I’ve heard stories about the Cold War and families making bomb shelters in their basement to protect themselves from the unthinkable, a nuclear war.
I’ve been hearing similar stories as we approach the NFL Draft. That’s right, football fans are getting together and constructing bomb shelters.
They are doing so not because they think a nuclear war is on the horizon. They are doing so because of something much worse. The Dallas Cowboys versus the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl LII.
If that was to happen there’s only one thing you can do and that’s run for the hills. The fallout (on sports talk radio) from that Super Bowl will be worse than a nuclear winter.
Granted, for fans of the Cowboys and Raiders, which is a lot of people, it will be the exact opposite of Armageddon. After all, both teams have had lengthy Super Bowl droughts.
The Raiders last played in Super Bowl XXXVII. That was held in 2003 at the end of the 2002 season.
The Cowboys streak goes back to the 20th century. In 1996, they defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. That game came after the 1995 campaign.
You can make a case that the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders are the NFL’s two most popular franchises. At the very least, they comprise the Big Four with the Steelers and Green Bay Packers.
Yet, unlike the Steelers and Packers, the Cowboys and Raiders are also the NFL’s most hated teams.
NFL fans despise the Cowboys because of the honorific “America’s Team,” their owner, the fact they’re from Texas, and they had a history of winning.
The Raiders are hated because they mastered the art of cheating long before the New England Patriots did, their owner, the fact they’re from California, and they had a history of winning.
Of course, the biggest reason to loathe the Cowboys and Raiders are their fans. The Cowboys have the worst fan base in professional sports while the Raiders have the scariest.
Even worse, both attract tons of bandwagoners.
Fear of a Cowboys-Raiders Super Bowl has set the “NFL Doomsday Clock” to one minute to kickoff. We haven’t been this close to annihilation since 1980 when the Raiders went to the Super Bowl and the Cowboys came up short in the NFC Championship Game.
In 2016, the Cowboys were 13-3 and the Raiders were 12-4. Granted, neither one won a playoff game, but both teams established themselves as major forces for years to come in their respective leagues.
Both have franchise quarterbacks, Dax Prescott for the Cowboys and Derek Carr for the Raiders. As we all know, you can’t win a Super Bowl in the NFL without a franchise quarterback.
At 11 to 1, the Cowboys are the early favorites to reach the Super Bowl. Only the Patriots have better odds. The Raiders are 20 to 1.
The Raiders problem is their schedule. They have the fourth toughest schedule in the NFL, mainly because they play the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs twice. In 2016, those teams combined for 21 wins.
The Raiders have the toughest schedule in terms of point differential too. In 2017, they are facing teams that in 2016 outscored their opponents by a combined 478 points.
Even more bad news for the Silver and Black, the Raiders will battle the Patriots in 2017, but instead of playing that game in Oakland. It will be held in Mexico City.
Still, we all know how injuries and down years play a key role in strength of schedule. What looks like a hard-fought battle in the spring may turn out to be a cakewalk in the fall.
Nonetheless, a Cowboys-Raiders Super Bowl isn’t a possibility, it’s a real possibility. It shouldn’t be a surprise if it happens.
If it does happen, are you ready for some Judgement Day football?
Will you be able to keep your family safe from the smugness of longtime Cowboy fans, and by that, I mean they’ve followed the team for 16 months.
Do you have the necessary equipment to protect yourself from Darth Raider and the annoying over pronunciation of “The Raiders” like Chris Berman always does for some unknown reason?
We suggest you stock your bunker with plenty of beer, chips, dips, small hotdogs wrapped in bread, and DVD highlights of your favorite team winning the Super Bowl. Browns fans can just bring movies.
Super Bowl LII is scheduled for Feb. 4, 2018. It will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. That’s the new home of the Minnesota Vikings.