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.