UPDATE 4:17 p.m.: Sports Illustrated calls the Raiders the worst team in the NFL.
What better way to kick off Raider Take’s second year than with some News You Can’t Use? And since it’s been a while since my last News You Can't Use, I might as well make up for lost time with a four-for-one edition:
1. For starters, we have this piece, which states the following (thanks for the tip, Horsecollarjack): The storied Raiders of the 1970s and early 1980s went away, replaced by an organization that paid lip service to competing for championships without doing the things that NFL franchises do in the interests of sustaining success. Mercurial team owner Al Davis fired coaches, ran off star players, and drafted kickers in the first round against the advice of those he had hired to assist him with such matters. And though the Raiders made some playoff appearances, and posted winning seasons here and there, they weren't often taken seriously or listed with the elite franchises in the league any longer.
Dude, what happened, did you get abducted by little green men from 2000 through 2002?
This willful amnesia by the Raiders Haters is really getting embarrassing. Call the last three years what you will, but don’t feed us this revisionist nonsense that the Raiders haven’t done anything lately. How many other teams in the NFL have won three straight divisional titles, played in two conference championships and in one Super Bowl in this very decade? A few, yes, but certainly not a lot. Only ten franchises have appeared in the Super Bowl since the beginning of the 2000 season, and the Raiders are one of them. That’s a fact, not an emotion. The sad thing is that this article actually tries to be positive, but the author just can’t help setting up a cheap storyline by manipulating reality.
2. In this column in the Kansas City Star (thanks for the tip, Damon), the author is all jacked up about the Chiefs beating the Rams 16-12 the other day, then proceeds to state: “Art Shell’s Oakland Raiders are 4-0 in the preseason, and some people think this is cause to take the Silver and Black seriously. Fortunately, I’ve watched the Raiders play during the preseason. And they’ve shown me absolutely nothing.”
Of course, the author plays both sides of the fence, telling Chiefs fans not to "overreact" to a "meaningless game." How convenient. In other words, you can't draw too many conclusions about the Chiefs' performance during the preseason, but you sure can about the Raiders. Someone needs to step away from the Kansas City Kool-Aid.
3. In its infinite wisdom, Sports Illustrated picks the Raiders to win only four games this year, yet also has the Chiefs pegged for eight wins and the Chargers pegged for seven wins. Since divisional rivals play each other twice, and since Chiefs and Chargers are allegedly going to lose eight and nine games respectively, how do the Raiders win only four games, especially considering that, in addition to four games against the Chiefs and Chargers, they are also playing the Browns, 49ers, Cardinals, Jets and Texans this year? More to the point, how do the Raiders, with an easier schedule than last year, with the addition through subtraction of Norv Turner and Kerry Collins, and with the obvious improvements installed by Art Shell and the addition of several strong rookie prospects, not improve upon last year’s record? I smell a Raiders Hater at the controls. In fact, Sports Illustrated is becoming the mothership of the Raiders Haters…
4. I understand why the signing of Jeff George is big news in the Raider Nation, but why is the signing of any third or fourth-string QB big news for Sports Illustrated, meriting a negative headline column on the home page of their web site? It gets you wondering. Hmm…Perhaps the author has an axe to grind? In fact, perhaps the author is trying to cover his tracks after stating that “the Raiders need him (Kerry Collins) more than he needs them”—on the very same day that the Raiders signed Aaron Brooks! The same Kerry Collins who couldn’t find work in today’s QB-starved NFL until two days ago.
If you would like some frosting on your cake, then I will add that this is also the same author who declared that Michael Huff is a bad fit for the Raiders.
So here we have it, folks, a rare yet perfect x-ray into the brain of a dedicated Raiders Hater: Kerry Collins is a great fit for the Raiders, Michael Huff is a bad fit for the Raiders, and the signing of Jeff George as a third-string quarterback is front-page news.
Hide the children, this kind of logic should not be attempted at home.
And that, Raiders fans, is a lot of News You Can’t Use.