All NFL teams should be municipally owned. I’ve written about this before and I believe it even more firmly now. Without sarcasm, I believe you could win a mayoral race or perhaps even a governorship in the right state by running on the platform of eminent domain-ing the local NFL team.
I think even the military and cop-loving people of San Diego and St. Louis might have voted in favor of anyone who said, “No, these are our teams. We’re going to pay you for them, but they’re ours now. If Goodell wants to try to stop us, we invite him to raise a goddamn army and talk to us with bullets.” Whatever animus people have for kneeling athletes, deep down in their hearts, the schadenfreude the public truly wishes to see is a billionaire brought to his knees. The public at large hates their team’s ownership and management and they especially hate Goodell. This would work. You know it would work.
To that end, the city of Oakland, should take action. It’s unlikely that they would spend municipal resources trying to appropriate the Raiders franchise in a court battle (though they should). However, there are other means to stick it to the shambolic mophead owner who screwed the city out of their NFL team.
I propose Oakland start a football team called the Oakland Raiders. This team would have jerseys that look like the Oakland Raiders. They could play their games at Oakland County Stadium. The roster of the Oakland Raiders could be filled out by football players not currently on an NFL team. These players and a coach could be hired by a publicly-elected General Manager. The first player they should sign is Colin Kaepernick, because he’s a decent quarterback who isn’t on a team right now.
At this point I imagine you’re saying, “But who would they play?” and “Wouldn’t the NFL try to stop them?!” Both good questions.
Who they would play might be problematic, but I bet they’d get takers. Offer to play college football teams who never make the big bowl games. Split the gate with them. I bet UCF would play the Oakland Raiders. Barnstorm at SEC schools whose fanbases always insist they could beat the more lowly NFL franchises. Play CFL teams. Heck, you might even be able to coax a certain team from the bayou to toss the pigskin around as a way to thumb their nose at the commissioner.
As to the question of whether Goodell and the NFL would protest and seek legal redress, I imagine they might. I believe my previous exhortation that the city of Oakland should challenge the league and its commissioner to raise an army and come take their stuff would still apply. More simply, they could borrow a line from one of the great wits of the 21st Century, The Kid Mero, and tell Roger and all the crooked-ass owners to suck their collective dick from the back.
Start a team Oakland. Call them the Raiders. Play some dang football. You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose.