Tucson sports are in the toilet (and I am not just referring to the stink that surrounds their chosen locale.) The former territorial capitol took several more steps toward the complete collapse of all athletic programs associated with the city this week as it now appears that several baseball programs have decided that it is time to pack their gear for greener pastures.
With the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Cactus League affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders, already having announced a move to Reno, NV when their contract is up at the end of this season, the Chicago White Sox this week announced that they are looking to move their Spring Training home North to Goodyear at the earliest convenience as well. The only question I have regarding this new information is, can anyone blame them?
For evidence that Tucson athletics’ esprit d’corps are currently at an all-time low, one need look no further than the sign which Arizona Tribune writer, Scott Bordow, recently witnessed workers erecting just inside city limits along I-10 stating, “Welcome to Tucson. Kick me.”
Indeed with the University of Arizona Wildcats having come off a year that marked their football teams third consecutive loss to their hated rival, Arizona State, and closing in on a decade without a bowl bid, the UofA athletics program suffered further hardships as both their men’s and women’s basketball teams were swept by the Sun Devils this season.
Adding insult to injury, the Wildcats’ recent loss of several top football recruits (Ryan Bass-RB, Jarrell Barbour-WR, Gerell Robinson-WR) to ASU after having received verbal commitments from all three spurred coach Mike Stoops to make what was probably his worst mistake since hiring his idiot brother to the team’s coaching staff. Stoops is still feeling the heat from his scathing comment, made in response to the renegging of the recruits, that Arizona State has “turned into a JC school.” A JC school, Mr. Stoops? It would appear to me that ASU is one JC with which your pride-and-joy is incapable of competing both on the playing field and in the AD’s office.
With the steady decline of Tucson’s collegiate athletics and the closest thing the city has ever known to the professional ranks heading North to Maricopa County faster than Mexican drug-runner, one can only wonder what possible pride is left in town.
So, as doubt continues to grow around the intelligence of Gadsden’s famous purchase, the people of Tucson can still find some solace that their city has one nice asset– the view North up I-10 towards hospitable confines of the Valley of the Sun.