In 1997, the Labour Party had a comprehensive victory in the United Kingdom general election, ending 18 years of Conservative yoke largely through "Third Way" policies, which blended social democratic programs with free-market economic rationalism. While this was hardly a new idea - my own country's Labor governments of the 1980s and early 90s took a similar path, as did Bill Clinton - by giving it a name, UK Labour won their first election in a generation and made a political superstar out of Tony Blair.
And now you're probably wondering what this has to do with the Raiders. Here's where.
Remember when it was "the Raider way?" above all (except, of course, "just win baby")? What about the old quote "there are 31 teams in the NFL and there's the Oakland Raiders?" Not any more. As hard as it for us to admit, the day Al Davis passed away was the day the Oakland Raiders became just another NFL franchise. A franchise with a unique mystique and storied history, yes, but still just another franchise with such a past.
However, that isn't to say that the hiring of Reggie McKenzie - a former Raider but one who has spent his entire NFL front office career to this point in Green Bay - and subsequent firing of Hue Jackson, the last true connection to Al Davis and a devotee of Mr Davis' preferred offense - means that the Raider Way is dead and buried to be replaced with what some are already calling "Packers West", a tag aided by rumours Green Bay LB coach/assistant head coach Winston Moss is on track to be our next HC.
Instead, what I believe we will see is football's equivalent of the Third Way playing out with the Raiders. Mark, Reggie and everyone else associated with the Raiders knows the value of the Raider ethos and mystique beyond mere abstracts. While there is room for some flexibility and adjustment - a new defensive scheme here, a tweak to the offense there - the basic ethos (be bigger/stronger/faster than everyone, hit the opposing quarterback and hit him hard) will surely remain. What we will see is the Raider Way adapted and brought into a new era where offenses can score on anything and defenses can stop anything. In effect, the way of the Raider and the highly effective Packer methods Reggie is well versed in, along with whatever our new HC (wherever he may be from/whoever he may be) brings to the table will all come together to lead the Silver and Black into the future and create the next Raider dynasty.
I'll probably write more on this as time passes, but right now I have more pressing matters to attend to. That is, responf to DVD trolling me on Twitter and polishing off this bottle of Sobieski. Cut, of course, with Kool-Aid.
Peace out bitchez.