Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hater of the Week: John Sousa

When Walter Cronkite delivered his editorial on the Vietnam War on February 17, 1968, Lyndon Johnson reported said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost Middle America."

Well, I don't know what this is worth, but the Raiders have finally lost John Sousa. And this is how they did it:

Spent all week spewing libel at Rich Gannon. The Raiders have done a lot of stupid things over the years, but this was truly the dumbest thing I've ever seen. "We live in a post-9/11 world." Really, Herrera? How about we live in a post-1983 world? One in which offensive innovation has flourished, just about everywhere but here? Oh, except for a brief stint when somebody named Rich Gannon was your quarterback. You fucking assholes.

Then, they go out and completely crap the bed against the Broncos. They played so poorly that the NFL RedZone channel stopped providing live lookins. And I don't blame them. Per Dan, watching the game in an Austin sports bar, this offense is "Art Shell bad."

So, here's the deal. It's not like I'm going shopping for a new team. But I'm doing the following things, until the Raiders prove they are serious about playing honest-to-God NFL Football; or at least as serious about it as they are settling non-existent scores against former players and the media:

I'm refusing to wear any of my Raiders paraphernalia. Not my T. Brown throwback replica, not my Kirk Morrison replica, none of my hats, t-shirts, or shoes. And not my JaMarcus authentic jersey.

Which brings to me the next thing. I will not defend JaMarcus Russell. This pains me to write, because I've been his biggest apologist. But he is awful.

And I will no longer defend Al Davis. He is a tired, senile old man. Someone needs to pull his plug. Lock him in a room playing unending loops of past Raiders victories, and tell him it's current. Then get down to the business of making the Raiders a legitimate, competitive football team.

Fuck this shit.

John's Picks

Good Morning, sports fans. I'm up early here on the West Coast, with a semi-sick daughter and an exhausted Professor wife, who spent like 19 hours at the West Valley College Pow Wow yesterday.

The 49ers could beat the Vikings. Patrick Willis is a beast. I will watch this game, or at least I'll see the look-ins when the Red Zone goes there. Who really cares, anyway? I think Minny puts the 49ers at 2-1. 18-14.

Miami will beat San Diego. We should have beaten San Diego. Wildcat or no,17-13.

Titans go to 0-3 today. I like Rex Ryan. Apparently, Rob is lesser of the twins, because not only is the Raiders defense better since his ass is gone, but Cleveland's sucks, too. Check out these YPG rankings. The Jets are #1. The Raiders are #23, which isn't great, but check out the Browns. #25.

Finally, the blackout bowl. Lowell Cohn and Tim Kawakami finally added their two cents on Gannon-gate. I'll be watching for live look-ins on RedZone. And maybe I'll party like's it 1999, and listen to Greg Papa. We'll see. I like our chances. And the Raiders this year haven't given me any reason to start trying to reverse-jinx, so I'm Dan and Sllaacs. Raiders win on a Seabass FG late, 21-18.

This is a Game worth Throwing Tortillas Over

Last year we made a series of mistakes in choosing to attend the Raider-Bronco MNF opener. A complete blowout after a full day of drinking by home fans who tend not to be encumbered by jobs or families makes for a bad scene. Making matters worse, we subjected Kristy’s brother and his girlfriend – both wearing orange – to a dangerous walk around the parking lot prior to kickoff. Of the objects and curses thrown at them, however, we all found the fresh tortillas that Frisbeed in from one tailgate to be the funniest, not to mention tastiest.

This week the Broncos return to the Coliseum, and I am ready to declare this a pivotal game. The Raiders of recent years have known only two kinds of inflection points – the ones that temporarily slow the descent into chaos and the ones that renew their acceleration towards the pit of laughingstock-ness. This week’s game vs. Denver has the potential to begin moving the Raiders in the positive direction.

Perhaps that’s stating the obvious: a win and the Raiders are 2-1 in the division, tied for first, with a legitimate gripe over not being 3-0. A loss and the Raiders stole one against the hapless Chefs for their only win of the season. Obvious or not, a win will bring a level of optimism to Oakland not seen for a long time.

I suspect that the major determining factor will be the Raiders’ ability to run the ball, which oddly vanished at about halftime of the San Diego game. Justin Fargas is going to play an important role here. He’s finally active, and he has a way of wearing down defenses with his violent running in the early going that softens things up for McFadden and Bush.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Texas Size Picks

This week and next I'll be picking from Austin, home of two-game Raider MVP Michael Huff's alma mater and of my brother. Yee haw.

Mikey's dining room, where I'm sitting as I write this, is painted a deep teal. I am thus inspired to pick the Dolphins over the Chargers, 27-19 in this clash of softer blue tones.

Tennessee at the Jets. This is another easy one to pick based purely upon my location. The Titans deserted Texas. Mikey loves the Jets (and, presumably, loves Mark Sanchez, too). Jets 17-7.

49er madness has driven me out of the Bay Area and had already eclipsed Cal madness prior to today's Duck drubbing. The 9ers will bring their fans back to reality just a bit with their 24-12 loss against Minnesota and the quarterback who was previously one of my favorite players of all time.

I like the way Sllaacs broke down the Raiders game at the point where he picked the Raiders to somehow get the victory. This is a heavy "pick with your heart" choice: Raiders 23-11. But the Raiders are decent if they can put a few things together, and at some stage (hopefully this week) the Broncos will prove themselves not nearly as good as 2-0.

Manning to Colston - TOUCHDOWN!!

So yeah, in my Fantasy League I have Eli Manning as my QB and Marques Colston as my #1 receiver, so in fantasy terms aren't I technically correct in pretending that Eli tosses those fantasy passes to Colston in the weekly matchup? No...? Well, it's my first year.

So the picks:

San Franciso @ Minnesota
The Vikings got the run stopping Williams Wall, and the Niners will pound it, pound it, pound it. Have to go with the Vikes at home though, with Brett Favre the Game Manager continuing to victimize the 49ers, as he has done over most of his career. Vikings 23-13 over the Niners.

Denver @ Oakland
Pretty easy here: Denver looks decent, Oakland looks lucky to be 1 and 1. JaMarcus looks worse that Alex Smith ever did, whil Denver messed off a franchise QB in Jay Cutler during the offseason, and still got a decent QB in return (Kyle Orton). The Raiders cut a decent QB in Jeff Garcia and have no options other than JaMarcus who is most kindly described these days as "raw". Denver should roll by 2 TD's at least. With that in mind, I choose Oakland to somehow get the victory. There is some attractiveness in that scrappy defense and the young QB who looks horrible for most of a game but can make big throws at the end. Raiders over the Broncos 18-17.

Tennessee @ New York Jets
I like Sanchez. The Jet fans probably love him. Tennessee is bad - NYJ is bad, but at least the Jets have Sanchez. Jets over Titans 28-16.

Miami @ San Diego
Go Wildcat, it's your birthday... Miami is also stuffing the run this year, besides thier Wildcat hi jinks. LaDainian is hobbled and Merriman is hurting, but they will probably be out here for this home loss to the Dolphins. Miami Dolphins over San Diego Padres... er, Chargers, 24-9.

Sllaacs' Ballers are 2-0. Sousa's lame-ass squad is 1-1. What's lame-er, is that our teams don't play each other during the regular fantasy season. You'll have to make the playoffs to get rolled by the Ballers, Sousa - I'd say good luck, though you won't need it with this weeks opponent.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Herrera is embarrassing the fact that Rich Gannon doesn't know how to call a game.

Well, maybe it's not quite that bad.

But it's pretty bad. Per David White, here is what John Herrera said in "banning" Rich Gannon from Saturday's walk-through:

"Rich Gannon is not welcome here," Raiders executive John Herrera said Friday when asked about the ban. "We told CBS we did not want him in our building, we did not want him to be part of our production meeting, and that's where it sits."

Oh, and there's more. My personal favorite? After quoting Gannon as saying that the Raiders should "just blow up the building and start over," Herrera goes all Giuliani on his ass:

"We think in a post 9/11 world, that's not a very proper thing to say," Herrera said. "It's uncalled for. He seems to be a guy who can't get over the fact that he played the worst Super Bowl game in the history of the game and he wants to blame everybody but himself.

"I guess it's our fault he threw five interceptions."

Wow. Jerry McDonald says he is "speechless at the notion that if Gannon did say these things, that they were taken literally."

So, the Raiders are either literally the dumbest team in America, or Rich Gannon is a terrorist.

To think, this guy was the league MVP. Playing for us.Now I'm really bummed that the game is blacked out, because I want to hear what Gannon has to say.

Because not even the CLOAK can defend this.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kawakami Hearts JaMarcus

JaMarcus is taking a beating, and probably deservedly so. As Dan and I were watching the game, in separate living rooms, communicating via G-chat, we had this exchange:

11:55 AM Dan: wow
John: just got my first "fuck russell" text from Kristy
Dan: ha - me too
not good
how did the lite shotgun go?
11:56 AM i need to get me a beer - am just getting through bloody mary phase
12:00 PM John: it went well. i've drank four regular style since

As you can see from this exchange, JaMarcus was driving us to drink, well before noon.

Tim Kawakami has a blog post and a column up discussing JaMarcus today, and he comes to his defense. And not in a back-handed way, either:
The talent is there. He’s trying to be more of a leader. He will never be willowy, but he looks in reasonable shape. He also has Bruce Gradkowski behind him, so it’s not like Russell’s getting yanked any time soon.

Maybe this week will be the breakthrough: In his two games against the Denver Broncos last year, Russell completed 73 percent of his passes for 332 yards and three touchdowns, registering a 127.3 passer rating.

What he doesn't mention, and what I've noticed, is JaMarcus bring some intangibles. He doesn't get rattled. While it may be frustrating to watch, as he slings incompletion after incompletion, he he seems to forget about it almost immediately. Even if we don't. In fact, on that last drive, the winning Touchdown drive against the Chiefs last week, Dan and I had this exchange:

12:55 PM John: i was just talking with ashley
12:56 PM that this is where JaMarcus' "laid back-ness" comes in handy.
he doesn't panic
12:57 PM Dan: ha - i was thinking the very same thing as he came into the huddle - this is a situation where jamarcus can build his reputation
calm leader

If JaMarcus can start making some plays earlier in the game, I'll remain his biggest apologist. Right now, being Joe Cool is biggest asset, bigger than his cannon arm. But he needs to start putting it together.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More proof for the Conspiracy Theorists among us

Thanks to dobolina in the comments section from my post of the other day, we get this little gem from Mike Florio:
It figures that, after we spilled plenty of e-ink in defending the Week One decision to take away from the Oakland Raiders a second-quarter touchdown after receiver Louis Murphy, despite having possession and two feet down, lost the ball when hitting the ground, officials blew two similar calls in the next Sunday of action.

In both cases, the calls on the field were upheld via replay review, even though it appears to us that the touchdowns should have been wiped off the board, just like Murphy's was.
Not that we Raiders fans need anyone's permission to get riled up, or even livid. But come on. This makes me sick, and for me it proves two things:

1. The official in our game last week, "Hot" Carl Cheffers, when he reviewed Murphy's reception, was wrong. Even if interpreted a rule correctly, there was not sufficient visual evidence to overturn a call made on the field.

2. Replay has got to go. It's one thing to get fucked by a bad call in the heat of the game. But to then stop a game, as has happened to us time and time again, and go back wipe a play out, is an atrocity.

Especially when the Patriots get away with it on the same night.

Have a nice week.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Halftime Adjustments

The Raiders have been notoriously bad in this department over the years, often losing leads when their opponents out-adjust them at halftime. Even last week, the Chargers figured out how to shut down the run in the second half.

Some adjustments I'd like to see:
  • Commit to the run. Thus far the Raiders seem more interested in letting JaMarcus throw his way into a rhythm than leaning on their offensive strength.
  • Increase the pressure on Cassel. The defense isn't doing too badly, but Cassel has way too much time and the Chiefs have been slowly eating their way through the Raider D.
  • Figure out how to shut down the run. Ha - that would be something...
  • Stop getting dumb, untimely penalties. Ok, I might as well ask them to shift to a zone D while I'm at it.
Here we go, second half is on and the Chiefs are moving the ball. Let's see what kind of coach Cable is in a situation that hasn't looked great for the Raiders thus far.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Dan Bait: Mike Florio on "Murphy's Law"

My Bad on the Picks; Jeff Garcia

I guess I spent so much pwn-ing Sllaacs for his lack of football knowledge that I forgot a game.

The Saints with roll. No Donovan, no Mike Vick, and while they did pick up our sloppy seconds this week, there's no way Goldmember plays well enough to overcome Drew Brees. Drew Brees is no Jake Delhomme, people. Saints 31-17.

While we're on the subject of Garcia, a lot of people have put forth the notion that the Raiders might have won the other night if he had played instead of JaMarcus.

First of all, I'm not even sure why he signed with the Raiders in the first place. He was never healthy in training camp, and when he did play, was he really that effective?

But let's say that these people--people like the Professor, by the way--are correct, and that Jeff Garcia had played instead instead of JaMarcus, or that when he went out briefly in the 4th quarter after the QB Sneak, Garcia comes in and leads the team to victory.

This would be what you a call winning the battle and losing the war. The thing is, Garcia is 40 years old, which is young if you're a tree but ancient if you're a quarterback taking every snap. The Raiders at this point have to ride or die with JaMarcus. It's that simple. Every snap another quarterback takes is one that he doesn't; it's a chance to learn and improve and develop in real-life situations that he doesn't get. So to me, it really isn't a choice. I have no hard feelings toward Jeff Garcia. As George Atkinson would say, he's a competitor. He likes to compete. I hope he gets that chance somewhere else.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jeez, I Have to Make Picks?

Welcome back, Sllaacs.

For a week there I thought that I had been relieved of the pressure of coming up with a few witty things to say while taking wild guesses and putting together random pairs of numbers each week. No such luck, I guess. Unless I take the dobolina approach of picking once and then making occasional comments comparing JaMarcus Russell to one of the sorriest sacks of a Quarterback ever to try playing in the NFL. No, I'm not talking about Alex Smith.

Heyward-Bey vs. Crabtree watch: 0-0 after one week. Well, not in dollars or in being a complete douche bag.

Speaking of such unsavoryness, why is Mike Vick not eligible to play? And why did Johnny not pick the Saints-Eagles game? I am going with the Saints. This team scores like the Gannon-led Raiders. Sure, they played the Lions, but they'll put up points on everyone this year. Plus, I had a great time at Jazz Fest on my birthday in May. I highly recommend Jazz Fest as a must do in one's life. New Orleans 31-20.

On my refrigerator is a picture of my wife's grandfather sending out the Atlanta Falcons during introductions at Texas Stadium. I suspect there is a fancier system at the new stadium. Too much hoopla for the Giants to overcome. Dallas 24-21. Over-under on punts that hit the big screen: 2.

I believe in Mike Singletary. Frank Gore is on my fantasy football team (so is Randy Moss). Patrick Willis is the real deal. Yadda yadda yadda. Seattle is good this year and the 49ers are still trying. Home letdown at the Taxpayer-named 'Stick. Seattle 28-17.

I also believe that this is a dangerous game for the resurgent Raiders. Warren Sapp said, "Oakland plays worse when they have confidence." Unk has always said, "The Raiders play down to their competition." But, like Johnny, I'm in. I really want to see the Raiders roll into KC, pick up the intensity where they left it with about 2 minutes remaining in the San Diego game, and steamroll the Chefs. Raiders, 27-10.

John's Picks: Cuz we're in the Spirit World, asshole. They can't see us!

Wow. Sllaacs comes up with some picks and a nice clip, although I prefer this longer version, because it has the quote in the title of this post.

Anyway, as exhibit A in why I protested the trade he's talking about, Marques Colston plays for New Orleans, so Eli Manning won't be throwing him jack shit in the New Texas Stadium, as evidenced in this clip reel:

See, Sllaacs doesn't even know what team his players play for, except that he knows Frank Gore plays for the 49ers. Anyone who doesn't know what team players play for is unqualified to manage a fantasy football team.


Dallas, who has Tony Romo, my fantasy quarterback, faces a tough game against the New York Football Giants. But I like Dallas. The Toddfather is going to be in the house this weekend, and he tells me that the Cowboys can't be beaten. Normally, this would be a reason to pick the Giants. But not this time. Cowboys 27, Giants 24.

The 49ers are going to lose to Seattle in the exact opposite of the score Sllaacs picked, 21-10.

And the Raiders, I don't care what anybody says, are a bandwagon pick this week for a reason. 24-14.

Niners inspire, Raiders already tired, Sousa wallows in the mire...

Got to say, the Niners made me proud vs. the Cardinals. The Defense was stout, and even with Gore running into walls all day the offense managed to get it done. Granted, Kurt Warner looked more like Time Warner, but he was still tossing to Fitz and Boldin. That final defensive play by Justin Smith is a nice endcap for a game that was won by the Niner D.

Both Bay Area teams played strong games last Sunday, but unlike the Raiders, the Niners are searching for no silver linings. Yes, Oakland played a good game on both sides of the ball at times and consistently on defense, but besides the smashmouth, you didn't have much "O" (the 57-Yard bomb on 4th and 15? Nice.), except for another bad game for Mr.#1 Overall.

All to the Right, Picks:

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

Eli will own. Hopefully, he'll drop a bomb or two to Marques Colston... Dallas should get... Something... But I don't know what. Giants over 'Boys 31-17.

New Orleans Saints @ Philadelphia Eagles

This would be more interesting if Vick were eligible to play - but Drew Brees is tossing the ball 40 times on a bad day - makes for interesting football. Also interesting: Let's see if Reggie Bush can begin to live up to his draft status.

Seattle Seahawks @ San Francisco Forty-Niners

The Seahawks rolled the Rams, no big deal - they also rolled out thier version of the latest gimmick - the Wildcat. So what? Until further review, the Seahawks still suck. Niners win at home, 21-10.

Oakland Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs

I see that the Raiders are favorites over K.C. this week - I disagree. K.C. will mop the Raiders like the sticky floor of a S.F. strip club and then send them back to Oakland wondering where their money went. K.C. over Oakland 17-13.

P to the S;

Sousa has apparently gone all "Branch Rickey" and "Jerry Jones" in the case of Yahoo Fantasy League Football, apparently becoming inebriated and shouting down the following trade:

Marques Colston & Frank Gore for Randy Moss & Brian Westbrook

In his liquor (or liqueur) - filled tirade he blasted the trade as unfair (the person getting Gore -me - ripping off the person getting Moss). Come now - that's a fair trade, even in China, in fact my love of all things Frank Gore may result in myself coming up short in this deal when all is said and done.

As it was, his argument was ignored on Yahoo, and met underwhelmed non-support on FaceBook.

Sllaacs Ballers!!!

Sousa - get off that dum dum juice or you will reap the whirlwind... reap it... and then you'll sit there and wonder bout the size of that chicken...


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thinking about Monday Night

I gave it a day to kind of settle myself down and organize my thoughts a little bit. I know that's not a very bloggy sentiment; blogs are for emotional reactions. Well, I got those out Monday night, during and just after the game, on my Facebook feed. Feel free to add me as a friend if that's the sort of thing you want to see (or hide/block me if you don't want to see that stuff).

The post-game reactions from most of the local writers and columnists and bloggers was pretty consistent: the Raiders were impressive in their loss, got jobbed by the officials, and look like they might at some point, if they keep up the intensity, and if JaMarcus continues to improve and gets some WR help, they could be a pretty good football team. My favorite two reactions were from Tim Kawakami and Lowell Cohn, mainly because they're the two most skeptical local writers:


But this one was the best game of the bunch, and better than several of the Raiders’ few victories over the last six years–IF Cable can keep this level of energy and dedication going through to December.

If the Raiders play like this, they should go right through Kansas City next week and if it keeps up they should be within striking distance of .500 or above all year, and maybe even at the end of the year.

And if they get anything more out of JaMarcus Russell (12 of 30 for 208 yards), other than the rainbow TD on fourth-and-15, then the Raiders could actually be… well… decent to pretty good this year.

There, I said it. And I mean it.

I'm getting tired of writing the Raiders are bums. It's nice to write something else for a change.

So you praise the Raiders even if they didn’t finish. You praise the running game - dynamic, powerful, a real stunner especially in the first half. And you praise Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. And you praise the defense. Where in the world did this defense come from?

And mostly you praise Russell. You don’t go wild over Russell. He hit tight end Zach Miller with so many beautiful passes over the middle, nice breakaway moments. And when he did that you remembered what a talent he is. But then you saw him overthrow wide receivers all night long and you remembered he has so much to learn.

And when you were about to give up on him, and after he got clocked by Shawne Merriman on a quarterback keeper in the fourth quarter and had to miss a few plays, he came back and threw that perfect pass to Murphy. And you realized, gosh, this kid can do it. He has it all if people just will be patient.

In so many ways, watching this game provided the textbook example for what it's like to be a Raiders fan. It had everything you love about football: hard hitting, nasty line play on both sides of the ball, fierce hitting in the secondary, smash-mouth running, stellar tight end play, a beautiful long pass on 4th and 15 that was Aristotelian Platonic in its Al Davis-ness. And yet you also had a horrible call on a replay review at the end of the first half that came not even on a challenge from the Chargers but on a booth review because it happened in the final 2 minutes of a half, which brought back the Tuck Rule crashing up from the pit of every Raiders fan's stomach like day-old bile. As soon as that ref announced the play was under review, every Raiders fan held two competing and completely opposite thoughts in their minds: 1. it's a touchdown and there's no way it can be overturned; and 2. of course it's going to be overturned, we're the fucking Raiders for chrissakes. And then you had the inability of the defense to finish the game at the end, reminding us why we haven't won more than 5 games for 6 years in a row.

And the worst part of it, or maybe it's the best part, is that going into the game I was fully expecting another 41-14 or 27-0 blowout. But by the third quarter, I'd bought in, and was thinking, "Shit, we can play with these guys." And when JaMarcus threw that perfect rainbow to Louis Murphy, I was jumping up and down, disturbing my neighbors below, hugging my wife, and I thought, "We are going to win this game!"

So when we didn't, it was like being punched in the stomach. Maybe it's like Coach Cable says, that this loss hurts in a good way.

Anyway, I'm in. The Kool-Aid is drunk. Stay tuned for more obnoxious, f-bomb-laden Facebook updates.

Because it's on.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Why Dance Around It?

The refs stole another game from the Raiders. I just don't get it.

Is This Some Kind of Sick Joke?

For a moment I thought I was watching a replay of the Tuck Game. How on earth do the refs find "irrefutable visual evidence" that Murphy dropped the ball, when he clearly had full control through one foot, two feet, and a hip on the ground?

I try, I mean I REALLY try, to resist the urge to declare a vast NFL conspiracy against the Raiders. But how can one expect me to watch this kind of complete bull crapola without thinking so? I just don't understand how anyone could even think to review that call (Norv never would have wasted a red hanky on that), let alone found irrefutable visual evidence to overturn it.

I don't get it. I don't get it. I don't get it at all.

1st Quarter: Raiders 7 disChargers 0


I mean, just wow. Richard Seymour just dominated a series, recording a sack and stuffing LDT on a short run. Then Warren stripped LDT and we recover.

Dominating: 135 yards for us, 17 for them.


Here We Go

I really don't know what to think tonight. For the past few weeks I've been the lowest I can remember being heading into a regular season. The Jawbreaker. The debacle against the Saints in the 3rd preseason game. The Seymour public embarrassment. My expectations were low, and were headed lower.

Then the Seymour thing turned around. He's here, he wants to play for the Raiders, he grew up a Raider fan (!?)...and he's going to play tonight. Even if Johnny and Ashley couldn't make it, we have friends over and Kristy has put both the Autumn Wind and the Raiders' theme song on the TV.

So...I'm pumped.

Are the Raiders even playing tonight?

Granted, I'm only casually watching watching Monday Night Countdown, but so far I've the Raiders mentioned exactly one time, and that was as a lead-in for a piece on Ladanian Tomlinson's "comeback."

I'm starting to feel disrespected. And maybe the Raiders have earned it. But you would think that the NFL would have scheduled the Broncos to play the Chargers tonight, because there has been more discussion of them than there has the Raiders.

Drew Bennett: Contrarian

I'll have longer posts throughout the day, but in the meantime, here's ESPN's First Take preview with Kordell Stewart and Drew Bennett.

ESPN really will hire anyone, won't they?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Seymour May Stop Screwing Raider Fans UPDATE: Or Not?

Schefter is reporting tonight that Richard Seymour is en route to Oakland and will play against the Chargers on Monday night. Apparently the Raiders did send the letter and Seymour had the proverbial 3.7 million reasons to go ahead and stop being a baby about the trade.

More good news is that no ridiculous promise not to franchise him was made, increasing the chances that the Raiders will be able to keep him longer than this year. Gwen Knapp's complaints notwithstanding, this is good news for the fan even if it prevents Seymour from buying 10 more luxury cars with all of his loot derived from playing a game.

UPDATE: Spoke too soon. Jerry points out a Boston Herald story that Seymour has filed a grievance through the NFLPA attempting to block the Raiders' ability to force him to report, and thus unravelling the trade. Until he tackles LT for a loss on Monday night, Richard Seymour is on a fast track to Randy Moss status with this Raider fan. No, that does not mean I am going to draft Seymour also in my fantasy league. Ugh.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Slow Start

We had the best of intentions. Live blog the always exciting final preseason game. Somehow the beers and burgers got in the way. Unfortunately, JaMarcus and the starters were out before I got the first burger off the grill.

Not much excitement from the starting offense. And that run defense still doesn't look great. But at least we got a good quote from George Atkinson: "Competitors want to compete." Indeed.

Javon Walker just caught a pass during Gradkowski's final audition. Too bad Gradkowski then fumbled away the ball. So far I think Louis Rankin is my MVP. Big Terd is playing up to his name. And John Bowie is making us all forget about Randy Moss. No wait, he's making us think every opposing WR is Randy Moss.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Members Only?

I noticed something today, when I read--against my better judgment--the last tripe from Rick Reilly. In a column addressing whether or not it's okay to abandon your team, and under what circumstances it's okay to do so, he writes,
Rule 6b. Your owner still wears Members Only jackets. His initials are Al Davis.
Curious, because I can recall exactly three outfits I've ever seen Al Davis wear: White Sweats, black leather Raiders jacket, and a black suit when he needs to dress it up. So I googled "Al Davis Members Only Jacket" and got this, from Jay Mariotti's Fan House column of August 19:
Not that I'd expect anything more from the creature forever embalmed in a Members Only jacket, Al Davis.
Then I did an image of Al Davis, with the "moderate safe search" on. Look at it. Admittedly, this is unscientific, but do you see one picture of Al Davis in a Members Only jacket? Scroll through it. Even the Freddy Krueger picture doesn't show a Members Only jacket. One photo, on the third page of images, shows Al in the 70s, in some kind of awesome, gray wool number with buttoned straps on the shoulders, but that's not a Members Only jacket.

I get what they're saying, that only out of touch old guy's wear Members Only jackets. But I want to ask these two, can you produce one photo of Al Davis wearing a Members Only jacket? And even if you can, in Mariotti's case, does one photo out of thousands constitute enough evidence to level the charge that he is "forever embalmed in a Members Only jacket?"

This is the kind of lazy and stupid reporting that guys like Reilly and Mariotti can get away with, because they're big stars on ESPN. You would never see Lowell Cohn or Ray Ratto or Monte Poole or even Kawakami write something like this, because they know first hand that whatever Al Davis is, a schmuck in a Members Only jacket isn't one of them.

UPDATE: I sent submitted this email, via this form, at for Rick Reilly:

Hi, I was wondering if you have any visual evidence of Al Davis wearing a Members Only jacket?

Thanks, and I'll print any response.

John Sousa

Maybe if both of our readers also send him emails, we'll get a response.