Here’s how little anyone takes Floyd Kephart any more: He can’t even make people eat breakfast that he’s paying for.
Then again, this is merely the latest installment in a continuing dance where three pro teams are trying to go to places they can’t go to avoid playing in the place that can’t keep them. Orphans standing around a padlocked orphanage -- perfect.
The last feeble gasp of the current absurdity that was Coliseum City, which was a pipe dream at best even before it was undone by disinterest, was held this morning in Oakland at a breakfast meeting for the development in which none of the major tenants -- the Raiders, Athletics and Warriors -- and none of the Oakland politicians who matter even deigned to show up.
It was a four-pronged middle finger to a development that Kephart, Oakland's deus ex machina in this deal, describes as a transportation-first idea but really revolved around the three teams, two of which are aggressively trying to leave and the third of which is just waiting for the one to leave to finally know the feel of maximum leverage over the political system that had always treated them as less-than-equal equals.
This might seem like a big deal, but it was a big deal long ago. Now it is merely an acknowledgement that nobody is really all that willing to move any earth, let alone any heaven, to make this nonsense work -- and it was a nonsense as soon as the teams’ aggressive balking began.
Then again, the teams themselves haven’t covered themselves in any more glory than the city or the county. They all want something else, and even though that something else constantly changes, their key action word is “else,” as in “something other than what you’ve got.”
That, kids, is a hard to deal for anyone to make.
The Warriors tried to strongarm-and-bluster their way to the San Francisco waterfront and were slapped down for expecting the San Francisco politicians to do their neighborhood schmoozing for them. Now they’re trying again down the road and are running into different opponents.
The A’s ruined three previous escape attempts, the last one bungled so badly that the place they want to go -- San Jose -- is almost certainly dead until Rob Manfred stops being MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.
And the Raiders say they want to stay even though they don’t, but can’t go to where they want to -- Los Angeles -- without the permission of far more powerful people, including their putative co-tenant. They are being told what they’re going to get to do and what they are not every bit as much as the Warriors or A’s.
And Oakland, whose only chance to keep the Raiders or Warriors is for the NFL and San Francisco to screw them, respectively, can’t get anyone to pay attention to them even when they have eggs. And bacon, for God’s sake.
So we have reached the final stage of this tawdry and drawn-out saga -- progress through inertia. What will happen will happen by the influence of outsiders, either by force of will or absence of interest. The Raiders need owners conditioned to hate them to suddenly smile upon them, the Warriors need to figure out how to navigate San Francisco with charm rather than arrogance.
And Oakland? Please. Oakland is not even a player in its own fate, and the Breakfast Meeting That Lacked The Meeting was merely the latest in a long line of reminders.
*Kephart presented the above rendering of a Raiders-only stadium in Oakland, which was created without input from the team.