Football fans are going crazy over speculations that the Oakland Raiders could relocate to the heart of Texas.
According to recent media reports, Raiders principal owner Mark Davis was given a grand tour of San Antonio by city leaders including then-Mayor Julian Castro on the weekend of July 18. The Raiders’ lease in Oakland expires after the 2014-2015 season, and San Antonio could be at the top of the list if the team decides to find a home outside of the Bay Area.
While the talks are preliminary (and may never go further than just a few tours of the Alamodome), the prospect of one of the most iconic franchises in football — with starting quarterback Matt Schaub —moving to the Alamo City is fun to ponder. The Raiders in San Antonio could be hilarious — and awesome.
Three professional football teams for Texas
Whether your allegiance lies with the Dallas Cowboys or the Houston Texans, the state where football is king would boast three NFL franchises. That would put the Lone Star State on equal footing with Florida and New York — and more importantly above California.
Texas stealing a football franchise from California is a bigger boon than some silly Sriracha factory. Sports rivalries last forever.
Al Davis' legacy enshrined in the Lone Star State
Al Davis, who was the principal owner and general manager of the Raiders from 1972 until his death in 2011, was a national treasure (and everyone’s favorite offbeat team owner). Current owner Mark Davis, according to the San Antonio Express-News, says he would love a stadium that he could put “a statue of his father in front of.”
Davis brought three Super Bowl championships to Oakland decades ago, inspiring a devoted, rabid fanbase that is still hopeful for a return to prominence, despite the fact that he ran the team into the ground by refusing to relinquish control in his later years.
That should sound familiar, because it’s the same story playing out in Dallas. The Cowboys became a dynasty under owner Jerry Jones, but the team is now more famous for having a single playoff win since 1997. These two franchises in one state is a pure example of fulfilling destiny.
A more humble San Antonio fanbase
The Alamo City is used to winning all the time. And with five NBA championships since 1999, Spurs fans are a cocky bunch. But the Raiders could knock them down a peg.
Since losing Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003, the Raiders haven't sniffed the playoffs. They finished last season with a 4-12 record. A team that scrounges around at the bottom of the NFL barrel could be a major blemish to San Antonio's recent tradition of winning.
Fading fans for the Cowboys and Texans
Neither Jerry Jones nor Texans owner Bob McNair are sweating the idea of losing too many fans to a San Antonio team. Jones even believes that the percentage of Cowboys fans is the same in San Antonio as in Plano. But if a change of scenery is enough to make the Raiders turn things around and become contenders, things could get interesting.
If the Raiders are able to win a few games, why should San Antonians care about two teams that are hours away (and spinning their wheels when it comes to the playoffs)? San Antonio locals are likely to support the Raiders if they do what Al Davis said many years ago. “Just win, baby.”