Raiders Versus Niners
Oakland is the smaller city, seemingly always in the shadow of its more cosmopolitan neighbor across the Bay. The perception these days seems to be that San Francisco’s 49ers are the classy, polished team of the elite, whereas the Raiders are the grimier, more blue-collar team of the roughneck East Bay. Whether this is true or not is up for debate, but there’s no question that 9ers and Raiders fans always have plenty to argue about, particularly which team has the edge on glory and victory in the NFL!
The 49ers are the older team, and have two more Super Bowl wins to their name, so in that sense they have a lot to be proud of. The Raiders are the new kids on the block, but their decades of winning seasons and championship games throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s really built a reputation of invincibility.
However, these days both teams have been in a slump, and neither has won the division since the 2001 season, when both teams went deep into the playoffs. In fact, the 49ers were in the NFC Championship Game against the Tampa Bay Bucs, and if they had won that game the 2002 Super Bowl would have been the long awaited Battle of the Bay between SF and Oakland! However, it was not to be, and we must not dwell on that particular game. All Bay Area residents look forward to the day when both teams finally meet in the Super Bowl, which will provide bragging rights for an eternity to come.
Neither the 49ers nor the Raiders have been selling out their games for quite a few years now, which leads us to question why the Bay Area doesn’t support these teams. Part of the answer is that there are only 3 million residents here, with two pro football teams within 10 miles of each other. A city like New York or Los Angeles could perhaps support two teams, but the Bay just doesn’t have the density to really do that. Some say that a few winning seasons would go a long way to bringing back the crowds. And if you look at the history, the Bay Area dominates the whole western USA in terms of pro football achievements, with 8 Super Bowl wins between our two teams, so there’s a lot of potential fans out here.
Another issue is that both teams have pretty old stadiums that aren’t filled with amenities. Perhaps Al Davis is right to suggest that 9ers and Raiders combine their cash and build a stadium together so that they can share the costs and make a magnificent ball park. That might work, but then again, don’t hold your breath.
In the 2010 season the Raiders and Niners met in one of the ugliest regular season games ever. Both teams were horrible, and despite having talented players it was just horrible to watch. SF was slightly less horrible and pulled out a win. I think the fans expected much more and everyone probably wants to just forget it ever happened. For Raiders fans it was terrible to think that this game and the Cardinal game, both of which should have been won by any competent team, were all the prevented us from winning the division and going to the playoffs instead of the Chiefs….
However, we need not dwell on the past, except to thank the 49ers for some of the greatest Raiders ever, Jim Plunkett and Jerry Rice. We couldn’t have done it without you Frisco! And next time our teams meet prepare for payback like never before…