Friday, June 30, 2006

News You Can't Use: Sports Illustrated

In his latest hit piece on the Oakland Raiders, our favorite Sports Illustrated writer—the one who penned the widely panned “story” about Eddie DeBartolo and Carmen Policy potentially buying the Raiders—ranks Mr. Davis 25th in his evaluation of NFL owners, down in the dregs with the likes of the Bidwills and Yorks. Guess who ranks 22 slots higher? Daniel "Money for Nothing" Snyder of the Redskins. Talk about intellectual gymnastics. Take this guy's pen away before he hurts himself.

Here’s the relevant excerpt:

"Raiders chief executive Amy Trask says her boss, who turns 77 on the Fourth of July, "is as vital and vibrant as ever." Unfortunately, his franchise is in ICU, with dubious talent and a miserable stadium situation made worse over the years by lawsuits, Davis' aversion to marketing (because, after all, they're the Raiders, and everybody loves them) and an initial miscalculation of a once-rabid fan base's collective fervor. The good news is that Davis cares about nothing besides the Raiders; the myth, however, is that he wants to win at all costs. That fallacy was exposed when Marcus Allen mysteriously disappeared on third downs and in goal-line situations in the early '90s, and it suffered another blow when Davis decided not to try to extend Jon Gruden's contract after the coach led the team to the AFC Championship Game in his third season."

Of course, our author neglects to mention that the Raiders went to the Super Bowl in the season immediately following Gruden’s eventual departure. He neglects to mention this because it disturbs his worldview. You see, Mr. Davis is an all-powerful meddler when things are going bad for the Raiders, but a mere pawn of Jon Gruden when things are going well, and Bill Callahan’s team was actually Jon Gruden’s team, even though the great Jon Gruden was on the other sideline during that Super Bowl, coaching his team, not Tony Dungy’s team. You got that?

Check out Raider Raza’s compendium of praise for Mr. Davis—does this sound like one of the worst owners in the NFL to you? Mr. Davis helped pioneer the AFL-NFL merger, assembled some of the greatest football teams in NFL history, racked up three Lombardi trophies, blazed executive trails in both race and gender, was elected to the Hall of Fame and won the AFC West three times in this decade. Yet he is one of the worst owners in the NFL? Don't tell me that the past doesn't matter—you're the one who brought Marcus Allen, and thus the past, into this discussion.

It’s particularly ironic that, while dissing Hall of Famer and law-abiding citizen Al Davis, our author writes love letters to convicted criminal and NFL pariah Eddie DeBartolo.

And what’s this about an aversion to marketing? Once the Raiders got control of their own ticketing operations this year, they began marketing the hell out of season tickets. They’ve gone so far as to assign a personal service representative to each season ticket holder. Click here to read comments from myself and others about the success of this new ticket marketing approach.

Additionally, the Oakland Raiders consistently rank in the top five in NFL team merchandise sales. How can you achieve such a distinction without, at some level, being a savvy marketer?

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

P.S. Thanks to Mad Stork 83 for tipping us off to this piece.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the beloved author also fails to mention, was going into his third season with the Raider, Jon Gruden announced that he would like to weigh his options instead of immediately signing with the Raiders. This prompted Al Davis not to resign the coach, not because the offer wasn't there, because Gruden himself didn't accept the offer. How is that Davis' fault?

5:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, when Marcus Allen was sidelined on 3rd and Goal in the '90s, who replaced him? BO JACKSON! I'd take him over Marcus any day.....

5:37 AM  
Blogger The Analyzer said...

He was a coach, AFL commisioner, and he turned around an NFL Franchise. He has done more for professional football than anyone. Such a lack of respect is disturbing.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

What is the criteria that Mikey Silver uses to rank the owners? Puzzling & distrurbing. Silver seems to think he is qualified to second guess some of Al's decisions. He also seems to use the "Who has the nicest, newest stadium?" as a major part of his evaluation of owners.

Shouldn't this ranking be mostly based on a franchise's overall winning perrcentage, how many superbowl appearances, how many superbowl wins, the total contribution to your franchise, the total contribution to the league?

On all counts Al Davis would be in the top 5. Throw in the Hall of Fame, being a pioneer in hiring minorities and woman to positions of leadership, plus top 3 in merchandising sales each and every year for good measure.

Finally, here's one more footnote: Al Davis was instrumental in brokering the recent CBA.

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just...what's the word...oh yeah, 'moronic'. First of all, just look at the guy's picture--looks like he just came off a three day bender--maybe that's the explanation for this tripe?

As has been hit out of the park by many posters already, Al has the hardware and the leadership resume to be no lower than .... one.

Silver's second group cracks me up--Snyder, Huizenga, Lurie, Richardson, McNair--what did they do? They lead the league in HWD [haven't won dick], passed on Reggie Bush, whatever. He's got Bowlen and Glazer in that group too. Together they have as many Lombardi trophies as we do and double the losses.

Yikes! I'm in the worng business

9:54 AM  
Blogger The Analyzer said...

Yeah it's pretty crappy. I don't think Al will get the respect he deserves until after he's gone. Then all the "experts" will say how much he did for the League but until then we have to endure these haters dissing the Godfather of the NFL.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This fool does not deserve to have the name Silver. There is nothing Silver, or Black about this blathering idiot. He should change his name to Michael Yellow, as in Yellow journalism.
By the way, he should also start saving his pennies. You never know when DeBartolo might need bail money.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Roy said...

Just one of the many reasons that I do not subscribe to Sports Illustrated.

5:51 PM  
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