Oakland Raiders' Fan Recalls...and Predicts

Fred KindelContributor IJune 1, 2009

LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 6:  Hall of Famer and former Raiders quarterback, George Blanda, attends the game between the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Raiders at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 6, 1987 in Los Angeles, California.  The Raiders won 34-21.  (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

In Fall of 1970, I began attending Raiders home games, sharing season tickets with a friend.

I recall that the first game I went to was a preseason game at Berkeley Stadium. Nearing the end of the game, the Raiders were behind more than a TD; Darryl Lamonica was tossing bombs, but not connecting enough.

I didn't know who George Blanda was beginning that day, so didn't think twice when my wife and friends suggested we leave about five minutes of playing time left in the game. You can likely imagine what happened.

As we were walking down the street away from the stadium, a great shout from the fans went up, "Raiders scored!"

A couple of blocks further away, another great shout, "Raiders scored!"

Before we could get to the car, another great shout, "Raiders scored!"

After we had walked out, George Blanda's number was called. I can't recall, now, the exact sequence of events, but it was likely, Blanda comes in to kick for three points; Raiders defense intercepts; and Blanda passes for six points plus one.Raiders' defense intercepts again and Blanda kicks for three points.

The Raiders win, game over! I'll tell you what, I never left another Raiders' game early. And I attended most home games over the next several years until Al Davis took the team to LA.

PREDICTION: Recall that experienced George Blanda mentored beginner Kenny Stabler and filled in as QB backup. Now we have experienced Jeff Garcia mentoring beginner JaMarcus Russell and is able to fill in as QB backup. I predict this duo will have great success and lead the Raiders to a winning season, just as the other duo did those many years back. What do you think?