Editor's Note: This story appears in the Oct. 9 edition of ESPN The Magazine. Click here to subscribe to the magazine.
Don't do this to us, guys. Please.
We're just not ready for this. Don't take the fun away, the joy derived from
pure, unadulterated Raiders hatred. Every NFL fan save yours needs it, you
know. And it has nothing to do with Raider Nation, those freaky face-painters for whom
happiness comes from turning McAfee Coliseum into some S&M gang war‹colored
in Randy Moss jerseys, of course. It's a self-esteem thing, as pure and ugly as the
basic human need for superiority. No one hates the Texans or Packers
or Lions or Titans the way they do the renegade, outlaw, overpaid,
overlitigated, "Just sin, baby" Oakland Raiders.