Silver and black . . . and backA wild sellout crowd...

PLAYS AND REPLAYS

September 04, 1995

Silver and black . . . and back

A wild sellout crowd greeted the Raiders' official return to Oakland, the town they abandoned for Los Angeles.

"The Boys Are Back in Town" blared over loudspeakers, and fans wrapped in silver and black roared as the Raiders took the field for their first regular-season game at the Oakland Coliseum since leaving town in 1982.

Fans cheered as a man dressed as "Dark Raider" paraded around, dressed in a Darth Vader helmet, a black cape and a homemade silver-and-black wooden sword and shield.

One fan painted his bald head to look like a Raiders helmet, another had the word "Raiders" shaved in his hair. Many others painted their faces silver and black.

D. Pondoc said he took the money he planned to spend on a house down payment and put it toward Raiders tickets instead. He spent $7,000 for a personal seat license and tickets on the 40-yard line.

"A man's got to have his priorities, no matter how out of whack they are," said Pondoc, who apparently also didn't have enough money left to buy himself a full first name.

About the only reminder of the Raiders' 13-year sojourn to Los Angeles was Magic Johnson, who led cheers on the Raiders sideline.

Do you miss us?

The Houston Oilers didn't find any reason to miss a former receiver and coach who were with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Ernest Givins, dumped by the Oilers in the off-season despite being the leading receiver in team history, managed only two catches for 19 yards against his old team yesterday. And Kevin Gilbride, Houston's former offensive coordinator, watched his offense flounder after first-round draft pick James Stewart, a running back, suffered a sprained shoulder on the Jaguars' first possession.

"I went through a lot of wars with those guys," Gilbride said of his ex-team. "At times, I felt like I should be on the other sideline."

Especially now that Buddy Ryan isn't over there to take a poke at him.

More Irsay foolishness

For the first time in franchise history, the Colts wore blue pants. Indianapolis will wear white game jerseys with the new light blue pants at every home game and in most road games. In other uniform changes, the Colts are using blue face masks and black shoes.

Should go well with the red face of coach Ted Marchibroda.

We would have done better

Jacksonville had its home opener that should have been Baltimore's. The pop group Boyz II Men sang the national anthem after staging a concert Saturday night next door at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Miss America 1993, Leanza Cornett, a Jacksonville native, took part in the halftime show.

Sure, but could they have had Anne Tyler read from her latest novel before performing the coin flip?

Amaze your friends

Today's tidbit to impress your pals at the water cooler (though you must remember this until tomorrow, being that today is Labor Day): The Bears' Rashaan Salaam, 20, is the youngest player in the NFL.

Annoy your friends

Today's tidbit to impress upon your pals that you have no life during football season: Kicker Chip Lohmiller became the first New Orleans Saints player ever to wear No. 2, the last number the team never had assigned.

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