CHIEFS WEEK IS HERE! This is my top rivalry for the Raiders and it always means just a little more than against any other team. For me this rivalry all stems back to my childhood. I was named after Marcus Allen and I was raised to love the Raiders and hate the Chiefs.
Not many things were more upsetting to me as a young'n as my namesake leaving the Silver and Black to don that red jersey and for him to call Arrowhead home. It was only years later that I got a small amount of solace for Marcus Allen leaving for KC, and that was when the Raiders got Rich Gannon from KC and he turned out to be an MVP quarterback. Both instances simply reinforced this rivalry for all of us fanatics that are indisputably emotionally involved.
Another reason this rivalry always means a little bit more is how intense the games always are. The records never mean anything in this game, it is always hotly contested. These teams love to hate each other and it shows up time and time again with rough and tumble performances by both teams. They punch each other in the mouth the way that football is suppose to be played.
This year's first meeting against each other is a huge one. The Kansas City Chiefs are 5-0 and tied with the dominant Denver Broncos for first place in the suddenly stout AFC West. The Raiders on the other hand are 2-3 right now with a chance to be at .500 with a win. That might not be as huge as being undefeated is but for a team unanimously thought of as the worst team in the league this off-season it is still big.
The thing about this rivalry that is always so fun is that the players and coaches embrace it too. That is the sign of a true historical rivalry. Even brand new people that have never been a part of this rivalry before come in and immediately understand how big of a deal it is, just listen to new KC head coach Andy Reid.
"It’s Raiders week, and I’m all about rivalries. It’s exciting. I know our fans are going to be completely crazy. I’ve got it. Our players will be fired up, too."
Dennis Allen is a man of very little words so he doesn't have any great quotes about this rivalry but he knows too how big this is. It is a game that will be even more emotional for him since the last time he coached against the Chiefs was his first win after taking his father off of life support. Whether he says anything of note or not this game will always mean something more to him because of that and it adds yet another storyline onto this historic rivalry.
Now this rivalry may have lost some of its panache over the years due to both teams having struggled over the past decade, give or take a decent year here and there. That doesn't mean the rivalry is disappearing though, and this can be the game that restores that rivalry to its proper place at the top of the rivalry lists.
There was once a day where this rivalry was as good as it gets. Len Dawson against George Blanda and Lamar Hunt against Al Davis, it just doesn't get better than that. Those days are long gone but these teams are still here, still facing each other twice a year, and their fans still understand and remember what this rivalry means.
It means passionate, hard nosed football brought to you by teams founded by the most influential owners this league has and will ever see. The NFL is what it is today because of Al Davis and Lamar Hunt, nobody can deny that statement it's truth. These teams face each other every year and the truth of that statement plays out on the field and in the stands.
We all embrace this game in a way outsiders don't understand and try to tear down, they try to forget. We will not let them forget this rivalry no matter how hard they try. This league is better when the Raiders vs Chiefs rivalry is alive and well. This league is better when both teams are doing well and respected, and from the looks of it those days are just around the corner. If the Raiders win this game then those days may in fact already be back.