Monday, April 27, 2009

Contrarian Award: Rich "Big Vinny" Lieberman

We need to come up with a better name for this. "Anti-hater?" Lover? Anyway, I chose "Contrarian" because Big Vinnie Lieberman goes to bat for the Raiders, taking on the conventional wisdom that the Raiders had the worst draft in the history of the draft in two posts at SFGate blog, Bright Lights, Big City. The first one absolutely eviscerates ESPN for their Anti-Raider bias, taking on Mort, Berman, TJ, and everyone else. Money quote from that post:

I'm speaking more about the premise of credibility. Berman's love affair with the SF 49ers and Giants is notorious. He's even mentioned it several times in interviews on the network itself. The "Raiduhs" shtick was cute about ten years ago, but Berman continues to think it's funny, a la, "back-back-back". He's never been a particularly objective guy when it comes to Oakland, and his partner on "Countdown", ex-NFL player, Tom Jackson, was a former Denver Bronco. Jackson didn't work the draft, but his anti-Raiders bias is well-known and documented. In his playing days, he once refered to John Madden as a "fatman".

Mortensen is in a league by himself. His distaste for Al Davis and the Raiders organization has been legendary, but when it gets to the point where it affects his reportings, then there's a credibility issue. After all, "Mort" supposedly is deemed by ESPN as an "NFL reporter/'insider". His "commentary" is, for the most part, first-rate and fairly accurate, but he needs to strengthen up the "objectivity" box in his Raiders file because no one takes him seriously when he opines about the Raiders.

We all know about Mort's well-documented history covering the Raiders.

In the second post, he goes out and runs the opinion of a former scout who makes the case for Darrius Heyward-Bey.

I was in the process, this morning, of collecting post-draft reactions from national figures; I still may do that. But I wanted to acknowledge that not everyone in the Media hates the Raiders; there's at least one guy out there who's not hater.

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