Friday, September 15, 2006

A Nation Not Defeated

The game might have been a disaster, but the tailgate was righteous. The Raider Nation was out in force, loud and proud, rocking the Coliseum with a spontaneous “U.S.A! U.S.A!” chant after the 144th Fighter Wing of the California Air National Guard soared overhead.

I’ve only sold about 40 Raider Take shirts, and there were 60,000 people at the game, so imagine my surprise when I saw a Raider Take shirt cruising right past my tailgate—attached to a fan from Florida, no less. What are the odds of that in a crowd of 60,000? Apparently, fate smiles upon Raider Take. Vince in the Raider Take shirt was joined by Steve and Tim, also from Florida (see top photo). We ate hamburgers and talked shop.

Cousin of Raider Take and I later ambled over to the Raider Nation Podcast tailgate, where we found Greg and Randy, the dynamic duo of RNP, along with Greg’s wife Charmaine and their daughter, who was celebrating her 11th birthday. They were joined by some cool cats from Oklahoma, as well as Raider Rick and CNY Raider Fan. Raider Rick is the benefactor of RNP’s free ticket contest to out-of-area fans, and CNY Raider Fan, who hails from New York, was the winner for this game (photo at right: Rick, CNY Raider Fan, Greg)

So without even trying, we met fans from Florida, Oklahoma and New York. How cool is that?

I returned home to an email from Charger fan (author of the earlier “Raiders Suck” email), in which he states, “You guys just plain suck raider nation is a f**** joke…” Apparently, Charger fan has confused the performance of our offensive line with the performance of our fans.

The performance of our fans remains unchallenged, Charger fan. You’ve got scoreboard right now, but don’t you ever delude yourself into thinking that you can touch the Raider Nation. San Diego is celebrated for its fair weather, but there is no fair weather in the Raider Nation.

Sure, there is a lot of reasonable anger swirling around Monday night’s thrashing. Yes, we lost the game. But the Raider Nation is not defeated.

24 Comments:

Anonymous LK said...

RT-
Just to let you know that LK and Brother of LK will be rocking the RT 'Return to Nasty' gear at M & T Bank Stadium this Sunday for first hand observation of the 2006 Silver and Black. If no screens called in Q1, you will recognize LK as man in coaches booth standing next to Mr Walsh with Taser

8:21 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Excellent! Don't forget to bring your tranquilizer darts for Jerry Porter!

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Charmaine said...

AMEN!!!!

9:23 AM  
Blogger Roy said...

Charger fans can't say anything about fans because their stadium is routinely taken over by other fans.

But I sure wish our Raiders would dominate. Is it too early to fire Walsh?

9:34 AM  
Anonymous LK said...

RT-
I'd actually like to see Porter on the field. I agree with your take--if he can help us win he needs to be on the field and he and Art both need to get past whatever happened. He can certainly work the middle--we'll see. We should be able to hold the Ravens down, especially if we don't have to start Poole. Up to the 'O'...

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Hey lk,
If there are no screens or passes to the TE in the Q1, and you have a taser to oust Walsh; do me a favor.
TAZE HIM IN THE FACE FOR ME!
HOW CAN YOU EXPECT TO THROW LONG IN A STRAIGHT BULLRUSH FROM THE DEFENSE, AND NOT GO SHORT? IN ORDER TO SET UP THE LONG BALL, YOU HAVE TO ESTABLISH THE SHORT PASSES FIRST! MY LORD, I LEARNED THIS IN PEE-WEE FOOTBALL! YOU HAVE TO BE A F$#@ING RETARDED CHARGER FAN TO THINK THAT YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH THAT S#!^! THAT ONLY WORKS IN MADDEN FOOTBALL!

10:29 AM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

"Apparently, Charger fan has confused the performance of our offensive line with the performance of our fans."

Well said!

12:47 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

One game. We've seen one game. Yes they sucked.

Screens and slants: Screens are generally slow developing plays. If your QB doesn't have the time for medium range passes, he's going to get creamed attempting a screen. You use quick screens if you think you can beat the LBs. Walsh called three slants in the first quarter. All three were thrown to Anderson, who dropped all three. So when is the OC permitted by the fans to dump something that isn't working and go to something else?

Draws: Draws are slow developing running plays. If your QB doesn't have the time to drop five steps, he's not going to have time for the exchange to the runner.

Adjustments: Shell admits he didn't make adjustments. Instead, he told them to go out there and take responsibility for their play and suck it up. Shell allowed the loss in exchange for attitude adjustment.

What the Raiders need to do to take the heat off of Brooks are naked roll-outs. Moving pockets won't do him any good, because the Raider's OL hasn't even shown the ability to set up a straight pocket.

There are, in my view, two major hurdles for the Raiders to overcome. A really bad team attitude (which may not be overcome this year), and a really tentative OL. Blaming Shell, Davis, and/or Walsh is not the answer. Demanding accountability from the players is.

What does it say about a team's attitude when, after a disastrous loss, the only player who shows some spine, and presents himself to the press for questions is a Special Teams player (Cooper)? The players are not taking responsibility for this loss, and the fans are dumping it on Art Shell and Walsh.

As long as the players sense that the heat from the fans will always be directed at the ownership and the coaches, they have no reason to change.

The defense played reasonably well, and if the Raiders had been able to take advantage of the good field position in the 3rd quarter, they'd have been right back in the game.

The OL: Both tackles are attempting to zone block still. They need to pop the defender before he can make a move. The OL has the advantage, because they know the snap count. And McNasty isn't turning out to be so McNasty. He's been kind of cream puff. He needs to toughen up, and match the speed of the NFL. When these things happen, the offense will be much better.

Job one: To change the team attitude (beyond just lip service) to wear every player puts everything on the line for every play. That takes more than camp and pre-season games. That takes "in the heat of battle" conditions so you can see who is showing up, and who isn't. And then you need to sit down the ones who are not showing up.

2:26 PM  
Blogger Roy said...

"Blaming Shell, Davis, and/or Walsh is not the answer. Demanding accountability from the players is."

When you get beat 27-0 thats coaching. If players failed to excute the game plan in the fourth quarter thats players. There was no game plan to execute.

Shell allowed the loss in exchange for additude adjustment??? Well it worked, the whole team has a bad attitude and like it or not but managing relationships is the head coaches job. It is his responsibility to field a competitive team. Anytime you get shut out that is bad coaching!

3:04 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Roy:

Go back and look at the 49er schedule in Bill Walsh's first two years as the 49er coach. Once you've done that, now tell me that he suddenly became a good coach in his third year.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

Before I start, let me say that I really believe the Raiders can win this Sunday against the Ravens.

Now, when you lose your home opener to a hated rival, 27-0, the blame belongs to everyone. That's right, Davis, Shell, Walsh, and mostly, all the uninspired players who steal big money from Al Davis each week.

Blandarocked: I agree with you, as I blogged right after the game, that Courtney Anderson Dudley, and his bad hands, really killed us early in the game. If we can't throw it underneath to the TE, the short game is going to suffer greatly all season.

By the way, if Al Davis didn't love Derrick Gibson so much back in 2001, Todd Heap could very well be our TE today. This is not Shell/Walsh, or the players fault, but rather the fault of Davis, the man who runs/ruins, the draft each April.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

One quick remedy to our blocking woes (both run blocking and pass blocking) is to get JP Foschi on the field for more snaps. JP is arguably one of our best blockers. He could be very valuable as a lead blocker for Jordan and helping with the blitz pick-ups. Just a thought ...

8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blandarocked:
Right-on-man! This is what I am talking about! Some may not agree but you have a FootBall mind, good anilist!!!

Rex's "D" meats Walsh's "O" what could that mean??? Any-Body's guess?? Hope-Hope-Hope or "D"-Preasion!!! I just want to eat "Crow" "BlackBuzzard-of-the-North" or is that "BlueBuzzard"?? I want to see "Black-n-Blue" spots all over the "Buzzards" but I am afraid we may be "Chokeing-on-a-Bone" Yuk! What a nasty taste, a mouth full of feathers and No-Meat!!! I am bring my apitite and and a big knife to the Bar-B-Que in hopes of a good meal!!!
"GO-RAIDERS" I cry!!

PantyRaider-DieHardHopefulRaiderFan!

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Tokai Japan Outpost said...

I've been spared having to listen to other fans give me shit ... because I live in Japan and hardly anyone follows the NFL here.

Raider Take has captured the beauty of the Raider Nation--it's great when we win, but the victory means more when you can enjoy with the rest of the Raider Nation. It's the tailgate that makes the game so important. Sharing beers and food with fans from across the globe, all of whom make their pilgrimage to the Raider Mecca in Oakland. Is there a Charger Mecca? Oh please.

Some of my buds got their tailgate written up in Sports Illustrated. Take a peek if you get a chance.

http://sitailgate.secondthought.com/loc_raiders.html

Despite the embarrassing loss, I'm still rooting from across the Pacific, and am missing the parking lot on Sunday morning. Japanese baseball games are fun ... but they don't freaking tailgate here!

11:39 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

Preach it Blanda!

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TokaiJapanOusted:
I spend part of my time in Cambodia and Thailand and they do not understand American FootBall but they like how I get excited and they are willing to look at it and learn. They also like all the Pirate Raider logo's, very popular there! It ain't the same as having dedicated fans around ya but it is nice not to have to listen to the "Haters" come out the WoodWork like the "Magots" that they are! I saw that a football coach from a team in Japan was at the Raiders trainning camp this year to learn more about the game. Could be that there will be some interest in the future??? I take it as my opertunity and resposibility to recruit as many RaiderFans as possible and it is prety easy sence there in like NO compitition!!! Who would they go for??!! Stupid looking "Bolts"?? I like showing pictures of the fans on my computer, they love us!! This time when I go back in November I plan to take some footballs with me deflated so I can pack they easy. Last year I gave them "FrizBee's" which they thought was cool!!! Lots of fun!! I am building a Bar-Resturant in Cambodia with big-screen TV and sports satalite and my PS2 which is a very big hit. I will recruit fans big-time!!
Keep the faith Bro!

PantyRaider! DieHardRaiderFan ForLife!

7:35 PM  
Blogger x said...

Has anyone brought up the possibility that Dudley....errr...Anderson dropped all those balls because he was either hearing footsteps or he was playing with a mild concussion? He took a big hit early on if you remember.

What really pisses me off is that the "Return to Nasty" 2006 Raiders didn't come back and hit them harder. San Diego was playing and hitting like the Raiders used to.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Even though we're not playing too much better than last week, the announcers on CBS are so much less snide and condescending that it's just an easier game to watch.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Roy said...

Blanda,
I think you need to go back and look at Walsh's first 2 seasons. He was NEVER shut out! I am not saying Shell has to win just compete. If a team doesn't compete tht is bad coaching period.

12:14 PM  
Blogger TheFreakingPope said...

I will hold off on any detailed comments until we "officially" discuss today’s game, but I for one was relieved to see Walter out there. Andrew showed poise, and with two weeks before his first start, hope springs anew.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

I hope you're right Pope. As long as the Raiders realize there will be many ups, & downs with Walter, and stick with him.

Trouble is, we all know Al will be bringing in Jeff George first chance he gets, which would be stupid.

GIVE THE YOUNG QB A CHANCE !!!!!!!

2:50 PM  
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