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#pounditMonday, December 6, 2021

Fired Raiders announcer blames Mike Shanahan criticism for job loss

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After 20 years of calling games for the Oakland Raiders, play-by-play voice Greg Papa was let go ahead of the 2018 season, and he thinks he knows why.

Papa said Monday he was fired because of on-air criticism he offered three years ago when he was critical of the Raiders’ decision to interview Mike Shanahan for their vacant coaching position in 2015.

There are many layers to this, as Papa’s last quote indicates. He and former owner Al Davis were very close, and Davis and Shanahan openly clashed when the latter was head coach of the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988 and 1989. Things got so bad that Davis and Shanahan even fired assistant coaches hired by each other. The grudge between the two men lasted long after Shanahan was fired, and Papa continued carrying Davis’s end of the feud even after the owner passed away in 2011.

Mark Davis clearly doesn’t quite see things the same way, and was willing to let bygones be bygones with Shanahan. Papa couldn’t accept that, and if his reasoning is true, it opened such a rift between owner and announcer that it cost the latter his job.

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