The 2010 NFL schedule came out on Tuesday and the one glaring omission was the Raiders presence on the primetime schedule. That means they haven’t a single nationally televised game this season either on Sunday Night Football or Monday Night Football.
And for those of you who may be wondering if this is the first time this has ever happened, you are not far off. It is actually the 2nd time since 1970, when Monday Night Football started, that the Raiders have not been featured in either a Sunday or Monday night game. And the other season was just three seasons ago in 2007.
Prior to the 07 season the Raiders had been on Monday Night Football for 27 straight seasons from 1970 to 1997. During those seasons they didn’t disappoint either as they were the winningest Monday Night Football team in the history of the NFL.
In 1998, they weren’t exactly out of the limelight either. They were in the Sunday night football opener which stood to further prove their draw by NFL audiences. Then it would be until 2004 that they would not be in another Monday Night contest when they were yet again in the Sunday Night opener against their previous Super Bowl foe– the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
So the two recent prime time snubs show just how far the Raiders have fallen out of NFL favor. They seem to have lost a lot of that love/hate they used to embrace. And it makes sense because why bother hating a team on an historically bad run of 11 loss seasons with an owner who seems to have finally lived down to the hopes of all those who wished the worst on him and his Raiders. No one is even celebrating the Raiders demise anymore. Even the laughter has died down. Now the rest of the NFL world just feels sorry them.
At least this year, fewer fans will have to feel sorry for them on national television. But believe that if the Raiders become competitive again this season, the haters will be back en masse quicker than you can say “Playoffs?!” and the NFL schedulers will have the team everyone loves to hate back in primetime once again.