It was an overcast day. That could not stop me from grilling.
I got into the gravel-filled parking lot and found myself parked next to some Buffalo Bills fans. They were blonde-haired and blue-eyed white people enjoying cold cuts. They were nice and peaceful compared to the rowdy college students which we were.
Surrounding us there were plenty of Silver and Black Jerseys. People of all shapes, sizes and ages engaged in chants of, “Raaaiiiddddeeerrrssss!” underneath canopies of all kinds.
The smell of moisture and BBQ filled the air. It was my first Raider game. It was against the Buffalo Bills and in the O.co Coliseum.
For a few moments, I wondered if that would be my last Raider game in Oakland. All season, I tried to go to a Raider game.
Something always held me back. Finances, weekend commitments, driving and flaky friends were all great excuses.
Still, I desperately wanted to attend another Raider game. As an Angelino, I attended many sporting events but nothing like this Raider game. The ambiance of the Raiders original home is the mecca for anyone claiming Raider Nation.
I wanted to go to Mecca again, but that was questioned with the Raiders attempt at relocation to Los Angeles.
Despite its’ proximity to my home, I always said the Raiders belonged in Oakland.
Realistically, the team was never going to move to Los Angeles. They had me and many others fooled. The Chargers used the Raiders brand as a ploy to garnish interest in the market for their joint Carson project. The two AFC West rivals rely on the L.A. market, and they felt the Rams stepping on their toes. Their best defense included banding together.
This week, their Carson plan failed. It should not be seen as a surprise. If the Raiders had $550 million for relocation fees and another hall billion for construction, they would use that money in Oakland.
However, they do not have that money. Therefore, the Raiders were never really a threat for Los Angeles. It seemed like Davis’ bluff might have worked if the NFL forced Kroenke to Carson and Davis received a lump sum from Kroenke. Instead, Kroenke got his way and the Davis is stuck in the same place.
Well atleast my gamble on the Raiders playing another game in Oakland paid off. I got one more season to see the team in the Mecca of Raider Nation. I better go next year, because who knows what will happen to the franchise after that.