When Reggie McKenzie first assumed the position of General Manger in Oakland I pointed out five things he needed to accomplish. At the top of my list was one simple request – tear down the wall.
For far too long the Raiders have been a franchise shrouded in more mystery than a North Korean bookstore.
Today marks a historic if not obvious change in the Raiders as an organization.
Today, Raider Nation is being welcomed with open arms to witness practice. This might be nothing new under the sun for most NFL franchises but for the Silver and Black it marks a massive shift in philosophy.
As refreshing as the air in Napa, the decision to fully embrace football’s most loyal fans is long overdue.
Now mind you this isn’t an open invitation to everyone and their moms. You needed to acquire a ticket prior to showing up in Napa. Even then the tickets were free and only required getting to a Raiders Image store in time before they were all gone.
This is just another one of the steps taken by the new ownership to further push the Raiders back into the forefront of the football world. As mush as we all respect Al Davis it was time to adopt more sophisticated policies that were in step with what fans expect when they put down their hard earned cash for a Raider ticket.
Not to mention the possibility of earning future business by building the Raider brand amongst the younger fans out there. People such as me grew up with the Raiders as their local team back when they were in Los Angeles. My memories of the times at the L.A. Coliseum are among my most cherished.
In all likelihood some father has brought his son to Napa today. Odds are his child will never forget this day and it just might be the moment the Raiders gain a new lifelong fan that will proudly pass the tradition on to his son. Something tells me that’s exactly the way Al Davis would have wanted it. Even if he doesn’t approve of the method, Mr. Davis was always about the end result. In the end the Raiders will be much better off with a more transparent approach.