I first broke into the sports blogging/writing world covering the Oakland Raiders and the AFC West for a now defunct Raiders fan blog. I was never a fan, but I learned a couple of things about the Raiders' devoted followers rather quickly: there are a lot of them and they are everywhere.
For that reason, the rumors floating around about owner Mark Davis pursuing a potential move to San Antonio if the franchise's Los Angeles bid fails come as no surprise to me. Texas is perhaps the nation's most football-crazed state. San Antonio is perhaps the nation's most football-starved metro. The area yields some of the top high school talent in the nation every year. They pack the Alamodome for the Alamo Bowl every December, regardless of what teams are playing. And the people of San Antonio take pride in the fact that, though they are Texans, they are different than those who live in Dallas, Houston or Austin.
I've spent enough time there over the years to know that San Antonio and the people who call the city home are unique. They deserve a professional football franchise as unique as they are.
Should the Raiders move to the Alamo City, they would immediately have a serviceable home in the Alamodome — even if only temporarily. The city would embrace the team just as it embraces the beloved Spurs and embraced the Saints in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. And let's face it, from a less important fashion standpoint, the good people of San Antonio could rock Raiders and Spurs gear simultaneously and look good doing it.
Honestly, I'm not sure why any team outside of the Lakers would want to call L.A. home. It's an event town that just looks at sports as something else to do and attend in between and during other events.
San Antonio is a sporting event town, and Raider home games would be huge events on their own eight times a year.
The move also would create an immediate rivalry with the Dallas Cowboys. Two of the NFL's most storied, equally loved and hated franchises would now reside less than 300 miles from one another.
Some people will always associate the Raiders with California, but I'm on record saying that the Raiders might be the one American sports franchise that doesn't really need a city to call home. The Raiders have never played for Oakland, Los Angeles or California. The Raiders play for Raider Nation — the original Nation — everywhere they go. They could even drop their home city's name altogether and simply be "The Raiders." It doesn't matter where the Raiders move, because Raider Nation always moves with them. But with a city as great as San Antonio to call home, why wouldn't you want the city's name?
San Antonio Raiders. It just rolls off the tongue.
Long story short, I like the idea of an NFL team in San Antonio. The city would embrace it and the fans would support it, which is more than you can say for NFL franchises that have historically called Los Angeles home. The Autumn wind is a Raider, and it could very well being blowing into South Texas sometime real soon.