It's been tough to be a Raider fan the last seven years. Living in Evansville, Indiana, in the heart of Colts country, hasn't made it any easier.
When the Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1984, residents of my area had a choice to make: support the new local team and abandon the team they had previously supported, or remain a fan of their present team.
Being a Raider fan, for me the choice was easy. As long as there was a horseshoe on the helmet, they were still the Colts and I still disliked them. Not to mention the fact the Raiders were coming off their third Super Bowl victory.
No thank you, the locals could have their "new" team.
When the Colts slogged through the 80's and into the 90's without a whole lot of success, you rarely saw these Colts fans making much noise. All that changed on April 18, 1998.
That was the day the Colts made the decision to take Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf. Soon after, the bandwagon jumping was in full force.
Guys who were Dolphin fans yesterday were now Colts loyalists. Throw in the success the Colts have had in the 2000s, coupled with the Raiders' failures and you can imagine how it's been for me these past several years.
I've had December 26th circled on my calendar since the day the schedule came out. I knew this game would mean something. I didn't know exactly what, but something.
The Oakland Raiders have a chance to make my Christmas wish come true. They could be the team that keeps the Colts from making the playoffs. Sweet!
It will not get any better for me this holiday season than if the Raiders win on Sunday. I'll be the guy at Boston's Sports Bar wearing the Raiders jersey, celebrating like I hit the lottery.
I'll be the guy giving it to the Colts fans, many of whom I call friends, that will be there Sunday. You see, this game is personal for me.
It's about being true to yourself, your team and what you believe in. It's not about jumping ship to be affiliated with the cool kids.
Dear Oakland Raiders: Just Win Baby!
End these seven years of ridicule and insults, for yourselves and for me personally. Make my wish come true and make mine a very merry Christmas!
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!