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Oregon fans pushing for Raiders in Portland

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The greenest city in the nation wants some Silver & Black. Portland Oregon is making a pitch for the Raiders to be their next home. Just when we are all thinking its Bay Area or fly south, the Northwest beckons for the Raiders. How realistic the idea is, now that's another story.

KGW TV Portland is reporting a fan group called "NFL to Oregon" recently petitioned Governor John Kitzhaber on Change.org, asking the state to at least begin exploring the possibility.

"Bringing an NFL team to Oregon would dramatically increase the footprint of this state, bring tax revenue, create jobs and create a multi-use venue that would increase tourism. Portland is the nation's largest metropolitan area that is served by only one of the Big Three Major League sports organizations," the petition reads.

That one team is the Portland Trailblazers who have had the rabid "Rip City" fan base passionately supporting them since the their inception in the mid 70's.

This is not the first time Portland has made a play for a team in one of the other three major sports. In the late nineties, when the MLB Montreal Expos were relocating, Portland made a push to bring them to the city. In the end the Expos moved to Washington DC and became the Nationals.

Twelve NFL cities have smaller TV markets than Portland. It is a bigger TV market than Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Indianapolis, Baltimore, San Diego, Nashville, Kansas City, Milwaukee (and Green Bay), Cincinnati, New Orleans, Jacksonville, and Buffalo.

In addition to the Blazers, Portland has a Major League Soccer team (Timbers), an arena football team (Thunder) and a minor-league hockey team (Winterhawks). They also once had a WNBA team (Fire) but they lasted just three seasons (2000-02) before folding.

This wouldn't be the first time Portland has had a professional football team. They had the Breakers of the USFL in 1985 but it lasted just one season.

I see little possibility the Raiders would ever end up in Portland but hey, stranger things have happened.