Who are we?
Anyone else going through post Al Davis depression?
Sounds like a joke but im dead serious. For the first time since i was probably 6, i cant tell you every players name on our roster, where they come from, what there potential is or how they affect this football team. For the first time, i cant tell you every potential draft pick in every round and who would work for this team and should be picked. For the first time, i cant tell you who we play this upcoming year and even begin to project how we match up. The very moment i found out Al Davis passed away i knew right then that my beloved team would change. What i did not expect is that my love or devotion to that team would change right along with it.
Im sitting in my computer chair looking around the room at the plaques, helmets, jerseys and pictures hanging on my wall. With each image or item, just looking at it or thinking about them you can feel the passion build in my gut. My walls arent just filled with Raider greats, below the plaque of the Assassin sits a poster of Jay Shroeder, next to Marcus Allens jersey hangs an autographed jersey from Jerry Porter. Even players who werent that great on teams that were forgettable, i still feel attached and strongly to them because they were Raiders, they were family. Why dont i feel the same connection to the current Raiders that i have with teams of the past?
You cant say its the mystique, winning or losing etc.... because im only 35. The last time the Raiders were truly great, i was only 6 years old, that was the tail end of their league domination. I got too see a few winning years like 90 with Bo and Marcas as well as the Gruden years 2000-02 but everything else between that was pretty mediocre. i dont have the great memories of those teams that pretty much dominated this league year in year out from 1967 to about 1983. Ive seen the films, ive watched many of the rebroadcast games but in the end, those arent my memories, those arent the things that had me bleeding Silver and Black for the last 30 years. If winning was the key, what made me a die hard Raider fan through all of these losing years?
You dont have to dig very deep to find out that im an Al Davis fan. Pretty much anyone on this site will tell you that. I often criticized Al for the things he did or the way he ran this team but it was often let go because in the end i knew that ever one of those decisions was made in the best interest of this team. Right or wrong, there was nothing Al did that did not have the Raiders best interest at heart. As all things do, i knew his time would pass, as his time came to pass even i knew and expected things to change. I, the biggest Al Davis supporter was actually looking forward to a new way of doing things. I was ok with a more mainstream, more modern approach to running this franchise. I was even getting to the point that i looked forward to the day of more consistent players, fewer boom or bust guys, fewer reaches and all of this in the hope that we would have fewer down or mediocre years. Its odd, about the time i thought i was getting on board, i just woke up one morning and for the first time, i didnt even care!
Let me say that again, I dont care! I dont care who we draft! I dont care who we sign! I dont care who we let go or who we decide to keep! I know its only march but right now, i dont care who we play because i truly dont care how many games we win!
WTF IS THAT??????
You see, after alot of soul searching ive come to this conclusion or theory.
-Im a fan of the players but the players arent the reason im a Raider fan.
-Im a fan of the mystique but thats not the reason im a Raider fan.
-Im a fan of the legend, the history and so on but thats not the reason im a Raider fan.
-Im a fan of the colors, shield and uniforms but thats not why im a Raider fan.
-Im a huge fan of Al Davis but again, thats not why im a Raider fan.
You see, after its all stripped away theres only one reason i can think of that i am and have been a Raider fan for most of my life. THE PASSION!
That passion that drives you to do things a little impulsively. That passion that at any moment you could sign any player that could potentially make your team better. That passion that regardless of the price tag, if that player could potentially improve your football team, the checkbooks open. That passion if a coach isnt doing his job, he will be replaced, at any moment. That passion that causes you to make decisions based on what makes you better now, not what may or may not be better financially down the road. That passion that regardless of what others say or think, you follow through with because you know its whats best for you. That passion where you beliefs are driven in what you feel, not what everyone else thinks it should be. A passion that allows you to accumulate players based on the potential you see rather than what others think......etc....etc.....I could go on all day with that.
In no way am i saying the way Al Davis did things was the right way or the best way, all im saying is that "that way", that passion is why im a Raiders fan. The passion i have for this team stems from the passion that our previous owner had for it. A passion that lead him to do things that were sometimes right and often wrong but always in the best interest of winning and this team! 12 months a year it was exciting to be a Raider fan because any hour of any day in any week, something could happen. I am a Raider fan because of the Raider way. It may not be the right way but the win at all costs, other opinions be damned is what i live and loved about this team.
Now, we are like the rest of the league!
All in the hopes of having a better future that may never come!
Just like the rest of the league!
Am i alone in struggling to find our identity or even invest in the hope that we will ever have one again?