orig published 07-28-08
Before Kid Rock took to 5 am Waffle House fights for publicity and murdering the work of Lynyrd Skynyrd and Warren Zevon for the greed of soulless executives at media evil Time Warner, he wrote a song called "Black Chick , White guy" and while the inference is different, the lyric is prophetic.
"History repeats itself again."
Oakland Coliseum (I will NEVER call it McAfee) has earned its reputation as the Black Hole and in years past "The Alameda House of Miracles", but its days, like un-whored classics and most other things, are likely numbered.
Al Davis has a plan that started 2 years ago with the selection of Jamarcus Russell and will end with a Super Bowl in 2010.
At least, thats the hope.
You see, in 2010, the teams lease expires.
Oakland Alameda is a smaller venue by some NFL standards and even with roughly 63, 000 seats, it rarely fills to capacity anymore. Piss poor performances by the Raiders have seen to that, as well as the deterioration of areas surrounding it.
Its not beyond the realm of possibility that Oakland could move again in 2010 or at least force a decision over whether to build anew.
If the Raiders are a play off team. or, football gods willing, Super Bowl Champions, the incentive and money would likely be there to entice them away.
Whether the City of Oakland could or would pony up the cash to keep them is another matter.
One event on the horizon that could favor Raider fans and not those who’ve recently invested in the team, would be another player strike like the one that occurred during Oaklands move to L.A. in 1982.
In May of this year when owners unanimously voted to shorten the collective bargaining agreement, it set a time table for a show down.
If theres no agreement reached by the end of the 2010 season, the contract would expire.
Of course, some of the players could cross the picket line like they did in 1987 when they struck for a week and then caved and played with out a collective bargaining agreement. Not until anti-trust cases and a potential class action suit by Reggie White forced them back to the table did they reach some kind of truce. (Curiously, the Washington Redskins won the Super Bowl in both strike shortened years.)
If things get contentious again and the players strike, it could hurt revenue streams and team values enough that investors might dry up and leaving the Raiders to deal with the city of Oakland to reach a new agreement.
Have no illusions, even if Mr. Davis’ isn’t with the team (I hope he is, but he is 79) his family will likely carry on his wishes from beyond the grave and if they want to play hard ball, they will.
Like with most things, there is a yin and a yang, a black with the white, a good and a bad.
If Al Davis and the Raiders are successful in capturing another crown or at least getting close, it could cost the town of Oakland and its fans.