So long as the Raiders are in Oakland they’ll always be rumored to return to Los Angeles. If they ever do make the move back to SoCal’s brightest beacon then the same rumors will spark for a return to the Bay. Such is the nature of football’s most infamous franchise.
Of course now that there are two bids to build stadiums in L.A. the odds of the NFL reintroducing itself to the Los Angeles market are greater then they’ve been since the Raiders and Rams left SoCal.
We’ve already outlined all reasons why the Raiders are likely to remain in the Bay but there was one factor I didn’t consider – the all powerful lord of football. I’m speaking, of course, of Roger Goodell.
Over the course of the last year, when the L.A. stadium development deals have really gained momentum, Goodell has made sure to keep his most profitable and untapped market under thumb. The league office has done everything it can to ensure two stadiums will be built in L.A. and now they’re trying to really get things going by opening the door to get two teams into said stadiums.
Goodell recently unveiled his L.A. doctrine proclaiming open season on relocation to Los Angeles.
Any franchise interested in relocating there for the 2013 season must apply between Jan. 1 and Feb. 15 of that year, and prove it has exhausted all attempts to remain in its current location. No plans are yet in place if no teams apply for 2013.
So there you have it. Goodell has thrown down the gauntlet and any team wishing to make the move to L.A. must meet his approval. Something tells me this is step that would have been avoided if Al Davis were still around. No way is Davis going to do anything on the league’s terms. Up to his last days Davis was still claiming to have a piece of the L.A. market.
But that’s Goodell for you. He’s become the bully of the football world and there isn’t an owner with enough cojones to stand up to him. These days the NFL ownership club is comprised of a bunch of yes men eager to do Goodell’s bidding.
Davis on the other hand was still as defiant as ever. The Raiders were the only team to abstain from voting on the new CBA and they were the only team handing out bloated contracts on the eve of the lockout. You get the picture.
So in the grand scheme of things the Raiders moving to L.A. is still a possibility. The difference this time is that should Mark Davis make the move he’ll be doing so on the commissioner’s terms. No telling how much of his father’s nature rubbed off on Mark Davis. But if he’s learned anything for his dad it’s to do things your own way. This new age of the cookie cutter NFL owner is already tired a played out. Here’s hoping Mark Davis does what is best for the franchise and not the NFL. Even if that means bringing the Raiders back to Los Angeles.