Archive for November 2011

The Real Losers

November 16, 2011

If you’ve been following the sports world the past several months then you no doubt are aware of the current labor dispute in the NBA between the owners and players which has cost the league all scheduled games through December 15.

Like 99% of you out there I can’t relate to a fight between billionaires and millionaires.  Some of you side with the players while others side with the owners. As for me, I honestly don’t care and will openly admit that I haven’t been following every single detail.

All I know is that the players have rejected the owners latest proposal and now the players union is taking steps to decertify thus putting the 2011-2012 NBA season in serious jeopardy.

As I began to think about not having professional basketball this fall through spring I began to think about the people that are the biggest losers in this situation.

Chances are if you were to ask people who the losers are in this current dispute, many would say the fans are those who are hurt the most.  While I do agree, I think that’s a superficial answer.  Sure the fans are the most loyal customers of the product who pump  hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars into the NBA machine through ticket sales and merchandise just to name a couple of  revenue streams.

For them getting the receipt of a labor dispute that’s forcing the cancellation of games is not exactly the kind of payback they were looking for.  While the fans do indeed come out on the short end of the stick I think there are those who lose out just as much if not worse.

Let’s start with the player who had planned to play his final season this year.  Like many of you no one wants to be forced in to retirement due to circumstances beyond their control.  Everyone wants to end their respective careers on their own terms.  Because of this labor dispute that player will no longer have that ability.  Circumstances are forcing him to end his career in a less than ideal fashion.

When we think about the players in this dispute, we undoubtedly think about the superstars like Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade and Lebron James.  They are the faces of the NBA and deservedly so.  Does anyone think about the guys at the end of the bench who are making the league minimum on a one year contract?

With no NBA team to play for, this player must now look for alternative ways by which to make a living.  Now he is forced to play in a foreign country if he wants to continue to make a living.  Moving from one city to another or from state to state can be a tough adjustment.  I’ve done the latter twice in my life.  I can’t even begin to imagine the experience of having to move to another country and either uproot my family or spend months at a time away from them while being halfway around the world.  If you’re a player that falls into this category I in no way envy your position.

However, the biggest losers in all this are the arena worker.  The common, everyday, middle class person so many of us can relate to.  With no games to work, these people are now amongst the ranks of the unemployed.  No longer do they have the means they were counting on to pay their bills or provide for their families.

These are people we see all the time at a game but pass by with hardly an acknowledgment.  These people are your parking attendants,  ticket scanners,  food vendors, attendants and the person selling you programs.  They are the faceless people who without them you would not have some of your most cherished memories and wonderful experiences.  They are the biggest losers in the NBA Labor Dispute.

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

Follow me on twitter @joesclubhouse

Ramblings of a Sports Fan

November 9, 2011

My name is Joe Pacheco.  I am a married father of none.

I was raised in the LA suburbs and despite the fact that I currently call Fresno home I will always be a southern Californian at heart.   I’ve also lived in Las Vegas where I graduated from UNLV.

My sports allegiances are firmly with the Lakers, Dodgers, Raiders & LA Kings (in no particular order).

I’ve worked in sports radio and worked as a freelance sports writer.

Besides sports my other passion is music.  I love all types of rock from Buddy Holly to Metallica and all points in between and play a little bass guitar.

It’s been almost 18 months since I’ve stepped into the clubhouse.  I don’t have an answer as to why I stopped writing for a while but I’m excited to get back at it.  Thanks to the for giving me a reason to get back in front of the computer and and express my thoughts.

When I was asked to contribute a column for “The Guru” I had many thoughts racing through my head as to what I could write this first column about.  Instead of picking just one I decided to share them all so without further ado, here we go.

Just when Dodgers fans thought there was an end to this awful chapter in ownership history I came across this story.  For their fans this off-season will be the equivalent of having to sit back and watch every other kid raid the ice cream truck and all you can do is pull the lint out of your pocket.

Since moving to the central valley six years ago I’ve become a fan of Fresno State football.  It’s the closest thing we have to professional sports here and like many people I want to see the program do well.  I will always be a fan of what Pat Hill has done for the school as far as raise the profile of the program.  They’re routinely on television in front of a nation wide audience.  The quality of opponent has increased by leaps and bounds since he took over the program in 1997.  Do I think he should be instantly put in the school’s athletic hall of fame upon completion of his career?  Without a doubt.  Do I think the time has come for him to pass the torch to someone else and move on?  Yes!

The Giants victory over New England last week brought back one of the fondest memories of my sports life.  Super Bowl XLII Giants 17 Patriots 14 to end New England’s run at a perfect season and shut up Mercury Morris once and for all.  Under normal circumstances I would’ve been rooting for Patriots to make  history but I just couldn’t get past my extreme dislike for Belichek, Brady and company.  Tuck rule anyone?

On the flip side, I would love for the Packers to run the table.  While not being a fan per say, I’ve always liked what that franchise has stood for, their fans and many of the players that have put on that storied uniform.

Is it just me or does San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers have the worst body language in the NFL when things aren’t going his way?  Even Ryan Leaf thinks it’s bad.

Is anyone else besides me doing a happy dance that the Indianapolis Colts have finally been flexed out of a prime time game?

What is it about long home stands that seem to do the LA Kings a disservice?

Despite being a NBA fan, am I the only one who is not sad in the slightest that the league has cancelled games and could possibly miss the entire season?  I still have the NFL, NHL, college football and college basketball is right around the corner.  Not to mention major league baseball free agency is underway and we’ve already had our first off-season trade with the Giants trading Jonathan Sanchez to the Royals for Melky Cabrera.  Sorry David Stern but you’re not holding me hostage as a sports fan.  I’ve moved on.

What is it about putting on the Silver and Black Oakland Raider uniform that causes football players to commit penalties?  If I had the money of a sultan or Bill Gates for that matter I would have broken an electronic stores worth of TV’s out of pure frustration while watching their games.

Nothing feels better than the week following your NFL teams win.  Nothing feels worse following a loss.

Does anyone want to win the AFC West?

November 9, 2011 will go down as the day we got our answer to the question, “What does it take for the head football coach at Penn State to get fired?”

Thanks for stepping into the clubhouse.

Follow me on Twitter @joesclubhouse