The 2010 Oakland Raiders Face a Make or Break Season

The Raider Nation is one of the most loyal, devoted, and intense fanbases in all of sports. Notorious for excellent game-day food, colourful costumes, and blind devotion to a team that often recently disappoints, the Nation is a unique collection of individuals with a common goal: the celebration of the success of the Oakland Raiders.

Unfortunately, we are in the midst of the least celebratory stretch in the franchise's history. Although we all knew our impressive run of the late '90s—early 2000s wouldn't last with an aging roster of veteran talent, no one could have foreseen the epic collapse and subsequent struggles this franchise has endured since face-planting against Tampa Bay (and former coach John Gruden) in Super Bowl XXXVII.

The career-ending neck injury to Rich Gannon in the early 2003 season was the beginning of the end, and ever since, this team has been a rudderless ship looking to get back on course. The ship didn't just stray innocently off the path; it has been lost at sea for some time now.

I could spell out some of the reasons for the team's struggles and give a chronology, but I have already done that in the past, and at this point, most if not all, Raider fans know exactly what has transpired over the last seven forgettable seasons.

Let's just agree that poor player evaluation and development, poor coaching, and some bad luck, decisions, and karma have all conspired to make things unpleasant.

The heart of every sports fan beats with optimism during the offseason, the feeling that if only this were to happen, if only that were to happen, their team could turn it around and celebrations will again ensue.

Without this offseason hope, perennial losers like the Lions wouldn't have any fans. Hell, the Raiders probably wouldn't have any fans left after the last seven years. Loyalty notwithstanding, it's the hope of the offseaso...

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