Let it never come to be! Those of us who love Raider football probably couldn’t live long without it. Too much history, too much emotion, too much blood, sweat and tears shed by players and fans alike over the years.
However, we have to begin to grapple with the fact that our Commander in Chief, Al Davis, is a mere mortal. He may be determined to live forever, but we know that there is an end for all of us someday. He said as much at his last press conference, and acknowledged that he may last for years to come and he may not.
What will life be like without our leader at the helm? We’ve had the benefit of his leadership all these years, but the downside is that there is no clear chain of command. Al Davis IS the Raiders. Who will take the burden of blame, of praise, and of ownership once he is gone?
Other teams are more like corporations, quickly shuffling players out the door when used up, and switching executives at the whim of the latest management trends, attempting to extract all the “value” they can from the fans as quickly as possible. The Raiders aren’t like that. Synergy between fans, coaches, and players creates a family that has many conflicts, but has a loyalty that is unlike any other team.
I’ve been told that Al Davis’s will says that the Raiders are to be disbanded and the team name retired upon his death. Upon reflection, there is a certain poetry to this. A beginning and an end, and conclusion to this never ending up and down battle on the gridiron. If indeed that is Mr. Davis’s decision, then the people of the Raider Nation will stand by it, and retire from the field forever.
On the other hand, Oakland needs her Raiders, and what better tribute to times past than future victories! Without the Raiders the NFL is a lost and lonely place. It could be the end of pro football period! The Raiders MUST live on to give well deserved beatdowns to our foes in the AFC West and across the league! They can’t have the last laugh, Raiders foundation is solid as granite, and the legacy of victory will propel this team for decades to come.
When Al Davis dies, the Raider Nation does too. Long Live the Raider Nation!