Wednesday, September 23, 2015

All That Glitters, Part III (UPDATED)

This past weekend, we saw how the 50-yard line markers Lambeau Field have been painted gold as part of the NFL's ongoing celebration of the 50th Super Bowl. This season, every NFL stadium will feature gold "50"s at half.

Every stadium, that is, except for the Oakland Coliseum.

Don Muret, a writer for Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Daily, was the first to report that Oakland's numbers are plain old white.

And sure enough, they were white for the Raiders' Week One game against the Bengals:

Here's how Muret broke the story:

Raiders Refusing To Put On-Field Gold Marks At 50-Yard Line

By Don Muret, SportsBusiness Daily Staff Writer
Published September 22, 2015

The Raiders have gone rogue again, refusing to place special gold marks on the 50-yard line at Coliseum for '15 home games. "The Raiders have asked us not to do that," said Chris Wright, AEG Facilities VP and the Coliseum's GM. AEG runs the stadium shared by the Raiders and the A's. Raiders officials did not provide AEG officials with further explanation and the Raiders did not return emails and phone calls for comment. The gold 50 marks are a key visual piece of the NFL's season-long celebration of Super Bowl 50, to be held Feb. 7 at Levi's Stadium, home of the 49ers. The NFL in March announced every game this season would carry the gold number 50 on the field as part of its "On the Fifty" celebration. The league's 30 other stadiums have complied with the initiative.

NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy said the lack of gold marks for the Raiders' first two home games are the result of the Athletics still playing baseball at the Coliseum. McCarthy said gold marks would be put down after their season ended. But Wright said, "It has nothing to do with baseball. The last six home baseball games are through this weekend, and there will be no gold marks for the rest of the Raiders' regular season."
Gotta love the Raiders.

Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk has some possible explanations for the move:
While no reason has been provided the refusal to comply, Occam’s Razer (sic) suggests that the Raiders don’t want to acknowledge a Super Bowl that will be played down the road in Santa Clara, home of the 49ers. At one level, that’s because the two teams don’t get along. At another level, it’s because the 49ers had no interest in sharing their swanky new stadium with the Raiders.

At yet another level, it’s possibly a great big eff you to a league that arguably isn’t doing all that much to help the Raiders find a solution to its longstanding stadium woes.
A wag might also suggest that the Raiders have no need to commemorate a Super Bowl they'll never see except on television.

We'll see if the NFL eventually makes Oakland comply. Until then, the contrarian spirit of Al Davis is alive and well in the East Bay.


Never mind.

Mark Davis says Super Bowl tribute will appear at Raiders' next home game

Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
Published September 23, 2015

Getty Images
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis made a rare appearance in the media room at the team's facility Wednesday in an effort to end rumors of a report that the team is somehow not participating in a league-wide celebration of the upcoming 50th Super Bowl.

Super Bowl 50 will be played at nearby Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, the home of the Raiders' Bay Area rival San Francisco 49ers, in February. To commemorate the landmark game, the NFL is having every NFL team paint the 50-yard line markers gold. However, in the first two games at Coliseum, the markers were painted white, not gold.

There was a report Tuesday that said the Raiders were refusing to comply by the rules. However, Davis said that is not the case.

Davis said once the Oakland Athletics' season is over -- the Coliseum is the only football-and-baseball stadium used in the country -- the Raiders will paint the 50-yard line markers gold, which should fall in line for the Raiders' next home game on Oct. 11 against Denver.

"It's baseball-related," Davis said. "Nobody respects the Super Bowl more than the Raiders. We had a little to do with the [AFL-NFL] merger and those types of things. We've played in 10 percent of the Super Bowls, and we hope to play in it next year."

Davis said he spoke with 49ers' owner Jed York to make sure there were no misunderstandings.

"It's just beyond me," Davis said. "I don't normally talk about non-stories, but I wanted to clear this up."

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