On a rainy November day in Oakland—offically George Blanda Day—two ancient rivals faced off in a battle that was worthy their heritage. On this day, 61,000 fans of the Oakland Raiders were reintroduced to what has always been the most bitter rivalry in professional football, the Oakland Raiders vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.
On this day, The Raider Nation beaten and battered, bruised and demoralized after 8 years in the wilderness, rose from their caves in a wild fury born from collective frustration and passion for their team. Screaming so loud they forced the Chiefs at key moments to use hand signals and take false start penalties from inside their own 20 yard line when the game was on the line.
For the first time in my life I felt the Coliseum shake. As they have all year, the Raiders never gave up. The Raiders responded to scores by KC, coming from behind twice to finally win the game.
This is a gritty team that is in the process of finding itself. It seems every week someone rises to the occasion. In the 4th quarter, when the referees blew a call on what was called a fumbled punt, the Raiders found something deep inside when Jason Campbell hit Jacoby Ford, who made an incredible 29 yard catch. That was followed by and even longer diving 47 yard catch by Ford in overtime. Sebastian Janikowski was money and the Raiders won.
This is a gritty gut-bucket team that gives the Raider fans what they need a reason to believe in their team again.