Plenty of you noticed in the Ravens-Raiders game the formation from Baltimore that looked a lot like the formation used by the Patriots in the playoffs against Baltimore, which some viewed as an act of hypocrisy.
None of you noticed a more blatant act of defiance, in either of the regular-season games played to date in Oakland.
The Raiders did not use the gold field markings that designate the NFL’s 50th Super Bowl. All fields, except Oakland’s, have gold NFL shields and gold 50s on each side of the field.
“The Raiders have asked us not to do that,” AEG Facilities VP and O.Co Coliseum G.M. Chris Wright told Don Muret of SportsBusiness Daily.
The Raiders declined comment to SBD, and the NFL said that the absence of gold marks for home games against the Bengals and Ravens flow simply from the fact that the A’s are still playing baseball there. The league said that, after baseball season ends, the Raiders will conform.
Chris Wright said otherwise.
“It has nothing to do with baseball,” Wright said. “The last six home baseball games are through this weekend, and there will be no gold marks for the rest of the Raiders’ regular season.”
While no reason has been provided the refusal to comply, Occam’s Razer suggests that the Raiders don’t want to acknowledge a Super Bowl that will be played down the road in Santa Clara, home of the 49ers. At one level, that’s because the two teams don’t get along. At another level, it’s because the 49ers had no interest in sharing their swanky new stadium with the Raiders.
At yet another level, it’s possibly a great big eff you to a league that arguably isn’t doing all that much to help the Raiders find a solution to its longstanding stadium woes.
Regardless of the reason(s) for being rebellion (as the guy who committed a recent assault and battery on that field would possibly say), the NFL’s willingness to just take it is the kind of think that would prompt Robert DeNiro to ask Joe Pesci, “What’s the world coming to?”
In all (or at least some) seriousness, a league office that spent months dealing with #DeflateGate fallout seems to be determined to avoid any and all fights with any and all teams over any and all things, opting instead to focus on the game, the game, the game. For all games played in Oakland, the focus moving forward will be whether the 50s ever turn gold/yellow/whatever — and whether the league will ever do anything about it.