Thursday, July 13, 2006

Oakland Raiders Articles

Normally I try not to post articles found elsewhere, at least not the entire article. But when it comes to the Oakland Raiders and Al Davis, God Bless his Soul, I just can't seem to help myself.

This first part is a "Did You Know?" type quickie about Al. We Raider fans know this and more about the man who's made it all possible. But many football fans of other teams may not know this. So that people may get a better understanding of our unconditional love and respect for Al Davis the man, I give you the following:

Raiders owner Al Davis is the only person to have served as a player personnel assistant, an assistant coach, a head coach, a general manager, a league commissioner and the principal owner of an NFL team.

The other article I came across discusses current NFL rivalries. Guess who's at the top of the list? And guess who our opponent is? Just Read Baby!

Ultimate NFL: Current team rivalries

(Editor's Note: The theme of the November-December issue of NFL Insider is Ultimate Football — as in our Ultimate Football Lists of the greatest quarterbacks, running backs, coaches, rivalries, and more in NFL history. We made only one concession: Active players and coaches are ranked separately from those who are retired.)

1. Raiders vs. Anyone
Every team in the league can agree on this: They all hate the Raiders, and it doesn't matter why. For the Chiefs, it's a club tradition handed down from Hank Stram. For the Broncos, it's a Mike Shanahan-Al Davis thing. The Chargers, even when their season is wasted, can find pleasure in besmirching the silver and black. It's only a matter of time before the Houston Texans get angry, too.

2. Ravens vs. Titans
The Ravens say that Eddie George is a 240-pound sissy. The Titans say the Ravens' motto is "Commitment to Arrogance." This is one AFC matchup that literally can be described as a collision every time it takes place. Even the coaches — Brian Billick and Jeff Fisher — have exchanged words. There is not much chance that anything will change — not as long as each team keeps dredging up memories of last season's bitter divisional playoff game.

3. Buccaneers vs. Packers
There are nasty rivalries and there are not-so-nasty ones. This one is remarkably civil, thanks largely to the appreciation the Buccaneers' Warren Sapp has for the Packers' Brett Favre even as he slams him into the turf — and the respect Favre shows for Sapp even after he sidesteps a sack and completes a 60-yard bomb. So who said rivals had to despise each other?

4. Jaguars vs. Steelers
Shortly after the Jaguars arrived as the new kids on the block, they quickly put an end to Pittsburgh's reign atop the AFC Central. The proud old Steelers (think "Steel Curtain") haven't settled for being also-rans. Mix in a little Xs-and-Os espionage — Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin likes to sign Steelers castoffs and pick their brains before the two teams play-and you have the definition of divisional enemies.

5. Bills vs. Dolphins
If you lived in Buffalo, you'd resent the sun worshippers, too. But weather's only part of this feud, which reached its heights in the days of Jim Kelly and Dan Marino. It has survived into the 21st century because both franchises keep fielding competitive teams. The Dolphins swept the series last year, but they still are steamed about 1999, when their only two losses in the first nine games both were Bills productions.

Republished from the November-December issue of NFL Insider Magazine.

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