ESPN’s 30-for-30 film "Straight Outta L.A." premieres Tuesday night. The film centers on the Los Angeles Raiders and their influence on the city and the culture of Southern California in the 1980s.
It was made by rapper/actor Ice Cube. He is a Los Angeles native and a die-hard Raiders fan. I recently caught up with him to discuss the film, the Raiders’ history and the team’s current state:
Why would a Raiders’ fan be interested in this film?
Ice Cube: This is straight history of the Raiders. Any Raiders fan would be interested in it. It’s a nice look at the beyond the scenes of the politics of the league. It shows how cities can get and how they can lose teams and stadiums. It’s an important look at how politics affect the sport. It goes beyond the game.
What is your greatest Raiders memory?
IC: Marcus Allen’s 74-yard Super Bowl run in Super Bowl XVIII. That was the first and only Super Bowl win for Los Angeles. That run sealed the game. It was big.
Who is your favorite all-time Raider?
IC: For some reason, it’s the old safety, Jack Tatum. He embodied that Raiders toughness. He showed what kind of football has to be played for a team to be successful. Guys like Tatum and John Matuszak were guys who played that Raider way.
Any advice for Al Davis to help get the franchise turned around?
IC: Without an enthusiastic leader, the team will go nowhere. He needs someone with a mouth to lead that team.
Are you still a supporter of JaMarcus Russell?
IC: He had a lot of in front of him last year that affected him. I don’t care if you have Bob Griese back there, you aren’t going to win with two rookie receivers playing. That’s what JaMarcus was dealing with. It was not all his fault.