SAN FRANCISCO – Several detailed accounts of the proceedings that ultimately put a team back in Los Angeles have been written since the Jan. 12 owners meetings that approved the Rams return to L.A. and build a massive stadium in Inglewood.
All of them have stated, as owner Mark Davis admitted after that session in Houston, that the Raiders were in last place in a three-team race.
There are several reasons why, including Rams owner Stand Kroenke’s flashy project and Chargers owner Dean Spanos’ perceived popularity. There was an undercurrent of pessimism surrounding the Raiders’ ability to make it in L.A., with concerns over branding issues, Davis’ relative lack of liquid cash and the team’s litigious tendencies under the late Al Davis.
Rarely was that supported with a quote. Until a New York Times Magazine article, released in advance of its next issue.
"Oakland gets nothing," Houston Texans owner Robert McNair told the author. "Al used to sue us all the time."
Mark’s father Al had some contentious dealings with the league, suing the NFL more than once. He did so after not being approved for a return to Oakland from L.A. in 1995.
McNair, who has a flare for colorful, sometimes racy quotes, wasn’t even an NFL owner at the time. There was some sentiment that old-school owners couldn’t remained salty toward the Raiders and their attempts to find fancier markets, though that’s hardly been proven.
Former Raiders CEO Amy Trask, who worked closely with Al Davis for decades, responded to the widely circulated McNair quote on Wednesday.
She found it odd that McNair would have that feeling despite voting for the Chargers-Raiders stadium proposal in Carson as a member of the NFL’s committee on Los Angeles opportunities.
If Bob McNair stills harbors ill will towards AL, why did he vote in favor of/advocate for SD/OAK Carson project? Makes no sense. We (1/2)— Amy Trask (@AmyTrask) February 3, 2016
(2/2) resolved disputes between AL/NFL almost a decade ago & many owners told me that's in the past. Let's leave Al be, this isn't about Al.— Amy Trask (@AmyTrask) February 3, 2016
The Raiders have already been approved to join the Rams in Los Angeles if the Chargers decline their priority option to do so.
Davis wanted to dispel the notion that he can’t drum up the cash to compete in the NFL and build a new stadium.
‘‘Everyone thinks I have no money,” Davis told NYT Magazine. ‘‘But I’ve got $500 million and a team.’’