Picture of The Week: How to Sack
Today, a sack is a statistic. In Ben Davidson's day, it was an event.
If anyone wonders why we Raiders fans are so sentimental about the 1970s, it's because we haven't seen anything like it since. Those Raiders were once-in-a-lifetime artists, like Bach or Baudelaire or Picasso. Well, not quite. But you get the drift.
Commentators on my previous take launched a great discussion about which team is the most hated in the NFL. It is a crown once worn by the Raiders, and which is now open to debate. Hated or not, the Raiders were certainly once the most feared team in the NFL, for reasons evident in this photo. But our defense scared no one in 2005, and hasn't for years (I'm talking about our defense as a whole, in terms of collective attitude and ferocity).
The Raiders and their fans are frequently accused of being stuck in the past. I say it's time, indeed, to get stuck in the defensive past, the past of Ben Davidson, Jack Tatum and Howie Long. Players who incited fear. Players who got in your head before the first whistle was blown. Art Shell remembers. We remember. It's time for our defensive unit to remember.