Ice Cube’s documentary on the Raiders and their days in Los Angeles debuts on ESPN tonight at 5pm (Pacific Standard Time). Titled Straight Outta L.A., Cube paints a picture of the cultural importance the Raiders played in the City of Angels.
For SoCal natives such as myself, this documentary was long overdue. While the pain suffered by the fans in the East Bay is more than understandable, the joy experienced by football fans in Los Angeles cannot be expressed. Many of my best memories growing up are linked to warm Sundays at the Coliseum, the sound of the Autumn Wind playing during the opening kick and the sea of Silver and Black that flooded the city.
L.A. Times TV critic Robert Lloyd gave a brief review of the documentary this morning.
Cube enlists a wide variety of voices to tell his tale, including players, marketing men, politicians, reporters, ex-gangsters, scholars and his biggest fish, quixotic Raiders majority-owner and general manager Al Davis. (“History will dictate what I am,” he says. “You do it your way, don’t let the culture tell you what to do. That’s being a Raider.”) From music, and the street, are such hip-hop philosophers as Ice T, Chuck D and Snoop Dogg, who tosses a football around with Ice Cube on the field of a significantly empty Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and pinpoints the way the Raiders’ take-no-prisoners Weltanschauung reflected rap’s own: “We couldn’t represent flowers and trees and birds… We had to represent something like a pirate attitude.”
Make sure to set your DVR if you can’t be in front of the flat screen for the debut tonight.