The Oakland Raiders are operating under the observation that actions speak louder than words. What else to think since the Silver and Black don’t release a plan for the future that any Raider Nation fan can count on?
Not only that, the business ran by Manager Of The General Partner Mark Davis and President Marc Badain have the annoying tendency of taking actions that, in total, send a collective message that they hate their fans – at least the ones in Oakland. Want proof? Let’s work backwards and take a look at the actions of Davis and Badain to date:
1. Let it slip that the Raiders are playing a preseason game in Canada – really, who cares? The Oakland Raiders can’t claim a giant fan base north of the boarder to even numerically justify spending time up there. How many Raiders jersey sales come from Canada versus California? And does that number happen to include Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, players the Raiders wrongheadedly traded last year (because they had Las Vegas money problems)? If so, it doesn’t count. The Silver and Black should be focused on planning for The NFL’s 100th year, and the giant series of events it could be planning for Oakland Raiders fans at the historic Oakland Coliseum. Instead, Davis and Badain have directed their otherwise brilliant lawyers to play footie with the City of Oakland attorneys, continuing delay of signing a lease extension that should have been done last year.
2. Implusively seek a new place to play when the City of Oakland filed suit against them last year, only to watch the entire effort completely faceplant, and force the Raiders back to the Coliseum. We’ve hashed this out again and again at Zennie62 at YouTube, but as I explained before, the base lease with the Oakland Coliseum calls for the Raiders to have game day expenses paid. That’s a sweet deal the team’s not going to land anywhere else. I’ll bet their trying to get the Canadians to cough up that almost-million-dollar expense as I write this, and getting push back from them. Stay in Oakland, Mark. You can run, but you can’t hide, from the fact that Al Davis and Amy Trask, the previous version of Davis and Badain, set the team up for a financially fantastic future in Oakland – you all just don’t know a gift horse when you see one.
3. Work to try and fool the City of Oakland and the core of Raider Nation into thinking that Oakland was the desired home, only to be called out for working behind the City of Oakland’s back. Remember the famous exchange at the 2015 NFL Spring League Meeting, where Mr. Davis finally admitted he was not spending all of his time working on a new stadium in Oakland? Thank God for Zennie62 at YouTube because its right here, as I was in the middle of it:
4. Seek arguments with long time and legendary representatives of Oakland Raiders Nation, rather than work to sell them on the Las Vegas Plan. This was completely bass-akward, as the saying goes. But to work to piss of Raiders Season Ticket Holders like the legendary Loren Piper (Who even sports a patch like the logo!), who goes back to 1960 with the team, continues to be a hallmark example of bone-headed Oakland Raiders organizational missteps. Here’s Mr. Piper:
If the Raiders had done any real thinking, a chunk of $10 million would have been set aside to create a set of Raiders Ambassadors and brought them to Las Vegas, money, free tickets, and luxury suites in all. But, no. Rather than be open about the desire to be in Las Vegas, the crew had to try and be sly about it. Now, it’s costing them money and fan love in the process. Heck, how would any Raider Nation fan feel upon hearing the news that Las Vegas Stadium Construction Head Don Webb’s planning for a different kind of Raiders Fan (Does that person exist?) and moving on from Oakland?
5. Failing to spend a dime to improve any aspect of the NFL Football Experience at the Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders should be flogged for this behavior: not at all at any time seeking financial help from the league to upgrade the Coliseum – but sending out messages that it was not happy at the Coliseum and after late 2011 – when Mark Davis took control.
I could go on and on and write a book on the huge number of managerial errors the Oakland Raiders have made over the last eight years, and maybe I will. But for now, I’ll say this: Oakland Raiders Fans deserve better treatment than this.
And it’s not a matter of relocating to Las Vegas – a smart person understands how to make the two actions, being in Oakland and then moving to Las Vegas, seem like necessary parts of the same whole. Not these Raiders – they like to act like mob bosses and confront people who disagree with them, and not sell them on their way of thinking. The whole insulting idea of ‘if you’re not with us, you’re against us’ is very much like behavior I’d expect from an eight-year-old, not adults. Time to grow up.
It is time to be honest: Oakland had a plan to keep the Raiders, and so did the Raiders have a plan for a stadium in Oakland. Telling Raiders Legends that the City of Oakland did nothing in terms of coming up with a plan is spreading a fib – stop doing it. It’s wrong to insult so many Oaklanders (including this blogger) and Raiders Fans who worked like hell to keep the Raiders in Oakland.
Stop insulting us because we dared to care. Thank you.
Stay tuned and watch the Sheltered Mercy Interview with Leslie Silver.