The very first team I can remember cheering for was the Oakland Raiders.
There was no team in Phoenix, Arizona where I lived. Yes, we had the Phoenix Suns, but there was something about the Oakland Raiders – my birthplace – that had my attention. Maybe it was the colors, The Silver and Black. Or, maybe it was the attitude they played with: Ted Hendricks, Lyle Alzado. Or, maybe it was the contrarian in me that made me love them – they were the anti-America’s Team (Dallas Cowboys).
Or, maybe it was all of those things rolled into one big dose of Raiders fandom. I’m a Raiders fan.
The Raiders are winners of three Super Bowls. The last one they won? Way back when in 1983. I was still in school. I was a youngin’.
I was, I was, I was.
And that’s what it’s been like for Oakland Raiders fans for decades now. Oh sure, there have been playoff appearances, but these days, the Raiders are the butt of jokes. No Commitment to Excellence in this decade. Or, the previous decade (Super Bowl appearance excluded) for that matter.
— Jimmy Sanderson (@Jimmy_Sanderson) September 30, 2014
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) September 30, 2014
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) September 30, 2014
Dennis Allen much better off as asst on a team with real talent, not drowning in salary cap debt.
— Melissa Jacobs (@thefootballgirl) September 30, 2014
Just how bad is it?
The #Raiders fired Dennis Allen tonight over the phone. Really.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 30, 2014
No surprise on #Raiders firing Dennis Allen. Sunday's bad loss cooked him. They just were not a competitive team.
— Bill Williamson (@BWilliamsonNFL) September 30, 2014
Fired over the phone? Not competitive?
As the Raiders have declined, my NFL fandom has waned. Oh, I still cheer for the Raiders. But, the days of must-watch NFL viewing has nearly become non-existent. I’ll check on the Raiders on game day (score only), but I’m more inclined to watch college football, basketball and soccer. I’ll always be a fan of the Raiders, but right now, they’re not showing me they want it with their ineptitude.
Call it the Al Davis effect. For all his genius and innovation, the decline of the Raiders coincided with Davis’ decline. As Davis aged, so did his patience for coaches, his “keen eye” for talent – the Raiders slippage is on him…and now his son, owner Mark Davis.
When discussing Raiders dysfunction, you have to start at the top. Like, Mark Davis interviewing only ONE person for GM position in 2012.
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) September 30, 2014
No, nothing will change with the Oakland Raiders. Davis can move them to a new city, but the results will remain the same. Unless he sells to someone new. Preferably someone who will keep them in Oakland (long-shot on that). But, the Raiders decline is a sad one for a once storied NFL (and previously, AFL) franchise.
Speaking as a fan – enough with a Davis-owned Oakland Raiders team. Fresh vision is what the Raiders organization needs. Fresh vision for this decade, this century. They won’t get it unless Davis sells the team.
It’s time for an end to the Davis-era in Oakland.