Wednesday, November 23, 2005

News You Can't Use

It’s time once again for “News You Can’t Use.” Special thanks to Raider Nation Podcast for tipping me off to this one.

As I said when Raider Take launched News You Can’t Use, these posts are not meant as personal attacks on sportswriters, but rather to promote fairness, accuracy and intellectual rigor in media coverage of the Oakland Raiders. Alas, the San Francisco Chronicle has published a piece that fails on each of these fronts. In baseball, that’s called batting a thousand. Hey guys, great effort!

Just for fun, I’m going to apply the time-tested Fallacies of Philosophical Reasoning to this piece…


“The coach and the quarterback usually get blamed when things are not going well. But let's be realistic here. The Raiders have had just three winning seasons since they returned from Los Angeles in 1995.”

Fallacy: Red Herring. What does 1995 have to do with analyzing the personal performances of Norv Turner and Kerry Collins on Sundays in 2005? Congratulations, you have insulted the collective intelligence of the Raider Nation.

“Derrick Burgess is the kind of player the Raiders should pursue in free agency but rarely do; he's just 27.”


Fallacy: Misrepresentation. Merry Christmas, here’s your abacus. Now you can do the math: Randy Moss is 28 and LaMont Jordan is 27.

“The problem is, however, that Al Davis' fascination to patch the roster each year with veterans and his aversion to rebuilding masks a fundamental problem.”


Fallacy: Suppressed Evidence (Bonus fallacy: using the word “problem” twice in the same sentence). You mean the problem that resulted in veterans such as Rich Gannon, Rod Woodson and Jerry Rice helping lead the Raiders to a Super Bowl berth in 2003? Yes, it’s truly a shame that Al Davis doesn’t follow the Dr. York model instead of “patching” his roster with veterans like Randy Moss and LaMont Jordan and Derrick Burgess.

The upshot of this article is that the Raiders have been a total bust since returning to Oakland. Interesting premise…Do you know how hard it is, in today’s NFL, to win your division three straight years, as the Raiders did from 2000 through 2002? As I’ve said before, this is a favorite anti-Raiders tactic, this denial of the 2000s, as if it didn’t happen. Who are you to criticize Mr. Davis for the bad years and then deny him his great ones? Thought so.


And that, Raiders fans, is news you can't use.

P.S. The "email" icon at the bottom of this and other posts enables you easily to sound the Raider Take alarm via email. Please feel free to spread the word to your favorite friends (and sportswriters). With your help, the tide of anti-Raiders propaganda will be turned...

6 Comments:

Blogger Peter Fleming said...

Hey there Raider Take,

Thank you for your staunch defense of Raider Nation against the media. Kinda like working for the White House sometimes, huh?

I don't know if this has been thrown around at all, but I figured I'd bring it up.

Brett Favre.

Now, I like Collins. I'm Anonymous #2 who commented on your 11/15 post, and have wanted the Raiders to get Kerry for years. The thing that bothers me is his lack of fire. I haven't jumped off the Collins bandwagon, maybe if Randy is healthy next year, and LaMont establishes himself as the leader, that fire will be taken care of, but I like the idea of the quarteback, the field marshall, rallying the troops, not the other guys. That brings me to the Brett Favre farewell tour.

I'm one of those guys who looks at a lot of people ending their careers in a blaze of glory in Oakland (I was praying for Marino, for example) so take it with a grain of salt. But would you trade a #3, maybe a #2, to Green Bay for Favre?

You get a leader with fire, mobility, and a great arm who likes to throw deep and take chances. Just what the Raiders need.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

The Packers would have to be presented with an insane deal to withstand the PR backlash of trading away the best player in Packer history. I don't think he's worth better than a 4th round pick at this stage...if that...and the Packers wouldn't even consider it. The more realistic scenario is that he refuses to acknowledge his declining skills and gets cut by the team.

However, as much as the Raiders favor veterans, they haven't gone pre-historic at the QB position and they've usually opted for someone with at least three good years left in them. The exception to that, of course, is Blanda but he was used primarily as a kicker and a backup QB.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting on Favre. The thing that seems to be happening with Favre is while the fire still burns he doesn't seem as coachable as he once was and the result is he's an interception machine.

Granted, no running game, injuries through the entire O-line and receiving corps are contributing to Favre's tough year but his tendency to try and do too much is exactly what the Raiders do not need.

I think Collins can work out but he, Norv and the rest of the offense need to focus more on sustaining drives than chucking it downfield 30+ yards. I mean how many times do he and Jordan not connect? How many times does he throw it away after being flushed out of the pocket and on the replay you see Anderson or Gabriel wide open?

I'm not saying he can be turned into Rich Gannon, but that's a dimension he and the offense lack and need.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Peter, thanks for your feedback! I look forward to the day when I can retire News You Can't Use.

I'm not convinced about Favre, for a variety of reasons. Even if the Raiders go the veteran route (again), I'd like to see someone with a little more upside in terms of longevity. Like you, I love his fire on the field, but he keeps talking about riding off into the sunset. I think we need someone who can give us at least three or four solid years, whether that remains Collins, or someone else like Walter or a free agent reload.

One thing I know for sure: our offense needs to start scoring 20+ points with regularity. Anything less is a travesty.

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Mad Stork 83 said...

We all go crazy when Collins has a game like the Denver game two weeks ago. But the reality is that he's played pretty good ball overall this year. I want to know why we can't seem to run for 4 yards a carry more often. If we could, Collins would have a much easier time of things. I don't blame Jordan, i don't see our line getting a lot of push in these games where he's struggled, especially last week and the Philly game. If our run blocking is not improved, and our blitz pickups are so so, I'm wondering exactly why we had to fire our offensive line coach and sign Jim Coletto in the offseason! It seems to me the line has regressed a little since playing good ball down the stretch last season...

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the Raiders pursuing Patrick Ramsey in the offseason?

11:59 AM  

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