Friday, September 30, 2005

A Raiders Family

Why bother with Raider Take? Why care so much about the Oakland Raiders? Here’s my personal take:

My father came to the United States from northern England, but he embraced American football and the Oakland Raiders. The Chiefs, Broncos and Steelers were bad words around our place. The Heidi, Sea of Hands and Holly Roller games became part of our household lore, mystical events that proved the greatness of the Raiders.

My brother broke into tears of outrage when the ball illegally bounced off Frenchy Fuqua into the thieving hands of Franco Harris for the so-called Immaculate Reception. Today, my brother lives in Oklahoma, but he still belongs to the Raider Nation. My cousin belongs, too. He is my gameday co-pilot. We both love a righteous tailgate on the Coliseum ashphalt.

More than 30 years have passed since my first memories of those loud autumn Sunday afternoons in our home. My father passed away 15 years ago, but his love of Raiders football helped strengthen family bonds that endure today. Like family, the Raiders organization is timeless and loyal. Like family, Raiders fans don’t blow with the prevailing winds or hop on the nearest bandwagon. We remain rock solid in our dedication.

I am proud to belong to a Raiders family, and to the Raiders family.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

More Laxative by Sports Illustrated

It was bad enough when Sports Illustrated wanted us to feel sorry for the Patriots. But now they’ve outdone themselves. SI columnist (and out-of-work “actor”) Jay Mohr has called out the Raider Nation. Here’s a sampling: “Raider Nation is in total disarray, and I for one say hooray! No other team breeds such awful fans as the Raiders.” Click here to read more.

Jay, your take has already been written a thousand times, by dozens of other lazy so-called journalists perpetuating negative stereotypes in pursuit of a cheap laugh. Can you believe Sports Ilustrated pays this clown?

Haiku: Randy's Recipe

Give me, said Moss (who’s
Keyshawn?), the damned ball, and I’ll
grill you some Tuna.

Look Under The Hood, Norv

The Raiders running game is no longer just leaking oil. It’s parked in a ditch, gaskets blown. The Raiders now rank 31st in rushing offense. How is this possible? Jesus, bring back Napoleon Kaufman (and, as a Christian, I mean that sincerely).

I know it’s not all LaMont’s fault. I know it’s all interconnected, the offensive line, the playcalling, time of possession issues, game situations, etc., until it all becomes a freakin’ football Rubik’s Cube where every “They should…” is countered with a “Yeah, but…”

Yeah but nothing. We need a running game. I don’t care about the particulars at this point. This is supposed to be one of the most wicked offenses in the NFL, and we're south of the 49ers and Cardinals in rushing?

In this article, Coach Turner is quoted as saying: "We had a number of plays Sunday and the week before in the running game where we're one play, one block away." His team puts up 21 yards rushing yet they're "one block away" from breaking things wide open? Sorry, but that's just delusional. You need to go back to the chalkboard and rethink the machine. Did you see Shanahan and gang cut the Chiefs into ribbons on Monday? I loathe Shanahan and the Broncos, but the fact is that their playcalling was fresh and imaginative, and thus they prevailed where we failed.

Coach Turner, please get in touch with your inner mechanic before it's too late for all of us.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Dear Cowboys Fan

In a Raiders chatroom yesterday, a Cowboys fan wrote that he has tickets to the upcoming game. He is wondering if he would be "committing suicide" by showing up in a Cowboys jersey, and if he should wear black as a disguise. Following is my take, which applies to fans of any visiting team:

You can wear the Cowboys jersey, just don't act like an idiot. I mean that with all due respect. Not because I assume that you're an idiot, but because I've seen too many of the opposing team's fans strut into the Coliseum and paint a target on their back. They stand up in front of Raiders fans and do a jig when our QB is sacked, make a bunch of obnoxious noise when our crowd has been silenced, etc. Don't tell me no one is that stupid. I've seen it. These are the folks who are asking for trouble, which can be found in any crowd of 50,000 people.

Raiders fans are vocal and passionate, but they are not the criminals they've been made out to be (see my I Love Al Davis take for more thoughts on that subject). They are typically hard-working regular folks who love to have a good time on Sunday afternoon. This will include giving you an earful of creative and heartfelt insults for wearing your Cowboys gear. Enjoy it, because it's all in good fun.

Or, try this...Leave the Cowboys gear at home, go as a neutral participant, and keep an open mind. I'll bet that, by the time you walk out of the Coliseum, you may wish you belonged to the Raider Nation, because of the intensity, passion and uniqueness of the experience. And if you get that feeling, then welcome, brother, to the Raider Nation, because the door is always open. You never really liked the Cowboys in the first place, right?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Call Me Nostradamus

I said that third-down conversion rates (final numbers: 29% for Raiders, 50% for Eagles) would clearly reflect the outcome of the game. I predicted a tough battle, with both teams scoring in the twenties, and with three points being the final margin of victory. I was right on all accounts. Except for that minor technicality about the Raiders winning.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Gear of The Week for 9/26

I'm a stickler for authentic team fonts. Don't give me no space-age font that can also be found in Broncos orange and blue. Give me the RAIDERS as it has been written and will continue to be written.

On that note, I present the Reebok 2005 Coaches Hot Jacket as my pick for Gear of The Week. It's right there across the back: RAIDERS. You also have the shield on the left chest, along with silver piping on the sides. This is a lightweight jacket that is perfect for cool gamedays at the Coliseum. In an era when a lot of NFL gear looks like circus clothing, this jacket scores points for visual class and toughness. To purchase, click here

5 Postgame Takes

1. Haven't I seen this game before, like a few dozen times? Opponent marches downfield against the Raiders in the final minute, and the kicker never misses, even with one leg sawed off...

2. Despite that final drive, the Raiders defense is really coming together. They were physical and precise, with crisp tackling. Charles Woodson was on fire for much of the game. Not perfect, but they kept it close. Remember the Patriots game, with all the soft coverage and confusion? They've come a long way in three weeks.

3. Only seven out of 42 Collins passes thrown in Randy's direction?

4. DeLawrence Grant...Next time, please use your bone of a head to think before ramming it late into the back of the QB during a crucial third-down situation. Norv, next time DeLawrence cheerfully pats you on the back after something like that, grab his face mask and spit nails. We need more Ditka, less Bugel.

5. As far as losses go, this was a good one. This was a very tough opponent, but the Raiders came back and fought to the bitter end. Things are pointing in the right direction. The return to glory is on schedule. Once the offense gets out of neutral, watch out!

Bonus take: Chris Carr may have potential as a return man, but if he doesn't straighten out his decision making soon, he's going to cost us a game. He's been lucky so far, but luck is not a decision.

Extra point: Hey, Eagles, black is not the new green. Your jerseys are lame. Quit stealing our colors.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Haiku: Raiders 20 / Eagles 23

Defense red hot; hope
restored, then crushed---you devil
of flags and wide lefts!

Pregame Pick Courtesy of Area 51

After last week, I thought maybe I should get out of the prediction business. But then I did some math...

I predicted last week that the Raiders would beat the Chiefs by a score of 31 to 24, but they lost 23 to 17. Now, let's add back the two zebra-revoked touchdowns (which were bogus calls) with extra points, and what do we get? We get the Raiders on top 31 to 23, which is eerily close to my original prediction. And you still don't believe that I'm receiving top-secret radio signals through my tooth fillings?

(You might point out that after the Moss call, they kicked a field goal, so it's really only a net four points instead of seven on that one. True, but they also wouldn't have been going for it on fourth down on that last drive, either. They would have kicked an easy field goal, which reconciles the math).

So what is all that metal in my mouth telling me this morning? It's telling me that the Raiders will win a tough battle by a score of 27 to 24.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Now Back to Dan Patrick...

Put this right up there with Halley's Comet and Bigfoot sightings on the rarity scale: a pearl of wisdom from ESPN.

Indeed, from's Bill Simmons: "Here's why you can't make too much of the first two weeks of the season: The Raiders played two of the best teams in football (KC and New England), hung tough in each game, eventually fell short (mostly of their own doing), and everyone thinks they're done. The Bengals played two of the worst teams in football (Minnesota and Cleveland), destroyed them both, and everyone thinks that they're a serious playoff contender, and that Carson Palmer is the next great quarterback. Well, if you switched the Cincy and Oakland schedules, the Bengals would be 0-2, the Raiders would be 2-0, and we would be reading roughly 45,000 stories about how Randy Moss is the most important player in football right now."

Return to Glory Starts Now

As the Team of The Decades prepares to play the Philadelphia Eagles, Raider Take is inspired to revisit Super Bowl XV, when the Oakland Raiders routed the birds for the title of World Champions. Rod Martin snagged three picks, and Jim Plunkett and Kenny King connected for the longest TD pass in Super Bowl history.

I don't want to hear that "that was then and this is now." Super Bowl titles are to be savored and remembered. They are the difference between a franchise and a legacy, a dividing line between smack and fact.

Fact: Al Davis owns three trophies.

It is particularly timely to recall Super Bowl XV as it marked the first time that a wild-card team won the Super Bowl. So we're 0-2 after two weeks this year? Well, the Raiders were only 1-1 to start that championship season. The Raiders can beat the birds and turn it around. They have done it before, and they will do it again.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Pregame Stat of The Week for 9/25

After much deliberation in the Raider Take laboratory, I have chosen third-down conversion rate as my pregame stat of the week, which narrowly beats rushes per game by the Raiders (more rushing, please!). A "conversion" occurs when a team gets a first down on third-down play.

Sure, it’s a no-brainer that the higher the opponents’ conversion rate, the bigger your problems (and vice versa on your offensive side). But third-down conversion rate is also a window into larger issues of focus, preparation and adjustments. It bares a team’s soul as it hovers delicately between a punt and touchdown drive, its mettle and determination on the line.

On that note, the Raiders defense has done a great job of holding opponents to third-down conversion rates of 38% and 31% for the first two games. Unfortunately, on the offensive side, the Raiders have essentially matched their opponents, with rates of 31% and 33%. Now come the Eagles, who have held their opponents to rates of 20% and 25% over the first two games (meanwhile, the Eagles converted 70% on offense against the 49ers last week).

I predict that the outcome of this game will be clearly reflected in the third-down conversion rates at the end of the day (which isn't always the case, I might add). Specifically, we need to take our offensive rate up a few notches if we are going to beat the Eagles, to a percentage beyond what we and their opponents have done to date. Methodically moving the chains is going to be crucial to success, because the disciplined Eagles defense won't allow a lot of big plays. So how do we do it? Maybe we’ve come full circle, back to rushes per game, to improving the balance on offense and adjustments on the coaching front.

Last Week’s Stat in Review: I said that penalties would be a crucial factor in the Chiefs game, and they were. We kept the total under double digits, which was a big improvement. But horrible infraction timing combined with referee hallucination drove nails into the coffin.

Haiku: Norv's Nightmare

Norv, this is the ghost
of Joe Bugel; you will punt
and like me be doomed.

Gear of The Week (Early Edition)

Randy Moss has launched a killer website where you will find the Official Randy Moss Collector's Mask (no word yet if there's a matching rear-end mask that will be sold exclusively in Green Bay). It is billed as a "highly detailed limited edition mask created directly from a face cast of Randy Moss." The clincher? It comes "with Afro wig." Find it at

Warning: Wearing this mask will greatly increase your chances of being flagged for offensive pass interference for no damned reason.

Email Your Take

There may be folks who want to give Raider Take some hell or feedback, but don't have the time or inclination to create a Blogger account. Thus, the new email address. If you've got a take, I'd love to hear it. Be forewarned that your take and/or my response might find its way back to the blog (although I will respect anonymity at all times).

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Podcast Props

Raider Take is honored to have been mentioned on the 9/19 edition of Raider Nation Podcast. The distinctive insights, analysis and passion of host Raider Greg have made Raider Nation Podcast the world’s premier source for audio takes and news on the Oakland Raiders.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term "podcast" and its application: A podcast is an “Internet radio file” that can be downloaded to an iPod or other MP3 player, or to a personal computer. It is an emerging phenomenon that enables both the broadcaster and the listener to operate beyond the constraints of traditional corporate radio (see my take “Earth to George” below for one of many reasons why people are seeking alternative sources of audio information). Podcasts are very easy to access. Give it a shot at Raider Nation Podcast.

Not Taking Back The Take

I’ve been getting serious smack flak for my blog and chatroom takes about the Chiefs’ supposedly wicked new defense (see "Not Buying It" take below). So, in the wake of Sunday night's game, I’ll take a nibble of the humble pie, because a loss is a loss. But I’m still not buying the hype.

First off, I don’t want to hear that the zebra-revoked touchdown to Moss wasn’t a touchdown. You can have the other zebra-revoked touchdown, although that was bogus, too. But if you don’t want to give us that Moss touchdown, at least for the sake of this discussion, then I suggest you start following synchronized swimming or ice dancing, because that was a horrible football call to anyone who loves the game of football.

Okay, so we’ve established that the Raiders put three touchdowns on the board. Now let’s look at time of possession. The Chiefs had the ball for 34:34 and the Raiders had the ball for 25:26. The Chiefs had the ball for almost the entire third quarter. Props for that go to the Chiefs’ offense, not to the Chiefs’ defense and their extended Gatorade breaks.

Click here to check out the AFC's "total defense" rankings through week two. Who do you see toward the bottom of the list just one slot ahead of the Raiders? That's right, your Kansas City Chiefs. I’m not saying that the Chiefs’ defense isn’t improved over last year, but this was hardly a dominant performance. Talk smack all you want about the Raiders, but I ain't going to eat the whole humble pie, because I still stand by my take.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Standing Ovation

I'd like to give a virtual standing ovation to Ronald Curry, who suffered another season-ending achilles injury on Sunday. It is tragic for such a young player to have his promising football career potentially derailed by a chronic injury. Ronald has already given us several memorable moments (particularly the one pictured at left) in a short span of games. We can be optimistic that he will return next year to advance the Raiders' unparalleled tradition of receiving excellence.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Haiku: Raiders 17 / Chiefs 23

Offense grounded, the
zebras blinded, and Eagles
circling; what now, Norv?

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Zebra Conspiracy

This is why I'm picking up top-secret military radio signals in my tooth fillings. This is why I'm searching for flying saucer wreckage in the New Mexico desert. This is why I know that there are microphones stashed in my houseplants. Because when Randy Moss makes a clean grab for a crucial touchdown in the second quarter, the NFL zebras take it back and, when all is said and done, give the Chiefs a gift of four net points.

A defender flails around like a lost puppy while Randy calmly goes airborne, and the zebra hallunicates an infraction? It just gives me a stabbing pain right between my spleen and kidney. Do the math, add four points back on the board, and consider how it changes the complexion of the game, particularly the final drive.

I am not making excuses. The recrimination train is just leaving the station. More on that later. But before this game, I said we couldn't afford to give the Chiefs any points that weren't earned. I was talking about penalties, of course, but I hadn't factored in the officials. Why should I have to factor in the officials? And that's why, as a Raiders fan, I have four deadbolts on my front door and tin foil covering my windows.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Gear of the Week

Technically speaking, music isn't gear. But this recording is what I would call "gear for the soul." The Power and The Glory compiles the finest of NFL Films' epic orchestral originals from 1960s and 1970s, with composer Sam Spence and voiceover genius John Facenda capturing the "the relentless power and dangerous beauty of football." Of course, this includes the Autum Wind, as well as dozens of other classics. It might drive your wife crazy, but you will love it. How can you not spend a mere $10.99 on this work of audio art? To purchase, click here

Not Buying It

Aren't you sick of all these talking heads hailing the "vastly improved" Chiefs defense after one game? The Chiefs secondary remains mediocre, and just because the Jets couldn't break free doesn't mean squat. Let them try the same aggressive man coverage against the Raiders. They'll be choking on the fumes of Moss, Porter and Curry.

On that note, I predict that the Raiders will put up big numbers on Sunday, particularly if they can get multiple receivers involved. That will open up the running lanes for LaMont Jordan, and then the magnificence of the 2005 Raiders offense will be fully unleashed, smiting the cocky midwesterners and taking their rightful place atop the division standings. Prediction: Raiders 31, Chiefs 24

Earth to George

Last year, my cousin and I were seeking solace in our beers in the Coliseum parking lot after watching the Raiders lose to the Chiefs on December 5, a game in which the Raiders blew a 20-7 second quarter lead in the wake of questionable defensive strategy. We turned on KSFO to listen to the Raider Nation hash things out, only to hear George Atkinson lording over the callers and shutting down anyone who dared to criticize the the playcalling and defensive strategy. So while Raiders fans were in a legitimate postgame froth, it was all peaches and cream with George.

My take: It’s freakin’ sports talk radio, hombre, not Oprah. The whole point of sports talk radio to second guess things, especially after a loss. You can be a homer for the Raiders and still tell it like it is. Do you think Al Davis was happy that night?

I want to hear some improvement on the postgame air this year. I don't want to hear George Atkinson putting lipstick on a toad. Let us in the Raider Nation have our say when it needs to be said.
Of course, the best cure for all of this is JUST WIN, BABY!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Laxative by Sports Illustrated

This makes me want to puke. In an article published this week, Sports Illustrated asks you to shed a tear for the Patriots because they are supposedly getting screwed by the league's schedule makers. That's right, winning three out of the last four Super Bowls isn't enough. Now we have to feel sorry for them, too.

Under the headline "The Patriots gear up for arguably the toughest five-game regular-season stretch in the history of the NFL," the article states: "No other NFL team has ever had a five-game run in which four games were on the road and the five opponents averaged 11 wins or better in the previous season...That brutal slate of games has some New England players thinking there's a conspiracy against them."

Wasn't it the Raiders who had to travel across the country to play the Super Bowl champs on opening night? When is the last time a 5-11 team opened the following season's first three weeks with two non-divisional cross-country road games against AFC and NFC conference champions? Never, that's when. That is, until the Oakland Raiders got their 2005 schedule.

But there are no excuses in the Raider Nation. We'll leave the crying to the Patriots and Sports Illustrated.

What Is Raider Take?

Raider Take is a blog, or weblog, dedicated to the support, appreciation and analysis of the Oakland Raiders football organization. Raider Take recognizes the greatness of the Oakland Raiders and their fans as unique and unparalleled in the world of sports. Finally, Raider Take is one fan's opinion on issues, developments, merchandise and lore that pertain to the Oakland Raiders experience. I am a diehard Raiders fan, but that will not stop me from leveling criticism when I feel it's warranted. I pledge to make frequent updates for the sake of currency and relevance, and I invite your comments and critiques, which will ultimately make the Raider Take a better place.

Pregame Stat of The Week for 9/18

The Chiefs arrive in Oakland with a high-powered offense that is going to come out swinging (no pun intended with regard to RB Larry Holmes). We can’t afford to give these guys any points or even any yards that aren’t earned. The Raiders need to remain cool and poised to the end. That’s why penalties are my pregame stat of the week.

The Raiders sabotaged themselves with 16 penalties last Thursday. They racked up three times more penalty yards (149 total) than the Patriots. Click here to check out the book from that game. Do you see an evident mismatch? The stat lines actually look pretty even until you get to the penalties. I’m not saying that the game is played on paper. But I’m on the subject of stats right now, and that “16” jumps of the page like a sharp stick in they eye. If we go double digits on penalties again, it's going to be hard to turn the Chiefs into chumps.

P.S. Please don’t give me that crap about “that’s just the Raiders, they’ve always committed a lot of penalties.” At least they used to get something in return for their personal fouls, such as an air of intimidation, domination, mystique, etc. What did we get from Routt’s personal foul in the 4th quarter? Nothing but our asses backed up 15 yards closer to the opponent's final fate-sealing touchdown.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Al's Haiku - Pregame Chiefs Edition

Take what you give us?
No, take what we want; going
deep, black hole, touchdown.

I Love Al Davis

As a diehard Raiders fan, I am a regular recipient of “I hate Al Davis” remarks. Usually, these come from people who root for the 49ers or some other lame team or those who have just blindly bought into the media's “Raiders = Evil” equation. When asked to back it up, they usually give me one of three reasons:

1. Al Davis moved the Raiders to Los Angeles.

My take: The L.A. move was indeed a bummer. But they’ve been back in Oakland for 10 years. Last I checked, the Colts weren’t back in Baltimore, the Ravens weren’t back in Cleveland, and the Cardinals weren’t back in St. Louis, to name a few. It’s not like Mr. Davis is alone in looking out for number one, and at least he returned to Oakland. So get over it.

2. Al Davis is a dinosaur and the game has passed him by, and he should hang it up.

My take: Last I checked, the Raiders have gone to Super Bowls in four of the past five decades, including one just a few years ago. Looks to me like Mr. Davis has kept damned good pace with the game of football. When I hand over my $80 to catch a game at the Coliseum, I’m glad it’s going to someone smart enough, and willing enough, to reinvest it in playmakers like Randy Moss and LaMont Jordan.

3. Al Davis is the ringleader of a pack of thugs known as the Raiders fan base.

My take: If you want to sit near a cappuccino-sipping grandmother in the temperature-controlled Edward Jones Dome while the Rams run around a piece of carpet, go right ahead. Just don’t call it football. Yes, Raiders fans are vocal and colorful, which is ultimately a reflection of the authenticity, passion and staying power that Mr. Davis represents when it comes to football. But Raiders fans are not thugs (although there are bad apples in any crowd), and if you’d actually come to one of the games instead of talking ignorant smack, you’d discover this for yourself.

Long Bomb from Italy

I had the distinct pleasure of making the acquaintance of Marco Santini, a diehard Raiders fan who roots for the Silver and Black from his home in Northern Italy. Even the Oakland Raiders have recognized Marco as a standout citizen of the global Raider Nation. Click here to read more about Marco on It's reassuring to know that, while there are Raiders haters just across the bay, there are also Raiders rooters all across the world. Marco would love to hear from Raiders fans at

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Future Take

I like to follow my bitch sessions with something positive. Well, there's something positive on the Raiders bench. It's rookie QB Andrew Walter. When the Patriots diced up Kerry Collins last Thursday, many in the Raider Nation were calling for his head. Their proposed replacement? Not Tui, but the rookie.

Walter goes against the recent Raider grain. When is the last time the Raiders had a true QB prospect in the wings (besides that Marinovich dude, whose over-achieving father drove him to smoking weed and riding skateboards)? The Raider way is free-agent veteran QBs: Collins, Gannon, George, Hostetler, Beuerlein, Plunkett, etc. But this trend of old QBs might be getting a bit...old. There are more Georges and Collins than Plunketts and Gannons out there.

So who is Andrew Walter? The Raiders stole him in the third round of the 2005 draft, long after several other QBs had been selected. He stands a rock solid 6'6" and has a cannon for an arm. At Arizona State he shattered the Pac 10 career record for touchdowns set by John Elway in 1977. He had a season-ending shoulder injury in 2004, which is why he lasted until the third round of the draft. But he has made a full recovery, and Al Davis made a brilliant move in picking him up.

Walter looked strong and poised during limited work in the preseason, which means he didn't look like a rookie (unlike, say, 49ers' first-rounder Alex Smith). But the jury is still out. I wouldn't start him yet. Let's not kick Collins to the curb based on one game. However, it's reassuring to know that the Raiders may already possess their future at the QB position.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Throw Some Furniture, Norv!

I hate to kick the Raiders when they're down. I love the Raiders. But tough love is what they need right now. So I'm going to rant about the tackling. Specifically, the open field tackling. The Patriots game was 2004 all over again.

Did you see the Eagles and Falcons last night? That was an awesome display of crisp, disciplined tackling by both teams. This is in stark contrast to the Silver and Black, who just rarely seem to have the correct angle or timing (with apologies to Charles Woodson, who can definitely tackle, at least when he's in the mood).

I'm not talking about the initial separation that receivers are getting (and they're getting a lot, which is another big problem), but how the linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks execute after the catch. And it's not pretty.

Now, what are Norv Turner, defensive coordinator Rob Ryan and the Raiders defensive backfield doing about this? Compared to the teams cited above, the backfield schemes and performance remain positively infantile.

Norv, it's time to stop being chagrined and start getting pissed off. Throw some furniture. Bench the underperformers. Bring in some hungry players from the practice squad. Anything besides subjecting us to more of the same.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Gear of The Week for 9/12

This Reebok jacket scores points for tradition. There's the classic Raiders shield on the back, and the "Raiders" line logo in the true team font on the front (bucking the regrettable Reebok trend of choosing new fonts each year and using them on gear for all 32 NFL teams). Best of all, it's a steal at 50% off. Get it here.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Haiku: Raiders 20 / Patriots 30

The “tuck rule” still not
avenged; Moss triple teamed——don’t
throw it Kerry...Noooooo!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

How to Sack

With the Raiders set to christen the 2005 NFL season on Thursday night against the Patriots, I am inspired to post this visual lesson in sacking the quarterback, courtesy of Raiders legend Ben Davidson.

As this photo attests, there are four stages to the classic Raiders sack:

1. Launch
2. Impact
3. Choke
4. Slam

Now, we in the Raider Nation were supposed to rejoice when Warren Sapp came to town. But when was the last time you saw the fearsome Mr. Sapp demonstrate the art of the sack with such ferocity, agility and elegance? In fact, when when was the last time you saw anyone do it, on the Raiders or any other team? Today, the quarterback sack is just a rote, boring and inelegant exercise. Today, a sack is a statistic. In Mr. Davidson's day, it was an event.

If you wonder why we Raiders fans are so sentimental about the 1970s, it's because we haven't seen anything like it since. It's like Bach or Baudelaire or Picasso. Well, not quite. But you get the drift.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Season Kickoff Haiku

Al’s vertical game
s like fine wine, watch it
and weep: touchdown Moss