With the release of the NFL schedule yesterday, Chargers players and fans circle two dates; Thurs. Nov 10 at home and Jan.1 on the road. Those dates are the games the Bolts will face the Raiders and right the egregious wrong of a Raider sweep last season. In the first (but definitely not last) Raiders beatdown of the upcoming season, here is your all-purpose guide to all necessary points of contention regarding this rivalry. Ahhhh, how do we hate the Raiders, let me count the ways…
1. Al Davis. First of all, its hard to believe this man got his start with the LA/San Diego Chargers from 1960-1962. He plucked the idea of a deep ball, vertical offense and claimed it as his own after taking over in Oakland even though it was the brainchild of Chargers then head coach Sid Gilman. Davis went from American Football League commissioner to head coach/owner of the Raiders after the AFL/NFL merger. Right out of the chute Davis was stealing from the Chargers!
2. The Raiders teams. When the Raiders were actually good from 1967-1985 they were the epitome of a dirty team. Listen to the NFL films recordings from guys like Howie Long, Ronnie Lott and Bill Romanowski. The Raiders tried to win through intimidation, late hits and flat out cheating. The owners ‘Just win baby’ was the motto and the Raiders did all they could to live it at all costs. It was a Raider that broke Joe Namath’s jaw. It was the Raiders that defeated the Chargers thanks to the infamous ‘Holy Roller’ play where the Raiders fumbled the ball ahead on purpose in order to score the deciding touchdown. It was Raider Jack Tatum that permanently paralyzed Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley with a brutal hit in a 1978 preseason game. There’s dirty, then there are the Raiders.
3. Raider Nation. A by-product of their sadist team and their evil owner, Raiders fans get out on furlough long enough to go to the game then back to their cell block afterwards. No other fan base is so reviled and known for their propensity for violence than Raiders fans. Countless stories of gang beatings of fans of opposing teams can be found everywhere. They come dressed in black, in shoulder spikes, donning silver and black face paint and Darth Vader masks. No matter how terrible the Raiders are, Raider fan will speak through their delusion as if their team had just won the Super Bowl.
As a public service Charger fans, here is the point/counterpoint for that inevitable conversation with Raider fan.
*The Raiders are 37-91 since their last Super Bowl appearance in 2002-03 season.
*Until their sweep last season, the Raiders had lost 13 straight to the Chargers.
At this point Raider fan will automatically go back to Super Bowls. The correct response is the last Super Bowl the Raiders were in they lost by 27 points (48-21) to Tampa Bay and the last Super Bowl the Raiders WON was in 1983. Add in a ‘Were you even born yet?’ to drive the point home if it is a younger person on the other end of this conversation. (Most likely it will be.)
*Al Davis is going senile and you need to look no further than his first round draft picks since the year 2000.
2000-Sebastian Janikowski. What other GM is dumb enough to draft a KICKER in the first round? You don’t even do that in FANTASY football!
2001-Defensive Back Derrick Gibson. Five years and out of football.
2002-Running Back Napoleon Harris. Traded in 2005. Returned in 2009, cut five days later. Defensive back Phillip Buchanon was traded in 2005.
2003-Defensive End Tyler Brayton. Ran for the hills in 2007. Defensive Back Nnamdi Asomugha. Best pick this decade who has become elite cover corner. However, Davis left a clause in his contract that made his deal void if he didn’t meet certain incentives. The contract language also prohibits the Raiders from using the franchise tag. BAAAAAA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA
2004-Offensive tackle Robert Gallery. Dud.
2005-Defensive Back Fabian Washington. Traded in 2008.
2006-Safety Michael Huff. Mediocre at best.
2007-Jamarcus Russell. Biggest first round bust ever. Thanks for taking that designation from Ryan Leaf and putting it where it belongs, in the Raider organization.
2008-Running Back Darren McFadden. May be a decent back if he can ever stay on the field long enough.
2009-Wide receiver Darius Heyward Bey. Had more games played (11)than catches made (9) his rookie season.
2010-Linebacker Rolando McClain. Half a sack, one pick, 85 tackles in 2010.
Now we arrive at the glory days of this storied rivalry (for us), as Al Davis grows more senile and passes his crazy down to his team. There is the Asomugha contract snafu. In 2009, Davis gave Janikowski 9 million dollars guaranteed as part of a 4-year, 16 million dollar deal. There is drafting Heyward-Bey based on a blazing 40 time alone and bypassing Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Percy Harvin, Hakeem Nicks and Kenny Britt. All the others have gone on to become solid NFL receivers. In the 2001 offseason Davis became and remains the only GM to trade his head coach to another team when he sent Jon Gruden to Tampa Bay and replaced him with Bill Callahan. Callahan got the Raiders to the Super Bowl the next season (with Gruden’s players) and in an awesome twist of irony faced Gruden and Tampa Bay. We know what happened next. Lest we forget Jamarcus Russell. Davis refused to admit defeat for three years and kept rolling Russell out there. The Raiders went 13-34 during the Russell years. Recently Russell was in the news for an arrest for the possession of ‘purple drank’ aka codeine syrup without a prescription. Even more recently, Russell’s life coach quit on him. Not only is Russell such a D-list celeb that he can’t score good drugs, the person he pays (presumably) to turn his life around could find no hope. Nice! Al Davis, great judge of character. Gotta love it.
Its 9:25 a.m. on a thursday and the Raiders are still our bitches! Commitment to Excellence? More like commitment to excrement!