Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fear and Loathing in Las Ravens

Check out the sticky bird's eye view of the Ravens game here as promised. Enjoy!

Your feedback is welcome as always...

Sunday, September 17, 2006


The significant other and I are off on the road trip this weekend to Baltimore. As you can see, we scored prime seats: Lower level, 29th row, 50 yard line, directly behind the Raider bench.

Last week the Raiders were shut out 27-0. The Ravens shut out Tampa and coach Chuckie by an identical 27-0 score. So on paper, this looks like a mismatch.

But to last week's performance I say, "Nevermore!" This game won't be played on paper.

We'll give you the sticky perspective from the sideline when we return.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Line of Scrimmage

These observations will be obvious to anyone who watched the game, and I have been shouting them to anyone who will listen since last season ended, so pardon the redundancy, but here it is:

This team will only go as far as the "O" line will take it. Forget all the hype about Jerry Porter and Randy Moss. Forget the debate about whether Brooks or Walter is the better QB. Forget the hand wringing about Jordan being the only dependable RB on a power running team.

You can forget all those things because the truth is simple. If these five "O" linemen do not learn their new positions quickly and learn how to make calls and play together as a unit, then it does not matter what Porter, Moss, Jordan, Brooks, Walter or any of the other so-called "skill position" players do.

Fantasy football has brainwashed many into thinking the RB is the most important, the QB, the WR, etc. because they rack up points for your fantasy team.

Well, lemme 'splain somethin' to you:

In REALITY football, the QB gets squashed like a grape without the O-line holding up. The RB runs into a brick wall without the O-line opening holes. Without good O-line pass pro, the WRs never make that 20-yard reception 'cause the QB is eating grass like a grazing cow by the time they get that far down field.

The O-line is the single most important part of this, or any team, in REALITY football. The sad truth is this team will continue to lose until the O-line gets its $h!+ together, be it this season or next...

'nuff said

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Moss Fishes for a Smile

We all are familiar with the prima donna WRs of today's game. Sometimes it feels like watching women's gymnastics instead of the NFL when the drama queens get going.

But we know there is a difference between a player manufacturing drama and the mediots just needing a story.

Believe it, the mediots thrive on creating bad vibes around the Raider organization. What better time to create drama than right before the opening Monday Night game?

It's like the gunslinger in the black hat in the old spaghetti westerns. With the Raiders, the mediots have a way to point their finger and say, "Look at the bad guy. Let's get 'em!" And the majority of NFL fans follow like sheep grazing on the green grass.

It is a tired formula whose accuracy played out long ago. But we look at it as motivation. Motivation to show them they are wrong. This is not a bad team. F' Them if they don't understand the Raider way!

As you all know, this site is particularly harsh on Jerry Porter. This is because every Raider Head Coach since Porter has been here put him in the doghouse. This cannot be mere coincidence. Porter is the one constant in the problems.

However, at this time, this site is very much pro-Randy Moss. This site's purpose is to celebrate those who contribute to the greatness of the Raiders. Porter does not. Moss does.

I long for the days when Freddie B. made a tough catch, got hit, got up, lined up, and did it again. Biletnikoff was known for telling Mr. Davis "F U" to his face, but Fred kept it in-house and Davis smiled. Unfortunately, many WRs of today drag their dirty laundry through the street like drag queens in a parade. Verily, the WR queens overestimate their importance to the game.

Coach Art Shell says he relies on Moss as a leader. Here is what Moss said in a recent inteview. Moss rarely talks to the press these days, but apparently the station agreed to advertise some of Moss' business interests.

Here is part of the interview which started the "fishy" pseudo-controversy. Art says the Raider players have always been given freedom of speech. If Shell is not upset about the latest Moss inteview, should we be? Nope.

Like all receivers, Moss is prone to pout a bit when he doesn't get the ball. But there is a difference between being upset when the offense isn't clicking and your team isn't winning... and just wanting to pad your own stats with catches, regardless of the outcome of the game. Moss is the former.

If the Raiders win, Moss will be happy. If they continue to lose, Moss will continue to wonder why he isn't more involved in helping the team win, meaning "give me the ball". The Randy Ratio is really very simple: the number of "W"s is directly proportional to Moss' level of contentment.

Yes, it drives us all crazy to see Moss freelance routes, throwing his hand up in the air as if to say, "Hit me with the ball, Chief! I'm open and I got the moves!" But this is the way Randy plays. He plays like a kid, with joy for the game. And sometimes he acts like a kid too.

From the day he set foot in Oakland, Moss seems to have done the best he can to avoid controversy. He seems to have learned his lesson from his days as a Viking. While T.O. says, "I have changed. I have grown up." and we all see it for what it is - a lie wrapped in a marketing ploy - Moss has learned something in his time as an NFL player.

He has learned that the mediots will distort whatever you say to create controversy. In contrast, T.O., the quintessential "ME FIRST" player thrives on the controversy. Moss seems to shy away from it when he can.

Yes, there was the Bryant Bumble interview where Moss let us know he "smokes weed once in a blue moon."

But in my opinion, that's just Randy being Randy. He simply does not know how to be politically correct or sanitize his comments for the media. He tries to bite his tongue about his differences with coaches or players. He tries to keep it in-house, just as Coach Shell does. Yet seemingly every time Randy is interviewed, the words come out wrong - similar to Lester Hayes' stutter, but different.

He is what he is.

And what he is is a HOF-caliber WR. We all remember the days Moss wore braces on his teeth. Growing up in West Virgina, Moss didn't have access to the best dental care. So he did something about it.

He set up the Randy Moss Invitational Celebrity Charity Fishing Tournament for the Smile Network, which helps children afford surgery for craniofacial disorders, such as cleft lip and palate.

Moss is a fishin' fool. Yes, he said something is "fishy" about the Raider organization... perhaps he is just fishin' for a smile with some of his comments?

We remember Moss’ statements the day he became a Raider; they can be found here in their entirety :
"I loved (the limo ride, the police escort, the gifts from the Raider organization). It's what a class organization does. I have four children. All got a care package from the Raiders. Never happened before. Gifts, hats, t-shirts, etc. They may not seem like much but it's important. It got me worked up inside."

"Look, I'm a country boy from the back woods. I was not exposed to a lot of things (when I came into the league). Now, I know what to expect from a playoff win or a loss. I love to get it done. Let's get it done."
Time to get it done... and the drama will die away, like "Joey" Porter rotting on the bench.

Always smiling.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Joey Porter still doesn't know his name

He thinks it is "Al Davis".

Reports are our very own prima donna, @$$ clown Wide Receiver, "Joey" Porter, parked in Al Davis' spot next to the front door of Raiders HQ Wednesday.

Now, given Al Davis has health concerns, which limit his mobility to using a walker, this is akin to a snot-nosed teenager parking in a handicapped spot in front of Wally-Mart.

Add in the fact Mr. Davis signs the paychecks... remember Porter has worn his F-U shirt every day in practice... gotten thrown out of Coach Shell's office with the salutation, "Who the f^#k do you think you are?!?... notice none of the other players have anything to do with Joey as he sits on the Raider bench during the preseason (well, he only bothered to show up for the last one, actually)... and we're getting dangerously close to the conclusion Mr. Porter is defecating in the Raiders general direction.

Here is what Nancy Gay has to say on Joey's latest antics:
For anyone still confused about whether WR Jerry Porter has improved his dark attitude around Raiders' headquarters, take note: The disgruntled former starter parked his vehicle in owner Al Davis' personal parking space on Wednesday, the space that's closest to the front door of the team facility. Nice statement. ...
My guesstimation is Mr. Davis' response may be to get Porter on the non-football related injury list. If Porter gets busted up off the field, like Idiot of the Week, Discharger LB Steve Foley did, then he gets no cabbage for the season from Dah Raydahs.

Who can we call to do the deed? How 'bout some wise guys who know a thing or two about knee caps and the way they are not supposed to bend...

We don't call Al "The Godfather" 'round here for nuttin'!

Joey, just in case you weren't paying attention, the grounds the Eagles used to suspend Terrell Owens for insubordination included "Owens continued to defy the Coach and the team by, for example, repeatedly violating the dress code and parking in coaches' spaces and in handicapped spots."

Just a suggestion, Mr. Porter, read the arbitration's ruling against Owens, which you can find here, then locate your head (here's a tip, you have inserted it into one of your body's orifices), then get with the program before you don't get paid.

Just a suggestion...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Up The Middle... With a Right Hook

As noted here by the brilliant mathematician, Statisticus Indulgencles, the key to the Raiders opening day success or failure lies in stopping one thing: LaDainian Tomlinson.

Yes, there is the nubile QB, Phillip Rivers, to consider. The Dischargers are the only team in the league who's roster boasts exactly ZERO QBs with an NFL start. Rumor is the Dischargers even were interested in signing KFC before the Flaming Thumbtacks made that mistake. 'nuff said.

There is the fact the Dischargers are down to rookie Marcus McNeil at Left Tackle (who slipped in the draft because of his rather sloppy footwork and chronic spinal stenosis) to protect Rivers' blind side. But also consider Rivers can always hand off or check down to Tomlinson or All-Pro TE Antonio Gates when the Raiders get in his grill. Worked for young Big Ben and the Squeelers, no?

The truth is, allow LT the second (Lawrence Taylor was the first "LT") to run free as The Autumn Wind - and you lose. Stop LT II the way a van, a bottle, and a tree stopped Dave Dalby - and you win.


Moreover, the ability to stop the run is the lynchpin to winning the West. Give Schottenheimer, Shanahan, and Edwards enough rope, and they will hang the Raiders... again. But tighten the noose on LT II, Larry Johnson, and the Donco flavor-of-the-month RB (about all we know is it won't be Maurice Clarett and probably will be some guy named "Bell") and the West will be ours. Believe it.

As this graphic shows, the Dischargers had the best run defense in the NFL last season, as measured by average rushing yards per game given up (84.3). Who was #2 in the NFL? You guessed it, the Doncos at 85.2 yds/game. Even the Condiment Chefs of KC, with their woeful "D" came in at #7 in the league at stopping the run (98.1).

Where were the Raiders you ask? Try scanning down the list till you reach #25 and 128.1 ypg given up. The words dreadful, awful, and embarssing come to mind.

Rushing yards are very related to a team's W-L record. When a team gets ahead on the scoreboard, it typically plays conservatively and runs the ball down the other team's throat in the second half playing "kill the clock".

When a team gets behind (see Norv Turner as Exhibit A), the running game is abandoned as the ball flies through the air in the second half in an effort to make up the scoring deficit quickly.

This tells us that for all the hype about WRs and QBs, for all the talk Norv did about passing first to set up the run, verily, if you rush the ball successfully and stop the run successfully, everything else is possible. Fail to do so and, well... we are unfortunately familiar with those results.

Question is, what has been done in the offseason to shore up the Raider run defense, which gave up far to many yards past the line of scrimmage last season?

Where have you gone Matt Millen? The Nation turns it's lonely eyes to you:

Where are you to give the *Patsies Cheesewhiz owner, Bob Kraft, a right hook to the noggin for the Snow Job? Where are you to bring the presence of fear to the middle?

You say you currently are in Detroit cutting your first round draft pick WR, Charles Rogers? Never mind, Mr. Millen. We'll have to go with plan B.

Throughout the years, Mr. Allen Davis has looked at the LB spot as plan B. Plan A is focus on collecting the best bump'n'run Corners in the game and find some demon Ends like Howie or Burgess to put the fear into 'em.

But whither the MLB/ILB spot... it seems less of a priority in Oakland than having a Punter who can hit the SuperDome gondola with a ballistic punting exhibition.

Yes, we have memories or Rod Martin taking three picks from Ron Jaworski's pocket and dooming 'em to a life as a broadcaster with a shattered ego. Yes, we have Kick'em In the Head Ted Hendricks in the HOF... but these memories are of OLBs.

Where is our Dick Butkus to slam the ball carrier to the grass like a broken Barbie doll from the Island of Misfit Toys?

Where is our Mike Singletary, his eyes bugging out like Marty Feldman smoking crystal meth, to lead this "D" to dominance?

Where indeed is the MLB - the QB of the "D" - in our Radier history? At the back of the bus.

Danny "Hammerhead" Clark had been leading the team out of the tunnel during the preseason. Alas, like Greg Biekert before 'em, Clark's heart was big enough, but his body just not fast enough to get him there. We remember Clark and wish him well. The Turk got'em. Perhaps the Raiders will resign him after week one to a new contract...

Cutting Clark and adding The Tomases at LB ( Howard and Robert) shows us the Raiders are interested in adding speed to this "D", and rightly so. But are they nasty like Butkus? Are they smart like Singletary?

The Raider depth chart now shows Kirk Morrison as the lone MLB left on the roster. No other position on the roster has no backs up listed. See what I mean about MLB being an afterthought to Al Davis?

Even third string MLB Ryan Riddle, who looked impressive in the HOF game forcing and recovering a fumble and is a good special teamer to boot (an essential quality for a back up), es no mas.

While Capt. Kirk seemingly has inherited the leadership role from Clark and did lead all NFL rookies last year in tackles - Morrison is definitely my favorite player from that draft and an Oakland homer as well - the complete lack of depth at MLB is puzzling to say the least.

Perhaps Michael Huff is going to be the leader of this "D"? After all, Rod Woodson was the Safety who lead the league in INTs as the leader of the Raider "D" during the last SB run.

Whether we hav a Safety or MLB as our defensive QB matters little, but Morrison was just a rookie and Huff is one now. Isn't it a bit much to expect them to lead the charge against LT II, Larry Johnson, and the DumBells running behind the cutblockers?

Art Shell has laid down the law with this team. He recently said "Jerry Porter is a player. We will tell him when he is going to play." Art knows leadership. The question is, which of the players on "D" will step up to the leadership role?

Did you notice there are only four DTs now listed on the roster? Sapp, Kelly, Hawthorne, and Sands. No new bodies were added at DT from '05 and we now are missing big Ted Washington.

Methinks there will be some trouble up the middle in '06 in Oakland, for we have even less players clogging the run than last year's team, which as we all know held up like a cardboard FEMA tarp on a post-Katrina rooftop in New Orleans.

A sticky thanks to Raidinator for polishing up his bike, The Autumn Wind for us.

By the way, Dave Dalby's tragic death did form the impetus for the Silver and Black Fund. This organization's mission is to help raise funds for the medical care of former Raiders, such as Dalby and Tatum, who's significant medical bills are not met by their NFL pensions.

The link for S'n'B Fund is
here so check it out.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Hot D@mn - It's Curry Time!

Reports are Doug Gabriel has just been traded to the *Patriots. I like Doug, though he defines the term "inconsistent" in his hands and route running. He is a big play waiting to happen, good or bad.

No word yet on the Raiders' compensation for Gabriel...

What this means, as those of us who can read the cards know, is Ronald Curry is back at full strength. The team has been going easy with Curry in the preseason so as not to repeat (for the fourth time) Curry's blowing a fan belt in his ankle.

Curry should be in the starting line up opposite Randy Moss. Moss will play the vertical-bomb-Clifford Branch role, while Curry will play the slot-possession-Fred Biletnikoff roll.

Look for Johnny Morant and/or Joey Porter to come in for three WR sets. We'd all rather have seen Joey traded instead - I'd give 'em up for a handful of magic beans, actually - but given the Raiders' depth at WR, someone would have been cut.

This way, Al Davis gets compensation and still has the deck stacked at WR. After Moss, Curry, Morant, and Porter... there's still Francis, Whitted, and the rookie, Will Buchanon to choose from. No problemo, just deal from your strong suit to shore up your short stack.

Question is, "What did Al Davis get in return?" Gabriel was originally a fifth-round choice out of Central Florida, but his price will be higher for the *Patsies in trade...

Bottom line: If Curry can come back after three Achilles tendon injuries and play well, he just became my new favorite Raider.

Players like Curry have a heart you can't measure and a work ethic you can't stop.

But they can heat up even the snowiest days in Doncoland. Hot d@mn!

Post script: It's official. Gabriel es no mas. Francis got IRed and luckily, we probably won't have to hear the name "Buchanon" again. I still have a conniption when Phillip Lifetime is mentioned, BTW. Instead, 6'5", 220# John Madsen is the choice. Madsen played at Utah with '69ers QB Alex Smith.

P.P.S. Please don't bother to correct us on the spelling of "Joey" Porter. It isn't a typo. Pouter will get respect when he deserves it 'round this way!

The door is always open to Jerry Porter. If he plays like he talks. This means he quits wearing a t-shirt EVERY day to practice that says "FU" on it (he has worn this same shirt since training camp began, BTW), becomes willing to throw some blocks like Hines Ward (he has the body to do it), makes some tough catches, basically keeps his mouth shut, and actually PERFORMS in the first half of the season for once, he's welcome back and the bashing will cease.

The ball is in Porter's court. If he shows up and quits the TO act, I'd be willing to cheer 'em on just like every other player.