“Raiders-A Real Black Hole”
I know the disdain San Diego football fans have for all things Raiders.
It goes back to the AFL days, thru all-things Al Davis, to where they are now with Jon Gruden.
Just review history will you.
The holy-roller game. Darth Vader fans. The drunks, the fights in the parking lots and the stands.
The cheap shots. The blood on the jersey. The hatred against the owner showing up wearing rings and decked out in all white.
The phrases about ‘Commitment to Excellence’….the ‘Raiders Nation’….and all that other rubbish.
But the franchise is going thru tough times, maybe the toughest ever.
They play in an aging stadium, known more for sewage spilling out of broken water mains, empty seats, tarps, Mount Davis, and lots of signs and foul language.
The eras of John Madden and Tom Flores are long in the past. More recent times have brought you Art Shell and Norv Turner and Dennis Allen and Tom Cable, and a cast of failures.
You have the son of the patriarch, Mark, accomplishing much less that his father Al did in glory years.
I sat there Christmas Eve and watched what was once a promising franchise. Only QB-Derek Carr is left, after the trades of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, and botched drafts after botched drafts.
They gave Gruden a lot of money, but he is the orchestra leader of a band that is (4-11) and about to be homeless.
The fans, they are passionate, if not intelligent. They love the costumes, and like the late Al Davis, they live in the past, which is so far in the rear-view mirror, you can’t really tell it. Fog, smoke, hot air clouds everything there now.
They lost the team once when Al moved it to LA. They returned, bu it’s never been the same.
And now they are about to lose it again, this time to the shiny new stadium in Las Vegas.
The city of Oakland is suing everyone, but have little leverage. They don’t have the money to build anything in the East Bay. Not for the NFL team, so beloved. Not for the NBA champion Warriors, headed to downtown San Francisco. And not yet for the Oakland A’s, still trying to find a new home ballpark.
And yet those fans, they root and root for a loser. They don’t seem to be bitter about the next impending divorce.
The Raiders, as a football organization, and a business entity, are a real Black Hole.
And for one night, Monday night, Christmas Eve, I sat there and felt bad for Raiders fans. Their team about to be yanked from their emotional grasp again.
And when in our history, has anyone ever felt sorry for anything related to the Raiders?
Act of Christmas kindness, I guess.