I grew up an Oakland Raiders fan, or more accurately a Los Angeles Raiders fan at the time I became a fan. I had every NFL Film they put out. “The Autumn wind…” was my ringtone for a couple of years. I worshiped Marcus Allen. If a son ever were in my future, that would be his name. I still have the Jack Tatum jersey. I even had the Todd Marinovich one. One of my happiest days as a child was when Ronnie Lott became a Raider.
But I’ve also became the guy who now declares you should root for good people and good stories, not for specific teams. The Raiders play a part in that philosophy. They taught me even your favorite teams can be incompetent. Even you favorite teams can treat good people bad, and reward the bad people that don’t deserve it. The fandom becomes nostalgia more for nostalgia sake than for any sort of emotional dependency. I don’t want to be the guy making rationalizations when “my” running back beats a woman, or if “my” owner gets a rub and tug. I’d prefer to write them off and move on from any loyalty.
Still, the Raiders are only less than a four-hour drive away. I’d consider going if not for a couple of reasons. One, I made the trip to Champaign for the Nebraska game Saturday. Two weekends in a row might kill my liver.
But also, I was at the Raiders game in St. Louis in 2014. Well, almost half of it. I was sitting in the Broadway Oyster Bar before the second half even kicked off. I needed more whiskey than I could afford at ballpark prices. It was 38-nothing by halftime. It wound up 52-0. That was the brief Tony Sparono era, after Dennis Allen got fired earlier in the season. I mean, look at that box score in the link above. Shaun Hill torched them. Something called a Tre Mason had three touchdowns. Three interceptions, two fumbles. Over before it began.
Thank god for the Oyster Bar. Tre F’n Mason!
Also, the Colts are favored by 6 1/2.