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The Empire Strikes Back

While the Chargers won consecutive AFL Western Division titles, Oakland's record from 1960-62 was a miserable 9-33. Times were good for the Chargers, and the Raiders were just another certain win on the schedule. The Chargers won the first ten games in the series with the Raiders, including six regular season games.

Then in 1963, when Al Davis became the Raiders' new head coach, the team's fortunes were reversed both rapidly and dramatically. From a 1-13 mark in 1962, Oakland improved to 10-4 in 1963. They swept the Chargers in the regular season, and Davis was named the AFL coach of the year. Since that time, the Raiders' destiny has been the exclusive responsibility of Davis. He stressed a "commitment to excellence" for his entire organization, and he urged his players to "just win, baby." Starting in 1965, the Raiders posted winning records in 19 of the next 20 years. In the 30-year period dating back to when Davis took over in 1963 up through 1992, the Raiders' winning percentage of 0.661, with 285 victories, ranked as the best among all major sports teams. Yeah, yeah, whatever.

Enough said. Davis' departure to the dark side touched off a bitter rivalry that is unparalleled in sports. No other NFL teams share such a common origin as the Chargers and Raiders. Unfortunately, this tale does not have a happy prodigal son ending. Since 1963, the Charger-Raider wars have epitomized the struggle between good and evil. For hard-core Charger fans, Al Davis and the Raiders are the enemy. We hate the Raiders above all other teams.

Yeah, "commitment to excellence", "just win, baby" and "winningest sports franchise" - (yawn) this is now nothing but old Raider propaganda. In the 90's, the Raiders have been excellently bad. Behind only the Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints, the Raiders have the third longest current playoff drought - last making the playoffs in 1993. Since 1993, the Raiders have a 0.458 winning percentage, while often playing against a fifth place schedule.

True story - are you interested in comedy videos? Then see any Raider year-in-review video from the past several seasons. These videos show amazing game highlights of Raiders rushing for over 100 yards, passing for over 300 yards and devastating opposing offenses. With such a display of dominance, you're lead to believe that the Raiders are unstoppable. Yet, the narrator concludes most game highlights by saying, "except for (this or that) the Raiders would have won the game." Huh? The Raider spin-doctors will then spend only half the video on a review of the past losing season, and the other half is spent on highlights of the "great" Raiders of the past - CUT! Did I miss something here? How did a year-in-review change to a Raider propaganda documentary? Too funny. This stuff should be nominated for academy awards in comedy and special effects.

Now the Raiders of the late 90's are more like the Raiders of 1960-62 that we loved so much!

The Raiders continues with ... Bloodlines

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The Bolt Pride Experience originated in 1992

Updated on December 27, 2015
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