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A Silver, Black and Blue Lesson for Life


Whether in sports or in trading, don't bet with emotions.


Hi Toddo:

I'm curious as to the origin of your attraction to the Raiders. Possibly other Minyans may have similar interest. I continue to appreciate the fantastic value added by Minyanville

Many thanks,
Minyan Neil

Minyan Neil,

As a kid, I used to spray hairspray on my hands, go to the park and pretend I was Lester Hayes.

I was hooked by the '83 Bowl when Marcus stole the show (he has since become a friend and that MVP game jersey hangs proudly at MVHQ). I also lived in LA during "those" years and while the seasons were lean, I learned that bad seasons define good fans (and have since learned that bad times define good friends).

I've been to every Raider playoff game since then, with the exception of the Snow Bowl vs. the Patriots. Marcus and I watched that game together on my couch, which was akin to going to temple with God.

I turned to him when the "Tuck" was challenged and said "The NFL hates the Raiders--they're gonna overturn this." He said "No shot."

They did, of course, and Raider Nation glory has been fleeting since.

Quick "funny" story...

I traveled from Oakland to San Diego in 2003 after the Raiders won the AFC Championship. It was a Silver and Black caravan and we were pretty confident given our explosive offense.

The day of the game, we took a limo to the stadium and our driver told us that several Raiders (names withheld) snuck out after bed check and partied all night. I won't tell you what the limo driver told me he found in the back of the car, but it was vile.

Shortly before kick-off, word spread that Barret Robbins, the all-pro center and the defacto "point guard" of the offensive line--was MIA.

I checked the spread and found that it hadn't moved from 14.5.

For the first time in my life, I almost laid mas wood against my team. I couldn't pull the trigger, however, as the love in my heart got in the way of the instincts in my head.

My buddy took me to the game--50 yard line seats, ten rows from the field. As I was in the men's room prior to kick-off, I thought to myself, "Geez, there sure are a lot of red jerseys in the Raider Nation."

Sure enough, our seats were smack dab in the middle of the Buccaneer side of the field.

When Charles Woodson picked off a pass to start the game, I jumped up so fast that my beer and food sprayed everywhere.

That would be the last time I got out of my seat.

By the end of the game, I was being heckled by Dolphins and Chargers fans--Dolphins and Chargers fans--but they felt so bad about the severe bruising my beloved team was taken, they bought me beers the entire fourth quarter.

Suffice to say that it was a long, lonely flight home.

I haven't bet with my heart--on football or the market--ever since.

There's a lesson in that.

Either way and anyway, and for perhaps the last time this season, I can confidently proclaim that my Raiders are tied for first in the AFC West.

Hope springs eternal in sports.

Hope, however, isn't a viable investment vehicle.

Just win baby!


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