Just when everyone thought that the topic of relocation ended, more news bubbled to the surface. On Friday, Pro Football Talk reported that attorney Jim Quinn believed that local governments would join him in a possible lawsuit against the Raiders. According to the article, the aim is to either block the move, force the team to leave the brand behind, or gain financial consideration. Let’s take a realistic look at each four of those scenarios and why they’ll ultimately fail.
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Block Relocation: The Raiders wanted out of Oakland for a while. Why else would Mark Davis commit to the ill-fated Carson deal? As a result, the team knew their time in Oakland appears limited. After entertaining the notions of Los Angeles and San Diego, Davis chose Vegas. With a 30 year stadium lease approved by the NFL owners, what could change their minds? Nothing. In that case, there is no return to the bargaining table.
Yet, Quinn and fans believe a lawsuit could stop this train. When the NFL throws its weight behind a deal, there’s no retreat from it. When money rests on the table, billions of it, it’s over. Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones orchestrated this move. The most powerful man in the NFL will not surrender a license to print money. Granted, Oakland area fans can feel anger toward Mark Davis, the man you need to feel animosity towards is Jones. Nothing is stopping this move. Alongside the league, Jones rallied support for this move.
Leave the Legacy Behind: Here and there, I’ve sparred with Bay Area fans over relocation. Honestly, I feel for their frustration and pain. Having a team ripped from you twice in a lifetime seems brutal. The fans in Oakland did nothing to deserve that. However, the murmuring regarding keeping the team name, colors, and history in Oakland grates on the nerves. For all this talk about a RaiderNation, holding the name in one city defeats that purpose. Plus, do you really think NFL will actually allow that?
With that said, those in favor of retaining the name in Oakland cite the Cleveland Browns. In 1996, owner Art Modell moved the franchise to Baltimore. In return, they became the Ravens. Many Oakland fans will use this as a reason to retain the brand. And, they’d be wrong. Here’s one difference: Roger Goodell isn’t Paul Tagliabue. While Tagliabue was fond of NFL history, Goodell looks fond of money, lots of it. Also, with hundreds of millions in free Nevada money, who turns that down? To their credit, Las Vegas appears to be building up their fanbase rather rapidly. Any leaving the name behind is a foolish thought. Furthermore, the Raiders brand is iconic and immediately recognizable. Honestly, the Browns name is a punch line. Why else would Cleveland fans nickname their own building “The Factory of Sadness”?
Although relocation cuts Oakland fans deep, suing the team helps no one. Under those circumstances, it’s like suing to maintain a significant other that wants to leave. Instead of litigation, let them leave. Mark Davis, more importantly, the NFL wants the Raiders in Las Vegas. If Mr. Quinn and certain fans were honest, they’d see that clearly. This battle is over, why keep rehashing? In essence, these proceedings are delaying the inevitable.