So Mark Davis said he’d like to be in Las Vegas right now, does he? He has a commitment with the governor of Nevada, does he? It’s a symbiotic relationship, is it? Why, that carpetbagging lost-a-bet-with-a-barber hyena.
Except that isn’t it at all. This is not-news news, because he’s been saying this in one form or another for nearly a year, since he lost the right to say he’d rather be in Inglewood. And he’ll say it again unless/until Vegas falls through.
It’s all noise, after all. Davis has very clearly wanted out of Oakland for nearly two years, and maybe longer than that, to the point where he would cozy up to any city that showed him some cash and a bit of leg. Remember San Antonio?
So now it’s Las Vegas as Davis’ new favorite girl, at least until an owners’ vote that would happen in March at the earliest, and May at the latest, and the process is as we have been outlined more than once already.
SHOE ONE: San Diego has a hotel tax ballot measure that would help fund a new stadium for the Chargers which is expected to fail. If/when it does, Chargers owner Dean Spanos has an option to join Rams owner Stan Kroenke in Los Angeles that expires in January.
Spanos could decline the option, either because he won the election, couldn’t stomach moving in with Kroenke, has resigned himself to the desperation of being in a town that won’t give him untold millions, or develops an as-yet-unexpressed interest in Las Vegas himself.
SHOE TWO: Davis must supplicate himself to his 31 fellow owners (well, 30, and the club president in Green Bay) and try to get 24 of them to back his play. He could begin this process as soon as tomorrow in Houston, when the owners gather for a regularly-scheduled meeting at the Marriott Galleria (try the tapas; they’re to die for), by making an informal presentation, or even as little as some informal (read: cordial but desperate) buttonholing of his colleagues in search of their traditionally sub-atomic kindness.
The problem for Davis here, of course, is that the owners already showed their level of esteem for him in January when they sunk the Carson stadium plan co-sponsored by Spanos and Davis, and in any event don’t give anything away for free. They could offer him Las Vegas in exchange for any number of terms of varying onerousness, including slow-motion divestiture of voting control of the team, in which case he would have to decide between life under Kroenke’s heel and life in Oakland trapped in the Coliseum until he dies.
Shoe Two is the thin espadrille upon which the East Bay can hold its hope, hope that Davis seems utterly disinterested in fostering. He has been stridently reluctant to engaging directly with the Oakland and Alameda County political establishments and they with him, a mutual and seemingly near-permanent condition.
So that’s where the Raiders Relocation saga is now. The long-held area-wide apathy surrounding a potential Raider move is finally beginning to dissipate, because $750 million makes a lot of things very real. Mark Davis has a willing partner with a bloated wallet of taxpayer money, and now all he has to do is convince a group of men who found him and his plan wanting 10 months that he’s a better guy and this is a better plan.
In other words, for Oakland Raider fans, disinterest, boredom and now desperation has given way to fatalism. Those who continue to hope have had their scenarios in defense of the status quo reduced to two -- that the other owners decide they’d rather have nobody in Las Vegas than Mark Davis, and that the deal offered to him by Stan Kroenke in Los Angeles is worse than the non-deal offered him by Oakland and the Coliseum.
Under any other circumstance, the Raiders will leave town for the second time in less than a quarter-century, and there may not be enough people interested enough to fight over who should be held responsible, because in the final analysis, it is Mark Davis. He has wanted to go for a good long time, and barring a series of relative longshots, he will.