Friday, February 17, 2006

Reload and Repeat

First, Raider Take’s favorite columnist suddenly makes sense and merits praise, as noted in an earlier take. Now, the author of an anti-Raiders column actually copes with reality and admits the following:
“I know it's pretty hard to justify what I am writing when the Raiders were in the Super Bowl just a few years ago…”

Is honesty making a comeback? Again, I won’t hold my breath, but things are definitely looking up this week.

Of course, this guy also says some pretty nutty things (they always do, which makes my job much easier), such as: “Davis has become a joke in my opinion and in many others'. They're just not willing to say it publicly.”

Wow, what a pioneer. Al Davis bashing is rare? Where has this guy been? Nevertheless, I have to give the guy his due, because at least he stands by his take within the context of reality, not fantasy.

The worst thing that ever happened to the Raider haters is the team’s dominant run from 2000 through 2002. It disturbed their worldview. It left them silent and slack jawed. It forced them to go on a three-year sabbatical from trashing Al Davis.

The best thing that ever happened to the Raider haters is this recent run of three losing seasons. They returned from exile with a vengeance. Still, they knew that things would never be the same unless…unless they pretended that 2000 to 2002 never happened. And so it began...

Such as: “A decade of largely indifferent results.” And: referring to “The History Channel” when addressing the team’s success. And: calling out the team for “ignoring every NFL strategic upgrade of the past 20 years.” And so on.

So we’re going to keep reminding them that it’s impossible for Al Davis to be both an all-powerful serial meddler who is entirely responsible for the bad years and a hands-off guy who gets no credit for the teams that recently won the AFC West for three straight seasons (resulting in two AFC Championship appearances and one Super Bowl berth). We're going to remind them that it's impossible for the Raiders to have recently gone to the Super Bowl and to have done nothing lately. It doesn’t add up. Do the math. You can’t have it both ways. Logic will always be bigger than bias.

Go ahead and hold Al Davis responsible for the current state of affairs. Many loyal Raiders fans do. But, like the aforementioned columnist, at least proceed within the complex reality of the Raiders instead of a simple biased fantasy. That’s what distinguishes real journalism from hatchet jobs.

As for Raider Take readers who might feel that I’m starting to sound like a broken record, you have a point. However, they say that if you repeat lies often enough they undermine the truth. We’ve certainly seen that with Raiders coverage. At Raider Take, we believe that if you repeat the facts often enough you can regain the truth.

So for now, it’s reload and repeat. We need to grow our fan base. We need to fill seats. We need to keep the Raiders in Oakland. We’re already facing an uphill climb. We can’t afford to have Raider haters making our climb steeper by distorting reality and turning off potential newcomers. So it's reload and repeat and spread the good news.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the fire and brimstone! I have no problem with you hammering this point home because the Raider haters have had a huge head start. I'm really hoping the new ticket plan makes a dent in the sellout situation. It sounds like a great plan. As a matter of fact I live in New Jersey and I'm already wrestling with the idea of grabbing a couple of tickets. But what do I tell the wife...

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how can bringing in art shell be bad when you look at the last few years. the raiders demise had more to do with an overthrow of the roster after the gruden-callahan years. how many teams could go thru that and win ? i believe the raiders biggest and most important task for next year will be that horrible offensive line. if you cant run the ball you cant win..period..
the raiders will go no further than that line no matter who the QB or coach is.

5:38 AM  
Blogger dan said...

Agree with the points about Raider haters who really tick me off. Unfortunately, not much we can say given 13 wins in 3 yrs. So I suck it up and wait for the day we return to glory.

I'm cautiously optimistic with Shell, but the CC times article I read about the o-coordinater makes me nervous. A lot of work to do, particularly on the o-line...

6:23 AM  
Blogger cisco said...

As much as I like to ignore the Raider haters ( I live in San Diego), it does still bother me to no end. Not because of them talking about the Raiders, it's because their shit talking does merit some truth.

I love Al Davis, I am a huge fan. However I will admit he has really done quite a bad job with our player/personnel decisions. I mean come on. We have done a horrible job building through the draft, with the exception of the last 2yrs our drafts have been a joke.
The Raiders Organization is in need of a serious turnaround. Al needs to give more power to his coaches, now I am not saying total control but at least enough to give players the impression that the coach can discipline them. It's just minor tweaks that need to be made to get the pirate ship right again. I love the Raiders and the fans. But the reality raider nation is this. The Raiders are in desperate need of change and it all starts at the top. Raiders forever!

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with most of whats been stated already. The only way to shut up the media is to start winning. While I didn't like how the coaching search was conducted, or ended, I am fully behind Art Shell now. At some point, you just have to circle the wagons. I would like to see Shell make even more history by becoming the 1st black head coach to win the Super Bowl. I think the fastest way is to build up an already good defense. The Raiders have not had a dominant D, since the last time they won the SB.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Mad Stork, here's a shout out to you from Mercer County. Sometimes I wish I lived near Oakland so that I could finally get to go to a game. On the other hand, being out of towners, we're immune to one of the hottest pieces of controversy...whether or not the Raiders are going to move again. That's something I really don't envy because that's gotta sting for you locals. Living in Eagles territory, I can imagine the uproar if they moved out of the Philly area. The fact that Al's done this to Oakland already doesn't help.

That's actually a question I've been meaning to ask you guys in the Oakland area...has the team moving out (and moving back) made you more on edge for another possible move and on the verge of disowning the team if Al moves them out again? Or has the previous move made you numb, and you'd still follow the Silver and Black no matter where they played? I also wonder how many Oakland people here previously disowned the Raiders after the move (and have since welcomed them back) and how many here are fans from the LA area who still follow them even though they abandoned LA.

As for Art Shell, we have no choice but to be cautiously optimistic. It's the hand we've been dealt, now we have to play it.

Let's just hope that our draft turns out to be the most fruitful since 1974 (Henry Lawrence, Dave Casper, Van Eeeghen)...although at this point I wouldn't complain with another 1983 (Mosebar, Pickel, Greg Townsend). And, hey, if we just wind up with one franchise player ala Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, or Howie Long...I'm good with that too. Just, please, draft somebody GOOD.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Doobie, I can only speak for myself on this question, which I think pertains to the entirety of Northern California.

For me, the past move is in the past. It's the current business reality that spooks me, the dearth of sellouts, the damage done by the recently disbanded OFMA, the fact that the Raiders thus rank toward the bottom of the NFL in revenue, and that the Coliseum lease expires in five years.

I have personally decided, however, that mountains can be moved. That's what Raider Take is all about. It's about spreading the good news with your help and, brick by brick, fan by fan, building a firm foundation for the future of the Raiders in Oakland.

The OAKLAND Raiders were a wonderful rallying point in our family when I was growing up, and we still root together. I would love to pass that family tradition along to my son (on the way), to attend Raiders games with him in 10 years and 15 years.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Last year the play calling was terrible and what made matters worst there were too many times that Collins looked like a deer caught in the head lights.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Raiders belong in Oakland, the character of the team and the town are too good a fit. That being said, most every Raiders fan knows in his/her heart that wherever the team goes, our loyalty will follow. There is no disowning. Take it from one who has been saved by NFL Sunday Ticket the last ten years...

10:55 AM  
Blogger cisco said...

look I am pissed off about the media speculating about the why and who's of the Raiders front office. Did anybody read Adam Schein's article about the Raiders? The title is " for the Raiders the buck stops with Davis" His article pissed me off so much that I had to reply.. enjoy the reading..
"Adam buddy the reason no one called your show or wrote you about wanting Shell back is because you are a nobody. You write for a 2nd rate sports network. Your fictitious writing makes you more than qualified to write for other mainstream papers such as say, the New York Times, New York Post or The Los Angeles Times. Of course they don't have actual writers there tend to hire people really good at cut and pasting. Because they, just like you, just regurgitate everything that other hacks in your line of business say. It's like you guys feel that if enough people are saying it, it will be believeable.

See if you had done any kind of logical research in areas other than your fraternal brotherhood of fictitious media writers you would know that this has been a hot topic of discussion even before the Raiders hired Norv Turner. It's not like I expected you to do any research at all anyways. That is how the media operates these days. You guys like to take opinions and state them as facts. Oh, the Raiders are in serious cap trouble, funny that it has never effected our ability to sign free agents. Ken Whisenhut turned the Raiders down. Um sorry how can you turn down something you weren't offered? In fact while they were interviewing Ken, they offered the job to "Bernard" Petrino. So how serious were the Raiders about giving Ken W. the job? Ah not very! Oh nobody wanted the job. but you forget Mike Martz asked for an interview and didn't Haskell say he would be interested and Fassel as well. But yep nobody wanted the job. How can you say our coaching seach was an embarrassment? Can you please justify your statement? Exactly who did we miss out on? Brad Childress? Herm "the quitter" Edwards? Mike McCarthy? Sean Payton? He, according to your opinions, turned down the Raiders. But then he chose to go to the "don't want to stay in New Orleans" Saints? Quality choice Sean, what kind of history do they have again? Eric "I will hire anybody to fill my staff" Mangini? Rod "I have dreams of Military boot camp" Marinelli. I won't even mention the other names because quite frankly it would be a waste of my breath. We missed out on NOBODY, just like you NOBODY. And why don't you tell the real story regarding "Bernard" Petrino? He turned down the job because of his family, namely his son. Al has stated he has proof of "Bernards" interest do you have proof he declined the job because it was the Raiders? Your point about Shell being at the bottom of Al's list is again opinion and not fact.

You sports hacks criticize team owners for not hiring any minority candidates. Then the Raiders do and you call that minority hire a puppet? What kind of argument is that? So you expect me to believe that all other qualified minority candidates were turned down because of their color but minority candidate Art Shell was never hired again until now because he just wasn't good? That's makes as much sense as the NAACP calling blacks uncle tom's because they align themselves with the Republican party. The media likes to speak volumes about equal opportunity, but I guess it just depends on who is extending that opportunity, right? Come get some!

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

".....Cisco came in blasting, drinking port....Ay....yi....yi"

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doobie, I basically feel the same way as RT. The past is in the past. That being said, I would be devastated if the Raiders ever moved from Oakland again. Either way, I would never disown the team.

My favorite time of the year is always the first home game (regular season) of the year when the team comes out of tunnel with AC / DC blaring over the loud speakers. Not to sound like a sissy, but it's an emotional moment.

It has been hard to grow the local fan base because of the lack of exposure due to the continual TV blackouts. Hopefully this year will be different since the team has taken over the ticket sales and marketing, and have already lowered most of the pricing.

We should be able to get more seats filled this year, but if not I believe Mr. Davis can now buy up the remaining unsold seats each week so that the game can be seen locally (the same thing the Niners have been doing the last few years). Due to OFMA, I don't think that was an option in the past.

I think that getting back on the tube locally will be a positive step to build suppport for the team.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

I realize that I sound like an Afternoon School Special in my earlier comment, but the Raiders belong in Oakland, and I can't stand the idea of them leaving again.

The Raiders in Oakland are like cactus in Arizona and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It's where the team belongs, and they need to figure out a way to make it work, and maybe we can can all help in our own ways, by spreading the good news and bringing new fans into the fold.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more, although I never read Raider Hater columns. I just wait for you to put them into quick witted one liners and take it for what it's worth.. one line. I have to agree with raider00 we do need to continue to build our D. I believe that we will have a lot fewer penalties with Shell in place and the O line WILL improve. Living in CT and living the snow bowl debacle my only relief was the Pats getting beat by the West, I wish we were in on that beating.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes Raider4ever, we must build a dominant defense. By going the way of Baltimore 2000, & Tampa 2002, we can win with defense, and take pressure off what is sure to be a underwhelming Qb situation. The Ravens, & Bucs won with Dilfer, & Johnson. Even KFC might be in their class. Not that I want to see him back, but the nightmare could happen, so might as well go the dominant D route. Just remember '84, Millen, Long, Alzado, Hayes, Haynes, Hendricks, just to name a few. Wow, what a team. It's been too long.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Nice nuclear blast Cisco. Keep bringin' it.

I'm a die-hard Raider fan born and raised in SoCal. The Raiders belong in Oakland. It would be a shame if the team moved due to poor fan support and inadequate revenue streams. No matter what though I would continue to follow the team through hell and high water. ("Silver and Black Forever. Til death do us part")

I would absolutlely love for Rob Ryan to take a page from his pops playbook and build a dominating and devastating D. Although the D made strides last year, we are still a long ways off from becoming a top 10 D. We need to add more playmakers to each defensive group (D-Line, LBs, DBs) to create more turnovers. 5 INTs in 16 games is downright embarrasing. We need another pass rushing demon on the opposite side of D-Burg. We need a SS with the ability to fill the gaps on runs and lock down Tight Ends in pass coverage. We need a ball-hawking OLB with the ability to blitz.

If we are transitioning into a more ball-control, clock chewing, power running, conservative offense, it would make sense to trade Doug Gabriel for a defensive starter or additonal pick(s) in the draft. My sincere hope is that by 2007 the Raiders D will be feared and respected as an elite unit.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Calico, amen to that. Let's just hope that in the end Rob isn't to Buddy Ryan what David was to Don Shula. :)

5:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The key phrase is indeed the one RT pointed out, but let's not forget the second half of it:

"I know it's pretty hard to justify what I am writing when the Raiders were in the Super Bowl just a few years ago (Really Russell? When was the last time the Donkos, Chefs, or Dischargers were there, buddy? Let's see ya blast them...), but the following year saw a disaster unfold, as whiny overpaid prima donna players went above the powerless Bill Callahan and directly to the man who writes their checks."

The problem is the mediots (like this guy) have different standards for Raiders vs. non-Raiders. Callahan says "We are the stoopidest team in America," and the mediots publicly crucify him without hesitation or end.

Let Bill Parcells make the exact same comment (which he did, about the Cokeboys) and the mediots say "Oh, that's just Parcells being Bill." Two Bills; two completely different spins.

But once the media pointed out the Callahan quote over and over, whiny players like WTF Chuck Woodson went bananas. The team was indeed playing stoopid ball at that point in time, but Chuck's ego wouldn't let him get called out in public, even when it was true.

Throw in Timmah Brown once again deludedly acting like he represents the franchise by publicly stating, "I had to hold players down to keep them from punching Callahan in the locker room." and we've got a full-scale riot on our hands, people.

While I agree Callahan was a humorless coach (and after all, football IS supposed to be fun), the mediots definitely are responsible for instigating. The problem is not that the players went to Al Davis with their whiny cr@p, it's that they went outside the organization with it.

Sapp, Timmah, C. Wood, Lifetime Buchanon, ad nauseum need to keep that stuff in the family. When Raider players try to use the media for their own selfish agendas, it never goes the way they think it will and ultimately leads to drama and trauma in the locker room.

As much as I disliked the Norv years, I really thought his mumbling his way through press conferences was pretty sharp. Norv never gave the press anything but positive comments and left no quotes to spin.

The turnover indeed has been tremendous, but IMO, Al Davis sticks with a coach until said coach loses the players. Once the players do not believe, the cause is lost. The problem is not that the players go to "the man who writes their checks." The problem is the players go to the mediots with their PMS-driven b!+chiness!

Verily, them mediots do not have our best interests at heart when they stir $h!+ up. They are just trying to sell papers.

Bottom line: The Raiders (players, coaches, fans alike) need to be reminded that it is US vs. THEM. That's what Raider Take is for, IMO.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thank you, Stick 'Em, for your brilliant exclamation point on this discussion. Great analysis of that Callahan revolt and the media's (and the players') role in it.

7:36 AM  
Blogger cisco said...

We could build a dominant Buddy Ryan type of Blitzberg defense if we drafted or signed free agents that would fit that scheme. But what do we do, we sign warren sapp to play d-end? Move Brayton and Irons to l-backers? We need more athletic and quicker l-backers. And we need to d-ends to seal off the edges and 2 big bodys to eat up the middle. Our SS needs to be physical and smart, doesn't need to be fast( I would really like to see Donnie Nickey in silver and black, big and nasty and physical, think of former raider stud Vann McElroy) Buddy Ryan played a 46 scheme. We have the corners and FS, adequete lineman and ends to pull it off. We need 1 or 2 more athletic l-backers. This draft is deep in l-backers that would fit our needs. I hope we make smart choices in the draft.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Peter Fleming said...

Regarding a possible Raider move, well, call me selfish.

I have always secretly hoped Uncle Al brought his team home to Brooklyn, where NYC would finally have it OWN football team, instead of two that play and have their HQs in New Jersey. Screw 'em I say. They should be the Jersey Jets and Giants.

The Raider attitude would fit in quite well in Brooklyn and Uncle Al would be back home. Plus, the Raiders are one the few national teams (second only, and it's close, to the Cowboys) with a following al over the country so the move wouldn't be as scary.

Granted, there's no stadium, and I'm not sure where there's room for one, but who cares about details???

8:55 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

No offense to my Raiders amigos on the East Coast (and there are many of you), but if the Raiders ever move east of Fresno, you will find me curled up in the fetal position with a bottle of Jack Daniels. That's just me being selfish.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Peter Fleming said...

curled up with a bottle of JD????

Raider Take, what else do we do on Friday nights?????


10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Doobie, right back at you from Passaic County (where Jack Tatum rattled skulls in high school before leaving for Ohio State)!

And good job by you, Cisco. I wrote Schein a similar note after his idiotic column. I love how the media is focused on the WAY Shell was hired. In other words, they can't say anything terrible about Shell so they'll rip the process itself. Kawakami of the Mercury News is another one who eaned a nasty note from me. He has such an attitude I don't know why a player would even bother speaking with him.

And as for the Raiders moving, even though I live in NJ I hope they never ever leave Oakland. I've been lucky enough to go to a bunch of games out there over the years and it's a very special thing. I truly hope the new ticket plan works...

10:41 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

RT: No, you being selfish is if you wouldn't share any of the JD.

Soooooo, now that it's looking more and more likely that Drew Brees is going to test the free agency market, what's everyone's take on him as the next QB of the Raiders?

I've got mixed feelings about it. On one hand, he doesn't have a huge arm (no pun intended) but on the other hand he does have some playoff experience and is probably a pretty big upgrade over KFC. So in other words, I'm all for it, but the lack of a cannon might cause Al to pass on him.

However, signing Brees away from an interdivisional rival could be a definite advantage that Al might jump on.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Doobie said...

ALSO, according to Rotoworld, Adam Shefter from the NFL Network is reporting that Kerry Collins doesn't want to stay with the Raiders.

Interesting. If this is true, perhaps a QB change isn't far away after all.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doobie: Brees has maybe the best running back in the NFL to help him out. Plus, he throws most of his passes to the tight end, & those passes seem to be jump balls. Art Shell has already stated he wants to be able to strike from anywhere on the field. Not likely with Brees' candy arm. That's good news though about KFC wanting to leave. I will gladly hold the door open for him.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that SD is letting Brees shop around is telling me that he has a serious shoulder issue. They are a playoff team and they are willing to turn the squad over to an unproven QB who has no arm [and I mean Rivers gets zero on the ball]? Makes no sense. This is a definite buyer beware situation. Brees's shoulder could be as bad as Bulger's [misses 4-5 games a year] or worse. I say we steer clear....

7:07 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

LK: ditto here. I think part of this is that they simply can't continue to play both QBs that kind of big money. They invested a lot in Rivers and it was only a matter of time before he had to start. As for Brees, weak arm + shoulder problems ≠ Raider material. Next!

9:11 AM  

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