CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Here's my take on the Raiders, and a certain other NFL team that knows exactly what it's doing to its fans.
The Raiders are technically still the Oakland Raiders, and will be for a couple of years, but they're already starting to pack for Las Vegas. The vote went down Monday, and only one NFL team said, "No, it's not fair to the fans."
That would be the Miami Dolphins.
Our Browns? They said, "Yes."
Now, I get it. The guy who moved the old Cleveland Browns to Baltimore is long gone. There are no decision makers in Berea left from that organization. And this organization shouldn't be accountable for that past sin. Let's face it, they have enough of their own past sins to overcome.
But knowing what it does to fan bases when you rip their teams away, and hearts out in the process, shouldn't or couldn't Jimmy Haslam have just said the Browns aren't for this? Couldn't he have followed Dolphins owner Stephen Ross' lead and say they owe it to the fans to work things out?
This is the second time the Raiders are bailing on the fans in Oakland. I've covered a ton of games there. They are tremendous fans. But within a couple of years, just like their basketball friends about 100 yards away in that sports complex, they'll be gone.
At least the Warriors are only crossing the Bay Bridge. The Raiders? They're going to Vegas.
But the worst part is this: the Browns are going to get $12 million from the Raiders' relocation fee. Even when added to the relocation fees they're getting from the Rams and Chargers, it only adds up to about $50 million, which they would have received anyway, even if they'd voted, "No." All three teams were going to hit the 3/4 mark for approval. And instead of taking a public stand for the fans, the Browns, who know better than anyone what this does to a fan base, just went along with the crowd.