Overall, the Chiefs are 55-51-2 against the Oakland Raiders – 53-50-2 in the regular season – but stats don’t matter. Set the records aside when the two meet. “It seems like we come out and both teams want to compete, regardless of what the records are – we want to compete,” Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali said Thursday about the Raiders. “I guess that has something to do with the rivalry. In our case, we want to win the game and we want to be 1-0 and that’s our goal.” Oakland has beaten the Chiefs six straight at Arrowhead Stadium, even winning 31-10 in 2010 the year Kansas City won the AFC West. The enmity between the Chiefs and Raiders goes back to the start, back to the AFL before it was folded into the NFL. The Denver Broncos rank high on Chiefs fans’ distaste list, but the Raiders are still the one fans love to hate. Marty Schottenheimer hated the Raiders. Strong word, but Marty’s thinking carried over to his players. Schottenheimer and his teams dominated the Raiders like no other Chiefs coach before. This current crop of Chiefs players are learning what the matchup means, getting educated on the Raiders, like Chiefs new quarterback Alex Smith. “A little bit, yeah,” said Smith when asked if the team needed taught about the rivalry. “I found out this morning (Wednesday) that they haven’t won a home game against Oakland since 2006, I think, so I’d like to get that changed. And I’m still finding out more and more about what this is about.” Raider fans are clinging to winning six straight at Arrowhead, running the ball well against the Chiefs, and Oakland’s several upsets in the end. Smith is running a perfect 5-0 ship; the Raiders would love to sink it. Andy Reid doesn’t dislike the Raiders as much as Schottenheimer did, but he’s still playing to the competitiveness. He understands what it means to Kansas City and the fans. “We look forward to the challenge of playing the Oakland Raiders,” Reid said Wednesday. “Our football team understands the rivalry and the significance of that. It’s also very important that with that said, to make sure that you take care of the fundamentals and learning the game plan. The guys are going to do that. They’re going to focus in today and make sure that we get that part accomplished and then we’ll play the game on Sunday. The guys have done a nice job with that up to this point.” Talking with rookie linebacker Nico Johnson, Nico said Reid told his players to think back on their college rivalries and how that felt. “That’s what he (Reid) said this morning (Wednesday), he said we all have had our rivalries in college and in high school, whatever, so we got to understand this is our rivalry week,” Nico said when asked if Reid had done anything extra to help urge his players for the Raiders. “He just wants us to go out and keep doing what we’ve been doing you know. Just because it’s rivalry week we don’t have to do anything different than what we’ve been doing just step it up a little bit more and go out and play our best game. That’s what he wants us to do and that’s what we’re going to do.” Derrick Johnson doesn’t hate on the Raiders, but gets the importance of this game. “Get as loud as you can man,” was his message to Chiefs fans. “I hope we do break the record with the noise level, but regardless if we don’t, I know Arrowhead is gonna be freaking loud; it’s loud every time. I barely can hear when I’m out there so as long as our fans keep that up we will be just fine.” Sunday, Chiefs fans and Terrorhead Returns will be attempting the Guinness World Record for “Loudest Crowd Roar at a Sports Stadium,” so bring your vocal cords. While it’s fun to be undefeated Hali says the Chiefs can’t camp on that happy thought for too long. “You know, Coach gives us 24 hours to do that,” said Hali when asked if he stops to enjoy it a little bit. “I understand what you’re saying. The other part to it is we’ve still got 11 games, so we can’t stop to enjoy too much and before you know it you’re doing something we didn’t expect to do. But I understand what you’re saying. Sometimes you do pinch yourself a little bit like wow, we didn’t expect this, but it’s a work-in-progress and we’re going to continue to work on it.” Ultimately, it’s about staying undefeated and going 6-0. That’s the main prize in all this, and that’s what Andy Reid wants his players to maintain. I can’t wait. Good day, Chiefs fans!
Stephen Brown is a regular contributor to the Chiefs fan website, chiefconcerns.com. To reach Brown, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. See his "Chief Concerns" blog at www.examiner.net/community/blogs