Yesterday, Raiders radio announcers Greg Papa and Tom Flores gave his side of the story regarding his status. Last week, the team announced that Brent Musberger and Lincoln Kennedy would replace the longtime duo Greg Papa and Tom Flores. Papa’s interview set off a firestorm of dialogue. In fact, the announcer switch continues to buzz around the Raiders. FPC writers Chris Martin and Chris Simmons discuss the decision.
Locally, those guys are our conduit to the Raiders. They gave enough to the franchise where they deserved to be let go more ceremoniously. It was a choice made out of vindictiveness. From the outside, it feels more than just business. More than just moving on. Moreover, I would have understood it then. I am an Oakland kid, volunteered at the Boy Scout golf tournaments the Raiders would headline. I grew up mostly with them in LA.
Then, they returned home. Papa served as the voice of that homecoming. Flores was the emcee at the dinners for those events. Willie Brown told stories and many others played their part too. I will still be a fan. Nevertheless, I cannot fault the fans that are not so forgiving. It is a lot easier to treat flippantly when it is an abstract concept to you. I am a rational fan most of the time. I have angered many fans for that reason. It is not going to be like this forever. A few weeks into the season, I will be able to even process it completely. I will go through it again when they leave. I know it’s coming and it won’t matter.
He cares a lot, which is why we loved him. However, he overstepped his bounds. In addition, I think it was a bit tasteless to retrospectively say “oh yeah I totally woulda went to Vegas”. When he was the first to say he opposed it. Also, Papa stated the move felt like an affront to Al. Flores, sure but they were likely not taking him to Vegas considering his age. Moreover, even when the Raiders both left and then came back, they were not the same. I made peace with all of this over a decade ago. We all knew they were not staying. In that case, to me, it’s been a long time coming. Papa made this harder than it had to be.
Whether you agreed with the outcome or not, the history of the Oakland Raiders shifted and will continue. If you do not believe the depth of Greg Papa’s grief, listen to this interview via 95.7 The Game.