Thoughts on Carr and Stars
Like the Texans, last year I thought David Carr might still have some gas left in his tank. Like the Texans, this year I’ve got the feeling that he’s running on empty. He just might be the second coming of Joey Harrington. If he comes to
This brings up another touchy subject, and that’s this concept of likeable star power, or the lack thereof on the Oakland Raiders offense right now, and what it ultimately means. Our biggest star, Randy Moss, is almost universally reviled by the Raider Nation. I’ve never seen anything like it. Terrell Owens has more fans among his team’s supporters than Randy Moss does. It’s sort of like Colts fans hating Peyton Manning or Seahawks fans hating Shaun Alexander. Now consider the remainder of our offense. Whose jersey do you want to buy for your kid at this point in time? At the sport’s most glamorous position, we’ve had Kerry Collins and Aaron Brooks as our presumed starters for the past three years. Porter is not very likeable. LaMont Jordan generally says the right things and has shown flashes of star power, but staring at fumbles, dropping passes and getting injured have undermined his allure (as has running for an average of less than four yards per carry). Walter may still have promise, or he also might be the next Scott Dreisbach, a blip on the radar (for example: good luck finding a Walter jersey at the Raider Image). Don’t even mention our offensive line. As much as it pains me to say it, we simply have no identity on offense. How did we get to this point? Can you name one player on offense who was a sure bet not to get released, traded or demoted during this offseason? I can’t.
If you think I’m being shallow, fine. But on offense, we need some players we can get excited about and truly get behind. Guys like Fred Biletnikoff and The Snake, and Bo Jackson and Marcus Allen, and, more recently Tim Brown, Steve Wisniewski and Rich Gannon, and even Jerry Rice.
I realize that my argument here is more emotional than analytical. But I just feel like we're all hungry (maybe I should just speak for myself) for a more compelling cast, preferably one with more star power or potential. Isn’t that part of the fun of being a fan, that sense of excitement about likeable characters and/or natural superstars who galvanize and motivate not just the fans, but the team as well? We deserve that, and the legacy of the Oakland Raiders does as well. I think that JaMarcus Russell might fit the bill, and that's why he gets my emotional vote for our first pick in the upcoming draft. If David Carr or Daunte Culpepper are here to build a bridge to the future, even better in my opinion.
P.S. The deadline for Raiders season ticket holders to make partial payments on their renewals was last Friday. To be honest, it caught me by surprise. They sent a reminder on Wednesday, which I felt was a bit too late. I called the ticket office to ask for a little more time to pull things together, and they said it was no problem. I spoke with a guy—alas, I forget his name—who said I wasn’t alone, and that they are happy to be flexible on this front. So if you missed the deadline, don’t despair, just call 800-RAIDERS to hash it out. Once again, I have to commend the Raiders ticket office for their highly personalized service. The folks there aren’t mere phone jockeys for hire. They are Raiders fans who respect other Raiders fans, and who work closely with you to make sure you get the attention you deserve. If you are considering season tickets, I urge you to call them and shoot the breeze, as I think you will impressed and motivated by the experience.