How the Oakland Raiders Can Better Acclimate to Las Vegas

John Walters

The Silver and Black are headed to the Silver State! It’s true. The Oakland Raiders are once again affirming their brand motto (“Commitment to Exodus”) and, in the grand tradition of Carrot Top and Brent Musburger, setting up shop in Las Vegas. Viva Los Raiders!

On Monday, NFL owners voted 31-1 in favor of the proposed move (the Miami Dolphins dissented), and although the franchise does not yet have a stadium in Sin City, it does plan to move following the 2018 or 2019 season. “My father used to say that the greatness of the Raiders was in its future,” owner Mark Davis said, referring to the franchise’s late, often great and always grating owner, Al Davis.

Indeed, bettor days are ahead for the franchise as it plans to take up residence at the epicenter of American gaming. Whereas Bay Area media would report on whether the Raiders won or lost (in the past decade, usually the latter), Vegas news outlets may inform audiences whether the team pushed.

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This may turn out to be a perfect fit, though, like Penn and Teller. No league loves a bombastic spectacle more than the NFL, and no city delivers them with as much aplomb as Vegas, where every night is a Super Bowl halftime show. This is pro sports’ most renegade franchise relocating to America’s most renegade city. A marriage between The Hangover and hang time. To help the Raiders get accustomed to their new environment, and to ensure that the franchise that gave us a quarterback known as “the Snake” does not come up snake eyes, we offer these 10 suggestions for the Las Vegas Raiders.

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Khalil Mack will lead the NFL's most notorious defense, the Mack Pack. USA TODAY SPORTS

—Fans will dub the Raiders’ most prolific wide receiver (currently Michael Crabtree) “the Spread,” as in “You can’t cover the Spread!”

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—Clock-management situations will become moot, as, in keeping with the tradition of casinos, the new stadium will have no timekeeping devices visible to patrons or players. (The game will simply end when one coach turns his pockets inside out to demonstrate capitulation.)

—The franchise’s notoriously bizarre fans will be cordoned off in a section known as Area 51. A portion of the stadium will be designated as such to contain the most extreme specimens, and it will be off-limits to ordinary terrestrials, particularly Broncos, Chargers and Chiefs fans.

—Wayne Newton will perform the national anthem at the first Las Vegas Raiders home game. This is non-negotiable.

—Each sideline will feature cocktail waitresses taking drink orders, which will be complimentary for all players.

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Las Vegas and the NFL: Where "The Hangover" meets hang time. RICHARD BRIAN

—Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will change his uniform number from 4 to 17, because even novices know you never hit 17.

—The NFL Rules Committee will pass a new bylaw allowing coaches to double down on third-and-long. No one will understand the rule, but then no one in the NFL knows what a catch is either.

—At least until someone can improve upon it, the TV broadcast crew will be World Series of Poker legends Lon McEachern and Norman Chad. A hidden microphone in the quarterback’s headset will tip off viewers as to the upcoming play, while a graphic that portends the odds of that play’s success will flash on screen. This formula will become so popular that every NFL broadcast will soon feature it.

—You remember the Steel Curtain, the No-Name Defense, the Fearsome Foursome and the Orange Crush? Get ready for the next legendary nickname in NFL defenses: the Mack Pack (for Raider All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack).

—Finally, visiting teams that lose by two or more touchdowns will be given complimentary breakfast buffet vouchers at participating casinos.

 

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