You’d think that a group of NFL players would choose plenty of teams as the worst place they could play. There’s a team that dealt with MRSA in the locker room. There’s the futility of Jacksonville. And then there’s the Factory of Sadness. But, no, the least desirable place to play, according to a poll of 100 NFL players, is Oakland. At first glance, this seems unlikely. But then the KSK interns did some digging and came up with a timeline of hilarious missteps and fuck-ups by the RAIDUHS that now has us considering dubbing the team Factory of Sadness West. And this doesn’t include the fact that Al Davis’ corpse is still propped up in the owners box.
November 17, 1968: Alright, it’s not the Raiders’ fault that NBC cut away from their game against the Jets to show “Heidi,” but the fact they won a game that nobody saw kind of typifies the Raiders existential crisis that permeates the franchise post-Bo Jackson.
December 23, 1972: The Immaculate Reception. One of the most heartbreaking plays to be on the losing end of. There you go, Raiders, enjoy re-living that while you tell us all the ball hit the ground.
1979: Al Davis trades away QB Kenny Stabler.
1982: The Raiders moved to Los Angeles. Oakland is without a team. There is, presumably, sadness amongst some.
January 1991: Bo Jackson is tackled and hurt during a playoff game, an injury that ends his football career.
1991-1993: Todd Marinovich was a Raider.
January 19, 2002: The Tuck Rule Game. Like the Heidi Game, not the Raiders fault. But things that are sad that aren’t your fault are part of the pattern of being the blurst.
January 26, 2003: The Raiders make it to the Super Bowl! The Raiders get spanked in the Super Bowl!
February 2005: Randy Moss is traded to the Raiders. He gives them the worst years of his prime.
April 28, 2007: The Raiders select JaMarcus Russell as the number one overall pick of the NFL draft. Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis, and Marshawn Lynch are all drafted later in the round. Hell, even Tyler Thigpen, taken 217th overall, has had a better career.
2003-2013: These men are among those who start games at quarterback for the Raiders: Rick Mirer, Kerry Collins, Marques Tuiasosopo, Andrew Walter, Aaron Brooks, Bruce Gradkowski, and Matt McGloin.
2003-Present: The Raiders have not made it to the playoffs since losing the Super Bowl to Tampa Bay in January 2003.
2015 (?): A team so nice they moved twice? Yes, Oakland may lose the same team to another city for a second time. Even Cleveland hasn’t pulled that off (yet).