Raiders say farewell to Oakland

Raiders say farewell to Oakland
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The curtain came down, no sorry, the curtain fell down on the Raiders time in Oakland this Sunday with a heartbreaking 20-16 loss to the Jags.

The Raiders second stint in Oakland came to a disappointing end, despite heading into the half 16-3 the Jags rallied to break their 5 game losing streak and hearts of thousands of Oakland fans desperate for a final win before their Raiders sailed off to Vegas. The sun was shining down on the Oakland Alameda Coliseum, Raiders Legend Charles Woodson lit the ceremonial Al Davies Torch and the Raiders streaked off to an early lead courtesy of a 40 yard pass from Carr to Williams on the Raiders first drive. All was good in Oakland.

The Raiders continued to control the game and lead 16-6 at the end of the 3rd Quarter, que the heartbreak: The Raiders overproducing Defence finally buckled and Gardner Minshew lead the Jags to two unanswered touchdowns in the 4th Quarter and two late Hail Mary attempts by the Raiders failed to give the Raiders faithful a fairytale farewell from Oakland.

This isn’t the first time the Raiders have left Oakland; they spent 13 seasons in LA between ‘82 and ‘94, making the playoffs 7 times and winning 1 superbowl. In their 25 seasons back in Oakland they have reached the playoffs 4 times, only once reaching the Superbowl in 2002 where they lost to now head coach John Gruden’s Buccaneers, the year after he left Oakland. Results have been hard to come by recently for the Silver and Black; with only 1 winning season in the past 17 and at 6-8 now that won’t be changing.

Come April Las Vegas will host the NFL draft, come September they’ll be hosting the NFL as the Silver and Black continue their journey in Nevada in the Allegiant Stadium, just West of the infamous Las Vegas strip. The decision was made in 2017, following a long dispute between the City of Oakland and the Raiders, with the Raiders wanting the City to invest in the Colosseum – it’s aging features are long overdue an upgrade and it’s very outdated to play football on a baseball field. The cash strapped city of Oakland couldn’t agree and the bright lights of Las Vegas came calling and the Raiders will head 500miles East and play in the 65,000 seater, $2Billion brand new Allegiant Stadium. The A’s, Oakland’s Major League Baseball team will be the soul tenants of the colosseum and the only top tier professional team in the West Bay area after the Warriors, of NBA fame, jumped ship across the bay to San Francisco this summer.

I was lucky enough to get to a Raiders game in Oakland a few years ago, the stadium was dilapidated, the surroundings were a little rough but the people were great and the atmosphere was electric. The loss of the Raiders will undoubtedly be a huge loss to the city of Oakland and the local Raiders fans. What’s their loss is Sin Cities gain…

Moving to Vegas is a bit of a gamble, but the Raiders have better odds than what you’ll find on any of the neighbouring Casino tables. Vegas is no doubt a great spot for a visiting fan, but to succeed in the long term the Raiders will have to emulate the success of the Vegas Golden Knights and attract local residents too. As always: winning helps, hopefully for the Raiders another Gruden-Mayer draft and offseason can put the Raiders in position to be more competitive come the 2020 season.

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