This is my Monday column. WARNING — This is a Raiders’ column. 49ers’ fans — feel free to skip this.
Dude. I’m talking to you, Mark Davis.
You’re not going to Carson. You’re going nowhere. Who are you kidding?
You’re the Raiders. You’re acting as if you’re desirable, as if you’re a real franchise. Dude. I can’t even find you on the radio dial. You’re a losing team that has few sponsors, generates little money and relies on revenue sharing. And you want us to believe that Carson and three or four others cities really want you?
It’s more like zero cities, give or take.
No community will go head over heels for you until you become a contender and a moneymaker. What you are now is a burden with no socio-economic benefit. Oakland and Alameda County still owe more than $100 million in a municipal debt because they financed Mount Davis for you in 1995.
Your latest proposal to build a joint stadium with the Chargers in Carson, 15 miles south of Los Angeles, is a joke, right? The people of Carson and Greater Los Angeles are not doing backflips for you to come back to town. Your record last season was 3-13. L.A. didn’t care much about the Raiders the first time around, and you were good back then.
Remember? You tried this before. You moved to L.A. in 1982, made the playoffs four seasons in a row and won the Super Bowl in January of 1984. You were a real franchise, one of the most important franchises in the NFL.
Check your attendance in L.A. during the years you were good. Check out 1983, the season you won the Super Bowl. In eight regular season home games you sold more than 65,000 tickets only once, and you sold fewer than 50,000 tickets four times.
Even a winning football team can’t consistently fill up a stadium in L.A. — you proved that 30 years ago. Heaven forbid you bring a losing team to that town.
Think like someone who lives in L.A. How would you spend your Sunday? You could buy tickets to the Raiders’ game, schlep through traffic on the 405 all the way to Carson, pay for parking, park your car, schlep into the stadium, buy a hotdog and a beer, schlep to your seat and watch a bad team lose.
Or, you could have brunch and drink Bellinis at the Getty Museum. In case you don’t know, a Bellini is Prosecco and peach juice. Or you could go sailing in the blue Pacific, or you could go golfing at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, or you could go to Disneyland, Universal Studios, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Venice Beach, the Santa Monica Pier, Catalina or Mexico. Or you could stay at home, invite your friends over, barbeque and watch seven football games at once on your big screen TV.
There are a zillion things to do in L.A. that kill going to a Raiders game. Bellinis at the Getty trump Budweisers in Carson any day.
The only time you would sell out your new stadium in Carson is when you would play popular teams like the Cowboys or the Bears or the Giants or, excuse me, the Niners. Transplants will pay to watch the team they grew up rooting for. Other people will pay to watch famous athletes from opposing teams. That’s how the Clippers used to sell tickets when they stunk. People would go to Clippers games to watch Michael Jordan or LeBron James dismantle the home team.
And we still haven’t accounted for the Chargers. You’d have to compete with them to sell season tickets and seat licenses. How many people would choose to spend $80,000 on seat licenses for the Raiders instead of the Chargers?
The Chargers are a playoff team that already has fans in L.A, Orange County, the Inland Empire and San Diego — all over Southern California. Dude, you don’t stand a chance.
And we still haven’t accounted for the Rams. What if they move to L.A.? They already own land in Inglewood and they’re a decent team and they have a longer history in L.A. than you do. If they move to Inglewood, you’d have to compete with two franchises for season tickets and seat licenses. You’d be the worst of three NFL teams in the market. You’d have it worse than you do now. You’d trade one nightmare for another.
The intersection of Coliseum Way and Hegenberger Road. That is your future. How are you going to make it work? Get serious.
Grant Cohn writes sports columns and the “Inside the 49ers” blog for The Press Democrat’s website. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.