Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Magicians

By Raider Nate 75

I remember as a young kid, my dad was always freaking me out. One of his favorites was the "look I can pull my thumb off at the knuckle" hand trick. We've all seen it, and we've probably done it.

When he first married my mom, they had cabinets above their closet, and he would hide in these cabinets and jump down and scare the bejesus out of her. Yes, they're still married.

When I was seven, they took me to see a magician who did all of the classic tricks. Sawing a woman in half, making things disappear and reappear, card tricks, etc. I was amazed by all of this. Why? Because I could not understand that they were “tricks.” In my mind, it was real. At such a young age, what I perceived and saw was real, and I was too young to wrap my mind around the idea that it was staged, and that the magician wasn't really sawing the lady in half. My argument was, "What do you mean it wasn't real? I saw it with my own eyes."

I could understand movies being fake, because I went to Universal Studios a lot as a kid, and we would see stunt shows, and they would talk about the tricks they use on camera; but what I was seeing on stage with the magician was live, not on film. My parents would argue and argue and argue with me endlessly on the subject; but they couldn't get me to believe that it was fake because: a) I saw it with my own eyes; and b) they couldn't replicate the trick, or show me how it was done.

So what's the point of all of this? To me, this is what is going on with the Raiders this offseason. As has been mentioned, Lane Kiffin has not been seen by the media since the Combine. But as well, neither has Al Davis. All we have heard, and continue to hear, is how Lane is going to lose his job, and is going to lose it soon. This rumor has been printed over and over since January.

The media have been backtracking on their story that he was going to be fired before the Senior Bowl, and then Combine; and now it's the Draft. After that, it will be, "he is gone before camps." Some writers have already trumped everything in between, and said the blanket statement, "He will be gone before the next season." This is despite the fact that Lane (at the Senior Bowl), Caveman, and the Raiders' PR spokesman denying these rumors. Let's not forget, too, that Caveman was going to be fired; and that rumor started the Monday after the regular season ended!

This has left the Nation in an uproar of questions. Is this a smokescreen? Is it the truth? I'd normally believe it to be a smokescreen, but now local trusted writers are writing these rumors. I know I can't convince some of you that this is all staged, and a "magician's trick." What you perceive is what you believe, and what I perceive is what I believe as well. This is why I think it is a trick; all of these stories are based on "perception" and there is little facts to these things that we know. What's going on? Let's look at the facts:

1. The rumors of Kiffin's demise are still largely printed. They are rumors because nobody in the Raiders' organization is denying nor confirming these stories. They have in the recent month or so, but not since before the Combine.

2. Kiffin, Rob Ryan, James Lofton, Al Davis, Amy Trask, Tom Jackson, and Tom Cable are all still on the team page.

3. Nobody has seen or heard from Lane Kiffin or Al Davis since the Combine (and the comments by both were the same, "No comment").

4. For that matter, nobody has seen Rob Ryan since the Combine!

5. Kiffin interviewed Lofton, and was hired by Al Davis.

6. We don't know if Al and Lane were at the free agent signings we have made.

7. We don't know if Al and Lane are even involved in the negotiations; or just involved at the "approval" level.

8. We know that Lane is at the headquarters every day

9. We don't know what he is doing at the headquarters every day, but it is speculated he is throwing chairs in anger.

10. My guess is as good as your guess.

These are the facts that we know this offseason. They’re pretty broad. There is not one editor alive that is going to allow a story to be printed where the basis of these facts are the headlines. If the reporters, even the local reporters, were to print the headline "Nobody Knows What is Happening Inside the Raiders Organization," then all they are showing is they have failed their jobs, and their credibility as a "team reporter" becomes no better than yours or mine.

So they write stories with phrases like, "an inside source who chose to remain anonymous" or "someone close to the team with knowledge" or "an anonymous source close to the situation.” Again, all of these stories are based on perception, just like a magician.

Do I like what's going on? No. I think it is dividing the fan base, and I think it is hurting their image of “change.” I don't think it would be a big deal if we were winning, but we are not winning. I feel that these illusions of turmoil from within damage the overall image that we know where we are going and how we are going to get there. It creates doubt in the hope that we as fans have in a return to glory.

But I can't help to think of the immortal words of my dad when I was five: "Hey son, look at this. I can pull my thumb off at my knuckle."

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

4th and Long

By PantyRaider:

Maybe it’s time we all took a deep breath and a look back….at least as far back as “06”….da “Art Shell” Era.

But first a little of the “NOW“….at present fans are calling for SOB’s head and Kiffin “Run-Out-a-Dodge” and MrD’s funeral….Wow!….What up wit all da “HateTrippin” bro’s?

March “06” newly hired HC ArtShell attends an award banquet put on by the “Raiders Booster Clubs” and the “Steering Committee” for DE Derrick Burgess along with several “D” players….Could be a relationship was formed in the process….I don’t really know but that’s just my speculation….During the season Coach Shell preached “Toughness” and it appeared that his “D” bought into it….However all the credit was attributed to “SOB” by posters here saying it was “Hands-Off” the “D” for Coach Shell….Remember…I surely do…

The “O” did not buy into it and Coach Shell and his “B-n-B” Coordinator were blamed for everything bad with the Raiders….But remember “SOB” was praised for everything good about his “D”….Interesting….because just a year later when that “D” with the same players and the same Coordinator (minus Coach Shell preaching Toughness) fell on it’s collective freaking asses and “Crap”ed all over the field the “Postah”s are calling for “SOB”s head….Yap!…Must have been “Hands-Off”…Right???..Can’t argue with history…or the record…or stats….or that big “Egg” in the middle of the freakin field “07”….

Now let’s look at the end of “06” when posters were campaigning for “SOB” as Coach….But instead “MrD” brought us his youngest coach ever in Kiffin. The Mediots had a field day…..The big word was “It’s a Mistake”…Should have promoted “SOB” because now we will lose him to some other team and he will “Kick Our Asses Off”….Remember?

OK…So in March of “07” the “Raiders Booster Clubs” -n- the “Steering Committee” hold an award banquet for CB Nnamdi Asomugha and guess who was NOT at the banquet….That’s right….Coach Kiffin….Now did you here anything big-n-bad coming down from his absence……NOT that I can recall….In fact I doubt that most hear even knew it happened….At least not until lately when I searched the “Net” -n- Posted it…..Yap!…Unforgivable…a NO-Show….

The “07” record is history and that “D” was one of the worst ever by a Raider team….What else can be said about that except ….(they must have really missed Shell’s influence)….Coach Kiffin was unable to inspire them….Whoops!….I’m sorry….”SOB” was unable to coach “HIS” freakin “D”….(must have had a brain-fart and lost all his ability as coach).

So now we get to the “NOW”….That thankless “HC” of the Raiders was unwilling to show respect for his players-n-fans and did not attend an award banquet put on by the “Raiders Booster Clubs” -n- da “Steering Committee” for RB Justin Fargas….That is totally inexcusable and we want his head on a platter…..-n- Yada!! Yada!! Yada!!!!….

Bet ya all missed the point didn’t ya….It was a freakin “Fan Event”…..NOT a “Team Event”…..In “06” “SOB” was invited but did not attend….So freakin what….Did you hear anything about that….NO….It was his “D” player and he was a “NO-Show”….Inexcusable….Right???….Guess what…he was also a No-Show in “07” for another “D” player….Ya’ll hate his ass yet….

So now to the point of this whole stupid thing….”How long are some of you fans going to keep allowing the Mediot’s to play you like “Puppets"…Every freakin' time they write some sort of ridiculous “Crap“ ya‘ll become “Dysfunctional“….Myself….I‘m kinda glad to see Coach Kiffin-n-”MrD” playing the Mediot's like Puppets and getting all that free “Pub”….

I believe the “HC”-n- Owner showed all the love needed when they awarded that RB with all that “Cash” and that new contract that I heard so many people “Bitchin” about….That was appreciation where it counted….

“Dysfunctional Raider Nation”…Raidah Style…


Note: Thanks to PantyRaider for sharing this take. This is one in a series of “guest takes,” with the intent of celebrating the different voices and perspectives of the Raider Nation.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

Here Comes DeAngelo?

Sorry that I’ve been out of circulation. I’ve been locked in my garage with a bottle of Jack Daniels, mourning the departures of Jerry Porter and Barry Sims. Ha, ha, ha. Just kidding.

I’ve just been awakened by the news that cornerback DeAngelo Hall is headed to Oakland for a second round pick, pending contract negotiations in the neighborhood of $50+ million. This is according to the guy who wrote the story about Mr. Davis ghostwriting Lane Kiffin’s resignation letter, so take it with a grain or two of salt until the ink is dry on Hall's contract.

By the way, can we shave the contract by about $1 million and put that money toward more porta-potties in tailgate territory? DeAngelo can spare a little extra for our beleaguered bladders, can’t he?

Seriously, though, I’m excited to have Hall’s talent headed our way, if not his reputation. We’ve now assigned $100 million total to DeAngelo Hall (if this report is true) and Javon Walker, two guys with character baggage. I know, a lot of that is funny money, but it’s staggering nonetheless.

Will Hall’s arrival be a slap in the face to Nnamdi, who’s looking, and waiting, for his own pot of gold in Oakland? And is DB the best place to be spending tons of money on free agents right now? Is Hall worth a second-round pick in addition to all that money, given our other needs?

I’m not sure about the answers to those questions, but I can tell you that I’m starting to get excited by our personnel activities—not just incoming players but outgoing as well. At this point in time, different automatically equals better in my book, especially at positions like receiver and safety.

We are clearly upgrading our talent and potential. If we can upgrade our chemistry along the way (from the locker room on up), then we might see some rather minty fresh performances in 2008.