Business seems slow at Raiders stores in Las Vegas after 1-5 start

Updated October 20, 2018 - 4:13 pm

With the Raiders taking this week off it seemed a good time to check out my local The Raider Image store in the Galleria Mall.

They had all kinds of silver and black merchandise. They were out of silver and black alarm clocks that play Big Ben chimes followed by the sound of Derek Carr grunting after having his arm wrenched at Wembley Stadium when you hit the snooze button.

Out front was a rack of camouflage jerseys with Carr’s No. 4 on it, which the Raiders’ harried quarterback might want to consider putting on before the next game against the Colts, although the Colts are pretty awful, too.

I must confess the real purpose for the mall trip was to satisfy a craving for a soft pretzel. While there, a short detour was made to one of three official Raiders team shops in the valley (Fashion Show Mall, Town Square) to inquire if a 1-5 start and crazy trades were hurting business.

It seemed half the inventory was marked down at least 30 percent, because about half the inventory was Khalil Mack jerseys and gear, and nobody wants those anymore after the team’s best player was traded to the Bears for an old chin strap.

Nobody at the store would talk.

If only the Raiders’ defense was as steadfast as the staff at The Raider Image.

But they said I could browse as long as I wanted. Which I did in virtual solitude until walking across the hall to Wetzel’s Pretzels, where the line was much longer.

Coaching for dollars

With a salary of $600,000, UNLV’s Tony Sanchez ranks 106th of the 123 NCAA football coaches whose pay stubs were posted by USA Today.

Of the 11 Mountain West Coaches listed — Air Force’s Troy Calhoun is paid by Uncle Sam, and Uncle Sam doesn’t disclose what it pays coaches to USA Today — Sanchez is compensated more than only three: San Jose State’s Brent Brennan ($590,424), UNR’s Jay Norvell ($500,000) and Hawaii’s Nick Rolovich ($425,004).

Colorado State’s Mike Bobo tops MW headset chuckers with $1,800,000 per annum. Next are Boise State’s Bryan Harsin ($1,650,010), Fresno State’s Jeff Tedford ($1,550,000), Wyoming’s Craig Bohl ($1,412,000), Utah State’s Matt Wells ($900,000), San Diego State’s Rocky Long ($872,576) and Bob Davie ($822,690), whose New Mexico side defeated the Rebels 50-14 on Oct. 6.

Living Las Vegas

New Las Vegas Lights FC manager Eric Wynalda explained how he wound up living in Las Vegas for several years and sometimes joining IndyCar auto racing champion Jimmy Vasser for skins games on Canyon Gate golf course.

It was during the early 1990s, when the U.S. Men’s National Team star became the first American to play in the top level of the German Bundesliga.

“When you’re making $1,800 a year playing in the (American Professional Soccer League) and then you go to Germany and you’re making $18,000 a week, you need help,” Wynalda said of hiring an accountant and managing his money.

Which led to purchasing a house on Canyon Gate.

Which became more than a tax shelter.

“I built a house on spec and the intention was to sell it,” Wynalda said. “My neighbor wound up being one my best friends. I kept the house. I was a very proud resident (of Las Vegas) for a long time.”

Eric the green

Did Lights FC lay off several employees (including media director Ryan Greene) in order to pay Wynalda’s salary? The layoffs happened Tuesday, the day before Wynalda’s hiring. Lights owner Brett Lashbrook said the pink slips had nothing to do with compensating the new manager.

“It’s not a money issue,” Lashbrook added. “I feel bad about it. I call it a business efficiency issue. We have really big aspirations. Year one we set a foundation, year two we’re going to become bigger and better. As a result of that, we have to evaluate all aspects of the business and continue to grow.”

0:01

In hockey when a referee’s decision is upheld following a coach’s challenge, the coach’s team is assessed a penalty for delaying the game and the other side goes on a power play.

If baseball had this rule and put a man on second base whenever a replay challenge went unfounded, it would make the games a little shorter. And then umpire Joe West wouldn’t have to make cryptic hand signals that suggest hailing a taxi after home run balls are struck in the first inning of playoff games.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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