March 27, 2017 will always be remembered to Oakland football fans as the day the Raiders left town. Again.
It doesn't come easy for Oakland Raiders fans as Monday the NFL owners voted 31-1 to approve the move to Las Vegas by the 2020 season. Yet the Raiders will have to play in Oakland for at least two more seasons as their stadium is built in Vegas.
The news wasn't too much of a surprise for Raiders fans as owner Mark Davis was rumored for months to be relocating the team to Vegas. It is the second time the Raiders have left Oakland, the first being in 1982 when Al Davis moved the team to Los Angeles but returned in 1995. Yet the feeling didn't come easy for Bay Area fans.
Just as the team was beginning to turn a page as they made the playoffs in 2016 for the first time since 2002, their beloved Silver and Black are heading out of town. The promising young team led by QB Derrick Carr and Pro-Bowl defensive stars Khalil Mack were just starting to make waves in the East Bay and just like that gone.
Oakland Raiders fans voiced their anger on social media and left Raiders apparel at team headquarters. Some said they wouldn't support the team going forward even if they won a Super Bowl in the next two years.
It has become a too common scene for the NFL since last January when the Rams left St.Louis to come to LA. The Chargers followed suite and left San Diego to much disapproval of their fans that were one of most loyal fan bases in football for over 50 years. Now Oakland, St.Louis and San Diego are left without football teams and thousands of broken hearts left behind.
Yet all these team relocations all had to do with the same thing: Money. The NFL chose profits over people and while it is a business it sends a powerful message to its fans. Loyalty comes at a price and while the NFL rules TV ratings and Sundays this might be changing.
Last season ratings did drop and attendance was down, while it might be too early to tell this could be the start of a downward trend for the NFL. With concussion studies and less kids playing football, the NFL doesn't need any more bad PR. It's already doing that on it's own.
Who knows in the long run what these moves mean for the NFL but one thing is for sure. Raider Nation just got left in the dark. Again.