DENVER - OCTOBER 24: Center Jared Veldheer #68 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates a touchdown by teammate Darren McFadden (not pictured) in the third quarter against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on October 24 2010 in Denver Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 59-14. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
59-14. Fifty-nine to fourteen.
This game was the beginning of the end of this team. Nothing stung the hearts of fans more than seeing gleeful Raiders prancing around Investco Field at Mile High. Out of all the failures of Josh McDaniels, real or imagined, this is the one that enraged fans the most.
After that defeat, I immediately felt the need to remind people of the plan, the long term goals that were being implemented and the fallacy of firing any head coach in midseason. I begged Pat Bowlen to stay the course, but it was not to be. Now the figurehead is gone, but the fans desire for vengeance remains.
To quote a favorite movie of mine, "Avenge me son. Avenge me!". The dawn is red for these Broncos, yet here in front of them lies a chance for redemption.
The only question that no one knows that answer to: does the desire for vengeance and redemption reside in the hearts of the men who don the orange and blue? The answer has to be yes. Pride in your profession, pride in your teammates, pride in yourself...prove to the world you are men, not whipping boys.
I am resigned to many things, including this lost season, but nothing can remove the hatred of all things Oakland Raiders. Perhaps it is because I currently live a scant ninety minutes from Oakland or perhaps it is because I've lived nearly my whole life deep in the Raider Nation. A difficult place for a young person to wear orange and blue with pride.
I certainly enjoyed the many years of domination over this franchise, so much so that I can no longer tolerate the thought of the Broncos being swept by them. I can barely tolerate reliving the debacle earlier this year. The Raiders played a role in ruining the Broncos hopes for a playoff berth in each of the last two seasons and now it is the Broncos who have a chance to return the favor.
Tim Tebow will get the start tomorrow and as John Bena wrote this morning, the Raiders will try to make Tebow beat them over the top. Tebow is the wild card, a rookie quarterback's first start is rarely pretty, which is why the rest of the team must come out thirsty for blood and vengeance. Be the redeemer and the fans will forget much of what has come before.
Beat the Raiders. This is your Super Bowl, Denver. Avenge us.