In Oakland, Some Raiders Fans Fear the Meaning of ‘Last Home Game’
OAKLAND, Calif. — It was group therapy night on Monday at Ricky’s Sports Theater and Grill, where clumps of Raiders fans alternated among anger, hope and fatalism.
On Thursday — Christmas Eve, no less — the Raiders played their last home game of the year, and possibly their last home game ever in Oakland.
After yet another underwhelming season ends, the Raiders, along with the San Diego Chargers (who lost to Oakland, 23-20, in overtime Thursday night) and the St. Louis Rams, are expected to apply to relocate to Los Angeles. The 32 N.F.L. owners could vote as soon as Jan. 12 on whether to allow one or two of them to leave.
At Ricky’s, in San Leandro, a 10-minute drive south of O.co Coliseum, fans stewed amid the old Raiders programs, bobbleheads and jerseys lining the walls, fearing the worst about the possible move yet looking for signs of optimism.
They had been here before — the team left Oakland for Los Angeles after the 1981 season but returned in 1995.And so over wings and beers, members of Save Oakland Sports, a fan group, worked through the scenarios: The Rams move, and the Chargers and the Raiders stay; the Chargers and the Raiders, who want to build a stadium together near Los Angeles, move; the Raiders build a new stadium in Oakland; and on and on.