One of the great pleasures of West Coast living is that Sundays become an institution. If you’re trying to see every second of football possible you’d better be up and at em hella early, baby!
While watching the Raiders is a commitment no matter the time, day or location actually playing for the Raiders at any specific time, day or location is tricky. In fact most every West Coast team experiences the pain of having to fly cross-country and play at what would normally be 10am for their body clocks. The poor showings are well documented in the handbook of sports betting.
This Sunday the Silver and Black are making that very jump across every US Time zone for a Sunday matinee that will feel more like breakfast to most members of the roster. And, yeah, there’s an undefeated Atlanta Falcons team to deal with. No big deal, they’re only being hyped as an elite level Super Bowl contender. It will pretty much be like playing the Cleveland Browns if they didn’t suck.
Naturally this is not Oakland’s first experience this season with an East Coast start time. And it most definitely won’t be the last. The Raiders will make the Time Zone hop three more times after Sunday.
Dennis Allen’s approach to handling the situation is to treat his roster like the men they are. Raider Nation doesn’t need to be reminded to set our clocks early so why should the Raiders need the same? We’ve all been there and done that as we pretty much do that every Sunday any way.
Allen isn’t making his team practice earlier to simulate what it will feel like. He’s relying on the game plan and execution to compensate for any time adjustments necessary. Once the clock starts to tick on Sunday the excuse of cross-country travel becomes null. This is pro football. Just win, baby and all that jazz.
With the Raiders reeling at 1-3 and the Falcons soaring at 5-0, the West Coast curse is really the least of our concerns. We’re in the same boat as the Raiders on Sunday only difference is the Nation’s collective commute home won’t feel nearly as long if the worst case scenario happens. Then again, if the best result possible occurs the Raiders return trip to Oakland will feel like the fastest cross-country flight ever.