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SPORTS WEEKEND | AROUND THE AFC / WEST

What Price Raiders?

September 15, 2000|STEVE SPRINGER

The news has been generally bad for the Oakland Raiders the last few seasons, both on the field and in the seats, where fans have been noticeable by their absence.

But that's changing.

Having started 2-0 and facing a traditional rival in the Denver Broncos, the Raiders have a chance for a sellout Sunday at Network Associates Coliseum.

Surely the Raiders know what an early sellout is. They've seen them in their travels around the league.

But this would be the first time in three years the Raiders have sold out at home in time to ensure the game is on local television. A total of 60,750 tickets must be sold to lift the blackout, a figure the Raiders have failed to reach over the last 24 games.

Kicker Joe Nedney, signed by the Broncos to replace injured Jason Elam, is delighted to be facing Oakland.

Last season he was delighted to be a Raider, converting on five of seven field-goal tries in three games. Nedney went to training camp with the team this year but was waived after losing the starting job to first-round draft pick Sebastian Janikowski.

Now Nedney has a chance to kick Oakland out of the unbeaten ranks.

"'I want to be able to walk off the field and just kind of give [Raider Coach] Jon Gruden a look," Nedney said. "Smile at him and let the actions speak for themselves. Not necessarily say he made the wrong decision, but, 'I gotcha.' "

It has been only four years since linebacker Donnie Edwards left UCLA for the Kansas City Chiefs. Yet with two interceptions in two games already, Edwards has a career total of 10, fifth best among linebackers in team history.

The other four--Willie Lanier (27 interceptions), Bobby Bell (26), Jim Lynch (17) and Sherrill Headrick (14)--are all in the Chiefs' Hall of Fame.

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