Legendary Raiders wide receiver Cliff Branch is signing autographs this holiday weekend at National Sports Memorabilia in Petaluma while he prepares for what could be his old team’s last game at the Oakland Coliseum.
But for Branch, a three-time Super Bowl champion with the Raiders, Monday night’s game against the Broncos doesn’t carry the feeling of finality.
“To me, it’s not the last game yet. I don’t feel it’s the last game because it’s not official,” Branch said.
The Raiders have broken talks with the city of Oakland in relation to renting the Coliseum for one more season. Team owner Mark Davis brokered a deal to move his club to Las Vegas, and his team will play there starting in 2020.
The Raiders were supposed to play 2019 in Oakland. Now, multiple options are on the table, including San Francisco’s AT&T Park. It still remains a possibility the Raiders will play in the Coliseum in 2019.
But when the Raiders and Broncos kick off Monday night, nobody will know the Coliseum’s fate with certainty. With the date of the Raiders’ departure from Oakland possibly moved up an entire year, fans, players and anyone affiliated with the team will have to put their emotions on hold until an official word.
“If we knew it was the last game, that’s when it’s real and it hits really hard,” Branch said.