Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Per Dan, and I have to say I agree, Belichik looks like a guy who never dresses up when he dresses up.

He just said something condescending to Bryan Billick, and approves of the speeded up draft.

AndOhByTheWay, fuck Bill Belichick.

The Pick

I think Chris Long would have been ideal. We could have used the help stopping the run and solidifying the DE spot long term.

But that wasn't to be. McFadden is our guy, and according to Kiffin he was our guy all along. Ok cool, so now it's time to get excited about him.

This is going to be an interesting offense. Kiffin will be able to split out McFadden and use him in creative ways to take pressure off JaMarcus. Maybe we'll even see a 4-RB set this year with DMC, Fargas, Rhodes, and Bush.

Was this our biggest need? No. But one can actually spin this as a need pick in terms of an offensive playmaker, especially given the lack of depth at WR. More justification later...

Just Asking

But has every defensive lineman drafted got a highlight wherein they blow up Jake Long?

With the 4th Pick in the 2008 NFL Draft...

The Oakland Raiders take....

I got a text from my lawyer saying Mort says we're trading the pick...we were watching NFLN so we didn't see it...Madame Schefter says no trade with New Orleans...The Autumn Wind is a's become such a cliche that Al loves "Speed and Size" that even Marshall Faulk is saying it...Al's Brother made the trip from Brooklyn to Radio City and is "On the Phone"...They keep saying what "Al Davis Loves"...Nobody's on the phone...

And the Pick?


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Number Four

No, my Favre tribute still isn't ready. But the Raiders are almost on the clock for their now annual very high draft pick. So who will it be?

Glenn Dorsey - apparently his leg has healed, because it's now accepted that he'll be gone by the time the Raiders draft. With so many guards in Morrison's face last year and a terrible run defense, Dorsey would seem to be an ideal pick. Then again, he's labeled the Raider defensive buzzword of the year: "Three Technique." And Tommy Kelly has been paid to do that job.

Chris Long - if jersey sales are the top priority, Little Howie should be the pick. If stopping the run is the top priority, you could make quite an argument for this pick as well. And DE is somewhat thin this year, potentially getting thinner next year when Burgess finally gets paid.

Vernon Gholston - considered a weight room guy, he's a pass rusher who could combine with Burgess to cause major heartburn. He could also take Burgess' place next year. Apparently has a lot of upside, but could be a bit of a project.

Darren McFadden - the consensus mock draft choice, Kiffin has said we don't need him. Perhaps he is baiting Al into defying him so he can have an electric talent to couple with JaMarcus? I'm not sure why most draft analysts justify this pick with the explanation that Al Davis always picks the flashiest athlete given the Gallery, Huff, and JaMarcus picks - each to fill the team's top need. Maybe if DMC were a CB, but Al's already satisfied his fetish this year with the Hall acquisition.

Sedrick Ellis - for whatever reason he seems to be out of the conversation. But he does fit a big need to stuff the run, and Raider coaches got a good look at him at the Senior Bowl.

Matt Ryan - just kidding.

And then there's the option to trade down...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

King Kaufman is a Hater

King Kaufman writes about Jake Long's contract with Miami, and compares it to what happened to JaMarcus Russell last year:

That's a step down from last year's No. 1 contract, which guaranteed Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell as much as $32 million if he reaches certain milestones. But the more important difference is the timing. Russell held out for all of training camp and the exhibition season, finally signing in September. His rookie season was almost a total loss. Long signed before he was even drafted, and he'll be present at the first workout.

Skipping your first NFL training camp while haggling over a few million dollars -- out of dozens of millions on the table -- is a good way to get yourself into this photo gallery, part of Sports Illustrated's fabulous new online archive, known as the S.I. Vault.

The photo gallery of which he writes is a list of the Top 21 Draft Busts of all time.

Now, plenty of local sportswriters (although I believe Kaufman also lives in the Bay Area) have made this comparison, but so far none of them have suggested flat out that JaMarcus is going to be a bust. Even Nancy Gay--while she does get in another fat joke--stops short of suggesting JaMarcus is going to be a bust.

King's just lucky Sal Paolantonio wrote a stupid-ass column this week, or might have won our award.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Hater of the Week: Sal Paolantonio

Sal Paolantonio, perhaps best know for being "outraged" that Tony Soprano was watching him on TV during an episode of the The Sopranos, has just written something that's even MORE ignorant:

The Raiders will regret trading for DeAngelo Hall and signing him to a $70 million contract.

So now it's MY turn to be outraged.

Congratulations, Sal, you're our Nancy Gay Memorial Hater of the Week.

The Raiders need help stopping the run, says Sal:

And what did the Raiders get? One of the most overrated defensive backs in recent league history.

One of the great "SportsCenter" highlights of Hall's career is from a game against the Steelers in 2006. You remember that -- when Pittsburgh wide receiver Hines Ward sprinted past Hall for a spectacular 70-yard touchdown catch and run. What's so remarkable about that play? Ward was missing one shoe.

And that play was unusual. Most opposing receivers beat Hall deep while still wearing both shoes.

Wow. Tell us how you really feel. He also has a choice quote from Roy Williams, the leading receiver on the Offensive Juggernaut Detroit Lions. "Everybody pumps him up like he's Deion Sanders. But he's not Deion Sanders."

Hey Sal, did you have to a use a dictaphone to get that quote? Or did you just you type "Roy Williams DeAngelo Hall Deion Sanders Tautology" into Google and cut-and-paste?

Why don't you stick to what you know about: giving weather updates before NFC East games, inspiring backlash Sopranos Episodes, and uni-brow waxing.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Warriors Turn Fans into Worriers - by Sllaacs

The Warriors are officially out of it. 122 - 116 losers to Shaq and the Suns. The final standings in the Western Conference shouldn't come as a surprise; the Suns are better than the Warriors, so is Denver, Dallas, and Houston. These teams represent the bottom of the playoff seeding and Golden State's most immediate competition for future playoff positions next season and beyond.

An interesting aside during the Warriors loss to Phoenix was the episode between Don Nelson and Baron Davis, with Nelly sitting Boom Dizzle for the entire second half of the game. The most important game of the year and Nelly sits Davis because, according to Nelly; Baron needed a rest. Clearly more than meets the eye and ears here. And this comes after Nelly stated that the Warriors were better off with J-Rich last year, and missed the hell out of him this year. That may be so. No doubt, the Warriors had more talent with J-Rich out on the court last year, but the kid they traded for, (Brandan Wright) looks to have a high upside in the Warriors thin front court. He should make an impact next year. Keeping J-Rich also would probably have stunted the meteoric growth of uber-scorer, Monta Ellis.

Baron Davis has the ability to opt out of his 17 million dollar contract for next year, if he so chooses - and Nelson has been extended by the team, but has remained non-committal regarding his accepting of the contract. In fact 9 of the 14 players on the Warriors roster are up for contract negotiations this off season. These are problems to think about, Warrior Fan.

The most serious problem for the Warriors this year was their bench - or lack thereof - and the fact that Nelson refused to play those guys all year. You have to wonder if Davis and Jackson would have been so fatigued during the final stretch of games if Nelson had used the bench throughout the year. Nelly will tell you straight up though; that if he had used the bench all year, the W's would not have been in the playoff picture this long. That is a matter of opinion, coming from one of the greatest coaches at exploiting match-ups in NBA history. Either way, the Warriors gave us fans a great run during this regular season - but the ending may leave behind a bad taste, and an off-season full of worrying about the roster composition.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Somewhere Sllaacs is Sulking

Sllaacs must be having trouble lighting his blunts, what with the tears falling after the Warriors' latest loss, this time to Denver.

Don Nelson is pulling a page from Hillary's book and pleading with party elders--er--David Stern, to "Do something about it."

He has a point, actually. The Eastern Conference, except for Boston, Cleveland, and Detroit, sucks ass. There will 10 teams who finish with winning records in the West. Two of them will be ass out, while some sorry teams get to compete in the East.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Little Howie

Tonight during dinner I had a chance to watch my first Giants game of the season. Sometime around the 7th inning stretch, baseball's best announcing team - Kruk and Kuip - went to perhaps baseball's worst roving reporter for an interview with Raider middle linebacker Kirk Morrison.

He was attending the game with Chris Long.

The open ended questions were answered predictably: Morrison hopes he drops to #4 so the Raiders can draft him, while Long will be happy to play anywhere and was impressed by the Raiders he's met. Unfortunately, the reporter kept talking and eventually asked Chris if he might just be a Giants fan given all the years his father played in the Bay Area. Oops.

I am in favor of using pick #4 on a defensive lineman, but I doubt Chris Long drops that far.

Meanwhile, the Giants managed to win the ballgame with a walk-off double with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth. The score? 1-0, of course. And that's with Jonathan Sanchez pitching. My favorite headline of the year was the Chronicle's after an opening day 5-0 blanking at the hands of the Dodgers: "Giants Meet Expectations."

The earlier McCovey Cove entertainment, San Francisco's torch shell game, was terrific drama. I was glued to the screen during an extended lunch. Would they circumvent the Third Street Bridge via boat? What would the Free Tibet gang do as a follow-up to the Golden Gate banner stunt? Why is the lead vehicle in the procession one of those amphibious Duck buses?

Best of all, as the torch turned off of Bay and North onto Laguna, there was Little Howie herself: my wife. While trying to avoid the Embarcadero route she had stumbled onto the revised route and had a front-row seat for a torch hand-off. And she looked great on the Chopper cam.

Great day. And another hysterical quote from a San Francisco Supervisor was just icing on the cake.

Carrying the Torch

As a sports fan, I love the Olympics.

As a UC Santa Cruz alumnus, I hate hippies. They're the reason everyone thinks Santa Cruz is flaky and stupid. I once had an encyclopedia salesman, sitting in a booth at the Contra Costa County Fair in 1992, ask me if Santa Cruz wasn't a "hippie farm."

Well, it's fucking not. And neither is San Francisco, despite what Fox News tells you.

But this picture says it all. A bunch of white hippies waving Tibet flags and smelling bad. The worst was a stupid cliche of a girl I saw wearing baggie pants under an embroidered skirt, walking around with a stoned, smug look on her face and tearing up a plastic, Chinese flag. Oh, she was also wearing, with no apparent recognition of the irony whatsoever, a NorthFace jacket.

Most of the people down there are Chinese-Americans from San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area who are stoked to have the Olympics in the country of their forefathers and mothers. The last thing they need is a bunch of white assholes trying to assuage their guilt over Iraq and Guantanamo Bay by taking it out on China for, among other things (again with no trace of irony in their earnest sloganeering), torturing people.

Every day, I watch huge tankers floating towards Oakland to be unloaded. Those huge ships mainly come from China, and I've never once seen Richard Gere on the Embarcadero prostesting them.

Never once.

Update: has continuing coverage. They moved the route to the Marina toward the Golden Gate Bridge, prompting this bit of hysteria from Supervisor Aaron Peskin:

"Gavin Newsom runs San Francisco the way the premier of China runs his country - secrecy, lies, misinformation, lack of transparency and manipulating the populace," Peskin said. "He misled supporters and opponents of the run. People brought their families and their children, and (mayoral officials) hatched a cynical plan to please the Bush State Department and the Chinese government because of the incredible influence of money.

"He did it so China can report they had a great torch run," Peskin said. "It's the worst kind of government - government by deceit and misinformation."

Awesome. Come to think of it, I do seem to remember Gavin rolling tanks down Market Street to crush all the people protesting against Gay Marriage a few years ago. Just like the premier of China runs his country!

Turns out people can also hate the torch run because China is, after all, still "Red China:"

...[A] San Francisco man named Kevin Johnson, 48, walked into a crowd of torch supporters and began yelling, "Communists!" The crowd encircled Johnson and the confrontation escalated when Johnson pulled a Chinese flag off a man's backpack. Then, someone grabbed Johnson's throat and another person punched him in the face before police intervened and walked him to safety.

"I know it sounds racist, but if they want the Olympics in China they should go back to China," he said.

You're right, Kevin, it does sound racist. You ignorant prick.

Look, I get it, people love the Dalai Lama. I even own a Mac. But I still think we Americans should solve our own problems before we start pointing our fingers at other countries.

The best sign I saw all day was being carried by a man in a suit down California Street that said, "First things First: U.S. Out of Iraq."

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Hauenstein's Weep

Or do they cheer?

Dan and his brother, Mikey, are both Rice alumni. I'm curious how they take this news, that recently fired Cal coach Ben Braun has been hired by Rice.

The article says that Rice currently owns a 19-game losing streak, which is worse than any season Braun had with the Bears. He was fired for being a mediocre Pac-10 coach. Every Cal fan I know (a lot) wanted him fired for the last 5 years.

I don't even know what conference Rice plays in. The only thing I know about it is that my friends both went there.

Like I said, I know a lot of Cal fans, and they're pretty stoked with the Mike Montgomery hiring. Gwen Knapp takes a break from making Pee-pee all over the Raiders to write that Monty hasn't "betrayed" Stanford, although speaking as a Cal fan, the fact that some people on the Farm are feeling betrayed is just icing on the cake.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Dan Posts from Texas

Just kicked two Broncos fans out of my room.

Continuing her campaign to rename the Hater of the Week Award, Nancy Gay transcribed the complete Lane Kiffin owners meeting interview. More likely, she held the Dictaphone and some intern transcribed it. Either way, it's a good read.

I am happy to see Kiffin finally moving forward as coach. Some questions:
  1. Does this mean Huff will play free safety this year?
  2. Are the McFadden comments legit, a head fake, or Kiffin going on record against what Al Davis secretly wants to do?
  3. How disappointed is Kiffin that they pulled the big trade for Hall?
  4. Are we really supposed to believe Jordan is coming back?
  5. How much of the Lofton hiring was Al covering against/preparing for Kiffin leaving, Al telling Kiffin he'd better watch his back, or a reaction to the miserable WR situation - including Johnnie Lee Higgins' terrible play - last year?

Even if they are Broncos fans, they are going to rent Jet Skis so I should get out of my room...

Friday, April 4, 2008

Dan Emails from Texas

Dan is going to a lake, and promises to post later. In the comments to my Hater of the Week post, he linked to Vic Carucci's column on the Kiffin-Davis relationship as it continues to evolve. It's the opposite of Gwen Knapp's column from yesterday, which I would't use to line my cat box.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Nancy Gay Memorial Hater of the Week Award: Gwen Knapp

I mean, I don't even know what to say about this.

I'm considering changing the name, since at least Nancy Gay went to Tampa and came up with and provided good coverage of the Owners meetings.

Why doesn't she just wipe her ass with a pirate flag and mail it to Alameda? The point would be just as effective.

Sllaacs Scoop Salacious Story

As Sllaacs pointed out yesterday, Nancy Gay had a good write-up in the Chronicle about Kiffin's press conference during the NFL Owners meetings in Florida.

Both Jerry McDonald (here and here) and Jason Jones (here) covered this, but it looks like the Chronicle is the only local paper to send an actual writer to the event, so props to them. (Jerry McDonald referred to getting the information from a stringer, Walter Villa. That article is good, too.)

Prior to Nancy's column, the best coverage of the press conference was done by's Bill Williamson, both in the Hashmarks blog and in a regular article.

All of these articles put together make me very happy. even has a special "Lane Kiffin" section in rotation on it's front page with Williamson's article, which Kiffin "Sounds like a coach in control."

Speculation? Kiffin says, regarding the rumors, that "where there's smoke, there's fire." And maybe Kiffin really was close to becoming the latest ex-head coach of the Oakland Raiders at some point in the last three months. But what I think happened is that Al and Kiffin had a Frank Exchange of Views at some point. Kiffin said he wanted something (a new defensive coordinator maybe) and Al said "no, you can't have one, you went 4-12," and Kiffin said "it's in my contract, you crypt-keeper looking vampire motherfucker," and Al said, "Here's a letter of resignation, sign it and don't the let the door hit you on the way out, you shit-heel, ungrateful little prick." Lance didn't want to lose $4 Million, so he stayed, and they worked it out.

Along with some new additions, and JaMarcus looking good....I'm excited for the season.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

49ers Fan beats Raider fans to the scoop - by Sllaacs

So yeah, Sllaacs is a 49ers fan; but the news dropped yesterday by Lane Kiffin is too juicy. So read this S.F. Chronicle article and drink it in Raider Fan, drink it in. By the way; you gotta love Al Davis. You gotta.