Raiders, A's Coliseum ideas getting ridiculous

Raiders, A's Coliseum ideas getting ridiculous
July 30, 2014, 9:15 am
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On Wednesday, it’s a dome. On Thursday, maybe they can put one on pontoons and float it.
Ray Ratto

Hey, who’s got an idea for the Raiders? Oakland’s taking any and all submissions -- just stand up, state your name, and blurt out any old idiocy that comes to your mind.

The newest one, from the delivery system of Matier and Ross in the San Francisco Chronicle, has sources working on a plan to dome the Coliseum. As opposed to, say, finding a place and money to build an entire new stadium.

This, after “share with the 49ers,” “build in Dublin,” “build in Livermore,” “build on the Coliseum site,” “move to San Antonio,” even “wait until Los Angeles.” Throw the Raiders in any sentence, and any stadium submission seems feasible. Even the spectacularly unfeasible ones.

Truth is, Mark Davis needs more outside help to get anything done than John Fisher and Lew Wolff, because Davis doesn’t inhabit the worlds of high finance or construction. The A’s are in Oakland because they can’t go where they want; the Raiders are in Oakland because they don’t know what they want.

[RELATED: Mayor Quan discusses A's extension, progress with Raiders]

So, ideas, the zanier the better. Send ‘em in, kids. We’ll leak every one and see if anything catches someone’s fancy. So far they haven’t, but what the hell?

How this new grand put-a-lid-on-the-commode plan impacts the A’s, who still have their fresh new mortadella of a lease, is frankly too speculative a matter at this point. A dome would be one more reminder that even when they have more to offer, the A’s will never be more than the second team in Oakland. It would also be another towering monument to Oakland’s political structure not knowing what it wants at any given moment and utterly incapable of working in unison to form a policy -- any policy -- on any subject.

[RELATED: Alameda County approves A's lease extension]

Put another way, even a unified stand that said, “We’re not building anyone anything -- you’re private businesses, you have the money, you do it,” would be more than they seem capable.

(Explainer here: I don’t care what Oakland does, or what it tries to do. I have no dog in this hunt, and I have no preference. In other words, tinfoil hat types, take your conspiracy theories and leave them by a dumpster.)

But the dome idea shows this much -- anyone will float anything and have someone nod and say, “That’s interesting,” because in the land of no ideas, any idea seems worth chasing, at least intellectually.

In reality, of course, nothing has been done. The A’s lease, rancorous though it was, is just a restatement of the status quo. Not one sensible explanation of how any new anything would be funded has been offered by anyone except, “How can this be your problem rather than mine?” Indeed, as much as we try to guess whether the A’s or Raiders in the political ascendancy, we can’t get any clues from the city in which they both toil.

This much, though, is true. The people who court votes in Oakland still believe that re-election is easier by siding with a Raider-centric solution; otherwise, the logic of 81 dates (the A’s) as opposed to 10 (the Raiders) would trump all other considerations.

So they keep working at the problem without having the tools to solve it. On Wednesday, it’s a dome. On Thursday, maybe they can put one on pontoons and float it south of the airport, and the day after that have a floating stadium tethered to the bores of the Caldecott Tunnel. Hey, I know -- why not a hologram? It’s cheap, you can change it any time you want, and you can even make the players holograms, and change their Madden ratings at the touch of a pad.

It’s Oakland. It’s the Raiders. It’s the A’s. We’ll listen to anything -- as long as we don’t ever have to agree on something and follow it through to a conclusion.