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JERRY BROWN LOST THE OAKLAND A'S; LEAVES TOWN FOR SAN FRANCISCO



If and when ground is broken to build an A's baseball stadium in Fremont, it will the fault of Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown. It was Brown, who when he announce in June of 2002 that there would be "no downtown Oakland A's ballpark as long as he was Mayor of Oakland" deliberately killed sports as we've known it in Oakland, and made our once great city just another normal second tier hamlet.



It was Ignacio De La Fuente who not only got into some really stupid ego battles with A's owners, but early this year annouced to the East Bay Express that he "had no time for the A's." It was Ignacio who was known more for being upset that he was contantly out-manuevered in negotiating with the A's by Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty than for any real interest in maintaining the A's in Oakland. Score one for Alameda County, who's officials always questioned Oakland's lack of leadership in this matter. So what did they do? Work to take the A's from Oakland. I can't say I blame them.

It's very sad to see a town who's Redevelopment Agency I wanted to -- and did -- work for when getting out of grad school at Berkeley, show such a loser's perspective in lack of will and initiative to complete big projects. I'm really disappointed in Jerry, who's got what he wanted from Oakland -- a remade political image for himself -- and is now skipping down.

Jerry Brown also made it very hard for me to make an effective bid to bring the Super Bowl to Oakland. Jerry does not care about Oakland or the maintainance of sports in our town. What Jerry cares about is the maintenance of his insecurities about sports -- regardless of the cost.

This is a man who once yelled at house guests to "turn off that damn set" in the middle of the NBA Finals. This is a man who not only could not wrap his mind around my plan to use the Super Bowl as a tool to gain a $200 million naming rights deal for the Coliseum Stadium and Arena, but openly questioned it before myself, NFL Commissioner Paul Taliabue and then-NFL COO and now Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2000. Both Tagliabue and Goodell believed my plan was both sound and innovative. But Jerry just didn't want it to work.

I've always believed -- from experience -- that Jerry Brown associated a love of pro sports with not being an intellectual. But what I've said then and say now is that anyone who thinks of sports that way is only being a pseudo-intellectual. For a real intellectual can embrace the need for an "industry of play" in a city with as many problems as Oakland. That person was not Jerry Brown.
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