The NFL owners’ overwhelming approval of the Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas “jolted” John Madden.
The Raiders’ Hall-of-Fame coach is still reeling from the pending move. He doesn’t like any part of it, from the hole that it leaves behind on Oakland’s sporting landscape to the challenges visiting teams will face when they take on the Raiders in Las Vegas.
‘I would hate to be a coach to take a team in there’
“I didn’t think that that would happen and when they got a vote of 31-1, I was really shocked and I was surprised not only that it happened, but how quickly that it happened,” Madden told Howard Balzer, Joe Horrigan and James Lofton on Hall of Fame Radio. “And I’m not sure that they have that whole deal together yet. I’m not sure that they even know exactly what this stadium is — how many (seats it has), where it’s going to be and all those things.
“I would hate to be a coach to take a team in there. I would hate to have my team be in Las Vegas on Saturday night before the game. And that’s any team. You say, ‘Well, you had a bunch of rowdies,’ but every team has a bottom 10. You can say, ‘Oh, we got a good group, it’s a great group, we’re together,’ and all this stuff. Say you have 55 guys. Forty-five of them can be perfect, but you’ve got that bottom 10. And you have to be as good as your last guy. If this thing goes through, I think there’s going to be a lot of problems like that.”
‘It really gets you because of the finality of it’
Moving is nothing new for the Raiders. They’ve gone from Oakland to Los Angeles and back to Oakland. But this move has an entirely
Matt Gutierrez carries a raiders flag by a sign welcoming visitors to Las Vegas, Monday, March 27, 2017, in Las Vegas. NFL team owners approved the move of the Raiders to Las Vegas in a vote at an NFL football annual meeting in Phoenix. (AP Photo/John Locher)Credits:- AP Photo/John Locher
“It really gets you because of the finality of it,” Madden said. “When they moved before (to Los Angeles), that was after I got out and I was in broadcasting and I wasn’t that much of a part of it, but we had a stadium in Oakland that was relevant. And so, ‘OK, Oakland may lose the Raiders, but we’ll get another team,’ because that was the way it was working back then.
‘There’ll be no more Oakland Raiders, there’ll be no more history of the Oakland Raiders’
“And with 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 and there’ll be no more Oakland Raiders, there’ll be no more history of the Oakland Raiders. That really bothers me.”