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Monday, September 2, 2013

The Autumn Wind: The Oakland Raiders Code

This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Post on WordPress: The Autumn Wind: The Oakland Raiders Code

I hope for Raiders fans this makes up for the fact that they’ve been so bad the last ten years. The great history that they had in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. I’m not a Raider fan, because I still have horrible memories and even nightmares that I’m getting professional help for. Because of how they took apart my great 1983 Redskins in Super Bowl 18. But imagine what it must be like for Raider fans who write about football and what they’re going through right now. Suffering through ten straight non-winning seasons. Where in this period an 8-8 season was considered successful for them. Something they’ve accomplished once or twice. I mean you have all of those great memories from the 1970s and even 1980s, (unless you still live in Oakland) to go with the current nightmare you’re currently going through.

I think something that current Raiders fans are going through who are long time Raider fans and remember the 1970s, or at least the 1980s, that could be compared with the current state of Raider Nation, would like what New York Yankee fans went through in the early 1990s. Say 1991, 92, 93, when they were no longer just not winning or playing in World Series, but they were no longer not even winning the AL East, or not even making the AL Playoffs, but 1992 was the Yankees fourth straight losing season. Something they hadn’t done since the late 1960s-early 1970s. If you include the 1994 strike-shorten season where the Yankees were in place to make the AL Playoffs, they missed the playoffs thirteen straight seasons. But finished with winning seasons in eight of those years. The Raiders have even been worst than that. 10 straight non-winning seasons.

When I think of the Oakland Raiders, I think of very tough and very smart football teams, that have a lot of speed. Who go right after you and take you apart. You want to play cover-two against their vertical passing game, Cliff Branch will run right through it and catch a bomb from Ken Stabler. Or take a short pass to the house. Or they will run the ball right down your throat to get you to play them straight up. With a defense that comes right after you, because they have two cover corners with Lester Hayes and Mike Haynes. And can stuff the run simply with their front seven and don’t have to blitz. With Howie Long, Lyle Alzado, Greg Townsend and many others up front. Attacking the QB. That is how you have the best record in football in the 1960s and 1970s and how you win three Super Bowls and four AFC Championship’s.

That is just not the current Raider Nation and it hasn’t been that way for a long time. Now they play in a stadium that is not the Black Hole, but more like a Toilet Bowl, with a Toilet Bowl team. That can be counted on to finish last in a four team division every year.Playing in a stadium that is falling apart and in a city that won’t do it’s part to help them get a new stadium, or at least rebuild the current one. And part of this blame goes to the City of Oakland for not doing their part to keep up with the maintenance of the Oakland Coliseum. But the first person you want to look at and I hate to say this, because I have a lot of respect for Al Davis who created the Oakland Raiders, but you have to look at his mismanagement of his franchise. And not hiring a competent person to run his club for him. And trying to do too much on his own.