Posts Tagged ‘NBA’
This Week's Roundtable is hosted by:
This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Vol Junkies Buy Macrobid Without Prescription, , who has served up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the citizens of Orange Nation.
Thus, here are our thoughts for the week:
1) What is your thought on Eric Berry’s Heisman chances? Should he play on offense in-order to increase his chances? Is Kiffin being to selfish saying Berry will not practice offense?
HSH: I'm not exactly how real Berry's chances of actually winning the Trophy—which I deemed meaningless after the Manning debacle. Not only does he have the obstacle of being a defensive player, he has to basically beat Colt McCoy from Texas, Sam Bradford from Oklahoma and some guy named Tebow. I don't think Lane Kiffin should play Berry on offense just to help his Heisman chances. If our offense is seriously sucking, then sure, desperate times call for desperate measures.
That said, I have absolutely no problem with the University doing the whole campaign thing. Berry is obviously a special, once-in-a-while player with a great attitude. Seeing him in person on and off the field the past two years has been something I'm glad to have been a part of—now if only he might consider staying for his senior year...
Lawvol: I have very mixed (albeit not necessarily negative) feelings on this.
First of all, I personally believe that Eric Berry is more than deserving of a shot at the Heisman Trophy. In two short years he has pretty much become the man-beast of SEC defenses and is, hands down, the best defensive player in the toughest conference in the country. I personally believe that he is the best defensive player in any conference, anywhere. That, however, is just my opinion and I will be the first to admit that I am biased. Still, there is no arguing with the fact that Eric Berry has earned the right to be considered among the top players in the country this season and to be considered for the Heisman. I am unequivocally behind the Tennessee’s campaign to promote Berry’s Heisman candidacy.
That said, I am less that optimistic about his chances…
I say that because, since only one truly defensive player has previously won the Heisman—which I am sure every Tennessee fan remembers all too well—the precedent is somewhat weak. Furthermore, given the national media’s love affair with Tim Tebow, I expect that every possible machination that can occur to ensure Tebow winning the trophy for the second time will be brought to bear, if at all possible.
There is also the fact that exaggerated hype often leads to less-than-stellar performances since, with everyone talking about how great a particular player is, the target on their back gets even bigger when facing opponents. That is not to say that I doubt Berry’s ability to produce in the same way he has in the past, but recognizes that opposing teams will be gunning for him … and staying away from him.
As for whether I think it is selfish for Lane Kiffin to keep Berry from playing on offense, that one is easy to answer. No, not one bit. In fact, I feel the opposite. To me, changing the way you field a player for the sole purpose of advancing that player’s interests is selfish—even if it adds prominence to the team or the program as a whole. As the old saying goes, “there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’.” In my opinion, any coach with a Heisman hopeful should treat that player in exactly the same way he would any other player. To do anything else not only flies in the face of the team concept, but can be woefully dangerous in terms of its effect on team morale—just ask Heath Shuler and the Tennessee offensive line that played in the 1993-94 Citrus Bowl.
Were Kiffin to decide independent of the Heisman race that Berry needed to play on offense, I would have no problem with it, in fact it might be extremely exciting. To do so just for the sake of Heisman balloting, however, is simply not something I think is acceptable.
Furthermore, I question whether suddenly playing a player in a new position would actually help or hinder the chances of winning voters’ eyes. This season is filled with change already—from top to bottom. Berry, just like everyone else on the Vols’ squad, is busy learning new schemes and concepts from the new coaching staff. Furthermore, the sheer size and scope of the playbooks for Tennessee is really quite staggering. I have heard from a reliable source that, up until 1997, no offensive player in the modern era had ever learned the entire offensive playbook until Peyton Manning, and he only accomplished that feat as a senior.
To me, adding a whole new facet—offense—to the game for Berry would likely result in a fall-off in his performance on defense. It adds one more thing that he has to keep track of in his head and doubles the already considerable pressure that being pumped as a superstar brings with it. In then end, I think there is probably more to lose than there is to gain.
2) Do you think Kiffin secretly wishes he would have held onto Taj Boyd?
HSH: Nope, not all, for two reasons. First, as we all know, Kiffin's a confident fellow. He has his plan, he knows what he wants and how he wants to go about it. And he believes in what he's doing.
He evaluated Boyd, saw that he might have lacked pure arm strength and that he made have had some issues coming off knee issues. So he told Boyd what he told him. I think Tennessee's in good shape with Tyler Bray and they might get Memphis' Barry Brunetti to switch his commitment to West Virginia, and the recent run on WR recruiting, what QB wouldn't want to come to Tennessee and throw to those guys?
Lawvol: Well, whether he does or doesn’t, is really irrelevant now. What is, is.
That said, I doubt that the Blackjack General, has given more than a few seconds thought to the matter considering his staff and this no-holds-barred approach to recruiting. I am sure that Boyd probably appreciated the honesty from Kiffin in telling him that he simply didn’t feel that Boyd would fit in the Vols’ system. I know I find it refreshing. Either way, like HSH, I feel certain that Kiffin will find the right person and it’s not like the Vols haven’t started to get looks from some good players. After all, though we do not yet know how a Lane Kiffin-coached team will perform on the field, he has made it clear he knows how to recruit. Furthermore, trying to make a player work when they really are not suited to your system just leads to disappointment for everyone involved.
I say get the right player for Tennessee, even if that means waiting a bit. I for one am glad to see that Kiffin is willing to do just that.
3) Is this the most excited you have been for a football season to start EVER?
HSH: In recent memory, yes. Maybe 2006, Macrobid over the counter, Purchase Macrobid online, because I had just started school up here in Knoxville and the big opener with Cal and Florida coming in two weeks following that. Perhaps 2005, Macrobid blogs, Macrobid cost, because of all the hype and that defense and the "momentum" from the previous season.
But this is different. It seems like it's been a year since Kiffin was hired and we went through the staff hiring and the coups on National Signing Day, the verbal slap of Urban Meyer and the secondaries.
Now it's go-time. Everything's going to be new, fast shipping Macrobid, Macrobid long term, so that adds a bit of intrigue to the whole thing, but the energy Lane, purchase Macrobid for sale, Buy Macrobid online cod, Monte and Coach O have brought certainly have had their effects on the players and us as fans. Amidst all the energy though, we have to remember that Tennessee's not going to win the SEC this year. This isn't going to be a one-year turnaround and we have to be a little patient, Macrobid gel, ointment, cream, pill, spray, continuous-release, extended-release, Macrobid schedule, prepare for some of the usual pains and just enjoy the climb. The Vols have 8 home games this year, so hopefully the fans are ready to do their part in helping the team.
Lawvol: That’s a tough question to answer. For me, discount Macrobid, Buy Macrobid without a prescription, the most exciting pre-season run-up to kickoff in my lifetime was getting ready for Peyton Manning’s senior year in 1997. The Vols were picked to be stellar and were ranked in the pre-season top-3 in all the polls. It also happened to be my senior year in Knoxville. I suppose I would still say that there was more “excitement”—in the sense of there being a real belief on the part of everyone that the Vols might win the whole thing—in 1997. If we are talking about just sheer anticipation because you simply have no idea what to expect, then I would have to say that this year is on top.
Of course, ordering Macrobid online, Macrobid maximum dosage, it is worth noting that in 1998 I had very low expectations of what Tennessee would do prior to the season getting under way. What with Manning graduating and a virtual unknown named Tee Martin starting his first game at quarterback, I figured that the Vols would probably find rough going for at least the first few games of the season. That season, get Macrobid, Macrobid use, however, turned out pretty well for the Vols.
Either way, buy cheap Macrobid, Cheap Macrobid no rx, I am always stoked before the first kickoff and it seems to increase exponentially as the first game approaches. There is so much to be excited about this year and—no matter what happens—I feel like this will be a good year for the Vols as they progress toward the future.
After all, a lousy football season is better than no football season at all…
4) A quick diversion from football and onto Basketball, Macrobid mg. Buy Macrobid from mexico, Do you think that Bruce’s style of basketball is a deterrent to the one and done type players, due to the fact one and done-rs and top recruits are looking for more minutes and to be the center of attention?
HSH: I don't think it's Bruce Pearl's style as much as it the fact that we're Tennessee. Just to be brutally honest, taking Macrobid, Where can i cheapest Macrobid online, if you're a a high school kid who has obvious NBA talent, wouldn't you want to showcase that on the biggest stage possible?
I know Bruce has taken our program to heights it's never been before and I hope he never leaves Knoxville. But we're still Tennessee. I know Michael Beasley went to play in relative obscurity at Kansas State and still managed to be the second pick in the draft, rx free Macrobid, Macrobid trusted pharmacy reviews, but the point still remains, at least in my mind.
We're not near the top of the list of schools a future NBA star and one-year college player is going to go to increase his stock. On top of that, Macrobid from canadian pharmacy, Macrobid reviews, there are all of two ex-Vols in the Association right now—C.J. Watson now in Orlando and Marcus Haislip just signed by the Spurs. Watson wasn't drafted and Haislip has spent the last few years in Europe after being a bust of a lottery pick.
The bottom line to me is this: our prestige has gone up exponentially the last four years under Pearl, Macrobid pharmacy, Macrobid dosage, but we're still Tennessee, and we still aren't exactly pumping out NBA players a la places like Carolina, order Macrobid online overnight delivery no prescription, Buy Macrobid online no prescription, Texas, UCLA, effects of Macrobid, Buy generic Macrobid, Kansas, UConn, Macrobid no rx, Macrobid no prescription, Memphis State and so on.
Lawvol: Frankly, I hope it is because I have little tolerance for the one-and-done mentality.
Most of the “in-and-out, australia, uk, us, usa, Where to buy Macrobid, thanks-for-the-cred, see ya!” type of players are not the sort that I want to see Tennessee recruiting. The whole “student athlete” thing should still mean something. I am dedicated to Tennessee and have been since the day I decided that I would attend college there. I expect the players we put on the floor to be not only be great athletes, is Macrobid safe, After Macrobid, but also good representatives for the university, and good people. I am not naive enough to believe that all the players we recruit are completely free of the ulterior motive of wanting to play professionally and perhaps using the Big Orange as the springboard to making that a reality. I also will freely acknowledge that I can hardly blame a player for leaving early when they are all but guaranteed to instantly become wealthy.
All I ask is that the players wearing the orange be committed to Tennessee while they are here, online buy Macrobid without a prescription. Order Macrobid from United States pharmacy, I have no problem with them dreaming of the future or making decisions based upon that future. What I do have a problem with is when players simply see Tennessee (or any other school for that matter) as little more than a way to get their ticket punched as quickly as possible.
But then again, I am a lawyer and am generally a disagreeable sort…
The Rest of the Roundtable:
Having wasted your time on our largely meaningless and insignificant thoughts for this week, go check out what the other roundtablers (who actually know what they are talking about) have to say (in no particular order):
- Rocky Top Talk
- 3rd Saturday in Blogtober
- MoonDog Sports
- Vol Junkies
- Pigskin Pathos
- Bleeding Orange
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Buy Metronidazole Gel Without Prescription, Yep, I'm still here. Lawvol hasn't kicked me out of the site yet, Is Metronidazole Gel addictive, despite my laziness and lack of posting this spring. I literally haven't posted anything in a month and two days. My last post focused on Tyler Smith declaring for the NBA Draft and his prospects for that draft, kjøpe Metronidazole Gel på nett, köpa Metronidazole Gel online. Since then, Buy Metronidazole Gel online no prescription, I've had to finish up the spring semester, haul through a three week min-term class, and, buy cheap Metronidazole Gel no rx, probably most importantly, Buy no prescription Metronidazole Gel online, looked for and found a place to intern for the fall in efforts to further my career. After all, I am now a senior and hopefully I'll have graduated this time next year (yes, it's kind of scary).
I sure haven't missed too much the past month...
If you're like me, you've long been counting down to August and football season already, and only the NBA and NHL playoffs have been offering a real distraction from that, Buy Metronidazole Gel Without Prescription. It's been a rather action-packed month for the Tennessee program, as there seems to be something come up just about every single day, Metronidazole Gel no rx, especially this past week.
• Recruiting: This new staff obviously spends an incredible amount of time evaluating and going through the process, and that has reaped some results the past two weeks. After this season, buy cheap Metronidazole Gel, the offensive and defensive lines are going to be particularly thin, Metronidazole Gel overnight, so those two positions without a doubt are the biggest needs in the 2010 class.
So Tennessee goes out and gets some big people. Yes way yes way Jose Jose started it off, followed by JUCO defenders Pat Harris and Bruce Irvin, Metronidazole Gel cost, Georgia J.C. Buy Metronidazole Gel Without Prescription, Copeland, and Miami linebacker/d-end Ralph Williams. Purchase Metronidazole Gel online, Now I must admit I hadn't heard of any of these guys. Additionally, Jose needs to drop some weight and Harris didn't even play football in high school, order Metronidazole Gel online overnight delivery no prescription. Obviously we fans have to simply take our coaches' words for it when it comes to recruiting because it's so hit-or-miss, Online buying Metronidazole Gel, but I think we need to understand that this is likely going to be a big class numbers-wise and size-wise, as in there's going to be some beef in these commitments. I also don't find much surprise in taking some junior college players who have the potential ability to come in and contribute right away, Metronidazole Gel from canada. Then again, those guys are even more hit (Gibril Wilson) or miss (Kenny O'Neal).
• The QB situation: In addition to the needs along the lines, the other big recruiting story line is of course the QB position, where the Vols expect to sign at least two in the 2010 class, Buy Metronidazole Gel Without Prescription. Jake Heaps and Jesse Scroggins (their Rivals profiles are linked at the end) are the two big names, Metronidazole Gel blogs, and Andrew Hendrix has been another guy whose name I've heard alot. I'll keep my opinion on this simple: if Tennessee were to get Heaps or Scroggins and Hendrix or another guy, then I think you can be happy with that.
Now that is where having the situation with Robert Marve not work out hurts a little, Metronidazole Gel australia, uk, us, usa, because now after this season you're down to Nick Stephens and Mike Rozier, Metronidazole Gel reviews, the former baseball player. That's also where B.J. Coleman bailing doesn't help either, where to buy Metronidazole Gel, but the way he handled that situation of going to the Chattanooga Times-Free Press first and throwing the coaches under the bus makes me not miss him. Buy Metronidazole Gel Without Prescription, Good riddance and enjoy playing for a really bad UT-Chattanooga program. Doses Metronidazole Gel work, Nevertheless, we should know something on Heaps and Scroggins soon, because Heaps has said he wants to make his decision in June and Scroggins may very well be waiting to see what Heaps does.
• The exodus: OK, Metronidazole Gel dose, players leaving is a part of any program where there's a turnover of coaching staffs, Low dose Metronidazole Gel, so this was sort of expected. It happened at Alabama when Nick Saban was hired and it's happened now with the Kiffin regime. What does it mean, cheap Metronidazole Gel, exactly. Is Metronidazole Gel safe, Well, really outside of the Coleman departure's effect on the QB depth, the collective contributions of the 11 leaving players isn't much, buy Metronidazole Gel online cod, outside of Lennon Creer and Dee Morley. Creer saw the writing on the wall with Toney Williams, Bryce Brown and David Oku joining the stable, and Morley had been walking a tight line for awhile, Buy Metronidazole Gel Without Prescription. Purchase Metronidazole Gel online no prescription, Losing some lineman hurts depth, but overall, how bad have the 11 departures really been, Metronidazole Gel alternatives. Hey, After Metronidazole Gel, if a player isn't going to cut it or doesn't want to do the work that will cut it, then see ya later.
Even the new coaching staff has had a member leave this week in strength and conditioning coach Mark Smith. Obviously the AD and Kiffin had mutual disagreements of some kind with Smith and it's unfortunate and probably a negative event, purchase Metronidazole Gel, but I think Tennessee will be OK in the end. Metronidazole Gel forum, Aaron Ausmus seems like the likely replacement, but Lane needs to find one soon, since summer workouts start next week.
• Hokey Pahokee: Much, herbal Metronidazole Gel. Buy Metronidazole Gel Without Prescription, Ado. About. Real brand Metronidazole Gel online, Nothing. No, Lane shouldn't have said what he said and he apologized well before this got brought up again, Metronidazole Gel dosage. The principal of the school and whoever else had a hand in drawing this out to the point it got to came across as desperate for some attention. The problem I had was the administration of a school denying access of specific schools to their students, Buy Metronidazole Gel Without Prescription. Metronidazole Gel schedule, In other words, if I'm a stud recruit at that Pahokee and there's mutual interest between me and Tennessee, should the school have the right to deny UT access to me, online buy Metronidazole Gel without a prescription. Fortunately it's apparently all good down there now, Metronidazole Gel without prescription, so hopefully UT can get another player from that talent-rich area.
• Twitter-gate: Who cares. Secondary violations don't mean a thing...unless Tennessee does it. Lane didn't even "tweet" it, canada, mexico, india, so I don't even blink an eye to this nonsense.
On another note, Metronidazole Gel wiki, what's the deal with Twitter. Buy Metronidazole Gel Without Prescription, I've been back-and-forth on whether or not I want to give in and join the craze and following some of the various athletes' accounts would be cool, but what's the big deal. If you're on there, please tell me...
• Daniel Hood: This got a great deal of attention as well as it should have, what is Metronidazole Gel, so I won't spend too much time on it. Rx free Metronidazole Gel, It's a touchy subject as well, and I was skeptical at first about it. However, Metronidazole Gel brand name, I feel much better about it now than I did when I first got the news the Hood was getting a scholarship. Tennessee still will have a convicted rapist on the team and opposing fans will use this against the Vols from now until the end of time, but that's part of the consequences. The bottom line for me is that everyone who commented in stories I read who are and were much, much closer to Hood and the situation than any of us said nothing but positive things about Hood, Buy Metronidazole Gel Without Prescription. I mean, the victim of the whole ordeal vouched for Hood. What more does it take. I think Lane and the staff and Mike Hamilton did their work on this one, so I can handle their decision.
That's it for now. I'll probably post something about the awesomely exciting (or "amazing," if you agree with the slogan) NBA Playoffs. Also, this is probably old news, but if you haven't already checked it out, Will over at Rocky Top Talk is getting into the nitty-gritty (ie, top 15) of his countdown of the 50 best games from the Philip Fulmer era. This is probably old because they started way back in January, but it's really good stuff - the writing and story-telling is so good it might even be better than the nostalgic feelings of the good 'ol days.
Images Courtesy of: VolQuest • Rivals - Jake Heaps • Rivals - Jesse Scroggins.
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Premarin For Sale, As had been expected, Tennessee's Tyler Smith declared for the NBA Draft yesterday. As is the case with a number of others draft entrees, fast shipping Premarin, Premarin dose, Tyler hasn't hired an agent, so he's got until June 15 to come back.
As the title of this post clearly states, is Premarin safe, Premarin brand name, I think Tyler Smith is going to be playing for Tennessee next year. I don't believe I'm in the minority in thinking that, buy Premarin online no prescription, About Premarin, either. Now, Premarin dosage, Rx free Premarin, I could be very wrong, because Tyler could go work out for one of these teams playing right now (that will have late first-round picks) and really impress them.
It's not that Tyler isn't a good player or not NBA material, Premarin from mexico. My Premarin experience, There are guys in the NBA who I see and wonder how they in the league (take Sean Marks, Mark Madsen, Premarin street price, Buy cheap Premarin, Brian Cardinal and Robert Swift, for example) in the first place, buy Premarin without a prescription. It's just that Tyler is a small forward in the NBA, and he's playing the power forward spot for Tennessee, Premarin For Sale. Buy cheap Premarin no rx, He showed he can knock down the outside shot when he's left open, but this season he faced quite a bit of traffic in the lane because teams sagged off the perimeter because we couldn't shoot threes and struggled with his shot, discount Premarin. Japan, craiglist, ebay, overseas, paypal, The Memphis game - against a long, athletic team - comes to mind.
So he can post up, is Premarin addictive, Premarin no rx, he can shoot it decently, but can he straight-up drive by an NBA 3-man, buy Premarin no prescription. Get Premarin, Can he hit the mid-range jumper?
There is his family situation with his son to think about as well, but I think Tyler's going to be a Vol next season, Premarin description. Order Premarin from United States pharmacy, He should have better shooters surrounding him, and we saw how good he can be when you put that around him (2007-08), Premarin photos. Premarin For Sale, And even if he does stay in the draft, it'd be cool to have the number of Tennessee NBA players doubled.
Speaking of which, mad props to C.J. Premarin wiki, Watson the last seven games of this season for Golden State. Watson, Premarin over the counter, Real brand Premarin online, one of my favorite Vols all-time and a guy who deserves more credit and appreciation than I think he gets, averaged 19 points and 6 assists in those games, purchase Premarin online. Purchase Premarin, He had 38 points, 7 rebounds, order Premarin no prescription, Buy Premarin from canada, and nine assists (he made 16-of-16 free throws too) in a win over the Jazz, and had 20 points, Premarin blogs, Buy Premarin online cod, 7 boards, 12 assists, purchase Premarin for sale, Generic Premarin, and three steals in the season finale against Phoenix.
For an avid fantasy basketball guy like myself (second place in my second year of it...boom!), those numbers are more impressive to me, cheap Premarin no rx. Buy no prescription Premarin online, If this was his chance to stake his claim to Golden State's starting PG position for next season, you can't say he didn't take advantage of it.
But back to the main point of this, expect to see Tyler back in orange next year - with what should be an improved team.
Images Courtesy of: Ramin Rahimian / Reuters.
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This post is part of a continuing series -- "The Cost of Sports Buy Soma Without Prescription, " -- examining the impact of current economic changes on the world of major sports. To see the other posts in this series, Soma results, Fast shipping Soma, click here.
As I discussed in Part 1 of this series on the cost of sports, at Tennessee, Soma cost, Purchase Soma for sale, the price can be high when it comes to paying your way into Neyland Stadium -- a truth of which Nashville's Thomas Luck is all too aware. I discussed the issue purely in terms of the experience at Tennessee mainly because it is what I am familiar with. Tennessee was but a lens -- the reality is largely the same at all schools with a major athletics presence.
The world of professional sports, however, comprar en línea Soma, comprar Soma baratos, Soma pharmacy, makes the college ranks look like small potatoes in the way it is wed to the almighty dollar. Given the current uncertain economic times, however, order Soma no prescription, Soma interactions, I question whether professional sports in particular can continue in the way it has for so long.
I suppose that sports fans should not be surprised at the notion that professional teams would necessarily focus on money, after all that is what professional athletics are all about: getting paid to play. I suppose Rod Tidwell (from the movie “Jerry Maguire”) summed it up best with the oft quoted line "Show me the money!" What I think is a bit surprising is how willingly and uncomplainingly professional sports fans have accepted the "money first" approach of all the teams in all the major leagues. The increases in costs passed along to professional sports fans over the last generation is really quite staggering.
Video: Show me the Money!!
But don't take my word for it...
Fan Costs in Professional Sports
Sports marketing consultants Team Marketing Report (TMR) is a leading publisher of sports marketing and sponsorship analysis for both collegiate and professional sports. Since 1988, where to buy Soma, Soma coupon, TMR has been tracking major indicators in the world of sports. One of the key components of their analysis is an analytical model called the "Fan Cost Index" which is used as a measuring stick for the cost to an actual fan attending a game for various franchises.
More specifically, TMR's exclusive Fan Cost Index (TM) survey, Soma use, Soma blogs, tracks the cost of attendance for a family of four.
The FCI includes:
- Two adult average price tickets
- Two child average price tickets
- Four small soft drinks
- Two small beers
- Four hot dogs
- Two programs
- Two adult-size caps.
Taking all of these factors into account, the analysts at TMR calculate the costs for fans attending games for teams across the country. The data that TMR has assembled is telling.
For example, what is Soma, About Soma, let's look at the NFL's presence in my home state: the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers played their first season in Charlotte in 1996 (they played the 1995 inaugural season in the Clemson Tigers' stadium). Thus, for Carolina we can see the change over the entire history of the franchise. Since their first season in their permanent home, Soma forum, Cheap Soma, Bank of America (formerly Ericsson) Stadium, the Panthers have played in one Super Bowl.
Fan Cost Index: Carolina Panthers
|Beer||Soft Drink||Hot Dog||Parking||Program||Cap||Avg, purchase Soma online. Soma from canadian pharmacy, Ticket||Avg. Prem, Soma treatment. Soma price, Ticket||Fan Cost Index||Cost Rank in NFL|
|Increase Since 1998|
|Percentage Increase Since 1998|
Then there's the just-crowned Super Bowl XLIII Champions: the Pittsburgh Steelers. During the 10 years covered below, the Steelers have won two Super Bowls and moved into a new stadium, Soma duration, Online buy Soma without a prescription, Heinz Field.
Fan Cost Index: Pittsburgh Steelers
|Beer||Soft Drink||Hot Dog||Parking||Program||Cap||Avg. Ticket||Avg, Buy Soma Without Prescription. Prem, Soma from mexico. No prescription Soma online, Ticket||Fan Cost Index||Cost Rank in NFL|
|Increase Since 1998|
|Percentage Increase Since 1998|
On the other hand, there's one of the biggest disappointments of the 2008 season: the New England Patriots. During the 10 years covered below, buy Soma without a prescription, Soma use, the Patriots have won three Super Bowls and moved into a new stadium, Gillette Stadium.
Fan Cost Index: New England Patriots
|Beer||Soft Drink||Hot Dog||Parking||Program||Cap||Avg, order Soma from United States pharmacy. Soma brand name, Ticket||Avg. Prem, cheap Soma no rx. Ticket||Fan Cost Index||Cost Rank in NFL|
|Increase Since 1998|
|Percentage Increase Since 1998|
Key to notes on preceding Tables: b=14oz c=16oz e=20oz g=22oz
These numbers show that, even in the smaller markets (which definitely includes Carolina and most would say includes Pittsburgh) there have been substantial increases in the cost of attending a game for the average fan. What these statistics ignore, however, is the increasing impact of Personal Seat Licenses or PSLs on the cost of attending a game for individual fans. Essentially, a PSL is the professional football equivalent of season ticket rights in college football. The Average Ticket Price shown above reflects the average cost of a single game ticket available to the public for each team. The fact is, however, in many of the NFL stadiums the number of generally available seats is wholly insignificant when compared to the number of seats licensed via PSLs. In many cases, fans are left with only two choices: scalpers or buying a PSL.
PSLs are where the "Premium Ticket" costs referenced above come into play.
Again, when compared to what you see with some major college sports venues, Panthers PSLs are not that expensive. The Dallas Cowboys, who are preparing to open a grand new $1.3 billion stadium for the 2009 season, however, will charge as much as $150,000 for seat licenses. As a point of reference, according to Zillow.com, the median home value for Knoxville, Tennessee is approximately $148,000. In the modern era, there can be little question, in most markets, that professional sports tickets are aimed less and less at individual fans (or the "Common Fan" as Basilio calls them) and more toward businesses and corporations. As a result, on gamedays many professional sporting venues are primarily peopled by business people engaged in the schmooze game than it is by fans actively pulling for their teams.
The Flip-side of a Very Big Coin
The cost of gate admissions, however, barely scratches the surface of the cost of operating a professional sports franchise. In that sense, professional sports depend far less on the ticket-buying fan and more on other streams of revenue than do college athletics. None of this, however, means that the costs of running professional franchises are not passed on to fans. It just occurs indirectly. The "real" money for professional sports lies in corporate affiliations, naming rights, licensing and marketing, government subsidies, and the end-all and be-all: television broadcast rights.
Make no mistake, without these key components, professional sports as we know them do not survive. The irony is, however, that without the common fan, these components of the professional sports balance sheet evaporate.
Of course, some -- most notably the NFL -- contend that professional sports always have and will continue to be recession-proof. In a recent interview with CNBC’s Mark Koba, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy commented on the effects of the recession by stating: "If we could build a stadium for 300,000 people we would sell out the game. The Super Bowl has always lifted the spirits of America and this year is no different." Others are far less sanguine.
As the Money Players blog notes, there are already strong indications that "the long-held notion that sports is 'recession proof' is being shattered." The first signs of this change have already begun to become apparent. Some minor professional franchises folded early in the onset of the current recession, but now the list of the affected is growing. For instance:
- In December, the WNBA's most successful franchise, the Houston Comets, officially folded;
- The barely solvent to begin with Arena Football League canceled the 2009 season;
- The PGA publicly acknowledged it could face tough times given the current economic crisis, and the LPGA cut three tour stops and $5 million in prize money from its 2009 tour;
- The NHL officially dropped its revenue projections for 2008-09;
- Neither the New York Giants nor the Dallas Cowboys have managed to find a suitor sufficiently willing to pay for naming rights on their new stadiums;
- The New York Yankees have yet to sell out the luxury boxes in the singularly lavish New Yankee Stadium, while the secondary market prices of opening day tickets in the new facility have plummeted (most recently selling on the secondary market for $ 534, down from $ 1,101);
- The Washington Redskins recently laid off 20 front-office employees while Roger Goodell laid off 150 of the 1,000 employees at the NFL league offices;
- Both the NBA and NFL have recently offered cuts in ticket prices to bolster flagging attendance;
- Both the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals had difficulties selling out their playoff games this season;
- NASCAR Racing is facing the bleakest season outlook in years due to sponsorship issues; and
- Most notably, the cost of tickets to Super Bowl XLIII on the secondary market was $500 - $800 lower than last year.
These are but a few examples.
These sorts of "adjustments" on the part of major professional sports demonstrate that professional sports are not immune to recession. That realization has gotten the attention of many sports-business watchers and has started a new conversation about the state of professional sports.
Said Andrew Zimbalist, a noted sports economist and professor of economics at Smith College:
... Ordering Soma online, fans tend to give up other consumption before they cut back their consumption of sports. The present downturn is, my Soma experience, Buy Soma without a prescription, however, both much more severe and likely to last considerably longer than the typical post-WWII recession, Soma from canadian pharmacy. Soma price, coupon, Moreover, the revenue-generating model in pro sports has been gentrified over the last 20 years, Soma pics, Rx free Soma, becoming more dependent on the sale of premium seating, corporate sponsorships, Soma recreational, Purchase Soma online no prescription, and catering — all expenditures likely to be more sensitive to economic conditions.
... What we do know is that the sports industry will reflect, buy Soma online cod, Is Soma addictive, perhaps with some moderation, the vicissitudes of the overall economy.
• via: Freakonomics
Steve Czaban, a syndicated host with Fox Sports Radio (which, along with Sports Illustrated and others, is itself currently clawing to remain solvent) believes that the market for sports will diminish substantially, unless major corporations are able to save themselves from collapse. In a recent article by Wall Street Journal columnist Jonathan Last, Czaban noted, "The worst-case scenario, for example, for the NFL, is there's a dozen teams that can no longer sell out their home games." The article notes that such a loss would create broadcast issues due to the NFL blackout rules for non-sold-out games. Said Czaban, "The U.S. government is buying banks, major retailers are going under, and a half-a-dozen newspapers are folding up shop. Why is it we think this could never happen to sports?"
As Andrew Zimbalist and others note, however, there is no real historical benchmark aside from the experience of Major League Baseball during the Great Depression. During the early 1930's fan attendance dropped by as much as 40%, but no teams failed. That begs two questions: 1) Is it possible that the same attendance drops could be on the horizon for major professional sports in the near future, and 2) if so, can they bear the financial strain of a reduced fanbase?
Of course, in the 1930's there was only one major sports league, college athletics were in their infancy and were largely localized, more importantly there was no television.
Television, in the minds of many, will be the savior of major sports in the current crunch, but there are those who question whether that is true. In fact some assert that television might actually add to the erosion of revenues for sports -- professional and college alike.
The thought that television could add fuel to the already raging fire is a scary one, especially for professional franchises whose “help me, help you” relationship with television has been a dependable source of revenue during even the most trying times.
Video: Help Me, Help You...
That is what I will look at in the next installment of this series...
Images Courtesy of: Panthers.com • Steelers.com • Patriots.com • Wikipedia .
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A List of Reminiscing...
Well, it's New Year's Eve, the final day of 2008. Yes, I know, I'm asking "Already?!?" just you like may be doing. It seems like last month I was standing in Times Square in NYC for nine hours (without any food, drinks, or bathroom breaks) with five of my friends ringing in 2008. But here it is, the start of another year is less than 24 hours away.[caption id="" align="alignright" width="100" caption="My new logo"][/caption]
Now hopefully you have yet to bail on me because of that terribly mushy opening, and if you have I thank you. I'll get to my little list of what I'll most remember from the past year in sports in a minute, but first I need to say that I began this whole blogging thing back in June, when the looming monster of summer school was at my doorstep. When I started, I didn't really know what I was doing, and I wasn't sure how long I'd be blogging or any of that. I really enjoyed it at first, mostly the posts following the NBA Finals games and my amateur, yet rather extensive, coverage of the Rocky Top Summer League (yes, I skipped studying for tests and doing schoolwork to do those). However, at first I underestimated how much work blogging actually can be.
So when lawvol approached me (figuratively) about joining forces with him, it was a no-brainer. I have enjoyed writing here at the Gate and I just want to give some props to lawvol for having me on here and for helping me when I bug him about the simplest of issues. And of course thank you to yourselves, the readers (if you're still actually reading this). Who knows if my blogging will actually help the journalism career I'm hoping for/working towards/trying to gain experience for, but I've certainly enjoyed it and I'm glad I decided to begin with it.
OK, enough of those little bits of business, now onto this little list. This will be a little different than the other two I've done, as in I'm writing this, I'm not limiting myself to what pops into my mind when I think back of the past year in sports. I was able to narrow my hatred for Alabama down to five and the hope of the Vols' hoops season to 10, but this is a whole year we're talking here. I'll try to keep it as short as I can. Anyways, here goes...[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Thanks Coach"][/caption]
1) Good-bye and thank you Coach Fulmer: Well duh. The only Tennessee football coach I've pretty much ever known fell victim to a failed replacement of David Cutcliffe and the second losing season in the last four years. It's been the toughest year as a Tennessee fan I have been a part of by far, but it ended very sweet with the home win over Kentucky.[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="78" caption="CLK"][/caption]
2) Hello, Lane Kiffin: Fulmer's replacement has me excited, and I know I ain't the only one. Some are skeptical, but the Blackjack General (kudos, lawvol) has the fire that I think this program needs. He and his staff have plenty of work to do to return to the level of competing with Florida and the growing empire in Tuscaloosa, but so far, so good...[caption id="" align="alignright" width="100" caption="Champs"][/caption]
3) Being #1 for less than two days is still better than never being #1...: This goes way back to February, and the 66-62 #2-over-#1 win by Tennessee at Memphis. I had to cover/get audio for this game for the radio station sports show I was involved in last spring, and it was just fun to watch and see in person. That, and being in the middle of the aftermath right outside the locker room and on the FedEx Forum floor trying to be "professional" is undoubtedly a highlight of this past year.
4) 2008 SEC basketball champs: Need anything else be said? And to do it in Gainesville after getting blitzed in the first half was icing. I also covered that last home game against Carolina, so watching the whole net-cutting and t-shirt deal was a highlight.
5) Fan apathy: Honestly, this was probably the biggest factor to Fulmer's firing. I have made my thoughts on the student attendance and the whole paying for tickets well known through this site (try this). This video (I wouldn't dare actually post it) was the lowest point for me as a Tennessee fan in my life. I must admit, I left well before it, but I didn't want to be a apart of that. I commend you if you did...[caption id="" align="alignright" width="150" caption="Thanks Chris and JaJuan"][/caption]
6) Chris Lofton: Seeing this guy get to play in person for two years was a treat. Talk about a role model, he had cancer, didn't tell anyone for completely unselfish purposes, and still had a pretty good season and was an integral part of the SEC Title run for the Vols. I have his #5 jersey on my wall of my room in my apartment, and it will be hanging in TBA's rafters soon enough.
7) JaJuan Smith, too: Walk-on to nearly making the Mavericks. The best part of watching Juanny the past two years of college was that he made it look so fun. From his rainbow threes to pestering defense and occasionaly bonehead turnover, I'll never forget this guy and what he was to the Tennessee program.
Championship #8: I have to give Pat Summit and the Lady Vols some love. I never go to any of their games, but I do know they exist. That senior class dominated and Candace Parker, well, she's just awesome.
9) Eric Berry: The dude is just a BAMF. My four years of college may be four of the worst in Tennessee history, but at least I got to see this guy play. Seriously, he was reason enough to watch as the awful 2008 season went down the toilet. His pick-six against Mississippi State might have been the craziest moment of the student section this past year (yeah, indicating how bad the season truly was...). List of guys he almost killed in 2008: Tyler Donovan, Taylor Embree, Knowshon Moreno, Marquis Maze, and that's off the top of my head. If a team had 22 Eric Berrys, they would never lose. Maybe, just maybe, he'll like playing in Monte Kiffin's defense enough to stay for his senior year...[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="75" caption="Monte!"][/caption]
10) Monte Kiffin: Sweet! Most respected defensive coordinator in the NFL? Yes please.
11) The Streak: Tennessee has now won 37 straight home games in Thompson-Boling Arena. A couple of teams nearly broke it (Ole Miss, Kentucky, Belmont), but it's still going strong. I still have never left that arena having seen Tennessee lose. It was empty four years ago, now this streak. Could Gonzaga end it a week from tonight?
12) Construction: If you visited Knoxville this past year, you know what I mean. The stadium. Glocker. The Baker Center. Neyland. The TBA facelift. Lindsay Nelson. Heck, even I-40 has been closed since May...
13) Losses I witnessed in person: Louisville (Sweet 16 game in Charlotte), Florida, Auburn (nearly fell asleep in the third quarter), Alabama, Wyoming...
14) My love for the NBA: It gets a bad rap for the most part, but you can't tell me you're a true fan of the game of basketball and not like the NBA. Before this past season, I never really followed it other than the playoffs and the handful of Grizzlies games I saw in my high school days. Now, I just plain love it. These guys are ridiculous. I could watch LeBron James play every night. The Lakers-Celtics finals capped off an amazing playoffs and it's shaking up to be a great season this year too.
15) Wyoming: I saw them beat Tennessee 13-7 in Knoxville. They were 1-7 in the Mountain West and fired their coach. Ouch...
16) UCLA: Kevin Craft
is worse than me for Heisman! really wasn't as good as we made him look. The beginning of the end...
17) This play:
18) These dunks:
19) Redeem Team Wins Gold: The highlight of the Beijing Olympics for me. Yes, I watched every minute of every one of their games. They were not going to be denied and watching these guys play together and with a serious sense of urgency was well worth it. Thank you, LeBron, D-Wade, Kobe, CP3, Bosh, Howard, Boozer, D-Will, Melo, Redd, Tayshaun, Coach K and staff.[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Monte!"][/caption]
20) The tornado that almost killed me: I'm getting lazy, so just click here. If you're too lazy to do that,
you're worse than me I was in the Georgia Dome for the SEC Tournament when that tornado owned downtown Atlanta.
21) Michael Phelps: Second best part of the Olympics. The relay the U.S. stole from the trash-talking French and the race he won from nowhere had me up and yelling at the TV.
22) Scotty Hopson, Bobby Maze, Emmanuel Negedu, Renaldo Woolridge: They're only going to get better...
23) This NFL season: I don't get too pumped about pro football other than for fantasy purposes, but this was a fun season to watch. It came down to the end and I can honestly justify about six teams going all the way. Miami went from 1-15 to the playoffs and nobody's laughing at the Falcons now. And those drama queens in Dallas are watching it all...
24) Jerod Mayo: Any time a Vol gets drafted in the Top 10...and then dominates as a rookie, I'm pumped...
25) Shaun Ellis: This was just plain funny...
26) Tyler Smith and J.P. Prince: Two transfers are huge parts of Tennessee hoops in 2008 and going forward. Thanks to Tyler for his clutch makes against Ole Miss and Memphis State. This year's team is his team, and it took Prince hurting himself to make us see how important he is to this team.
27) The Olympics: Yeah, they were about all I watched for that two week stretch this summer.
28) VolQuest/Rivals: I can't lie, I have spent countless hours procrastinating and wasting time on the message boards. If you have done it too, you know their addictive powers...
29) Jonathan Crompton: Well, there's not much to say, but most of the Tennessee fanbase thinks he's the worst QB to ever wear orange. Hell, he couldn't even hand the ball off against Florida and Auburn. The Auburn game might have been the worst game ever played by a QB - my goodness was it ugly. When he entered the South Carolina after Nick Stephens threw an awful pick-six, ESPN showed his stats for the year - he had thrown for 666 yards. Yikes. Yet, that pass to Denarius Moore against Kentucky...reason for hope? I mean, he's got an equal chance of starting next year as the other QBs Tennessee has. I'm just saying...
30) And finally, Mario Chalmers: Tiger High/John Calipari = EPIC FAIL...
HAPPY 2009 TO YOU FROM US HERE AT GATE 21!!!
Images Courtesy of: Michael Patrick / KNS • Michael Patrick / KNS • volnation.com • coachsoffice.com • interbasket.net
Over the weekend I spent a fair amount of time watching the XXIX Olympic Games from Beijing -- taking in all that comes along with the quadrennial rite that is the Olympics. It was an excellent weekend of competition, celebration, and pageantry.
Bearing all of this in mind, I began to ask myself what is the Olympics "place" in the overall world of sports? Many would say that the Olympic Games are the single most important competition in sports -- the "ultimate" expression of athletic competition. On the other hand, others would argue that the Olympics really aren't about sports at all, representing the exercise of diplomacy through other means. Finally, there are those who would -- for various reasons ranging from the lack of their favorite sport from the games to a lack of interest in international competition -- say that, while engaging, the Olympics are largely a second-tier sporting event focused more on "ancillary" sporting events.
For me, however, the Olympics hold a special place -- if only because of the "amateur spirit" which they embody...
I do eagerly await the Olympics each time they roll around. They are -- for me -- a sublime opportunity to view events and competitions that are far beyond the sports I normally have the opportunity to follow. So too, there is something that is uniquely endearing in the pursuit of achievement in the name of ones homeland, where the accolade is far less tangible than that which accompanies success in modern "big time" sports. That is the essence of amateur competition -- not completely divorced from many of the reasons I so identify with college athletics as opposed to professional sports.Of course, one can become a little to idealistic when it comes to the Olympics...
Gone are the days of "lily-white" amateurism from the Olympics as an ideal governing the competition between nations. This was not only the mantra of the international Olympic movement during the first three-quarters of the 20th Century, but was tenaciously enforced by individuals such as Avery Brundage, who served as the President of the International Olympic Committee until 1972.
During that era, any "taint" of professionalism by an athlete would assuredly lead to banishment from the games for life, and could possibly lead to medals being stripped. The stand of the IOC was clear: Any athlete competing in the Olympic Games must be an amateur.Of course, things were not always as pure as the powers that be would suggest ...
As anyone who witnessed any of the games held during the Cold War, the amateurism of some of the Eastern Bloc countries was perpetually in question. Furthermore, at times the stance on amateurism often overshadowed the real purpose of the Olympic Games, and placed form over substance with only the individual athlete feeling the pain of the IOC's censure.Thus, perhaps, the "good old days" were not always as good as we have been led to believe...
Nonetheless, there is something that has been lost over the years as the Olympics seem to have moved farther and farther afield from the old amateur standards, to the point that -- in all sports but boxing -- professional players are welcomed. With this transition came the advent of the so-called "Dream Teams," peopled with superstar professional athletes from across the globe. The thought of playing against the greatest that the NBA has to offer is a daunting and discouraging prospect for a team from a smaller country lacking a professional league or an established sports infrastructure. Still, as the United States Olympic Basketball team learned in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, "David" still has a lot of stones in his sling when it comes to the "Goliaths" of the sports world.
Competition, however, is not always a fair fight, and, perhaps, that reality is part of what makes the Olympics special. Perhaps it is the "against all odds" mentality or ethos which makes the Olympics beautiful as a spectacle of competition.The Olympics are not about necessarily winning or losing, but about trying despite the odds...
For me, the single most poignant image of the Olympics is that of Gabriela Andersen-Scheiss completing the marathon in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. I still remember watching the then 39 year-old competitor for Switzerland come limping into Olympic Stadium -- at least twenty minutes behind the winner -- barely able to walk. She had only to complete one lap around the stadium track to finish the race. As she staggered from side to side, barely able to stand upright, she continued on. Fearing that she might be suffering from heat stroke, several medical staff actually walked alongside her as she took a heart wrenching 5 minutes and 44 seconds to complete the circuit of the field, before collapsing across the finish line and receiving immediate medical care.
The pragmatist would say that it was foolish for Andersen-Scheiss to continue on when she was clearly suffering and had no hope of winning. The utilitarian would undoubtedly conclude that she should stop, because the risk to her health far exceeded the benefit to be gained by completing the race. Sometimes, it is not rational, it is not practical, it is not about winning or losing -- it is about heart, determination, and finding what it takes to put one foot in front of the other to finish the journey you have begun.
Sometimes, it is simply a testament to the human spirit...
I suppose that is what still draws me to the Olympic Games. In this regard, it is still a competition of amateurs, in some ways. For many athletes at the games, the competition is not one of professionals versus the amateurs. It is not one of one country versus another. It is not one of winner and loser.
In the Olympic Games -- even today -- for many athletes it is a competition between heart and head. It is the battle between self and soul which brings competitors from far and wide who have not a single hope for victory. They do it not to prove that they can beat any other athlete, break any records, or win any medals, but to simply prove that they can compete...
... and in this battle with self -- the battle to find the will to press on -- there are no professionals.
Image Courtesy of: ZDF.de
You hardly have to be a genius to realize that I am a college sports fan.
Whether I qualify as "die hard" is open to interpretation, I suppose. Still, as a VASF donor for more than a decade, season ticket holder for Tennessee Volunteers football, and as an individual who travels over six hours one-way to see each football game in Knoxville, I probably fall into the "dyed-in-the-wool" category placing me in the top tier of college fans when it comes to dedication (or lunacy depending on your perspective).
Either way, at various times in my life, I have contemplated becoming a more avid fan of professional sports. At times I have even been a "real" fan of certain teams by most standards. That being said, no matter what I do, I always seem to lose my interest in professional sports and return to my roots as a college football fan...
... or perhaps professional sports loses interest in me.
No, that last statement is not intended to be a wildly arrogant and self-centered declaration of my importance in the sports world. On the contrary, it is meant to show my complete insignificance -- along with the millions of other sports fans out there.
In case you missed it, after forty-one years in the "City Which is Never Dry," the Seattle Supersonics are pulling up stakes and heading to Oklahoma City to be known as the Oklahoma Clod-kickers, or something along those lines.
The era of the Supersonics is over...
Owing to the fact that I live on the Right-Coast and parted ways with the NBA in the mid-1990s, I was really not tuned into this story until after the final announcement was made. I make no claims to be a Supersonics fan, and can really only think of 2 Supersonics players ever: Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel (mainly because he choked Wes Mathews in the middle of a game which is the sort of thing I tend not to forget). Still, I feel for the Supersonics’ fans, and I assume that there are a fair number of them, whether they be "die hard" or not. While I know that Seattle may potentially get another team some day, as a practical matter they now understand how SMU fans felt when their team got the death penalty for football. The only difference is that, unlike SMU who was finally able to resume play, Seattle’s program is gone for good -- gonzo, outta here, dead, kaput, snuffed it ...
If I am a Seattle Supersonics fan, that just plain sucks...
That got me to thinking (which is so rarely a good thing). The fact that the Supersonics could up and vanish like a fart in the wind, is the reason why I personally will never be anything more than an occasional fan of professional sports. At so many levels, that disturbs me. It also brings back a few memories.
I still remember the announcement in the late-1980s that, after ... well ... forever North Carolina was going to get its first professional sports franchise (unless you count the ABA’s Carolina Cougars, which I don’t) in the form of an expansion team in Charlotte. The team was to be called the "Charlotte Spirit" and was to begin play in the 1988 season. Those who were to be fans of the team realized the "Spirit" was a crappy name, and thus the team was re-dubbed the "Charlotte Hornets." You may have heard of them.
When the nets went up at the lavish new Charlotte Coliseum in 1988, I became an instant Charlotte Hornets fan. I was addicted to all things related to the Hornets. I still remember the very first game I ever got a chance to attend: 7 January 1989, the Washington Bullets vs. the Charlotte Hornets. Led by Kelly Tripucka, the Hornets managed to edge the Bullets 107 - 104, for their 9th win that season. I was also fortunate enough to catch three more games that season, and was elated when the Hornets earned their 20th win versus the New Jersey Nets, en route to finishing their inaugural season with an overall record of 20 -62.
Despite the fact that the Hornets hardly wowed the sports world with their wins, the fans in Charlotte were absolutely crazed when it came to "Hornets Hysteria" and a ticket to a game at "the Hive" was all but impossible to come by. By the end of the season, 950,064 people had attended games in Charlotte, and the Hornets were named the NBA attendance champions for 1988-89 -- a feat they would repeat from 1990-91 through 1996-97.
In 1999, however, things started going sour. Owner George Shinn started demanding a brand new coliseum to replace the one that had been opened during the Hornets’ first season, which the city simply could not justify. To make matters worse, Shinn became a pariah as due to allegations that he had raped a former employee. While Shinn ultimately won the lawsuit, the evidence that was presented hardly made him look like the innocent victim. Overnight, the Hornets went from top of the heap to bottom of the pile in the hearts of many due to Shinn’s actions and statements.
Thus, in 2002, George Shinn picked up his ball and went home -- his new home, that is, in New Orleans...
Of course, Shinn falling out of favor with the citizens of Charlotte was probably as much to blame as anything, but Shinn hardly ennobled himself when -- in the wake of Hurricane Katrina -- Shinn quietly considered the possibility of relocating the Hornets permanently to Oklahoma City, their temporary home while New Orleans tried to rebuild. Bowing to pressure from the NBA Commissioner David Stern, the Hornets did return to New Orleans. What’s more, in recognition of the fact that Shinn had completely alienated every living soul in Charlotte, the NBA did award Charlotte a new franchise -- the Charlotte Bobcats -- only two years after the Hornets left town.
Regardless of how things ultimately turned out, the whole process of watching the team pull-up and leave left me with a lingering bad taste in my mouth. After that, I decided that I simply wasn’t willing to invest the time, effort, or dedication into any professional team. Now make no mistake, the right to have a professional sports franchise in your hometown is anything but a right -- it is a privilege. Still, the list of teams which were plucked from their fans is long. Some were moved because the town simply did not support the team -- I really do not have much of a quarrel with that. Most, however, have been taken because the owners simply wanted more money than the city and the fans could (as opposed to would) fork over.
Enter the Seattle Supersonics...
I really hate it for the people of Seattle because -- to the best of my knowledge -- they always supported their team. In the end Clay Bennett wanted to move the team to his hometown -- again, Oklahoma City -- and there was really little that the Sonics faithful could do about it. Bennett’s mind was made up and there was nothing that was going to keep him or the team in Seattle -- not even the city’s attempts to stop the move in court. In the end, the city had little choice but to take the settlement, and try to lure another team to town in the near future. Sure, they have their memories, but that’s about it.
As a dedicated sports fan, I know that the few professional teams that I support (the Carolina Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes to name a few) could leave town at any time. That is why I will pull for them, occasionally go to a game, and maybe even buy a t-shirt with their logo on it, but I will never be a true fan.
That brings me back around to where I started...
While I often complain about the prices I have to pay to get my season tickets in Knoxville, it’s part of the deal. While I get tired of having to lose all of your best players every four years (or sooner) because of eligibility and graduation, it comes with the territory. While I will freely agree that the level of play in Neyland Stadium is not and will never be on par with the play at any of the NFL stadiums, I can live with it. There are a lot of peculiarities about athletic department administrations, sacred cows, and the NCAA which, at times, make following a college team maddening. There are not many food courts in college venues.
Ignoring all of the "amateur versus professional" arguments and how that impacts the true nature of sport (and I feel that some of those arguments are amazingly powerful and meaningful) there are a lot of things about college sports which make it inferior to professional sports.
Still, when I don my orange and white, I know that no matter what happens the University of Tennessee will always be the University of Tennessee. I know that the same will always be the case for the Alabama Crimson Tide, Kentucky Wildcats, Georgia Bulldogs, the Tarheads, and even the Florida Gators. I know that no matter how lousy the team is, no matter how bad the facilities may be, no matter how awful the city may look, those teams -- and hundreds of others -- will always be in the same place.
While I like to complain that in the post Big Dickey era, you have to "pay to stay" at Tennessee -- at least in terms of your seats -- I know it is a necessary evil. The bright side, however, is that even if I don’t pay -- the Volunteers are not going anywhere. In that regard, small as I may be on their radar, I guess I matter to the University of Tennessee -- enough for them to stay put. That is precisely why, first and foremost, I am a fan of college sports.
So to all of you Seattle Supersonics fans, I know you are upset -- you got a raw deal.
Still, the University of Washington is just down the road...