There are a lot of Oakland Raiders’ fans in Charlotte. For them, the silver and black are less uniform colors than a lifestyle. Play your way and disdain the rules. The Raiders do this well. They lead the league in penalties.
Of all the retired athletes I’ve spent time with, Kenny Stabler is near the top. When the former Oakland quarterback came to Charlotte he was exactly the way he was supposed to be. He offered no pretense, and he treated fans remarkably. I watched.
While Sunday’s loss was tough for Carolina, the NFL is more interesting when the Raiders, 9-2 this season, are a force.
They play in a stadium that could be condemned – not by visiting teams or fans but by building inspectors. The Raiders, and not the St. Louis Rams, should have been offered the lucrative Los Angeles market.
I don’t know how much money the Raiders can make in Oakland. But it will be tough when they finally do leave their crazed, Road Warrior meets Halloween looking loyalists.
About their attire: That was an impressive black glove that quarterback Derek Carr wore when he returned Sunday after dislocating his little finger. When Carr’s older brother David played for Carolina he often wore gloves that matched his jersey. The gloves were, you know, cute. Derek’s glove was a statement: Back in Black.