Earlier today, ESPN released its modern NFL franchise rankings (from 1970-present). To my pleasure, the Raiders cracked the top 10, coming in at number six behind Dallas, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Miami and Denver.
While it certainly opens the door to endless debate, the rankings are pretty interesting. They used a number of factors to earn points for a franchise including playoff and Super Bowl wins, regular season consistency, Monday Night Football appearances and more. By all means, do check it out
It was a bit surprising to see my Raiders ranked so highly. After enduring a five-year stretch as the worst team in the league, it’s hard to remember that the Raiders are also one of the league’s most storied franchises.
My favorite line, though, is the following: The Raiders are the only team in our study saddled with four crushing playoff defeats, culminating with Super Bowl XXXVII.
THAT is my experience as a Raiders fan, their last Super Bowl win coming nine months before I was born. I know two of the crushing defeats as I witnessed them firsthand: The Fumble vs. Tom Brady and the Patriots and, of course, the Gruden Bowl beatdown. A third was well before my time, but I’ve seen the replay enough to know it was a killer, the Immaculate Reception vs. Pittsburgh
Now I’m trying to think of the fourth one. Any ideas? Let me know if you know it.
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