Sunday, June 21, 2009

Just Wondering, Baby

1. Rob Ryan says that he will incorporate the 46 Defense in Cleveland, in which up to eight players may rush the quarterback. So now he's aggressive? Remember when he dropped 11 guys into coverage against his new team a few years ago and still gave up yardage?

2. What's up with Andrew Walter? Is he a total bust? I liked the guy coming out of college. To me, he looked the part, but he has since struck me as a bit sheepish and uninvolved (of course, that's just from afar, I really have no idea what he's like). Now he's clearly on the outs. What's missing? Ability? Attitude? Opportunity?

3. It's no secret that I have opted not to renew my Raiders season tickets this year. My take is that Lane Kiffin was retained heading into the 2008 season partly for money reasons and partly for stubborness reasons, and certainly not for long-term reasons related to building a winner. At the same time, the team had no problem taking my money after sending me glossy renewal literature talking about the "commitment to excellence," which in retrospect was a sham. I personally witnessed some of the most inept, eyeball-burning "football" in my life last year as a result of the inexcusable upheaval early in the season.

I'm no less of a Raiders fan this year, but I'll be damned if I'm going to write them a check for $1,200 for me and Cousin of Raider Take. My trust needs to be earned back before I write them a big check again.

Anyhow, I thought it was interesting that a sales representative from the Oakland A's called me a month ago, trying to talk me into attending a game. I haven't been to an A's game in a few years, and here was this guy working hard to get me to spend $40 for a ticket. Meanwhile, the Raiders have only sent me two form letters regarding my lapsing season tickets. No phone calls, no one asking me why I'm not renewing or trying to convince me to reconsider. Just two letters telling me that "as a result of high demand for quality seats like yours, we can no longer continue to hold your seats without payment." Okey-dokey.

I guess with all that high demand, they don't really need to work hard at retaining customers and selling packages. Could season ticket sales be on the rise this summer?


Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

Happy Father's Day, all!

And happy burgeoning optimism... Heh.


10:09 AM  
Blogger Raider Karma said...

I don't know where to begin with Rob Ryan...

His '06 defense showed some promise but that was his best moment in Oakland. The speculation is that Al Davis was calling the shots for him so perhaps he never got a fare chance. Either way, Marshall was calling blitzes in the OTAs so maybe there is something to that.

I liked Walter at ASU as well and felt he was going to be soild. His bad luck was that he had to learn to play QB in the NFL under Tom Walsh. Walter never had a chance. Remember that Monday Night game against Seattle where they called 8straight passes all resulting in sacks? Poor Andrew's confidence was shot and he's lost in the shuffle behind Garcia, the Big Gradkowski and the Frye Guy. So long Andrew, I'm sure you'll burn us a Titan or a Viking or even a Bronco one day.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob Ryan never blitzed because Al Davis doesn't like to blitz. John Marshall will not blitz because Al Davis does not like to blitz. The only reason Marshall is calling blitzes in OTA's is to get the offense ready for the blitzes they will encounter this season.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...




2:34 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

It would not suprise me in the least if SOB uses his LBs in a blitz heavy pressure system in Cleveland. When SOB was a coach at NE and AZ, the LBs were used very aggressively.

One of the absolute keys to the Raiders 2009 season is whether or not DC Marshall, and Cable to an extent, has the autonomy, authority, and balls to blitz more than the GM likes. The reality is that IMO it is a game of chicken to see who blinks first. By that I mean, DC Marshall will be "allowed" to blitz AS LONG AS it is working and leads to W's.

As far as AW, I think his career was sabotaged, derailed and partly ruined by circumstances. It was the perfect storm working against him with B&B Walsh and Shell II putting him in the worst situation for a young gunslinger. My view is that in the right system and given a second chance, AW could be a VERY serviceable backup QB for many years.

It is a shame that the Raiders lost a valued customer like RT by not going the extra mile to retain him.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Raided Nate 75 said...

I liked Walter too. Never really given a fair shake. In many ways, his career has gone like Tuiasosopo has; with the exception that Walter has better QB makeup.

Maybe it's work ethic, or his desire really isn't in football. Maybe it has been the up and down of not having a stable coach to help him improve at the position (something I'm concerned about with J-Russ).

Rob Ryan's defensive game calling ability belong to Al Davis. Rob will forever be known for falling on Lane's grenade that he and Davis talked before every game. I don't think they talked before every game, but I do think Al was on the coaching intercom suggesting what defensive scheme to run. I mean, for real, anywhere else a DC is fired the next day for blitzing on 2nd down, and on 3rd and long dropping 11 men, and still giving up the first down.

Personally, until I see the change, I'm not expecting much "change" in how the Raiders approach a game, and play out their game plan. I'm in the "Just Prove IT, Baby!" phase as a Raider fan.

Arkansas Raider, sorry for the non-optimistic comment. Happy da-da-daddio's day to all.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Let's face it folks, the Raiders have been playing mostly a "bend don't break" type of D for the last 5+ years.

4 man pressure, LBs backgpedaling on pass D, CBs locked in man to man coverage ... predictable & ineffective.

Relying on 4 man, base pressure to get after the QB on the majority of snaps simply doesn't work in the big scheme of things (no pun intended)

Yes, a 4 man pressure is capable of getting the QB on his back.

However, adding 1 blitzer from different angles, different downs, different personnel, etc. is the key to keeping the opponent off guard.

The question to ask is ...

Would DC Marshall take the job if he knew his ability to call blitzes was limited by the GM?

If the Raiders rarely blitz in 09 we've got our answer since Marshall was known for his liberal use of blitzing in Seattle.

Don't get me wrong though ... I don't pretend to think that the blitz in itself is the answer to all of our defensive woes. However, it is big part of instilling an aggressive, less predicatable, dynamic D.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

4. Whiner


5:37 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I truly believe Rob Ryan was a puppet in Oakland. His divergence from a passive read and react defense should prove as much.

Andrew Walter could be a decent NFL QB with reasonably good pass protection, something he never had in Oakland. I don't believe his college stats were a fluke, but we'll never know unless he can find a system that exploits his abilities. His desire to leave demonstrates he wants to play (and perhaps prove something).

Take, your reasoning for not renewing is solid. Aside from the total dis on all Raider fans last year, I have to scratch my head at the Raiders’ marketing and PR, or lack thereof. I had tx to see Raiders/Jets when 911 happened. I was able to get refunds and cancellations from airlines, hotels, rental car, etc., but not my $60 seat ticket. I was offered an alternate game that season, which I explained I could not attend due to the travel and vacation scheduling. That fell on def ears.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone that believes that Rob Ryan got the shaft and blames Al Davis for out defensive woes( along with everything else) the past two seasons always offers up the same argument.His 2006 defense. And it was impressive on the surface. I was right there. However,upon further review the '06 defense looks like it was a mirage. The simplse fact was Oakland had the worst offense in the history of the NFL,literally. Opposing teams knew we couldn't keep our QB upright, much less score any points. One TD and a FG per game was about the best Oakland could manage in 2006. So every team in the league knew if they could put 13-21 pts on the board,they'd win.And thats what all but two teams did. Put up a couple of td's and then ran the ball for the remaining 3 qtrs. We couldn't move the ball, our QB would get sacked 3 straight downs every possession and we'd punt and inevitably lose. But this made it look like Ryan's D was a monster only allowing 14 pts on average.Awesome! Not so fast Kiffin comes in in '07, makes some changes, the Raiders were able to score a few points which made opponents play a little more offense and suddenly Ryan's defense was struggling. Huh? What's up with that Ryan's "monster" defense was an illusion. He won't be missed.

6:49 AM  
Blogger H said...


What you said, again.

Blitzing all the time is just as bad as blitzing rarely or not at all. It’s a weapon you have in your bag and to work properly it needs an element of surprise. Sometimes from the left or right or even up the middle. Occasionally send the corner or safety. Like Calico said, different angles, different people.

Ted Hendricks had quite a few sacks over his career. Unfortunately it has only been an official NFL stat since the 80’s so he is only credited with 9 career sacks. His specialty was pressure, that’s how he blocked so many kicks. So to say Al Davis doesn’t like to blitz just doesn’t make sense. His number one rule on defense is the quarterback must go down and must go down hard. You can’t do that by never blitzing.

And, just why would Marshall, with 30 years coaching experience, go somewhere where he has no play calling or game planning authority? That doesn’t make sense either. Besides, Romo blitzed, Bierkert blitzed, Charles Woodson blitzed, Hendricks blitzed, Hayes blitzed, Tatum blitzed.

Marshall does call blitzes, but his sack leaders are generally his DE's.

So just where did this idea that Al Davis doesn’t like blitzing come from, some reporter? Hell, a blitz won the Snow Job for us, but the refs took it back.


7:04 AM  
Blogger H said...


If SOB was such a puppet, he could have quit at anytime. He publically stated he could have a new job in two minutes.

Why such timidity? And now he's going to be the greatest DC in the league? He could have done that a year or two earlier if he was under Al's thumb. Why didn't he just go ahead and leave if he wasn't allowed to actually run the defense if he was in such demand?

Just because Al Davis doesn't publically deny these things doesn't make them gospel.


7:13 AM  
Anonymous RDR3829 said...

I too have been a long standing season ticketholder dissppointed with the last 6 plus years, however I'll always be there to support the team and look forward to being there as they turn things around. Win, lose, or tie.....Raiders till I die.

7:41 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

H said "If SOB was such a puppet, he could have quit at anytime. He publically stated he could have a new job in two minutes."

Do you honestly think SOB was left to run the D all by himself? I believe he respects and likes Al Davis (why shouldn't he) and that his claim to having outside opportunities was a direct response pointed at Kiffin, not Davis.

H said - "Why such timidity? And now he's going to be the greatest DC in the league?"

Who said that? Nobody said he would be successful, just different.

For all his failures in Oakland, SOB stuck with the same basic, unimaginative defense (basically the same D that Marshall will run). Now, all the sudden he's running a 46? What gives? Let's apply some simple logic here.

8:37 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


Of course Ryan's defense is going to change in Cleveland. He'll have different players, a different offense to work around, a different HC... If his defense wasn't different... you get the picture.

As for "Al hates to blitz...," that's always been crap. "Al Davis controls the defense" is also crap. We all know that Al prefers DBs who can man up. He PREFERS DBs who can man up because that frees up others to blitz. But whether a DC runs a defense that Al likes is up to the DC. That's why different DCs have run different systems with the Raiders.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

happy belated father's day to you fathers out there.

so this guy wants russell to RUN more - but hew fails to mention the injury factor! i guess he thinks russell is mike vick jr.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

btw take, with regards to your last paragraph, i DID receive a phone call from my season ticket sales rep. i got the renewal forms as well. but i'm with you - i told my sales guy that i want to see improvement before i shell out my money....

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Tinfoil said...

That play you reference v Browns where SOB dropped all 11 players into coverage is easily the most absurd defensive alignment I've ever seen. And, it failed miserably, allowing the QB to complete a sideline pass to a wide-open receiver, setting up the game winning field goal attempt. Fact that it got blocked was just flat lucky.

Far as SOB playing Al Davis "no blitz" defense, I totally disagree. During the glory years,I can remember tons of blitzing from Linebackers, corners and safeties.

Heck, it was a corner blitz from Chas Woodson that caused the infamous Tuck Rule reversal.

SOB had 8-8 player talent, but his coaching could never get the players to play disaplined gap responsibility to be even an average defense. Over pursuit and the league's worst tackling was our forte - and that's coaching.

If SOB has a good defense in Cleveland, it will be because the new coach sets the overall tone.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous SR Raider said...

I've had the exact same experience with my season tickets. I refuse to give the Raiders more guaranteed money until they can show me some real football. Their response, after 12 years: form letter. No call, no email, nothing.

The funny thing about the letter is it sounds like a threat - "pay up or you won't get your seat". And yet, me and my 5 friends have been sitting alone in a sea of empty seats for years. Only one of us renewed this time around.

I'll still be at the game, I'll just be purchasing a much cheaper seat and walking down to my old seat since no one is there. Amateurs.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

SR Raider, those are EXACTLY my thoughts and experience.

I thought the letter was funny. They are in no position at all to threaten, so why do it?

Why not tell me what I might be missing, what might be new and different this year, what they are doing to make the fan experience better? Why not a reassuring word or two, and an invitation to dialogue?

Such ineptitude at entry-level sales and marketing is yet another sign of an organization in disarray.

I sure hope that the turnaround on the football field is well ahead of the one that needs to happen in the marketing field.

9:58 AM  
Blogger H said...


You're right, Woodson caused the fumble and made the tackle, Greg Biekert recovered the ball in the backfield. It was a double blitz.


"Do you honestly think SOB was left to run the D all by himself? I believe he respects and likes Al Davis (why shouldn't he)"

If you listen to some in the media and others who post here, he shouldn't. And, for the most part I think he did run the defense. There is also a guy called head coach who would have input into the defense. Do you honestly think Al Davis was calling down during games calling coverages and plays?

If Al was doing this all these years why hasn't some former player of coach said so? There's enough of them no longer in the league that it wouldn't matter what they say. How about Lombardi? He has his own axe to grind, but he's never insinuated anything along those lines.

Sure, he has a philosophy on both sides of the ball he prefers. But, Gruden ran the team pretty much his way, because he won. He won with a power running short passing scheme.

Until recently it was all about Davis' interference in the offense. If he's doing all these things, why do we even need a coaching staff. Just let Al do it.


10:27 AM  
Anonymous jjraiders said...

it's not that the D.C. isn't allowed to blitz, it's allowed as long as the D doesn't get burned. Once that happens the blitz is done for atleast the rest of the game.

I doubt anyone will miss you at the game. I'll be there as I am for every game.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

JJ, neither you nor the Raiders will miss me, apparently.

Both of us will miss the Raiders, however, if they whine about attendance and revenues and use it as an excuse to move the team.

I'll go to a few games this year. Despite the threat of "high demand," I don't imagine that I'll have much trouble finding a good seat for cheap.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all of the "Raiders Fans"

We have all suffered through the last 6 years of some bad football. I being a fan truly understand what is means to be a true and real Raiders fan because I have been here in the good (3 Super Bowl wins, Madden, Flores, AFC West division wins, etc.) and the bad (the last 6 years, coaching changes, OFMA, etc.). For those who have commented about the ticketing and the letter must understand the OFMA was the worst thing since the black plague and YOU KNOW IT! At least they are reaching out and talking with people. And for those who haven't received a call you have to understand they probably have to go through some list. Remember they have jobs to do and have to be as fair as possible to ALL season ticket holders. True Raider fans are there to 1) have a good time with family and friends and 2) to support OUR team. For those who have cancelled or plan to cancel your seats ask yourself:

Would you come back if....
a) the Raiders got a brand new stadium?
b) if the team won again (i.e. 10 plus wins a year)?

* HINT: True Raiders fans know how to answer those two questions.

12:04 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Blanda - your first point is a good one. Ryan will have different players. We could go on for days why he appears to be changing his scheme.

However, your second point exposes the very weakness that is inherent to our D. Players are not being selected through FA and the draft which fully complement the system that is implemented, and/or the system must be so confined as to match the players.

You say, “(Al) PREFERS DBs who can man up because that frees up others to blitz.” (This much was stated by Nnamdi in a TV interview.)

Maybe Davis should take a bigger role in the D, because I don’t think I’m alone when I say, “where’s the blitz.”

If you’re going to build a team around a system, then at least employ the system to its inherent strengths.

Tinfoil - I’m still receiving therapy for the 11-in-coverage play.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

This notion of a "true Raiders fan" is baloney, in my opinion.

Judging by all the empty seats last year, maybe they should just call the moving vans right now, because there clearly aren't enough "true" fans in Oakland to fill the stadium.

Maybe if the Raiders re-learn to play "true" NFL-level football instead of running with managerial scissors, we'll discover that there are, in fact, plenty of "true" fans after all.

12:18 PM  
Blogger H said...

A few quotes:

“(They) have placed a noticeable emphasis on the long pass in minicamp practices”

“One of the reasons he was here was because he could run, and that was a very, very important part of his makeup — his quickness and his speed.” The coach said.

“If we get single high coverage, the way we run the ball, we get a lot of man coverage; we have to try to get the ball down the field. In the past we have tried it, but we haven’t had great success doing it,” According to the quarterback.

I thought the league had gone past the vertical game. Anyone interested in the Super Bowl wouldn’t do it this way. Turns out the article was about the NY Giants. The ones who were rumored to be after Heyward-Bey (but that was just a rumor, it couldn’t have been true) in the first round. Only a bunch of idiots would try that type of offense in today’s NFL.


12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just as I thought. Raiders Take is a BANDWAGON/ LUKEWARM fan. How about a dose of truth medicine. You might as well start blogging for the S.F. 49ers. No, no how about the Denver Broncos. Better yet what about the Kansas City Chiefs. It is apparent you WOULD be the one to show up with a check in one hand and a Raider hat on your head if the team moved to a new stadium or began to post 10+ wins a year because any TRUE/ REAL Raiders fan know that the last 6 games of the season we had a .500 record. On top of that we won the last 2. I know that you are going to knock (i.e. HATE) on the last 2 games. However, we did WIN against a young, hungry and playoff bound team in Houston and we went on the road 3,000 miles across the country to beat a playoff bound Tampa Bay. I can go all day illustrating the numbers but there is no reason to explain them to a BANDWAGON/ LUKEWARM Fan.

P.S. Instead of "Raiders Take" how about"(fill in the blank with any other team other than OUR Raiders) Take"

12:42 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Wow, I didn't know that "true" Raiders fans had no choice but to renew their season tickets in perpetuity, no matter what kind of product is fielded and no matter what their personal financial circumstances. That explains a lot.

The Raiders are the new government. They've become a tax. That would explain why they're playing more like the DMV instead of the NFL.

Are you sure you're not the Raiders' marketing director in disguise? That would explain a lot, too.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raiders marketing director in disguise? Good one. I am a fan who likes the direction of the team and dislikes bloggers (especially those who write negatively about the Raiders no matter what they have done)and the main stream media always coming down when we had a solid off-season. You call your blog "Raiders Take" so what I am trying to figure out why do you say you support the team and you are a fan but will find a way to the stadium when things are going well? Just a thought.

Plus I have no interest in working in marketing. I am a college student (GO BEARS!)whose parents have owned seats since the team came back in 1995. I never knew that marketing directors of pro teams had time to respond to bloggers.

P.S. I still think you would show up if the Raiders built YOU a new stadium…LOL!!!

1:18 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Hey, I've been with this team for ages, and have been a pretty darn good soldier during what I call the "Running with Scissors Era."

I believe that taking an unpopular stand for ACCOUNTABILITY and STANDARDS actually makes me more of a true Raiders fan than ever before.

The lack of accountability and standards is what has gotten us into this mess. I have chosen to become a part of the solution instead of helping perpetuate the problem.

Just because someone can roll with Lions-style ineptitude doesn't mean they're any more of a true fan than me.

Marketing directors definitely don't have to respond to bloggers. They don't even have to respond to their customers. Heck, they don't have to do anything (apparently).

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Tinfoil said...

Hey Anonymous:

Take is dead on here.

I agree with his Takes 95% of the time.

And noboby's ever gonna question whether or not I'm a Raiders fan.

The game of the week every week is the Raiders game.
I have every meaningful game since 1979 on Tape or DVD.
I have two kinds of clothes: work and Raiders gear.
Once the Raiders season is over, the next meaningful sporting event is the first Exhibition game of next season.

Take is not a bandwagon jumper. His viewpoints are serious, well thought out and reasonable. Those of of a fan who really cares for his team - as in his LongTermTEAM.

Take is right - its time for this team to begin performing at an acceptable level on the field.

Not in 2010 or beyond. 2009 - right now.

Accountability is big in life and relationships. And its time for the Raiders to be accountable to their fanbase and provide a team that competes for the playoffs.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Derick from section 344 said...

I'm glad to see the marketing of the team being discussed.

In my opinion the Raiders have some of the strongest brand potential in all of pro sports, yet year after year I feel the marketing never lives up to what it should be. Commercials look cheap, season ticket materials seem hastily produced and ad campaigns in general leave a lot to be desired. I guess winning is the ultimate marketing tool but with these colors, this logo and this history it seems like the raiders could put out a better product OFF the field as well.

(I know this really isn't marketing per say but can I take this opportunity to formally announce that if the Raiders trot out that lame, outdated, only cool to the "out of touch dads in attendance" Men in Black intro again this year I will be EXTREMELY dissapointed)

Go Raiders!

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Derick in 344

I agree that last season marketing was lame but I am excited to see what is coming down the pike for the 50th anniversary. It should be cool (hopefully)

To address Take's opinion about giving criticisms and needing and wanting a good product I understand. I know my parents were thinking about canceling but after a lunch with family and a few of our friends back in March we decided that that family time and the legacy we built on Sunday afternoons were far too valuable. Raider nation YOU HAVE TO ADMIT that spending times at the games with others who share your passion for the team is unmatched anywhere!
I also understand if someone had to cancel their tickets because of financial difficulties and other personal matters. My issues are with the "Raider Fans" who are peeved at Al Davis for the coaches, players, etc.

(side note: it was the combination of Davis, Gruden and Allen who put the team together and Allen was not a GM. He was a financial/ money guy and if the Raiders wanted him back they would have re-hired him and Gruden)

Let us not forget that we were just in the playoffs in 2002. Lets not be like the "Patriots fans" or "Falcons fans". In other words lets support the team when they are down because everybody and they grandmamma will want seats when we do make it back.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

I love this definition:

"True Raider fans are there to 1) have a good time with family and friends and 2) to support OUR team.

I agree with the basics of the above "definition" but you have to ask a few qualifiers to understand the context of an everyday fan such as ...

Is someone a "true Raider fan" if ...

You watch the game at home alone on t.v? Yup.

If the quality of your Raider experience is greatly enhanced by a better product on the field? Si

If you hold the team accountable for such things as performance on the field and off the field? Correct.

If you are disappointed in the past 6 seasons and express your opinions honestly and reasonably? You got it.

If you realize that Raider fans are for the most part loyal, dedicated and passionate yet not all Raider fans blindly sign off on forking out hard earned cash like a Jim Jones inductee? Ding, Ding, Ding we got a winner.

Quite frankly I'm sick and tired of all the "true Raider fans" who stick out their chests and trumpet their "qualifications".

In the grand scheme of life, does it really FN matter whether you ...

have been following the team for 1 year of 40 years?

go to an ocassional game or are a season ticket holder?

buy gear when you can afford it or spend lavishly on a ton of merchandise?

The entire act of judging who is more of a "true Raider fan" is in itself a very hollow and silly act that is completely meaningless. The level of devotion is a product of free will.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

BTW, buying season tickets, renewing season tickets, or attending a game are NOT the only way to show your support for the team we love.

The level of support is not directly related to how much money you spend. Some of the most loyal, knowledgeable Raider fans that I know rarely get the opportunity to visit Oakland for a wide range of reasons.

Ask H, BR, PR when was the last time they visited Oakland ... yet these 3 are some of the most passionate Raider fans that I've had contact with.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

Oh, I feel the need to add one qualifier to the list of qualifiers for "true fanhood."

It goes like this:


It's just a li'l bit of respect, here. We post our names, you should post yours. And if you don't post yours, don't expect a friggin' answer. Anonymous posts deserve no respect.



7:04 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Good points, Derrick.

Calico Jack nails it for me, too.

Anon, you do need a handle, you seem like a cool cat despite our differences. Grab a handle and stick around long enough for me to change your mind (give me a week or two).

Buying tickets to the Raiders, or any other entertainment provider, is a value decision that is financial, geographical and ultimately personal in nature. Everyone experiences these factors in different forms and levels.

For me and my season tickets, losing wasn't the final straw. Heck, I renewed after the 2-14 season and after we hired a questionable new coach (Kiffin) with zero NFL or head coaching experience.

Rather, the final straw was the obvious reckless disregard for winning last year in favor of carrying on a spiteful and stubborn feud with the head coach, and in favor of wasting money on worthless free agents instead of, say, a competent GM who would have kept us from doing so.

We lost an entire season to this absurd behavior at the precise time when the coffee should have been vividly smelled. We missed a five-year wake-up call. How is that possible? Well, I'm not going to pay to find out. Once I'm convinced that winning is the top priority, I'll reconsider. It was not the top priority last year.

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

I apologize for the shouting, Anno.

We get a lot of anonymous trolls here and a lot of folks shoot off their mouths anonymously here, and you got the brunt of my ire.

Sorry 'bout that.

But you still need to pick a name.

Something like "Bearly Here" might be good. Or even "Former Neckbeard Fan." Wait. I've got it: "Chicago Dead Voter."

Nah, really, pick one. And get imaginative with it, make it fun.


7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is everyone getting so worked up over this guy that is posting anonomously? He is a freakin, naive college kid for crying out loud! he is probably like 19! And he thinks he can tell us what or who are true Raider fans? please, he is probably smokin all that hash at Berkeley, come on man, peace out! Why don't you show up to my tailgate at the season opener you anno punk and call me out for not being a true Raider fan. I will show you what kind of a fan I am when my fist smacks the upside of your head you little punk.


7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW! I can't believe so many people got worked up over this. Again, I think that a lot of my comments/ suggestions, etc. got misplaced somewhere between what a "Raiders Fan" and a "True/ Real Raiders fan" is. If you guys (the harsh comments) read what I typed in the last blog I mentioned that I..
1) Understood if someone didn't have the financial, time issue (i.e. work schedule), personal issues, etc. to attend games

What is disheartening is the lack of support when the team goes through a funk (like now). I understand and respect criticism. I'm pretty sure a lot of you guys have been Raiders fans before I was born and that is awesome. Calico you mentioned some very good points about being a fan. I can respect you for that. Anyway you look at "supporting" your team it is a BUSINESS at the end of the day. When we wear our team logo and colors proudly guess who gets a piece of that revenue? What about purchasing the NFL Ticket (cable, satellite) or anything else relating to the NFL or the Raiders? DING, DING You got it! So with that being said the real question is how do you support or not support (I.E."Raider fan") the Raiders? If you are a "Raiders fan" then go ELSE WHERE! This blog/site is not for you. If you are a true fan continue supporting the team (merchandise, season tix, etc.) because when times do get better (and they will) I don't want no freakin on-line broker selling seats to the True fans who can only make it to 1-2 games because of financial or personal issues.


East Bay Raaaaaiiidaaaa

9:57 PM  
Blogger RaiderCat said...

I can understand that "Anno" believes that you've jumped wagon. I also believe that he hasn't been here at Raider Take as long as many of us have. Otherwise he'd know of your true support.

I can understand the needs for the "true" fans. I, too, have been a Kool-Aid drinker for these past 6 seasons, each year believing that something in the off-season is worthy of optimism.

I, however, also believe in actual positives this particular off-season: I was "IN" with Kiffin, and am now "IN" with Kiff-OUT. I truly believe in The CableMan and his philosophy of actually teaching in step with coaching.

Many of you have read this before from me. With a young team, I mean,
"'Coaching'... what a concept!"

Take, brah... I can definitely feel your pain, man. Funds (and fans ), perhaps, aren't what they used to be. Accountability?? Also, what a concept. To be sure.

I miss your posi-Takes, but get it. Keep your chin up, attend the games in anonymity with different, unTaken seats. I know you're looking for accountability, and I hope the team is ready to provide it for you - and all of us - of the Raider Nation.

As for Andrew Walter, I think he has been "Shell"-shocked. Dude had an impressive career at ASU, breaking a couple of Elway's PAC-10 records (which ones, exactly, I don't remember). Not unlike our own Jim Plunkett, he was exposed to a dysfunctional team. Now I have to believe our dysfunction is over, and have no ill-will toward Walter, but hope that he can revive his career elsewhere like Plunkett. Just NOT, however, in the AFC West.

I hope and pray all is well with you!


10:21 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Anon said - “What is disheartening is the lack of support when the team goes through a funk (like now). If you are a "Raiders fan" then go ELSE WHERE! This blog/site is not for you.”

First of all, it’s June. There are ONLY hardcore fans here.

Secondly, the last 6 years wasn’t exactly a funk. A funk is the 15+/- years that led up 2002. Total ineptitude better describes the 6 years since.

What you don’t understand is that some of us here refuse to hold steadfast in blind faith while the Raiders remain grossly behind the curve. Enough is enough. We want accountability. Why is that too much to ask while remaining a loyal fan?

If you’ve been a fan for the last 6 years and followed the Raiders through their off-seasons, then you certainly understand some cause for scepticism.

Yeah, there are many positives to point to this off-season, as opposed to the unprecedented turmoil of last year. We’re all anxious to see what they put on the field.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

It's not that I've stopped being a Raiders fan.

It's that some Raiders fans have become quasi-Lions fans, unaccustomed to standards, resigned to mediocrity and expecting very little. These are not the "true" Raiders fans I grew up with.

Like Alvis Whitted and Stuart Schweigert, they are on scholarship, with no need to do the heavy lifting of tough love. By simply declaring themselves "true" Raiders fans, they can consume a plate full of crap and call it cake and claim to be tougher than the rest by sitting on their hands.

I'm sure there are plenty of "true" Lions fans who wouldn't join the Millen Man March a few years ago to protest the team's operational absurdity. It is they, not the ones who protested, who are complicit in the Lions' 0-16 season last year.

Personally, I am COMMITTED to EXCELLENCE. Hence my current perspective. If the Raiders turn it around soon, I will take PRIDE in having vocalized the solution, in having the POISE to take a stand for expectations and standards.

7:38 AM  
Blogger H said...


“If the quality of your Raider experience is greatly enhanced by a better product on the field? Si.”

Bilingual, I like that.

Also, I was in Oakland for 48 hours in January 1972 on my way to Okinawa for a two year tour of the Far East (as it was called back then) that included a little section of the world called Southeast Asia. That’s as close as I have been to the Coliseum. Attended a few games in the EST.


What Arkansas said.


"Chicago Dead Voter."

A time honored tradition.

East Bay,

“I'm pretty sure a lot of you guys have been Raiders fans before I was born and that is awesome.”

Yep, I got tee shirts older than you, probably underwear too.

“If you are a "Raiders fan" then go ELSE WHERE! This blog/site is not for you.”

What!! Go to some site where they sit in a circle and hold hands? Sorry, not our cup of tea, or Kool-Aid, if you will. Or are you a Coach Elkins/Jones in disguise trying to drum up traffic for some site you have started?

Take, I suggest you go to a local bar (not one of those chains) for the games. That’s what I did for 6-8 years in the 90’s and early this decade before my friend sold the place and moved. I’m still mad at him about that. He had the best looking bartender in the county. You can still get a little game type atmosphere and the concessions are cheaper. Every Sunday I’d call in, tell them I was on my way. I’d walk through the door, go sit down at my seat at the bar and my beer and wings would be waiting for me. Now, that’s customer service!


8:23 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

First off, I've never been one for pointing fingers and declaring who is, and who is not a fan. The fair weather fans will always move on to the current winner on their own accord.

Being a fan requires a bit of faith because, ultimately, you have to trust the team organization to identify and address their problems. Being a fan isn't a job. It isn't a responsibility. Being a fan is a roller coaster ride and, often, you can't experience the highest of highs without, at some point, going through the lowest of lows. The rider has no control over the direction of the roller coaster no matter how loudly he screems.

My faith in this team is not misplaced. The Raiders have won three divisional championships and have been to the Super Bowl in this decade, and I believe we will finish this decade, again, in the playoffs.

And as we return to the playoffs, it will be the same mind thrust that finally sent us back as the one that earned five Super Bowl appearances and three world championships. It is not your tantrums, Take, that will return us to the promised land. What is happening now would have happened without you.

When I lose the faith, I will move on and spend more time with the people I love on Sunday afternoons. There is nothing that has happened over the last six years to make me lose that faith, as I know that the will to win burns most strongly in Al Davis. No one in NFL history has shown a more consistant ability to turn a team around.

Our current delema is raised by the hiring of four unsuitable coaches in a row. Never in Al's history has he had such a miserable time in finding the right man for the job. It's a bad run. No question. But I believe Al has finally stumbled on the right man for the job. Tom Cable will restore Raider traditions and a COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE!

8:52 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Norm, I mean H, I wish there was a bar like that near me. I have to go to a chain that gets all the games, because the Raiders are usually on the smallest (or nearly broken) TV in the corner of the room, away from the action, while the Giants, Eagles and Steelers get all the attention.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I haven't posted in years.I haven't needed to due to the piss poor product on the field. We have been suffering enough, and there was no need for me to pile on.

However, I need to post now and defend RT. I used to be in his fantasy football league the Long Bombs. I agree completely with RT's evolution since 2004. He would be optimistic with each new coach, new FA, new mini-camp. Then, he realized nothing got any better, in fact at times, it got worse. I think he finally just realized that the team was a shell of its 1999-2002 self, and called a spade a spade.

I can't fault him for that, and it upsets me that his "fan" status is called into question because he doesn't want to pay the Raiders to suck. I agree that blind support without questioning things is ludicrous..we support the team, we should be upset when they are not any good and don't make(SMART) strides to get better.

Now, I will fade back into Bolivian and quietly wait for the Raiders to return to a time when it was fun to be a fan. I will always be a fan...I just haven't had a good time being one in a long time. In my opinion, that is where RT is coming from.

Keep the Takes coming..I still read, and I am with you all the way bro;)


9:07 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

H, sounds like a cool bar. We'll have to create a virtual one here during the season.

Blanda, "stumbling on" things has been our problem. That's what happens when there is no clear plan. Like you, I hope that we've finally bumped into a solution.

Call my takes tantrums if you'd like. But they are the truth. And the truth must be told.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Great to hear from you GatorRaider, thanks for saying it so well and having my back.

One thing I'll say is that I still have a good time being a fan, it's just that being an honest fan requires more work these days.

9:09 AM  
Blogger H said...


Difference is the downhill part of a Rollercoaster is the fun part.


Yeah, I do miss the place. The owner and I became fairly good friends. Once some clown (not a regular) came in and complained about the Raiders being on TV my friend told the guy “See that guy down there, he was my first customer on my first NFL Sunday, if he’s here the Raiders are on.” That first Sunday there were only two customers the whole day. My friend wound up selling the place for a quarter million profit. Now that’s an American success story.

The new owner tried to remake the place into some euro style place, it folded in six months.


9:16 AM  
Blogger H said...


Careful with the "Truth" stuff. Don't go Jonesy on us.

Where is the guy anyway? I kind of miss his ramblings in a disoienting sort of way.

But, yeah after he sold the place I tried a chain place. It wasn't the same so I bought Sunday Ticket. Besides, they wouldn't let me bring my own beer and their sellection wasn't up to my standards. If you have 30 TV's you should carry an equal number of beers at a minimum.


9:24 AM  
Blogger H said...


Now will that be the Bolivian jungle or the Bolivian mountains you will be fading into?

Sorry, I tried to resist but couldn't.


9:28 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

You're right, H, I don't want to sound like (Jim) Jones, who helped folks kill themselves with Kool-Aid.

(As we've seen around here, Kool-Aid can make people behave erratically and illogically).

So yes, I'll back away from the "truth" declaration. However, I'll go so far as to declare that my takes are well reasoned and well documented, which hardly qualifies as a "tantrum."

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Now will that be the Bolivian jungle or the Bolivian mountains you will be fading into?

Sorry, I tried to resist but couldn't.



I was making an old reference to Mike Tyson, when he tried to say fade into oblivion


9:32 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Well, Take, I'm sorry you're offended at the word, "tantrum," but was one of your identified "running with scissors" crowd I'd offer that if you're going to dish it out, you better be able to take it.

H, when I came back from LA I used to go to a sports bar in Palo Alto that had about fifty TVs. The new owners were Green Bay fans, so about 25 of those TVs always had the GB game on. The Raiders, who had recently also returned, were frequently bumped for a Packer game. I complained that I wanted to watch a local team, and they said they didn't care. They were closed in less than six months. What a surprise.

9:49 AM  
Blogger H said...

A quote from one Warren Sapp:

"The kids don’t listen to nobody. Nobody! My last year in Oakland, I’d try to talk to some of the kids. Tommy Kelly, Terdell Sands. But they had no interest."

This was about mentoring by veterans. Maybe it's just dementia taking over, but I recall Mr. Sapp saying about Tommy Kelly, "I created that monster, now it's time to turn him loose."

With that kind of situation / audiance driven (he was talking to Peter King) flip flopping maybe Sapp should consider going into politics.


I knew you were doing it on porpoise Malaprop Man, just having a little fun. Mike Tyson, talk about someone who shouldn't run with sissors.


Yep, gotta know your clientele.


10:02 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Blanda, I never said that you were running with scissors, just the team (although I might have implied that you got impaled by the scissors while drinking Kool-Aid).

This run is no accident. It is the result of reckless ongoing mismanagement. Pick up the NFL Record and Fact book (operative word: fact), look at the standings and you will see that my takes are consistent with the facts.

Until this organization truly turns a corner, it hasn't. That's just a fact.

10:11 AM  
Blogger H said...


A point of disagreement.

They may have turned the corner. We won't really know until the bye week.

If we are 5-3, it would mean we truned the corner sometime this off season. But, then again Mike White's last year we started 6-2 and wound up 8-8.

I'm still running around 61.7% full.


10:19 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

H, they can only turn the corner by turning the corner.

Six out of our last seven head coaches have bombed (the seventh (Gruden) is, for some reason, hated by many Raiders fans). I guess you could say Callahan was a half-bomb, but he still bombed.

So the well of the benefit of the doubt on new coaching hires has run dry.

It's a big corner to turn, and we'll have turned it only when we've turned it, not in theory, but in results and fact.

10:33 AM  
Blogger H said...


Yes, but "when" the corner is turned is the question. You have to turn it before you head in the right direction.

Now, A quick hit slightly off subject. Tiger Woods is an admitted Raider Fan. Jim Brown is ripping Tiger for not working more for social change.

Jim, you’ve done some good things, but isn’t that Tiger’s choice and none of our business. Tiger didn’t exactly have it easy growing up. His mere presence, accomplishments and off course activities have opened up golf to people, mostly kids, who would normally never experience the game. He’s also a very private person off the course and spends most of that time with his family.

Jim, you be Jim and let Tiger be Tiger. You are entitled to your opinion, but Tiger is entitled to live his life his way and not your way.

Sorry, but when an ex NFL player is criticizing a golfer the day after Donte Stallworth is sentenced for manslaughter, something rings a little hallow.


10:41 AM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...


A "shell" of its 1999-2002 self? That was funny, I don't care who you are.

And the "fade into Bolivian" comment wasn't too bad, either.


What you said about Jim Brown.


11:31 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Blanda's keys to a successful season in 2009.

I only have one. The Raiders must, whenever they have the ball, put TWO WRs on the field that the defense is compelled to respect. I believe they have the ingredients for everything else, and WR is really our biggest question mark.

If the defense positively must respect our WRs, everything else - both offense and defense - will fall into place.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Arkansan Raider said...

You sure we wouldn't be better off with 11 TEs?



12:31 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

How hard has Blanda been working?

In the last three weeks I've put in 317 hours.

That includes 150 hours of overtime and 56 hours of double time. I'm dead on my feet, and haven't had a day off since the 2nd to the last weekend in May.

I suppose that in this economy, it's better than the alternative.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Glad you caught that;)


1:22 PM  
Blogger H said...


The Elkins formation requires 13 TE's.


Quit yer whinin' or Coach Elkins will write an article about how he worked 300 hours in a single week.

Let’s see, Take is throwing tantrums after his hiatus, Blanda is whining about 300 hours in three weeks, Panty is getting robbed in Cambodia, Psycho is MIA, Calico is the new voice of reason, Gator is quoting Mike Tyson, Scorpio is shooting his Glock from the hip, Arkansas, well he’s steady as she goes. Hell somebody’s got to be. And me, I haven’t a clue as to what I’m doing. But, I’m getting to that age when I can get away with it. I think the metal in my ankle is picking up signals from the Andromeda galaxy and sending them up my leg to my brain. If you ask Mrs. H it doesn’t have to travel too far.

That’s how eventless the off season has been. We have become the main topics and not the team. What a difference a year makes.


2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I need to post more often...this was fun today!!


2:54 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

H, I've been thinking of a play to work on with Coach Elkins...

It involves double TEs on both ends of the line, and two WR trips split wide. A full house backfield with Fargas, Bush and McFadden all present.

I think this formation would be unstopable for us.

You know, sometimes I'm most brilliant when my brain is shutting down. Hoping to reboot this weekend.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

read the following with heavy rasta accent:

what you have only the one job blanda you lazy bum!!!

i be workin all 4 of my regular jobs, running a business and coachin a little football to boot!!! i don't dare add up the hours for fear i'll quit one of em!! probably the one that pays the least,...coaching. naw mon, i can't do that, thats my favorite job mon!!! oh well, don't worry be happy!!!


4:02 PM  
Anonymous ButteryPat said...

Wow, a lot of interesting discussion has gone on here. As for who is or isn't a "true fan", I'm of the mindset that anybody who is still proudly a Raiders fan at this point is a true fan. I don't question anybody's loyalties after six years of strife. We're all in this together, and if this year goes well, we'll all enjoy it together.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

H: I know you are just tryin to bust my balls in good fun about being the "voice of reason" but I have always viewed myself as a 'realistic optimist ... I try to give my honest opinions even if it is being critical or sharing my disappointment BUT will always remain hopeful for a better future.

BTW, my trip to Okinawa was LAX to Anchorage to Okinawa. Enjoyed seeing the 12 foot polar bear in the Anchorage terminal.

I think the crux of this ongoing debate about "true Raider fans" boils down to whether or not you can be a card carrying member of the Raider Nation AND still be openly critical of poor performance, mis-management, and failed expectations. I say affirmatively "YES!".

Another interesting debate waged by RT & Lord H (wink, wink) is the identification of "when" we've offically turned the proverbial corner. This is loaded with sujectivity but let me take a few stabs at it.

I think there are some upcoming "mini" corners to turn before we get around the big bend. IMO, we will have turned a corner (not 'the' corner) if we beat the Bolts in the opener. I also think we will have turned another mini corner if we are playing meaningful games in December 09.

The "Big" corners IMO are becoming a playoff caliber team, Russell becoming a top echelon QB, and stability at HC.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Anon/East Bay Raiiiider aka Baby Bear asked the question,

"So with that being said the real question is how do you support or not support (I.E."Raider fan") the Raiders?"

For starters, the word 'support' is a VERY broad term that has numerous meanings to different people.

I think it is safe to say that anyone who visits Raider blogs in June is by all accounts supportive of the Raiders or put another way, a dedicated enthusiast of this leisure activity.

In my book, if you follow 1 team religiously, by definition you are a 'fanatic' ... hence the word 'fan'. Let's leave it at that and not get too consumed with how much money goes in the organization's coffers.

"Stay Thirsty, My Friends!" :D CJ

7:01 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...


You left out Neal. Don't we need a lead blocker to give McFadden, Bush, and Fargas into the second level? As I understand the scheme, there are 4 WRs, 4 TEs, and 4 backs on the field to ensure a wide open attack. Brilliant. Elkins is a true genius!

7:05 PM  
Blogger H said...


That’s Dr. H. I can’t legally dispense my homebrew for medicinal purposes otherwise. Of course Lord Doctor H does sound kind of catchy. Yep, I was just trying to liven things up with a little levity. Just busting chops baby.

When were you in Okinawa? When I was on the island I spent most of my time at our installation up by Ishikawa. I took the polar route also. SF to Anchorage to Yokohama, then to Naha. Anchorage in January, 1000 hours and still dark.

I like your mini corners analysis. As long as you’re not talking about 5’ 2” CB’s. Stages, short term goals leading to the bigger one. Steady progress.


In your formation we could use Jano and Lechler as the extra TE’s, they’ve got such great hands as we saw.


4:50 AM  
Anonymous scorpio said...

arkansan -

"Chicago Dead Voter."

how true.....

10:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I got TWO calls from the Raiders to re up my two tickets for a whapping $560. Maybe they don't want you to attend any more. lol.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous gary said...


So just where did this idea that Al Davis doesn’t like blitzing come from, some reporter?

I wouldn't be surprised if some blogger didn't make it up in the first place.. and then a reporter picked it up, and it spiraled from there.

I kinda drives me buggy, but I guess this is now something Raider fans will keep repeating until we get a DC that blitzes frequently. And then everyone that parroted it will pretend nothing of the sort was ever mentioned.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous gary said...


So the well of the benefit of the doubt on new coaching hires has run dry.

It's a big corner to turn, and we'll have turned it only when we've turned it, not in theory, but in results and fact.

Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't our current coach win 3 of the last 6 games and is CURRENTLY on a two game winning streak?

Or don't you like "facts" like this?

12:33 PM  

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