NFL Network’s Dynasty Month included one week dedicated to each of 5 NFL dynasties. The Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys each have one week dedicated to them. This month is pure torture for Oakland Raiders fans as they have to sit and watch their rivals get recognition for accomplishments while theirs get brushed aside.
With regards to the Patriots and Steelers, it is even more salt in the wound. The Patriots started their dynasty at the expense of the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game. In the eyes of many, that game marked the start of their dynasty and the decline of the Raiders. The Steelers had to get past the Raiders on the way to achieving their dynasty as well. Raider fans have to wonder why their team’s dominance between the 1970 merger and 1985 season does not qualify as a dynasty in the eyes of these experts.
According to most people’s definition, a sports dynasty is a team that dominates their sport or league for multiple seasons or years. In their Wikipedia article on what a dynasty is (click here), the Raiders teams of the late 1970s and early 1980s are even given as an example. Considering this simple and accurate definition, Why would all of the dominant seasons that the Raiders orchestrated not qualify as a dynasty?
|* – Made playoffs|
|x – Won Super Bowl|
From the 1970 season, through 1985 season, the Raiders win-loss record was an impressive 161-66-6 for a winning percentage of .713 during the 15 year time frame. The Raiders won 9 division titles, made the playoffs 12 times and won 3 Super Bowls during that span. Does this alone qualify as a dynasty? Steelers DT Joe Green once said that the road to a championship went through Oakland. You had to slay the Raiders to be a champion. They were the measure of what it took to be a champion.
One thing to consider is the fact that the Raiders were so dominant that the remnants of that dominance are still seen today. Even after 11 straight seasons of .500 or below and no division titles or playoff appearances, the Raiders are still tied with the San Diego Chargers for the most division titles. The Denver Broncos have 13 and the Kansas City Chiefs have 8.
Even after a decade of decadence, they still lead the division with a record of 434-375-11 and a playoff record of 25-18. The rest of the division is catching up in terms of regular season records, but none are even close in playoff records. The only other team with a winning record in the playoffs is the Broncos at 18-17.
Is winning Super Bowls the only criteria that NFL Network uses to designate a dynasty? It would be hypocrisy if they were to say yes because the Patriots have 3 just like the Raiders. The Packers have 4 Super Bowl wins, but they are spread out over a greater period of time than the Raiders’.
The experts at NFL Network have Raider Nation shaking their collective heads and wondering why their dynasty was left out. Did it not qualify because the 3 Super Bowls were spread out and were won in 2 different decades? Was it left out because it was orchestrated by Al Davis and they just love to hate the man and his Raiders?
As painful as it is to Raider fans, it is hard to discount the Steelers, Cowboys and 49ers dynasties with 16 combined Super Bowls between them. Still, were the Raiders not dominant enough? That would appear to be the case.