Ranking the Bay Area’s Pro Sports Teams Part II
August 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes (18) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the St. Louis Rams during the second quarter in a preseason NFL football game at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
#4. Oakland Raiders
The culture-filled and historical Oakland Raiders land on number four of my list. One of the drawbacks of the Raider franchise is the fact that they left the Bay Area for Los Angeles in 1982, and did not return to Oakland until the 1995 season. The confusion and horrors that the Oakland front-office has caused, including the recent rumors of moving back to Los Angeles with a new stadium, in recent times has hurt their image and respect of the franchise.
Throughout the abysmal past 14 seasons, it is hard to remember that the Silver and Black have been one of the most historical franchises in the entire NFL. Some of the greatest players and coaches, such as John Madden, Howie Long, Al Davis, and Tim Brown, played and coached their careers for the Raiders, and their accolades have made the Raiders who they are today. Since the AFL-NFL merger of 1970, the Raiders have won three Super Bowls (Super Bowl XI, Super Bowl XV, and Super Bowl XVIII), which is tied for fourth for all-time for total Super Bowl victories by a single franchise.
The biggest problem has been the horrific past decade that the Raiders organization has had to go through. The unprofessional and embarrassing performances by Al Davis and others have made them into a laughing stock of the league. However, Raider Nation has stayed faithful and are still considered one of the loudest crowds in the entire NFL. In an interview with Paul Gutierrez of ESPN, Hall of Fame defensive end Howie Long said,
“We want to win. The Raider fans deserve it. The Raider players deserve it, even my organization deserves it. You have to win and you have to win with a vision for the Super Bowl. That’s our passion here.”
Aug 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; A fan of the Oakland Raiders holds a sign that reads “Stay in Oakland” during the preseason NFL game against the St. Louis Rams at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
For the first time in over a decade, the Raider faithful have something to look forward to this 2015 season. Second year quarterback Derek Carr showed immense potential and flashes of brilliance in his rookie campaign, as did running back Latavius Murray, and the drafting of wide receiver Amari Cooper sets Oakland up with very young and talented offensive weapons.
In order for the Raiders to move up in my list, they have to earn back the respect of the league and start winning the right way.