Sibling Rivalry

Later today, the Chiefs and the Raiders renew a rivalry that has been locked in a box and buried six feet under for the greater part of the last decade.

But with the Oakland nipping at the heels of the AFC West leading Chiefs, this storied rivalry – for the first time in a long time – has the makings of a playoff atmosphere.

The Chiefs-Raiders rivalry is one that has been burning bright for over 50 years, and that has infiltrated and poisoned the hearts and minds of both fans and players on both ends. Not into just merrily feelings of disdain or repugnance, but into outright hate.

Sure, these organizations have been fierce enemies almost as long as the De Havilland sisters (look it up), but let's not forget that these two teams were once brothers in a cause that changed the face of NFL as we know it today.

Look, I know all of you around Chiefs Nation are chomping at the bit to get your Raider hating on, but these two organizations started by Al Davis and Lamar Hunt were built through solidarity and the refusal to listen to naysayers. These two men were once brothers in arms before turning into Cain and Abel, and many have forgotten their legacy.

But just like Leo and Ron Gallagher, the fruit that they bared together was smashed, leaving nothing but loathing and litigation in the wake.

There was no greater rivalry for Chiefs Founder Lamar Hunt, like the one he faced twice each year against Oakland.
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It is widely disputed how these allies turned into such bitter enemies. Some contest it was a late hit from Oakland's Ben Davidson on Kansas City QB Len Dawson that led to a bench clearing brawl in 1970. Others say it was then Oakland head coach John Madden's death threats to Chiefs mascot Warpaint, saying "We couldn't beat the Chiefs, but we damn near killed their horse".

Regardless of how it started, no Chiefs fan truly bleeds red and gold till they yearn for the spilling of that of the Silver and Black. Heck, it's a family tradition built upon hate. I was born a Chiefs fan and from the moment my father taught me the tomahawk chop, he also instilled a staunch distaste for the Raiders.

But hate may be a strong word. Is there really any good reason for anyone under the age of 40 to genuinely hate the Raiders?

The Raiders have not won more than five games in a single season since 2002. And they have not beaten the Chiefs in Oakland during that same span. Yes this rivalry in recent years has JaMarcus Russell look like a Pro Bowler in Kansas City on a few occasions. But other than a bruised ego, the Chiefs have clearly dominated the series over the past 20 years, winning 30 of 40.

But the Chiefs have not exactly been lighting it up the past few years either, and two poor teams with losing recording doesn't make for epic battles.

This game, however, has the potential to revive the bitter rivalry with playoff implications written all over it. The teams are first and second in rushing in 2010, and both defenses have proven solid. Make no mistake about it, this could be the toughest battle of the year for this team, but I suspect the coaching staff has them up for the task.

At 4-4, an Oakland win would drop the Chiefs record to 5-3, just a game ahead of the Raiders, leaving the AFC West wide open down the stretch. But a Kansas City win would propel the Chiefs to a 6-2 record, with every other team in their division sitting with at least 5 losses.

This will be the 100th meeting between the Chiefs and Raiders, and Al Davis knows it could be one of his last. And although their allegiance was broken many years ago, the aging owner should still garner the same respect from Chiefs Nation as he has shown for the late Lamar Hunt.

The last seven seasons haven't been kind to Al Davis and his Raiders.
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Shortly after the passing of Chiefs founder, Lamar Hunt, Al Davis had this to say of his former AFL kinsmen.

"I have much admiration for his love of professional football and, of course, the American Football League, which he started. We were rivals, we were friends, we were competitors. Lamar Hunt is a legend and will be sorely missed as he has been a part of our lives for the past five decades."

For this game, Hunt will be watching from the heavens and Davis from his suite. The man who has ran the Silver and Black nation all these years now can only hope he'll see more relevant moments for the Raiders this season.

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