The Raiders organization called upon its “Legends” to represent them as shovels broke ground on the Las Vagas Raiders stadium.
In what was a touching and extremely sympathetic gesture to the citizens of Las Vegas and no doubt a move ensuring much political goodwill towards the Raiders organization. The “Legends” in attendance, Howie Long, Cliff Branch, Ted Hendricks and more were out and about representing the team.
But team captain, quarterback and current face of the franchise Derek Carr was mysteriously absent, with no idea it was even going on. Having stated many times that his mind is on the business of winning football games, it seems fairly innocuous; however, for what should be a groundbreaking affair the Raiders chose not to involve the active players.
It begs the question just how important was this really, if the star of the team had no idea what was going on?
Derek Carr said he missed watching Monday's Las Vegas stadium groundbreaking ceremony. "To be honest, I didnâ€™t know it was happening until I saw it pop up on the phone, and I was like, â€˜Oh sick, they did it.â€™ I was not paying attention.â€
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) November 15, 2017
While hardly being one of the fans who hold the belief the Vegas Stadium will never happen, it is worth noting that despite having a groundbreaking ceremony with iconic shovel’s, construction isn’t set to begin right away.
Headway must be made in a few key areas before the massive desert palace begins to be erected such as an agreement on infrastructure and its costs, a joint use agreement with UNLV, parking, tailgating, meanwhile the final development agreement has yet to be signed. As if that wasn’t enough, a POTUS sponsored bill aimed at the NFL seeks to prevent the use of tax-exempt bonds for construction on stadiums used by professional teams.
Sitting at 4-5, heading back into the elevation of Mexico City for the second year in a row, it’s easy to see why Carr’s head is on the New England Patriots. Tom Brady has his team in the familiar position of the top of the AFC but to be honest the Patriots it’s been a long time since the Patriots have looked more beatable then right now.
In a game shaping up to be a cringe-worthy spectacle for any fan of defense, let us hope young Carr has been keeping his mind focused squarely on defeating the Patriots. In his own words from a pre-practice presser on Raiders.com, Carr would dish on the challenge of the coming week.
â€œNo, if I had to get more amped we’d all have a problem, so no. Good thing, like I told you before, it’s a good thing I don’t play defense, so I’m not playing him [Tom Brady], or we’d be in even more trouble, but it is exciting.
Sitting at the eighth seed currently and looking out of the playoff picture, the Raiders got an awful lot of help with Miami, Buffalo, Denver, and the Los Angeles Chargers all taking a loss in Week 10. But a throttling of Denver with a resurgence on the defensive side of the ball has shown the Patriots to be solving some of their issues and rounding into form right on schedule.
With two weeks to gameplan and scheme for a showdown against the ageless wonder in Brady and the defending Super Bowl champions in Estadio Azteca, a groundbreaking in Las Vegas might be the farthest thing from my mind too.