Two words: Raiders Football.
[sound of crickets chirping]
Wow, do I know how to clear a blog or what!?
On those rare occasions I find people willing and eager to discuss football, I’m usually asked what my fave team is and then they follow up wondering how I can still love the Silver & Black after they skipped town back to Oakland in 1994.
It’s simple really: I loved the Raiders back when they were badboying it up north to begin with. I idolized Kenny Stabler, George Blanda, Cliff Branch, John Matuszak, John Madden, Fred Biletnikoff â€” Daryle freakin’ Lamonica!
Sure the team I was most loyal to when I was growing up was the Los Angeles Rams, but they broke my heart with their move to Anaheim and all I could muster when they marched to St. Louis was a bitter “good riddance.” So when Al Davis brought the Raiders south in the early ’80s it was all gravy. And a couple years later when they won a Super Bowl!? Win or lose, they had my loyalty for life.
Was I sad to see them skeedaddle back up to Northern California? Absolutely. Did I hold it against them? Maybe for a little bit â€” but certainly with nowhere near the grudge and disdain I have to this day for the Rams.
Fast forward to this last couple seasons since they were robbed of one Super Bowl against the Patriots and dismantled in the next one against Tampa Bay and man, they’ve sucked so bad these have been trying times. Up until a couple weeks ago I was reconciled to the potential of the Raiders going winless this season. WINLESS! 0 for 16. Yuck. But the couple games I watched were pathetic, a team beyond disarray.
Then came the October 22 win against Arizona and I’ll tell ya I was just thankful they proved me wrong. Even if they went 1-15 they still notched that single victory that would spare them the ignominy of being shut out entirely. And then came yesterday and dang if they didn’t defeat the winners of the last Super Bowl, Pittsburgh for their second consecutive.
Now go easy, I ain’t fooling myself. The Raiders may have taken two in a row but they were against teams in as much if not more confusion. I’m not getting any more than idiotic hopes up that Oakland has turned lemons to lemonade and found the answer that will drive them into the playoff. Oh hell no.
But I can’t deny the power of sport, and a Raider victory makes my Monday and my week that much better to enjoy.