Guys like Jack Tatum, Howie Long, Marcus Allen, Ken Stabler and Jim Plunkett wore the same jersey's and numbers that current Raider players can wear today. The Raiders do not retire jersey numbers.
You can see guys like Chaz Schilens, Jacoby Ford, and Mario Henderson wear the numbers of Tim Brown, Ken Stabler and Howie Long. The Raiders from the past, along with the coaches, and owner Al Davis created the raider mystique.
They made the Silver and Black one of the most recognized teams in the world. The renegade attitude, the hard hits, and the winning all defined the Raiders. The Autumn Wind was alive and well.
Recently the struggles of the Raiders have made them the joke of the league for some media outlets, and have given other fans a reason to laugh at the Raider Nation.
The memories of the Raiders winning three Super Bowl titles are still fresh on the mind of the old school members of the Raider Nation. The run by Marcus Allen against Washington is a story that can be told by any old timer like it was played just last week.
My dad had to stop watching football because he was so used to watching the Raiders win from the 1970's to 1980's that watching them struggle in the 1990's was, according to him, so frustrating he thought he was going to have a stroke or heart attack.
The new school generation can only hope to have such success that the Raiders had in the past. Guys like me who were born after 1983 can only talk about heart break.
Watching Jeff Hostetler, Jay Schroeder and Jeff George lead the Raiders in the 90's was painful.
The early success in the 2000's was nice, but the heart break was always there. From Tony Saragusa knocking Rich Gannon out of the game in the playoffs, to Tom Brady fumbling the ball only to get it reversed on a call that will go down in Raider's history as one of the worst calls ever.
Even our Super Bowl appearance was tough because our former coach, who was favored in the Raider Nation, was on the opposite sideline beating us.
The Raiders have had the worst seven year stretch of any team in the NFL.
It's not always easy being a Raider watching your team lose, but when things turn around it will all be worth it.
Sometimes you have to look all the way back to see where you came from to appreciate where you are. The Raiders solid offseason has brought back hope to the Raider Nation.
It's time for the Raiders to turn it around and start heading back in the right direction.
So far all the right moves have been made to make the team better. The Raiders, Al Davis and the Raider Nation are due for a better year.
The guys who wore the jerseys and numbers that won the Super Bowls worked too hard for the Raiders to stay in the state they have been in for the last seven years.
It's up to the new blood and new generation to bring back what the old generation built.
So this Memorial Day when you remember the brave American Troops who gave their lives for freedom, don't forget to also remember the old Raiders who gave everything they had to create a team that stood by their motto, "Commitment to Excellence."
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