The State of Sports Fandom Not Good

I wanted to rant and whine a bit about the state of my favorite teams in the current fall seasons. First off, two of my teams drastically need new ownership. This causes a bit of a problem for the on field product.

The Oakland Raiders fired coach Lane Kiffin yesterday in usual bizarre fashion. Video of it can be seen here http://www.insidebayarea.com/video?bcpid=1659850580&bclid=1620732838&bctid=1828590897

I love the Silver and Black and am a true and loyal fan. At this point, I am to use the cliche rooting for laundry though. Al Davis (the owner) has torpedoed this team to no end. It is hard for me to say since he brought the glory years that made me a fan as a yute. The Raiders have lost 64 of last 84 games. Please read that again. The whole premise of the NFL is parity.  Despite rules being in place to help teams stay level, the Raiders are mired in the muck. The Raiders will not get better until Al dies or sells the team. He is 79 and no longer should be picking or signing players nor should he have a direct line to the sideline. I can’t root for his death, so I am stuck until ownership or stewardship of the Raiders changes. Ugh.

Newcastle United, my adopted English football club is in as bad a state, almost. The owner Mike Ashely, billionaire entrepreneur has sacked the manager Kevin Keegan and has put the club up for sale. It turns out the club carried more debt than he knew when he bought the club and Mr. Ashley has tired of plowing his own money into the club. The firing of Keegan and putting the club up for sale has left the team adrift. They are at the bottom of the Premiership table and unless momentous changes come about, will be looking at a relegation fight again this year.  Its a sad state. The ever loyal Geordie fans are even starting to stay away from St. James Park, the home field of the Magpies.  I may be spending this year, casting my eyes around the Premiership for a new club to support in 09.

Notre Dame football, another of the few teams that I am loyal too. The problem here is I can’t stand their coach Charlie Weis. He is still there and the club is still mediocre. The team seems to have improved over last year slightly. Combine this with their soft schedule and they will get to enough wins to go back to a bowl game. Which should be interesting because they will get smacked by a good team and exposed once again. Irish have not won a bowl game since ’93. Ugh. I am seeing them this year though. I will be making a return trip to Baltimore to visit my friend Marty and see ND take on Navy in November.

If it weren’t for Longmeadow High football and the upcoming UMass hockey and basketball season, I would be in dire straits sporting wise. Ben update, he handled kick off duties last week for the varsity team and got in on both offense and defense at the end of a 42-6 rout over Chicopee. They are playing at Westfield on Friday night and if the weather is dry, I should be there for it.

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