The Bitter Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders Rivalry Sparked Hatred, Rule Change

The Kansas City Chiefs have one loss this season and lead the AFC West at 3-1 heading into Week 5 of the 2022 NFL season. The Las Vegas Raiders, on the other hand, sit at last place in the division with a 1-3 mark.

But no matter how they may be separated in the standings, both teams always manage to get up for this rivalry game.

The Chiefs and Raiders rivalry is always heating up

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Rivalries become bitter rivalries when both teams are competitive. But this one is bitter all the time.

The Chiefs and Raiders’ rivalry goes back nearly 60 years and has persisted in recent seasons due to the devoted fans of both franchises. It gained more steam after the Raiders’ win in Week 5 of the 2021 season.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders’ bus circled Arrowhead Stadium after the victory. Chiefs coach Andy Reid addressed it the following day: “They won the game, so they can do anything they want to do. That’s not our style, but we’ll get ourselves back ready to play. That’s where we’re at.”

Jon Gruden, then the Raiders’ head coach, was asked if he thought his team was providing bulletin-board material by driving around the stadium. “Not really,” Gruden said. “I mean, you can find the smart aleck bus driver in Kansas City who made some snide comments when we got on the bus, maybe that’s why we drove around the stadium — just to tick him off.”

The rivalry has become full of hatred

Back in 2009, Oakland Raiders fan Clifford Trammell filed a lawsuit against the Kansas City Chiefs, claiming he was punched and thrown down two rows of seats during a brawl between Chiefs and Raiders fans at Arrowhead Stadium. According to Business Insurance, Trammell claimed Chiefs security didn’t do anything to prevent the attack. Trammell alleged one security officer said, that “is what you get for wearing that (stuff),” referring to the Raiders gear he was wearing.

The hatred wasn’t limited to the fans. Back in the early days of the rivalry, the players weren’t overly fond of each other either. It continued throughout the rivalry and the coaches, one in particular, had no respect for the Raiders.

Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer believed the Raiders were a bunch of cheap-shot artists. He felt the Raiders’ management was arrogant and disrespectful to the NFL. “I have always just been very uncomfortable about the fact that the Raiders management has continued to steadfastly feel as though they’re better than the rest,” Schottenheimer said in 2010, according to KansasCity.com.

That hatred led to a major rule change

In 1970, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders met in a heated game that ended in a bench-clearing brawl. The Chiefs were ahead 17-14 very late in the game and were prepared to run out the clock. Quarterback Len Dawson just secured a first down on a keeper, but Raiders defensive end Ben Davidson speared Dawson when he was down.

Chiefs wide receiver Otis Taylor retaliated and ignited a bench-clearing brawl. When the dust settled, the officials announced that offsetting penalties negated Dawson’s first down. The Chiefs were then forced to punt. Oakland came down and booted a field goal and the game ended in a 17-17 tie. The Raiders wound up winning the division by one game.

Because of this incident, the NFL has changed its rule. The rule today would’ve had the offsetting penalties coming after the play, meaning Dawson’s first down would have counted and the Chiefs could have still run out the clock.