Raider Nation, believe it or not, this is the beginning of a new era for the Raiders, their fans and NFL in general. Like any new age, it is out with the old, and with that, mentalities will change. I’m not just talking about location either. I am talking about the league and their crony referees blowing games. Let’s look at the most important rivalry in the history of the franchise, shall we?
Raiders vs NFL
The tension goes back to the Raiders inception, when they joined the AFL. It worsened once Al Davis took over and kept the NFL on their toes. Some back-stabbing by Lamar Hunt, and back-peddling from other owners brought the leagues merger.
Make no mistake though, Davis had them scared and deserves a lot of credit for the merger due to his managing force of the AFL, which was a threat to the NFL. They sought out other owners, probably knowing deep down Davis was going to bury them. At the end, it worked, and he became known as public enemy #1 to the NFL.
He embraced that role and like a true Raider, he took what he wanted, when he wanted and built his empire by bringing in like-minded men and spit in the face of the league every chance he got. His philosophy: hit them and hit them hard.
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That philosophy brought a lot of fear and respect along the way, but it also brought a lot of pain for his brand. Davis’ main goal was a new stadium, his own stadium, and he relocated twice to get as close to that as possible. He had opportunities, but there was no sharing, the man was set in his ways. Davis created the Raiders mystique, he owned it, and he breathed it. All his players and all other personnel and family looked up to him because of it.