Oakland Raider Fan Billboard Protest Must Stop

Elias Trejo@@Elias_TrejoSenior Analyst IIMarch 6, 2010

Al Davis and the Raiders have thrown away a lot of money trying to find a quick solution to start winning games. Now it looks as if Raider fans are taking the same road, and ready to throw away more money on something that just isn't going to work.

Last Dec., a fellow member of the Raider Nation caused a media stir by raising money from other Raider Nation fans, and posting a billboard up that sent a simple message to Davis. "Mr Davis, do the right thing please, hire a GM."

Let me say up front, that I believe that it is in the best interest of the Raiders' organization to hire a GM. The NFL is a business, just as much as it is a game, and some bad business decisions made by the Raiders have affected their abilities to win games.

The message has been sent, and I'm sure it's been heard by the Raiders' organization and Davis. So did this billboard do it's job? No. So far they haven't got one response, or even a nod in their direction. 

The man behind the billboard was Jared Staszewski and he isn't done yet. He plans to put up more billboards and raise money to fill I-880 with more messages to Davis.

This has been a great story, and has garnered national media attention, and much support from other members of the Raider Nation. Currently on MessageToAl.com, there have been over 45,000 fans, including myself, that have signed an electronic petition to support the hiring of a GM. 415 people have donated $7,000 to help pay for the costs of the billboard and printing.

The cost of this appears to be about $4,500 every four weeks, which is a discounted price, according to the website. Unfortunately for the fans, and Staszewski, this plan didn't work like they hoped, and it won't work with an increased effort.

Raising money to pay for these billboards will not force Davis to hire a GM. The money being used for this project is just being thrown away and wasted. These Raiders Fans are similiar to Al Davis when it comes to throwing money away. Continuing to run these billboards would be like the Raiders giving Javon Walker a lucrative contract extension.

In a tough economy, and a time when earthquakes are rattling Haiti and Chile, we cannot be throwning money away like this. Perhaps raising money, and donating it to the Red Cross or another organization to help aid Haiti or Chile would be a more responsible way to use the money.

A check written to the Red Cross from MessageToAl.com and the rest of the Raider Nation, would be a more productive way to use the money, instead of throwing it away on the billboards. We can challenge Davis to match our contributions, and if he does, we'll know as fans, that the message was heard loud and clear.

If you want a reaction from Davis and the Raiders' organization, then this idea would work better than the billboards. We can throw money away on billboards that won't work, or get a nod from Davis. Or we can raise money to donate to a good cause, and challenge Davis to match our contributions.

This is a no lose situation. If MessageToAl.com donates money to the Red Cross demanding Davis to match it, it will garner more positive media attention. If Davis matches the contribution, then we know he's listening. If he doesn't, then at least we know the money raised to send a message to Al, didn't get thrown away.


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