Former Raiders coach John Madden isn’t a big fan of the team’s move to Las Vegas, as you might expect. And he expressed that dissatisfaction exactly as you’d expect him to.
Madden appeared on SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Hall of Fame show last night, and said losing the history of the team (history he in large part helped create) was difficult for him.
“With the [state of the] stadium now, when they move out, that’s going to be torn down, and it’s going to be a high rise or some doggone thing. There’ll be no more Oakland Raiders,” Madden said, via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez. “There will be no more history of the Oakland Raiders, and that really bothers me.
The 81-year-old Madden said he was “shocked” by how quickly the deal came together, and expressed concerns about the stadium situation in Las Vegas.
“I’m not sure they have that whole deal together yet,” he said. “I’m not sure that they even know exactly what the stadium is, how many, where it’s going to be and all those things.
“For some reason, they jumped into that thing quickly.”
The reason was the $750 million in public money on the table, which was enough to make owners go leave Oakland despite the lack of a lease, design plans for the stadium or FAA approval.
Madden said this move feels different than the 1982 trip to Los Angeles “because of the finality of it,” since there’s no way anything’s going back to Oakland in that stadium. And that left Madden feeling sentimental.
“Maybe this is just me being oversensitive, but doggone it, if you’re going to go, that’s really tough, but leave us something,” Madden said. “Leave us something here in Oakland. Please. . . .
“Yeah, but if you still live here [in the Bay Area] and you have to drive by that area, which, by the way, I felt was the best location of a stadium in the NFL, and you have to drive by there and you see something there like a shopping mall and a high-rise apartment, it’s going to make you sick, I think.”
That’s likely true, and there are legitimate concerns about market size and other issues in Las Vegas. But the speed with which the league was willing to discard history is all the indicator Madden or anyone would need to know what the league values most.