The Raiders did it again: They broke another city’s heart.
This is what they do. This is what they always do.
Right now, it doesn’t look like the Raiders are going to be heading to Las Vegas.
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And Oakland doesn’t seem to want to pony up any money to keep them.
And Los Angeles can’t take on another team.
And San Diego? It can’t afford them.
The Raiders are stuck in limbo, and it’s not surprising when you take a close look at that franchise.
The Raiders are on the fringe of the NFL. Yes, they’re technically a member, but it doesn’t feel like they have full membership privileges, does it?
The owner, Mark Davis, has no money. So he’s waiting on someone to build him a new stadium somewhere, anywhere.
And he’s probably going to be waiting a while, because you know who won’t be stepping up with the money to build the Raiders a new stadium? The NFL.
For years and years, the Raiders sold the outlaw brand. And while that empowered their business, as the league became more corporate it turned off the rest of the owners.
Now the NFL is 100 percent corporate. Don’t believe me? Come to Houston and experience Super Bowl week. This is the NFL putting on its best show, and it couldn’t be more corporate.
The Raiders wouldn’t fit in here.
The Raiders are the UNLV basketball of the NFL. The fans love it, and the players love it, but those aren’t the people who write the checks these days. Those guys — the owners and league executives — don’t love it.
Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who is paying billions — yes, with a B — to build a new stadium in Los Angeles, is looking at this Raiders franchise that has no money and still thinks it’s the 1970s, and he has to say to himself, “I don’t want them in my stadium — they’d hurt my team’s branding.”
And it’s a shame, too. It’s so clear the Raiders should be in L.A. You go around L.A. now and you don’t see Rams or Chargers stuff — you see Raiders gear. Silver and Black, everywhere.
That’s because the Raiders are cool. That brand sells to fans.
NFL owners aren’t interested in cool. They’re more interested in cold, hard stacks of cash, and the Raiders don’t help anyone else in the league make money.
The Las Vegas stadium deal falling apart was so predictable. It’s so part and parcel for who the Raiders are. This is a franchise that’s uniquely dysfunctional, and so I have no idea how this all pans out.
But I do know how how the Raiders got here:
Being the outlaw brand – it feels great in the moment, but it’s hard living, and those moments catch up to you, especially in business.
Remember Mickey Rourke — the bad boy in the 1980s? What about Tom Sizemore?