Friday, July 10, 2015

R.I.P. Snake

Rumors of Raider Take's demise have been greatly exaggerated...

Alas, it took something tragic to get me off my ass and back on the horse: the unfortunate passing of Raiders legend Ken Stabler. 

I grew up in the 1970s in a Raiders household. I was young, but old enough to know that the team was something special, a rogue band of champions with a penchant for both heartbreak and miracle. 

At the center of it all was The Snake, dropping back to pass, the epitome of cool with his left-handed delivery, ruffian's beard and uncanny ability to pull rabbits out of hats.

Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio had a great opening take on the Snake and the Raiders this morning, I'm hoping it will be available on Podbean later today (he flubs a bit at first using Bradshaw's name instead of Stabler, but hey, that's live radio). For those of us old enough to remember such things, Cowherd eloquently encapsulates what it was like to be a young fan back in the 1970s, with the Raiders playing late afternoon games on television against rivals like the Chargers, Dolphins and Steelers, the lengthening shadows as the games wore on, and the seemingly always last-minute comebacks or heartbreaks. If you lived it, you know how indelible those memories are. There was nothing like the NFL in the 1970s, and Stabler's Raiders were the team most emblematic of the era.

If Joe Namath belongs in the Hall of Fame (and he's there), then certainly so does Kenny Stabler. It's the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Stats. Few were more famous than Stabler at the time, and perhaps no quarterback was at the center of such a glorious mix of triumphs, controversies, comebacks, last-minute thrills and colorful off-field exploits.

I'll have to come out of hibernation soon regarding the upcoming season, but today is a day of remembrance for a great Raider who will be missed. 


Blogger Doobie said...

RT, it was indeed and here's the Podbean link:

4:38 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Tragic. 69 is way too young.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...


7:17 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Yeah, age 69 is too soon. He made the most of those years. Legend.

7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here is a great podcast that talks about Stabler.

Its criminal he is not in the hof, why? because he liked to party. Compared to the scumbags like Hardy, Peterson Rice etc today he did not a thing wrong, shameful

Anyway that is unimportant he will always live on as a a great Raider forever. That is what matters

RIP SNAKE. You were a man's man, a great qb, an all time great Raider, thanks for so many wonderful memories.

I feel old


4:38 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

RT, glad to have ya back. Hopefully, the next one will be on brighter terms. :D It's too bad the Snake won't be with us when he is finally inducted.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you guys haven't seen this its MUST READ. A good piece of journalism, its not a cliche to say "They don't make em like Snake anymore"


6:56 PM  
Anonymous Berdj J. Rassam said...

Kenny was a solid QB who would produce gutty results game after game. May he RIP.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...

By my memory, three Raiders, Dave Dalby, Jack Tatum, and now, Ken Stabler, have all passed without gaining the honor they deserved. Induction into pro footballs hall of fame.

Dalby, of course, was the center on all three Raider SB winning teams.

Tatum, as we know, was Ronnie Lott, before there was a Ronnie Lott.

And now the "Snake". A great QB, who ran an early version of the West Coast offense, before Bill Walsh refined it, and made it famous.

I only hope that Tom Flores will not be the next Raider that is cheated by the hall.

Bud Grant(4 SB losses, no wins), and Marv Levy(4 SB losses, no wins), are in the hall of fame.

How can an 0-4 record in SB's, trump a 2-0 record ? It boggles the mind.

I know Flores would not trade his 2 wins for 4 losses. Can the NFL, hall of fame committee, even understand this simple logic ? I hope so.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Let us not forget Lester Hayes who also belongs in Hall!

4:47 AM  
Blogger Doobie said...

Don't worry RT, I still make occasional appearances! :)

6:15 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nice avatar! Hope to soon (in 2015) peel away that paper bag.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I remember about those years (the 70's) is you NEVER left the Oakland coliseum early. The Raiders could play like crap for 3 quarters and then come back and win it in the 4th. Exciting games back then.

As for the HOF, Stabler was too bad ass. I could care less, and I'm sure he could too.

12:09 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Media reports Raiders not returning calls to Oakland after the city's consultant offered that the Raiders would have to sell 20% of the team to finance a new stadium.

From the media:

"Oakland and Alameda County are still working with Floyd Kephart, a San Diego-based finance professional who last month proposed that Raiders ownership help finance stadium construction in part by selling off a chunk of the team to a company he formed last year.

Isn't that a conflict of interest?

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

How does everyone feel heading into Camp? There are a lot of position battles going on that I think is going to be exciting to see.

Outside Linebackers - outside of Mack, the Weak Side is not set, especially with Moore starting on PUP. Ray Ray is a work horse and Malcolm Smith is going to be great competition on that side. Not the most intense battle in camp, but it will be very competitive.

CB - Keith McGill v DJ Hayden. I don't understand what DJ has done to deserve the starting spot this offseason, other than being drafted first a few years ago. I think McGill takes this spot, unless Hayden comes out, stays healthy, and shuts people like myself up. Where does Neiko Thorpe, TJ Carrie, and Chimdi Chekwa fit too?

RB - Murray is by far the starter, but I'm reading a lot about Helu and Richardson making some noise. I think this is the weakest link on our offense, and that's because Murray is unknown. He had a terrific season last year, but was hurt. If he stays healthy, who backs him up? Where will Marcel Reece fit?

WR - the big battle here is Crabtree vs. Streater. Both have reliable hands, but both struggle in route running. I think Crabtree edges here, but Streater will be #3.

RT - This one, to me, should be a no brainer, and that should be Justin Howard. But, like DJ, Menelik was drafted way too high to lose this battle.

RG - Why is Khalif Barnes still on this roster? Let alone in a battle for the starting spot against J'Marcus Webb? I would like to think that Jon Feliciano would smack them both down, but he is injury prone. This will be the most interesting roster battle to me, and probably the most important.

S - Nate Allen v Larry Asante. This will be another good camp battle. Two seasoned vets vying for a spot next to Chaz. I'd also like to see what Jonathan Dowling has.

KR/PR - Chimdi, Tawain Jones, Brice Butler, George Atkinson III.

I'm getting excited, but do not want to put my eggs in one basket yet. I am really optimistic about this season. I like the coaching hires and I loved the draft. I was disappointed with the free agency period. I know its not too late to sign players, but Reg could've done better. I think RB, RG, and CB are the Raiders biggest potential problem areas. JUST PROVE IT, BABY!

3:12 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

This is yet another transition season. Raiders have had something like five HCs over the last six years.

So far it appears that even the coaches expectations are tempered at this point. That's not usually a good sign?

It's not too late to dump Trent Richardson and sign Ray Rice!

4:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Raider NAte

In reading your synopsis two positions stood out. WR seems to be becoming perhaps above avg. CB is pathetic.


7:44 PM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...

Snake has been kept out of the Hall only on account of bias. The idea that he's not in because of his rowdy lifestyle is ridiculous. Namath had a far worse reputation and at one point was even implicated with the mob (they liked to hang out at the bar he owned). Stable has a winning record against every contemporary quarterback currently in the Hall. His career statistics are at the very top of the league regarding his era of football. He can't be compared to the QBs now because it has become a league dedicated to the pass instead of the run. You will never see a running back in the present era who can compare with the running backs of Stabler's era. When Terry Bradshaw entered the Hall he said that all he ever wanted was to be like Kenny Stabler. Other than three more Superbowls, Stabler has better career stats than Bradshaw and Stabler won the lion's hare of the meetings between the two.

Bob Griese is in the Hall, and his stats are pathetic compared to Stabler's. In one of his two Superbowls, Griese only completed seven passes. He's in the Hall based on nothing but his game management ability which Stabler also had in spades.

Stabler is the shining example in NFL history of "the will to win." He was exemplary in his creativity and leadership in getting it done.

That Stabler was not in the Hall at the time of his death is a travesty of justice and casts dispersion on any significance of the pro football "Hall of Fame."

11:50 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Pretty quiet here. Just read that San Diego and St. Louis officials made the trip to the owners meetings but Oakland officials did not. I still believe the Raiders may end up stagnated by one-year lease renewals in Oakland.

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Oakland does not have a viable option, except Kephart's plan. The problem is Oakland loses money by leasing the land to the Raiders at a lower price, and at the cost of losing the A's (even though a stadium for the A's is also in the mix). But the difference is made up with the business offices, hotels, housing, and other shopping incentives that Coliseum City would bring.

Mark Davis is not opposed to selling a share of the team, and 20% is reasonable, and he even has suggested it in the recent past. With the County of Alameda backing out of the deal, and leaving the City of Oakland to do this themselves, it should be a no brainer to the City officials, since they won't pay any tax $$ into it.

So what's the problem? The money still owed on the Mt. Davis renovations. That is where the city loses. Even if they destroy the Coliseum as it is, the debt is still there. Nobody has any real viable option for that debt. Yet, I have a theory, and there is no way I can prove it, but it makes sense. The A's signed a 10 year lease with the City to stay in Oakland, and they are playing a heavy hand against the Raiders staying and building a stadium. I think the reason is because MLB and the A's will help the city pay the debt of Mt. Davis, if the city and MLB agree to build a baseball only stadium that the city keeps, and collects rent money from the A's. MLB is known for helping cities with situations like this, but the NFL is not.

The comparable scenario to this theory is what happened in San Diego a few years back when the Padres got out of Qualcomm and had Petco built. It was a joint effort by MLB and the city, while paying of the Padres portion of debt to the city that occured in Qualcomm. Now that the Chargers have paid their portion off, they want a new stadium, but the League and the team want it to be at the city's expense.

So, in the end, the Raiders and the City have a viable plan when it comes to a stadium deal, but no plan for the outstanding debt of the Raiders' renovation to the existing stadium. I'm not sold on the Raiders sharing a stadium with the Chargers either, especially when San Diego has hammered out a more viable stadium deal for the Chargers. The rumor is that the earliest a stadium could be built in LA is 2018, and the NFL is struggling to find a place in LA where a team can play until the stadium is built. The Raiders and the NFL have no play. Goodell is weak, and so is Mark Davis. Tagliabue and Al would have had a deal done, and that sure as hell wouldn't have included sharing a stadium with the Chargers. In the end, this may force Mark Davis to sell the team.

6:39 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

My understanding is that the Kephart plan is not viable largely because Davis won't sell any portion of the team.

Nate, I think you hit it on the head that the city has the A's secured and would rather let the Raiders walk than participate financially in a new stadium. It's low cost but shortsighted.

Meanwhile, Davis and the Raiders have many obstacles to overcome to make a move, including paying the NFL a transfer fee which could be financially crippling.

Unless the owners are willing let the Raiders step into a new market that could potentially add hundreds of millions to the team's valuation at no cost to the Raiders, the Raiders may be stuck in Oakland for a while.

On the Raiders side: (1) Mark Davis is not his father, and the owners may be more willing to negotiate the fee and (2) modernizing the Raiders franchise is in the best interest of the league. To that point, the Raiders have gone third-world and need help!

4:41 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Go to CSNBayArea and look in their archives when the owners met earlier this year in San Fran. Mark expressed interest to reporters that he was willing to sell a percentage of ownership not just for money but help managing and running the team. He specifically said it would not be a majority share, but somewhere around 20%. I will look too, and when I find it, I will paste the link.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Here you go NY, it's from May 20th, 2015

3:52 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Thanks for taking the time, Nate. Perhaps Davis has run out of options, not just for a stadium but in trying to maintain an NFL franchise with limited funds.

Lucky us, we're here for rock bottom.

4:53 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I thought the first preseason game was ok. Yes, the Raiders won, but it wasn't pretty. Some thoughts I have looking back, our CBs are going to struggle. I get it, I mean Nnamdi struggled the first few years before he became a shut down corner, then he went to Philly and lost it all. Tavon Austin lit them up though. I just hope the DBs continue to improve as the season progresses, or it will be a long season.
Our d overall look alright. It seemed there was a lot of fire, and intensity coming from our core group. The Rams first team holding the ball the entire first quarter was embarrassing. Even though they held them to a FG, the first 15 minutes of the game, the Rams held the ball. Our first team defense seemed to over-pursue guys, and don't know if that was just being over-excited, if they were to the position a little slow, or a combination of the two. Overall, I saw glimpses of a good defense, and a lot of the same-ol-same-ol defense. The biggest difference I saw though was pocket pressure, and good run defense.

Offensively, they continued to struggle in the red zone. I'm not impressed with Richardson, and do not think he will make the team. He looks like he has lost the will to play. Horrible field vision, tripped by the line of scrimmage, and looks lost. Carr, Ponder, and McGloin for the most part took control of the huddle and looked excellent. Carr and Ponder had interceptions, but our QB play was outstanding. I was happy to see an exciting passing game. Murray is going to bring an excellent balance in the running game, but the guys behind him ... I don't think we have the depth at RB, and that may hurt us, yet again.

Overall, I would grade the first/second team defense an A-/B range, and the first/second team offense a B/C range. Offense second team has to get better in the run game and create depth there to give Murray a rest; and both first and second have to produce better in the red zone. I was sad that Marcel did not get the ball, and it seems that the coaches still struggle with how to use him. I think the Raiders should use him and Murray as Gruden did Garner and Wheatley. I don't think it is rocket science to figure this out. Either way, I'm disturbed by it.

Defensively, I love the excitement by the guys, and the intensity that Norton Jr has brought. They need to work on that not becoming a distraction to do their assignments properly though. Like I said, a lot of over-pursuing plays that hurt us; especially on the first team. But they were consistent all game with the intensity and fire. Now Norton has to coach them how to control their focus with their emotions and excitement.

11:38 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Tough to make much out of the first pre season game. The Raiders looked pretty good against a flat Rams team, the first two plays aside (I believe Armstrong was guilty of over-pursuing the pass that went for 35 but could have been stopped at the LOS).

IMO, this may be the best group of QBs and WRs in a long time. Funny that McGloin to Butler is always a preseason phenomenon, but Butler doesn't seem to get those opportunities with other QBs.

Richardson looks marginal at best. I'm still lobbying to bring in Ray Rice. He is zero risk with crazy upside potential. Interesting that T Jones is getting another chance at RB. He's the fastest guy on the field. Makes sense to give him the ball. We'll see.

On D, I understand CBs are young and need time to develop but it kills me to watch Hayden play so far off the LOS. He is giving way too much room.

5:52 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home