The Oakland Raiders … no more.
It’s sad. And as with most (all) of the moves made by NFL teams, it’s not about the fans. It’s not about the game. It’s about getting the owner of the Oakland franchise an extra home, or perhaps a new island. It’s about greed.
For years the NFL has taken the stance that gambling and the seedy underside of characters that come along with it is bad for the game. Any perception the games are rigged, that outcomes are impacted by those wishing to cash in on the outcome of a contest must be avoided at all cost. The reputation of the very game itself is at stake. Historically the league has suspended players for even socializing with known gamblers and their contingents.
To heck with all that “for the sake of the game” stuff. Vegas is paying for the entire deal and the owner wants his new island. The other owners, also wanting their own islands immediately agreed. After all, fans are replaceable and the game itself is secondary to the total of the owner’s personal bank account. So the NFL suspended a few players for what the owner is now doing in plain sight. Who cares? Players are cattle anyhow and fans are there to pay the freight.
This is America. Capitalism rules the land. I’m ok with that. What I’m not ok with is clubs selling themselves as American institutions of value and virtue when in reality they are money grubbing opportunist. It’s the same gig the NCAA gets away with as they rip off student athletes under the guise of “giving them an education.” Have you talked with many professional athletes? If that’s an education, they got ripped off and so have the fans of the Oakland Raiders as teams continue to abuse fandom in pursuit of the all-mighty-dollar.
Raiders QB David Carr posted a heart-felt plea to Raiders Nation asking them to stay strong, stay loyal, stay Raider. A fantastic sentiment. It would be so much better if the feelings of pride and loyalty were reciprocated by the owner. They aren’t.
The Raiders came to greatness under the late Al Davis. He was a football genius (seriously, he was) and an ego-maniac. He thought he was bigger and more important than the game. He treated players horribly (HOF RB Marcus Allen as an example) and the league as an adversary. He moved the team at the drop of a hat constantly in search for more money versus excellence no matter the Raiders motto. His son learned these lessons well.
Regardless, we now give you the Las Vegas Raiders! Is the NFL better for it? Ya. I didn’t think so either.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter – Steven Van Over