Note: Before I begin I want to add that this is an opinion article, also known as an editorial
March 27, 2017: the day that 31 NFL owners voted to uproot the Oakland Raiders, and allow the team to find a new home in Las Vegas. Sure, for the Raiders it may be a good option. They are moving to a territory that they would not have to share with anyone except an NHL team. One thing about the business of sports is that, yes, there is a massive business aspect to it; but it is not the same as any other industry. The difference is the fans. Sure, in other industries there are consumers and customers, but that is still different than fan bases in sports.
Fans are practically owners of the teams. Most of the revenue comes from things that fans do such as buy merchandise, food, tickets, etc… Over the past two years there have been three teams that have left the cities that they have played in (some for 50-plus years) in order to go someplace with a bigger market. Now if this were a restaurant or store, it makes sense. More population equals more potential clients/customers. However these are not stores, these are teams with history. These are teams that integrate into the communities and make a personal and lasting impact on each and every fan. There is a reason that fan bases become family and it is that shared bond and experiences of being a fan of a team.
When teams move, they do not realize they are hurting both the image of the organization as well as their fans. Imagine a business that would abandon its largest stakeholder instead of trying to please said stakeholder. The company’s brand may go up in value, but what is the point of an increase of the brand if there is no loyalty to said brand?
Moving away from a large source of money based upon the “chance” that you could double the current revenue is one of the most greedy business decisions a team could make. The only thing that an increase in brand will help is the cost of selling said franchise.
The NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, and NBA are a fan run industry. The reason that the sports industry is worth several hundred billion dollars, is mostly because of the amount of fans it draws. Being a fan is more than just liking this or liking that, being a fan is being a part of a community and supporting the team by spending money on gameday and on different things with the teams logo on it.
Why in the world ruin a good thing? Teams seem to think the way to earn more money is just to move to a bigger market. Maybe they are right in the short-term because since the Chargers moved they increased the value of the brand. However, they still have to play at a stadium that is meant for soccer with a low amount of seats. So even though the brand increased and the potential is there, the teams need to win a Super Bowl to make a “fan base” in Los Angeles. However, the owner doesn’t seem to care about championships.
In short, the NFL is going to feel the repercussions. It is hard to support teams that have a history of leaving. Maybe to begin with they will see an increase because of new markets in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. However, they will not see consistent revenue from the teams. With all of the rule changes and everything else, it is soon to be the NTFL (National Touch Football League) instead of the NFL, which would piss off a major target market in sports.
To the Indoor Football League we go!!! Go Rattlers.
Before I begin…
This column is for entertainment purposes only. This column is not an endorsement of gambling, as gambling is highly illegal. That is, unless you’re in a licensed casino or other permitted gaming establishment, or playing small enough stakes it will never be noticed. (Office pools, home games, gentlemen’s bets etc..) On a side side note…no snitching. Bet responsibly. (That’s IF we were betting, which we’re not…) Bet only what you can afford, I don’t want anyone losing their homes and being forced to read my column from a shared computer in a Starbucks or something. That would be tragic.
There, that should take care of legal. On to the subject at hand.
The Las Vegas bookmakers are the go-to source for the odds to win in any sporting event. Like the casinos in Vegas, those brick and mortar palaces of overindulgence are built on the backs (and bank accounts) of visitors foolish enough to think they could out-think the ‘wiseguys’, more commonly known as the analytics gurus who set the betting lines. The house always wins and the wiseguys always win. Right?
Okay, well they’re right a majority of the time. However, Vegas has been wrong about the Chargers all season. If you had bet on the Chargers like a certain writer we all know who shall remain nameless, you would have beat Vegas and be in the midst of a three game win streak right now. How?
The Chargers were +3 underdogs to the Arizona Cardinals in week one. The game was decided by one point. Win.
In week two, the Chargers were +6.5 point underdogs to the Seattle Seahawks. We know how that game turned out. Win.
In week three, the Chargers were +2 point underdogs to the Buffalo Bills. Another win.
For the gambling illiterate, when the underdog wins, the bettor wins more money than he wagered. In three games, three bets on the Chargers would have all resulted in wins. Vegas had not picked the Chargers to win a game and each week the Chargers have proven them wrong.
That is, until now.
The wiseguys have finally decided to favor the Chargers for the first time this season in their week four tilt against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Vegas has made the Chargers 14-point favorites. A betting favorite has to beat the point spread to win. There is a game the wiseguys think the Chargers can win! Stop the presses! Of course, for a bettor to make it to the pay window this week the Chargers have to win by 15 to get paid. To win by 14 would constitute a tie, or as its known in Vegas, a push. No one wins and your money is free to bet elsewhere. Now the question is not if the Chargers will win but will they win by 15 or more. Quite a different question as opposed to the first three weeks. Let me consult my Magic 8-Ball…
All signs point to yes…
Let’s hope the Chargers don’t start thinking like the wiseguys. Yes, the Chargers should be able to blow the doors off the Jaguars and their newly appointed rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, but they should not look past them. Just because they’re supposed to slaughter the hapless Jaguars doesn’t mean they will. The Patriots needed a final minute goal line stand to beat the Raiders last week. The Patriots were 14-point favorites to beat Oakland last week and they barely squeaked by 16-9. No one gave Cleveland a shot against New Orleans in week two but the Browns got the win.
The Chargers are entering a nice stretch of games where they will encounter the Jaguars, New York Jets, Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs in succession before they have their first clash with Denver in Mile High Stadium. Even Vegas is likely to favor the Chargers until they meet Peyton and company. The Chargers need to focus squarely on each of these highly winnable games (the Raiders, Chiefs, Jets and Jaguars are a combined 2-10 heading into week four) and collect these wins as they will be significant in the push to win the AFC West and make the playoffs.
The wiseguys aren’t dummies however. Although the placing varies, Vegas has San Diego as one of the top eight favorites to win the Super Bowl not in the AFC but in the league at 20 to 1 odds (pay one dollar, win twenty in return) or better. Depending on the which bookmaker you pick, its up to 12-1 odds.
Vegas is welcome to be right on that one. As for me, I always bet on 17.
The Greg One
We’re two days away from Thursday’s NFL Draft. I’m looking forward to returning to New York City for a second year in a row with all intention of getting some great interviews, photos and coverage for you, loyal BoltBlitz readers.
We’re all looking forward to seeing what the Chargers will do in the draft and if GM Tom Telesco can have as successful a draft as he did last year. This is shaping up to be a very exciting draft, full of twists and turns. In my opinion, there will be far more wheeling and dealing than we saw last year. Here are some of my observations of what we will see over the draft’s three days.
Houston will take Johnny Manziel. The talk out of Houston is about everyone but Manziel, which usually means they’re most likely picking him. They will be smart and trade out of the number one spot with Atlanta or Oakland, adding an extra pick and taking Manziel at 5 or 6. Houston’s biggest weakness is the quarterback position and the most famous/best quarterback in the state of Texas is Manziel. A pick for Johnny Football will bring people back to the stadium, get cash registers ringing and sell season tickets at a nauseating rate. This is the perfect professional and financial fit for the Texans, and the buzz will make their fans forget all about Matt What’sHisName.
San Francisco will trade into the top ten. The 49ers have 11 picks in this draft and there is no way they use them all. Eleven picks would take up 20% of their opening day roster. San Francisco is desperate for a big-time wide receiver to play opposite Michael Crabtree. No to mention they’re looking for the heir apparent to Anquan Boldin, who is still productive but only has a year or two left in the tank at age 33, a geezer by NFL standards. Don’t be surprised if they package three of their picks to jump ahead of Tampa and claim Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans.
Picking at 25, my gut instinct says San Diego will pick Louis Nix III. The biggest hole on the team is at nose tackle where they only have one player who could play the position if they had to play a game today, Sean Lissemore. Nix is the most pure nose tackle in the draft, often compared to Vince Wilfork. If Nix is gone, I think the Chargers will trade out of the first round with a team that wants to re-enter the draft such as the quarterback-needy teams like Cleveland, Tampa Bay or Oakland.
Dallas will move out of their spot at 16 and overdraft a player they could have had in the second round. Such is life when Jerry Jones runs the war room. Dumb things happen.
At least two big name veteran players will be dealt during the draft.
Six quarterbacks will be drafted in the first round.
Five teams will not pick in their designated slot so that means at least five trades, three of them involving the top ten slots.
Last season, the Chargers had a groundbreaking draft and I can’t help but give myself some credit for bringing some good Chargers karma into the building. Remember the commercial about superstitious fans? That’s me. I’m going to try to find the same seat I was in last year!
I’m looking forward to bringing you live coverage, blogs and hopefully some great interviews. I will be live-tweeting as long as the battery on my iphone holds out. RCMH is a drafty, cavernous building that seems to sap the life out of cell phones with alarming speed. I will not be opposed to the NFL moving the draft to a different venue such as Honolulu or Las Vegas maybe….hmmm. Are you listening, Mr. Goodell?
Stay tuned, Chargers fans. Here’s hoping the Chargers war room yields results as good or better than last year!
The Greg One