I don’t pay a huge amount of attention to the NFL these days. I gather than the 49ers are having a fairly good season, though you wouldn’t have thought it from last night’s implosion. Elsewhere in the Bay Area, however, a momentous event has taken place. Yesterday the Raiders played their last game in Oakland before heading off to Las Vegas for the new season. There are, of course, those who will say that Vegas is entirely in keeping with the Raider aesthetic, but how many of their devoted fans will be able to make the trip to the new stadium is very much open to doubt. The Raiders might have been noisy neighbors, but they were our neighbors and now they are leaving. We will miss them. More importantly, Oakland deserves better.
To mark the event, I would like to direct you to this article that I wrote for Emerald City back in 2003. It attempts to explain Bay Area sterotypes by way of the local football teams. Along the way it gently pokes fun at both groups. A few thngs have changed in the intervening years. The 49ers no longer live at Candlestick Park, and mobile phones are now well within the price range of Raiders fans, but much of it still holds good, I think.