The Oakland Raiders will face their toughest crowd of the preseason Thursday night at Seattle.
But one thing the Raiders have yet to deal with is a hostile crowd at an away game. They've played two games at the Oakland Coliseum, and one game at Candlestick Park with more Raider fans onhand than there usually were back when they played at the L.A. Coliseum.
Qwest Field is not only spelled wrong and ugly to look at, it's a very difficult place to play. That "12th Man" schtick of theirs is stolen, but it accurately reflects the extra difficulty opponents face when playing in Seattle. The architecture of the stadium is designed to maximize crowd noise, and the New York Giants once had 11 false start penalties in a playoff game there. Of course, there was also one time at Qwest Field when Tony Romo had a little trouble handling a field goal snap.
After a rough preseason close to home, a game in enemy territory might actually be a refreshing change of pace.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer whose spellcheck is freaking out over the name of that Seattle stadium.