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ESPN 30 for 30 'Straight Outta L.A.' - Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders Thread

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Post by Il Gialloblu Thu 01 Dec 2011, 8:51 am

Good day lads. I never post on here but I do follow the sport although, as a Bills follower, I'm not enjoying it quite as much as I was about six weeks ago...

Anyway.

I watched a good documentary today, an episode of ESPN's 30 for 30 series.

It was about the Raiders and the relationship between the franchise and the city during their time in Los Angeles, how the team attracted and kind of united fans from different ethnic/gang backgrounds and how, during their time there, their colours and logo were adopted by many of the emerging 'gangsta' rap movement.

Just how the Raiders seemed to embody 1980's/early 1990's Los Angeles for a lot of the local people, really.

Ice Cube (a Los Angeles rapper) made the film and there is a lot of footage of him interviewing the late Al Davis.

Davis said at one point that he was unhappy when the L.A. Kings hockey team adopted the black and silver colours, so unique did he want his Raiders to be.

Has anybody seen it?

I can only provide a link to the wiki 30 for 30 page, but I think the documentary is well worth tracking down.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/30_for_30

One part that sticks in my mind is something an ex-player said on the programme.

'People say "hey, do you remember when you played for the Oakland Raiders?", and I say "no. I played for the Los Angeles Raiders".'

Seems it meant a lot to both players and fans alike.

I was only going to make a thread advising people to watch the documentary but I guess now it could also lead to good discussion.

What else do you good people know about this particular piece of NFL history? Do you see the Raiders as an Oakland team or an L.A. team? L.A. and the NFL... who needs who the most?

Who here is a Raiders fan? And why?

Cheers for reading.
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Post by Grizzly Thu 01 Dec 2011, 9:05 am

I've heard this documentary mentioned before somewhere, can't think where, but no I've not seen it which is a little surprising given Als passing.

I read somewhere that there are still a number of LA fans who commute regularly to watch Raiders games, perhaps this is linked ?

I always wondered whether LA fans affiliation to the Raiders was more a California thing and a protest at the presence of the Rams being there who moved from Cleveland ?




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Post by Il Gialloblu Thu 01 Dec 2011, 9:18 am

Hi Grizzly.

In the programme, it hinted at the L.A. Rams being a 'white person's team', whilst the black population of Los Angeles favoured the Raiders.

I cannot comment on that any further, because I don't know, but it was briefly mentioned. More than just 'hinted at', actually.

Curiously, the aforementioned Kings hockey team used to play in yellow and purple before they changed to black and silver. I would presume the initial similarity to the Rams' colours was coincedental, but they did ditch it in favour of the Raiders' colours. Perhaps to seem more L.A.?
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Post by sodhat Thu 01 Dec 2011, 9:49 am

I saw that documentary Il Gialloblu, and I thought it was really excellent.

I myself am a Raiders fan, so it made fascinating viewing, and it actually gave me a good insight into some of the culture surrounding the team and the era.

It looked like a crazy time for the team, and in a lot of ways it was a shame they couldn't arrange to somehow stay in L.A. because for me it seems to be a big miss to not have any representation for such an iconic city.

It did strike me that a lot of people on the documentary were of the mind that the Raiders will always be L.A.'s team, even though so much more of the history is based in Oakland. Such was the impact of that team, at that time, on that city.

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Post by Il Gialloblu Thu 01 Dec 2011, 10:08 am

Cheers for the input sodhat.

I see you're a bit younger than me. For my first 5 or 6 years following the NFL, the Raiders were the Los Angeles Raiders. When they moved back, I thought 'why? And where the hell is Oakland?'

But I know now that, like you say, most of their history is in Oakland.

I've also heard people say that the NFL really should have a Los Angeles team. Franchises move around of course, and I've heard it mentioned that even the Bills could find themselves in L.A., such is some people's desire to have a team, any team, in Los Angeles. After watching that documentary though, I think the only team that could and should* be based in L.A. are the Raiders.

*should... whilst I think that if Los Angeles were to have a team it should be the Raiders, I don't think 100% that they should be there, such is their connection with Oakland. It's a tricky one.

You're a fan. How do you feel? Would you prefer them to be in Oakland or Los Angeles?
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Post by sodhat Thu 01 Dec 2011, 10:18 am

To be honest that documentary changed the way I viewed franchise teams moving around, which I used to be against, but I think if a viable franchise could make L.A. it's home, it would be good for the NFL. However I don't think it's critical.

I agree that if a team were to be relocated, that the Raiders would be the one that made most sense, and the one that would have strong links already. And in reality, the Bills and many others would be moving a looong way, where as Oakland is not actually too far (in context of the vastness of the US).

I wouldn't be averse to them moving back to L.A., but I guess it depends on what happens now after Al Davis died, and what the owners plan for the future of the franchise. One thing I do know is that I would follow them to wherever they went, having the luxury of not being tied to any US cities, I am able to simply follow the franchise and not the city!

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Post by Il Gialloblu Thu 01 Dec 2011, 11:08 am

I guess the documentary had the opposite effect on me then mate.

Before, even as a Bills man, I thought it would be acceptable for them to move to L.A. if they HAD to move anywhere. Better than moving to Toronto, anyway.

But after seeing that programme, I'm not so sure. I'm not sure the locals would really take to it.

For me, there are certain teams that should never move from where they are now. The Cowboys, Giants, Redskins, Steelers, 49ers, Packers, Bears and more that I don't need to type are such iconic names when paired with their location that they could never move.

If the Panthers or Jaguars move and change the first part of their names, who cares? Same with the Cardinals. I guess it's just what people are used to. I've known the Cardinals as representing St Louis, Pheonix and now Arizona. So if they move again, for me, I'd think 'so what'?

Like I said, it may be what people are used to and grew up with. I only ever think of the Colts as being an Indianapolis team. The Baltimore Colts sounds odd to me.

I would put the Bills in the same bracket as the teams who shouldn't move. Part of my reasoning is that the name wouldn't make sense but, seeing as in the NBA they have the L.A. Lakers (not many lakes in L.A.), Utah Jazz (not much jazz in Utah), and the Toronto Raptors (not many... sorry, that's facetious), I guess business talks louder than sense.

I'm waffling now, and derailing my own thread at the same time. censored
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Post by Grizzly Thu 01 Dec 2011, 11:27 am

Il - some fair points, though saying that expansion teams could move without anyone worrying may be a little unfair.
Panthers may only be what 15 years old ? but they have an established fan base and set up, Jags similar although the Florida market has proved tough in recent seasons.

This I think is the difference between US and UK sports, the tradition/history of UK football clubs means that relocation is impossible - Wilmbledon moved to Milton Keynes which is probably 60 miles away and there was uproar.

I know we in the UK are detached from rivalries to a degree but the Giants/Redskins rivalry has developed over many years, same Packers/Bears/ or Steelers/Ravens, it would be unfair to assume that the Panthers/Falcons or Panthers/Buccs rivalry may not develop into something similar but requires more than 15 years when competing with established rivalries over 50+ years.

I may be wrong and we get very little coverage of updated blackout positions but I don't remember seeing the Panthers suffering from blackouts hugely, compared to some teams who have been on a virtual permanent blackout for 3 or 4 years !

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Post by sodhat Thu 01 Dec 2011, 11:29 am

It definitely does, and I've often found some of the names curious, too.

I look at American sports differently to UK sports, in that if a UK team were to up and move I'd be first to say that's out of order and ruining the local community, where as with the US teams, I kind of feel like their culture has capitalism so embedded in it that people are less likely to be put out by teams moving. Everything is geared to money and business, and the general public accept the chasing of dollars more readily than others.

I am very probably wrong, I don't doubt US fans are every bit as passionate about their teams as we are, but it's a distorted view I've never let go nonetheless.

I agree certain teams relocating would be unthinkable and your list pretty much nails it.

I hadn't heard that the Bills were considering moving the franchise, either. I suppose it is a pretty congested catchment area though. The Los Angeles Bills...hmm, not much of a ring to it is there?

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Post by TM Moot Thu 01 Dec 2011, 11:31 am

i can't see the Bills going to LA

LA Chargers continually gets mentioned though...

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Post by Il Gialloblu Thu 01 Dec 2011, 11:56 am

Grizzly... you make a very valid point about the fans of the Panthers and Jaguars. I guess that where I wrote 'who cares?', I was just saying that I wouldn't care.

Pretty self-centered of me and a big generalisation that I shouldn't have made. As I say, your point is a very good one and I'll hold my hands up there. I'm sure a lot of people do care.

The thing with the Bills, sodhat and TM, I'd heard that they were struggling financially and they thought a move to a place with no team could reinvigorate the whole operation. Although I believe they are the only side to play their home games in New York State... Not that it makes a difference, just a bit of trivia for you.

But, as said earlier, anything other than 'Buffalo' in front of 'Bills' would just sound wrong.
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Post by Grizzly Thu 01 Dec 2011, 12:35 pm

Il

I accept that views of UK fans are pretty irrelevant when compared to US numbers, but I think given the leagues desire to extend the sport beyond the boundaries of US their views may become important.

I'm a Chiefs fan (don't laugh), I make a point of flying over every couple of years to catch an Arrowhead game, I educate myself with the history, the fans, the area etc, I build an association with the place and this is something most UK fans do with their chosen teams even if cost prevents some of them from traveling to watch games.
Building a relationship with 'your' team is important, understanding the people, the culture etc, if the Chiefs then suddenly moved to Vancouver or Mexico or even London I'd be horrified.

What of those UK fans who have been 'sold' the sport in recent years and as a result of the international series bought the Saints/Giants/Buccs jerseys, signed up for membership and also do the same as me and book trips/holidays to see their team, built a rapport over a few years only to find the team could move to LA ?

I do accept this is probably the difference in our sports, maybe US fans are brought up knowing their team may not be forever ?
Maybe that's why there's a greater affection for College Football from some fans - Universaties don't move !

All interesting stuff but a far cry from your original post, though the fact the Raiders were adopted by people because of their perceived ability to represent minority groups and not their origins is interesting....


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Post by The Mangler US_UK Fri 02 Dec 2011, 12:02 am

I'd like to see this documentary.

NFL teams have moved for decades, but it seemed they were fairly stable for awhile -- i remember being shocked when the Colts slipped out of Baltimore in the dead of night - it just didn't seem right. And the Raiders heading down to L.A. And the Browns slipping off to Baltimore to become the Ravens was just wrong for Cleveland.

I wanted a team in Phoenix, but wasn't sure how I felt about the Cardinals moving here at first; after all, the team had started in Chicago, moved to St. Louis, and then relocated to Arizona. Originally, I hoped they would change their name since they were a bit of a laughing stock as a team and football being a violent sport and all, I didn't want a mascot that could be killed by a BB gun.

Anyway, I don't like it when teams up and move, but some cities are more die hard about their team and others don't seem to care as much. I think L.A. as a major TV market is attractive as a NFL team destination, but would the locals support the team properly?

And as far as the teams names not making sense, a lot of that becomes clear when you look at its origin: L.A. Lakers were the Minneapolis Lakers (Minnesota = Land of 10,000 Lakes); Utah Jazz started in New Orleans, the home of jazz.

If the Jags move to L.A. I wonder if they'll keep the name?

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Post by sodhat Fri 02 Dec 2011, 11:44 am

The Mangler US_UK wrote:
Anyway, I don't like it when teams up and move, but some cities are more die hard about their team and others don't seem to care as much. I think L.A. as a major TV market is attractive as a NFL team destination, but would the locals support the team properly?


That was something brought up in the documentary, as I remember; the fact that when things started to decline, the Raiders began to lose fans, because LA only wants winners!

It was more than just that, that they say started the decline in fans, including the rough area that the Coliseum was in... But an interesting note all the same, aligned with your point.

I looked on youtube for this, but there are only sporadic clips of it, and not the whole thing. When I watched it, it was actually on ESPN classic, if I see it come up again I'll tell everyone on here.

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Post by Leedscowboys Sat 03 Dec 2011, 1:34 pm

I saw the doc i nthe summer, one of the reasons why the Rams were never well supported in L.A was also down to them moving to Anehaim (SP) just outside of LA, the Raiders played at the LA Collesium so a lot of fans could easily walk upto the game.

As for a potential franchise in LA, I think it might be the Chargers, they need a new stadium plus a move would not impact their fan base too much as one new stadium proposals I have seen makes a travelling time of just over an hour from San Diego.

I cannot see the Vikings moving there is too much of a history there, the Panthers and Jags are recent expansions in a tough market but I think at least the Panthers will stay the Jags could be an outside bet.
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Post by Il Gialloblu Mon 05 Dec 2011, 8:36 am

Very good reply Grizzly, thanks. I can't and won't argue with anything you've said there.

You too Mangler. A good reply, thanks.

And as far as the teams names not making sense, a lot of that becomes clear when you look at its origin: L.A. Lakers were the Minneapolis Lakers (Minnesota = Land of 10,000 Lakes); Utah Jazz started in New Orleans, the home of jazz.

About the bit I quoted mate, that's why I used those as examples. thumbsup

I would guess that the name 'Jaguars' could be used for most teams anywhere, in the same way that many teams across the American (and British too, thinking about it) sports spectrum use such dangerous animals as lions, bears, bulls, bulldogs, panthers, sharks, timberwolves and tigers in their names and logos. It's quite universal and perhaps with no real meaning, in the beginning at least. The sentiments come later, over time.

So I think the name L.A. Jaguars could be okay in theory, with nothing nonsensical about it, but obviously I can't begin to understand how the good people of L.A. and Jacksonville would feel about such a move.

That brings me to the Bills, and the origin of the name, which only make sense when paired with Buffalo. Maybe there was once a bloke called L.A. Bill, but I've never heard of him.

The closest I found was this!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_S._Labill

But, as in your Cleveland to Baltimore example, sometimes everything is changed.

I must also say that with, the Lakers and Jazz examples from earlier, I've never heard anybody complain about odd names. I guess it's just accepted over time.
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Post by Grizzly Mon 05 Dec 2011, 9:14 am

Wasn't 'Buffalo Bill' a mass murderer from California ?
Silence of the Lambs ?
Probably enough of a reason to keep the Bills in NY....

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Post by sodhat Mon 05 Dec 2011, 9:26 am

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Bill#Buffalo_Bill.27s_.2F_defunct

Apparently they are named after Buffalo Bill Cody "a United States soldier, bison hunter and showman."

Or so wikipedia would have me believe...

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