Thursday, January 14, 2010

Commitment To Excellence

The NFL Playoffs are underway, and Powdered Toast Man has kindly asked me to provide a guest post about my love/hate relationship with the Oakland Raiders here at 'Just The Cheese'.... Which is nice, because I don't get to write about sports very much over at 'I Think It's Interesting'...

As a kid growing up in Northern California, you pledge you allegiance to one of two football teams. You either choose to root for the San Francisco 49ers or the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. I know the Raiders had left Oakland for Los Angeles when I was two years old, but there was a strong fan base for the Raiders even after they had left....

My decision to root for the Raiders was threefold:

a) Everyone else in my house had made the decision to follow the 49ers.
b) My best friend had decided to root for the Raiders. (I think I was 6 or 7)
c) One of my favorite football players of all time, Bo Jackson, was on the team.....

My choice was made.... The Raiders were my team....

I'm not one of those fair weather football fans who roots for any team that's winning, the Oakland Raiders, unfortunately, is my team through the thick and the thin....

By the way, I moved to Southern California the year the Raiders left Los Angeles to return to Oakland....

Throughout my childhood, the franchise had firepower.... They were tough, they had grit.... When they hit a guy, he stayed down.... Heck, they won two Super Bowls in the early 1980's.... And the fans, the 'Raider Nation' were just as tough and crazy as the players.


They brought in some amazing players.... Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, Howie Long, and as I mentioned before, Bo Jackson were some of the big names that helped the Raiders win up until their final Super Bowl appearance in 2002, where they got crushed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers....

Then they lost their magic.... Since 2002, the Oakland Raiders have lost 83 of 112 games.... They have a dismal 26% winning percentage....

What could have caused this drastic turnaround?

It could have been the fact that the Oakland Raiders have had five head coaches over the past seven seasons.... But coach turnover is typical after a poor season....

It could have been that the Oakland Raiders have drafted (and given enormous contracts to) the biggest names in college football in the first round of the last few drafts.... But those star college players: JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden and Darrius Heyward-Bey have not been able to translate their talent into NFL success.... The assistant coaches have actually told the press that they believe JaMarcus Russell has regressed as a quarterback, and in my opinion it seems like the offense doesn't want to work hard for Russell.

They brought in veteran defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Greg Ellis this year to lead the defense, and they brought instant results, but the team still did not have any solid defense.....


When it comes down to it, the Raiders are not a cohesive team.... They play for one man..... The man who calls all the shots.... Team owner and general manager, 80 year old Al 'Cryptkeeper' Davis. From all accounts, all decisions regarding the franchise go through him, some players have said that he still calls plays from up in the booth.... Don't get me wrong.... He had a wonderful football mind, but lately it seems like he's losing that mind and he might need to let go of the reigns......

Until we figure out what's wrong, we'll just keep on 'rebuilding'.....

7 comments:

Powdered Toast Man said...

I loved when Jerry Rice got signed by the Raiders. He should be in the hall of fame. The Raiders are due for a turnaround season soon.

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

Jerry Rice is definitely going to the Hall Of Fame.... He's already a finalist for the 2010 Hall vote....

Raiders in the Super Bowl in 2011!!!!

Geof said...

Wow! I don't get to see my many sports posts in my blog travels. Cool blog too, btw!

I'm not an Al Davis fan and things will turn around once he is adios. Russell is a waste of space too and it's funny how the team's offense got more fluid once he was benched. And the three-headed monster at RB! Pieces are there.

And I'm also sympathetic to the Raiders (in a good way) because there crushing of TB in last year's season ending game got my Eagles into the playoffs. Yeah I'm an Eagles fan so I got my own sports teams' problem too. lol

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

Uh oh.... An Eagles fan.... lol.

You're not quite in the same boat as me and my Raiders (at least you made the playoffs), we're lucky to get a win!

Do the Eagles plan on making any big moves this off season?

Geof said...

Don't worry, I'm not a crazy asshole fan or anything like that. lol

I wished they would have gotten rid of their coach along with McNabb, but the only move I would want to them do is sign one of the many FA RBs out there. Then use the draft picks to get some real safeties and beef up the OL. They made the playoffs but they got exposed in them as well.

What about Oakland? Re-sign Seymour I would think?

Powdered Toast Man said...

What is this? An AIM chat room? I'm glad this post drove a little traffic. Thanks ASBlackASObama.

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

I don't think Seymour, who was AMAZING this year, would want to resign with the Raiders.... He'll probably get a better offer somewhere else....

We need a new offensive line that can open some holes for the running backs and can stop the rush....

And possibly a new QB.... Someone who can show some progress.... I think I smell a Tebow.... Nobody has any faith in him, but he's super popular, and that's the kind of pick that Davis loves! Someone who will bring a lot of eyes to the team....

And we need a leader.... We always seem to give up when we're up by six late in the 4th quarter.... Then we give up a minute long full field drive for a touchdown to lose the game....

So Geof, your not one of those fans that threw snowballs at Santa? And you don't think McCoy and Westbrook can handle the RB position? I think Westbrook and McCoy both have 3 more years on their contracts....