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The Morning Column: October 4, 2021
Los Angeles Raiders fans romanticize the team’s time in a city that turned its back on them long before the Raiders finally decided to do the same.
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1. 🏈 Romanticizing the Los Angeles Raiders
The Raiders will be playing their first Monday Night Football game in Los Angeles since 1985 when they take on the Chargers at SoFi Stadium.
For a variety of reasons, the NFL didn't host a night game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum during the Raiders' last 10 seasons in L.A., forcing the Raiders to play 19 straight Monday Night Football games on the road.
There will likely be plenty of silver and black in the crowd, which will no doubt lead to many Raiders fans once again saying “the Raiders run Los Angeles” or calling “Los Angeles a Raiders town.”
There will always be a connection between Los Angeles and the Raiders. The Raiders called Los Angeles home for 13 seasons and won the city’s only Super Bowl in 1984. Los Angeles loves winners and the Raiders were one of the best teams in the NFL during their first four seasons in L.A., going 43-14 and winning Super Bowl XVIII led by Marcus Allen, who was the most exciting player in the league during that time.
But the Raiders moved out of Los Angeles 26 years ago, meaning they’ve now been gone for twice as long as they were actually here. The time away has caused many Los Angeles Raiders fans to forget why the team left in the first place. They romanticize the Raiders’ time in a city that turned their back on them long before the team finally decided to do the same.
When the Raiders left Los Angeles in 1995, there were more reporters covering the story at the team’s training facility in El Segundo than actual fans protesting the move. The New York Times was there to capture the scene.
On the day the Raiders announced their escape last month, only one fan protested. He climbed in the face of defensive end Nolan Harrison, who had said Los Angeles prefers sushi over football.
Fan: "You talked bad about L.A., man."
Harrison: "We never belonged here. Can you honestly say L.A. showed us support? Thirty thousand is not going to cut it, man."
Harrison was only slightly exaggerating about the crowd size at Raiders home games during their final seasons in Los Angeles. Here’s the announced attendance for the Raiders’ last eight home games at the 93,000-seat Coliseum: 47,319, 55,385, 42,192, 40,473, 41,722, 58,327, 60,016 and 64,130.
As Tom Friend wrote at the time, “It used to be, if the Raiders were coming to town, you hid the women and children; in Los Angeles, the fans hid.”
The Raiders finished near the bottom of the league in attendance during their last two seasons in Los Angeles. They were actually one of the better teams in the NFL during that time; going 10-6 and 9-17 and 1-1 in the playoffs but no one in Los Angeles seemed to care enough to show up.
Here are the Raiders’ home attendance numbers in 1993 when they went 10-6 and won a home playoff game: 44,120, 48,617, 41,627, 45,122, 66,563, 38,161, 40,532 and 66,904.
In a normal NFL stadium, a crowd of 38,161 would seem small but it looked minuscule in a 93,000-seat Coliseum with half the stadium’s seats tarped off.
No seats will be tarped off at SoFi Stadium Monday when the Raiders return to Los Angeles to play the Chargers in front of 70,000 fans. A strong showing by Raider Nation will cause many to wonder which NFL team is the most popular in Los Angeles. Raiders players who were on the team in Los Angeles will no doubt wonder where all these fans were when the team was actually playing home games here.
2. ⚾️ Dodgers’ historical season not enough
The Dodgers finished the regular season by beating the Milwaukee Brewers, 10-3, at Dodger Stadium. It was the Dodgers’ 15th straight home win, a franchise record, and gave them 106 wins, tying a franchise record. It still wasn’t enough to win the NL West for a ninth straight season as the San Francisco Giants won 107 games.
In order to advance to the NLDS and face the Giants, the Dodgers must win a do-or-die Wild Card Game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday. No team in MLB history has won more games but failed to finish first in their division than the Dodgers this season. The Dodgers’ 106 wins this year beat the previous record of 105 wins held by the 1909 Chicago Cubs and 1942 Brooklyn Dodgers.
3. 🎶 Song of the Day
4. 📸 Photo of the Day
5. 💵 Odds and Ends Powered by Bovada
Here are some odds on Bovada if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
6. 📆 Oct. 4, 1959: Dodgers face White Sox in World Series
On this day 62 years ago, Game 3 of the 1959 World Series took place between the Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It was the first World Series game played west of St. Louis after the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in 1958. The Dodgers won 3-1 in front of a record crowd of 92.394. The Dodgers would go on to win their first championship in Los Angeles by beating the White Sox in six games.
7. 🎂 Happy Birthday A.C. Green
Happy birthday to A.C. Green. The former Lakers forward is turning 58 today. Green played for the Lakers from 1985 to 1993, winning back-to-back championships in 1987 and 1988 with Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and returning for the 1999-2000 season to help Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal win their first championship. Green holds the NBA record for most consecutive regular season games played with 1,192 spanning 16 seasons. He’s also known for another impressive streak. Green was a virgin until he got married at 38 years old and openly talked about his abstinence. “It is definitely worth waiting,” Green said after his marriage. “When you marry the right person at the right time you have no regrets.”
8. 🎟 Ticket Time Powered by StubHub
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game today:
9. 📺 On The Air
🏈 5:15 p.m. – Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers – ESPN
10. 📻 The Arash Markazi Show
On Friday’s show we talked about talk about Fernando Tatis Jr. becoming just the fifth player to ever hit a home run out of Dodger Stadium.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show on The Mightier 1090 Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., following The Rich Eisen Show. The Mightier 1090 has the second strongest radio signal in North America and can be heard from “Baja to the Canadian Rockies.” You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
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That’s it for today. Talk to you tomorrow!