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Old 09-16-2009, 09:30 AM   Topic Starter
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Gretz: Passion Back For Raiders … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs

Passion Back For Raiders … Wednesday Cup O’Chiefs
September 16, 2009 - Bob Gretz |

“I’ve had a great dislike for the Raiders.”

The statement above was made by:

1. a.) Marty Schottenheimer
2. b.) Carl Peterson
3. c.) Gunther Cunningham
4. d.) Todd Haley
5. e.) All of the above

We found out this week that the correct answer is (e.)

Yes, the game is on with the “Hated Raiders” and Todd Haley has thrown his fuel on the fire.

“Growing up in the household that I grew up in the Steelers-Raiders rivalry was important,” Haley said. “Once you have it I don’t think you ever lose it. It’s not like some point in my life I said, ‘Hey, I like these guys, they’re cool’.”

While Dick Vermeil and Herm Edwards downplayed the emotional elements of the 50-season rivalry with the Raiders, it sounds like Haley is more along the lines of Marty/Carl/Gun, where things are personal when it involves the silver and black.

“I’ve made it clear to the team that everybody in this building needs to have an equal dislike,” Haley said. “We’ve got to start re-establishing the great home-field advantage we have.

The roots of Haley’s dislike of Al Davis’ club have nothing to do with the Chiefs, and everything to do with the Steelers and their battles with the Raiders during the 1970s. Along with the Miami Dolphins, the Steelers and Raiders ruled the decade of the 70s and Pittsburgh and Oakland played a number of memorable regular-season and post-season games, much as the Chiefs and Raiders did in the 1960s.

Of course it means even more when the roof over your head is courtesy of employment with the Steelers, as it was with Haley and his father Dick, who was one of Pittsburgh’s top personnel men. Todd Haley was five years old when Franco Harris grabbed a deflected pass off his shoe tops and beat the Raiders in a first-round game in the playoffs that has forever since been known as the Immaculate Reception. It was the Raiders who knocked the Steelers out of the playoffs in 1973, and it was Pittsburgh that beat Oakland I n the 1974-75 AFC Championship Games, while the Raiders took the 1976 game.

There were more than just the games that fanned the flames between Steelers and Raiders. Oakland TE Bob Moore had his head cracked open – reportedly by a Pittsburgh policeman – outside the team’s hotel in downtown Pittsburgh before the ‘72 game. It was Raiders S George Atkinson who laid out WR Lynn Swann with a chop to his head as he came across the field. It was Steelers coach Chuck Noll who after that hit, called the Raiders the NFL’s “criminal element.” It was Atkinson who sued Noll for slander and the lawsuit was actually heard in a Bay Area court rom.

Over a span of eight years (1972-80) the Raiders and Steelers played 10 times, with half of those games coming in the playoffs. Oakland had a 6-4 edge in those games, although Pittsburgh was 3-2 in the post-season.

The Chiefs and Raiders rivalry has diminished somewhat because they haven’t played each other with anything on the line for some time. The last meaningful game as far as the standings were concerned was the final game of the 1999 season when Jon Gruden brought the Raiders to Arrowhead on January 2, 2000 and beat the Chiefs 41-30 in overtime. That knocked Kansas City out of the playoffs in Cunningham’s first year as head coach.

Over the 50-season history between these teams, the Chiefs lead the series 53-45-2, including the playoffs. For the Chiefs there was that remarkable run during the Peterson/Schottenheimer Era when the red and gold dominated the silver and black, going 18-3 from 1989 through 1998.

Then there were the six games in 1968-69, where the Raiders won four, but couldn’t beat the Chiefs in the AFL Championship Game in ‘69 for the trip to the fourth Super Bowl.

“I’m very aware of that around here and the history of it,” Haley said of the Chiefs-Raiders rivalry. “I’ve paid attention to it over the years and understand there are a lot of things that have gone on and fanned the fire. I think that’s what makes the NFL great, what makes the conferences great and the divisions great.

“The more you keep them together like the NFL has been able to do the more you have some of this. I just think it adds to it and makes it more exciting.”

In the last two seasons, the series has been split each year, with the Chiefs losing at home and winning in Oakland.

The fastest way to return the Chiefs-Raiders to its rightful place among the NFL’s best rivalries is to start playing some games that mean something again. In the last two seasons, the Raiders are 9-23, while the Chiefs are 6-26.


It would certainly appear that we can now officially declare the second round of the NFL Draft a disaster area for the Chiefs. Another victim went down the tubes on Tuesday when OLB Turk McBride was released to make room for WR Bobby Wade.

McBride was the team’s second-round choice in 2007 out of Tennessee. He was viewed as a versatile defensive lineman who could play both inside and outside. The shift to a 3-4 defensive scheme and his move to outside linebacker pretty much wiped out his chances of sticking in Kansas City. That was a bit of a surprise, given that McBride showed how athletic he was when he played wide receiver at Camden, New Jersey’s Woodrow Wilson High School and ran the 100 meters, while also throwing the shot put and discus in track & field.

That athleticism really wasn’t in view much at outside linebacker. McBride can play in the league and there’s no question that he’ll get another chance.

As for the second round, we will leave CB Brandon Flowers out of the mix, since he’s just in his second season and because he’s shown the ability to be a major contributor on defense. Here are the second-round selections since ‘07:

* 2007 – DE Turk McBride released 9/’09.
* 2006 – S Bernard Pollard released 9/’09.
* 2004 – DT Junior Siavii released 8/’06.
* 2003 – LB Kawika Mitchell not re-signed ‘07.
* 2002 – DT Eddie Freeman released 8/’04.
* 2000 – CB William Bartee not re-signed ‘07.

We’ll stop there, but there’s more going back into the 1990s, through the 1980s and 1970s.

It may be time for the Chiefs to boycott the second round.


* BILLS – signed TE Jonathan Stupar; released WR Justin Jenkins.
* BROWNS – released LB Leon Williams.
* EAGLES – activated QB Michael Vick; released WR Hank Baskett; placed RT Shawn Andrews on the injured-reserve list (back).
* FALCONS – re-signed RB Verron Haynes.
* GIANTS – claimed RB Gartrell Johnson on waivers; released DT Leger Douzable.
* JAGUARS – placed DE Reggie Heyward on the injured-reserve list (broken leg); promoted CB Kennard Cox from practice squad.
* SAINTS – re-signed WR Courtney Roby; released TE Buck Ortega.


On September 16, 1960, the Dallas Texans had the franchise’s first victory in beating the Oakland Raiders 34-15 at Kezar Stadium. (More details later today on this game.)

On September 16, 1973, the Chiefs lost their season opener to the Los Angeles Rams 23-13 at Arrowhead Stadium. The Rams rode a strong running game behind Jim Bertelsen (28 carries for 143 yards) and Lawrence McCutcheon (21 carries for 120 yards). QB John Hadl only threw for 99 yards, but he had a pair of TD passes. Pete Beathard had a pair of scoring passes for the Chiefs, throwing 16 yards to WR Elmo Wright and six yards to TE Gary Butler. WR Otis Taylor finished with four catches for 83 yards.

On September 16, 1979, the Chiefs lost to the Houston Oilers 20-6 at the Astrodome. It was a first start for rookie QB Steve Fuller, but it did not go well as he threw four interceptions. That and 131 yards rushing from RB Earl Campbell gave Houston an easy victory in the first start for their young QB Gifford Nielsen. The Chiefs only score came on a 55-yard punt return by J.T. Smith. K Nick Lowery’s PAT kick missed.


Born on September 16, 1985 in Congerville, Illinois was OLB Andy Studebaker. He joined the Chiefs for six games in the 2008 season, after entering the NFL that year with Philadelphia as a college free agent out of Wheaton College. Studebaker appeared in six games last season with the Chiefs and played in the ‘09 season opener against Baltimore.

Born on September 16, 1961 in Chattanooga, Tennessee was G Ellis Gardner. He was selected in the sixth round of the 1984 NFL Draft out of Georgia Tech. Gardner played in eight games as a rookie with the Chiefs. In the next season, he played in nine games with the Colts.

Born on September 16, 1969 in Whiteville, North Carolina was DL Chester McGlockton (right). He joined the Chiefs for the 1998 season, after playing six seasons with the Raiders. McGlockton was a restricted free agent and the Chiefs and Raiders made a deal for a second-round draft choice in ‘98. He ended u p playing three seasons with the Chiefs (1998-2000), playing in 41 games, with 40 starts. McGlockton had 6.5 sacks and two recovered fumbles. He finished up his career with two seasons in Denver and then one season with the Jets.

Born on September 16, 1978 in Ahoskie, North Carolina was DT Eric Downing. He was selected in the third-round of the 2001 NFL Draft out of Syracuse. Downing spent three seasons with the Chiefs (2001-03), appearing in 42 games, with 13 starts. He had two sacks. Downing played the ‘04 season with San Diego.
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