Living Life as a Raiders Fan in 2008

One must be thick skinned… Accustomed to losing… Shocked by nothing… As the bizarre, almost surreal event of earlier this week has finally had a chance to settle, I have determined that this latest debacle has only done one thing and one thing only.. It has made me an even STRONGER Raider fan.. Suffering through what has become probably one of the most embarrassingly strange weeks in franchise history (besides our last Super Bowl appearance) I have determined that the old adage “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” must be applied to what happened this week in Oakland.. Well, I am obviously still alive, and I will still be wearing my JaMarcus Russell jersey, Raiders watch, ring and tennis shoes to “dress casual” work today.. WHY? Because I am a RAIDER fan.. Asking me “how can you be a RAIDER fan?” is like asking me “how can you breathe?” For 35 of my 40 years on this Earth, I have been a RAIDER fan…

One of my earliest football recollections is of watching Pittsburgh beat Oakland around Christmas of 1973. I didn’t know who these teams were, but I knew that there was something about the Silver and Black that I liked.. I remember a few years later, watching The Raiders man-handle the Vikings 32-14 in Super Bowl XI..

I remember that cold day in Cleveland in 1981, secretly wishing the Raiders would win, while the rest of the town was cheering on the Browns and the interception that was just a blip on the way to victory over Philadelphia in Super Bowl XV. I can think of all the Monday Night games, thinking to myself that if the Raiders are on Monday Night, they will win..

I remember “the Move” and thinking to myself that all my “Oakland” gear would need to be replaced with “Los Angeles” gear.. I was there for the beat down that Marcus Allen and the rest of the Raiders gave Washington in 1984 in Super Bowl XVIII.. I have been there through Madden, Flores, Shannahan, Shell, White, Bugel, Gruden (geez, what is this, the Spinal Tap drummer roster??) Callahan, Turner, Shell (again!!) Kiffin, and now Cable… I have been there, with all the good (3 Super Bowls) and with all the bad ( Super Bowl XXXVII).  I bleed Silver and Black… My trip to Oakland a few years ago will go down as one of the greatest weekends of my life…  WHY!???  WHY!!????  Because once you are a RAIDER fan, you cannot go back..

Which brings me to the present day and the current question of Davis vs Kiffin…  While I must agree that the events of the past week have been somewhat expected, the manner in which they played out have been nothing short of surreal…  Do I think that Al Davis is stuck in the past and deserves his own South Park episode (“I’m not old, I’m the owner..)” “Mommmmm – Kiffin’s lying about me again!!” “Oh my, they killed Al!!!”)

Sure I do… As I told Tim Montemayor ( Monte ) on his Sporting News Radio show earlier in the week, Mr. Davis is looking for the quick fix for his horrendous football team, and in today’s NFL, there is no such thing as a quick fix… Yes, he is the owner, or is he the dictator, of one of the most glorified franchises in all of sports, but for the past 15 years – he has let this franchise turn into the laughingstock of the NFL.  Mr. Davis needs to relinquish control and enjoy his last years of life instead of continually meddling in the operations of his football team..

The Raiders will not win as long as Al is around… Is Lane Kiffin blameless in all this? Probably not… But he is young, and was not given the opportunity to make the mistakes that all new head coaches are bound to make… The sad part of this is the team IS getting better. We have seen improvement happening before our eyes with the development of the talent in place… JaMarcus Russell has the tools to be a top notch QB in the NFL and Darren McFadden is definitely something special… But how can any team or business grow and thrive when management holds such tight control on the day to day operations?  Simple answer is – that it cant..

So Kiffin is gone…  Cable is in (for now…) The Raiders will probably come out next week and give the Saints a run for the money… Will they win? Probably not, but you know they will all be playing to show the new coach what they can do… The Raiders will have another losing season, and I am OK with that… What bothers me is that they never are given the opportunity to gel, to settle in, to grow – not with all this front office turmoil…

Cable will be gone at the end of the season, if not earlier, and Mr. Davis will probably bring in another big name coach (Billick??? Cower??? – maybe Gruden again??? – heck, give Art another shot!!!) Next year, any RAIDERS fan will get excited, and it will all end the same way it has for the last 15 or so years…  It is a cycle, and it is bound to continue until Al Davis steps down as Owner of the Oakland Raiders…

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One Response to “Living Life as a Raiders Fan in 2008”

  1. Fred Benson says:

    Now that the NFL Fan Code of Conduct is here, that means you Raider fans have now been brainwashed by Roger Goodell to be nice to other visiting team’s fans. If you attack another visitor’s fans, Goodell will destroy all of Raider Nation. And he is serious.