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Pahrump softball team slighted by coaches … and then there’s the Raiders

I have been holding off really saying anything about our spring season. Mainly because I had to make my rounds and see all the teams play. I have to say I am impressed with all the teams of all the sports.

I love this season. I love baseball and just being outside watching the girls and boys play the sport and not having to worry about freezing to death outside or being too hot.

This year, the Lady Trojans softball team is high up on my list. Of course, I get to see the Trojans softball team play every week and perhaps I am missing something and maybe it’s just me, but I think this team has something that past teams didn’t. Am I the only one that sees a great team here?

The Southern Nevada Coaches Softball Poll

Of course I am talking about the recent Southern Nevada Softball Coaches Poll that appeared in Nevada Preps on April 5. http://nevadapreps.com/softball/southern-nevada-softball-coaches-poll-april-5

Pahrump Valley at 12-2 is absent. The poll is all Class 4A teams.

I talked to Trojans coach Eli Armendariz and asked him if he felt slighted. I mean, I would have.

He told me he was but really he expected it because of the league the Trojans are playing in. This year the Sunset League is weak.

I retorted, “But they had Boulder City in it until the Trojans beat them.” He said they were overrated.

I guess being in a weak division can kill you. The Trojans will have a chance to prove their worth when they go to the Centennial Jamboree on April 14-15 and they will face some of the best softball teams in the region.

“We could face Liberty (a team that is 9-2 and fifth on the coaches poll), but really I am not too worried about the poll and just want my team to face good pitching to get ready for the playoffs,” Armendariz said.

So the coach will let crazed sports writers like myself worry about polls, because that’s in the realm of what I do.

Then there’s the Raiders. Really, why should I care about the Raiders moving to Las Vegas? I mean how does it really affect me? I am, after all, a 49ers fan. I go to one football game a year and that is to see the Niners play the Cardinals in Arizona and really don’t care about the Raiders as a team.

As far as the deal that Las Vegas made with the Raiders on the stadium, that is Las Vegas’ problem too. They chose to subsidize the stadium at $750 million using the room tax. Again, I really don’t care. It doesn’t affect me out here in Pahrump.

Don’t get me wrong, I do want the Raiders to come out to Las Vegas. I am a big football fan and love the game and I know the NFL will do well out in Las Vegas.

But don’t lie to me or try to insult my intelligence. In my opinion, using public dollars to fund a football stadium is a losing proposition. Let these owners build their own and use private funds, like the Chargers are doing. I kind of agree with what the government was saying under President Barack Obama (I never agree with Obama).

But he refused to use tax-free bonds to fund stadiums. The government said it cost the U.S. Treasury $146 million a year. Since 1986, the government has tried to limit public funding of stadiums (Tax Reform Act 1986), arguing that stadiums, unlike roads and bridges, serve only a small percentage of people and that rich team owners should foot the bill. I agree with all of that.

Clark County justifies the public expense by saying it will be an economic engine for the economy. But is it really? Yes, there will be jobs generated. There will be millions of dollars in construction jobs.

The construction jobs, of course, would only last until the stadium is built.

Most of these jobs would be entry-level jobs and people wouldn’t be working all year long and not even 40 hours a week with only eight home games a season.

The Mayor of Oakland, California, Libby Schaff, was trying to get the Raiders to stay, but even she wouldn’t commit to public funds. Why? According to Schaff, Oakland taxpayers are still paying off nearly $45 million in debt the city racked up to renovate that existing stadium.

This happened to St. Louis, too, when it lost the Rams to Los Angeles.

The city is still paying on a $6 million a year debt from building the Edward Jones Dome that opened in 1995.

According to the Oakland mayor, the city pays $1.5 million a year in police and emergency services for the game. What will Clark County pay? They didn’t tell us that. That money was never repaid to the city of Oakland.

Maybe I am being gun-shy because I am not a big fan of the Davis family. But who knows, maybe Mark Davis is totally different than his father. He would never leave Las Vegas before the stadium is paid for like the Rams did, now would he?

But then you’ve got a quality newspaper like the San Jose Mercury News who said this was “the worst stadium deal in the world” with its $750 million commitment in public funding for a place to house the Raiders. What are we to think?

I think I will calm down and just let things play out. I think I will just enjoy the Raiders losing to the San Francisco 49ers when they do play them. Sorry, Raider fans.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

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