What do National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell and I have in common? Not a whole lot. But we DO have two very important things in common. We are both passionate about American football, and we both want to keep the Oakland Raiders in Oakland.
As for what we DON'T have in common, well, let's see. I was born in Oakland. I grew up in Oakland. And I've been an Oakland Raiders fan from the get go.
For me, wanting to keep the Oakland Raiders in Oakland has NOTHING to do with what makes good business sense (although I will resort (and have resorted) to that argument to sway people's opinions).
To me, it's all about emotion. I don't want the team to leave town – AGAIN! I want Oakland to remain an integral part of the Oakland Raiders.
Good Business Sense
For Roger, well, I haven't read his CV, but I'm guessing that he wasn't born in Oakland, and I'm assuming that he didn't grow up in Oakland, either. Surely, where the Oakland Raiders play doesn't have a lot to do with emotion as far as Roger's concerned.
I'm sure that for Roger (but I could be wrong), it's all about what makes good business sense – how we can position our product in a way that we can earn the most profit for our shareholders.
So why would he care whether the Oakland Raiders stay in Oakland or move somewhere else?
Business Meets Emotion
Let's face it. Oakland Raider fans are emotional. They like to wear their team's colours. They like to wear funny costumes. They like to yell loudly. And – most importantly – they understand football.
Oakland Raider fans know when to make noise, and they know when to keep quiet. This creates an excellent backdrop against which the game is played. And all of this translates into very good television.
What happens at the Black Hole on game day is something that approaches theatre. Roger puts it best when he refers to the Black Hole as “our stage”.
“It's part of where we present our game,” Roger says.
“It's the biggest part.”