The American Football Conference, composed primarily of teams from the original American Football League, makes up half of the current NFL’s 32 teams. These 16 AFC teams fight against each other year in year out, in a never ending battle for supremacy. Each season they face a few teams from the NFC, but every campaign during the regular season is composed primarily of games against one’s own conference.
That’s why as a Raiders fan you hear so much about teams like the Jets, Steelers, Dolphins, and Browns. And familiarity breeds contempt! Within our conference many rivalries have been bred in the post-season, where the most vicious battles are fought, in single elimination where one misstep means ejection. Ever since the days of the original American Football League, these gridiron wars against our closest foes have been rough. And the prize is the Lamar Hunt Trophy, which is awarded to the winner of the AFC Championship game.
Over the years the Raiders have become hated by the other AFL/AFC teams because of one reason: Dominance. Raiders hold winning records against nearly all of these teams, except the brand new ones that have come on line in the last few years. That’s why you hear non-stop Raider-hate from the media and other fans. They wouldn’t hate Oakland if we lost! Monday nights were always a terror for our AFC foes, and in the post-season Raiders demolished the hopes of so many over the years. To this day no team takes the Raiders lightly, because owner Al Davis is a sly fox, and he might just be one step away from creating another unstoppable team.
Because of the history of the AFC, and the brutality of the games fought season after season, there is no greater success than defeating the rest of the conference to win the AFC Championship Game. This is the highest of all the victories. Some say the Super Bowl is bigger, but I disagree. Who cares about smacking up some poor NFC franchise like the Redskins or Vikings? For Oakland Raider fans, beating the Steelers, Patriots, Titans or Colts in the AFC Championship game is so much sweeter. In real life we count a victory over our closest neighbors to be greater than a victory won in some far off land. Because when it’s all in the family, the stakes are that much higher!
The Oakland Raiders are in second place for most AFC Championship appearances with 11 times in that great game. In the years to come we must regain that top position, because the Lamar Hunt Trophy is the heritage, the inheritance, the Rightful Possession of the Oakland Raiders! By right of being the greatest of all the AFC teams, that trophy WILL be ours again!
Screw the Super Bowl, the AFC Championship Game is the greatest game of all, and I foresee the Raiders there again in the very near future!