Trips to Vegas are often very highly anticipated events. There’s a lot of buildup and all the participants get very excited about the prospects and possibilities. Sometimes there’s one friend advising against the trip but the rest of the group is reticent and convinced of its mission.
However, the aftermath is almost always anticlimactic.
Fortunes aren’t made and things never go exactly as planned. Most of the time, visitors return with vague memories, empty pockets and a fleeting sense of regret for having made the journey in the first place.
There’s a lot of excitement right now, but I anticipate the same emotional roller coaster for the impending move to Las Vegas for the Oakland Raiders.
First of all, I feel for the people of Oakland who have been steadfast in their support of this often frustrating franchise.
It’s been a very tumultuous relationship and now that the Raiders seem to have completed their extended rebuild, ownership is packing up and skipping town.
Fans were just treated to a long-overdue playoff appearance and before they’ve even had a chance to exhale, the team owners vote almost unanimously to rid them of their beloved silver and black cohorts.
(The one holdout — or that one friend attempting to be the sage voice of reason — was the owner of the Miami Dolphins. I don’t exactly know his motivation, but I think we’ll be looking back on his opinion with nostalgia in a few years.)
I’m not against Las Vegas having a team.
I’ve always been opposed to the league’s ridiculous stance that Vegas couldn’t have a team because of the gambling implications. It’s 2017.
Anyone who thinks people need to actually be in Las Vegas to place a wager should not be in a position to make impactful decisions.
But taking the Raiders out of Oakland is just a brutal slap in the face to that market.
Yes, the community determined it could not afford to build the team a new stadium.
So they were punished for being fiscally responsible?
Of course the owners have a right to move a team if they believe it to be in the league’s best interest, but leaving Oakland without an NFL team simply isn’t a good idea long-term.
It’s in many of the owners’ best interests and certainly those of the Davis family.
A team with as identifiable a brand as the Raiders have cultivated should not be moving except for the most dire of circumstances.
Lining the owners’ pockets doesn’t fall under that category.
Las Vegas has always been a prime city for an NFL franchise, but if it meant plucking the Raiders from the Bay Area to make it a reality, then it isn’t worth the gamble.
The next two seasons are certainly going to be interesting in terms of how the fans will react knowing the team is only sticking around until what it considers to be a better option is ready for their arrival.
I can’t say I’d be all that understanding under those circumstances.
Raider fans, I feel for you.