Having grown up in Southern California, following the Los Angeles Raiders and being in eighth grade when they smoked the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII, I figured I had heard just about every conceivable story and rumor regarding that era of the Silver and Black.
I was wrong.
As a guest on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area's "Chronicle Live" last Thursday, I was privy to an interview host Greg Papa (yes, the voice of the Raiders) taped earlier in the day with Raider nemesis John Elway, who was playing in a celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe. Of course Elway being engaged to a former Raiderette sends shudders through Raider Nation. As it should.
"I met her at Marcus Allen's golf tournament," Elway told Papa. "I went to the Dark Side, and it's O.K. over there."
Which opened the door for Papa to drop the bombshell.
"Well, Al Davis thought he had a trade to get you away from the Colts before you went to Denver," Papa said. "So you almost were a Raider, weren't you?"
After picking my jaw up from the floor, flashing back to 1983, when the petulant Elway forced a trade from the Baltimore Colts to the Denver Broncos, and wiping images of Marc Wilson, Jay Schroeder and Todd Marinovich from my mind, I listened to Elway's reply.
"I would have been and I would have loved to have been on the Dark Side, especially back in those days," he said with a smile. "Those were some good football teams and so, there are those things where you look back and say, 'What If?' And that was one of those What Ifs?"
Papa added: "Al Davis brings that up all the time, 'Had I gotten that trade and (then-Commissioner Pete) Rozelle didn't veto (it), we could have had Elway.'"
Later in the show, I wondered aloud if Elway was actually playing in the golf tournament or serving as Terrell Davis' caddy, because, if it wasn't for Davis showing up in Denver to give the Broncos a legit running back, Elway would NEVER have won a Super Bowl.
Papa called me an "Elway hater" and smiled. I said I was just keeping it real.