The recent video ‘This is Oakland’ has generated several mixed feelings and strong reactions throughout not only the baseball world, but also the political climate here in Northern California. The video was meant to be a historical view point of the Oakland A’s; from their long hair and mustache days of the 1970’s, to the Bash Brothers of the 1980’s, to the current MoneyBall era of the last decade. The video shows how the stadium, the team, and the area have gone through changes; but the one thing remains the same, that the fans are still there and as vocal and dedicated as ever. However many are seeing the video as a political statement or statement to Major League Baseball.
There is no hiding the fact that the current ownership group has made several attempts at moving the team to a new area and stadium; and they have that full right. A new stadium in the San Jose-Silicon Valley area will generate more revenue and give the team a new stadium that it deserves. The team would be able to generate large sponsorship deals and be able to operate on a larger budget. The new stadium deal has been a hot bed issue for several years now, and the issue does not seem to be settled anytime soon. This is where the video has become political.
Mayor of Oakland Jean Quan is adamant about wanting to keep the A’s in Oakland and is presenting several site locations and possible building sites by the day. Mayor Quan realizes that the A’s are a part of Oakland history, and generates revenue for a city that is in dire need of retaining that revenue. This video promotes all of the good that goes into the A’s being in Oakland, and makes fans reminisce of the good that goes into the A’s being in Oakland. However San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed would argue that the video is a “slap to the face” of those working to bring the A’s to San Jose, by making it seem that having the A’s in San Jose may be a bad thing, and take away from the nostalgia of the A’s history.
My opinion is simple, this video is meant for fans to generate interest and become nostalgic about the Oakland A’s. The Coliseum stadium honestly is old, antiquated, and some have even called it a mausoleum. The bathrooms are no better than prison bathrooms, and lets not go there with how bad the sewage and pipes are in the stadium. However this stadium is home to some of the greatest fans and most dedicated employees that I have ever seen in professional sports. This video is not meant to be a political statement, it’s a way for fans to reminisce about times that past, be proud of their current home, and be excited about a team that is worth seeing and how they should be supported.
The bottom line is simple: the video is one of the greatest videos that I have seen produced for any team and anyone that is a fan of baseball. Baseball is a game that is supported by the fans; without fans, there is no revenue for the team or any corporate sponsors. Everyone should put their political views aside with regards to this video, and realize one thing; this video is for the fans, and that is what the game is all about.