Dear Black & Silver Faithful,
I remember a time, as a Broncos fan, when I used to get energized to play the Raiders. It used to be an event, an entire week of increasing anticipation and smack talk, culminating in an epic battle waged on the field between two bitter division rivals.
It never used to matter how good either team was. The action on the field would inevitably play out like two equally matched foes battling blow for blow, until one momentous play would decide who would emerge victorious.
I certainly can’t speak for you, but I boldly state on behalf of all true Broncos fans, that there was truly no team, no entity in existence, that I hated more than the Raiders.
I hated Al Davis more than any figure in sports. I hated Howie Long and his flat top terrorizing our offensive line. I hated Tim Brown just for being Tim Brown. I hated John Gruden and his sour patch face.
I even hated Bo Jackson so much that I still baselessly can’t stand the Kansas City Royals. And don’t get me started on how much I hate Tecmo Bowl for making him the most lethal athlete in video game history.
The point I’m trying to make is that the Raiders used to invoke a passionate reaction in me that was unmatched by any team, in any sport.
And while they still may own the edge in the all time series (54-40-2), since 1995 the Broncos have won 21 of the last 27 matchups, leaving me to wonder where the competition in this rivalry has gone.
You will certainly at this point try to cite to me the 31-10 score from last year’s matchup in Denver, where your almighty Raiders beat up on a bad Broncos team on the verge of a free fall from glory.
Ok. I’ll give you that, but I’ll also be so daring as to say that was a complete fluke.
Now that it is becoming obvious that the Broncos are a well-prepared team week after week, who won’t suffer from the same kind of lapses they didn’t under Shanahan, I am nervous about the future of this rivalry.
My hatred towards the Raiders is just being replaced by pity. No fan base should have to suffer like you are suffering.
Al Davis has been masquerading his last three first round draft picks as the future of this franchise, but it is becoming painfully obvious that his personnel expertise has been lost along with his coherence.
JaMarcus Russell is clearly overmatched on this level, and only if his work ethic were half as large as his appetite would there be hope for any improvement. His passer rating, although an inherently flawed statistic, is only 42.4 after four games. This is by far the lowest of any other starting quarterback in the league.
Sure he can throw a ball through the side of a brick barn, but the jury is out on how often he can actually hit the side of said barn.
Darren McFadden has undeniable ability, but his tendency to fumble the rock (once every fifteen carries), has him on the sidelines more often lately than his talent would suggest.
Darrius Heyward-Bey can run in a straight line. Very, very fast.
These are the players on which Davis has mortgaged the future of the franchise and it’s apparent that neither they, nor he are the answer for this once proud franchise.
So here is my plea to Raider Nation. Stand up, revolt, stage a rebellion, instigate a mutiny towards ownership. Don’t accept the second rate players you are being given. Put on your masks and metal spikes, and knock down the executive doors at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Drag Al Davis into the Black Hole and don’t let him out until he relinquishes ownership of your beloved Raiders.
You need a change, and for the love of God, every Broncos fan needs the change too.
As we begin the approach towards December 20th, and the next Broncos/Raiders showdown, I can’t help but wonder how bad the Raiders will be by then, and how easily the Broncos will hand them a loss.
Don’t let it get any worse Raider Nation. Bring back the glory days. Bring back the competition. Rise up now!