Independent Christian Voice

Saturday

Opportunism knocks

Disasters bring out the best in people and the worst in people, as has been evidenced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We saw the country rally around the victims of the disaster, donating food, water and clothing, and opening up homes and shelters in their community. We also saw people who looted and worse. And we have seen and will see all kinds of profiteering and opportunism surrounding these tragic circumstances. I find myself embarassed to find people within my own community looking to profit from New Orleans loss. On OKCTalk.com, before the events surrounding Katrina, there were some discussions about how Oklahoma City deserved a major league professional sports franchise. For some, it apparently is a way to validate that Oklahoma City is a "major league" city, something I have no delusions about. We are indeed a wonderful, growing city, but we're not a "major league" city yet. In any case, there was a debate on whether or not we could land a major league pro team, and what the best chance of us to get one would be. Along comes Katrina. New Orleans is devastated. But wait, opportunism knocks. Where will the NFL and NBA franchises play? The buzz began. Speculation grew when both leagues announced that the teams would be looking for new temporary homes and that possibly the moves would be permanent. Some members of OKCTalk.com couldn't believe their good fortune. Several threads began buzzing about the news and the rumors and the growing possibility that OKC could land an NBA team. Some began referring to the Hornets as "OUR" team. What should we change the name to to make it "OUR" team? Many contributors were licking at the chops at this opportunity to gain from another's loss. It is embarassing. Doug Loudenbeck summed up the feelings for many of us:
"I'd be sorely dismayed, and enormously personally embarrassed, if OKC would become a vulture that circles around the prey of the the enornous horrible Gulf Coast tragedy, including the grand city of New Orleans. My enourmous pride in what Okahoma City has done by its own bootstrings would turn to becoming an uttterly desloate abyss. No pride ... nothing positive ... nothing I'd want to associate with. That sort of thing, if Okc seized upon New Orleans' misfortune to try to find its 'sports' place in the sun, would be unspeakably horrible. If I had any pride remaining in Oklahoma City, that single bleak fact would somehow have to be reconciled or ignored. I'd not be inclined to ignore it, and reconcilliation would likely be difficult, aside from the greed/avarice that is probably inherent in the human species."
As I said in one of my responses, it lacks class. Are we so desperate for a pro team that we'll take it any way we can get it? It's that same attitude that leads to looting. If we can't earn it on our own, let's profit from another's misfortune. I was in Indianapolis when the Colts moved from Baltimore to Indy in literally a middle-of-the-night move. Indianapolis gained, but at a price. For several years after the fact, others viewed Indianapolis with disdain as if they stole the Colts from Baltimore. It took awhile for that stigma to wear off. We have enough stigmas in OKC — too conservative, behind the trends, not a major league city. We don't need to add another — opportunistic. I would rather earn a franchise than profit from another's misfortune.

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