/ Las

So Long Raiders

Bye bye Raiders. 2 years later, Warriors move to San Francisco. Wouldn't be surprised if the A's move to San Jose or elsewhere within the next few years if MLB intervenes and the Giants compromise on territorial rights. This leaves Oakland with no professional teams in the 4 major North American sports leagues when it has had 3 such teams for several decades.

As a 49ers fan, I am sad about the Raiders move to Sin City. In one way, you have to feel awful for the diehard Bay Area fans who have supported the Raiders since their inception in 1960. In another way, it's unfortunate the city of Oakland, and the greater Bay Area community in general, could not get its act together to keep the Raiders from leaving the Bay Area for the 2nd time in team history. Las Vegas was able to find funding to build a new stadium and ultimately lure Mark Davis to the city that never sleeps. With all of the money in Silicon Valley and recent success of the team, it's too bad that nothing creative could have been figured out to build a new stadium to keep the Raiders where they belong. The Giants, Warriors, and 49ers all found ways to fund new venues in the Bay Area without use of public funds but the Raiders sadly could not.

You have young fans whose fathers and grandfathers reminisce about the great Raiders teams of the 70's with John Madden and his sideline antics and Ken Stabler behind center. Fast forward to the late 90's when Jon Gruden helped the Raiders rise from mediocrity to championship contender. The last 15 years prior to last season were perhaps the darkest years for this franchise and now that the team is finally a playoff contender, they leave. 1982 - 1994 were also dark years for the true Silver & Black fans since the team had moved to LA after winning a Super Bowl in 1980 and wound up winning another one in 1983. Al Davis never got the funding he wanted for a new stadium at Hollywood Park so he came back to Oakland but had always tortured the Raiders fans with his insistence that he will move the team back to LA if no new stadium was built in the Bay Area. Well his son followed through on that threat and sadly the Bay Area loses one of the classic NFL franchises to a city full of transients and tourists.

It will be interesting to see how an NFL franchise (as well as the expansion NHL team set to debut this fall) will fare in Vegas. My guess is that the first couple of years will attract fans of the road team flying in for the weekend to see their favorite team play the Raiders. The novelty of seeing an NFL game in Vegas may wear off after 2 - 3 seasons, even if Vegas hosts a Super Bowl (wouldn't that be nuts!). Not sure if we will see the Raiders make their way back to the Bay Area. We may have to wait until Mark Davis sells the team or dies which probably won't be for a while.

Sorry Raider Nation for your loss but I am sure you will stay a Raiders fan regardless of where the Raiders play.