On Raider Fandom

Okay, we all know that the raiders aren't going to be very good this year. Actually, not all us know this, there are still people out there that are drinking the annual preseason koolaid. In previous years, I too had fallen into this trap. Heck, I would buy the latest Madden every year and play it like crazy. That is until the Raiders started another losing season.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Raiders as much as the next fan, but this team just doesn't have the skill to compete. However, I do think they are better than they were last year at almost every position, except for Quarterback (and with Veldheer's injury, Left Tackle).

Now before you start your raging comments about Tight End and maybe DLine, let's look at all those specific situations. First, Tight End. I'm may be alone, but I will always have a soft spot for Zach Miller. Even when the Elephant was throwing him passes, he still gave his all and never quit. Did anyone else get that same aura from Brandon Myers? I see Myers as a product of our offensive scheme and lack of production from the receiving corps. Furthermore, the Raiders had no right in paying him what the Giants did to stay on this team.

Tommy Kelly and Seymour were simply paid too much for too little production. They both had bad contracts from Al and had to go.

I like what Reggie is building, as our team looks faster and more athletic than it was last year, but they are still very raw. And this year we do not have a good QB to mask all of our offensive inefficiencies. Yes, I said it, Carson Palmer was a good quarterback. I still can't believe that people refuse to accept this, but I guess haters gonna hate.

The current badness of the team is what brings me to the point if this post: Why do I keep coming back year after year when I have never seen the Raiders having a winning season?

I am currently a senior in high school, and I really started watching football in 2004. Of course I remember watching two games from before 2004. Those would be the Super Bowl and the Tuck Rule game. Yes, the two worst games of this millennium are the only ones that I remember.

Unlike all the other old timer, like my dad, I have never followed a good Raiders team. My dad always tells me of his memories from each Super Bowl, and how great each one was. Because of my age, I feel confident in saying that I have never seen a Raider great play live. No Otto, Hayes, Tatum, Lamonica, Plunkett, Madden, Guy, etc. The list really goes on and on, and none of them have played during my lifetime even. (Unless you count Gannon and Woodson)

This really hit me while watching my Giants win some World Series recently. There I was watching the next great Giant, Buster Posey, lead his team to two titles. The Raiders haven't had anyone like that in years. Furthermore, the joy of your favorite team winning a title cannot be explained. I only wish this would happen to the team I follow the closest.

Even though the Raiders have been so bad for so long, I still could never imagine rooting for another NFL team. I remember when I was really little and still in the glory supporter phase, I decided I was done with the Raiders. So I wrote down every team and then crossed them out until I found my "new favorite team." It was the Jaguars. Looking back on it, it is obvious that I have a penchant for bad teams.

But the whole "new team" idea didn't feel right, so I never went through with the plan.

Recently, I have spent time thinking about why I could never be a fan of another team, and the reason is my dad. We have boned over sports, and it would devastate him and myself if I switched teams. We have been through the highs (2 World Series, 4 NBA championships), and the lows (the Raiders loss in Arizona where Jano missed his only kick of his career, Tuck Rule, Super Bowl) together.

Now I know that I will never, ever leave my Raiders. So get better soon, and let me be able to tell my kid of my memories of the last great Raiders team!

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