Dear Raider Nation,
I have been a fan of the Raiders since before I knew what football was. They will forever be the only team I root for, and regardless of their location they will always hold a special place in my heart. Much like every member of Raider Nation, the news of the team leaving Oakland for Las Vegas had me very upset.
While the Raiders may have left Oakland under their own power the first time, THAT IS NOT THE CASE THIS TIME AROUND! If you find yourself mad and Mark Davis and Raiders management,
YOU ARE MAD AT THE WRONG PEOPLE!!!
Mr. Davis has stated on multiple occasions that he wanted nothing more than to keep the Raiders in Oakland, so do not be mad at him. If you want to be mad at anybody,
BE ANGRY AT EVERY ELECTED OFFICIAL FOR THE CITY OF OAKLAND SINCE 1996!
Hell if you want to be mad a team owner, be mad at John J. Fisher owner of the MLB franchise the Oakland Athletics. He turned down a 10% stake in the franchise because he did not want to temporarily move his team out of the O.Co so each team could have a brand new stadium.
When the Raiders moved back to Oakland from Los Angeles, there was a promise of a new stadium. In the 21 years that they have been back, it took the threat of the team leaving for a plan for a new stadium to take place. Some of you want to be mad at Mr. Davis but in 21 years the city made no plan or any progressive movement to keep that promise.
In the early 2000’s when the team was making their playoff and Super Bowl runs with: Rich Gannon, Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, Bill Romanowski, Charles & Rod Woodson,was there ever a thought of getting a team a new stadium? While I was still young at the time no plan was ever attempted to be made to my knowledge. Instead they continued to play on a baseball/football field.
While Ronnie Lott did get a group together and come up with a plan to keep the team and get them a new stadium, it came after Mr. Davis pledged to move the team to Las Vegas. Why was there no group in the past 21 years trying to make this happen?
The answer is simple; the city of Oakland took the Raiders for granted. They did not deem the idea of the Raiders leaving a 2nd possible, especially when the team was a bottom feeder in the NFL.
Even when that team struggled, the Raiders were the lifeblood of that city. For 8 weeks out of the year, the Raiders brought in income for countless hotels, and local businesses throughout the city and still the city did nothing for the team.
I attended my first game in Oakland when I was 8 years old in 2002. My father had gotten our family tickets to the AFC Championship against the Tennessee Titans in the infamous “BLACK HOLE.” My next trip would not be until 2007 with my dad when Jamarcus Russell made his first career start against the San Diego Chargers. Again we sat in the “BLACK HOLE”. That was also the first time we stayed in the city of Oakland on our visit.
For the next 5 years my father and I would attend each home opener and stay in the city of Oakland with our fellow members of Raider Nation. My last trip was in 2011 when Darren McFadden ran wild over the New York Jets.
In those 5 years of going to games, do you know what changed in the city of Oakland?
NOT A DAMN THING!!!
The next 4 years I was unable to attend due to commitments as a student athlete for Penn State Harrisburg.
This past season I made my return with my father for the home opener against the Atlanta Falcons. Shockingly only 1 change in the city stood out to me. The Walmart located in the same plaza as the Raider Image store had shut down.
IN 4 YEARS, THE BIGGEST CHANGE WAS A MAJOR STORE SHUTTING DOWN!
If the city of Oakland could not keep a Walmart Superstore open, how in the hell can we expect them to host an NFL Franchise? The Golden State Warriors are getting out of Oakland, even after winning an NBA title.
The NBA CHAMPIONS DO NOT EVEN WANT TO BE IN THE CITY OF OAKLAND!
Let that sink in for a moment.
Also, the city raised the rent for the Raiders at the stadium from under $1,000,000 to over $3,000,000. I know there was news of the team not paying its parking lot dues, but hey they were promised a new stadium over 20 years ago and no progress was made so can you really be mad at them. Also a $2,000,000 increase in rent in ABSURD! Who would stay in a city when they triple your rent? While many members of Raider Nation see this as the Raiders abandoning the city of Oakland that is not that case.
THE CITY OF OAKLAND TURNED ITS BACK ON THE RAIDERS!
For Christ’s sake, a trained monkey could have run Oakland’s police department better than the revolving door of police chiefs they had last summer, and the city wants to be home to an NFL franchise. If the city can’t handle it police department, how can they handle an NFL franchise?
The saddest part in all of this is, without the Raiders there is no good economic season for Oakland. The weekends of home games, every hotel in the city is sold out. Sunday morning Denny’s is a sea of fans covered in silver and black. Everybody from the patrons to the waiters, waitresses and cooks is wearing Raiders gear.
And for anybody who is mad at Derek Carr’s comments about “true fans” I don’t consider you a true fan or a member of Raider Nation. Nobody within that organization wanted to leave the city of Oakland but they had no choice. It was either pay triple the amount in rent that you previously paid while being begged to stay, or go build your own stadium in a city that is welcoming you with open arms.
I will admit I do not feel the same pain as those who get to watch the Raiders in Oakland each week. But there are still things about the city of Oakland that I will miss. Fans such as the “Gorilla Rilla” & the fan who wears #57 with the spiked shoulder pads might not be a seen anymore when I watch the team play from the east coast. But most importantly we are losing the most iconic fan section in all of sports our beloved “BLACK HOLE”
At the end of the day we still have the same players, the same coaches, the same trainers, the same equipment and most importantly the same colors and team name. We would not be mad at our best friends for moving to another state if it was in their best interest, so why are we getting upset with Mr. Davis?
As members of Raider Nation, let’s not mourn be angry or upset these next 2-3 seasons. Let’s cheer on our beloved Raiders and root for them harder than we ever have before in hopes that they can bring the city of Oakland a Super bowl before their departure.
And to those members of Raider Nation who will not root for the team once they leave…
If you only root for the Raiders because in is convenient for you based on the team’s location, I DO NOT WANT YOU AS A MEMBER OF RAIDER NATION. You should yell, scream, root for and cheer for this team no matter what because…
THE AUTUMN WIND IS A RAIDER
No matter where they play.