I’ve always said that if I ended up the President of the United States that I’d outlaw the moving of sports franchises from one city/state to another, or the very least the moving of a franchises name from one city to another. Sure, the NFL is a private enterprise but each team represents the city or state they’re named after and they mean a lot to both the region they’re from and the people that comprise that region. I honestly just don’t think that in 2017 that a league that is as established as the NFL should be moving teams, especially teams that are as storied as the Oakland Raiders (formerly the Los Angelese Raiders, ironically) to a town that is as sleazy and Arena Football-y as Las Vegas.
Losing a team can be devastating to a city and typically just ends up with that city/state eventually replacing that team. So, hopefully Las Vegas will have a different name than the Raiders for when they inevitably return to the Bay Area. I’m thinking something like the Las Vegas Defaulted Mortgages, Street Walkers or maybe even the Tunnel Dwellers. But, I’ve buried the actual story, yet again, which is that the NFL Owners almost unanimously voted for the relocation of the 90’s greatest gangster rap teams, the Oakland Raiders, to the 50’s actual gangster locations in Las Vegas. In a 31-1 vote, according to SportsIllustrated.com.
Apparently Miami was the lone holdout, probably because people would forget that Miami has a pro football team, if not for Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. According to the article, the Raiders will still play in Oakland in 2017 and 2018, with an option to renew their lease afterwards, until the new tax payer funded arena opens in Las Vegas. I’m sure by then that the league will have expanded by a team or two, perhaps internationally, giving Oakland a chance to get another team. But it’d be hard for the league to expand by only one or two teams considering the perfect four team division set up that they have right now. They’d almost have to add eight teams, four in each conference, for that to work, which explains why teams are moving from city to city rather than simply just creating new teams for new markets.
Either way, this is a devastating blow for the people of Oakland and as someone who followed the Raiders heavily from 2005-2007 (Thanks to Randy Moss), it saddens me to see a team with such a great history leave any market. So, you’re in our thoughts, Raiders fans, even if you had a tendency to beat people to death at your games. We could actually use a little of that up here in Minnesota, at least during Packers games, so you’re always welcome at US Bank Stadium! Cherish these last few years, as I cherished some of the final North Stars games at home, if those games were any indication (I was like eight years old), there may be some clever chants about Mark Davis coming soon that should help ease your pain.