What Terrelle Pryor Means to the Raider Nation

Rich Gannon was the last franchise quarterback Raider Nation could cheer for on Sundays, but he also last played a meaningful snap for the team in 2004. It's been a long, hard decade, and the quarterback position has been the one consistent problem.

The Oakland Raiders have tried everything to acquire a franchise quarterback—with varying degrees of failure. The team has made foolish trades, wasted top draft picks and waded into the murky waters of free agency, but a franchise quarterback has continually eluded them.

Without a winning season since 2002, the Raider Nation now clings to the thinnest sliver of potential at the quarterback position like chewing gum to a shoe sole. In recent years, Jason Campbell was compared to Jim Plunkett, and Matt Flynn to Rich Gannon, even though everyone knew deep down that those comparisons stunk worse than a portable toilet in the parking lot of O.co Coliseum.

That's why quarterback Terrelle Pryor means so much. Pryor was Al Davis' last draft pick, he's the best chance the Raiders have of not being the laughingstock of the league in 2013 and the closest thing the Raiders have to a franchise quarterback. 

Josh (@Jkriz_7), 25, from Harrisburg, Penn., said of the situation: "The Raider Nation has had nothing to be hopeful for the last 10 years." 

You can understand fans who think Pryor is the answer to the Raiders' long, national nightmare. In the midst of darkness, the slightest bit of light can be blinding. Raiders fans are simply grading on a steep curve.

In the entire history of the Raiders, there might be four legitimate franchise quarterbacks and another three fringe candidates. Ken Stabler, Daryle Lamonica, Jim Plunkett and Gannon all easily fit the description, while Marc Wilson, Jay Schroeder and Jeff Hostetler would be considered fringe candidates. 

All of those quarterbacks had at least 50 starts,...

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