The Oakland Raiders will become the Las Vegas Raiders in 2019. The original Raiders Nation is heartbroken over the situation even though they saw it coming.
Owner Mark Davis inherited the team from his father Al, who was one of the most flamboyant owners in the history of sports.
Al was also a fan of moving the team around. He took the team from Oakland in 1982 to Los Angeles and back to Oakland during his life cycle.
That all seems like ancient history. Since the Raiders return in 1995, they have by and large been pretty terrible.
Despite a brief period of prosperity at the turn of the century, the Raiders went 12 years without a winning record.
This was in no way, shape or form any fault of their rabid fanbase that has consistently made Oakland one of the most intimidating places to play in for visiting teams.
The infamous Black Hole literally strikes fear into the minds of rookies and veterans alike.
Even when the Raiders were losing, their fans won multiple moral victories.
Taking the Raiders from Oakland is the end result a financial and political game that ultimately screws a lot of working class families.
That community bonded over decades of rooting for a team that they knew for years was destined to lose.
Raider’s fans are so loyal that they stood behind the biggest bust in the history of team sports in quarterback JaMarcus Russell.
It’s simply cruel to build a team that is finally ready to contend just to snatch them away.
In most cases, relocation does make some sense. The San Diego Chargers absolutely deserved the right to get the hell out of dodge and the St. Louis Rams made a good case also.
But this move more than any other puts the cold, hard facts on the table.
The NFL owners only care about cash and having the shiniest new playpen to host a Super Bowl in.
Davis made a statement after the NFL owners voted nearly unanimously to allow the move.
“My father always said, ‘the greatness of the Raiders is in its future,’ and the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is a significant step toward achieving that greatness,” Davis said.
“I would like to thank Commissioner Goodell, the National Football League and my 31 partners. I would also like to thank Governor Brian Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature for their commitment.
Finally, I would like to thank Sheldon Adelson for his vision and leadership, without which this project never would have become a reality.
“The Raiders were born in Oakland and Oakland will always be part of our DNA. We know that some fans will be disappointed and even angry, but we hope that they do not direct that frustration to the players, coaches and staff.
We plan to play at the Coliseum in 2017 and 2018, and hope to stay there as the Oakland Raiders until the new stadium opens. We would love nothing more than to bring a championship back to the Bay Area.”
Mark Davis’ dad said ” just win baby.” His message? Just move baby.
There are a lot of moving parts to the situation that led to this. Some of the blame has to be laid at the feet of the City of Oakland.
But ultimately, Mark Davis planted his feet and with a steadfast resolve sent the most notorious team in the league to Sin City
Watch: Oakland Mayor’s Last Minute Plea