Time to Focus on the Future – Not Oakland

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Sunday’s game against the Broncos is most likely the Raiders last in Oakland.

Editor’s Note: Our contributor J. Burroughs is a Bay Area native who spent his early years in Martinez, Calif. A life-long follower of the Raiders, Burroughs believes its time for Raider Nation and the team to focus on the future, not the past.

Tradition is a guide and not a jailer. ― W. Somerset Maugham

It’s hard to argue the tradition that is Raiders football. From its inception to its glory days of the 1970s and 1980s, the silver and black gets into your blood and very rarely is there a cure. Part of the allure of the Raiders is the image and the tradition. That image and tradition were built in Oakland and Los Angeles – not exclusively one or the other.

Which brings me to the point I want to make today. It may cost me calls this holiday seasons from my cousins in Fremont, Martinez, Pleasanton, and other parts of the Bay Area many of my family still call home, but it’s time for the Raiders – and Raider Nation – to start focusing on Las Vegas and not Oakland.

With the clueless and politically inept leaders of Oakland deciding to sue the team perhaps forcing the team’s early departure, Monday night’s game against the Broncos could be it for Oakland. No more tailgating heaven, no more rats in the ice machine, no more playing in the team’s original home. Sure man, I have my own memories at the Coliseum. That includes the last Raiders game I attended with my grandfather just before he died. Those memories are meaningful like they are for all of you in Oakland who head out and represent each home game. I get it and I’m sorry the team had to leave. And don’t fool yourself, they had to leave.

It’s time for the Raiders organization and the entirety of Raider Nation to stop bowing down to Oakland and start focusing on the team’s future. This “long goodbye” is a bummer for sure but enough is enough. The team announced it was moving in 2016 and here we are in 2018 still listening to whining and complaining. I get it Oakland – it sucks. Ask the chumps in San Diego who lost their team to a soccer stadium in Carson. It’s never fun and it hurts but it’s time to close that chapter and stop tip-toeing around the fact this team is going to be home in Las Vegas.

It’s time for the Raiders organization and the entirety of Raider Nation to stop bowing down to Oakland and start focusing on the team’s future.

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Oakland is the past and Raider Nation needs to put it in the rearview mirror, says Burroughs.

Oakland had their chance. Y’all blew it. Your leaders failed you so you can make fun of Mark Davis’ haircut all you want but it’s time everyone looked in the mirror. You elected the people who lost the Raiders. They’re taking their history, their team, their name, and their colors with them and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Reality sometimes hurts but that’s the reality.

A note to coach Gruden: Enough with your “loving” of the Coliseum. It’s been a hell hole since I was a kid. You bet there’s been lots of history there. That doesn’t mean it’s a good place. Great memories for sure. But coach, you have a 10-year contract and Oakland isn’t your future so why all the dwelling on the past?

Raider Nation knows no borders and isn’t limited to Oakland. It’s perhaps stronger in Los Angeles where the team won its last Super Bowl. It’s strong in Nevada too and will only get stronger once the team embraces its new home instead of treating it like its secret side piece.

Raiders fans have suffered a long time and now they just want to win baby. The only way they could win was to take the sweet deal Nevada put on the table. In the game of NFL chicken, Nevada had balls. Oakland lost because of failed leadership. The team now will have a new home, lots of new revenue, and a brighter future.

Like my family in the East Bay, mourning the loss of the team is not easy. But it needs to start now, not after next season. While everyone else says: “I hope the Raiders play in Oakland next year,” I say I hope they don’t. Enough crying for Oakland. Raider Nation outside of Oakland is excited (despite this awful football year for the team) and focused on the Taj Mahal in the desert.

Oakland was given a chance to keep the team there. It failed and yet these same clowns – who are to blame – keep getting elected.

Oakland has only Oakland to blame for losing the NFL.

On to Las Vegas. Unapologetically.