Oakland sports fans and their websites

There are many sports websites campaigning for causes these days. Some are fine, a lot are forgettable and occasionally, they’re brilliant. Former pitcher Jim Deshaies got a Hall of Fame vote in 2001 after launching a website campaigning for it (Reason #7 on the Top 10 reasons he deserved a vote? Inspiration everywhere to slow-footed lefthanders with minimal bat speed.) More recently, three former Harvard Lampoon staffers, including a writer for “The Office” critiqued sports media with www.firejoemorgan.com. It’s been dormant for a year but is still online, for posterity, acerbically criticizing (lampooning?) Bill Plaschke, several ESPN faces and, yes, Morgan. Not everyone can be Vin Scully or Bob Costas, I guess.

In Oakland, www.MessageToAl.com made national news this week after its backers paid $5,500 for a billboard alongside Interstate 880, not far from the Oakland Coliseum, imploring Raiders owner Al Davis to hire a general manager.  Not a bad move and their website looks professionally done.  It claims over 30,000 people have signed a petition on it and according to Alexa, a web information site, its number of pageviews is up 140% this week.  That being said, I wish the site had a section offering Davis advice for the NFL Draft.

Then, while checking my email today, I saw an ad for www.letsgooakland.com.  After going to that website, I learned it is a not for profit 501(c)(4) organization in downtown Oakland, formed by fans and business executives devoted to keeping the A’s in town.  Its home page is geared around a petition visitors can sign addressing Major League Baseball.  The site suggests a waterfront ballpark which makes me wonder if something could feasibly get built in Jack London Square with the recent news that Barnes & Noble will be pulling out of there.  There still seems a strong possibility the A’s will wind up in Fremont or elsewhere

The site itself is a bit less detailed than its Raider counterpart and hasn’t been connected with any billboards yet, that I know of.  Nonetheless, I support organizations of this sort and even sent an email offering to do some volunteer work, since I’m unemployed and pursuing as many different avenues as I can.  I have to wonder if the Dodgers would have stayed in Brooklyn had the Internet existed in the ’50s.  (I’d volunteer for that non-profit in a heartbeat.)  Then again, one need not look far to find pages and pages devoted to bringing the team back there.

Only in America.

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