I came away convinced that the Raiders are still serious about anchoring their floating franchise in this strange little oasis of dust and smog and man-made craters. I think a lot of people still see Irwindale as Al Davis' version of a poker bluff, something he can throw down on the table in order to get himself a better deal in renting the Coliseum, and I wanted to see for myself what the Raiders' operation here looked like.
"That (deal with MCA) really has no affect on us at all," said John Herrera, a Raider senior executive and commander of the Irwindale outpost. "We maintain that when we are legally free to leave the Coliseum, we will do so, that there is no valid reason for the (Irwindale) stadium not being built. We've worked too hard, won too many battles, made too much progress, not to go forward."
[Xavier Hermosillo] arrived in a car bearing license plates, "IM MR X." His wardrobe was accessorized with a mammoth silver Raider belt buckle and a tiny Raider lapel pin. He flashed a Raider money clip and mentioned that he owns an official Raider telephone, patio umbrella, mailbox, trash can and ashtray. He seems not to take himself seriously, but to take the Raiders and their Irwindale project very seriously.