ALAMEDA, Calif. -- An obviously frustrated Mark Davis took it hard.
“Well, this is not a win for the Raiders today,” the Oakland Raiders owner said through a forced smile Tuesday night in the wake of his pulling the franchise’s bid to relocate to Los Angeles when it became apparent the St. Louis Rams would win the vote.
“But we’ll see where the Raider Nation ends up here. We’ll be working really hard to find us a home ... We came in third.”
And therein lays the irony.
Because while Davis thought he had the votes and support to join the San Diego Chargers in a new home in neighboring Carson, the Chargers have the first option to join the Rams and, if Dean Spanos takes a pass, the Raiders could move in with the Rams in Inglewood.
At Hollywood Park.
On the same stretch of land the late Al Davis intended to build a stadium for the Raiders in 1994.
Do you think Al Davis would have stood on a dais, smiled, accepted defeat and shook Stan Kroenke’s hand in congratulations after his big bank took the Raiders’ relative little bank and land?
Somewhere, Al Davis is shaking his fist at the establishment over this latest development. And filing ethereal lawsuits. Still.
To his dying day in 2011, Al Davis insisted the Los Angeles market belonged to the Raiders. Silver and Black conspiracy theorists will have a field day with this one. Jan. 12, 2016 is the day the son paid for the father’s perceived sins ... the long-lasting feuds and court cases with then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle.
“I really believe that Pete wanted the Los Angeles franchise for himself, yeah,” the elder Davis told Ice Cube in his last one-on-one interview for the ESPN Films 30 for 30 documentary “Straight Outta L.A.”
“And he wasn’t going to get it from me.”
And as Al Davis told Ice Cube, he fully planned on building in the shadow of the old Fabulous Forum, home of the Showtime Lakers, in Inglewood ... until, he said, the NFL owners would not approve his stadium unless a second team joined him in the venue.
That team, presumably, would have been the expansion franchise that became the Houston Texans.
“And I wouldn’t take a second NFL team into Hollywood Park,” Al Davis said in the interview. “I just wanted to be alone there. Let them build their own stadium.
“All I asked them for was, Help me get a stadium, and I would have stayed. They know it.”
More than two decades later, Kroenke's football palace will take up residence on what woulda, shoulda, coulda been the Raiders’ Los Angeles digs.
But so angered by what he saw as the NFL’s demands to stick him with a second team, Al Davis pulled up stakes and, on June 23, 1995, the Raiders returned to Oakland.
They’ve seemingly been looking for a new home ever since.
“No, I couldn’t have stayed in L.A. under the conditions that were there,” Al Davis told Ice Cube. “I had to come back to Oakland. And as L.A. knows, if they can get a stadium, they can knock on the door.”
The Rams, though, now own the house.