On Monday, the NFL and its owners finally pulled the trigger on the Oakland Raiders’ fate.
In a 31-1 vote (at least the Miami Dolphins liked Oakland!), they elected to move the franchise to Las Vegas. Clearly, the long time residents of Oakland are pretty bummed. Though shrouded in mediocrity for what felt like forever, the Raider fans were always loyal. On the other hand, it appears that at least the biker gang population of Vegas is ecstatic. And technically, as a Las Vegas resident (a Las Vegan?), I should be too. Why do I feel so bad then?
I’m only 21 but my entire understanding of the Raiders is based on Oakland. If not Oakland, at the very least, the Raiders have always been California. The black and white are synonymous with its rabid fan base. Their field–which is admittedly pretty crappy–has long been a stable of the team. Plus, didn’t they just have a 12-4 season? A 12-4 season with a brilliant young quarterback in Derek Carr who was in the MVP discussion? Also the same 12-4 season with the defensive player of the year winner, Khalil Mack?
They’re a good team. Some would even call them a great team! It just doesn’t feel right.
We Just Got A Team!
A key tenet of business advises people to grow slowly. It’s kind of like watering a plant. You water conservatively. Otherwise, you risk killing your roses. Vegas isn’t a rose, but a cactus instead. Not only should you water conservatively, you should take it very slowly.
Yet within a year, we’ve gone from a literal sports desert to the hottest place in the country (almost literally). Late last year, the NHL awarded Las Vegas with an expansion team, the Golden Knights. Maybe, half a year later, now we have a football team? At the rate we’re going, we’ll have every major sports team by the year 2020. We don’t need another team, at least not yet.
A growing hockey team with a max capacity of maybe 20,000 isn’t conservative but doable. We can learn. Bringing in a rabid fanbase of nearly 70,000 almost overnight is disaster.
If you take anything from that ramble, please don’t overwater your cacti.
I’ll admit, I’m being selfish here but so what? Have you seen the traffic of Los Angeles or San Francisco? Oakland’s traffic is nothing to sneeze at either. Driving on the strip is already an occasional exercise in self-control. Now let’s add 70,000 fans to the already incoming 20,000. If that sounds like doomsday, it’s because it is. Hopefully I’m wrong but I’m skeptical for now. I’ll also be the first person at the meeting to send the Raiders right back to Oakland.