49ers relocation, Raiders mystery

February 3, 2012, 2:14 am
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The National Football League is coming across with two hundred large to loan the 49ers in their new stadiumfamily indebtedness plan, thereby advancing the 49ers dream of a dream home nestled in the Santa Clara Valley, near pretty much every Subway in the entire Silicon Valley.

Which leaves the Raiders in the only place they could have been left ... holding the bag in Oakland, while dreaming of Los Angeles. And now you see why the city of Oakland produced a new plan to upgrade the Coliseum they know they still have a chance of keeping the Raiders.

The Rs to Santa Clara plan was always a hoot, because whether Al Davis was alive or not, there is no guarantee that they wouldnt either be sold or moved. The 49ers couldnt bank on the Raiders holding their end of the wet bar while they climbed the stairs, nor would they consent to go anywhere but Santa Clara.

So now that they seem to have all the money together except whatever they still have to chase to cover the cost overruns, the 49ers are home, safe and dry, and the Raiders are exactly where theyve been.

This is a franchise in serious flux, and without knowing what will confront Mark Davis in the next few months or years, the Raiders really cant be counted on as a construction partner, neither in the Bay Area or in Los Angeles.

Davis can say it is his intention to keep the Raiders, and he has, but intentions and reality often smash into each other, and the Raiders are not a cash-rich franchise because they have no other known businesses to cushion any fall. In some ways, the game his father loved and helped nurture may be too rich for the sons blood.

And now that they are not to be co-tenants in Santa Clara, presumably by their own choice, they either have to find their own billion-dollar sugar daddies while staying in Oakland, or look to get out while the getting is lucrative.

This is one more way that the Raiders are a mystery; we still dont know what kind of owner Mark Davis is. We see that he has willingly deferred on all football matters to his kitchen cabinet of advisers, who provided him general manager Reggie McKenzie, who in turn has given him head coach Dennis Allen.

But as a creature of management, Davis is even more opaque. He wants to be the owner, but he may not be able to afford it in the long term, and as Jed York will attest, cadging money is no easy task.

So it makes perfect sense that the 49ers are going their own way on a stadium, and that the NFL acknowledged this by freeing up the 200M in loans to help make that happen. Nobody knows what the Raiders are or what they want to be, and waiting around for them to discover that has proven far too expensive for all parties concerned.

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