A New Era in Oakland Will Never Change the Raiders Tradition
Terrell White – Apr 17, 2012
Holla At Me Raider Nation!
First, and foremost I want to apologize to you for not writing more. I have to be honest, I HATE the "off" season!! TOO MUCH ANTICIPATIONI!! Man, I can't wait for the draft to be over!! At least then we'll be able to look forward to some pre season games.
My main problem with this time of the season is that there's just TOO much speculation. One thing I've learned over the years is this: Speculation doesn't win football games.
Speaking of speculation: there's been a lot of that going around in Raider Nation over the past few months. Hey, I understand, reporters need something to talk about so they have to manufacture stories. One of these stories has something to do with how much the law firm of McKenzie & Allen are "changing" the Raiders.
The Raiders are changing? Really?
Personally when I see the word change it means that "someone" is making the effort to prepare the fans of the changing team for a losing season. Dominant, winning teams are not in the midst of "change". Only losing teams, with losing cultures are looking to make change!!
To me all this "change" talk is just media hype. Being a fan of Chuck D, and Public Enemy (a political rap group - for those of you who don't know) I've been trained: "Don't Believe The Hype". I didn't need anyone to put a positive spin (or a negative one for that matter) on acquisitions made by Al Davis, I don't need anyone putting a positive spin (or a negative one for that matter) on acquisitions made by Reggie McKenzie.
Positive spins don't win football games & negative spins don't stop you from winning football games.
The truth of the situation is that no matter what the hype is, or who's promoting it, we're not going to know for sure If Dennis Allen can handle the pressure that goes with being a first time head coach any better than Cable, or Jackson did until the season starts. Moreover, we're not going to know exactly how the team (and it's new members) will actually perform, until they play regular season games.
Everything else is just - speculation.
So, if you were expecting me to join the chorus and write about how much change is going on in Oakland, and how great it is - to quote another song from an infamous rapper (Biggie Smalls) "You're Dead Wrong."
My question is this: Changing the Raiders from what to what? Don't tell me that they're quote, unquote changing the Raiders from losers to winners because as far as I'm concerned the Oakland Raiders have never been "losers".
I'm fully expecting (and you should be too) for our team to pick up where it left off, which would be contending for the division title, and looking for another playoff berth. I know that the 2000's have been hard years for the Raiders, and their fans. However, surviving through hard times is something that's a Raider tradition.
You can't change Raider Tradition!!
Look at what the team had to go through before Al Davis, John Madden, and the Oakland Raiders were finally able to appear in (and win) a Super Bowl. Not to mention, that for every "Sea Of Hands" and "Holly Roller" game you've got an Immaculate Deception game to counter it.
I'd love to go back in time, and change the "tuck rule" game against the Patriots; Would we still be calling that New England team a "dynasty" if it were Oakland, and not Tom Brady winning that Super Bowl?? I would have LOVED for Bo Jackson to be in our back field for that playoff game in Buffalo! No four Super Bowl loses in a row for that Bills franchise!!!
Keeping with my theme, how differently would we be viewing the Raiders of the 2000's if the Eagles find a way to NOT lose another NFC Championship Game, and make it to the Super Bowl against the Raiders, instead of Gruden with Tony Dungy's Tampa Bay team?
This all would mean that the Oakland franchise would have at least five Super bowl Championships!! Question: Are we still talking about change then?? Or are we then talking about a "resurgence" like the way they are in San Francisco?
For the past two seasons the team has been very close to recapturing its former glory. Both prior head coaches Tom Cable, and Hue Jackson left the team after posting an 8-8 record. I personally felt that after their 8-8 seasons each man should have been given an opportunity to build upon the foundation they had laid (but I digress).
Never the less, as far as I'm concerned the bar has been set. 8-8 is the standard. Allen & Company CAN NOT come in here and go 6-10. Expectations for Oakland are too high right now, and NO ONE wants to take two steps back just to take one step forward.
Furthermore, the Raiders are never really going to change. The team is never going to be the west coast version of the Packers, the Patriots, the Broncos, or any other franchise for that matter. Do we in Raider Nation really want them to be??
The Raiders are a brand, they're a franchise like McDonald's or Burger King. Anyone who knows anything about a franchise knows that you can own one, BUT you can't change one!!
The Oakland Raiders are one of football's institutions. They're one of a handful of teams that the foundation of today's NFL is built upon, along with teams such as the Packers, the Steelers, the Cowboys, and the Giants.
Look at the list of teams I just left you with, and think about those franchises from their inception to now, has anyone of those teams really "changed"? Sure, they've all endured losing seasons, switching coaches, ownership, and in some cases even stadiums. However, what makes those teams (and the Raiders) unique, and vital to the NFL has not, nor will it ever change.
Long story short, the Packers are now, and always will be that team that the fans own. The Steelers have now, and always will be that "blue collar", tough, defensive team. The Cowboys have been, and always will be the team that thinks the rest of the country loves them. The Giants are always going to be "The G-Men"; The team that runs NYC, no matter what the Jets and Tim Tebow do.
As for our Oakland Raiders - They're always going to be "DAA RAAIIDDEERRSSS!!!!" The team that welcomes all who oppose to The Black Hole! The home of renegades & mavericks, the place where the fans come dressed in black, drink beer, and expect the team to take no prisoners!!
The Oakland Raiders are always going to be the team that thinks, and acts "outside of the box" looking for any angle or advantage. The Raider motto (unless they're looking to change this too) is "Just Win Baby!!" The how & the who quite frankly is not something we're worried about. I've been quoting infamous rappers so let's stick what that theme, quote 2Pac and say that, "Some things will never change."
Let's not lose sight of the Raider traditions & goals in the mist of all these so-called changes.
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