Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dublin Down

Look who Jerry ran into at Safeway in Dublin. Dave, please tell me you got me some memorabilia! The fact that he has two rings means he must have recovered the one after his emergency dental work in Reno several years back. Great to hear Lester is still able to get into his trademark stance, and nice to see he's donating some cash to fight breast cancer.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Feeling Good

Hopefully Al Davis can say the same this weekend. It's been a long time since the Raiders have been 5-4. I've found myself marveling at the unfamiliar look of that combination of numbers all week. Raiders, 5-4. Nice.

What's also nice is this SI article courtesy of Jerry. Definitely a feel good article about Richard Seymour and the resurgent Raiders defense. The maturation of Matt Shaughnessy and reemergence of Tommy Kelly have turned around the run D 180 degrees. When reading the article, though, I do get that funny feeling that something doesn't add up. How can they just try a little bit harder and suddenly be a great D? Despite my previous distaste for him, Warren Sapp's analysis of the run defense continues to echo in my mind. Scheme must be important.

But then I remember Rich Gannon. Gannon came into the challenging organizational world that is the Raiders and willed that team to greatness. Perhaps Seymour is doing the same with the defense?

For the past 8 years or so, bye week has been welcomed by saying, "Well, at least the Raiders aren't going to lose this week." This year we can simply say, "5-4."

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Al Davis taken to the Hospital

I just got a Skype message from a friend in Oakland who has a friend who works at a cardiologist's office across the street from Summit Hospital that Al Davis pulled up in a limo in the VIP lot. He was taken into the ER by his own cardiologist.

We'll keep you posted if we hear anything else.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

How NOT to capitalize on the good feelings after a 3-game winning streak

So here come the Raiders, hottest team in the league, winners of three straight. Sunday's game was exhilarating to be sure. But after 7 years, Raiders fans are like abused spouses, always looking away, unsure and untrusting, wondering if this time, the counseling and AA will finally work, or if something will snap and we're back to the screaming and the beating and the misery.

How little we trust this team can be illustrated by this text message transcript from Sunday, as Dan and I watched the game on opposite coasts.

All times Eastern:

Nov 7, 2010 7:15 PM (after the "fumbled" punt by Nick Miller)

John: What the fuck just happened?

Dan: The NFL is a joke. Rigged.

Dan: These Refs should not get a game check this week.

Dan: God Campbell sucks.

John: Why is it always us?

Dan: I turned it off. Refs obviously preordained this one.

John: Seymour made a huge play.

Nov 7, 2010 7:49 PM

John: Ford!

John: OT!!!

Dan: Waiting to see how they will take this away. My nerves are shot.

John: LOL

John: Ford

Nov 7, 2010 8:01 PM

Dan: Can we declare them for real? I need an anxiety pill.

We all needed an anxiety pill. Even Monday and Tuesday, in the afterglow of the biggest win since the AFC Championship Game against Tennessee in 2002, with fawning national coverage, I kept waiting for something stupid to happen.

And today, it finally did. Via Jerry comes this article by Steve Corkran.

The question is not why would Al Davis want Jason Campbell to stay the starting quarterback. That's not an indefensible position. He's won three in a row, and overcame an awful first half to win the game Sunday. What I don't understand is why the fuck would Al send his simpering underlings to anonymously insist that Al Davis wants Campbell to start.

Is Al not getting enough credit? Jesus Christ, even Mel Kiper (paid access only) wrote, "But Davis perhaps didn't get enough credit." He then goes on to give Davis credit for drafting good players and hiring Hue Jackson.

This would make sense if we were in the middle of another losing season. But we're not. The Raiders are a national feel-good story. They just had a sellout game, where the crowd played a huge role in the victory, causing false starts and delay-of-game penalties.

And this is how they're rewarded, with "sources inside and outside the organization" saying, "Mr. Davis likes what Jason has done the past month and doesn't see the need to change when things are going well" and "He thinks Jason is a classic fit for the Raiders style of play."

Again with the classic style of play. If "Just Win, Baby" means anything at all, Al will his coaches and his players play, grow some self confidence, and shut the fuck up.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Wow, Again

I got a call from my buddy Ken while I was out trick-or-treating with my daughter (I'm on the East Coast now so the game was still going on) asking me when the Raiders became an Offensive Juggernaut.

I guess it came the week after crapping the bed against the 49ers.

But two weeks in a row, dominant.

This is getting interesting.

Sunday, October 24, 2010



I'm not even sure what I saw today, but I sure did like it.


Sunday, October 17, 2010


In every way.

The Vertical Game

Watching the Eagles take apart Atlanta and Jeremy Maclin just scored on an 83-yard bomb, which made me think of the two WRs taken before him in the 2009 NFL Draft.

There will be no avoiding the DHB-Crabtree comparisons today. Crabtree admits to having a little extra incentive to rub it in Al Davis's face today, while DHB says he isn't going to spend even a minute thinking about Crabbers. While DHB has been an easily foreseen disaster, based on the problems he's had in SF, it's clear Crabtree would have been a nightmare in Oakland.

Maclin, on the other hand...oh yeah, we have Johnnie Lee Higgens.

Hopefully Campbell can figure out how to get the WRs involved this week.

Sapp on our run D

Warren Sapp, while making his pick for the Raiders-49ers game:

"You know why [the Raiders] have the 31st ranked run D? 'Cause you don't have a gap and neither do I. We're just gonna play this thing and see how it feels. I'll take the 49ers all day long."

This is why it's such a challenge to be a Raider fan. That feeling that the organization is simply built to lose.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dearth of Posts

Pretty weak to see no posts surrounding a stirring victory over the Chargers - a game I attended - followed by no posts leading up to the Battle of the Bay.

But is a lame post like this really any better? Am I just talking to myself because I'm too antisocial to post something to Facebook right now?

Anyway, last week was right up there with as much fun as I've ever had at a sporting event. Sheer joy. Hugging complete strangers. A follow-up victory over the local rivals would be too much to ask for, right?

Right, according to loyal reader Dave, who looked up the Raiders' performance after each victory during last season.

After beating KC: Lost 23-3 to Denver.
After beating Philly: Lost 38-0 to the Jets.
After beating Cincy: Lost 24-7 to Dallas.
After beating Pittsburgh: Lost 34-13 to Washington.
After beating Denver: Lost 23-9 to Cleveland. Cleveland.

That's a total of 142 - 32, or 28.4 - 6.4 per game.

Ouch. If you are looking for signs of hope, at least after the St. Louis win the Raiders lost by a mere 1 point to Arizona the next week.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another view on Gradkowski

Six quarters into the season and the Raiders bench their prize offseason acquisition. Panic has set in. Cable is on the ropes. They are exploring new lows. This sentiment seems to prevail in the press now that Bruce Gradkowski has been named the starting QB over Jason Campbell.

But it wasn't that long ago that Bruuuuce was winning games while looking like a legitimate NFL starter. Despite an injury that ended his year, the Raiders gave him a significant raise in the offseason. Fans were ready to roll with him in 2010.

Interestingly, the same pundits who laugh at Al Davis for choosing 40 times over intangibles seem to agree with him that Gradkowski, for measurable reasons, is not an NFL starter. But the guy wins.

If you are Hue Jackson, perhaps you saw as clearly as the rest of us that since the moment Bruce arrived healthy in training camp, he's been outstanding, and measurably better than Campbell. And you asked yourself, "Why isn't this guy our starter?" To which Tom Cable answered, "I know, RIGHT?!?" Hence Johnny's good cop / bad cop scenario.

Looking at this situation from another perspective, Gradkowski earned the starting role last year, lost it due to injury, and played so well upon his return that he's quickly earned it back. The bigger concern is that replacing JaMarcus with ANYBODY didn't cause as huge an improvement as was expected.

Friday, September 24, 2010

This why suck, Part 789

Jerry Mac, writing about why the Raiders didn't draft Larry Fitzgerald:

At the time, the Raiders felt pretty good about their receiving corps of Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry and Doug Gabriel. The following year, they would bring in Randy Moss.

Since that 2005 season, Fitzgerald has more receptions than any receivcer in the NFL (475) for 6,413 yards and 52 touchdowns. The Raiders recieving leaders during that span _ Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry (in 2006 and 2007), Johnnie Lee Higgins and Louis Murphy, combined for 249 receptions, 3,273 yards and 18 touchdowns.

But while Fitzgerald was available and brought in for a visit, it was purely for show. They never considered drafting him because he didn’t have a fast enough time in the 40-yard dash. Davis’ favorite receiver, I’ve been told by was Roy Williams out of Texas. (emphasis added)

Yes, this Roy Williams. I will now mix a qualuude-and-drano cocktail.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


So Bruce Almighty is the starter, and there are a couple of competing views by the ANG newsguys.

Writing of Hue Jackson's comment that it was his idea put Bruce in on Sunday, Cam Inman says Jackson is undermining Cable's authority, and it's only a matter of time before he replaces Cable as head coach.

Jerry Mac has a different take. He writes that Cable, in naming Bruce the starter, is showing being decisive, and notices his lack of lip-service to Al Davis in the decision.

Jerry writes:
Seems like a major shift that Cable isn’t giving the owner his due on an important decision, or offering up a glowing endorsement of their conversations. What makes this more interesting is that Jackson, Davis’ hand-picked offensive coordinator, said he was the one who suggested the quarterback switch in the first place.
Jackson, of course, mentioned "Coach Davis" when he discussed the decision to bench Campbell in favor of Gradkowski.

So what's going on? Is Jackson undermining Cable? Or is he providing cover for the decision? Al is on record as saying Campbell reminds him of Jim Plunkett. If Jackson is Davis' hand-picked guy, maybe it makes sense for Cable to have him take credit for the decision, since he has a latitude that Cable might not necessarily have.

It seems to me that Jackson can't really undermine Cable's authority, since everyone knows Raiders head coaches don't really have any authority to undermine. All Jackson said is that it was his idea; Cable made the ultimate decision. It seems like they're playing good cop/bad cop with Davis.

It makes sense that if the Raiders start losing, Cable gets fired. He should be. But if they start winning, who knows what will happen. Al is weird enough to do anything.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

QB Controversy

Prince - Controversy
Uploaded by Master_System. - Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

Per Jerry Mac, Tom Cable has declared Alameda a "Controversy-free zone." A lot of it is typical Raiders weirdness, but my feeling is that what is going on is Cable trying to convince Al to let him start Gradkowski.

And if "Just Win, Baby" is anything more than an empty slogan, Gradkowski will start until he gets hurt or stops winning. Nothing against Campbell, but the turnaround was too stark on Sunday.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


From Jerry McDonald's latest post:
How is it possible the Raiders could be overconfident? In a way they’re no different from much of the fan base which thought they had a winner and now are willing to sell their beloved team for a nickel after a bad opener.
Speaking for the CLOAK, I'm not sure we thought we had a "winner," so much as we were encouraged that the problems we've been experiencing over the last 7 years--Commitment to press-bashing, no pass rush, bum offensive line play, bad tackling in the run defense--were at least being dealt with in a manner befitting a professional organization. Sunday's game was a debacle, no different from any of the many debacles we've experienced over that time period.

Jerry's readers are dedicated, though, and this line is like a shout-out to the most loyal readers, the ones who police the site for "haters."

Sunday, September 12, 2010


The year is new, but the problems are the same.

Run defense - it held up for a while but then started to give up the huge chunks of yardage. Given that the Raiders have changed all the players, is this proof that the scheme is fundamentally not equipped to stop the run?

Pass rush - we thought this would be a new-found strength, but after one early sack by Wimbley, our "natural pressure" is not getting to the QB.

Passing game - nonexistent. Completely nonexistent.

Offensive line - terrible. Our Tackles do not belong in the NFL.

Penalties - definitely on pace to lead the league again.

With all the changes, year after year, there is only one common denominator for all of this. As Dave texted me, "I'm not watching anymore. I have better things to do."


Wow. This franchise is a laughingstock and we haven't even made it to half. If I were to say I'm shocked then I would be admitting my naivete.

Kristy is busy cancelling our plans to attend the away game in Denver.

Silver lining

I maintain that the Titans player was offsides on the sack that caused the Campbell fumble. He was going full speed when the ball was snapped. Nevertheless, our O-tackles do not look good at all today, meeting expectations.

But the defense looked great on this last Titans "drive." Huff even came slashing through to get Johnson in the backfield. So barring the big play (sound familiar?), perhaps this defense will keep us in this one.

Realizing our doubts

Johnny texts me to say, "Our offense is awful. Still."

Yep, it looks that way on TV, too. The one positive thing I can say is that when new center Veldheer snapped it over Campbell's head, he scooped it up and ran for 15 yards (i.e., back to the line of scrimmage) to put us in FG position. So I suppose it could have been worse?

If it weren't for the refs, we'd be in trouble. But just as I write that, Branch gets flagged for PI to erase a 3-and-out and Stanford Routt, our highly-paid-and-therefore-starting CB, gets smoked for a 60-yard TD. Stanford is right, he hasn't changed a bit. He looks awful. Still.

That's more like it!

Third and long, Wimbley gets around the corner and sacks Young, forcing a fumble that's picked up by Seymour. The drive starts on the Tennessee 34.

D'oh! Campbell sacked on a blitz. Let's cash in, Raiders.

"Shaky start"

The offense didn't look great at first glance. So let's see how the defense does.

Tyvon Branch is my pick for breakout player, good to see he made the play on special teams.

"Michael Huff was out of position." First play is an option and Vince Young almost broke it. Not a great start.

Here we go

One question was whether the return game would be any good. And we fumbled the opening kickoff (but recovered). Figurs.

DMC to carry the load?

Will DHB show up?

Veldheer at center?

Is Campbell the man?

Oops...he looked JaMarcus-esque stepping away from center assuming a penalty that wasn't there.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Am I the only person who thought of Al Davis when I read this?

I've compared Al, in his later career (especially since 2002) to Simon Bolivar in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's The General in his Labyrinth. Twice, actually.

So maybe it's not a surprise that as I was reading Jeffrey Goldberg's interview with Fidel Castro that I thought about Al again.

Mainly it was this passage:
A frail and aged Fidel stood to greet us. He was wearing a red shirt, sweatpants, and black New Balance sneakers. The room was crowded with officials and family: His wife, Dalia, and son Antonio, as well as an Interior Ministry general, a translator, a doctor and several bodyguards, all of whom appeared to have been recruited from the Cuban national wrestling team. Two of these bodyguards held Castro at the elbow.
Lowell Cohn, who wrote over the weekend about Al lashing out at Adam Schefter for connecting the Raiders with Matt Leinert--and who writes better about Al Davis than anyone--wrote this after the infamous overhead projector press conference:
And when the whole shebang was over and the reporters left, Davis sat at the table on the stage and didn’t leave, didn’t leave until every reporter had departed. I know why. I think I do. He has trouble walking, says it’s nothing serious, just a bum quad. Maybe. I believe he wanted everyone out so we would not see him depart — either struggle to his feet or be wheeled out.
The parallels between the two men are fascinating--and yes, obviously one is a dictator and one owns a football team, so let's not insult each other's intelligence and get that out of the way up front. But these men are or were giants in their fields, now aging, struggling to hold onto their power, and, I don't know, make one last splash before they check out. They came to power at roughly the same time; they both were thorns in the sides of their bigger, more powerful neighbors who never gave up, always stayed defiant, and now seem to be caring about their legacies and not quite knowing how to manage it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


With preseason finally over and unofficial cuts being listed by both Jerry and Vito, just want to jot down some observations. Actually, has the official cuts here.

One guy I was sorry not to see on the cut list is Jeremy Ware, a 7th round CB out of Michigan State. Like JLH his rookie season, this is the guy I'm picking on this year. Maybe they had to keep him with Walter McFadden - who looked rather good, by the way - injured. But he looked lost out there every play I saw.

On the plus side in the defensive backfield, I may be ordering a Tyvon Branch jersey by the end of the year. He looks outstanding. And the Al Davis "Pay him and the plays will come" approach may have worked with Stanford Routt, who looks a lot better and makes me less cynical about his grabbing the starting job from CJ based on pay level.

O Line - I'm worried about our tackles, who were destroyed vs. San Francisco. Only good thing I can say about that is that SF is my fantasy defense. It looks like Veldheer is officially a center, with Chris Morris being cut today and Khalif Barnes moving to LT in the Seattle game.

Run D - not quite as worried - yet - as the preseason might indicate. Seemed to me that most big runs were headed straight at Desmond Bryant while Seymour rested. Tommy Kelly remains wildly inconsistent, sometimes dominant, sometimes dominated. Will be interesting to see what they are doing with Trevor Scott, having played him at DE during the Seattle game. Maybe Groves or Howard gets more playing time at LB? With one transaction yet to be announced, maybe Howard is on the block.

WRs - the Raiders seem to have kept a lot of them, including Figurs, JLH, and Nick Miller. But with Schilens always hurt, this seems to be a quantity-not-quality situation to fill in for him. TJ Houshmandzadeh was released in Seattle, which would be a nice fit. It was good to hear DHB made a great catch in the final preseason game, so hopefully this carries over to the regular season.

And here's hoping McFadden breaks out this year. One comment by Jason Campbell convinced me to draft him in fantasy football. Paraphrasing, but Campbell said he was truly amazed at what a natural receiver he is. With so few options at WR, I can see DMC being used in a lot of ways in the passing game.

Raiders in New Haven

My daughter started school last week, and there was a note on vaccinations and other health stuff, signed by the president of the Board of Education and the Acting Director of Public Health, Dr. Chisara N. Asomugha.

The form's a little dated, because she is now the Community Services Administrator for the City of New Haven.

She's also permanent CLOAK OF IMMORTALITY Man Crush Nnamdi Asomugha's big sister.

I confirmed this when I read this SI profile from last year on Nnamdi, "A Name Worth Knowing."

"Nnamdi struggled at times to fit in among a household of academic achievers. Chisara, the oldest of the children, is a pediatrician with an M.D. from Duke and a master's in public health from North Carolina; she's a finalist for a White House fellowship, to be announced later this month. His younger sister, Udodirim, has a master's in public health from Michigan, and Chijioke received his M.B.A. from Columbia this spring."

That's a serious family right there.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Official Fox Sports Sleeper Pick for 2010: Your Oakland Raiders?

Ginger Jesus turned me on to this one by posting it on another buddy's wall, and it's one of those things that's so weird it almost qualifies for a Hater of the Week post. Actually, Solomon Wilcots still might get one.

Anyway, Peter Schrager of Fox Sports picks the Raiders to go 10-6, make the playoffs, and shock just about everyone. It's well worth reading, even with the crack about being alone on the bandwagon with a bunch of "freaks with spikes and face-paint on."

Oh, and Wilcots, quoted in the column, compares the Raiders to a bimbo:
“The Raiders are like that pretty girl in the pretty dress," said Wilcots. "Everything looks great. But then she can’t read the darn cue cards.”
That's lame. But hey, the best the CLOAK has been able to muster is an upgrade from "Dumbest Team in America" to "I want to Believe."

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Last night's preseason win over the Bears has me feeling pretty good about the Raiders. Main observations:
  • The pass rush and defensive front looks incredible
  • O-line - not bad
  • Wide receivers - we still need help here
If Kamerion Wimbley plays anything like he did last night during the regular season, the Raiders are in excellent shape. Four sacks in the first half. The whole D-line looked great, with Tommy Kelly in on the action as well. The complete revamp of the LB corps looks outstanding right now, and moving up Trevor Scott and Wimbley to rush the passer in nickel situations is paying off. McClain can tackle. Sure, he overran the play that looked disturbingly similar to last year's run defense (Forte for 89 yards), but when he hits guys, they go down.

The O line is a big question mark, but looked pretty solid against some good players on the Bears. One of my favorite plays of the game came in the second quarter when Henderson stood up Julius Peppers in a 1-on-1 situation, then Gallery came over to help and put him on the ground, hard. Despite a couple of dumb penalties on the opening drive - which the Raiders overcame, a great sign in itself - Gallery looks terrific.

As for the wide receivers, it's a good thing we have Louis Murphy. No one else looked good. Even JLH, who had a nice catch, still looks a bit lost out there. Hopefully Schilens and DHB are not really hurt and we're just saving them for the regular season. Otherwise Zach Miller will be way overworked. It looked to me last night like Campbell was skipping an open Zach on several plays to try and get the ball to WRs. At least I hope that's the case...

So far this year my least favorite guy is #23, Jeremy Ware. He seems to have that rare blend of overconfidence and incompetence that leads to fourth down TD passes like the Bears' second score.

Of note, Bo Jackson was at the game last night and he told Greg Papa that his best ever 40 time was a 4.14. He looked even faster than that with pads on.

Overall, relatively dominant game by the Raiders. Jerry points out the success they had with the screen play on offense. That was another good thing to see.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

He Looks Good Getting Off the Bus

Old news, I know...but gotta get the CLOAK fired up a bit now that it's August. Hopefully our many readers did not miss this one about Richard Seymour. When camp kicked off, he was the first one off the rookie bus, making statements like this: "Camp is the foundation you build your success on."

This is the culture change that has been a frequent Cable topic of late. As in every season, there are many question marks but after a terrific "Raider season" this year, there are at least as many reasons for optimism. And thankfully, we don't have to wrestle with answers to questions like, "Are Art Shell and Tom Walsh the right guys?" or "Is JaMarcus ready to take the next step?" this year.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

June News

It has been a quiet CLOAK of late, perhaps afraid that we'll jinx this most positive of "Raider seasons" by talking about how wonderful it's been. The Raiders, however, feel no such fears. A week ago, the intrepid Raider PR staff decided to put out a press release that stopped just short of bestowing a CLOAK OF IMMORTALITY upon Darrius Heyward-Bey. It is really a remarkable piece of work that, after listing great WRs who at any time played for the Raiders, culminates as follows:

"The list of wide receivers should make any pundit or so-called expert think twice before putting negativity on Heyward-Bey. No one has come close to the excellence at wide receivers that have worn the Silver and Black. These performers have been the greatest players who have ever played the game."

Head-shaking aside, I'm putting no negativity on Heyward-Bey or any other aspect of this Raider offseason. Within days of a conversation with Dave over whether the Raider D will be able to stop the run with no new bulk at DT, John Henderson came aboard. Then this weekend, Richard Seymour signed his tender, making a distracting holdout even more unlikely.

June 2010. Feeling good as a Raider fan.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Insightful post from Jerry today. Probably explains the minicamp situation and reminds us why that contract was such a difficult negotiation.

The good news is this reduces the likelihood that Al will re-sign JaMarcus for the league minimum after every other team turns up its nose at him. Unless a judge orders him to give the Raiders one more year of service...

Friday, May 7, 2010


Yep, I am well aware that the spectacular Raiders offseason has not translated to a single win on the field. But hope is worth a lot to the Raider fan, and we have it again. Johnny and I are considering hat upgrades now that the embargo against the Raider organization has been lifted. Dave found his Raiders shirt after a lengthy search and is wearing it again. I flew the Raider flag in front of my house for the first time in years.

Even Scott Ostler proclaimed "The return of Al Davis." In honor of all of this, we have modified the tone of the CLOAK to one of hope. Sweet, sweet hope.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Believe It!

An improbable offseason of intelligent moves continues with today's dismissal of JaMarcus Russell. It's a great day for the Raiders. Hope has returned. Everyone I've talked to is considering lifting his or her personal ban on the purchase of Raider gear. A return to the Coliseum this fall is entirely possible.

What's next for JaMarcus? Honestly, who cares? But for the record:

"Takin' a short break..."

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Want to Believe

Monte Poole called last weekend the Raiders' "finest weekend since their AFC championship victory over Tennessee on Jan. 19, 2003." It sure felt that way around here. No games were played. No touchdowns were scored. But the feeling of success was unmistakable.

Years ago, this blog began as an outlet for our love for the Raiders, always prepared to look on the bright side when the poor organizational moves offered scant brightness to find. Unfortunately, the CLOAK has turned intensely critical as all hope has been lost.

But I want to believe. I really do. And this draft has me thinking, "Maybe, just maybe..." But one celestial body is using his epic girth to blot out the emergence of a bright side in Alameda. Does JaMarcus wear a CLOAK OF IMMORTALITY, never to be purged from the roster?

Ironically, Al's desire to believe is the only thing that might crush mine. According to John Clayton (not really "news" but he has the reach...kinda like TMZ I guess), once Al Davis gives the final word, JaMarcus will hit the streets. On Sunday, Gwen Knapp detailed the risk for all Raider fans if Al does not make a clean break. He wants to believe.

Al, please let me be the bigger fool.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Al Arrives for Saturday Draft

After the rather sensible First Round pick of Rolando McClain, and subsequent need+value picks Lamarr Houston and Jared Veldheer, speculation centered around whether Al had been led to believe that this year's draft would start on Saturday as in years past. Many of us had images of an angry Al Davis banging on a locked door with his cane as Bruce Campbell was passed up at pick #8.

Apparently Al has arrived for Saturday. Here are the Raiders' first three picks of the day:

Round 4, #106: Bruce Campbell, OT Maryland. The first Saturday pick is the one everyone thought Al would pick first.

Round 4, #108: Jacoby Ford, WR Clemson. The Raiders trade up aggressively - moving Captain Kirk - to get the fastest player in the draft, who ran a 4.28 at the combine.

Round 5, #138: Walter McFadden, CB Auburn. We just can't go a draft without picking a corner.

These three picks are classic Al. But it's almost like we got the first three picks for free this year. And with the possibility that JaMarcus's days are done, I'm beside myself with glee over this year's draft.

Nicely done, Al.


Not only did we pick odds-on First Round pick Bruce Campbell at #106 in the Fourth, now Jason LaCanfora is reporting that Jason Campbell tells him the deal to the Raiders is done. Done.

Hear that, JaMarcus? Done.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who's Next?

Clausen? I had him #7 overall to Cleveland. So maybe that qualifies as good value for the Raiders in round two.

An OT? We could sure use one.

How about reuniting Terrence Cody with Rolando McClain to stuff the run Alabama style?

The Anti-JaMarcus

Well, now we get Tebow twice a year.

Rolando McClain, FTW

And the pick is...


Finally. A real pick. A legitimate player I thought was awesome when I saw him play this year.

Any Guesses?

This room is leaning towards Rolando McClain or Mike Iupati. With the top six out of the way, all the no-brainers are gone. Now it gets crazy. We also realized that three of us copied the same mock drafts because we all read the same blogs. So Jimmy Clausen is consensus #7 in this room, but he may very well pull an Aaron Rodgers and put a lot of points on our boards.

Just don't pick Bruce Campbell.

Draft Pool

I'm at the Hauenstein House in San Carlos, and just filled out a mock draft for a draft pool, relying heavily on David White's and Jerry McDonald's mock drafts.

Instead of giving Brad Webster $5, I should have just lighted it on fire.

Anyway, should be fun. I decided NOT to rock my JaMarcus jersey, head hanging in shame, instead opting for a Guinness t-shirt the Professor bought me 8 years ago in Dublin.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More 3-4 Speculation

I mentioned the obvious after the Kamerion Wimbley trade. According to Bill Williamson, today's Quentin Groves trade offers more evidence that they may be heading in the direction of a 3-4 defense.

If that's the case, do we go ILB with Rolando McClain or find a real NT to anchor the line? Turns out that's what Paul Gutierrez has on his mind, as well.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Guessing Game

There's nothing like the spectacle of the NFL Draft to bring Raiders dysfunction into full view. None of the last six top picks by the Raiders has made a Pro Bowl. JaMarcus is using his girth to shove Ryan Leaf aside in the history books. Last year's DHB pick was a stereotyper's dream. So who will it be this year?

I don't have a clue. And I am not even sure who I'd like them to pick. Maybe a big OT like Trent Williams. Maybe a big DT like Dan Williams. Perhaps a stout DE like Derrick Morgan. Maybe an MLB like Rolando McClain. I wouldn't even mind a relative stereotype in CB Joe Haden.

As for guessing who the pick will be? Let's do a bit of cheating:

Per Jerry, Vegas is betting on workout warrior Bruce Campbell. Mel Kiper calls him the most overrated player in the draft, which increases the odds that it will be him.

Todd McShay calls Taylor Mays the most overrated. He ran a 4.43 40 and is a defensive back. I like his chances.

If we stick to 40 times, somebody named Jacoby Ford ran a 4.28. Nice.

Two days until we find out how Al will surprise us next.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

First Reported on the CLOAK

Hey, it's fun to say that.

So the sleuths at TMZ were clever enough even to find the CLOAK in search of JaMarcus Russell, and after making arrangements with John's buddy, nailed down an exclusive set of photos from The Palms.

As first reported on the CLOAK.

Mr. Davis, please add this to your "For Cause" file on JaMarcus. Look at the pictures. He's literally throwing away his opportunity.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

JaMarcus in Vegas

My buddy is in Vegas this weekend and snapped this picture at the Palms Casino of JaMarcus Russell shooting craps.

My friend then apparently followed him around for a while, because he gave me these details:
The palms casino. Played craps from 3:30 to 5:30 Saturday morning. Small posse of 3. Went white t shirt gold chain (yellow diamonds). Staying at palms for jay z concert tonight. That dude is not 260. More like 300 bills easy. I will give you more updates when I have more. Rollin in Cadillac escalade. Dropped some major coin shopping. At least 20 bags.
With Adam Schefter saying JaMarcus weighed in at 290, my buddy's 3 bills does sound pretty easy.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Kawakami Tweets JaMarcus weighs 271

Jerry McDonald puns off Kawakami's tweet that Jammy weighs in 271.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

JaMarcus Speaks

Jerry Mac does an excellent job breaking down how retarded the Raiders policies are when it comes to dealing with the media. But here's JaMarcus, speaking. Is it me, or does he sound less mumbly and dumb?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Knocking Some Sense Into JaMarcus?

According to Willie Brown, now un-retired and in charge of "eliminating some problems for Tom," (after all, he was in the room when Randy Hanson fell out of his chair), JaMarcus actually has been working out in Arizona under the supervision of a former Raiders player. Rumor has it that player is Eddie Anderson.

I have always had a fondness for defensive backs, and it is no secret that Lester Hayes is my favorite player of all time. But during the late '80's / early '90's Eddie Anderson was my man. As a vicious hitter at free safety, he brought intimidation back to the Raiders defensive backfield, and has never been replaced. In fact, during high school I replaced my school ID picture with Eddie Anderson's. I found this amusing.

At any rate, if there's one guy capable of knocking sense into JaMarcus, Eddie might be able literally to do so.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Horror Show

The Raider offseason rolls on, marginally more interesting than the regular season. Voluntary workouts began today without JaMarcus, per David White. Gotta love this excerpt:

No visible sign of JaMarcus Russell, though. Several players who have been at the facility for weeks said they have not seen the former No. 1 overall draft pick.

When asked if he'll show today, one starter laughed and said "That's a horror show." Another starter said "don't hold your breath."

Perhaps he hasn't made it through lethargy rehab quite yet.

Jerry Mac says let's all take a deep breath because this stuff is voluntary, but come on. If your teammates - starters, at that - are saying these things about you at this point in the year then you are DOA. There had better be some sort of magic going on in Arizona.

In other news I see that the Al Davis love for high draft picks that washed out elsewhere continues with the Kamerion Wimbley trade. This actually looks like a good move. The Raiders needed a pass rusher to replace Greg Ellis, and Al's accuracy on this front has been decent. With the changes taking place up front, are we evolving towards a 3-4?

Either way, these sorts of acquisitions describe why JaMarcus is getting another shot this year: Al doesn't want another team to rehab his #1 pick and make him look like a fool.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Check out David White's blog post speculating that there may be a chance that Justin Fargas returns for the 2010 season:

When the Raiders released veteran running back Justin Fargas on Saturday, they put out a "cloak of immortality"-type statement out as they do for longtime players at times. (He's the first to get one since Adam Treu in 2006, if I remember right, though Zack Crockett may have got one in 2007).

Regarding the actual news, it sure is a good thing the Raiders are dropping Fargas, because he makes all the slackers on the team really look bad.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Quote of the Day

This guy Hanson can't catch a break except when it comes to his chin. -Lowell Cohn

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Man Corner

Had to put this one up on the blog: Nnamdi on the set at NFL Network in Miami. Not only does he say all the right things, as usual, but he doesn't fall into the Michael Irvin, "Must be the coaches' fault" trap and keeps the onus on JaMarcus.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Ok, I'm slightly relieved that this whole offseason of coach indecision could, in the end, just add an up-and-coming offensive coordinator and an apparently decent defensive line coach to the staff. But after shaking my head at this article a few times, two quotes bear repeating.
  1. Hue Jackson: "It's a chance to go out and assist the head coach..." Not Tom Cable, the head coach.
  2. Tom Cable: "I think it's a good decision by the organization." By the organization. Not the head coach. He's basically just observing as his (as of today) offensive coordinator is hired.
So here we sit undecided on Cable as head coach while the owner makes quite possibly the most important hiring on the coaching staff. Who does that?

And for another rhetorical question, did we really expect anything to change?

Our new offensive coordinator had this to say about his new job:
"The challenge with going to the Oakland Raiders and helping them become what they want to become is exciting. That's what you look for. I want to run to the challenge."
I wish you luck, Hue. The bottom line is that 2010 - like 2009 - will be highly dependent upon the development of JaMarcus Russell. As such, I haven't renewed contact with the Raiders ticket office just yet.


Apparently the Raiders have a new offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson. Meanwhile, Al continues to make it abundantly clear that Cable holds no power within the organization, and may not even hold a position. It will be fun to watch Hue try in vain to make JaMarcus a quarterback while Cable works on protection schemes with a bunch of third-tier offensive linemen while begging Al to let him start JP Losman.

Monday, January 25, 2010

We Got Miles of Racism

Oh, Lord.

The A's just picked up a racist who went to Antioch High.

Remember me fuckhead?


Douche bag?

No? That's cool Mr. Superstar - I was a Senior when you were a little dick Sophomore - now you're a little dick, Big Leaguer. Why the hatred from Sllaacs? Why with so much gusto and vitriol? And why do I give a fuck about Aaron, weak-ass Miles?

Well, we did go to the same high school - lived in the same city, played on the same Babe Ruth baseball fields - but what we didn't do that was the same was get together with white friends and call the black kids "Nigger".

Maybe because I was a black kid, and couldn't see the fun that Aaron and his boys did in yelling out the epithet - and he didn't do it around me, or I would have beat the racism right out of him; his mom and his grandma. But hey now, that was High School - that's all in the past, right?


Here's a little "Let's Say" story:

Let's say, a little while ago that a certain racist midget second baseman (who was on the "RedBirds" at one time) called my little brother and accused him of selling coke (cocaine, NOT soda) to the second baseman's wife - who later went on to a rehab.
Let's say the second baseman's name is "Inches".
Let's say that my brother happened to record one of the several phone calls, and has "Inches" on tape saying he will "kill your big-lipped nigger ass". That's funny too, cuz if he steps up like a real man, my brother will beat the dog shit out of "Inches", and then "allegedly" sell more coke to his wife. But let's be real about coke "selling": You only need to announce that you have it, the coke heads will beat your door down for it.

Moreover, "Inches", like "Miles" is no different from the majority of white people who had families and generations that grew up in Antioch and watched aghast as Nigger after Nigger moved into their neighborhoods - brought all sorts of shit to the "Yock" and banged the hell out of their white sisters, daughters, and girlfriends - while the white sons wanted only to emulate.
Good old Antioch, how I miss thee...


Oh yeah, while we're at it: Welcome to Oakland Aaron Miles, the first Athletic that I will truly dislike on a personal level. Why don't you call Coco Crisp or Rajai Davis a Nigger? In your mind, I know you already have.


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Off Season

Has been a while since I've posted, but during my travels over the holidays and January I haven't been able to figure out what the heck is going on. Thankfully, the team proved again today why they consistently rank last in the NFL in PR savvy. As Raider fans, we would absolutely love to see some glimmer of hope that Al Davis recognizes his mismanagement in recent years and is going to make some effort to fix it. Instead, after suffering through weeks of uncertainty over whether we'll have a coach in 2010, we get this (from the AP story):

"The Oakland Raiders denied a report by ESPN on Saturday that they have made a decision to bring Tom Cable back as coach next season."

Gotta love it. Little to no reaction to thousands of head coach rumors that undermine and humiliate Cable (not to mention Raider fans), but the second Adam Schefter taps Al Davis's knee with that little rubber mallet, Herrera comes out kicking with the denials. Meanwhile, Al continues to hire and interview assistant coaches whose employment, if Cable is not retained, will undermine and/or scare away the next guy.

Since Schefter has a much better track record of accuracy than Herrera, the news looks good for Tom Cable and for Raider fans.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Why we suck, Part 314

So Jon Gruden has a party at Rickey's Raiderland, and Al gets "infuriated" because some current Raiders employees showed up to say "hello" to their former co-worker (boss?).

As Jerry says, "Good to know that as the Raiders move forward to recapture their greatness, they’re focused on the right things."