NFL Comissioner Roger Goodell used his best "consider all your options, then decide to agree with us" legal and marketing speak in last Thursday's state of the league address.
On the topic of the Raiders’ and 49ers’ need for more modern stadiums while local governments are choking in red ink, Goodell diplomatically – but pointedly and publicly – encouraged the two teams to consider a shared stadium.
Within hours, an alert caller telephoned Damon Bruce’s show on KNBR to suggest a name for a stadium hosting both Oakland and San Francisco’s teams – "The Halfway House."
The York family, last seen scouring the proposed Santa Clara stadium property for discarded loose change and unclaimed recycling, would be thrilled with an opportunity to decrease their rent.
They immediately ordered an Environmental Impact Review of the both teams playing in one stadium – provided that it be their proposed stadium in Santa Clara near Great America.
Some Niner faithful hate this Santa Clara stadium discussion, upset with the distance from the namesake city and likening it to a franchise being moved. But the Dallas Cowboys have played for years in Irving, Texas, the Detroit Lions enjoyed their Barry Sanders glory years at the Pontiac (MI) Silverdome, and it’s no longer realistic for every team to erect a stadiums within the city limits of its namesake community.
Also, the team has been clear from the beginning it will not change its name. It will remain the San Francisco 49ers.
The real rub to this plan will probably be the participation of the Raiders. Al Davis already has plenty of disgruntled business partners to sue, so why add the Yorks to that list?
Davis so routinely dupes his Joint Powers Authority counterparts in Oakland and Alameda that it’s difficult to imagine him wanting out of that arrangement.
His Raiders will be McAfee Coliseum’s only full-time tenant if the A’s bolt for Fremont, so the city and county may be leveraged into offering the Raiders additional incentives.
But the most paramount obstacle is pride. The Raiders would simply never be willing to cohabitate with another NFL team, because doing so would only validate the global international football conspiracy that all Raider fans know has undermined their franchise through bad officiating, biased league administration and media coverage insufficiently flattering to the Oakland Raider organization.