Raiders legend Mike Haynes on franchise's move to Las Vegas: 'It's going to be great'
Apr 15, 2020
By Daniel Canova | Fox News
Pro Football Hall of Famer Mike Haynes was a key player for the Los Angeles Raiders when the franchise won Super Bowl XVIII over the Washington Redskins back in 1984.
Now, no longer in Los Angeles or Oakland, the Raiders have embraced Las Vegas as their home. And Haynes thinks it’s going to be great for football.
“I actually think it’s going to be fun,” Haynes told Fox News on Wednesday. “The coronavirus is going to put a damper on the big celebration because their first game, we still might be practicing social distancing. But I think overall it’s going to be great. I think the players are going to love living there because of the taxes and everything.
“And I think the teams that the Raiders play when they come into Las Vegas, I think a lot of those teams will bring a lot of their fans because they are going to love the entertainment aspects of being in Las Vegas,” Haynes added. “Going to nightclubs, and seeing all these great entertainers. It’s just a fun time. It’s a big win-win situation.”
With sports gambling now legal in a lot of major markets across the United States, Haynes thinks a franchise in Las Vegas came at the perfect time.
“I’m not shocked it came sooner because I think there was this concern with gambling,” Haynes said. “But even with the Patriots, there’s a casino not too far from the team facility. All of these teams have gambling casinos near their facilities, and fans do participate. I think maybe in the ‘70s there was a concern because there were guys who were involved in some of these different scams and things like that, and they wanted to stay away from it because they thought it would kill sports. But I think the league feels different about it now. The fans feel different about it, and the players feel different about it. I think it’s okay. I think the timing is right. It was right to wait all of this time to get things in a better place to do it.”
Haynes, the No. 5 draft pick in the 1976 NFL Draft, began his career with the New England Patriots. In his first season with the team, he came away with eight interceptions and an AFC-high 608 yards on 45 punt returns, which garnered NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.
After joining the Los Angeles Raiders in 1983, Haynes and fellow teammate Lester Hayes were considered one of the best cornerback duos in the history of the NFL en route to a Super Bowl title.
Haynes, a nine-time Pro Bowler, and eight-time All-Pro cornerback, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1997. By many NFL experts, Haynes is regarded as one of the best overall cornerbacks in league history.
Dan Canova is a Sports Reporter for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @DanCanova
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