Friday, May 30, 2014

When Opposites Detract

Is it possible to be supportive of the Reggie McKenzie Regime and excited about things going forward, while maintaining a critical eye and questioning decisions along the way? 

Increasingly no, at least not if you surf around the Raiders message boards, including this one. It's either Reggie Sucks or Reggie Is The Bomb, with very little middle ground. 

Once again, we are eating our own, not unlike the later Al Davis days, when one side was always shouting loudly to gloss over obvious horrible decision-making, and the other side was intractably giving the man no credit for returning the team to some measure or respectability with 8-8 records.

Here's an exchange from a live chat the other day with the Oakland Tribune's Steve Corkran:

Q: I feel like I wasted 2 years of my Raider life on the past 2 seasons. This 'deconstruction' should have happened in 2012 and the 'reconstruction' should have been last year. Agree Cork?

A: I have banged that drum for two years. People want to give Reggie McKenzie a free pass for two years. Not me. He should have done the entire purge in 2012 and added more core players than he did the past two seasons.

Now, that's just the opinion of one beat writer, but I think it's a reasonable opinion, although an easy one to have in retrospect.

Anyhow, why can't you be excited about the Raiders (seemingly) being ready to turn a corner, while being critical of them for not turning the corner sooner?

The idea that you can't question or critique your own team--even when things are going well--is ludicrous. Even fans of the NFL's perennial contenders are naturally driven to question and critique decisions.

It seems like we're no longer willing to listen to each other. 

It's more about picking a side and defending that side to the bitter end, and refusing to acknowledge that in any sports organization, there are going to be both good and poor decisions made on an ongoing basis, with the balance of those decisions making the difference between a winning team and a losing team.

As fans, we observe these decisions in real time, and give our takes in real time. That's what fans do. You might love a draft pick that I don't. If that's the case, it shouldn't be because we're on opposite sides of an ironclad mindset, but because we're applying some form of impartial, reasoned analysis, even if we agree to disagree.

Here's my take: If you don't like to hear any negative takes, tough. If you don't like to hear positive takes, tough. Because here are Raider Take, you're always going to hear both.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great observation Take! It doesn't need to be just like politics where you are either or. I for one was extremely upset with McKenzie at the start of free agency but some decent contracts and a good draft have tempered my anger. We all love us some Raiders so lets make sure we don't turn this into Fox News vs MSNBC or Republicans vs Democrats it's Raider Nation vs the world. Save the name calling for our enemies.


11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said Take! I am a Raiders fan through and through and regularly disagree with my friends about draft picks and free agency but it doesn't mean that they cant change my mind or that I cant change theirs and sometimes we just disagree, but when we do we just aren't A-holes about it because in the end we all want the same thing and that is for the Raiders to "Just Win "


12:03 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thanks, guys, you are both right on!

12:29 PM  
Blogger Pride&Poise said...

The frustration of 13 straight years of non-winning seasons has taken its toll on Raider Nation. The tension and disagreement will ebb as the win total rises in direct correlation. Until that time the NATION will continue to canalibize its own. With that said, this coming autumn wind looks to finally be a True Raider and we can finally look forward to feasting at someone else's table!

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

frkyraider <---- standing and applauding!!! well said RT.

5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The way I see it talk time is over. Time for the Raiders to prove it on the field.
Last year I made some bold predictions:
1. DA would be gone. I was wrong.
2. Reggie would be given another year. I was right.
3. Raiders would have a top 5 pick. Right.
4. They would chose a QB with their #1 pick. Wrong.

I was right half the time and wrong half the time. That is ok. It's a game. Not life and death. Let's keep things in perspective.

11:54 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Thanks for your thoughtful post, RT. That’s exactly how we should approach it. Personally, I can’t give much more than cautious optimism at this point. IMO, it’s time for this regime to stand up and be accountable. I believe Reggie made some good moves this offseason, but I also believe he could have done more (free agency began very awkwardly).

For me, proof is, well, in the proof. One thing for sure, there are enough changes in the team, yet almost unprecedented continuity in coaching and sustained organizational communication to make the upcoming preseason and at least start to the 2014 season really interesting.


6:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the novel concept of using wins and losses to define success. I think if they don't win 8 games this year it can not be glossed over. If they don't win at least 6 then you have to conclude Reggie and Dennis are not the ones to get it done.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Though I have not given DA or RM a free pass the last 2 seasons, I like the direction that RM wants to take the Raiders.

I am more skeptical of DA than I am of RM. The key to the season is going to be how well the coaching staff makes game time adjustments. I hear the talk that now that we have vets we can progress in that area, especially at the QB position. But let's not forget that we had Palmer, but he played under (K)nap(p) then left.

Defensively, we had some good vets, mostly younger players, but we had Wheeler, Seymour, Porter, Burnett brothers, Jennings. These guys were not flimsy in their positions.

With that said, I like the talent level on this roster so far. It has depth, and it has a balance of young and experienced (except in the WR position). At the same time, I don't know if DA can get it done. I'm excited because I see the potential of an exciting season. Even though we only won 4 games, we were right there all of last season with the exception of 2 games.

It's time for DA to prove he belongs here. It's time for Tarver to prove he belongs here. It's time to shut up and win! It's time to....


2:03 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Hate to say it and put the majority of my eggs in 1 basket but ... the key to 2014 is Schaub.

As the starting QB, he will have the biggest overall impact on wins and losses.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Storminator said...

In general, Raider Take is far more interesting when we talk about football than it is when we talk about each other.

While I appreciate the idea that more should have been done in the first year, I think there was a lot of non-football house cleaning that needed to happen than is commonly discussed. There was some talk about modernizing the scouting staff and equipment, the film rooms, etc. Does anyone doubt the janitor answered directly to Al D? There was a lot of behind the scenes work to do as well and I think it sucked up a lot of RM's time and effort.


5:38 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I agree. They probably had to update the facilities to meet the technology of today, and not the 60's. Has anyone seen the overhead projector? Anyone? I bet they have WIFI now.

They had to get the organization healthy, that is the foundation. No more Baghdad Bob as our PR guy. Create a healthy organization, you can then create a healthy team. It's foundational.

Not only that, there was no cap space to make any significant changes, even when we cut players. We were reeling in dead money last year because of roster moves on contracts that were just as insane as the overhead projectors and Baghdad Bob wanting to fight reporters.

I don't know about you, but changing the way the organization and team looks in two years after 11+ years of dysfunction is quite amazing. Again, I don't give them a pass for 2 losing seasons; but at the same time, I do not neglect the strides that have been made.


6:20 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Talk about jinx! Jason Tarver, Dennis Allen, and DJ Hayden all spoke this weekend how excited they are about DJ's health, and how he is looking for a strong Sophomore NFL year....He rolled his ankle and is in a walking boot.

2:10 PM  

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