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Thread: Let's be brutally honest

  1. #1

    Let's be brutally honest

    I have to admit something. I am not as huge of a "Raiders fan" as I used to be. I'm wondering if other long-term fans feel the same way.

    For years, decades actually, I would not miss watching a game. I "lived" when the Raiders won, and "died" a little when they lost. I started following the Raiders in 1967, watching their first Super Bowl appearance with my dad on TV and started rooting for the team. They were different. They were bad asses, which I loved. From 1967 to 2002, they were winning a lot more than they ever lost. In the 70s they were probably the winningest team in professional football. In the 80s, with two Super Bowl victories, they had dominant teams in the first half of the decade. Jim Plunkett, Marcus Allen and Howie Long were GREAT Raiders, as was Cliff Branch. In the early 2000s, they returned to dominance with Rich Gannon and Tim Brown leading the way.

    And then the Raiders faded into mediocrity. Year after year of losing seasons, with an occasional winning season interspersed with all of the losing. Jamarcus Russell. Damon Arnette. Henry Ruggs. The list goes on and on. Players were paid big dollars or drafted high, but never performed. Coaching changes. Personnel changes. Things changed, but the team's prospects didn't.

    They became a perennial loser. The NFL has became "corporate." Nearly every team is the same. The Raiders really don't have an identity, at least not an identity that is that much different from other teams. The Raiders don't play anyone in the Coliseum, where you got up close with players and fans. Now, the Raiders play in a fancy new stadium. Don't get me wrong, I still love the Raiders and I'm glad the Raiders finally have a stadium they can be proud of, but something has changed within me. Maybe I've grown up. Maybe I see life a little differently, but it's just not the same.

    Sure, I watch the games when I can, but I am not going to shell out a couple hundred dollars for the ability to see the team play every week. Why spend so much to be disappointed so often? Besides, whether I watch or not, they will win or lose, and life goes on. Sure, I enjoy watching the games, but I don't care anymore if I watch every game like I did up until the past couple of years. I think the last jersey I bought was Derek Carr's. Most likely it was one of the all-time Raiders'. I'm not even sure if I want to shell out a couple of thousand dollars to travel to Vegas to sit in the stadium in a good seat, after I sat in the Black Hole in the Coliseum so many times.

    To me, Derek Carr after his injury couldn't carry the jock strap of the all-time Raider greats who stood in the pocket, took a hit to the jaw and willed their teams to win. He played it safe. I know we've all been over this, but this is a microcosm of the NFL as a whole now. Very very few players love the game anywhere close to how much they love the money, I believe. When those of us who are a little older played football, we played purely for the love of the game. I always felt that the old-time Raiders did, too. They LOVED playing football and they LOVED playing for the Silver and Black. Of course, teams change their rosters so much anymore all you have is a few players who are with the same team each and every year. They are the "stars" getting the mega million dollar contracts. I used to know all of the players' numbers, stats, college and age. One almost needs a program anymore to know names of half the players because the roster changes season to season, even month to month so much.

    What is this team's identity? It's basically become New England west. I want this team to win, I really do. But with the salary cap, the balance within the league, the NFL has got what it wanted -- a bland product in which the worst team in the league is not that much worse than the best team. Sure, there's high scoring, but where is the defense? You might see one or two teams that put a great defense on the field, but a great defense anymore typically only gets a few stops each game against even the worst teams in the league. The rules are designed so that offenses rule, defenses struggle. The only difference between one team and another is that the best teams have a couple more elite players and a few more very good players. Every team looks much like the other. Other than the uniforms and the teams' histories, is there that much difference between the Raiders and the Steelers or the Cardinals for that matter?

    I'm just putting this out there, getting a few thoughts off my chest this morning.

    I still love the Raiders. I still bleed a little Silver and Black. Maybe I would feel differently if they start winning again, but even then I think it will be different. Maybe fans who have been following the Raiders just a few years don't see it, but I bet anything that long-time Raider fans do. I'm wondering if you feel the same.

    Thanks everyone.

  2. #2
    Your age probably has a lot to do with it. The older I've gotten the less interested I've become in committing entire weekends to watching football, whether they're winning or losing.

  3. #3
    im in teh same boat and a lot of it has to do with age, why watch a raider game and be pissed off all day after we lost another close one...

    ps i'll still watch some of the games and have attended a few games (new stadium is beautiful) but raiders no longer consume me

  4. #4
    Same here. I use to be pissed off all Sunday and into Monday. Now I watch if I can and if not, so be it. The last 20 years got old real quick.

  5. #5
    I seem to enjoy the process of trying to see the Raiders improve more than the games sometime with all the losing. We were so spoiled in the 70s and early 80s when winning the Division was automatic and we would wait to play Pittsburgh or Miami to get over the hump.

    Its just natural as we get older to take sports with a grain of salt because in the big picture its not that important.

    But its funny, Bass and 41 are avid Raider

  6. #6
    Cant disagree with any of the above. I remember a time when my team would lose whether it be the Dodgers, Lakers or Raiders, I would have to take long walks to cool off. As I have gotten older, now approaching 60, sports in general have lost its grip on me. The NBA lost me first all together and MLB only begins to catch my attention in September but football has still been my goto. I still read these forums daily and I am always curious what happens in the offseason but dang, once the season begins.....I`m mildly disappointed and begin all too early to start thinking about the off season again. The last 20 years have almost left me numb. Funny, some of these Raider forums have done more to keep my interest in the Raiders than the team itself lol

  7. #7
    I'm a football fan first, college and pro, and a Raiders' fan second. I enjoy football and it's the only sport I can watch any two teams play. I'll look to watch The Raiders (or Bears) first, but if there is a better match-up available I will put that on. I want The Raiders to win, but when they lose I have other things to worry about.

  8. #8
    I fell for this team in the 76-77 season. I was living in a Bronco dominated area and I remember the Raiders coming through and beating them like a drum. I recall the pure hatred those A Holes had towards the Raiders. Deranged anger. I was hooked. Great players. Cast offs and outlaws but excellent players. I loved Stork. I loved the Soul patrol secondary, Snake, Matuzak, Sistrunk the list goes on Branch, Billitnikoff….. the 80s were great. More exceptional players. The end of the 91 season was the end for a while. Then Gruden era was great. Been SHIT since. I used to be consumed by the Raiders, lived and died. That’s been gone for me for about 20 years. I watch, I love the team, but I’m not consumed anymore.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rabidraider View Post
    I seem to enjoy the process of trying to see the Raiders improve more than the games sometime with all the losing. We were so spoiled in the 70s and early 80s when winning the Division was automatic and we would wait to play Pittsburgh or Miami to get over the hump.

    Its just natural as we get older to take sports with a grain of salt because in the big picture its not that important.

    But its funny, Bass and 41 are avid Raider
    i record a lot of the games now and watch em knowing the outcome so im not so damn pissed lol

  10. #10
    Love the team win lose or draw, I just don't stress about if they win or lose. Used to get up at like 2 am when i was deployed to check the scores the rare occasions we had internet but now i just am like "shrug whatever".

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