The Case for Hope
To be honest, I'm not very hopeful about this season. How could I be?
NY Raider pointed out this unfortunate little observation from the newspaper: "This offense is the NFL's worst in total offense, net passing yards, passing average per game, pass completions, pass completion percentage, passing touchdowns, overall first downs (tied with the 49ers), passing first downs, red-zone possessions, red-zone touchdowns and fumbles lost."
NY Raider added: "This 2009 team has a good chance to rank statistically as the worst offense (worse than B&B) and defense the Raiders have ever fielded. How is that even possible?"
How, indeed? I just don't foresee a quick turnaround at this point. So it's all about 2010 and beyond at this point.
Some folks get mad when I make negative observations about the Raiders. Well, give me positive information, and you'll get positive observations. Garbage in, garbage out, right?
At the same time, I'm getting tired of being the garbage man. I wish the Raiders would stop filling up the trash cans at a record rate. The repetitive nature of so many consecutive seasons is mind numbing.
I want to be hopeful. I want to be jacked up about my team, and to recapture that feeling of the Raiders being a force, not a farce.
I do not agree with those who want to run Al Davis out of the building. What I want is Al Davis to get the help he needs and deserves. Why he has been unwilling to do that, in the wake of so much failure, is beyond me. What will it take?
To say that Al Davis needs help is not disrespectful. All great leaders need help. The president has a vice president. Generals have lieutenant generals. CEOs have VPs. Where's the shame in that?
The hallmark of greatness isn't doing it yourself. The hallmark of greatness is getting it done. It's not about intentions, philosophies or anything else. It's about results. Just win, baby.
But we are not getting results under the current operative mindset (far, far from it). The operative mindset of the organization needs to be radically rebuilt before the team can be rebuilt. That much is obvious.
I've always said that we'll know when true change is afoot when you can see and taste the change. It won't be a tweak or an adjustment, a nudge or a nuance. It will be a fundamental shift that will be evident to all of us.
Dare I hope for something like this? It's the only case I can make at this point.