Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Poverty wants some, luxury many, and avarice all things.
- Abraham Cowley, English Metaphysical Poet (1618-1667)

Los Angeles Raiders

The Only Team to Bring a Super Bowl Home to LA

Al Davis said he wanted a Commitment to Excellent billboard on every corner in LA

Al Davis said he wanted a Commitment to Excellent billboard on every corner in LA

When you think of the voices of Southern California sports, in your heart and mind you hear the voices of the immortal Chick Hearn, who made every Lakers game fun to tune into and coined more phrases than anyone in the history of the NBA, and you think of maybe the most friendly and beloved voice in all of sportscasting in Vin Scully. In much of the same way, there are two and only two voices that come to mind when you think of the voices of sportswriting in Southern California: Jim Murray, who may have been the most humblest man who ever won the Pulitzer Prize, and the irreverant and sardonic wit of Bill Plaschke. Plaschke brings an edge to a So. Cal. sports scene often denigrated by the East Coast press as being vapid and bandwagoning.

From his sports columns at the LA Times, to his outlandish and brilliant appearances on the Jim Rome Radio Show, Plaschke has definitely earned his place as one of the four great voices in LA sports from my time as a fan. But allow me to fit the Raider fan stereotype as I say this, “Fuck you, Mr. Plaschke – fuck you and your Raider hating take on the Raiders coming back to LA.”

It almost boggles the mind to imagine that the second biggest sports market in America has been without NFL franchise for 16 years now. Commenting on the fact that after all these years, a new stadium for LA finally looks like a reality, with room for two teams to come play in LA, Plaschke says:

There is a group out there who could ruin all of this.

There is a group who could show up at Farmers Field dressed in havoc, bearing chaos and portending dread.

They are not neighborhood protesters, they are the sort that neighborhoods protest against. They are not environmentalists or economists, but, quite the opposite, they tear up the grass and take your money.

Hey, Oakland Raiders, if you are reading this, can you heed but one word from one man who was among many who celebrated in the summer of 1995 when you finally dragged your hack-and-silver act out of town?

I remember the Raiders time in LA as a magical time for the city when black, brown and white were united together in their love for the Silver and Black. Ice Cube’s Straight Outta LA was a beautiful testament to what that team meant to the city. Was the Coliseum a scary place to visit when you were rooting for the wrong team? Yes. Was it a great place for the city to come together in rooting for the Raiders? Without a doubt.

As Plaschke mentions in his article, the Raiders are the only team ever to bring a Super Bowl Championship to the city of Los Angeles and it was something special, something apart from the championships the Lakers and Dodgers have brought home, for Plaschke to say he was “one man who was among many” celebrating the Raiders moving back to Oakland, your memories of “many” is a lot fewer than I remember.

This may still feel like a Raiders town, but, with a gleaming new stadium and dignified new hopes, this is a town that can no longer support the Raiders.

It feels like a Raiders town, because it is still a Raiders town. Sixteen years gone by and still the whole of So. Cal. loves their Raiders far more than any team that could ever try to pretend to be the next football team of Los Angeles.

The atmosphere got so ugly, “Raider Fan” became a euphemism for every rogue and rascal in town. Somebody cut you off in traffic? Raider Fan. Somebody talking too loud in the movie theater? Raider Fan. The recent spate of violence at Dodger Stadium? Who else? Everybody blamed it on Raider Fan.

You’re out of your mind, Plaschke. I don’t remember anyone mentioning a Raider team that had departed sixteen years ago when it came to the mindless beating of a Giants fan at Dodger stadium. If anything, it just went to show you that even the Dodgers, the most storied steam LA history, could have it’s own share of gangbanging idiots showing up to a game just the same as any other team in the city.

The moniker is often unfair, of course, because 95% of Raiders fans are just good football fans who simply like to wear foreboding colors. But perception became reality, and the Raiders did little to distance themselves from it.

As angry as the rest of the article made me, I have to love you for bringing the perspective that maybe only one in twenty Raiders fans could be classified as a bunch of hooligans and thugs, and it’s true, the vast majority of Raiders fans you’ll ever meet love the game and love their team. You may have even been charitable in calling it 95% of them, but I love my Raider brethren.

. . . the Los Angeles Raiders can never again happen. Just don’t, baby.

Yeah, because just what LA needs is another Clippers, another team who started in LA, thought they could reinvent themselves as a unique identity down in San Diego, only to find the grass wasn’t greener and return home as a joke of a franchise, which will be exactly what the return of the Chargers will be met with here in LA.

The Chargers are not going to be adopted by the rest of Southern Calfornia. They are a joke to the rest of us and no one north of San Diego is going to embrace them. I can promise you that. The only bright spot in the return of the Chargers to LA will be seeing all of those Dodger-hating San Diego fans having to root not just for the LA Lakers, but the LA Chargers as well. You know what? Bring ’em on, the thought of all those San Diego fans having to root for the Los Angeles Chargers makes me laugh as I type this, so bring ’em on.

But as far as the Raiders are concerned, as much as I enjoy the road trip up to Oakland, they’re coming, Mr. Plaschke, and you’re going to cover them, because the Raiders will once again be the only team to bring the NFL Championship back to our beloved city.

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11 Responses to Plaschke Blasts the Thought of a Return to L.A. for the Raiders

  • Its about time someone wrote the truth, love them or hate them this is a raider nation, chargers equal clippers in los angeles, go raiders.

  • Come on chargers! Mike your wrong, behind the safety of the orange curtain, I would love the chargers to be the LA team. Their fans are the fans that once had a whole section singing bourbon cowboy, raiders fans simply would not appreciate that, except you of course.

    • Spoken like a true family man. I can see your perspective that the LA Chargers would bring a more family-friendly environment to the NFL in the LA, but I still think they’re going to be LA’s next version of the Clippers.

  • Fuck Plaschke!

  • You know what else that s going to be funny? That aeg its going to lose a lot of money on chargers if they come, cause no one wants them, besides that, no more black outs for raiders games..

    • I’m with you, I just don’t see LA embracing a retread from SD that had to come limping back home with it’s tail between its legs.

      And to hell with CBS cutting away from the Raiders game today with 32 seconds left in the game today and trying to push the Chargers down our throat. It’s never gonna fly.

  • Okay, I am a huge Raiders fan since 1970…Though I am glad the Raiders are in Oakland, due to the fans are true fans, not a bunch of gang bangers that know nothing about the Silver and Black, I will say they are the only NFL LA Team to bring a Superbowl to SoCal, something the Rams and/or Chargers have failed to do.

    As far as bringing a team to LA, I think the Chargers, Rams, and/or Raiders would have success. Any other team, except expansion (new), will fail, due to we are a melting pot, with fans from every team around country.

    I really don’t care what Bill Plaschke has to say (don’t read his crap) and true Raider fans know the truth. Just go to Oakland and watch a game. The fans are great (except if we are playing SF). I lived up there during the Gruden years and I had friends that are fans of GB/Dal/Miami and so on fly up and go to the games with us. They loved it and came back several times, something most did not do in LA.

    I say keep the Raiders in Oakland where they belong, fuck Plaschke, and hope the NFL makes the right decision in regards to who comes to LA.

    • I have to admit, I may be biased in saying the Chargers would fail in LA because the thought of seeing them embraced fills me with disgust (SHOW ME YOUR LIGHTENING BOLTS!) I’d hate to have to see that all over town every time they make a late season run at the playoffs.

      It’s true that at the height of the Raiders in LA, half the people you’d meet wearing the gear might not even know who the starting quarterback was (or care) because it was really more like a fashion statement or gang colors, but there was another 50%, and pretty much all the people at the games, they were diehards who knew the team inside and out. But you are right, Oakland is a great place to see them play, great crowd, they know their team, maybe it is best to keep them up there. Always fun road tripping up to Oaktown and seeing all the Raider decals on cars as you head up there.

      It just kind of boils my blood to hear Plaschke dissing the team and saying hell no we don’t want you back.

  • I’m not a Raiders fan, the Raiders may have won L.A.’s only Lombardi Trophy, actually not just L.A., but all of SoCal in General, since when it comes to the Lombardi Trophy, the Bay Area owns Cali when it comes to the Hardware(7-1), the Raiders moved to L.A. in 1982, in barely their second year(1983) they won a Super Bowl, so that was pretty much an Oakland-Roster that won that Super Bowl, wasn’t really a true L.A. team except Marcus Allen, who was the only true Los Angeles Raider on that team, so keep the Raiders in Oakland, it is where they were born, started off, more than half their history is there so the Raiders should stay where they belong in Oakland.

  • I was pretty angry when I read this, just the whole fact that Plaschke would disrespect the team in such a way as to say, we don’t want your act back here in So. Cal. . . well, I rewatched Ice Cube’s 30 by 30 Straight Outta L.A. and Plaschke gives up a lot of love for the L.A. Raiders and those years they were here. He’s not a Raider hater, he’s a Raider return to L.A. hater. (That is a great 50 minutes – well worth the watch, BTW.)

    We make that road trip up to Oakland to see our Raiders once or twice a year and it’s an enjoyable drive, it’s a city that absolutely loves it’s team, and maybe it is for the best for Oakland to keep their Raiders. I’d rather have them here in L.A., I can tell you for damn sure I’m never going to jump on the band wagon of some expansion team and I’m never going to warm up to some transplant who failed elsewhere and now wants to rebrand itself as an L.A. team. To hell with that. I’ll just stick with the road trips and the streaming Internet broadcasts when they’re not on the local channels.

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