Oakland Raiders: Even In Victory, Broncos Fans Find Reason To Whine


The Oakland Raiders dropped a tough game to arguably, their most hated division rival – the Denver Broncos. It was a game that was there for the taking for Oakland, it was a chance to keep pace with Denver, and it was a chance for the Raiders to make a statement not just to the Broncos, but to the NFL as a whole – that the times are a-changin’ and the Autumn Wind has returned.

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Of course, we all know how things turned out. Two missed field goals by Sebastian Janikowski and a missed communication between Derek Carr and Seth Roberts that turned in pick-six by Broncos corner Chris Harris cemented Oakland’s eighth straight loss to Denver.

It was a hard fought game with the Raiders finally playing solid defense for sixty minutes, and the offense – for the most part – holding their own against the league’s top rated defense. The Raiders stood toe to toe with the Broncos took their best shots. If not for their own inability to finish what they’d started thanks to a few mental gaffes, the conversations this week would likely have been very different.

Would have. Could have. Should have.

Unfortunately, the Raiders did make those mental gaffes and it cost them another game. One would think that the Broncos and their faithful would have been happy enough to have escaped the Black Hole with the win that moved them to 5-0 and put them in control – for now – of the AFC West. Apparently though, you would be wrong to think that. Denver apparently, expected the Raider Nation to pay them the proper reverence and deference. Apparently, Denver expected the denizens of the Black Hole to bow down in supplication.

Or so it would seem based on the reaction in the aftermath.

Ian McCue, writing for 247Sports penned an article in which he took exception to the treatment the Broncos – and in particular, Chris Harris – received when the cornerback returned Carr’s interception for the touchdown.

"“As you can see, quite a few fans in silver and black have their hands blurred out. That’s because those fans offered Harris a one-finger salute to convey their feelings on his game-changing turnover (I count at least eight of them). Not the best look for Oakland fans.”"

That’s right, McCue – and based on the comment threads in various other articles – the Broncos faithful are a little upset about the fact that fans in the stands didn’t shower Harris with rose petals, champagne, and chants of “great play, Chris!” Perhaps he expected fans to carry Harris off the field on their shoulders?

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The incessant whining coming out of the Mile High City over the fact that the Raider Nation offered Harris and the Broncos a flip of the bird rather than invitations to a celebratory dinner or whatever Denver fans expected is as hypocritical as it is ridiculous. Inside the cozy confines of their own stadium, the Broncos fans are just as loud, just as rude, and just as rowdy as Oakland fans are.

Though they don’t like to talk about it, Broncos fans have flipped just as many birds as Raiders fans have.

Granted, Raiders fans lobbing a bird isn’t as flashy or potentially injurious as Broncos fans firing a snowball – and according to former Raiders lineman Lincoln Kennedy, snowballs with rocks packed into the center – as they are apt to do, but it gets the point across all the same.

To whine about fans expressing their disappointment is just ridiculous and beyond naive. This is football, Ian McCue. Fans are loud. Fans are passionate. Fans are – well – expressive. Let’s be real here for a moment, had it been Charles Woodson who returned a pick for a score while in Denver, are we to believe that Broncos fans would have applauded politely and congratulated him on making such a great play? Would Woodson be encouraged to jump into the stands for a celebratory pat on the back?

Of course not. Harris got the same sort of treatment in Oakland that Woodson would have gotten in Denver had he sealed a win for his team – though with fewer rock laden snowballs.

That this is even a point of contention among the likes of McCue and the Denver faithful is just plain ridiculous. And pretty sad. Not to mention the fact that it’s thoroughly hypocritical. If McCue and the Denver faithful who took exception to a few middle fingers are honestly that offended, perhaps they should follow a sport that inspires a little less passion in its fans – maybe lawn bowling, fishing, or billiards.

This is football. It runs on passion. Perhaps McCue and all of those offended Broncos fans should simply enjoy the fact that they escaped with a win. Celebrate it. And stop whining.

Next: Raiders Look To Make Statement