Editor's note: The above video is from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf's exclusive interview with CSN Bay Area on Nov. 12.
Suddenly the chips are falling into the appropriate slots in Los Angeles, and while the opportunity to be wrong remains considerable, the evidence is mounting in favor of the San Diego Chargers becoming the Los Angeles Chargers, which on its face would seem to seem to decrease the chances of the Oakland Raiders staying the Oakland Raiders.
The latest hint, from Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune, is a remark from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in his new role as the meat thermometer in this massive Christmas dinner saying that San Diego almost certainly will not be able to present a viable stadium funding plan in time to keep the Chargers.
This means, or seems to mean, that as Dean Spanos’ partner in the Carson stadium plan, Mark Davis would seem to be as well-positioned as he ever has been to leave the Bay Area.
Add to this smoke the clouds billowing from Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s meeting with Missouri governor Jay Nixon before the latest NFL owners’ meeting in Texas, and the steam coming off Kroenke’s alleged willingness to accept a partner in Inglewood after months of radio silence.
This veritably screams that the Chargers (and presumably the Raiders) have succeeded in pulling votes away from the Rams and the undecideds/waiting for further tributes.
So the questions that remain to be asked is this: Can the NFL convince the Chargers and Rams to join together in either Carson or Inglewood? And do they want to?
If the Chargers can no longer muster up a stadium plan in time, they still are light years closer to one than the Raiders are. And the much-referenced alternate plan, to force them into Levi’s Stadium over the dead bodies of both the 49ers and Raiders, still seems more appealing to media nitwits (yes, I am a member) than to anyone who has a say in the matter.
Which brings us, if this new cup of tea leaves is more credible than any of the last 37, to the very real possibility that the Chargers and Raiders will be playing each other ... on Christmas Eve ... as the last game in Oakland, perhaps forever.
Ho ho ho that.
Again, and for the 37th time (we, too, can count cups of tea), there is still some time for fun-filled vote-trading, bribery and private sniveling to change the balance back, but this was by any measure a bad week for San Diego’s hopes of keeping its team, and a mediocre week for Oakland by the same yardstick. In the meantime, St. Louis finally gets to deal with Kroenke from a position of strength -- at least until it has to pony up the massive drums of cash it takes to give Kroenke the stadium he doesn’t want in the city he wants to leave.
Hurray! Everyone gets what they don’t want! It’s Christmas in Hell!
But back to San Diego and Oakland, and the lesson those two cities will learn with their faces if St. Louis is the odd man out -- love means nothing. Your history, tradition and devotion to your team factors not at all. Zero. Nada. The null set. Thirty-two owners will have voted their whims and wallets, and that is the only thing that matters. Your hesitant politicians, your town hall meetings, your stadium signs and impassioned television interviews were not taken into consideration at any moment.
And even if the Raiders stay in Oakland, the previous paragraph is equally true. If this ends up being Chargers-Rams, the owners decided they preferred that arrangement and for the Raiders to rotate slowly on the spit-over-the-sinkhole of the Coliseum.
And as an added benefit, it would screw the A’s yet again, because the leverage they have been banking on with the city and county will have again disappeared due to no connivance of their own. But that’s another Netflix sitcom for another day.
We know this much: It’s much better to be a football fan in St. Louis than it is a football fan in San Diego today. But if I were you, I wouldn’t call the caterer or the mortician quite yet.