If the honchos would leave it up to the guys who really know their business, city could become a regular sports town.
Leadership is paramount... or so they say. Politicians will talk about being strong leaders in the months to come. Do you trust them? Or do you trust the people in the trenches?
Exactly -- the people. So when we need to decide what is best for Tulsa, and more importantly, what is best for the Tulsa sports scene, who should we ask?
The Tulsa Sports Commission puts feelers out and attempts to bring high profile sporting events to T-Town. But their web site still lists the Talons as a local team. They also have members listed on the committee who are no longer affiliated with the TSC.
So we are taking matters into our own hands with a little help from our friends. Instead of asking so-called "leaders" we are checking with real sports fans.
These are the events we, the people of Tulsa, want in our backyard.
A popular answer was the NCAA Tournament reboot. Who can argue with this logic? It electrified the city and placed Tulsa in the nation's spotlight.
"For my money, an NCAA regional during March madness is at the top of the list," said Brad Heath editorial director of VYPE Magazine. "The BOK Center is a perfect location and with Tulsa being regionally located makes travel for teams fairly easy."
Our friend over at SportsNight Oklahoma agrees. "I would love to see the NCAA Tournament return," said Mike Wolfe.
He tacked on a couple of additional ideas. One of which would be welcome by some and another that would be welcomed by all.
"I'd like to see an annual LPGA tour stop again and, last but certainly not least, another US Open or PGA Championship."
It seems like just yesterday we followed Annika Sorenstam, Cristie Kerr and Stacy Prammanasudh around the course. Oh and that Tiger Woods guy too.
How about a kicked-up twist on our love affair with golf? If we must recycle a tournament that we have hosted previously then so be it. However, The Edge's sports guy Chuck Stikl wants to take it to the next level.
"I've been thinking about this all weekend. How about the Ryder Cup!" The exclamation point was his touch, but in this case, I agree!
This is the type of forward-thinking, go for the gusto attitude Tulsa needs. No offense to the men's volleyball exhibition last year between the US and Brazil of course.
We certainly have our share of health enthusiasts. Chris Zenthoefer has been an integral part of the Tulsa Tough event for years. He would like to see us expand on the premise.
"I'd like to see Tulsa go after events that engage our citizens in the events themselves. Anything that brings our community together while encouraging health and wellness, promotes Tulsa as a vibrant city, and provides as positive economic impact for our region is a winner in my book."
Keep It Imaginative
Our downtown continues to progress. If you visit from time-to-time you know what is up. Whether it is cycling, running or some hybrid event, our city is ready.
NASCAR does not rev my engines. But that should not stop us from at least having a discussion on the viability of a track.
"I'd love to see Tulsa get a high-quality speedway here to secure feeder series races and ultimately a Nationwide race," said Gary Hizer, Urban Tulsa's music dude. "A Sprint Cup race is thoroughly unrealistic, as that series is pushing oversaturation -- so this idea is pretty unrealistic as well, but you asked."
That is what we call spit balling in the board room. You never know what will stick. His follow-up idea seems to have more saliva behind it.
"I'd love to see Tulsa reach well outside the box and secure an X-Games event -- preferably something with a big WOW factor like motocross and freestyle, but I'd thoroughly enjoy skateboarding and BMX with half-pipe and freestyle courses."
How many times do you think the powers-that-be pitched this idea in a meeting? Hold on, we are saving the best for last.
Chris Plank is the sideline reporter for the Oklahoma Sooner as well as the voice for your afternoon drive on 1430AM the Buzz from 2-6pm weekdays. And for those of you who have read this column over the years, you know where this is headed.
"I would love to see Tulsa make a push for UFC events," he said. "Start small with a Fuel TV event or maybe even a Fight Night. MMA is here to stay and it's time that it starts getting treated as such.
"Tulsa is passionate about the sport. Just look at the crowd Mr. (Dale) Cook draws at Xtreme Fight Night. Make a push for the UFC and who knows. Maybe we can do what Omaha has done and eventually host a Pay-per-view."
You know what is great about these ideas? For starters, they are ideas from actual sports fans with a pulse.
Also, they are all negotiable. We are flexible in our demands. We have a desire to take Tulsa sports to the next level. These events would do just that.
One of the main concerns with Tulsa sports is the crowd. These homerun ideas will draw people from Tulsa and the surrounding areas. They are also made-for-TV and thus the home audience is just as important.
In the words of one of my not-so-good friends.
Git R Dun Tul$a.
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