The Fan Is Always Right
The fan is always right. Well, not always. But I’m often amused when some sportswriter, commentator or player dismisses “the fans” as rabid imbeciles who shouldn’t even be allowed to state the obvious.
Just listen to KSFO’s Raiders postgame shows, which have turned into a bizarre weekly series of mind-control exercises designed to subvert the obvious. The low point came last September, when the hosts berated a 13-year-old kid for making reasonable observations about Sebastian Janikowski’s poor performance on opening day, mocking the young Raiders fan by asking if he was a kicker and telling him to call back when he “grows up.”
How dare this child question Sebastian Janikowski, who was coming off a season in which he ranked 30th in the NFL in field goal percentage, who had fessed up to getting lazy and fat despite being paid millions, and who had just missed three more kicks that afternoon! You tell ‘em, George Atkinson, because you played the game!
I was reminded that the fan is often right while watching the Redskins against the Giants last night. In the big scheme of things, I don’t know squat about football. I have never played nor coached football, which apparently disqualifies me from having an opinion in the eyes of the “you haven’t played the game!” elitists.
What the anti-fan elitists forget, however, is that most of us fans have two important things going for us: common sense and hindsight. In many cases, common sense alone is sufficient. The fact that we often have hindsight on our side is just a bonus, one that is very helpful in forming cogent, reasonable observations.
So, while I may not have “played the game,” it was obvious to me that the Redskins were butchering the concept of clock management at the end of both halves last night, and defying the basic laws of time and common sense in the fourth quarter. I didn’t have to wait for the sportswriters to validate my observations this morning. I made my observations just as quickly as anyone else.
Does that make me a better football mind than Redskins head coach Jim Zorn? Or Art Shell, for that matter? No, of course not. But it does make me question why so many question us fans for stating the obvious, no matter how obvious it is.
Watching the Redskins last night was essentially a morbid flashback of the Raiders under Norv Turner and Art Shell. Go read my postgame takes from 2005 and 2006, which document all sorts of instances of clock mismanagement, insufficient urgency and bizarre timeout strategies.
We’re not even talking about Xs and Os here. We’re talking about kindergarten-level concepts, such as it’s impossible to score twice if you’ve casually run out the clock trying to score once.
But really, what do I know? I’m just a fan, after all.
Thankfully, Lane Kiffin has restored order to my football universe. No longer do I fear that incompetence and illogic will intrude upon my gameday experience. If we lose, I know it won’t be at the expense of intellectual or professional dignity, at least on the coaching side of things.
So why write about this now? First off, I just want to celebrate the fact that the plague of incoherent coaching has been purged from
This is Raider Take, and we are Raiders fans, and win or lose, we will have takes.