All this talk of the NFL returning to Los Angeles — with two apparently viable bids for new area stadiums on the table — has some fans giddy about the prospect of possibly bringing the San Diego Chargers or perhaps the Minnesota Vikings to town.
So giddy, in fact, that many of us forgot about the one team with the deepest (darkest) links to L.A. fandom: The Raiders. That's right, matey, the old black-and-silver.
What about the Raiders?
Like a lot of team owners, Al Davis and friends aren't exactly ecstatic about the team's digs, the Oakland Coliseum, one of the last venues in the country to host both pro baseball and football teams.
But that doesn't mean he's ready to bring the Raider nation back to L.A.
And that doesn't mean that L.A.'s would-be titans of football, Staples Center honcho Tim Leiweke and Majestic Reality's Ed Roski, who have competing proposals to put teams downtown and in the San Gabriel Valley, respectively, want a return to the kind of militant hooliganism represented by fans of the silver-and-black.
Still, some L.A. fans have never let go and consider the Raiders to be somewhat like a pal who's been incarcerated at Pelican Bay for a good three nickels. They're just waiting for him to get out so they can terrorize L.A. again.
Scary, shaved-head white guys in jacked up 4×4 trucks with faux testicles hanging from the tow hitches. We miss them. We really do. They've all moved to the I.E. by now. If we paint a new stadium silver-and-black, they might come back.
But given the sensitivity toward downtown hooliganism seen after last summer's Lakers championship unrest, it seems unlikely that Leiweke would see the Raiders' return as a good fit for his $1 billion (plus?) stadium proposed for a site at the Convention Center.
Our commenter of the day, Tony Fantano, says it's time to resurrect L.A.'s the Raider nation anyway:
Please do not bring the Chargers to LA. This is the raiders home and we keep L.A. rooting for the raider nation. Just go after Al Davis. The only reason they left was because they didn't get a new stadium. Well LA is about to get a new stadium.
Thanks for the insight, Cletus, er, Mr. Fontano.