Farewell Raiders

The Raiders move to Las Vegas has been approved by a vote of 31-1, with Miami as the only opposition to the move. So what happens to the Raiders Finest Hour?

Well, full disclosure, Raider Nation, there were only going to be to be three more episodes of the Finest Hour regardless of the Vegas vote. Todd and I are in very different places in our lives from when we started the show before the 2011 season.  

For me it started as a living resume, proof that I could do talk radio and regularly cover a team. Now I have the Fitz Blitz every Monday on 89.5 FM KZCT in Vallejo, have five different teams or beats that I cover, and am the media director of the Vallejo Admirals. 

Todd teaches, coaches, has two kids, AND is going to school right now. We almost didn’t do the show last year, but knew the 2016 Raiders would be damn good and wanted to cover a winner. 

So the time had come to put aside the Raiders Finest Hour anyway. We had planned on doing a draft preview show, a live draft show, and in our draft recap we would do a farewell before at least a long hiatus. We planned on sharing some of our favorite moments from the show, talk about the future of this franchise and wish the best to Raider Nation. 

But there will probably only be one more episode of the Finest Hour. The fan in me took a hit, so we’ll see what kind of effort I put into a passion project about them. And we’ll see to what extent and for how long I keep covering them on the Fitz Blitz. They’re just another team now. As long as the market cares I’ll cover them. I know Raider Nation is global, and even I latched on to the then Los Angeles Raiders in the mid 80s as a kid living in St. Louis. 

Plus Del Rio, Carr, Cooper, Mack, Osemele, S. Smith, Gabe Jackson and others had nothing to do with this. So it will be hard for me to not want the best for them. 

But I’ve been in the bay since ’98, and this is now the 3rd time the NFL has burned me in an NFL civic union. The NFL only cares about the bottom line, getting free money from cities desperate for a franchise.

I have to tip my cap to Mark Davis in getting a loan, control of non-football revenue at new destination stadium in Las Vegas, and still a lot of bay area TVs and radios. But I’ve grown tired of how the NFL operates. They’ve jumped the shark and think they’re too big to fail. Bo Jackson got me watching the Raiders and even he would prefer his kids not play football. 

And yea, I’m not a Vegas kind of guy. I’d live there for work of course, but the fan in me would have to warm up to it. I work and live in the bay area, and work for bay area sports entities. Los Angeles was one thing. I go to L.A. a lot, have family there, the Raiders had been there before, and it was freaking L.A. 

But a multibillion-dollar industry acting like a charity, pilfering cities for as much money as possible, along with the little concern they have for their players, will reduce me to a casual Raiders fan. We’ll see how I feel after the emotions settle, but the fan part of me took a hit today.

You handle this relocation however you want Raider Nation. I won’t tell you how to feel, and I hope you get the outcome you want for the Raiders. 

What will I miss the most of covering the Raiders and the Raiders Finest Hour? Certainly working with my good friend, Todd. People could tell we’re friends when they listen to the podcast. And that chemistry is hard to replicate. We always had a blast, even in the bad years.

And I’ll really miss being trusted by you, Raider Nation. To be trusted by the best fans in football was an honor. I took a lot of pride in it. It was flat out cool that Raider Nation trusted myself and Todd, and almost 18,000 of you downloaded the Finest Hour every time a new episode came out. 

Watching the film to the extent I did, breaking down the all-22 shots, previewing draft prospects let my inner scout out. It made me a better sport broadcaster, better personnel evaluator, and helped me mature from a fan to a more realistic viewpoint of the game.

It was my pleasure to bring you the Raiders Finest Hour with my boy, Todd. I will always remember it as a special time and a critical step in my broadcasting career. It was part of my career re-boot from print journalist back into broadcasting and I learned more than I ever thought I would.

The old episodes will remain online for possibly another year while they are archived onto a hard drive, and the show’s twitter handle will remain for a few more months. 

Best wishes to you, Raider Nation, and thank you for your support and fandom for the Finest Hour that was almost as fervent as your passion for the Raiders themselves. It meant more than you could imagine, and I’ll miss you. 

Sincerely,

Timmy Fitz




© Tim Fitzgerald 2011