Since 1960, for two weeks every year, we are united. The City of Denver, the State of Colorado and the far reaches of Broncos Country, all interconnected in one ideology. Putting aside all other differences and happenings, all other goings on. Bickering, fighting, arguing, all paused, all silenced. Only one thing so powerful can bring our good many problems to a halting pause, and that is an honest, unified hate for the Raiders.

Hating the Raiders is as natural for some of us as knowing the Rocky Mountains are to the west. Since learning to tie our shoes, we knew that silver and black was not to be trusted, not to be cheered. Sure Colorado has its share of “Raider Dave” “Raider Rick” and “Raider Ray Ray” types, and we can socialize with these outliers, but not this week.

Hating the Oakland/Los Angeles/Oakland/soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders comes easy for most of Broncos Country, as early history is not necessarily favorable to Denver in the years of the Broncos’ adolescence. The Raiders, in fact, had a 14-game winning streak over the Denver Broncos starting in 1965 and mercifully coming to an end in 1972 when Denver finally defeated the Raiders in Oakland 30-23.

The Raiders dominated the Broncos for the rest of the 1970s until the very recently departed Red Miller – rest in peace, coach – was hired as head coach in 1977. The Broncos before Miller had a record of 6-26-1 against the Raiders. From the very beginning it was easy to despise the silver and black.

The Raiders and Broncos rivalry in the 80s and early 90s was a good time, but again somewhat of a struggle for the Denver Broncos. The good guys had a gunslinger on a white horse in John Elway with his compadres, The Three Amigos. The malevolent and malicious Raiders had villains abound. Howie Long, Tim Brown, Bo Jackson, Marcus Allen, Chester McGlockton and many more talented players made the Raiders that much easier to hate but unfortunately that much better. The Broncos, even after getting their man in Elway, went 8-17 against the then Los Angeles Raiders from 1983-94. For many of us, the hate was becoming more than real.

In 1995, Broncos Country would be changed forever. Enter Mike Shanahan, a former Raiders coach who was unceremoniously dismissed by Al Davis after going 8-12 in his first 1-plus seasons. Shanahan joined the Broncos in ’95, Terrell Davis was drafted the same year, and with the additions of free agents Ed McCaffrey, Mark Schlereth and David Diaz-Infante the Broncos seemed primed and ready to take on anyone, including the Raiders.

The Broncos during Coach Shanahan’s time went 21-7 against their West Coast foes. Shanahan in his 13 seasons had only three home losses against the Raiders, all in November, and all after Elway had retired. Shanahan and the Broncos had flipped the script, and the Broncos could finally play the role of conquering hero to the heretofore dominant villain.

The Broncos-Raiders series for a few years swung in favor of the Raiders, but only during the Josh McDaniels era of Broncos history, where McHoodie went 1-4 against the Raiders. A short stint, and stricken from our memories forever – call it “McDaniels Amnesia”

As of late Raider week has been weak, but only because of weakness in the Raiders. In the past 11 meetings the Raiders lost all but two games. Not much of a rivalry, when only one team is playing for championships.

However, the Raiders are 15-6 in their last 21 games and are on the rise. The Broncos have taken just enough of a step back since winning Super Bowl 50 to meet them in the middle. The Raiders are dangerous and the Broncos are a scary team to put faith in at present. It’s safe to say Raider week is back, and the AFC West could be on the line.

So this week, take a break from politics, take a break from stress. Take a break from the mundane and take a break from the insane. Take a break, and lets all join and unite in hating the Oakland Raiders.