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The Inquirer

Should I stay loyal to the Oakland Raiders?

An+Oakland+Raiders+fan+stands+in+front+of+the+sign+welcoming+visitors+to+Las+Vegas.+Photo+courtesy+of+AP+and+csnbayarea.
An Oakland Raiders fan stands in front of the sign welcoming visitors to Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of AP and csnbayarea.

An Oakland Raiders fan stands in front of the sign welcoming visitors to Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of AP and csnbayarea.

An Oakland Raiders fan stands in front of the sign welcoming visitors to Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of AP and csnbayarea.

Isaac Norman, Online editor

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I’ve vacillated on this question over the last few months.

On one hand, I’ve been a loyal fan since I was single digits in age and endured their failures for the better part of the last 15 years.

On the other hand, I feel like loyalty should be a two way street.

With the Raiders slated to play out the 2017 season in Oakland with the possibility of 2018 and 2019 in Oakland too, the situation feels like a break up where you separate from your partner but you are both still on the lease.

While the high road dictates remaining amicable to make the divorce as easy as possible I find myself wanting to be the bitter ex-boyfriend.

If the Raiders didn’t like the situation they had in the Bay Area why should they get to stay until it is convenient for them to leave?

After last season’s success the general sentiment seems to be hoping the team will win one more Superbowl for Oakland before they relocate to Las Vegas.

I find myself rooting against them. I hope last season’s success was an anomaly. I hope they fall back to mediocrity. I want to see them fail.

After all, they’ve done that for so long why stop now?

Their actions just smack of selfishness. The Raiders want us to remain loyal to them yet this is the second time they’ve left when they thought they saw greener pastures, the first being in 1982 when the team relocated to Los Angeles only for them to return in 1995.

It makes me wonder what the essence of loyalty really means. Am I just naive to think the strength of loyalty in relationships lies in it going both ways?

After all, if my ex cheated on me but demanded I stay faithful to her that would be insane would it not?

Why would I wish her the best in her future endeavors when she was so selfish to begin with?

But part of me wonders how much my age plays into my sentiments.

What do older fans feel about the team moving for a second time?

Raiders fans, among other things, are renowned for their loyalty. Enduring a team that historically lost from 2003 to 2014 enhanced a sense of pride.

So what if our team stunk? We were Silver and Black through and through.

We proudly identified with their eccentricity and intimidating mystique, happy to support a team historically known as a band of misfits who could come together and win championships.

But now I’m not so sure.

Everything about the move feels like the team couldn’t handle a tough situation and got greedy.

The Raiders were hoping to extort a new stadium deal and the city of Oakland and the county of Alameda flatly refused.

The finances of stadium building have traditionally been onerous for taxpayers. ESPN’s Kevin Seifert estimated taxpayers have given almost $7 billion in taxpayer funds to NFL teams to help build new stadiums.

Seven billion. Think of how many schools, roads, fire departments and police departments could have used those funds.

The city of Oakland and county of Alameda were in no position to give money they didn’t have to something that was not at the highest priority for the community, especially when they are still paying off an estimated $83 million for renovations done to the stadium in 1995.

Renovations, that were done to entice the Raiders to move back to Oakland from Los Angeles.

So to recap, the ex who demanded complete loyalty but did not return it wants to continue living together until it is convenient for her to leave and on top of that she is leaving me with credit card debt to pay off.

Seems like I was a fool to ride with such a heartless woman to begin with.

But practically speaking I’m still stuck with the Raiders until they leave for Las Vegas and if they’re enjoying newfound success I’ve put in my sweat equity to at least earn the option to root for them if I choose.

So i’ll remain amicable and won’t dump them, for now.

Instead i’ll hedge my bets and start looking around.

The San Francisco 49ers have just as rich a history as the Raiders and even though they’re going through a rough patch right now I think their future is bright and I’m rooting for them.

So if the Raiders falter I’ll jeer and bid them farewell. If they do well I’ll pay attention and hope to see them in the Superbowl.

But I won’t be dying on every offensive holding penalty they get. I won’t be sitting on the edge of my seat, watching them try to pull a win out like in years past. Those days are over.

They’ve proven to me that loyalty is overrated, and if they can expect Oakland fans to show up in droves while the organization is entirely focused on moving to Las Vegas, I can justify turning on them at the first sign of trouble and never looking back.

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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.
Should I stay loyal to the Oakland Raiders?