The Black Hole is always worth a laugh

November 8th, 2011

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Former Oakland Raiders great wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff salutes the fans at the eternal flame for Al Davis in pre game ceremonies prior to the game against the Denver Broncos November 6, 2011.

Over the years covering the NFL there really is only one game I dread. It is visiting the Oakland ( Los Angeles then Oakland again) Raiders home field. It isn’t so much the Black and Silver themselves it’s everyone the Black and Silver draws to the stadium. I have been spit on. I have had batteries thrown at me. Just about every foul word you imagine has been slung in my direction. And I don’t just mean grown (that’s a stretch) men. One of my fondest memories was the mom with young son in tow, I would guess ten to twelve years-old, bombarding me with a slew of four-letter bombs.

Then, in the  past, the Al Davis antics. Al Davis for those of you that have no idea whom I am talking about Davis was the Oakland Raiders Head Coach, general manager and long-time owner of the Oakland. He passed away last month. As much as you might have disliked the man he brought many good things to the game of pro football.

The antics. How about us staying at a San Francisco hotel in the Dan Reeves era only to have fire alarms go off in the wee hours of the morning prior to the game. I didn’t happen to leave my room at the hotel but I am pretty certain the fire department didn’t even show up.

When the team called LA home, it was always fairly certain that when you showered after the game there would be no hot water or nor an abundance of towels in the Coliseum locker room.

Last season a dreadful and power rain storm soaked the Oakland Coliseum field ( forgive me, the stadium has had so many names I can’t remember actually what it was officially called last year; it’s now Coliseum-what?). To make matters worse, they had a bit of a”watering and sprinkler” issue. Of course, the only area that was a bonafide quagmire was directly in front of the Denver Broncos bench area.

These are memories of just a few crazy times. It used to be we all dreaded going to the stadium. Now even the Broncos players have some fun with the whole scene. Sunday this past weekend Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker threw kisses to the fans after he scored on a 27-yard reception in the first quarter. And after running back Willis McGahee tore up the field with 163 yards and two rushing touchdowns, one of which went for 60 yards, he gave the Black Hole a Mile-High salute on his final end zone visit.

Used to be we all thought the place was crazy and scary. Don’t get me wrong there are still some scary folks there, unfortunately for the wrong reasons. But all in all it’s a fun place to cover an NFL game (even though football should never be played on a baseball field) and Oakland’s fans really are harmless especially when you take the fire out of their rather flaming tongues with a 38-24 win.

Denver Broncos Eric Decker blows a kiss to Oakland Raiders fans after scoring on a 27-yard reception against the Oakland Raiders in the NFL game at Coliseum in Oakland,Ca.

Respectful Oakland Raiders Black Hole fans pause for the national anthem prior to the NFL game against the Denver Broncos.


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