are both on this short list of teams who were in rumors for relocation. The bottom line is, is that the NFL is going to avoid this option at all costs, because logic says, creating two teams just to put one is Los Angeles is dumb and a waste of time.

Reason 2: The NFL doesn’t want to Re-align its divisions

          In 2002, the NFL realigned its divisions giving both the NFC and the AFC four divisions each (the North, South, East and West) all containing 4 teams. This makes moving a team to Los Angeles difficult for two reasons. 1. The divisions will possibly become unbalanced giving certain teams an advantage to make the playoffs 2. the NFL scheduling system works based on having balanced divisions throughout the league. For example, The Vikings are not going to move to Los Angeles because that would make the AFC West contain 5 teams : Raiders, Vikings, Chiefs, Chargers, and Broncos. While the NFC North will be left with just the Packers, Lions and Bears. This would give every team in the NFC North an advantage because they would only compete against two other teams to secure a playoff spot, while the AFC teams would have to be better than 4 other teams, making the alignment unfair. This rule applies for pretty any team moving to Los Angeles that’s not already on the west coast.

The second reason why the NFL doesn’t want to re-align, (and it may be the biggest reason) is the scheduling system the NFL has in place.
(This may get a little confusing so stay with me)

1. Every NFL team plays every other team in its division twice
2. Then it plays every team in another division of the same conference once
3. Then it plays every team in a division of the other conference once
4. Then it plays one team from each of the two remaining divisions in their own conference
5. Rules 2-4 rotate from year to year, cycling every three years.

For example :

Oakland Raiders Schedule 2012 by Division (AFC West)

Chargers (AFC West)
Chargers (AFC West)
Broncos (AFC West)
Broncos (AFC West)
Chiefs (AFC West)
Chiefs (AFC West)
Steelers (AFC North)
Ravens (AFC North)
Bengals (AFC North)
Browns (AFC North)
Falcons (NFC South)
buccaneers (NFC South)
Saints (NFC South)
Panthers (NFC South)
Dolphins (AFC East)
Jaguars (AFC South)

        Every team in the NFL follows this same formula and its predicated on a balanced schedule throughout the league. If the divisions have different amount of participants in them, not only would it give an unfair advantage to certain teams but the NFL would have to completely revamp its scheduling formula. The NFL likes the system it has in place, its clean, it works and its only 11 years old. Why would the NFL want to throw away a brand new toy like that?? The only way around this is moving a team already on the west coast to Los Angeles. This leaves San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers. Lets be honest, the 49ers aren’t going anywhere, they have already started building a stadium in Santa Clara and are possibly the best team in the NFL. Super Bowl teams don’t relocate. 

And that brings me to reason number one why the Raiders are the prime choice to move back to L.A……..

Reason 1: Location, Location, Location….Super Bowl Location

          Make no mistake about it, this is the most important aspect of this whole situation. The NFL knows that they are in charge of the single most watched sporting event in the United States and they covet it like so. If the NFL were in Lord of the Rings the Superbowl would be “it’s precious”. This is not about Los Angeles being the second biggest market, the NFL has thrived without LA for almost 20 years. If NFL could convince the city of Los Angeles to just build a state of the art football stadium downtown just to use for the Super Bowl, they wouldn’t even bother moving a team down there. But we all know that would never happen, so the NFL needs a team, to get them a stadium, so they can get them their Super Bowl location. 

          Although the Chargers and the Raiders both need a new stadium, the Chargers have a distinct advantage….frankly they are in San Diego and not Oakland. Qualcomm stadium is a dump, just like O.co and just like Candlestick in San Francisco. The difference is, the NFL loves San Diego as a Super Bowl location, and even though the stadium is no where close to par for an event like the Super Bowl, San Diego itself is perfect. Sandy beaches, 70 degree, blue skies for football….in febuarary. It gets no better than that!

          From the NFL’s point of view, you would love to gain a Super Bowl location in Los Angeles, but you wouldn’t want to do it at the expense of losing one of your favorite Super Bowl locations in San Diego. If you can get San Diego to build a new stadium for the Chargers, move the Raiders to a new stadium in downtown Los Angeles, have the 49ers finish their stadium in Santa Clara giving you three new Super Bowl locations with two of them being in Southern California, and you can do all of this without re-aligning your divisions or creating new teams? You add all this to the fact that the Raiders already have a tremendous following in Los Angeles, it almost a no-brainer. I mean, between die hard Raider fans and celebrities and socialites in hollywood, season tickets would sell like hotcakes. They might get sold out in the first 2 weeks. I hate to say it Oakland Raider fans, but your team is on the clock.

Now, since i live in Oakland, (in fact, looking out of my window i can see O.co glaring back at me) and have befriended some of the members of Oakland’s “Raider Nation”. I feel obligated to offer some sort of piece of mind for the local Raider fans, as i dont intend to be a doom-sayer. There are some other ways that this scenario can play out without the Raiders leaving town. Most notably, the Jacksonville Jaguars could move to Los Angeles and move from the AFC South to the NFC West. The St. Louis Rams could then move from the NFC West to the AFC South, keeping the balance in the divisions. This could work, but the Jaguars have a leasing agreement with their stadium until 2030. This would be costly to get out of, but entirely possible if the Jag’s were take the hit if they felt the money they would make in Los Angeles would be worth it. The Vikings could move to LA and the NFC West as well, and the Rams then could move the NFC North but the Vikings have a long history and rivalry with the teams in the North and some of the greatest football games ever played have been against the Bears, Packers and Lions. The move would also ruin the Rams/49ers rivalry, which is one of the oldest in league history. Of course team owners and don’t care as much about this stuff as you or I, but you have to imagine the NFL would have an interest in preserving such an important link to its history.

WOMEN’S 2013 NCAA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

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WOMEN’S 2013 NCAA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

FIRST ROUND

3/23

(6) Oklahoma vs. (11) Central Michigan 8:10AM PT

(3) UCLA  vs. (14) Stetson 10:40AM PT

(7) Syracuse vs. (10) Creighton 8:20AM PT

(2) Tennessee vs. (15) Oral Roberts 10:50AM PT

(5) Iowa State vs. (12) Gonzaga 1:15PM PT

(4) Georgia vs. (13) Montana 3:45PM PT

(7) Texas Tech vs. (10) South Florida 3:50PM PT

(2) California vs. (15) Fresno State 1:20PM PT

(5) Colorado vs. (12) Kansas 3:30PM PT

(4) South Carolina vs. (13) South Dakota State

(6) Nebraska vs. (11) Chattanooga 3:35PM PT

(3) Texas A&M vs. (14) Wichita State 1:05PM PT

(1) Connecticut vs. (16) Idaho 10:35AM PT

(8) Vanderbilt vs. (9) Saint Joseph’s 8:05AM PT

(5) Michigan State vs. (12) Marist 10:45AM PT

(4) Maryland vs. (13) Quinnipiac 8:15AM PT

3/24

(1) Baylor vs. (16) Prairie View A&M 4:40AM PT

(8) Florida State vs. (9) Princeton 2:10PM PT

(5) Louisville vs. (12) Middle Tennessee 11:40AM PT

(4) Purdue vs (13) Liberty 9:10AM PT

(1) Stanford vs. (16) Tulsa 2:20PM PT

(8) Michigan vs. (9) Villanova 4:50PM PT

(6) LSU vs. (11) Green Bay 4:45PM PT

(3) Penn State vs. (14) Cal Poly 2:15PM PT

(1) Notre Dame vs. (16) Tennessee-Martin 2:05PM PT

(8) Miami (FL) vs. (9) Iowa 4:35PM PT

(6) Delaware vs. (11) West Virginia 8:15PM PT

(3) North Carolina vs. (14) Albany 11:45AM PT

(7) Dayton vs. (10) St. John’s 11:35AM PT

(2) Kentucky vs. (15) Navy 9:05AM PT

(7) Oklahoma State vs. (10) DePaul 11:35PM PT

(2) Duke vs. (15) Hampton 9:05AMPT

 

MEN’S 2013 NCAA TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

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NCAA Men’s Tournament Schedule

3/19

(16) N.C. A&T  vs.  (16) Liberty    N.C. A&T  73 – 72

(11) Middle Tenn vs. (11) St. Mary’s (Cal.)   St. Mary’s 67 – 54

3/20

(16) LIU Brooklyn vs. (16) James Madison   Madision 68 – 55

(13) Boise State vs. (13) La Salle    La Salle 80 – 71

Second Round:

3/21

(1) Louisville vs. (16) N.C. A & T  Louisville 79 -48

(8) Colorado State vs.  (9) Missouri  6:20 PM PT

(5) Oklahoma State vs. (12) Oregon   Oregon 68 -55

(4) Saint Louis vs. (13) New Mexico State  St. Louis 64- 44

(6) Memphis vs. (11) St. Mary’s  Memphis 54 – 52

(3) Michigan State vs. (14) Valparaiso  Mich St. 65 -54

(1) Gonzaga vs. (16) Southern University  Gonzaga 64 – 58

(8) Pittsburg vs. (9) Wichita State  Witchita St. 73 -55

(6) Arizona vs. (11) Belmont  4:20 PM PT

(3) New Mexico vs. (14) Harvard  6:50PM PT

(5) VCU vs. (12) Akron   6:45PM PT

(4) Michigan vs. (13) South Dakota  Michigan 71 – 56

(5) UNLV vs. (12) California  4:27PM PT

(4) Syracuse vs. (13) Montana 6:57PM PT

(6) Butler vs. (11) Bucknell  Butler 68 – 56

(3) Marquette vs. (14) Davidson Marquette 59 -58

3/22

(7) Creighton vs. (10) Cincinnati 11:45AM PT

(2) Duke vs. (15) Albany  9:15AM PT

(5) Wisconsin vs. (12) Mississippi  9:40AM PT

(4) Kansas State vs. BSU/La Salle  12:10PM PT

(7) Norte Dame vs. (10) Iowa State  6:45PM PT

(2) Ohio State vs. (15) Iona  4:15PM PT

(1) Kansas vs. (16) Western Kentucky 6:50PM PT

(8) North Carolina vs. (9) Villanova  4:20PM PT

(6) UCLA vs. (11) Minnesota  6:57PM PT

(3) Florida vs (14) N’western State  4:27PM PT

(7) San Diego State vs. (10) Oklahoma  6:20PM PT

(2) Georgetown vs. (15) Florida Gulf Coast     3:50PM PT

(1) Indiana vs. (16) LIU/JMU  1:10PM PT

(8) NC State vs. (9) Temple   9:40PM PT

(7) Illinois vs. (10) Colorado  1:40PM PT

(2) Miami (FL) vs. (15) Pacific 11:10AM PT

Ohlone College vs. Chabot College Hayward, CA (2-20-13)

Play by Play by Rashaan Mungo

Camera work By: Jaime Hernandez

Production by: Jaime Hernandez

San Francisco Giants and Japan Face Off in Possible “World” Series Preview

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By Rashaan Mungo

It’s not very often that an exhibition baseball game in March garners much attention besides the usual signing of autographs and pitchers “working on their stuff”. But the Cactus League match up between the San Francisco Giants and the Japanese National Team for the World Baseball Classic is a possible look into the future of Championship Baseball on a global scale.

Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, has expressed interest in holding a Championship Series between the World Series Champion of the MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball Champion of Japan to determine a “legitimate World Champion”. Ryozo Kato, the Commissioner of the NPB, has also expressed interest in the competition and further meetings are set to take place later this summer.

The San Francisco Giants are coming off of the heels of one of the most exciting and improbable postseason performances in recent memory. With pitching at the forefront of San Francisco’s success, they are building a dynasty by the bay using the old adage “Good pitching beats good hitting”. The Giants have returned to their winning ways, winning two of the last three World Series Championships, giving them 7 World Titles overall.

Japan on the other hand, has flexed its muscle on more than one occasion showing that they just may be baseball’s #1 super power in the world. Winners of the MLB sponsored World Baseball Classic in the only two times its has been held, 2006 and 2009 respectively, the Japanese team has gotten the attention of the United States and other prominent baseball countries. As of press time, the Japanese team is already clinched a berth in the 2013 WBC semi-finals, meaning they are just two victories away from winning their third consecutive WBC Championship in as many attempts. Ironically, after Japan’s brief pit stop in Arizona they will travel to non other than San Francisco, where they will face the United States, the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico at AT&T Park.

Bud Selig, in the final stages of his tenure as commissioner, is attempting to modernize baseball in ways unforeseeable to traditionalist and purists. His introduction and recent expansion of Wild Card teams, his establishment of season long interleague play, and his openness to bring instant replay into a sport that prides itself on preserving the “human element” are prime examples of his forward thinking. As players of both teams prepare for first pitch in the desert, we might be getting a preview of Bud Selig’s final and greatest act yet, an actual bona fide ‘World Series’.

—Update—

Japan National Team defeated San Francisco 6-3

Sandoval, Posey and Pence (Projected 3,4,5 Hitters for SF) went 2-6 collectively.

Posey is 4-20 so far in the spring batting an even .200

Rashaan Mungo is a play-by-play announcer for “Gametime” and Chabot College Sports. Email him at RashaanMungo_sports@yahoo.com, or follow him on twitter @RashaanMungo

San Francisco City College vs. Chabot College Hayward, CA (2-18-13)

Play by Play by Rashaan Mungo and Deandre Ross

Camera work By: Jaime Hernandez

Production by: Jaime Hernandez

Top Of The State Bowl – Chabot College vs. College Of The Siskiyous Weed, CA 1st Half (11-17-12)

Play by Play by Rashaan Mungo

Camera work By: Jaime Hernandez, Ivonette Augilar, and Nathan Williams

Production by: Jaime Hernandez

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