To commemorate the upcoming 50th Super Bowl, the NFL has mandated that every team paint their 50-yard line markers gold. But the Oakland Raiders refused to add gold to their silver and black.
The Raiders, who alone abstained in the last vote for commissioner and defied the league in their ’80s-era move to Los Angeles, remained true to their rebellious reputation by ignoring the mandate.
But owner Mark Davis calls the controversy manufactured.
In March the NFL decided that all 32 teams wold be required to paint their 50-yard line markers gold for the league’s “On The 50” celebration for Super Bowl 50 in February of 2016. The big game will be held Levi’s Stadium in nearby Santa Clara, where the 49ers play.
But this week representatives of O.co Coliseum report that the Raiders have told them not to change the marker colors from the standard white.
“The Raiders have asked us not to do that,” O.Co Coliseum G.M. Chris Wright told Don Muret of SportsBusiness Daily on Wednesday.
The Raiders initially refused to comment on their stance on the gold numbers but the NFL seemed to think it had something to do with the fact that the Oakland A’s continue to play baseball on the same field.
But Wright denied that claim.
“It has nothing to do with baseball,” Wright told Muret. “The last six home baseball games are through this weekend, and there will be no gold marks for the rest of the Raiders’ regular season.”
Speculation mounted on the reasons for the refusal.
Mike Florio of NBC Sports’ “PFT” blog says that the team may be sticking its finger in the league’s eye for not helping much in solving its stadium woes. Or, he added, perhaps it’s because they don’t want to advertise for a Super Bowl scheduled at another California facility.
CBS Sports’ John Breech seems to feel the same way about the idea that the Raiders are unhappy with the location of Super Bowl 50. But Breech had another idea, too, offering, “The much more likely reason that the team won’t paint their 50s gold is because the Raiders hate the 49ers and one of the Niners’ team colors is gold.”
Mark Davis broke his silence on Wednesday. He says the team plans to comply once the A’s finish their season, leaving the team free to paint end zones and, yes, the 50-yard marker.
“We’re waiting until the baseball season’s over,” Davis maintains. “We don’t paint our shield on the field, we don’t paint the end zones, we don’t paint gold things, but we’ll be painting them for the Denver game.”
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