5 NFL Grinches For The 2012 Holiday Season
In fairness, fans have had a lot to complain about for some time. The team threatened to move in 1995 if they didn't get a new stadium, which ended up costing Hamilton County, Ohio, $540 million. That debt climbed as the recession deepened and expanded to a $30 million budget deficit this year alone. Add annual stadium costs to taxpayers that rose from $29.9 million in 2008 to $34.6 million in 2010 and sales tax revenue that's declined steadily since 2000 and you get crushing debt that eliminates funding for programs such as a juvenile court and rolls back the property tax cut promised as part of the stadium deal.
The good news is that quarterback Andy Dalton and the Bengals have at least given fans something to watch this year. While we're still not exactly sure how the team didn't sell out its Nov. 11 matchup with the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants, they were good enough to win that game and reel off three more wins in a row to salvage the season. The Bengals didn't take the blackout deal this year, but the team's performance may have management reconsidering that stance in 2013.
Blackouts this season: One
Oh, Oakland, don't do it this way.
We know you were thinking about joining the 49ers at their new stadium in Santa Clara or maybe even getting a new stadium of your own in Dublin, Calif. We know Raiders fans are used to multiple home game blackouts a year after sitting through dozens of them since the team moved back from Los Angeles in the 1990s. We know the lease on the poorly named O.co Coliseum is up in 2013.
But you're different now, right? New owner Mark Davis isn't his father, Al, and really wants to make it work in Oakland. He even accepted the 85% attendance threshold for lockouts.
But ghosts of the bad old Raiders are resurfacing. The team blacked out its Sunday home game against the Cleveland Browns for its first blackout in 13 home games. The Raiders have lost five straight and are 3-9 going into their matchup with the AFC West champion Denver Broncos. These are dark days for a franchise that's seen a lot of them, and those silver and black uniforms are starting to look more like mourner's clothes with each setback.