The Raiders have officially replaced Greg Papa as the “Voice of the Raiders.” But he deserved much more than the generic goodbye he received from Mark Davis.
Greg Papa had been the radio broadcaster for the Raiders for 20 years. In 1997, Papa replaced the legendary announcer Bill King who is famous for his patented “Holy Toledo!” line. Over the course of those 20 years, Papa would usher in a new era in Raiders history, coining the phrase “Touchdown, Raaaaiiiiiderrs.” True Raider fans can hear his voice as they read this.
Unfortunately, as the team heads in a new direction and prepares to move to Las Vegas, some changes have to be made. Papa and his color-commentator, former Raiders coach Tom Flores, have both been released. The team confirmed that Brent Musburger, who has most recently called college football for ABC and ESPN, will replace Papa.
It wasn’t really expected that Papa would follow the team as they moved to Vegas, but this move seems a bit premature. Fans at least expected Papa to ride out the team’s remaining two years in the bay.
For many years during the age of the blackout, Papa was the only way fans could get Raiders games. Papa will be remembered for his honesty, never hesitating to call it how it was, even if the team was playing terribly.
For how legendary and influential Papa has been for the Raiders over the last two decades, this goodbye is embarrassing. The lack of sincerity in Mark Davis’ statement is ridiculous, Papa deserved much better than the unceremonious goodbye he received.
The rift he has with Davis has been well-known. Papa’s relationship with Mark’s father, the late Al Davis, was much better. Yet still, that’s no excuse for this vanilla farewell to one of the most legendary voices in franchise history.