This just in from NBC’s Bob Costas about the upcoming Raiders-Chiefs game. See, everyone is taking note of the Raiders these days.
BOB COSTAS HALFTIME ESSAY
Football fans of a certain age can remember when every game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders was a big deal. Dating to the glory days of the old AFL and for a while, post-merger, they were actually the powers of their division. Their matchups were seen in primetime with Howard, Frank and Dandy Don on ABC. Or, in the late Sunday afternoon slot with NBC’s Curt Gowdy and Al Derogatis.
The “A” teams for what was then always an “A” game. Rumpled John Madden and dapper Hank Stram. Len Dawson and Daryl Lamonica… Fred Biletnikoff and Otis Taylor among their targets. Buck Buchanan and Ben Davidson… Willie Lanier and Ted Hendricks. A great and often bitter rivalry with a cast of characters the whole nation knew.
Well, it’s been a long time since the Chiefs were very good. And since a January 2003 Super Bowl appearance, the Raiders are a combined 33-87.
But wait… Now, Oakland’s won three out of four, which gets them to 4-4 just in time for a visit from the now 5-2 Chiefs. These teams sport no household names. And the last ongoing connection to their storied rivalry is Al Davis, apparently determined to go out with his boots on but whose team has surprisingly rebooted to the verge of contender status, giving this coming Sunday’s matchup at the Coliseum a certain throwback flavor. It might even be enough to spark a sellout so the Silver and Black can see the blackout lifted.
The Raiders and Chiefs in a meaningful game. Go figure. It’ll almost seem like old times.