Two weeks ago the football world bore witness to the rebirth of one of the great rivalries in all of sports as the Oakland Raiders beat the Kansas City Chiefs in a thriller. This week, yet another vintage rivalry gets new life as the Raiders roll into Pittsburgh.
These days, it is hard to ignore the Silver and Black. Media outlets worldwide are making their way to the East Bay as the most infamous franchise in American sports has worked its way back into the national conscience. One year ago the Raiders were nothing more than a punchline. Well, who’s laughing now? Those few that are still chuckling are being drowned out by the sobs heard in Denver, Kansas City and San Diego.
Just to prove how fascinated the media has become with the Raiders, I offer you L.A. Times columnist Sam Farmer’s article that appeared in print today. Farmer proclaims the Raiders-Steelers clash to be among the must watch games of the weekend.
And maybe the most interesting one? Oakland at Pittsburgh — an old-school rivalry renewed; a showdown that wasn’t as eye-catching at the beginning of the season because few people thought the Raiders still would be relevant at this point.
In fact, the Raiders are more than simply relevant. They have won four of five and are in a first-place tie with Kansas City — a team Oakland has beaten — atop the AFC West.
Those that know the history between these two franchises didn’t need a hype man to sell them on this game. Even before the Raiders stunned the Steelers last year, fans in both cities were exited at the prospects of seeing two of pro football’s most iconic franchise do battle.
Of course, that was then and this is now.
As Farmer points out, the Raiders aren’t flying below the radar this time around.
Last season, the Raiders shocked the Steelers by beating them in Pittsburgh, dropping them to 6-6. There’s no more element of surprise for the Raiders.
Get ready, Nation! While it will be hard to top the dramatics of last year’s clash, I have a feeling we’re going to see another classic.