Jan 1, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (center) before a play against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. San Diego defeated Oakland 38-26. Mandatory Credit: Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
What’s up boltheads? Today I’ll give you all my second installment of the “Question:” series. In today’s question I’m going to talk a little bit about rivalries and the types of rivalries the NFL has. So now without further ado, would you rather have a Ravens Steelers type rivalry?
In my lifetime I’ve come across one true, year in year out, tough, great rivalry; the Steelers and the Ravens. It seems to me that every year their games mean soooo much more than just an inner-division game. They always seem to play each other for seeding, playoff elimination, or even just for bragging rights. Every season they find a way to kill each other two to three days a year, usually in the snow to make it even better.
I know personally three Steelers fans and a five Ravens fans, for this post I asked them a simple question, “What would mean more, beating the Steelers/Ravens or having a winning record?” four out of the five said they would rather beat their respective rival than have a winning record. To put that into perspective they would rather see the team go 2-14 as long as those two wins were against the Steelers/Ravens than see the team go 14-2 and be swept by the other.
Now comes my question to you all, would you rather have that type of a rivalry? The AFC West always has great battles because in the division it doesn’t matter if you’re in first or fourth you always play up for the rivals as it should be. Just look at the Raiders two years ago an 8-8 team missed the postseason but swept the division, my point exactly. So for sake of argument, let’s say the Raiders-Chargers games are the biggest rivalry games in an AFC west season right? If so how big are they outside the west? Here on the east coast the western teams are treated horribly almost as bad as old NFL teams compared the AFL teams to themselves, not much is ever thought of the west out here. In other places it’s probably the same feelings, the teams on that west side of the country are just not as popular as teams on the east.
This is the first part of a solid rivalry, national noteriety. If you go anywhere and ask any mildly interested fan, they could tell you what team wheres black and yellow, heck there are songs written about them, not just team anthems, rap songs.
The second part of a rivalry is primetime games, something the Chargers have gotten certainly a fair share of. Last season one of the two Ravens-Steelers games was in a primetime slot, as was the Raiders-Chargers Thursday night game. I couldn’t tell you over the past five years how many Chargers-Raiders games have been in primetime but I can tell you with solid belief, it must be less than the amount of Ravens-Steelers games. Do you want our team to be seen nationally, under the lights in these games?
The third part of a rivalry is postseason play. The Steelers and Ravens met each other in the postseason three of the last five years, once for the championship, never for wildcard games. In contrast, the Chargers and Raiders have never met even in the AFL days the series has not gone past the regular season. This probably because there hasn’t been a wildcard team out of the AFC wets in forever. Still though, would you rather face a team from another part of the country, or Oakland?
The fourth and final part of a rivalry is gamesmanship and physicality. As I mentioned in my intro, the Ravens and Steelers always find a way to kill each other, they hate each other whether they say it or not. Don’t get me wrong, the Charger and Raiders have certainly had their fair share of tough games and controversial games, the one coming to mind is the holy roller game. Also the trash talking that goes on between the teams, granite it’s mostly just Philip Rivers, but still, I believe the Chargers hate the Raiders and we know exactly how the Raiders feel.
So that’s what I have let me know what you all think and hopefully next week I’ll be quicker in my next series post. Thanks all.
-RRR Bolt Up